University of Cincinnati, Department of Surgery
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thoracic surgery

Division of Thoracic Surgery

The Division of Thoracic Surgery is a leader in treating the entire spectrum of thoracic diseases including lung cancer, benign and malignant esophageal disorders, airway, mediastinal, diaphragmatic and chest wall disease. The Division offers extensive expertise in minimally invasive thoracic procedures, including video-assisted thoracoscopic (VATS) lobectomy and robot-assisted thoracic surgery. UC is also the only team in the region to offer minimally invasive esophagectomies, which are performed in partnership with UC surgical oncologists. We also utilize sophisticated interventions for complex airway and foregut disorders.

Cincinnati Surgery: Thoracic

The Division specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer and they perform the highest volume of lung cancer surgery in Cincinnati. Special attention is directed to patients who are at high risk for surgery due to underlying lung disease. The Division offers a full range of lung cancer treatments from minor resections to highly complex thoracic operations. The Division of Thoracic Surgery also concentrates on esophageal disease, interstitial lung disease, hyperhidrosis surgery, and tracheal airway surgery. Valerie Williams, MD, brings special expertise in surgical treatment of benign esophageal diseases. Sandra Starnes, MD, offers special expertise in the treatment of mediastinal tumors.

Last year, the Division initiated a multidisciplinary Esophageal Disease Center in collaboration with the Divisions of Surgical Oncology, General Surgery, Hematology/Oncology, Radiation Oncology, and Gastroenterology. The Center offers patients with benign and malignant esophageal disease coordinated multidisciplinary care in one location.

The Division continues to expand its expertise in research. They collaborate with multiple Departments in the College of Medicine and have research projects in molecular predictors of lung cancer recurrence, early detection of lung cancer using blood samples, lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scans, and pain management strategies in thoracic surgery.