Thoracic surgery: Understanding the specialty

Procedures performed by a thoracic surgeon can extend to lung tumor removals, heart valve repairs, or aortic aneurysm reparations, but they encompass the range of procedures performed in the chest.

In addition to the heart and lungs, thoracic surgeons also operate to correct issues affecting the esophagus, trachea, diaphragm, and chest wall. These conditions comprise:

  • Congenital heart issues
  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Heart failure
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart or lung transplants
  • Heart valve issues
  • Lung cancer
  • Tumors of the esophagus or thymus
  • Swallowing issues
  • Hiatal hernias
  • Vasculitis

Thoracic surgeons, including those with McLaren, operate using the benefits provided by advanced robotic-assisted surgical platforms. These technologies, coupled with the latest surgical techniques, result in patients achieving enhanced outcomes through minimal scarring, less pain and bleeding, shorter hospital stays, fewer complications, and a faster recovery when compared to traditional, open approaches.

One common procedure featuring this minimally invasive approach, for example, is the thoracoscopy, also referred to as video-assisted thoracic surgery, or VATS for short.

To avoid having to open the chest by breaking through the sternum, surgeons insert a tiny camera and surgical instruments into the chest through small incisions, allowing them to operate with enhanced vision, precision, and control.