At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) in Atlanta in the thoracic surgery department performs surgical procedures on organs in the chest, including the lungs, heart and esophagus. Thoracic surgeons may repair congenital or acquired conditions of the heart through surgery, including coronary artery bypass surgery and heart transplants. They also perform surgeries on tumors in the lungs, esophagus and chest wall. Patients who experience injuries to the chest or suffer airway issues may see a thoracic surgeon.
The thoracic surgery department at our Atlanta hospital focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the chest using surgical treatment options. Thoracic surgery procedures may be performed through minimally invasive techniques or traditional open surgery methods depending on various factors. Two minimally invasive surgical options include video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) and robotic thoracic surgery. Video-assisted thoracic surgery is performed by inserting a long, thin tube with an attached camera (called a thoracoscope) through a small incision in the chest. The thoracic surgeon operates while watching the video from the thoracoscope on high-resolution monitors in the operating room. Robotic thoracic surgery is similar to VATS and uses a camera inserted into the chest. The difference with robotic surgery is that a thoracic surgeon uses a robotic console that translates the surgeon’s hand, wrist and finger movements into movements of the instruments inserted into the chest. The advantages of minimally invasive surgery over traditional open surgery generally may include a shorter recovery time, less pain or fewer complications. The thoracic surgeons at our Georgia hospital work closely with patients and are available to answer questions patients and families may have about thoracic surgery.