Thoracic Surgery

If you need chest surgery, you want a thoracic surgeon you can really count on. At Mount Sinai, our thoracic surgeons provide comprehensive treatment during all stages of lung cancer, mesothelioma, esophageal cancer, and mediastinal tumors. We are also expert in diagnosing and treating benign diseases, such as excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis). We take a team approach, tapping insights from multiple experts. And we use all the latest advances and minimally invasive solutions.

About the Department of Thoracic Surgery

Established in 1914, Mount Sinai’s Department of Thoracic Surgery was one of the first of its kind in the United States. Since then, our award-winning physicians have consistently contributed to the development of new technologies and therapies. Our reputation draws patients from across the nation and all over the world.

Today, led by Department Chairman Raja M. Flores, MD, the Steven and Ann Ames Professor in Thoracic Surgery, we work with a team of experts in several specialties to bring you the best possible care. We partner with Medical Oncology, Pulmonary Medicine, Radiology, Interventional Radiology, Gastroenterology, Neurology, and Ear, Nose and Throat specialists to treat the full spectrum of thoracic (chest) diseases and conditions. This includes:

  • Lung cancer and pleural diseases
  • Emphysema
  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Mesothelioma
  • Chest wall tumors
  • Thymoma (and other thymic tumors)
  • Mediastinal tumors
  • Neuroendocrine tumors
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Germ cell tumors
  • Carcinoid tumors
  • Swallowing disorders
  • Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)

In addition to having more than 15 years of experience treating mesothelioma, Dr. Flores was one of the first doctors to use robotic surgery to treat both lung and esophageal cancer. Mount Sinai is one of the few hospitals in the nation specializing in the extrapleural pneumonectomy and pleurectomy (decortication) procedures for mesothelioma, the esophagectomy for esophageal cancer, and VATS (video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery) lobectomy surgery for lung cancer. Dr. Flores is also one of the foremost educators of other surgeons about the minimally invasive VATS lobectomy.

Groundbreaking History at Mount Sinai

Department Founder Howard Lilienthal, MD, was one of the earliest advocates of recognizing thoracic surgery as a specialty. He paved the way for pioneering efforts in this medical field. Among the first to describe the necessity for early operation of lung tumors, Dr. Lilienthal developed the technique of esophagectomy. He performed one of the first such procedureshere in 1921.

In 1952, Kermit E. Osserman, MD, described the “Tensilon” test for myasthenia gravis, which is still used today. He also reviewed a 20-year study in 1971 on how to treat the disease. This helped Mount Sinai build one of the two largest myasthenia gravis clinics in the world today. In 1967, Mount Sinai doctors performed one of the first thymectomy procedures here. He authored the published report, in 1969, along with Paul A. Kirschner, MD, and Allan E. Kark, MD. Since then, Mount Sinai has become a major referral center for thymectomy, as well as minimally invasive robotic procedures for mesothelioma, lung cancer, and esophageal cancer.

Additionally, Irving J. Selikoff, MD, considered the “father of occupational medicine,” was the first to determine the link between mesothelioma and asbestos exposure. His research efforts led to the Selikoff Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The Center  advocates health care for the working class and works closely with the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program. We are still involved in groundbreaking research. Today, we participate in several trials focusing on screening and therapies for lung cancer, mesothelioma, and esophageal cancer.

Meet Our Team

Our thoracic surgeons offer the most advanced procedures available in a state-of-the-art facility.