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At University of Chicago Medicine, our nationally-recognized surgeons treat patients who have complex diseases and coexisting medical problems, as well as patients who have had previous thoracic surgical procedures.
At UChicago Medicine, our thoracic surgeons work on an integrated team that includes pulmonologists, medical and radiation oncologists, radiologists, gastroenterologists and critical care medicine specialists. This multidisciplinary team approach enables our specialists to consider many treatment options and ensures that each patient gets optimal care.
Our thoracic surgeons are members of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, which is ranked among the best in the nation by U.S.News & World Report. Surgeons work closely with thoracic oncologists and other specialists to diagnose and treat cancers of the lung, esophagus, pleura and thymus.
We provide surgical treatments for esophageal disorders, including esophageal cancer and benign esophageal diseases. Our advanced techniques include:
Esophageal cancer that is often treated by surgical removal. But we also perform simpler procedures to improve swallowing, such as laser therapy and stent placement.
Surgery to treat achalasia that is often performed using minimally invasive techniques.
When other treatments for Barrett's esophagus are not enough, our surgeons can remove the esophagus (esophagectomy), typically performed using minimally invasive techniques
In addition to lung cancer, our thoracic surgeons treat a variety of other lung conditions, including:
Pulmonary nodules (small masses in the lungs): Because lung nodules could indicate evidence of lung cancer, they need to be accurately diagnosed and treated. After evaluation, our surgeons may perform minimally invasive surgery to treat the nodules.
Pleural effusion (excess fluid around the lungs): We use a video-assisted thoracoscopic technique to perform pleurodesis or to insert small drainage catheters.
Pneumothorax (collapsed lung): When a patient's lung collapses more than once, video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery is performed to prevent it from recurring.
UChicago Medicine has one of the leading lung transplant programs in the country. Our highly experienced team of thoracic surgeons, pulmonologists and anesthesiologists have cared for hundreds of lung transplant patients.
Our surgeons have long been leaders in minimally invasive surgery for thoracic conditions. Minimally invasive techniques, which include video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) and robot-assisted procedures, reduce pain and scarring, shorten the length of hospital stay and decrease the time to return to normal activities. These benefits are why our surgeons use minimally invasive techniques for approximately 70 percent of major lung resection surgeries — a remarkable achievement over the nationwide average of 40 percent.