Thoracic Surgery

Thoracic surgery focuses on the diagnosis, management, and treatment of conditions affecting the organs and structures within the chest, including the heart, lungs, esophagus, and other thoracic (chest) organs.

CHI Memorial Chest and Lung Cancer Center provides minimally invasive and traditional surgical treatment options for cancers of the chest, esophagus and lungs.  Common procedures include: 

  • Lobectomy - A lobectomy involves removing an entire lobe of the lung affected by cancer. The lung has five lobes, and if the tumor is localized to a single lobe, this procedure may be performed.
  • Pneumonectomy- In cases where the cancer has spread to an entire lung, a pneumonectomy may be necessary. This procedure involves removing the entire lung.
  • Wedge Resection - For small tumors located at the periphery of the lung, a wedge resection may be performed. This surgery involves removing a small, wedge-shaped portion of the lung containing the tumor.
  • Esophagectomy - Esophagectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the esophagus. It is commonly performed for esophageal cancer. The surgeon removes the affected portion of the esophagus and then reconstructs it using a section of the stomach or intestine.
  • Thoracoscopy - Thoracoscopy, also known as video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS), is a minimally invasive procedure used to diagnose and treat certain conditions in the chest, including lung cancer. It involves making small incisions and inserting a tiny camera and surgical instruments to visualize and operate on the affected area.
  • Esophagogastrectomy - This procedure is performed for cancers that affect both the esophagus and the stomach. It involves removing a portion of the esophagus, the upper part of the stomach, and nearby lymph nodes. The remaining esophagus is then reconnected to the stomach.

The decision regarding the most appropriate surgical approach is made by a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, including surgeons, oncologists, and radiologists, who carefully evaluate each individual case.

CHI Memorial Chest and lung Cancer Center

J. Robert Headrick, MD, is a highly trained thoracic surgeon who performs surgical interventions to address a wide range of conditions in the thoracic region. Nurse practitioners Ashley Miller, FNP, Jeremy Smith, ACNP, and Matthew Worley, FNP-BC provide pre and post surgical care.