Thoracic Surgery Services
Nationally Recognized Cancer Program
At the University of Chicago, our thoracic surgeons are experts in the surgical treatment of cancers of the lung, esophagus, and chest wall. Our staff includes nationally recognized experts in thoracic oncology who specialize in treating high-risk patients. We offer diagnostic biopsies; treatment of airway narrowing; and robotic, minimally invasive and open surgery to remove early stage cancers.
Our medical staff offers a continuum of cancer care. From diagnosis through treatment and follow-up, our physicians provide cancer patients the care they need every step of the way. Our thoracic surgeons are key members in the University of Chicago Medicine's cancer program--ranked best in Illinois and one of the best in the nation. Learn more about cancers treated by our thoracic surgeons:
Comprehensive Care for Lung Disorders
In addition to lung cancer, our thoracic surgeons treat a variety of other diseases of the lung, including:
- Pulmonary nodules (small masses in the lungs): Because lung nodules could be early evidence of lung cancer, they need to be accurately diagnosed and treated. After appropriate evaluation, our surgeons can perform minimally invasive surgery to treat pulmonary nodules in some patients.
- Emphysema and bullous disease: In selected patients, surgical removal of parts of the affected lung can significantly improve the breathing. »Learn about lung volume reduction surgery for severe emphysema
- Pleural effusion (excess fluid around the lungs): We can use a video assisted thoracoscopic surgical technique to prevent fluid from coming back (pleurodesis).
- Pneumothorax (collapsed lung): When a patient's lung collapses more than once, video assisted thoracoscopic surgery is performed to prevent it from happening again.
- Clots in the lung: Usually clots are treated with anticoagulation, but when a clot is large or took place over a long period of time there are surgical procedures to remove them and restore lung function.
Leaders in Lung Transplantation
The University of Chicago Medicine also has one of the leading lung transplant teams in the United States. The team--a thoracic surgeon, pulmonologists, and an anesthesiologist--has been working together since 1998 and joined the University of Chicago Medicine in 2005. Together, they have cared for approximately 500 lung transplant patients. »Read more about our lung transplant program
We provide complete treatments for esophageal disorders, including esophageal cancer and benign esophageal diseases:
- Esophageal cancer is often treated by surgical removal, but we also perform simpler procedures to improve swallowing, such as laser therapy and stent placement.
- In many patients with severe symptoms, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is treated by fundoplication surgery--usually performed laparoscopically.
- Surgery to treat achalasia is often performed laparoscopically as well.
- When other treatments for Barrett's esophagus are not enough, our surgeons can remove the esophagus (esophagectomy), typically performed using laparoscopic techniques.
Minimally Invasive Options
The most advanced minimally invasive procedures for lung, airway and esophageal conditions are available at the University of Chicago. People who have minimally invasive surgery typically recovery quicker and have less pain and minimal scarring compared to those who have open procedures. Examples of our minimally invasive procedures include:
- Laser therapy for airway and esophageal problems
- Lung biopsy
- Removal of early stage lung cancer
- Removal of esophageal cancer
- Removal of mediastinal tumors
- Repair of large diaphragmatic hernias
- Stenting for airway and esophageal problems
- Sympathectomy for excessive sweating (hyperhydrosis)
- Treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD or heartburn)
- Treatment of achalasia
- Treatment of Barrett's esophagus
Learn more about our minimally invasive surgery services:
- Minimally invasive surgery for lung and pleural conditions
- Minimally invasive surgery for esophageal conditions
A multidisciplinary approach is available for all patients, allowing us to consider many treatment options. Our team--including experts in thoracic surgery, radiation oncology, medical oncology, pulmonary medicine, and gastroenterology--brings together a range of expertise to give patients optimal care.
- Why Choose Us?
- Services Offered
- Barrett's Esophagus
- Esophageal Cancer
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
- Interstitial Lung Disease
- Lung Cancer
- Lung Transplant
- Lung Volume Reduction Surgery for Emphysema
- Mediastinal Tumors
- Minimally Invasive Esophageal Surgery
- Minimally Invasive Surgery for Lung, Mediastinal & Pleural Diseases
- Our Team