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​Thoracic surgery

Thoracic surgery refers to operations on organs in the chest, including the heart, lungs and esophagus. Examples of thoracic surgery include coronary artery bypass surgery, heart transplant, lung transplant and removal of parts of the lung affected by cancer. Specialized thoracic surgeons treat lung and esophageal cancer, while specialized cardiac surgeons treat the heart.

Thoracic surgery may be used to diagnose or repair lungs affected by cancer, trauma or pulmonary disease. For lung cancer, your surgeon may remove nodules, tumors and lymph nodes to diagnose, stage and treat the disease.

Thoracic surgery procedures may be performed with either minimally invasive techniques or an open surgical procedure called a thoracotomy. Your surgeon may opt for a thoracotomy when it is necessary to see large portions of the lung or inner chest cavity. The procedure may be performed to remove the entire lung or a portion of the lung.

Thoracotomy procedures

A thoracotomy to treat lung cancer may be performed using one of the following procedures:

Minimally invasive procedures

Minimally invasive thoracic surgeries that may be performed to treat cancer include: