General thoracic surgery is a surgical specialty and is dedicated to diseases and injuries of the thoracic wall and all the organs in the chest with the exception of the heart and aorta.
Thoracic surgery diagnoses and treats conditions of the lungs, the rib cage, and the mediastinum. These include in particular surgical management of lung cancer, lung metastases, pleural disorders (including pleural mesothelioma), deformities of the rib cage such as funnel chest, and lung transplantation.
Thoracic surgery is constantly undergoing further development so modern techniques such as minimally invasive (keyhole) surgery and lung-sparing surgery (including cuff resections) and laser surgery are now available.
The thoracic surgeon focuses on the operative management of:
- Tumours of the lungs and pleura
- Pulmonary emphysema (over-inflated lung)
- Lung transplantation
- Thoracic deformities (pigeon breast, funnel chest)