General Thoracic Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center is dedicated to the prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the chest (thorax) and upper gastrointestinal system (esophagus and stomach).
Our thoracic surgeons are specialty-trained physicians who continue to expand treatment options for patients, utilizing minimally invasive procedures, including video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) and robotic-assisted technology. We offer a wide variety of chest operations – and perform more than 800 of these procedures every year.
We apply state-of-the-art surgical techniques with a focus on early diagnosis, better cancer staging, and multidisciplinary care to the treatment of malignancies of the chest such as lung cancer, esophageal cancer, thymic malignancies, and mesothelioma. Our National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, the gold standard for cancer centers, is a center for excellence in patient care, research, and education, and the only center with this designation in North Texas.
We are also dedicated to the treatment of benign conditions of the chest such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), hiatal hernias, achalasia, myasthenia gravis, hyperhidrosis (sweaty palms), and diverticula of the esophagus.
More than 90 percent of our thoracic surgeries are performed minimally invasively. The benefits of minimally invasive operations include:
- Reduced pain
- Improved postoperative recovery
- Reduced hospital stay
- Reduced scarring
- Reduced complications
- Reduced inflammatory response
- Faster recovery and sooner return to regular activities
Our thoracic surgeons are an integral component of a multidisciplinary team that includes pulmonologists (lung specialists), cardiologists (heart specialists), cardiac surgeons (heart and vascular surgeons), gastroenterologists (digestive and liver diseases specialists), otolaryngologists (ear, nose, and throat specialists), radiologists, interventional radiologists, advanced practice nurses and nurse practitioners, nutritionists, physical therapists, and social workers. Our team of specialists is dedicated to the multidisciplinary evaluation and comprehensive care of patients with diseases of the chest and provide every patient with the best experience.
All of our experts are available in the same location, and you can usually see them in one day.
We are also committed to research and offer clinical trials that give eligible patients access to the newest, most promising therapies for thoracic diseases. Many of these clinical trials offer a personalized approach in which molecular defects found in tumors undergo specific targeted therapy. Talk with your doctor to determine if a clinical trial is right for you.
In addition, we also offer state-of-the-art computed tomography (CT) lung cancer screening for patients at high risk for the disease.
Thoracic Conditions and Treatments
The general thoracic surgery team evaluates and treats diseases of and injuries to the chest, lung, esophagus, chest wall, mediastinum, diaphragm, pericardium, and airway.
Conditions that can be treated with thoracic surgery include:
Benign (noncancerous) conditions such as:
- Airway fistulas
- Airway stenosis
- Airway benign lesions
- Barrett’s esophagus
- Benign airway tumors
- Mediastinal disease
- Pericardial effusion
- Pleural effusion
- Pleural benign nodules, masses, and plaques
- Pulmonary nodules
- Suspicious lung lesions
- End-stage emphysema
- Esophageal dysmotility
- Esophageal perforation
- Esophageal reflux
- Chest wall diseases – including congenital deformities, noncancerous tumors and masses, thoracic outlet syndrome, Paget Schroetter syndrome, and pectus excavatum and carinatum
- Diaphragm diseases – including paralysis, pacing, plication, and congenital diaphragmatic hernia
Malignant (cancerous) thoracic conditions such as:
- Airway cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Intracardiac cancer
- Lung cancer
- Metastatic disease to the lung
- Pancoast cancer
- Pericardial cancer
- Pleural cancer
- Cancer of the chest wall and cancer of the diaphragm
Our general thoracic surgeons perform the most advanced surgical procedures available for all types of chest conditions – both malignant (cancerous) and benign (noncancerous). These surgical treatments include:
- Advanced flexible and rigid bronchoscopy, laser, argon, cryotherapy, microdebrider, stents
- Antireflux procedure, Nissen, Heller, Dor, Belsey, reoperative antireflux procedures
- Carinal resection
- Chest wall reconstruction for pectus excavatum and carinatum and other chest wall abnormalities
- Diaphragmatic plication
- Esophageal diverticulectomy
- Esophageal mass resection
- Esophageal reconstruction with colon or small bowel
- Esophageal stent placement
- Esophagectomy, minimally invasive and robotic
- First rib resection for thoracic outlet syndrome and tumors
- Heller myotomy
- Lung biopsy
- Lung volume reduction surgery for end-stage emphysema
- Median sternotomy
- Mediastinal mass resection
- Minimally invasive and robotic surgeries
- Nuss pectus excavatum repair
- Paraesophageal hernia “Giant Hiatal Hernia” repair
- Pleuroscopy and pleural biopsy
- PleurX catheter placement
- POEM (Peroral endoscopic myotomy) – endoscopic procedure to treat swallow disorders, including achalasia
- Ravitch chest wall reconstruction
- Resection of the chest wall
- Sleeve lung resection
- Sternal resection for tumor
- Thoracic sympathectomy
- Thoracotomy for lung, esophageal, mediastinal, and diaphragm resection
- Tracheal and bronchial stent placement
- Tracheal resection for stenosis and tumor
- Tracheoplasty for tracheomalacia
- Wedge resection
- Zenker’s diverticulectomy
Meet Our Team
UT Southwestern’s team of skilled thoracic surgeons includes:
Learn more about our General Thoracic Surgery Team.
Request an Appointment
To schedule an appointment with a thoracic surgeon at UT Southwestern’s facilities in Dallas or to learn more about our services, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.