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Baylor Scott & White Center for Thoracic Surgery
Dallas

Baylor Scott & White Center for Thoracic Surgery

  • Awarded lung cancer care

    Baylor University Medical Center, part of Baylor Scott & White Health, has earned a distinguished three-star rating from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for its patient care and lung cancer resection outcomes, specifically for its lobectomy for lung cancer care.

    The three-star rating, which denotes the highest category of quality, places BUMC among the elite for general thoracic surgery in the U.S. and Canada. Of more than 200 thoracic programs, only BUMC and eight other programs have earned this prestigious achievement.

Dedicated to excellence in thoracic surgery

 
 

The Baylor Scott & White Center for Thoracic Surgery focuses exclusively on the treatment of non-cardiac chest disease.

Our expert team has pioneered minimally invasive VATS (video-assisted thoracoscopic​ surgery) approaches to lung cancer treatment, as well as robotic surgery for the treatment of many thoracic diseases. Additionally, the center has expertise in minimally invasive treatment of emphysema. The team works closely with the Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at Dallas to provide access to the latest research and clinical trials.

We work closely with our partners at Baylor Scott & White Center for Esophageal Diseases to bring you comprehensive care and allows for prompt referrals between the two service lines.

Are you at risk?

You can be screened for lung cancer before symptoms start.

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Tools & Resources

Our services are designed with you in mind so managing your healthcare needs is as simple as possible.

  • Patient Forms
  • Appointment Information
  • MyBSWHealth
  • Pay Your Bill
  • Financial Assistance
  • Accepted Insurance

Patient Forms

To ensure that your visit to our office is as convenient and efficient as possible, we are pleased to offer our registration forms online. The patient registration form may be completed electronically and printed for better legibility or completed manually.

New Patient Registration Forms

Authorization Forms

We do not release your medical information without your authorization.

Appointment Information

What to Bring to Your Appointment

On your first visit, we will begin a permanent record. Please bring any medications you are taking, so that we may accurately determine the dosage and frequency. We will ask you to complete a medical history and registration form. Please bring your insurance card and try to arrive at least 30 minutes early for your first visit. For your convenience, see this checklist of items to bring:

  • A disc with all of your imaging if not performed at Baylor University Medical Center, part of Baylor Scott & White Health
  • A copy of official records sent from your physician’s office or hand-carried
  • Insurance card
  • Completed Patient Registration Forms located in the Patient Forms section

Making Appointments—You may make appointments online or by calling the office. You may click to call us from a mobile device.

Access and Download Patient Forms

​To ensure that your visit to our office is as convenient and efficient as possible, we are pleased to offer our Registration forms online. The Patient Registration form may be completed electronically and printed for better legibility or completed manually.

You can find these forms under Patient Forms.

Emergency Care

If you have an urgent problem, you may call your physician’s office to schedule an appointment. However, if you feel it is a life-threatening emergency, call 911. Do not delay by calling the doctor’s office first.

Prescription Refills

Our preferred method for refilling prescriptions is to have your pharmacist call our office with your name and the prescription you need to be refilled. Because we do not have access to your medical records at night or on weekends, we are unable to refill prescriptions during those times.

Confidentiality

At Baylor Scott & White Center for Thoracic Surgery, we have a strict patient confidentiality policy. Your medical record is strictly private and will not be shared with your employer, friends or relatives without your written permission.

MyBSWHealth

MyBSWHealth is an online tool where you can communicate with your providers, schedule an appointment, access and manage your family’s health.

Pay Your Bill

We offer an easy, secure way to pay your HTPN bill online through MyBSWHealth.

Financial Assistance

At Baylor Scott & White Health, we want to be a resource for you and your family. Our team of financial counselors is here to help. We encourage you to speak to a member of our team at any time – before, during or after care is received.

Accepted Insurance

Baylor Scott & White has established agreements with several types of insurances in an effort to make sure your health needs are covered.

Medical Services

Baylor Scott & White Center for Thoracic Surgery focuses exclusively on the treatment of non-cardiac chest disease.

