Thoracic conditions affect different areas of your chest, including your lungs, heart, windpipe, esophagus (tube that connects your mouth and stomach), mediastinum (area that separates your lungs), diaphragm (muscle below your lungs), and rib cage. It requires a team approach to ensure you get complete care.
Our cardiothoracic team works with heart and lung specialists, general surgeons, vascular surgeons, respiratory therapists, and other specialists to provide comprehensive care and personal attention. You benefit from the advanced skills and experience of a team of experts.
We specialize in minimally invasive treatments that use smaller incisions, resulting in less pain and scarring and a quicker recovery. We use these approaches whenever possible to give you the best results and let you return to your life sooner.
Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS)
VATS is a minimally invasive approach done through a few small cuts, rather than a large chest incision. Surgeons put a tiny camera and other tools through the cuts to perform surgery, such as removing part of the lung, draining fluid, or doing another procedure. It’s often used to treat cancer.
Robotic-Assisted Thoracic Approaches
Our cardiothoracic surgeons are experienced in minimally invasive robotic-assisted thoracic surgery using the da Vinci® system. This approach gives surgeons enhanced dexterity and precision. We offer robotic-assisted surgery (Heller myotomy) to treat achalasia, a condition that affects the ability of your esophagus to move food and liquids into your stomach.
Thoracic Surgeries We Offer
Our expert team provides a full range of thoracic surgeries, using minimally invasive approaches whenever possible.
- Chest wall resection and reconstruction. We use this surgery to treat chest wall tumors. They remove one or more ribs to take out the tumor and reconstruct the area to restore the appearance.
- Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). ECMO uses a heart-lung machine to take over your heart and lung function when they no longer work. It's a temporary option to give your heart and lungs time to heal.
- Esophageal stent. An esophageal stent is a mesh tube placed in your throat to open a blocked area, making it easier to swallow food and liquids.
- Esophagectomy. This surgery removes part or all of your esophagus and reconstructs it using tissue from another organ, such as your stomach. It’s often used to treat esophageal cancer.
- Lung biopsy. We use a lung biopsy to take a sample of lung tissue to diagnose lung infections, cancer, and other diseases.
- Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS). This surgery helps people with breathing problems like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) breathe better by removing damaged areas of lung tissue. It helps the lungs function better and relieves shortness of breath.
- Lung cancer surgery. Surgeries include lobectomy (removes the lung lobe affected by cancer), segmentectomy (removes areas of one or more lung lobe segments, sparing healthy lung tissue), wedge resection (removes a small part of lung tissue surrounding the tumor), and pneumonectomy (removes the entire lung affected by cancer).
- Myotomy. This procedure makes it easier to swallow by opening the valve between the esophagus and the upper part of the stomach. Our surgeons can perform this procedure as a minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery.
Conditions Treated with Thoracic Surgery
- Airway problems and breathing disorders — such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema
- Esophageal motility disorders (difficulty moving food to the stomach), including achalasia
- Cancers of the chest, lung, and esophagus
- Gastroesophageal reflux (stomach acid backs up into your esophagus)
- Hiatal hernia (part of your stomach pushes up through a weakened area of the diaphragm)
- Interstitial lung disease (lung tissue scarring)
- Lung nodules (growths)
- Myasthenia gravis (an autoimmune disease that causes muscle weakness, beginning in the face, jaw, and neck)
- Noncancerous tumors and growths of the chest and throat
- Pleural effusion (fluid buildup outside the lungs)
- Pneumothorax (lung collapse)
- Swallowing disorders