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The Division of Thoracic Surgery provides comprehensive, expert care for patients with diseases of the lung, chest, or esophagus. The team of physicians, nurses, and support service personnel are among the best in the country, and the treatment approach, facilities, and technology available are state-of-the-art.
The treatment of lung, chest, and esophageal diseases requires an interdisciplinary approach that draws on various medical specialties. At BMC, there are highly skilled physicians in all disciplines needed to provide comprehensive, quality care including medical oncology, radiation oncology, thoracic oncology, gastroenterology, minimally invasive esophageal therapies, pathology, pulmonary medicine, and radiology. The team of physicians and medical staff takes care of the patient through all phases of care—from diagnosis to treatment to follow-up.
The Division of Thoracic Surgery offers a full spectrum of clinical services to provide exceptional treatment for patients with lung, chest, and esophageal diseases.
Moakley Building 617.638.5600
The Department of Thoracic Surgery provides comprehensive, expert care for patients with cancer of the esophagus and other related diseases. Treatment of esophageal diseases requires an interdisciplinary approach that draws on various medical specialties.
Conditions We Treat
Achalasia is a rare swallowing disorder characterized by two problems with the esophagus. The first is a lack of peristalsis, which is the involuntary process of propelling food from your mouth to your stomach.
Barrett’s esophagus is a condition that is often connected to GERD—gastroesophageal reflux disease or acid reflux. The lining of the esophagus, the tube between the mouth and stomach, is replaced by tissue similar to the intestinal lining. There may be no symptoms, but once discovered frequent testing for dysplasia (pre-cancerous cells) is recommended, as sometimes the condition progresses to esophageal cancer.
Bronchogenic cysts are abnormal growths of tissue that are congenital (present from birth). They typically have thin walls and are filled with fluid or mucous. Most bronchogenic cysts are found in the mediastinum, the part of the chest cavity that separates the lungs.
The diaphragm, the main muscle involved in breathing, separates the thoracic and abdominal cavities. When a person inhales, it decreases pressure in the lungs and helps expand the rib cage. As with any organ or muscle, the diaphragm is subject to disorders and abnormalities, which come in many different forms and can stem from injury or illness.
Emphysema is a progressive lung disease in which the small air sacs and airways in the lungs become damaged, making breathing a frustrating and painful process.
Esophageal cancer occurs the esophagus, which is the tube that connects the throat to the stomach. This type of cancer is more common in men than women and is not very common in the United States.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, occurs when acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus. Normally, food travels from the mouth, down through the esophagus and into the stomach. A ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), contracts to keep the acidic contents of the stomach from “refluxing” or coming back up into the esophagus. In those who have GERD, the LES does not close properly, allowing acid to move up the esophagus.
Hyperhidrosis is a disorder of the glands in the sympathetic nervous system which control the body's involuntary movements and processes.
Lung cancer is cancer that begins in the lungs, two sponge-like organs in the chest that take in oxygen when breathing. It is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, and smokers have the greatest risk. Some lung cancers are not related to smoking but to exposure to things like asbestos, while others occur for unknown reasons.
Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a chronic neuromuscular condition that causes weakness in voluntary muscles (skeletal muscles) that worsens with activity and improves with rest. It is caused by an abnormal response in the immune system.
The pleura is the membrane that lines the thoracic (chest) cavity and covers the lungs. It is like a large sheet of tissue that wraps around the outside of the lungs and lines the inside of the chest cavity.
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine
Lung Cancer, Esophageal Cancer/Disease, Mediastinal Disease