Over the past decades, tremendous advances have occurred in minimally-invasive surgery. Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) has progressed from a novel procedure with widespread concern about safety and oncologic efficacy to a standard procedure that is routinely practiced by the majority of modern thoracic surgeons. The clear benefits to the patients of less pain, fewer complications, and earlier return to full activity are being realized every day across the world. As the procedure has spread quickly around the world, convincing evidence for its efficacy has lagged: randomized controlled trials of VATS and open procedures will likely never be performed due to a general lack of equipoise.
The lack of high-quality data is both a limitation and a tremendous opportunity. The VATS journal will serve as a dedicated place where key questions in the field of VATS surgery may be answered. Technical questions will easily be addressed using because of the ability to publish video. The inclusion of various platforms (VATS, robotics, endoscopy) will be very important. Questions of oncologic efficacy will be vetted carefully with an editorial board of cancer experts from both China, the US, and around the world. Worldwide generalizability of existing and new techniques will be assessed by submission from surgeons in a variety of contexts around the world: academic, community, urban, rural, Eastern, Western. All surgeons will have the ability to publish high-quality articles in this journal.
In conclusion, this journal will establish fruitful collaborations between surgeons across the globe in order to help answer important questions facing the field. Everyone with a novel idea is welcome to join this effort in order to advance the field.
Cite this article as: Onaitis MW. Foreword. Video-assist Thorac Surg 2016;1:1.