Thoracic Surgery

Thoracic Surgery.jpeg
Thoracic Surgery.jpeg

Cardiothoracic surgery is the field of medicine involved in the surgical treatment of organs inside the thoracic cavity — generally the treatment of conditions of the heart (heart disease), lungs (lung disease), and other pleural or mediastinal structures.


A General Thoracic Surgeon takes care of patients with surgical diseases of the chest, generally excluding the heart and great vessels. About 80% of Thoracic Surgery involves surgery for some sort of cancer. This includes such tumors as lung cancer, esophageal cancer, tumors of the chest wall (rib cage, sternum, etc…), and tumors of the mediastinum, or the space around the heart.


But a lot of Thoracic Surgery involves curing or helping people with disease processes that are not cancer-related. This includes such procedures as thymectomy for Myasthenia Gravis, sympathectomy for hyperhidrosis or “sweaty palms”, first rib resection for thoracic outlet syndrome, myotomy for Achalasia, esophagectomy, and reconstruction for end-stage benign esophageal disease, plication of the diaphragm for diaphragm paralysis, resection of an esophageal diverticulum, removal of cysts of the chest, lung transplantation, and providing tissue or biopsies of the lung and chest tissue to diagnose problems such as interstitial lung disease.


Much of Thoracic Surgery is now done minimally invasively by using small incisions, a thin camera, and high-definition monitors. This is called Video-Assisted Thorascopic Surgery or (VATS).


Thoracic surgery encompasses the operative, perioperative, and surgical critical care of patients who acquired and congenital pathologic conditions within the chest. Thoracic surgeons treat diseased or injured organs in the chest, including the esophagus (the muscular tube that passes food to the stomach), trachea (windpipe), pleura (membranes that cover and protect the lung), mediastinum (area separating the left and right lungs that contains the heart), chest wall, diaphragm (separates the chest from the abdomen) and lungs.

More Information