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Brian E. Louie, MD

Thoracic Surgeon
Languages: English
Accepting New Patients
Professional Statement
Dr. Louie is a 2017 Seattle Met Top Doctor Award winner. Philosophy of care: Dr. Louie’s practice involves all aspects of general thoracic surgery including the lung, esophagus, stomach and mediastinum. He has particular interests in minimally invasive surgery that involves the use of laparoscopy, robotics and endoscopy for both cancer and non-cancerous diseases. He believes that care is about helping patients and their families understand their illness and guiding them in selecting treatment that is appropriate and individualized for the patient at his or her stage of life.
Field of Study
University of Toronto
Medical School
University of Alberta
General Surgery
University of Southern California
Esophageal and Gastric Surgery
McMaster University
Thoracic Surgery
Personal Interests
When not caring for patients, Dr. Louie enjoys spending time with his wife and two children. He also enjoys cooking, travelling, and playing and coaching ice hockey.
Board Certifications
  • American Board of Surgery, Surgery, General
  • Royal CollegePhysicians and Surgeryeons, Surgery, Thoracic
  • Royal CollegePhysicians and Surgeryeons, Surgery, General
Clinical Interests
  • achalasia
  • anomalies of diaphragm
  • asbestos lung
  • atelectasis
  • barretts esophagus
  • barrx
  • biopsy chest wall
  • biopsy diaphragm
  • biopsy of lung
  • bronchial fistula repair
  • bronchoscopy
  • cancer
  • cancer of ge junction
  • cancer of mediastinum
  • cancer surgery
  • carcinoid of stomach
  • chest wall disorder
  • chest wall tumors
  • closure of diaphragmatic fistula
  • closure of external fistula of trachea
  • collapsed lung
  • contusion of chest wall
  • correction of pectus deformity
  • cryoablation
  • cystadenoma of pancreas
  • cytoreduction surgery
  • decortication of lung
  • diaphragmatic hernia
  • diaphragmatic tumor
  • empyema
  • endoscopic biopsy of trachea
  • endoscopic mucosal resection
  • endoscopy
  • esophageal diverticulectomy
  • esophageal diverticulum
  • esophageal mass
  • esophageal myotomy
  • esophageal perforation
  • esophageal stenosis
  • esophageal stricture
  • esophageal ulcer
  • esophagectomy
  • excision of bronchus
  • exploratory thoracotomy
  • fiberoptic bronchoscopy
  • foreign body in esophagus
  • fracture of sternum
  • gastrectomy
  • gastrin secreting tumor of pancreas
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • gastrointestinal cancer
  • gastrointestinal stromal tumor
  • hamartoma of lung
  • hiatal hernia
  • hiatal hernia repair
  • intra-abdominal cancer
  • laparoscopic adhesiolysis
  • laparoscopic fundoplication
  • laparoscopic gastroenterostomy
  • laparoscopic hernia repair
  • laparoscopic jejunostomy
  • leiomyosarcoma
  • ligation of bronchus
  • linx
  • liposarcoma
  • lung abscess
  • lung cancer
  • lung contusion
  • lung mass
  • lung resection
  • lung volume reduction surgery
  • lymphadenopathy
  • malignant effusion
  • malignant neoplasm of esophagus
  • malignant neoplasm of main bronchus
  • mallory weiss tear
  • mediastinal abscess
  • mediastinal tumor
  • mediastinitis
  • mediastinoscopy
  • melanoma on ear
  • melanoma on face
  • mesothelioma
  • minimally invasive lung cancer surgery
  • minimally invasive pulmonary lobectomy
  • myasthenia gravis
  • myxofibrosarcoma
  • neuroendocrine tumors
  • open biopsy of bronchus
  • open biopsy of lesion of mediastinum
  • open biopsy of lung
  • pectus carinatum
  • pectus excavatum
  • per-oral endoscopic myotomy
  • percutaneous tracheostomy
  • phototherapy
  • pleural cancer
  • pleural effusion
  • pleurodesis
  • pleurx catheter
  • plication of emphysematous bleb
  • pneumothorax
  • pulmonary metastases
  • pyloroplasty
  • repair of diaphragm
  • repair tracheoesophageal fistula
  • revision of tracheostomy
  • rib fracture
  • sequestrum of lung
  • spontaneous pneumothorax
  • stomach cancer
  • surgical staging
  • tension pneumothorax
  • thoracentesis
  • thoracoplasty
  • thoracoscopy
  • thoracostomy
  • thoracotomy
  • thymectomy
  • thymoma
  • thymus cancer
  • thymus disorders
  • tobacco use cessation
  • tracheal reconstruction
  • tracheoesophageal fistula
  • tracheomalacia
  • tracheostomy
  • video assisted thoracoscopic surgery
Robotic-assisted lung surgery
Blog Posts
By: Brian E Louie, MD
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month, a good time to shed some light on this uncommon but growing cancer.

