Logo image

Thoracic (Chest) Surgery Worldwide: Best Hospitals, Doctors, Options, & Cost

In answering the question of what thoracic surgery is, it’s essential to know that it focuses on diagnosing and treating conditions affecting the chest cavity. Each skilled thoracic surgeon performs various procedures. And the importance of them is hard to overestimate.

Look at some examples. Pulmonary surgery allows breathing easier in 60% of more than 200,000 patients with lung cancer. Approximately 500,000 coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) procedures improve blood flow to the heart and save patients from death. About 18,000 new esophageal cancer cases need surgical interventions to help them receive food. These numbers are only for the USA per year.

Each thoracic surgeon improves and saves lives by treating various health issues. These include thoracic trauma, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chest wall deformities, congenital heart defects, heart valve disorders, and mediastinal tumors. They also address thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS). In this condition, blood vessels or nerves between the collarbone and first rib are compressed, leading to various symptoms. Through their expertise, these surgeons make a significant impact on countless lives.

Update: Apr 16, 2024

Best thoracic surgery clinics worldwide

How to find the right thoracic surgery center?

Suppose you require complex lung surgery or rare chest tumor intervention. In that case, selecting a hospital with thoracic surgeons specializing in your medical need is crucial. The best thoracic surgery centers have central departments such as cardiology, angiology, anesthesiology, imaging technology, endoscopy, ambulance groups, and intensive care.

Hospitals may have different ways of performing operations, so it's essential to confirm beforehand if they offer the best option for your case. Famous thoracic centers use innovative treatments like HITHOC and minimally invasive surgeries, such as video-assisted, robotic, and video thoracoscopy, keyhole surgery, and VATS-lobectomy, to complement traditional methods and achieve successful outcomes.

Our team created criteria to select the top thoracic hospital. AiroMedical helps to find a clinic with a narrow focus on your issues and many chest, lung, and mediastinum operations. We always advise patients to check reviews, clinic qualifications, and certifications before the final decision.

Best thoracic surgeons worldwide

Prof. Dr. med. Roland Ladurner
Academic Hospital Martha-Maria Munich
general, abdominal, thoracic, endocrine, vascular and minimally invasive surgery
Prof. Dr. med. Hans Hoffmann
Prof. Dr. med. Helmut Friess
University Hospital Rechts der Isar Munich
general, abdominal, thoracic, oncosurgery, endocrine surgery, and transplantology
Prof. Dr. med. Jens Werner
University Hospital Ludwig-Maximilians Munich
general, visceral and transplant surgery, emergency medicine
Dr. med. Niels Huschitt
Academic Hospital Bundeswehr Berlin
general, thoracic and abdominal surgery
PD. Dr. med. Georg Arlt
Park Clinic Weissensee Berlin
general, abdominal, and minimally invasive surgery
Dr. med. Stefan Muhlbauer
Beta Clinic Bonn
general surgery, abdominal surgery and coloproctology
Prof. Dr. med. Udo Rolle
University Hospital Frankfurt am Main
pediatric surgery and urology, general surgery
Prof. Dr. med. Wolf O. Bechstein
University Hospital Frankfurt am Main
general and visceral surgery, transplant and thoracic surgery

Tips for choosing the best cardiothoracic surgeon

Based on professional requirements and adherence to certain standards, various criteria can determine the competence of a skilled thoracic surgeon. Chest wall and lung surgery require the doctor to have updated knowledge and certification, which can be obtained through regular training courses.

Among the crucial criteria are each particular doctor's surgical experience and success rate. In addition, patients must check whether a surgeon is trained to use robotic systems and video-assisted approaches in their practice.

At AiroMedical, we have selected the most skilled and sought-after thoracic surgeons worldwide. Our selection process is based on many factors, including education, treatment methods, range of services, annual number of operations, and clinical focus. We provide detailed profiles of renowned thoracic surgeons on our website to help you choose a trustworthy professional.

What is the diagnosis before your lung surgery?

