General thoracic and lung surgery

General thoracic surgery (GTS) deals with all aspects of chest surgery not involving the heart and aorta.

This encompasses surgical conditions of the chest wall, lungs, pleura, diaphragm and contents of the mediastinum, which includes the trachea, esophagus, thymus gland and pericardium. GTS includes consultative, diagnostic, and therapeutic roles of benign and malignant conditions of the chest, as well as thoracic organ transplantation.

UF thoracic surgeons treat malignancies of the chest, with a primary focus on the lungs. Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, and our surgeons may be involved in many aspects of the diagnosis and treatment of this prevalent problem.

The majority of the thoracic oncology cases are approached in a multidisciplinary fashion, with consideration of each case by the thoracic surgeon and a group of expert physicians in radiology, pathology, pulmonary medicine, and specialists in the use of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. This section has implemented the use of video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) for certain diagnostic and therapeutic procedures of the pleura and lungs, as well as anatomic lobectomy for cure of early-stage lung cancer.

The section of general thoracic surgery at UF Health also is involved in the surgical treatment of appropriately selected patients with emphysema by utilizing lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) or lung transplantation, which also may be used to treat end-stage lung disease from other causes as well.