Thoracic Surgery at Penn Highlands Healthcare

A Treatment to Improve and Save Lives

Thoracic Surgery

For people suffering from non-cardiac conditions and diseases that impact the organs and tissue in their chest and ultimately their quality of life, thoracic surgery could bring relief.

Medical issues that occur in the chest from accidents, illness, growths or disease may require the expertise of a thoracic surgeon who can provide a diagnosis and recommend treatment options. At Penn Highlands Healthcare, our Thoracic Surgery Team treats many conditions related to the tissues and organs within the chest wall such as the lungs, esophagus and trachea and diaphragm.

Thoracic Surgery Offered at Penn Highlands

At Penn Highlands Healthcare, a thoracic surgeon will recommend the least invasive process to give you the best results. Some of our advanced treatments and procedures we perform include:

Chest wall resection and reconstruction. A chest wall resection may be performed on people who have experienced a traumatic injury or have an infection or tumor. The procedure involves the removal of the sternum, ribs, cartilage or other soft tissue located within the chest wall. Chest wall reconstruction is a surgical procedure that helps to rebuild the skeletal structure of the chest wall with plating after resection.

Lung decortication. This procedure is performed on people diagnosed with empyema which may result with pneumonia or a thoracic trauma. Lung decortication helps restore lung expansion and removes the source of infection.

Heller myotomy. When foods and liquids have difficulty reaching the stomach because the esophagus fails to relax, this minimally invasive procedure helps relieve pressure in the esophagus by dividing the muscle layers to access the stiffened tissues.

Hiatal hernia surgery via Nissen fundoplication. For people suffering from a hiatal hernia and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD, this procedure tightens and reinforces the ring-like muscles at the top of the stomach to prevent stomach acid from rising into the esophagus.

Lung resection. Sometimes referred to as a lobectomy or thoracotomy, lung resection involves the removal of part or all of the lung. The procedure may be performed to treat a variety of conditions from an infection to emphysema or cancer.

Nuss procedure. This minimally invasive procedure uses a few small incisions to slip a stainless steel bar under the sternum to correct a sunken chest.

Pericardial Window. The pericardium is a fibrous sac that encloses the heart and vessels to keep them in a stable location. When fluid builds up within the sac, it can be life threatening if it is not drained. A pericardial window removes part of the sac enabling the surgeon to drain the excess fluid.

Thymectomy. The thymus gland is part of the body’s immune system. A thymectomy, which is a procedure to remove the thymus, is performed on people with tumors on the thymus or those who have moderate to severe weakness from myasthenia gravis.

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Moore, Carolyn , MD

Thoracic Surgery


Penn Highlands Cardiovascular and Thoracic SurgeryA Service of Penn Highlands DuBois

What is the Difference Between a Thoracic Surgeon and a Cardiothoracic Surgeon?

A thoracic surgeon specializes in non-cardiac diseases, disorders and injuries of the chest wall and tissues such as lung cancer, emphysema, hiatal hernias, GERD and many others while cardiothoracic surgeons also treat cardiac disorders.

Can Thoracic Surgery be Performed as a Minimally Invasive Procedure?

Yes, there are types of thoracic surgery that can be performed with small incisions and a thorascope such as the Nuss procedure to repair a sunken chest.

What Minimally Invasive Techniques Do You Use?

Penn Highlands Healthcare uses robotic and endoscopic techniques to surgically address thoracic issues. These techniques help lessen post-operative pain and enable the patient to recover more quickly.

Conditions We Treat

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