The Thoracic Surgery Service at The George Washington University Hospital offers diagnosis and surgical treatment for the organs inside the chest, including the lungs, esophagus, diaphragm and chest wall.
Surgeons at The Thoracic Surgery Service use the da Vinci® Surgical System to perform many thoracic procedures. Minimally invasive robotic techniques provide surgeons with greater access and control and typically mean shorter hospital stays and quicker recoveries for patients.
Among the robotic procedures offered at GW Hospital are:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.