Thoracic Procedures

Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery (MITS) or Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS).
Thoracoscopy or Micro-Thoracotomy

  • Resection of lung cancers (lobectomy, wedge resection, segmentectomy, pneumonectomy)
  • Biopsies of pleura, mediastinum, pericardium, chest wall
  • Excision of esophageal, mediastinal, pericardial, bronchogenic cysts
  • Thoracic sympathectomy
  • Drainage and treatment of pleural and pericardial fluid
  • Decortication
  • Assist in surgical correction of spine disorders

Chest Wall (ribs, sternum, clavicles, muscle)

  • Pectus excavatum and carinatum in adults
  • Resection of chest wall tumors
  • Reconstruction of traumatic injuries to the chest wall

Pleura (inner lining of chest wall and outer lung lining)

  • Resection of pleural tumors
  • Evaluation and biopsy of pleura
  • Drainage and treatment of pleural fluid
    -- Pleurodesis--mechanical and talc
    -- Pleurx catheter insertion (home drainage management
  • Decortication (removal of infection, release of trapped lung)

Pericardium (sac containing the heart)

  • Pericardial window (evaluation, draining and biopsy of pericardial fluid)
    -- Subxyphoid approach
    -- Thoracoscopic approach
  • Removal of pericardial cysts

Mediastinum (center of chest including great vessels, thymus, lymph nodes)

  • Removal of thymus for myasthenia gravis
  • Resection of thymic tumors
  • Mediastinoscopy (videoscopic biopsy of lymph nodes and tumors)
  • Removal of cysts
  • Resection of neurogenic and germ cell tumors
  • Resection of substernal thyroid masses


  • Resection of lung cancers
    -- Wedge resection, lobectomy, pneumonectomy
  • Lung biopsy
  • Resection of benign tumors
  • Excision of giant bullae
  • Treatment of spontaneous pneumothorax
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Excision and destruction of tumors blocking airways
  • Biopsy of tumors
  • Stent insertion in airways
  • Removal of foreign bodies
  • Tracheostomy (percutaneous and open)


  • Laparoscopic repair of hiatal hernias
  • Resection of esophageal tumors
  • Resection of duplication cysts
  • Esophagoscopy
    -- Dilation and laser destruction of tumors
    -- Removal of foreign bodies
    -- Stent insertion for tumors blocking esophagus
  • Myotomy

Venous Access for Chemotherapy

  • Port-a-cath insertion
  • Hickman catheter insertion

Unique services provided by the GBMC Thoracic Surgery Division include:

  • Clinical Trial participation
    • Nearly 85% of eligible patients participate in clinical trials examining the diagnosis, treatment, surveillance of disease.
  • Post-thoracic surgery pulmonary and physical therapy rehabilitation
    • A guided, supervised program of exercise and therapy designed specifically to facilitate rapid recovery after thoracic surgery.

For detailed descriptions of procedures and disease processes please visit The Society of Thoracic Surgery Patient Information page.

Greater Baltimore Medical Center | 6701 North Charles Street | Baltimore, MD 21204 | (443) 849-2000 | TTY (800) 735-2258
© 2017  GBMC. This website is for informational purposes only and not intended as medical advice or a substitute for a consultation with a professional healthcare provider.