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Thoracic Diseases

We are a leader in the care and treatment of thoracic diseases including lung cancer; and our expert physicians and staff treat a wide range of thoracic malignancies, including esophogeal cancer and chest diseases.

Staffed by a multidisciplinary team - including medical and radiation oncologists, pulmonologists, pathologists, thoracic surgeons, diagnostic and interventional radiologists, nurses, nutritionists, clergy, social workers and staff from complementary integrative medicine - our program offers a full range of thoracic services from diagnostic procedures and treatments to support services.

This collaboration ensures evaluation of all care options and development of an individualized, comprehensive and coordinated care plan to meet your physical and emotional needs. Traditional, minimally invasive and non-invasive treatment options are available, depending on your diagnosis and what is clinically appropriate for you.

What we offer 

  • Expert physicians and caregivers.  At Yale-New Haven Hospital Saint Raphael Campus, our patient outcomes are excellent, generally exceeding state and national averages.
  • Advanced techniques.  Our physicians were first in Connecticut to perform minimally invasive surgical procedures on the lungs and esophagus.
  • Compassionate care.  Whether your procedure is done on an ambulatory basis or you require hospitalization, our staff will provide the respectful, patient-centered care and healing environment for which we are known. Our goal and commitment is to treat the whole patient, not just a disease.

Diseases we treat

  • Lung cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Tumors of the trachea
  • Management of metastatic cancers from other organs (colon, breast, etc.) to the lung
  • Symptom management of complex end-stage esophageal and airway diseases
  • Benign lung disease such as emphysema, cysts, tumors, infections
  • Management of airway strictures
  • Management of hiatal hernias
  • Benign esophageal disease, such as reflux (heartburn), benign tumors, strictures, management of swallowing disorders (i.e., achalasia)
  • Correction of chest wall deformities

Thoracic Surgery

Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy

Yale-New Haven Hospital Saint Raphael Campus routinely performs esophagectomies using a new, minimally invasive technique that decreases the trauma experienced by the body and thereby eases the process of recovery. For patients who are candidates for this surgery, it can result in benefits over traditional procedures such as less pain, less blood loss, fewer complications during recovery and faster recovery.

Rather than making large incisions through the patient's chest and abdomen, a one-inch incision is made in the patient's neck, at three or four points in the patient's chest, and at five points in the abdomen. Through one incision, a camera is inserted to guide the surgery. Then, via the other small incisions, the cancerous portion of the esophagus is removed, and the stomach is reformed into a gastric tube, which is extended upward and reconnected with the remaining, noncancerous portion of the esophagus.

Other procedures

Our expertise extends to all other aspects of thoracic surgery, with a focus on minimally-invasive techniques for:

GERD/Hiatal Hernia (Gastroesophageal reflux disease - GERD, sometimes also known as acid reflux disease)
For patients who are candidates for anti-reflux surgery, surgeons will use small incisions in the torso to create a stomach "wrap" that can significantly reduce symptoms. In addition, highly precise instruments allow for a procedure called Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF). It uses a high-tech device (less than 2 centimeters in diameter) through the mouth and throat into the stomach, where it curves back on itself to stitch up the stomach lining, thus requiring no incisions in the torso.

Achalasia (Difficulty swallowing)
Some patients are unable to swallow solids or even liquids because of dysfunction to the nerves that control the esophagus. We are able to cut the outer layer of tight muscle fibers to allow the food to pass more readily.

Mediastinal Masses/Thymoma
Various conditions can cause enlargement of the lymph nodes in the chest or the thymus gland. Many patients require a biopsy or removal of these tissues that we can often provide using Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS) technology.

Chest Wall Deformities
Some patients are born with bony abnormalities of the breastbone that can interfere with good heart or lung function. We have extensive expertise in the surgical correction of these defects.

Airway Disease
From tumors causing partial blockage of the windpipe to scar tissue or weak cartilage, many conditions can interfere with patients getting a good breath of fresh air. We are proficient at many techniques - including lasers and stents - that can clear or enlarge airways to eliminate blockages.

Hyperhidrosis (Sweaty Palms)
Sometimes excessive sweating of the palms or body is more than just a nuisance, it can be a symptom of a hyperactive nervous system. Using small incisions, we are able to divide the culprit nerves and let you shake your friend's hand without embarrassment.

Other VATS procedures
We are able to biopsy the lung, lymph nodes or chest wall lining using the Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS) approach. With the same small incisions, we can also drain fluid around the lung or even the heart to help you breathe more easily.

For more information, please call 203.787.3488.

Our Physicians

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Yale School of Medicine
Best Hospitals 2012-2013

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