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Thoracic Surgery

Thoracic surgeons specialize in surgery for the diseases of the chest, including:

  • lungs
  • chest wall
  • diaphragm

Baystate often utilizes Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). VATS is a type of thoracic surgery performed using a small video camera that is introduced into the patient's chest via a scope. The surgeon is able to view the instruments that are being used along with the anatomy that is being operated on.

Treatment for a Number of Conditions

Surgeons at Baystate Medical Center use minimally invasive thoracic surgery to treat a variety of medical conditions. These include:

  • Resections for lung cancer and benign lung tumors
  • Lung biopsies
  • Treatment for empyema
  • Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
  • Malignant pleural effusions
  • Pneumothorax
  • Benign esophageal and mediastinal tumors.

"Minimally invasive thoracoscopic surgery represents an important enhancement to our patient care," says Wilson C. Mertens, MD, of the Baystate Regional Cancer Program. "Our ability to offer patients state-of-the-art cancer treatment and symptom palliation rounds out the multidisciplinary approach to thoracic malignancies we have developed at Baystate."

Baystate Thoracic Surgery

  • Gary M. Hochheiser, MD, FCCP, Chief of Thoracic Surgery
  • Rose B. Ganim, MD, FACS, FCCP
  • Jeanne M. Lukanich, MD, FACS, FRCSC
  • Maria Aquadro, MSN, FNP-BC
  • Amy Zajac, NP

After Thoracic Surgery

Post surgery exercises for thoracic patients.

PostThoracic Surgery Exercise Program still

Practical exercise will help you to regain your full range of motion and mobility.  The following videos will help you in your post-operative exercise regimen.


  • Chest and Arm Exercises.  These three simple arm exercises will help you to achieve strength, flexibility and comfort in movement for your chest and arms after your thoracic surgery.  Watch the video...

  • How to use an Incentive Spirometer. A simple breathing exercise will help you clear your lungs after surgery, helping prevent complications like a lung collapse or pneumonia. Watch the video...