  • Lung Cancer Screening
  • Lung Transplantation
  • Lung Volume Reduction Surgery (LVRS)
  • Mediastinal Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery
  • Surgery for Achalasia
  • Sympathectomy for Hyperhidrosis
  • Thoracic Surgery for Anti-Reflux
  • Thoracic Surgery for Esophageal Cancer
  • Thoracic Surgery for Lung Cancer
  • Thoracic Surgery for Lung Carcinoids
  • Thoracic Surgery for Mesothelioma
  • Thoracic Surgery for Trachea
  • Thymectomy for Myasthenia Gravis

Lung Cancer Screening

If you are at high risk for lung cancer, you can be screened for the disease before symptoms develop through use of a low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan.

In the event a lung nodule or lesion is discovered, our renowned specialists provide crucial follow-up care and treatment guidance.

Lung Transplantation

Baylor Annette C. and Harold C. Simmons Transplant Institute at Baylor University Medical Center, part of Baylor Scott & White Health is one of the largest, most comprehensive multi-specialty transplant centers in the United States. Our lung transplant program offers sophisticated diagnostic testing and innovative therapies for patients with advanced chronic lung disease. 

Lung Volume Reduction Surgery (LVRS)

Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) is a procedure performed to remove abnormal lung tissue in patients with significant shortness of breath due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The diseased lung does not allow for normal air movement, resulting in air trapping and over-inflation of the lung. Removal of the diseased tissue allows for the more normal lung tissue to expand and improve air exchange.

For select patients, LVRS has been demonstrated to improve breathing ability, exercise capacity, and quality of life. Results depend on the location of the disease area within the lung as well as the patient’s exercise capability and ability to tolerate surgery.

Several tests are necessary to determine if a patient would benefit from this procedure, including:

  • Chest x-ray and computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Pulmonary function test (PFTs)
  • Arterial blood gas
  • Six-minute walk test
  • Electrocardiogram and echocardiogram

Pre-operative evaluation by a multidisciplinary team including a pulmonologist, respiratory therapist and thoracic surgeon is necessary to determine candidacy. The multidisciplinary team at Baylor University Medical Center has extensive experience evaluating patients for LVRS. Cessation of smoking is mandatory and all patients must complete an extensive pulmonary rehabilitation program prior to surgery.

LVRS must be performed by a thoracic surgeon with extensive experience performing this procedure in order to assure optimal outcomes. All surgeons in Baylor Scott & White Center for Thoracic Surgery ​have extensive experience performing this procedure.

Mediastinal Surgery

Mediastinal surgery represents any procedure performed within the central portion of the chest. The mediastinum is surrounded by the breastbone in front, the spine in back, and the lungs on each side. The types of surgery range from small procedures performed to diagnose disease processes as well as more significant operations necessary to remove larger tumors that grow in this region.

Some tumors of the mediastinum require complete removal. Techniques to remove them include:

  • Sternotomy: Division of the breastbone, identical to what is performed in open-heart surgery . A sternotomy allows access to the entire chest cavity including the heart, great vessels and lungs, and may be necessary to remove larger tumors and masses.
  • Thoracotomy: An incision between the ribs. Similar to a sternotomy, this procedure allows wide access to the right or left chest and removal of large tumors that are localized to one side or the other

Some tumors of the mediastinum are amenable to less invasive approaches, such as video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) or robotic surgery. This depends on the type, size and location of the tumor.

Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery

Baylor Scott & White Center for Thoracic Surgery at Baylor University Medical Center leads the field in minimally invasive thoracic surgery. Using small incisions and less traumatic techniques, patient recovery is greatly improved.

Some of the benefits of minimally invasive thoracic surgery include:

  • Faster recovery and return to normal activities
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Lessened pain and decreased need for pain medications
  • Improved cosmesis
  • Diminished blood loss

Our surgeons at BSW​ Center for Thoracic Surgery at Baylor University Medical Center use video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) and robot-assisted technology to approach most tumors in the chest and abdomen.

For lung cancer surgery, technology and surgical technique has evolved that allow equivalent operations to be performed through small incisions and without rib spreading. 