Before your lung surgery, a thorough diagnosis is essential to ensure the right treatment plan is created. It involves a series of tests, studies, and consultations to accurately identify the issue and determine the most effective approach from the thoracic surgeon. Some of them are:

Full-spectrum tools and imaging tests

Chest X-ray
It is a quick and non-invasive imaging test that thoracic surgery starts. It produces pictures of the heart, lungs, airways, and blood vessels. It can help diagnose various conditions, including pneumonia, lung cancer, pleuritis, and tuberculosis.
CT scan (computed tomography)
The tool combines multiple X-ray images to create detailed multiple cross-sectional pictures of the body. It can detect tumors and other abnormalities within the chest area.
A PET scan
Doctors use a radioactive substance and a special camera to show the body's metabolism. It helps find cancer, check treatment success, and pinpoint inflammation.
Thatallows doctors to examine the airways using a flexible tube with a camera attached called a bronchoscope. This thoracic procedure can detect abnormalities, take tissue samples for biopsy, or clear bronchial obstruction or tracheal stenosis.
Endobronchial ultrasound
The technique uses a bronchoscope and ultrasound to examine the airways and nearby lymph nodes. It allows for real-time imaging and can guide needle biopsies for more accurate sampling.
Oxygen consumption study
It measures the body's ability to use oxygen during physical activity. It can help assess lung function and determine the severity of lung injuries.
Pulmonary function testing (PFT)
It measures the ability to move air in and out of the lungs and exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. They can help diagnose and monitor asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other respiratory disorders.

Latest and more invasive tests

A biopsy
Taking a tissue sample during open thoracic surgery or using a needle guided by imaging techniques. It allows doctors to examine it under a microscope. Biopsies help diagnose cancer, infections, and other conditions.
The tool involves using a thin, lighted tube called a thoracoscope to examine the chest cavity. It can help diagnose lung diseases, remove fluid from the pleural space, and perform biopsies.
Physiciansinsert a small scope through an incision in the neck to examine the mediastinum (the central area of the chest). It can help diagnose and stage lung cancer, lymphoma, and other disorders.
Bronchoalveolar lavage
It washes lung cells with saline and checks the fluid for signs of infection, inflammation, or tumor. It helps identify lung problems and track treatment progress.

A diagnosis before lung surgery involves evaluations to identify the issue accurately. AiroMedical can assist in finding specialized hospitals and the best thoracic surgery options tailored to your needs, ensuring an optimal outcome for your condition.

Advanced treatment options in thoracic surgery

Thoracic surgery has seen significant advancements in recent years, offering patients more effective and minimally invasive treatment options.

Types of thoracic surgery

A tracheostomy
It is a procedure that makes a hole in the neck to help people breathe when they have trouble with their airways.
Lung surgery
Procedures such as thoracotomy, lobectomy, wedge resection, and pneumonectomyare performed to treat lung cancer and other lung diseases.
Esophageal surgery
It treats conditions such as esophageal cancer, achalasia, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Standard thoracic surgery procedures include esophagectomy, Heller myotomy, and Nissen fundoplication.
Mediastinal surgery
It involves removing tumors (in thoracic oncology) or other abnormalities from the mediastinum, the central part of the chest cavity.
Chest wall surgery
That addresses conditions like pectus excavatum, rib fractures, and chest wall tumors.
Pleural surgery
Each thoracic procedure, like pleurectomy and pleurodesis, treat pleural diseasessuch as mesothelioma and pneumothorax.

Latest treatment solutions and thoracic procedures

Newer, minimally invasive techniques in thoracic surgery lead to better results, quicker healing, and fewer problems than older methods. Some of them are:

VATS lobectomy
It is a minimally invasive procedure using video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery to remove a cancerous lobe of the lung or treat other lung diseases. This technique reduces pain, speeds up recovery, and shortens hospital stays compared to traditional open thoracic surgery by employing small incisions and a thoracoscopy.
VATS wedge resection
That involves removing a small, wedge-shaped portion of the lung to address localized tumors or other conditions. VATS wedge resection saves thoracic procedure and more healthy lung tissue, leading to quicker recovery and fewer complications than conventional methods.
VATS segmentectomy
It is a specific lung segment removal using the minimally invasive VATS technique. This thoracic procedure is typically performed when a small tumor is located in a particular lung segment. By preserving more lung function and reducing surgical trauma, patients can experience a faster recovery after the thoracic procedure.
Robotic-assisted surgery
Helps carry out each complex thoracic procedure with greater precision, flexibility, and control. Robotic-assisted thoracic surgery often results in smaller incisions, reduced blood loss, and a quicker return to normal activities for patients, making it a beneficial alternative to traditional intervention.

