Advanced Thoracic Surgery

Thoracic surgery involves the diagnosis and surgical treatment of the organs inside the chest, including the lungs, esophagus, diaphragm and chest wall.

Thoracic surgeons at the George Washington University Hospital are trained in minimally invasive surgery, which typically produces less scarring and a quicker recovery for patients. Many procedures are performed using the da Vinci® Surgical System, which provides surgeons with greater access and control.

Robotic procedures offered at GW Hospital include:

Thoracic sympathectomy for excessive sweating

Excessive sweating may be a medical condition called hyperhidrosis. A thoracic sympathectomy is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that can permanently cure excessive sweating.

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Robotic lobectomy for lung cancer

Lobectomy, or the surgical removal of a cancerous lobe in the lung, is the standard treatment of early-stage non small-cell lung cancer.

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Robotic esophagectomy

There are approximately 16,5000 new cases of cancer of the esophagus diagnosed in the United States every year. Some patients may require surgical removal of the esophagus as part of their treatment.

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Robotic resection of mediastinal masses

The mediastinum is the portion of the chest cavity between the lungs. When tumors or other masses grow in the mediastinum—such as thymoma or lymphoma—surgeons can remove the masses robotically through small incisions.

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Robotic thymectomy for myasthenia gravis

The removal of the thymus gland is often a recommended treatment for patients who have myasthenia gravis, which is a neuromuscular disorder that can cause muscle weakness.

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Esophogeal myotomy for achalasia

Achalasia is a disorder that affects the ability of the esophagus to move food toward the stomach. Surgeons can correct this condition using a procedure called myotomy, in which the esophageal muscle is cut and repositioned.

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Resection of the first rib for thoracic outlet syndrome

When a patient has thoracic outlet syndrome—a rare condition in which patients experience pain in the neck and shoulder, numbness and tingling in the fingers and a weak grip—removing a section of the first rib to relieve pressure from nerves and/or blood vessels can often correct the condition.

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Robotic laparoscopic Belsey fundoplasty for gastroesophageal reflux disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or heartburn affects nearly 20 percent of Americans. Nearly everyone experiences GERD from time to time, but it can lead to injury of the esophagus and upper digestive track, as well as esophageal cancer, if it is experienced on an ongoing basis. Belsey fundoplasty is a minimally invasive surgical technique that can correct problems with the esophagus that lead to GERD.

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Podcast: Should I Get a Lung Cancer Screening?

Keith D. Mortman, MD, FACS, FCCP, discusses the option for lung cancer screenings of those at high risk of developing the disease in this health education podcast. Since it often has few symptoms until the late stages, this screening can provide critical time for treatment.

Listen to the podcast