The thoracic surgeons at Sacred Heart’s Oregon Heart & Vascular Institute (OHVI) treat benign and malignant disease of the chest including lung cancer, chest infections (empyema), mediastinal tumors, and tumors of the chest, ribs and sternum. Patients are offered state-of-the-art care utilizing a multidisciplinary, patient-centered approach. In 2010, surgeons performed 236 thoracic surgeries at Sacred Heart at RiverBend.
Patients with thoracic or pulmonary problems can access the full range of surgical procedures, including minimally invasive techniques such as Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic (VATS) lobectomy. This approach involves inserting a small videoscope (5-10 mm in diameter) and specialized small surgical instruments into the chest to perform operations such as removal of a lobe of the lung, or treatment of chest infections. Operations are tailored to the individual patient, and may include any degree of resection, including segmentectomy, lobectomy or even pneumonectomy.
Minimally invasive approaches such as VATS are used whenever possible, instead of the traditional thoracotomies typically used for cancer surgery in the chest. Robotic-assisted approaches to treating thoracic disease are being used more often on appropriate patients. The majority of cancer surgeries at OHVI are performed using minimally invasive techniques. Minimally invasive surgery is less painful, with equivalent results in properly selected patients.
Lung cancer patients also have access to stereotactic body radiation therapy for intrathoracic lesions. This therapy has been shown to improve survival rates for patients with inoperable early-stage lung cancer.