Thoracic (Chest) Surgery

Pediatric Surgeons Caring for Chest Injuries

Part of our extra training is to gain expertise in the area of thoracic (chest) surgery for children of all ages from newborns to teenagers. Our team of pediatric surgeons also cares for children with traumatic (accidental) injuries to the chest.

Thoracic surgeries correct abnormalities including:

  • Chest wall to correct congenital (birth) defects
  • "Pectus" deformities
  • Operations on the lungs, esophagus (swallowing tube), diaphragm (muscle for breathing), ribs and blood vessels around the heart
  • Tumors of the chest
  • Empyema (complications of pneumonias and other infections)
  • Pneumothorax (collapsed lung)
  • Pectus excavatum ("sunken chest," a depression of the breastbone)
  • Hernias of the diaphragm, esophageal atresia (absence or a gap in the swallowing tube)
  • Tracheoesophageal fistula (an abnormal connection from the windpipe to the swallowing tube)
  • Lung cysts and sometimes tumors of the lung or other organs in the chest

Minimally Invasive Techniques

In addition to traditional surgery, we also treat many thoracic diseases or problems with endoscopic (telescope) techniques. This includes removing foreign objects—such as peanuts or coins that the child swallows—from the trachea and esophagus and removing infection or parts of lungs with thoracoscopy (telescopes placed through small holes in the chest).

We also can treat some chest wall deformities with these minimally invasive surgery techniques. Instead of major chest surgery, some procedures require simply placing internal braces through small incisions.