Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery Program
Division of Thoracic Surgery
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114
Near Public Transit
Explore This Treatment
Massachusetts General Hospital's Division of Thoracic Surgery employs minimally invasive surgical techniques to treat a wide range of chest disorders.
Using high-definition imaging technology and precision instruments, surgeons work through tiny incisions to perform these procedures. In comparison with traditional (i.e. open) surgery, minimally invasive surgery generally involves:
- Less blood loss, postoperative pain and scarring
- Quicker recovery and return to normal activities
- Shorter hospital stay
As one of the world's foremost academic medical centers, Mass General is committed to developing new minimally invasive surgical techniques and integrating them into our care options, including video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) and robotic surgery. We offer a comprehensive approach to treating the diseases of the lungs, thymus (mediastinum) and esophagus, building upon a legacy of excellence in traditional surgery. Additionally, we employ the latest endoscopic and laparoscopic procedures for diseases of the airways and esophagus.
Lung Cancer Program
The Lung Cancer program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Division of Thoracic Surgery employs a variety of surgical approaches. The department has board-certified thoracic surgeons and they often work with physicians from other medical specialties to treat lung conditions.
- Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS): A flexible scope with a build-in ultrasound sensor used to biopsy lymph nodes and masses in the middle of the chest allowing for diagnosis of lung and esophageal cancer without surgical incisions
- Navigational broncoscopy: A computer-generated roadmap is used to virtually navigate the airways to biopsy lesions in the peripheral lung
- Thymic surgery: Surgery of the thymus done robotically
- Video-assisted thorascopic surgery (VATS): Tiny keyholes used to introduce a video-capable scope and instruments to perform surgery in the chest to treat cancer and benign conditions (such as pneumothorax, pleural effusions, paralyzed diaphragm, mediastinal masses and thymic disorders)
Gastroesophageal Surgery Program
We work collaboratively with surgeons in Mass General’s Gastroesophageal Surgery Program, who specialize in complex surgical techniques to treat patients with esophageal cancer and benign esophageal disease.
- Esophageal stenting: A self-expanding tube is placed in the esophagus to treat obstructing cancer and also to assist with healing of the esophagus when tears or perforations occur
- Laparoscopic surgery for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), hiatal and paraesophageal hernias and achalasia: Tiny abdominal incisions and a video-capable scope are used with precision instruments to correct disorders of the outer (distal) esophagus and openings of the diaphragm
- Minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE): VATS and laparoscopy are utilized to remove the esophagus for esophageal cancer, avoiding large incisions that are generally required for esophagectomy
- Transoral approaches to Zenker's diverticulum: Treatment of diverticulum by stapling through the mouth, avoiding a traditional incision in the neck
Thoracic surgeons are supported by a team of anesthesiologists who are dedicated to the care of thoracic patients. After surgery, patients are followed closely to ensure the best long-term care.
The Division of Thoracic Surgery has board-certified thoracic surgeons with decades of institutional and individual experience.
- Chief, Thoracic Surgery, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
- Assoc. Chief, Thoracic Surgery; NSMC-Salem Hospital
- Co-Director, Cardiothoracic Transplantation Lab, MGH/HMS Center for Transplantation Sciences
- Thoracic Surgery
- Department of Surgery
- Chief, Division of Thoracic Surgery
- Hermes C. Grillo Professor of Surgery
- Director of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Program, Division of Thoracic Surgery
- Consultant for New England Patriots, Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox
- Chief, Thoracic Surgery at Newton-Wellesley Hospital
- Director, Thoracic Oncology, Division of Thoracic Surgery
- Associate Professor Harvard Medical School
- Co-Director Gastroesophageal Surgery Program
- Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
- Director of Robotic Thoracic Surgery MGH Network
- Program Director of Robotic Surgical Education
- Visiting Surgeon, MGH
- Mathisen Family Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
- Director of Quality in Surgery, MGH
Below are additional resources for patients seeking more information about the Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery Program at Mass General.