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Chest Surgery

Surgery of the chest involves treating disease and injury near important organs such as the lungs and heart, plus major blood vessels. REX Thoracic Specialists are experienced in using the most advanced techniques to perform precise surgery in this area.

Our thoracic surgeons are skilled in all types of chest surgery.

  • Surgery to repair injuries to the chest
  • Treat damage caused by illness or disease
  • Rare cancers near the heart and windpipe
  • Partner with other skilled specialists for endovascular surgery , using procedures that are usually available only at teaching hospitals.

Hear from our patients: Addylean needed complex chest surgery to treat a rare cancer of the thymus. She found support and excellent care from a special "family" of caregivers at Rex Thoracic Surgical Specialists.

For most patients, we can perform surgery using advanced tools and techniques that allow us to use only small cuts, or incisions, instead of traditional surgery. Using three-dimensional video cameras and other advanced technology, we are able to perform some of the most precise surgeries possible.

If you need lung surgery, we will bring together a skilled team of thoracic surgeons and other healthcare experts. Your physician will discuss your care with you and this team, plus any other specialists who are caring for you.

Chest SurgeryChest surgeries, tests and treatments

Chest surgery for non-cancer related conditions

We treat patients for conditions caused by accidents and illnesses, plus conditions they are born with. These include:

  • Collapsed lung (see lung surgery)
  • Excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis
  • Myasthenia Gravis, a condition that affects muscles in the head and can cause problems with eye movement, facial expressions and swallowing.
  • Infection of the chest
  • Accidents that damage the chest wall
  • Chest wall conditions that people are born with

Chest surgery for cancer

In addition to lung surgery for cancer, our thoracic surgeons also have special training to treat patients with other types of cancer in the chest area. Some of the conditions we treat:

Mediastinal tumors are growths that form in the area that separates the lungs. These growths are rare. Surgeons with REX Thoracic Specialists perform surgery to diagnose and to cure this cancer. In many cases, we can biopsy or remove the entire tumor through small incisions. We also use the latest procedures to remove larger tumors through traditional surgery.

Cancer of the thymus gland is also rare, and surgery is the most common treatment. The thymus is a small organ in the upper chest, under the breastbone.

Common tests and treatments

Though our specialists perform surgery in order to diagnose and treat conditions in the chest region, we also use other tests and treatments such as:

Teaming up with REX Vascular Specialists

In addition to traditional surgery, our thoracic surgeons also team up with other surgery specialists to perform "endovascular" (or "in the vein") surgery. This advanced treatment is usually available only in teaching hospitals.

With endovascular surgery, surgeons use extremely thin, small tubes (catheters) with tiny medical instruments inside. The vascular surgeon works with the thoracic surgeon to thread these tubes through the body's blood vessels. In this way, they can reach and repair difficult areas, such as the heart and other parts of the chest without large incisions, or cuts.

In partnership with REX Vascular Specialists, we are bringing this advanced care to patients in the greater Wake County area, keeping them closer to home and family as they recover.

Learn more:

Read about common chest conditions (NIH)
Learn about thymus cancer (NIH)
Take this online chest injury check-up, with a virtual doctor

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