By: Brian E Louie, MD
Friday, March 13, 2015
One of the most rewarding aspects of surgery is that there is constant innovation to improve the operations we do to help patients. Last July, we introduced a new innovative procedure at Swedish called Per Oral Endoscopic Myotomy or POEM.

The POEM procedure is used primarily to treat patients with achalasia. Achalasia is a disorder of the esophagus where the nerve fibers deteriorate leaving the esophagus without its propulsive power and the sphincter at the end of the esophagus that prevents reflux to remain closed.

By: Brian E Louie, MD
Monday, August 25, 2014

P.O.E.M. has come to Seattle at Swedish Medical Center. No, not the kind that rhymes but one that is elegant in its own way. Per Oral Endoscopic Myotomy or POEM is relatively new procedure used in the treatment of achalasia, which is a disorder of the esophagus due to degeneration of the nerve network within the walls of the esophagus. The diseases leaves patients with little propulsive power to push food toward and into the stomach as well as causing the “valve” at the top of the stomach to remain closed. This makes it difficult for patients to eat or drink. Patients may need to drink a lot of fluid to get food to pass into the stomach whereas others may feel pain or discomfort after eating and still others may have undigested food come up many hours after eating or when lying down.

By: Brian E Louie, MD
Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Swedish Thoracic Surgery team recently had results from a study published in Annals of Thoracic Surgery, "Short-Term Outcomes Using Magnetic Sphincter Augmentation Versus Nissen Fundoplication for Medically Resistant Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease", in which a retrospective case-control study was performed of consecutive patients undergoing either procedure who had chronic gastrointestinal esophageal disease (GERD) and a hiatal hernia of less than 3 cm. Based on the study, the LINX device appears to restore the sphincter barrier function and preserve normal physiology which enables belching and vomiting.

By: Brian E Louie, MD
Monday, January 27, 2014

Since my initial LINX blog post 20 months ago, we have been engaged in a dialogue with patients from around the world who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.  Despite my initial trepidation to “blogging”, this has been a rewarding experience to hear about patient’s problems, their concerns about the current treatments (PPI’s and Nissen fundoplication) and simply interacting with them.  I thank the patients who have taken time to share their thoughts on the blog.


When our social media manager asked me to provide an update on LINX, I realized that I have been simply responding to patient’s questions and I haven’t posted any of my thoughts or updates on what is happening with the LINX device.

There are some exc...

By: Brian E Louie, MD
Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dysphagia. This is the technical medical term for difficulty swallowing which is a common complaint. Most people have experienced this sensation in their lives. It can occur when you’re eating something doughy like a bagel or French bread and then take few extra bites before swallowing. If you immediately swallow several times in a row you may get the sensation that the food is slowly passing toward your stomach. Your mouth may salivate; you might get a pressure sensation behind your breastbone; you might experience some pain, burning or discomfort. And, then you will feel instant relief the second the food you swallowed passes from the esophagus into the stomach. This is dysphagia.

For most people, this experience occurs very occasionally and usually when we are trying to eat too much, too quickly.

However, for some patients this symptom may occur more frequently such as daily and sometimes as often as every bite of food. It may also occur with solid food alone or with both sol...

By: Brian E Louie, MD
Friday, September 21, 2012

LINX has arrived at Swedish! After several months of preparation, we will be implanting the first 3 LINX devices on September 21, 2012. For our 3 adventurous patients, we are excited to see them have their GERD controlled with the LINX and also hope that it meets their expectations.

To learn more about this procedure and others options for managing GERD, you may wish to come and hear my partners Dr. Ralph Aye and Dr. Alex Farivar talk at Swedish Issaquah on September 26th, 2012.

Update on 9/23: I am happy to report that our patients who have received the LINX device are all doing well.

By: Brian E Louie, MD
Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Acid reflux, heartburn and indigestion are all forms of gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. This common problem afflicts over 20 million people in the United States on a daily basis. As a surgeon who treats patients with some of the most severe symptoms of GERD, I was recently struck by the fact that very little has changed in the treatment of the debilitating problem over the last several decades.

Medications have always been the primary treatment for patients with GERD. TUMS, Rolaids, alka seltzer are easy over the counter remedies that could provide instant but only short-term relief. More potent medications called H2 receptor antagonists (commonly known as Zantac, Pepcid AC) brought about longer lasting relief. These medications were great but many patients experienced a relapse of symptoms.

The newest medications for GERD...

By: Brian E Louie, MD
Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New technologies have the potential to improve patient outcomes but need to be carefully studied so that patients will maximally benefit.  Robotic thymectomy for myasthenia gravis and thymomas was introduced at Swedish in May of 2009 after careful evaluation of our outcomes with traditional sternotomy and VATS thymectomy.

One of the more challenging aspects of being a surgeon is to understand how new technologies can benefit your patients and how those technologies might become part of your practice. If you’ve watched Grey’s Anatomy, read Time magazine or the Wall Street Journal or surfed the web recently, you’ll be aware of the da Vinci surgical robot. The robot has allowed many different surgical specialties to operate in confined areas of the body with tiny instruments placed through equally small incisions thereby avoiding a larger incision. In thoracic surgery, one of the confined spaces is an area in front of the heart where a gland called the thymus reside...