Surgical procedures for lung cancer are grouped into the following categories:

  • Wedge resection: Removal of the tumor along with a rim of normal tissue surrounding the cancer. Most appropriate for very small tumors that are located peripherally (toward the surface of the lung).
  • Lobectomy: Removal of the entire lobe of the lung that contains the cancer. There are three lobes that compose the right lung and two that compose the left lung. The artery, vein and airway (bronchus) of the lobe are dissected out and divided and drainage basins of the lung (lymph nodes) removed. This is the standard operation for most lung cancers and in most circumstances, lobectomy provides the best likelihood that the tumor will not return (recur).
  • Segmentectomy: Removal of the anatomic portion of a lung called a segment. Each lobe is composed of smaller segments. This also involves a systematic approach to the artery, vein and airway supplying the segment of lung harboring the cancer with the removal of lymph nodes. A segmentectomy is appropriate for smaller tumors.
  • Pneumonectomy: Removal of the entire lung. Performed only when other lung sparing techniques are not possible.

Your surgeon will discuss which option is best for you dependent on the location and size of your tumor, what other medical conditions you have and how good your lung function is.

Surgery for Achalasia

Treatment options for patients with achalasia are variable. These range from medical to surgical, depending on a patient’s age and medical condition. Your surgeon and gastroenterologist will choose the best treatment for you.

For those requiring surgical treatment, we offer several options:

Surgical myotomy

Surgical myotomy with an antireflux procedure is performed minimally invasively at the Center for Thoracic Surgery using a robotic technique. The operation is called a Heller myotomy with Dor fundoplication, named after the physicians who described the procedure. Five, one inch incisions are created in the abdomen and robotic arms used to perform the myotomy and antireflux procedure. Patients are typically discharged the day after surgery after a night of observation in the hospital. Recovery and return to work is rapid.

Peroral esophageal myotomy (POEMS)

Peroral esophageal myotomy (POEM) is an endoscopic technique used to divide the circular muscle fibers of the lower esophageal sphincter. Overall, the success rate is high and may hold promise as an alternative to the minimally invasive transabdominal approach. However, results are preliminary with limited data for its use in the United States.

Esophagectomy

In some patients in whom all therapies at treating achalasia have failed, symptoms are severe and in whom quality of life is intolerable, complete removal of the diseased esophagus (esophagectomy) is necessary. Fortunately, this occurs extremely infrequently. If esohagectomy is required, replacement of the esophagus is performed using the patient’s stomach and return to eating and swallowing with good quality of life is still achievable

Sympathectomy for Hyperhidrosis

Surgery is an option to treat severe hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) in patients who have failed topical therapies.

The surgical treatment involves dividing the sympathetic chain which is the nerve that conducts the abnormal stimulation to the sweat glands. The sympathetic chain runs vertically along the ribs and is located about an inch away from the bony spine and is easily identified by the surgeon. Sympathectomy is the operative division of that nerve. The sympathetic chain is typically cut and divided or, in addition, a short portion of the chain is removed.​​ 

Surgery for hyperhidrosis is routinely performed by minimally invasive techniques. Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy(ETS), also known as thoracoscopic sympathectomy or sympathicotomy, is the most frequently used method. 

Thoracic Surgery for Anti-Reflux

If the hiatal hernia causes the stomach to become obstructed (blocked) or strangulated (blood supply cut off), surgery is needed to untwist the stomach and return it to its normal location. During surgery the stomach is brought back to its normal anatomical position below the diaphragm and the hiatus closed to a normal size.

Hiatal hernia surgery can usually be performed using minimally invasive surgery. The most common form of hiatal hernia repair is the Nissen Fundoplication where the hiatus is closed, the stomach returned to its appropriate position and a portion of the stomach used to form a valve and prevent the backwash of stomach contents into the esophagus. Your surgeon will choose the best hiatal hernia approach and repair for you.

With careful patient selection and meticulous surgical technique, outcomes for hiatal hernia surgery and GERD are excellent. The risk of surgery is relatively low and improvement in quality of life excellent. Recurrence (return) of a hiatal hernia despite repair can occur but is generally uncommon. Surgeons in the Baylor Scott & White Center for Thoracic Surgery are experienced in all forms of hiatal hernia repair and surgery for GERD.

Thoracic Surgery for Esophageal Cancer

Surgery for esophageal cancer presents the best chance for cure in treating localized esophageal cancer and is considered the “gold standard” against which all other treatments are compared. Surgery for esophageal cancer requires the removal of most of the esophagus. The extent of the surgery is determined by the size and location of the tumor. In order for the patient to be able to eat, the stomach is freed up in the abdomen and connected to the upper portion of the esophagus, above where the tumor has been removed. With time, a patient will be able to resume eating most foods normally and return to good quality of life.

