Major changes are bringing a new dimension to thoracic surgery and lung transplantation. This article reports the foremost recent advancements within the field. The most important advancement in thoracic surgery is certainly the widespread use of uniportal video-assisted thoracic surgery in the common practice of most thoracic operations, including major resections for lung cancer. In oncological thoracic surgery, to avoid unnecessary operations in the future, prospective randomised trials are ongoing to demonstrate why some patients with a ‘resectable’ malignancy within the chest will not survive as long as expected. Lung transplantation has progressed on multiple fronts but a significant advancement is the possibility to perform minimally invasive techniques to insert the lung into the chest of the recipient.
In conclusion, the search for minimal invasiveness has a prominent role in thoracic surgery but further research is essential to demonstrate the real advantages of technological surgical innovations. Worldwide co-operation will permit the collection of data faster and allow the completion of randomised controlled studies to this end.
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