Thoracic Surgery

At the University of Michigan, in the Section of Thoracic Surgery, we draw on a legacy of impact and innovation in the treatment of surgical diseases of the chest as we continue to expand the field’s understanding of thoracic health, translating our discoveries to the clinic, and training the next generation of experts in thoracic surgery.

Pioneers of the transhiatal esophagectomy, Michigan thoracic surgeons continue to lead in the treatment and research of surgical diseases of the trachea, lung, mediastinum, diaphragm, and esophagus.

We perform more than 1,000 operations annually, and we cultivate a multidisciplinary partnership with our colleagues in anesthesiology, oncology, pulmonary medicine, and gastroenterology that results in the best outcomes for patients and wide-ranging training experience for residents.

Learn more about our work:

Clinical Strengths

We provide comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic services for patients with surgical diseases of the chest, including malignant and benign tumors of the lung, esophagus and ribs, gastroesophageal reflux and its complications, and neuromotor esophageal abnormalities. We are leaders in esophageal and complex lung cancer surgery, with a focus on minimal access surgery, including using the da Vinci platform, a surgical technique that can shorten patient recovery time and reduce pain.

Education

Graduates of our training programs go on to take leadership roles in the field, finding success in both private practice and academic medicine. We offer two residency programs — a 2-year fellowship program and an integrated 6-year cardiothoracic residency with our partners in the Department of Cardiac Surgery. Trainees develop expertise in surgical care of adult cardiac, general thoracic, and congenital cardiac diseases.

Research

From early detection and personalized therapies for lung and esophageal cancer to the novel use of imaging technologies to assess surgical patients’ preoperative health, Michigan thoracic surgeons connect biomedical breakthroughs to practical applications to improve lives. Our research efforts include lung reconditioning using ex-vivo lung perfusion prior to transplantation; RNA sequencing to provide early cancer diagnosis; and development of an artificial lung that could serve as an alternative to extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.