Expert care to help you breathe easy

Conditions affecting your chest can lead to pain or difficulty swallowing and breathing. The experts at UW Health offer advanced treatments — including new devices and surgeries — for disorders and diseases that occur in your chest.

We perform lung and chest surgery at University Hospital in Madison. Our hospital is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as high-performing for pulmonology and lung surgery.

Programs and research

Comprehensive lung care

Our thoracic surgeons partner with pulmonologists and other UW Health specialists to offer coordinate, exceptional care for complex chest and lung conditions.

Experts with our Advanced Lung Disease Program offer second opinions, evaluations, treatment and follow-up care for the most serious lung diseases. 

UW Health thoracic surgeons partner with cancer experts at the UW Carbone Cancer Center to care for advanced lung cancers. The lung cancer program offers personalized treatment for bronchioloalveolar carcinoma, small and non-small cell lung cancer and mesothelioma.

UW Health is home to one of the country’s most successful lung transplant programs. Our lung transplant program offers single and double (bilateral) lung transplantation.

Conditions and treatments

Conditions we treat

Your chest includes your ribs and breastbone, as well as your heart, lungs and esophagus. Though the heart is a major part of the chest, not all chest conditions affect the heart. 

The thoracic surgery team at UW Health treats many chest disorders and diseases affecting the airway, chest wall, diaphragm, esophagus and lungs. Conditions we treat include:

  • Achalasia

  • Airway disease 

  • Barrett’s esophagus

  • Bochdalek hernias

  • Bronchogenic cysts

  • Chest wall deformities (pectus excavatum, pectus carinatum)

  • Chest wall tumors

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

  • Cystic fibrosis 

  • Diaphragm eventration

  • Diaphragm paralysis

  • Diffuse esophageal spasm

  • Emphysema 

  • Empyema

  • Esophageal cancer

  • Esophageal diverticula

  • Esophageal motility disorders

  • Esophageal perforation

  • Esophageal strictures

  • Failed anti-reflux surgery

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

  • Germ cell tumors

  • Hiatal hernias

  • Hyperhidrosis

  • Interstitial lung disease

  • Lung cancer

  • Lung nodules

  • Lymphoma

  • Mediastinal mass

  • Mediastinal tumors

  • Mesothelioma

  • Morgagni hernias

  • Myasthenia gravis

  • Paraesophageal hernias

  • Pericardial cysts

  • Phrenic nerve paralysis 

  • Pleural effusion

  • Primary and secondary pulmonary hypertension 

  • Pulmonary fibrosis

  • Pulmonary thromboembolic disease

  • Respiratory failure

  • Sternoclavicular joint pain/arthritis and infection

  • Thoracic outlet syndrome 

  • Thymic cancer

  • Thymoma

  • Tracheal strictures

  • Tracheal masses/tumors

  • Tracheobronchomalacia

  • Traumatic diaphragm hernias


  • Bronchoscopy (flexible, rigid, navigational and fluorescence) for diagnosis and treatment of airway and lung diseases

  • Laser therapy for airway obstruction

  • Percutaneous and open tracheostomy for respiratory failure

  • Tracheal resection for tracheobronchomalacia, tracheal tumors and airway obstruction

  • Tracheal and bronchial stenting for airway obstruction

  • Chest wall resection and reconstruction of chest wall tumors

  • Clavicular head resection for sternoclavicular chronic pain/arthritis and joint infection

  • Minimally invasive (Nuss procedure) and open (Ravitch procedure) repair for chest wall deformities (pectus excavatum, pectus carinatum)

  • Robotic, laparoscopic and open diaphragm plication for diaphragm eventration and diaphragm paralysis

  • Robotic, laparoscopic, video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) and open diaphragmatic hernia repair

  • Endoscopic esophageal dilation for esophageal strictures

  • Endoscopy esophageal stenting for esophageal cancer, esophageal perforation and other diseases of the esophagus

  • Endoscopic photodynamic therapy for esophageal cancer

  • Flexible and rigid upper endoscopy for diagnosis and treatment of esophageal disease

  • Percutaneous, laparoscopic and open feeding tube placement (gastric or jejunal feeding tubes) for malnutrition

  • Port/tunneled venous catheter placement for chemotherapy

  • Robotic, laparoscopic and open anti-reflux surgery (Nissen, Toupet, Dor) for gastroesophageal reflux disease

  • Robotic, laparoscopic and open hiatal hernia and paraesophageal hernia repair

  • Robotic, video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) and laparoscopic esophageal diverticulectomy and myotomy

  • Robotic, VATS and minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) and open esophagectomy for esophageal cancer and Barrett’s esophagus with high-grade dysplasia

  • VATS and laparoscopic Heller myotomy for achalasia and other esophageal motility disorders

  • Transoral stapling and open Zenker’s diverticulectomy

  • Bronchoscopy (flexible, rigid, navigational and fluorescence) for diagnosis and treatment of airway and lung diseases

  • Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) for lung cancer staging

  • Lung transplantation for advanced lung diseases

  • Lung volume reduction surgery for advanced emphysema/COPD

  • Photodynamic therapy for lung cancer 

  • Robotic, video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) and open lung resection, including wedge resection, segmentectomy, lobectomy, sleeve resection and pneumonectomy for lung cancer, lung nodules and other lung diseases

  • VATS and open pleurectomy or mechanical/chemical pleurodesis for recurrent pneumothorax

  • Video mediastinoscopy for lung cancer staging

  • Robotic, video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) and open thymectomy for myasthenia gravis, thymoma and thymic cancer

  • VATS and open mediastinal mass resection

  • Video mediastinoscopy for diagnosis of mediastinal lymphadenopathy and mediastinal masses

  • Extrapleural pneumonectomy and pleurectomy/decortication for mesothelioma

  • Open decortication and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) for empyema

  • VATS pleurectomy, mechanical and chemical pleurodesis, indwelling tunneled pleural catheter placement for benign and malignant pleural effusions

  • Open first rib resection and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) for thoracic outlet syndrome

  • VATS sympathectomy for hyperhidrosis

Meet our team

Specialized care for complex conditions

UW Health’s thoracic surgeons offer expert diagnosis and treatment for rare and complex conditions affecting the lungs and chest.

Our providers


Evaluation, treatment and follow-up

Our thoracic surgery team provides care at the Thoracic Surgery Clinic at University Hospital in Madison.