A Message from the Director, Division of Thoracic Surgery, Stamford Hospital
The Division of Thoracic Surgery at Stamford Health provides state-of-the-art care for patients with diseases of the chest including lung, esophagus, diaphragm, thymus, and chest wall disorders. We are genuinely aware that there is often a high level of anxiety for patients and their families, which is why we strive to minimize the time from consultation to diagnosis to treatment.
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Michael Ebright, MD, Columbia University Thoracic Surgeon
What is thoracic surgery?
Thoracic surgery, sometimes called cardiothoracic surery, focuses on all non-cardiac diseases of the chest to include lung, esophagus, thymus, diaphragm, and chest wall. Both malignant and benign diseases are included. Stamford Health emphasizes a team approach, working closely with colleagues from pulmonology, gastroenterology, radiology, pathology, and both medical and radiation oncology.
What makes thoracic surgery at Stamford Health different and unique?
Stamford Health emphasizes a team approach, working closely with colleagues from pulmonology, gastroenterology, radiology, pathology, and both medical and radiation oncology. We have two nurse navigators who coordinate care between disciplines and keep in close touch with our patients. Our dedicated thoracic surgery nurse practitioner, Lauren Drysdale, is instrumental in providing seamless continuity of care and followup.
Patients are treated with university-level care in a comfortable environment closer to home. We employ the latest technology to treat our patients with upmost efficiency. Second opinions are also offered frequently, and record transfer is facilitated by our office. Furthermore, we make sure all pathology (lab) samples are reviewed by our MD Anderson and Yale-trained pathologists, and all necessary genetic testing is performed. Over 95% of operations are be performed in a minimally-invasive format, either robotic or video-assisted, reducing the time it takes to reach a full recovery.
Stamford Health has a robust thoracic oncology program. All new cancer diagnoses and complex cases are discussed at our multidisciplinary thoracic oncology conference, which is attended by physicians from seven different fields. We are a part of the Dana Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Collaborative, allowing greater access to clinical trials and expertise from Harvard’s prestigious cancer center.
What can patients expect for their thoracic care?
For patients with benign diseases of the esophagus, we work closely with gastroenterologists who specialize in gastroesophageal reflux and abnormalities of the esophageal lining. The overwhelming majority of operations can be performed in a minimally-invasive format, using small incisions through the abdomen.
Your hospital stay will be overseen 24/7 by a cohesive team of board-certified thoracic surgeons, specialized anesthesiologists, cardiothoracic physician assistants, surgical residents, and physical therapists. Most importantly, our nurses are Magnet-certified, and units are specialized to provide care for thoracic surgical patients. The hospital is newly constructed, all rooms are private and spacious, and family is welcome. All are equipped with a dedicated bathroom and shower.
Areas of expertise and thoracic conditions treated
- Minimally-invasive surgery including the DaVinci Xi robotic platform
- Navigational electromagnetic bronchoscopy and endobronchial ultrasound
- Special expertise in multifocal and locally-advanced malignancies
- Curative options for marginally-operable and inoperable patients, to include sublobar resection, stereotactic body radiation therapy (CyberKnife), and microwave ablation
- Swallowing disorders, also called dysphagia
- Surgical solutions for intractable gastroesophageal reflux disease to include laparoscopic procedures and LINX magnetic sphincter augmentation
- Laparoscopic hiatal hernia repair
- Radiofrequency ablation of Barrett’s esophagus (when the lower portion of the esophagus becomes damaged due to frequent, repeated exposure to stomach acid)
- Minimally-invasive esophagectomy: The surgical removal of the esophagus
- Robotic thymectomy: The surgical removal of the thymus gland, located under the breast bone. The robotic technology gives us much more precise access, control and the ability to shorten your recovery time.
- Extrapleural pneumonectomy and pleurectomy/decortication for mesothelioma
- Chest wall tumor resection/reconstruction