The Division of Thoracic Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital provides comprehensive diagnostic services and expert surgical treatments for a variety of thoracic conditions.
For more than 70 years, patients from around the world have come to the Mass General Division of Thoracic Surgery for surgical care. We are a major referral center for complex thoracic conditions. Our mission is to provide excellence in patient care, teaching and research.
Our board-certified thoracic surgeons have extensive experience across the full spectrum of thoracic surgical procedures and treat conditions such as:
- Benign and malignant esophageal disease
- Chest wall deformities
- Disorders of the trachea, or airway
- Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating
- Lung cancer
- Pulmonary hypertension, a lung disorder in which the blood pressure in the pulmonary artery rises far above normal levels
- Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS)
- Thymic disorders
Our experts also provide specialized care for patients with complex problems and complications from other treatments.
A History of Breaking New Ground
Mass General has hosted numerous milestones in thoracic surgery, from pioneering esophageal resection for cancer in the 1930s to inventing novel techniques of tracheal reconstruction in the 1960s. Many of the U.S. leaders in the field have made their mark at Mass General, including the late Hermes Grillo, MD, widely known as the father of modern tracheal surgery. Today, we continue to break new ground.
We constantly strive to investigate and incorporate the latest minimally invasive surgical techniques, such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS)—each for lung cancer. We also implement the latest staging modalities such as endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) and electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy (ENB).
In addition, all of our surgeons lead basic and/or clinical research efforts aimed at improving patient care and outcomes. Current studies are exploring areas such as:
- Lung cancer, including gene therapy strategies and molecular markers
- Molecular markers for esophageal cancer
- Organ regeneration
- Tissue engineering
Other Marks of Distinction
The Division of Thoracic Surgery is further distinguished by its commitment to:
- Individualized care - we have extensive experience with both traditional and minimally invasive surgical procedures and work with each patient to determine the option that best suits his or her preferences and medical needs
- Multidisciplinary care - we collaborate with colleagues across different specialties at Mass General to treat the most challenging patient conditions. For instance, patients with esophageal or lung cancers often benefit from the expertise of the Multidisciplinary Thoracic Oncology Clinic of the Mass General Cancer Center. We also work closely with the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine to care for patients with pulmonary hypertension
- Education and training - our surgeons serve as mentors to inspire and prepare the next generation of thoracic surgeons. Among our formal training offerings is our successful Thoracic Surgery Residency Program