With more than 3,300 clinic visits and performing more than 1,000 operative procedures a year, our thoracic surgery clinical practice provides care for even the most complex chest conditions. We specialize in surgical treatment for diseases of the trachea, lung, mediastinum, diaphragm, and esophagus as well as lung transplantation.
Our lung transplant program is the largest in the State in terms of operative volume. This broad experience provides perspective and the skills to assess, treat, and support our transplant patients now and throughout their recovery.
Beyond the operating room and clinics, we extend our care for patients by providing the knowledge, the community and the resources that will support their health in the long term.
We host a regular support group for patients who have undergone or are about to undergo an esophagectomy, a complex operation that affects a patient’s daily life for years to come. Connecting patients with those who have had similar operations provides the understanding and the advice that enables them to adapt and thrive.
Good Health for Good Surgical Outcomes
Our innovative Michigan Surgical & Health Optimization Program (MSHOP) helps coach preoperative patients through exercises designed to get them moving, eating healthfully, breathing deeply, and taking time to relax. Our research shows how these 4 factors help patients “train” for surgery, allowing them to return home sooner after their operation and feel better faster. MSHOP was initiated in 2011 and has expanded to more than 20 medical practices and hospitals across Michigan. The program is a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Health Care Innovation Award winner.
Focus on Teamwork
Our strengths extend beyond that of our faculty surgeons and encompass our entire care team, physician assistants, nurses and nurse practitioners, residents and fellows. One of our providers is always on hand around the clock, available on –site and by telephone, which allows us to provide seamless care delivery and improved patient experience.
Beyond the Section of Thoracic Surgery, we develop close and coordinated relationships with colleagues in oncology, cardiac surgery, gastroenterology, transplant surgery, dentistry, and engineering to provide comprehensive care to patients and to create research partnerships that are informed by many disciplines, not just our own.
For example, we work closely with physicians in radiation oncology, medical oncology, radiology, and pathology through our Multidisciplinary Thoracic Tumor Board to identify the best treatment plan rapidly and efficiently.
Translating Breakthroughs into Better Care
Our efforts in basic science and translational research provide a foundation for understanding the mechanisms of the diseases we treat, and a forum for testing new technologies and treatments with clinical impact.
Projects include RNA sequencing to understand the processes involved in the progression of esophageal cancer, with a goal of developing new diagnostic tests to detect cancer much earlier.
Our research partnerships include developing a blood-based test to detect early lung cancer, working with faculty in the School of Engineering to develop a tool for early lung cancer detection using microfluidic chip technology, and with the U-M Center on Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety to improve patient and resident scheduling logistics, ultimately improving the patient experience and maximizing learning for residents.