At Swedish, we use a team approach to all thoracic surgery care. Your thoracic surgeon may be just one member of your care team. For instance, if you have lung cancer, you may have a thoracic surgeon, an oncologist, a radiation oncologist, a respiratory therapist and more. Your thoracic surgeon works closely with each member of your care team to ensure you are getting the right care at the right time.
We also provide the latest in surgical technology. Whenever possible, we use minimally invasive surgical techniques such as video-assisted surgery, bronchoscopy, laser surgery or robotic-assisted surgery. These procedures use fewer incisions so you face fewer risks and can recover from surgery more quickly.
By using a team approach and the latest technology, we hope to provide each patient with the best possible outcome.
We provide advanced surgical care for all conditions affecting the lungs and chest, including:
- Bronchoalveolar carcinoma
- Carcinoid tumors
- Chest wall tumors
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Collapsed lung
- Congestive heart failure
- Diaphragm eventration
- Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Lung cancer or cancer that has spread to the lungs
- Lung nodules
- Mediastinal mass
- Myasthenia gravis
- Pleural effusion
- Radiation necrosis of chest wall
At the Swedish Division of Thoracic Surgery, our surgeons perform over 800 diagnostic procedures and 1,000 major surgeries each year. We commonly provide treatments such as:
- Airway debridement
- Airway stenting
- Chest wall resection
- Electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy (superDimension)
- Endobronchial ultrasonography (EBUS)
- Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS)
- Extrapleural pneumonectomy
- Laser surgery
- Lung resection
- Mediastinoscopy (lymph node biopsy)
- Pectus excavatum
- PleurX catheter
- Rib plating and fixation
- Robotic-assisted surgery
- Video-assisted lobectomy
- Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS)
Robotic-assisted surgery allows us to perform minimally invasive surgery in areas not easily reached by conventional minimally invasive technology. It may be used for:
- Thymectomies (removal of the thymus gland)
- Primary or reoperative achalasia (muscular inability to move food down the esophagus)
- Reoperative gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Primary or reoperative hiatal hernia
- Certain types of lung resections
- Complex resections of posterior mediastinal tumors (a growth in the posterior chest near the spine)
- Select patients with:
- Early-stage lung cancer
- Thymic diseases
- Mediastinal tumors
VATS is a surgical technique that uses small incisions to access the lungs. A tiny video camera is inserted through one of these smaller incisions, allowing surgeons to view the lung on a high-definition monitor and pinpoint the area that contains the tumor. Then, using special surgical staplers and clips, surgeons can go in and remove the diseased portion of the lung.
You will meet with one of the thoracic surgeons for your surgical consultation. Your surgeon will do a careful review of your medical records and your past medical history. They may also perform a physical exam and review your X-rays with you.
Your surgeon will then talk to you about the next steps in your treatment. They will answer all your questions and explain what tests you might need before surgery. They’ll also talk to you about the risks and benefits of your surgery and if there are any other possible treatments for you. They can also help you find support and resources in the community.
If you have cancer, we offer a variety of support groups and various counseling services through the Swedish Cancer Institute. Each group is led by an experienced Swedish Cancer Institute staff member and are open to all people in the community.
Support groups are an opportunity to talk to others who are facing a similar situation as you, whether you are a patient or a caregiver. To join a support group or for more information, call 206-386-3228.