Despite the already wide experience with video-assisted techniques in laparoscopic surgery, video-assisted thoracic surgery only recently came to be developed. This is clearly seen in a survey reflecting the experience among Belgian surgeons. A majority of the surgeons (63%) had limited experience (1 to 5 interventions), and only 28.5% had fairly considerable (between 11 and 20 interventions) or considerable (more than 20 interventions) experience. The majority of interventions performed were the treatment of pneumothorax, lung biopsies, wedge resections, and intrathoracic staging procedures, accounting for 209 (70%) of the 296 interventions collected in this survey. The remaining interventions display a wide variety of different thoracic procedures including lobectomy (4) and esophagectomy (20) for carcinoma. The overall technical success rate was 91% in this survey. Our own experience with 71 interventions or attempts reflects the same evolution with an overall technical success rate in 85% (60 patients). Pneumothorax was the most frequently performed intervention (35 patients), with a technical success rate of 94.5% (32 patients). Recurrences requiring further treatment occurred in 5 of the 32 patients (14.3%). All recurrences occurred before endostaplers were available, after which there were no failures in 12 consecutive cases. Other procedures successfully performed were lung biopsy/wedge resection (6), lung cancer staging procedures (3), lobectomy (1), hemothorax (3), chest wall neurinoma (2), sympathectomy (5), dorsal mediastinal neurinoma (1), thymectomy (1), esophagectomy (3), benign esophageal tumor enucleation (2), and Belsey Mark IV antireflux procedure (1). Furthermore, special emphasis was given to the development of video-assisted mediastinoscopy, which greatly facilitates teaching and interpreting this operation. Endoscopic myotomy using endostaplers was performed in 2 patients with Zenker's diverticulum. From our experience, however, it becomes clear that thoracoscopic approaches do not always result in a distinct benefit for the patient, as these procedures are more time consuming and usually require one-lung ventilation (probably the cause of the only fatal outcome in this series: a lung biopsy in an 85-year-old patient). In conclusion, video-assisted thoracic and thoracoscopic surgery is a new surgical modality offering new perspectives. However, careful patient selection and the same expertise as in open procedures are essential in determining the final outcome of each procedure.