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Minimally Invasive & Robotic Thoracic Surgery

Diseases of the esophagus and chest affect millions of Americans. More than 200,000 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer and an additional 18,000 with esophageal cancer this year, both of which are among the deadliest forms of cancer. However, the prognoses for beating these two cancers are much better than they were even just five years ago because of new treatment strategies and innovative surgeries.

The Allegheny Health Network is one of the nation's most respected medical centers for minimally invasive robotic esophageal and lung surgeries. We treat patients using advanced technology and sophisticated instrumentation. Our state-of-the art robotic equipment enhances surgeons’ vision, precision and control to treat patients through just a few small incisions. These methods allow you to experience the best possible result from surgery, endure less pain and blood loss, heal quicker and have little scarring.

Experience matters

When it comes to performing these unique and innovative surgeries like these, experience does matter. Our renowned surgeons have years of experience performing minimally invasive and robotic esophageal and lung surgeries, along with only a select group of physicians throughout the country.
 

To perform our robotic surgeries, we utilize the state-of-the-art daVinci Robotic System to control the movement of the surgical instruments. These sophisticated robotic devices bend and rotate similar to the human wrist, and the sleek instrumentation can reach various areas of the body through just a few small incisions. Surgeons seamlessly view the procedure with miniature cameras and 3-D, high-definition vision systems.

Minimally invasive robotic surgery offer several advantages compared to traditional open procedures, including:

  • Less pain in area of incision
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Quicker recovery
  • Smaller, less-visible scars
  • Reduced blood loss
  • Lower risk of infection
 

Few incisions, many expert hands

Our multidisciplinary approach to care allows us to provide patients with the most comprehensive treatment plan that is thorough, effective and specific to each person’s needs. We treat these thoracic conditions using minimally invasive and robotic techniques:
 

Lung cancer: We perform a lobectomy to remove the lobe of a lung where the cancer is located.

Myasthenia gravis: We perform a thymectomy to remove the thymus, which has shown to play a role in the development of myasthenia gravis (a neuromuscular disorder).

Thymoma: We perform a thymectomy to remove tumors in the thymus.

Achalasia: We perform esophageal surgery (Heller myotomy) to correct the muscle that causes the swallowing difficulty.

Mediastinal tumors: We perform procedure to remove tumors that form in area of the chest that separates the lungs.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): We use the LINX reflux management system to strengthen a weak gastroesophageal sphincter muscle. The LINX device is wrapped around the bottom of the esophagus. Similar to tiny beads on a bracelet, magnetic beads hold the sphincter closed while at rest but allow food to pass into the stomach during a swallow.