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Thoracic Surgery

General Thoracic Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center is dedicated to the prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the chest (thorax) and upper gastrointestinal system (esophagus and stomach).

Our thoracic surgeons are specialty-trained physicians who continue to expand treatment options for patients, utilizing minimally invasive procedures, including video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) and robotic-assisted technology. We offer a wide variety of chest operations – and perform more than 800 of these procedures every year.

We apply state-of-the-art surgical techniques with a focus on early diagnosis, better cancer staging, and multidisciplinary care to the treatment of malignancies of the chest such as lung cancer, esophageal cancer, thymic malignancies, and mesothelioma. Our National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, the gold standard for cancer centers, is a center for excellence in patient care, research, and education, and the only center with this designation in North Texas.

We are also dedicated to the treatment of benign conditions of the chest such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), hiatal hernias, achalasia, myasthenia gravis, hyperhidrosis (sweaty palms), and diverticula of the esophagus.

More than 90 percent of our thoracic operations are performed minimally invasively, which offers many benefits, including: 

  • Reduced pain
  • Improved postoperative recovery
  • Reduced hospital stay
  • Reduced scarring
  • Reduced complications
  • Reduced inflammatory response
  • Faster recovery and sooner return to regular activities

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Comprehensive Care

Our thoracic surgeons are an integral component of  a multidisciplinary team that includes pulmonologists (lung specialists), gastroenterologists (digestive and liver diseases specialists), medical oncologists (cancer specialists), radiation oncologists (cancer specialists), radiologistsinterventional radiologists, advanced practice nurses and nurse practitioners, nutritionistsphysical therapists, and social workers. Our team of specialists is dedicated to the multidisciplinary evaluation and comprehensive care of patients with diseases of the chest and provide every patient with the best experience.

All of our experts are available on the same campus, and you can usually see them in one day.

We are also committed to research and offer clinical trials that give eligible patients access to the newest, most promising therapies for thoracic diseases. Many of these clinical trials offer a personalized approach in which molecular defects found in tumors undergo specific targeted therapy. Talk with your doctor to determine if a clinical trial is right for you.

In addition, we also offer state-of-the-art computed tomography (CT) lung cancer screening for patients at high risk for the disease.

Thoracic Conditions and Treatments

Our dedicated group of general thoracic surgeons treats patients with both malignant (cancerous) and benign (noncancerous) conditions of the chest.

The general thoracic surgery team evaluates and treats diseases of the chest, lung, esophagus, chest wall, mediastinum, diaphragm, pericardium, and airway.

Conditions that can be treated with thoracic surgery include:

Benign (noncancerous) conditions such as:

Malignant (cancerous) thoracic conditions such as:

Surgical Treatments

Our general thoracic surgeons perform the most advanced surgical procedures available for all types of chest conditions – both malignant (cancerous) and benign (noncancerous). These surgical treatments include:

  • Advanced flexible and rigid bronchoscopylaserargoncryotherapymicrodebrider, stents
  • Antireflux procedures, Nissen, Heller, Dor, Belsey, reoperative antireflux procedures
  • Chest wall reconstruction for pectus excavatum and carinatum and other chest wall abnormalities
  • Diaphragmatic plication
  • Esophageal diverticulectomy
  • Esophageal mass resection
  • Esophageal reconstruction with colon or small bowel
  • Esophageal stent placement
  • Esophagectomy, minimally invasive and robotic
  • First rib resection for thoracic outlet syndrome and tumors
  • Heller myotomy
  • Lobectomy
  • Lung biopsy
  • Lung volume reduction surgery for end-stage emphysema
  • Median sternotomy
  • Mediastinal mass resection
  • Minimally invasive and robotic surgeries
  • Nuss pectus excavatum repair
  • Paraesophageal hernia “Giant Hiatal Hernia” repair
  • Pleurodesis
  • Pleuroscopy and pleural biopsy
  • PleurX catheter placement
  • Pneumonectomy
  • POEM (Peroral endoscopic myotomy) – endoscopic procedure to treat swallow disorders, including achalasia
  • Ravitch chest wall reconstruction
  • Resection of the chest wall
  • Segmentectomy
  • Sleeve lung resection
  • Sternal resection for tumor
  • Thoracic sympathectomy
  • Thoracotomy for lung, esophageal, mediastinal, and diaphragm resection
  • Thymectomy
  • Tracheal and bronchial stent placement
  • Tracheal and carinal resection
  • Tracheal resection for stenosis and tumor
  • Tracheoplasty for tracheomalacia
  • Wedge resection
  • Zenker’s diverticulectomy

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