More specific treatments

Hyperthermic intrathoracic chemotherapy (HITHOC)
It is a treatment that combines thoracic surgery and heated chemotherapy for certain chest cancers like mesothelioma or metastatic pleural tumors. After removing the tumor, the chest is filled with heated chemotherapy drugs, which help to kill any leftover cancer cells. This method improves survival rates and lowers the chance of cancer coming back. Skilled doctors in specialized centers do HITHOC, and it's essential to choose suitable patients for this treatment based on their health and how much cancer has spread.
Surgery chest reconstruction
It is a thoracic surgery that fixes or reshapes the chest area to correct deformities, heal injuries, or remove tumors meaning thoracic procedure helps improve the chest's appearance and function. It makes breathing easier. During thoracic surgery, doctors may use different methods, such as grafts, implants, or tissue flaps, depending on the patient's specific needs.
Surgical treatment of bullous lung disease
Proceduressuch as a bullectomy is a surgery that removes air-filled sacs (bullae) from the lungs, often found in patients with lung problems like emphysema or COPD. These sacs make breathing difficult and can cause pain. The thoracic procedure helps the lungs work better, improves symptoms, and makes patients feel more comfortable.

New methods in chest surgery help speed up healing, leading to faster thoracic surgery recovery, better results of each thoracic procedure, and fewer problems than older ways. Both old and new techniques aim to improve patients' overall well-being.

Benefits of medical travel for lung and chest surgery

The advancements in thoracic surgery have led to better outcomes for patients with various surgery chest and lung conditions. However, access to these cutting-edge treatments may be limited in some regions. Medical tourism allows patients to receive world-class care from leading clinics and specialists.

Seven advantages of booking thoracic surgery with AiroMedical

Comprehensive options
Our extensive database of top thoracic surgery centers worldwide ensures you find the ideal treatment facility to suit your needs.
Experts’ level
We connect you with highly experienced and skilled professionals in thoracic surgery and learn about their operations’ success and complication rates.
Advanced techniques
Access to innovative and minimally invasive procedures can lead to quicker thoracic surgery recovery times and better patient outcomes.
Multidisciplinary approach
Collaboration among the team: thoracic surgeon, pulmonologist, oncologist, radiologist, and other specialists provides comprehensive care tailored to individual needs during the thoracic procedure.
State-of-the-art technology
Our partner hospitals utilize the latest equipment and technology for accurate diagnosis and effective thoracic surgery treatment.
Remote consultations
Obtain a second opinion from experts online to ensure your diagnosis and treatment plan are appropriate.
Convenience and flexibility
Choose your preferred destination, hospital, and treatment timeline for thoracic surgery without waiting in lengthy queues.

At AiroMedical, we understand the challenges and uncertainties of seeking medical treatment abroad and thoracic surgery in detail. Our goal is to provide a comfortable and supportive patient experience, as a positive mindset is crucial for a successful recovery.

By choosing medical tourism for the thoracic procedure, you can access advanced treatment options and a personalized approach to your health. To begin your journey, submit a request and take the first step with AiroMedical.

How AiroMedical can help you

Global medical travel platform for searching and booking treatments.
  • Best choice among 514 clinics & 3,966 doctors with no hidden fees.

  • AI-powered tools and human expertise in 339 diseases and conditions.

  • Ready to book all-inclusive 7,378 treatments and packages.

  • Genuine medical travel experience in 25 countries & 253 cities worldwide.

Read more in our blogs