Thoracic Surgery


Centers & Specialties

Cancer Center

Clinical Interests
  • Airway surgery
  • Lung cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
Medical Education
  • MD, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago
  • Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital|Residency, NIH, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute|Residency, Western Chest Hospital
Board Certifications
  • Thoracic Surgery
  • Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Existing Patients
Patient Gateway
Insurances Accepted
  • Aetna Health Inc.
  • AllWays Health (NHP) - ACD
  • AllWays Health (NHP) - PBO
  • Beech Street
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Blue Care 65
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Indemnity
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Managed Care
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Partners Plus
  • BMC HealthNet Mass Health MCO/ACO
  • Cigna (PAL #'s)
  • Commonwealth Care Alliance
  • Fallon Community HealthCare
  • Great-West Healthcare (formally One Health Plan)
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - ACD
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - PBO
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - SSN
  • Health Care Value Management (HCVM)
  • Humana/Choice Care PPO
  • Maine Community Health Options (MCHO)
  • MassHealth
  • Medicare
  • Medicare - ACD
  • OSW - Maine
  • OSW - New Hampshire
  • OSW - New York
  • OSW - Rhode Island
  • OSW - Vermont
  • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS)
  • Railroad Medicare
  • Senior Whole Health
  • TriCare
  • Tufts Health Plan
  • Unicare
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - ACD
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - PBO
  • Well Sense Pediatrics

Note: This provider may accept more insurance plans than shown; please call the practice to find out if your plan is accepted.

Patient Age Group
Provider Gender


Dr. Mathisen is a Thoracic Surgeon, Visiting Surgeon at MGH, and Distinguished Hermes Grillo Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School.

He received his MD from University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1974.  He was a general surgery resident and cardiothoracic resident at the MGH from July, 1974-December, 1982.  He spent 2 years in the Surgery Branch of the National Cancer Institute of Health, Bethesda.  He joined the MGH Surgery unit in 1984.

He is a past Director of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, past President of the Thoracic Surgery Directors Association, past Treasurer, past President of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and past Councilor of the European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery.  He has published over 400 articles/book chapters and five books.

At MGH he was Chief of Thoracic Surgery 1994-2019, Chief of Cardiac Surgery 2007-2011, and Program Director in Cardiothoracic Surgery 1995-2017.  He was a member of the MGH Physicians Organization Executive Committee, Board of Directors and General Executive Committee.  He has been Director or Co-Director of the Postgraduate Course in Thoracic Surgery since 1985.  Dr. Mathisen received the Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons in 2014.

Research & Publications

Research Summary
Clinical research:  Diseases of airway, thoracic oncology

View my most recent publications at PubMed

Select Publications:

  • Honings J, Gaissert HA, Weinberg AC, Mark EJ, Wright CD, Wain JC, Mathisen DJ.  Prognostic value of pathologic characteristics and resection margins in tracheal adenoid cystic carcinoma.  Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2010:37;1438-44.
  • Gaissert HA, Keum DY, Wright CD, Ancukiewicz M, Monroe E, Donahue DM, Wain JC, Lanuti M, Allan JS, Choi NC, Mathisen DJ.  Operative risk of pneumonectomy: influence of preoperative induction therapy. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2009;21:278-283.
  • Lanuti M, deDelva PE, Gaissert HA, Wright CD, Wain JC, Allan JS, Donahue DM, Mathisen DJ.  Review of superior vena cava resection in the management of benign disease and pulmonary or mediastinal malignancies.  Ann Thorac Surg 2009;88:392-397.
  • Merritt RE, Mathisen DJ, Wain JC, Gaissert HA, Donahue DM, Lanuti M, Allan JA, Morse CR, Wright CD.  Long-term results of sleeve lobectomy in the management of non-small cell lung carcinoma and low grade neoplasms.  Ann Thorac Surg 2009;88:1574-1582.
  • Liberman M, Mathisen DJ.  Tailored cricoplasty: an improved modification for reconstruction in subglottic tracheal stenosis.  J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2009 Mar;137(3):573-8; discussion 578-9.

News & Events


Division of Thoracic Surgery
55 Fruit Street
Founders 7
Boston, MA 02114-2696
Phone: 617-726-6826
Fax: 617-726-7667