What Is Thoracic Surgery?

Thoracic surgery encompasses any surgical procedures for both benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous) diseases of the chest. The areas of the body treated by thoracic surgeons includes:

  • The tracheobronchial tree (airway)
  • Lungs
  • Pleura
  • Esophagus
  • Diaphragm
  • Chest wall
  • Mediastinum

While much of thoracic surgery involves surgery for types of cancer, it may also involve treatment of diseases that are not cancer-related, such as treatments for:

Thoracic surgeons lead this highly specialized team*, which includes anesthesiologists, nurses, pain service specialists, respiratory care specialists and a support staff that provides integrated care designed specifically for the care of the thoracic surgery patient.

The Northwestern Medicine Thoracic Surgery Program offers comprehensive and coordinated care, advanced diagnostic technologies and expertise in minimally invasive surgery.


In the spirit of keeping you well-informed, some of the physician(s) and/or individual(s) identified are neither agents nor employees of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare or any of its affiliate organizations. They have selected our facilities as places where they want to treat and care for their private patients.