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Our cardiothoracic surgery team includes highly experienced, board-certified cardiovascular surgeons and thoracic surgeons who specialize in the surgical treatment of conditions of the heart (heart disease), lungs (lung disease), esophagus and chest wall. Our team provides the full range of surgical services from elective to emergency care, for conditions including valve disease, heart failure and advanced lung disease and lung cancer.

As eastern Wisconsin’s only academic medical center, we have access to the latest clinical trials and leading-edge technology and treatment options, including some not widely available.

Thoracic Surgery

Our thoracic surgeons are skilled in the surgical management of a variety of conditions involving the lungs, esophagus, diaphragm and chest well. We deliver leading-edge treatments including minimally invasive video-assisted and robotic surgery techniques. We offer state-of-the-art procedures to treat all types of thoracic disorders and diseases, including:

  • Advanced-stage lung disease
  • Benign and malignant tracheal disorders
  • Chronic pulmonary embolisms
  • Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension or CTEPH
  • Diaphragm hernia
  • Emphysema
  • Esophageal diseases, including esophageal cancer, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and motility disorders
  • Hyperhidrosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Noncancerous lung disorders
  • Rib fractures requiring surgical repair
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS)

Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery Option

Our team of providers aims to deliver the least invasive option available that will deliver the best possible outcome for patients. This dedication has led to the availability of video-assisted and robotic surgery options for a number of thoracic conditions.

Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgical (VATS) procedures can help identify potential lesions. The minimally invasive surgical approach is effective in treating early-detected lung cancer, but if the mass or nodule is very small or not very solid, it may be more difficult to remove. As a result, our radiologists begin injecting a small amount of iodinated dye into the mass under CT scan guidance. The surgeon then uses a fluoroscope in the operating room to look for the dye marker to more easily find the nodule and perform a wedge resection — the removal of a triangle shaped section of lung, including the suspicious mass and some normal surrounding tissue. This technique can shorten the procedure and increase the certainty of a successful biopsy.

Robotic-assisted thoracic surgery provides surgeons increased visual magnification that facilitates precise, complicated procedures through small incisions. Our team has a high-level of experience in robotic-assisted surgery, allowing us to offer patients this minimally invasive option for a variety of thoracic conditions.

Among the robotic procedures we offer are:

  • Diaphragmatic plication
  • Esophagectomy
  • Esophogeal myotomy for achalasia
  • Laparoscopic antireflux procedures for gastrointestinal reflux disease
  • Lobectomy for lung cancer
  • Paraesophageal hernia repair
  • Resection of the first rib for thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS)
  • Resection of mediastinal masses
  • Thoracoscopic sympathectomy for hyperhidrosis
  • Thymectomy for myasthenia gravis

Like other minimally invasive procedures, the benefits to patients undergoing a robotic-assisted or video-assisted procedure include reduced scarring, less pain, quicker recovery and shorter length of time in the hospital.

Our team of thoracic providers also offers:

Team Collaboration and Exceptional Staff

Our cardiac and thoracic surgeons use a multidisciplinary approach, working with a team of Froedtert & the Medical College specialists, including cardiologists, vascular and interventional radiologists, oncologists, pulmonologists and electrophysiologists. Together, they share their expertise to determine the optimal treatment strategies for patients to ensure the best possible outcomes.

To meet the unique needs of our patients and their family members, team members also include nurses, physician assistants, cardiovascular technicians, dietitians, therapists, lab technologists and other professionals.

Learn more about our cardiothoracic surgeons and exceptional staff.


Patients benefit from our research and have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials of new treatment techniques, medications and devices. Our physicians participate in significant local and national clinical research trials to study many forms of heart and vascular and lung disease.

Recognized as High Performing by U.S. News & World Report

Froedtert Hospital is nationally ranked in three adult specialties by U.S. News & World Report. Froedtert Hospital is also recognized as high performing in four adult specialties and 14 procedures and conditions, including heart bypass surgery and heart attack. Learn more.