By: Brian E Louie, MD
Friday, November 4, 2011

November is associated with two significant cancer awareness efforts that have meaning to all of the staff at Swedish Thoracic Surgery.

First, and most important to us, November is Lung Cancer Awareness month.  Each year for the last 6 years we have suported this important cancer with an event for the public.  Lung cancer is the most common cancer and remains the deadliest of all cancers.  Yet, is is always shrouded in secrecy because of its association with smoking.  But, many of the patients quit smoking some time ago or were never smokers and must still face this deadly disease.

This year, a public event - Shine a Light on Lung Cancer -  will be held on Tuesday, November 7, 2001 at 5:30 pm at Gilda's Club on 1400 Broadway.  Anyone who has been touched by lung cancer is encouraged to attend.

Second, November is also becoming known as Movember.  This movement has been to support men's cancer initiatives and prostate cancer with the...

By: Brian E Louie, MD
Monday, April 25, 2011

April is esophageal cancer awareness month and I was stimulated by two patients I saw recently to highlight the association of esophageal cancer with chronic GERD (heartburn, acid reflux) and the over the counter treatments people take for GERD.

Why am I writing about this? To highlight three common issues I hear everyday:


Click here for a full list of Dr. Louie's publications. A subset of his citations is summarized below.

Brian E. Louie, Xiaopan Yao, Alberto Antonicelli, Eric Vallières, Zhitao Gu, Frank Detterbeck, James Huang, Yue Shang, Ralph W. Aye, Alexander S. Farivar and Wentao Fang. Partial Thymectomy Results In Similar Outcomes To Total Thymectomy In Masaoka-Koga Stages I And II Thymoma.  Submitted to Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. (2016)

Brian E. Louie, Andreas M. Schneider, Drew B. Schembre, Ralph W. Aye.  Impact of Prior Interventions on outcomes during per oral endoscopic myotomy. Surgical Endoscopy (2016) In press.

Brian E. Louie, Jennifer L. Wilson, Sunghee Kim, Robert J. Cerfolio, Bernard J. Park, Alexander S. Farivar, Eric Vallières, Ralph W. Aye, William R. Burfeind Jr., and Mark I. Block.  Comparison of Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery and Robotic Approaches for Clinical Stage I and Stage II Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Using The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Database.  Annals of Thoracic Surgery (2016).

Brian E. Louie, Alexander S. Farivar, Dale Shultz, Christina Brennan, Eric Vallières, and Ralph W. Aye.  Short Term Outcomes Comparing Magnetic Sphincter Augmentation Versus Nissen Fundoplication for Chronic GERD.  Annals of Thoracic Surgery - (2014) 98;498-505.

Brian E. Louie, Alexander S. Farivar, Ralph W. Aye and Eric Vallières.  Early Experiences with Robotic Lung Resection Result in Similar Operative Outcomes and Morbidity When Compared to Matched VATS Cases.  Annals of Thoracic Surgery (2012) 93(5):1598-1605.


The Patient Rating score is based on responses given during the CAHPS Patient Experience Survey.Responses are measured on a 10 - point scale, with 10 being the best score. These scores are then translated to a 5 - point scale in order to display results in a 5 - star rating.Comments are also gathered from the same survey and displayed in their entirety with the exception of any language that may be considered slander, libel or contain private health information, which will be removed prior to publishing the comments.

4.7 out of 5 (102 Ratings, 10 Comments)


He takes the time to explain and involve me in decisions about my treatment, follow up care, he will draw pictures to make sure I understands what will take place. He is outstanding!!

DR Brian Louie is the absolute best!!! He is so thorough and so knowledgeable. I refer all my patients to him.

Received excellent care.

Dr. Louie has been a very good dr. for me and situation.

This provider visit [...] was a phone consultation which will explain some questions not answered. Dr Louie has shown extraordinary diligence in managing the treatment of my esophageal cancer. My heart disease has been a challenge in light of a dire need to remove my esophagus. The doctor and his team along with my family have decided to go for it and have the surgery. The Great Physician ultimately is in charge.

Dr. Louie has done a great job in treating my achalasia; he and his team have significantly improved my quality of life.

Dr Louie is an excellent physician.

Dr. Louie is, in my estimation, a top notch thoracic surgeon. The best!

I have already recommended Dr. Louie to others, and also wish he could be my primary care physician! Great listener, and actually is present and engages with me, instead of making me feel like he's just moving me along to get to his next patient.

I saw several people. I probably spent less time with Dr. Louie than with his assistant, nurse, etc.
Swedish Thoracic Surgery - First Hill
1101 Madison Street Suite 900
Seattle, WA 98104
Affiliated Facilities
Swedish Cherry Hill
Swedish First Hill