Most surgery for esophageal cancer can now be performed at Baylor University Medical Center using minimally invasive approaches such as VATS (video assisted thoracic surgery) or laparoscopically. Surgery for esophageal cancer should be performed by surgeons with specific training and focus on cancers of the esophagus.

Your surgeon will evaluate your fitness for surgery, whether your tumor is resectable (removable) and discuss the surgical approach (minimally invasive vs larger incisions).

Thoracic Surgery for Lung Cancer

In most cases, the treatment of lung cancer is determined by its stage. Localized cancers are treated by surgery. Regional cancers are treated by a combination of therapies including chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Distant disease is treated by chemotherapy.

Surgery for lung cancer presents the best chance for cure in treating localized lung cancer and is considered the "gold standard" against which all other treatments are compared. Surgery for lung cancer requires the removal of the tumor as well as a surrounding rim of normal lung tissue. The extent of the surgery is determined by the size and location of the tumor. Most surgery for lung cancer can now be performed at Baylor University Medical Center using minimally invasive approaches such as VATS (video assisted thoracic surgery) or robotically (using small incisions and robotically controlled operative arms).

Surgery for lung cancer should be performed by surgeons with specific training and focus on cancers of the chest. All our thoracic surgeons at BUMC focus specifically on chest malignancies. 

Your surgeon will determine whether your tumor is resectable (removable), the extent of the surgery (how much lung needs to be removed with the tumor) as well as the surgical approach (minimally invasive vs traditional larger incisions). Your surgeon works closely with pulmonologists (lung doctors) to determine fitness for surgery and optimize lung function before and after surgery.

Thoracic Surgery for Lung Carcinoids

The method of treatment depends on the size of the tumor, its location, and a patient’s overall health. Surgery is the mainstay of treatment. Your surgeon will guide you in this decision making.

The main types of surgical treatment are

  •  Sleeve resection— An operation that involves cutting a section of the airway (breathing tube) above and below the tumor and removing this section along with the tumor itself. The sections of the airway are then reconnected. Lung tissue may or may not have to be removed. This is a complex procedure that should be performed by a thoracic surgeon with experience in this type of airway reconstruction. All thoracic surgeons in the Center for Thoracic Surgery have experience with sleeve resection.
  •  Wedge resection—In cases where the tumor is very small, a procedure may be performed to remove a small, wedge-shaped portion of the lung using minimally invasive surgery.
  •  Lobectomy—This is the primary type of surgery performed for carcinoid tumor. This type of surgical procedure involves the removal of a portion of the lung called a lobe. This can typically be performed using minimally invasive techniques such as VATS (video assisted thoracic surgery) or robotically.
  •  Pneumonectomy—This procedure involves removal of the entire lung. It is rarely required for a carcinoid tumor.
  •  Lymph node dissection—The lymph nodes (drainage basins) of the lungs and the tumor are always removed during surgery for carcinoid tumors to reduce the risk of the tumor spreading to other parts of the body.

Thoracic Surgery for Mesothelioma

Surgery is most commonly performed when disease is in its earlier stages (localized to the chest). The purpose of surgery is to remove all cancer from the chest. Types of surgery include.

  • Pleurectomy: Complete removal of the covering of the lungs and the lining of the chest
  • Extrapleural pneumonectomy: Removal of one lung along with the lining of the chest, the diaphragm (muscle of breathing) and pericardium (outside covering of the heart).

Radiation or chemotherapy may be used as follow-up to surgery to kill any invisible cancer cells. This form of treatment is known as adjuvant therapy (given after surgery). Your chest surgery should be performed by a specialized thoracic (chest surgeon) with expertise treating pleural mesothelioma. All thoracic surgeons in the Department of Thoracic Surgery at Baylor University Medical Center have extensive experience in surgery for mesothelioma.

Your thoracic surgeon will determine whether you are a candidate for surgery and whether tumor is removable. Some tumors cannot be removed due to their location or if the cancer has spread. If you are not a candidate for surgery, chemotherapy may be recommended or you may be offered a clinical trail through the Chest Cancer Research and Treatment Center.

Thoracic Surgery for Trachea

Diseases of the trachea are complex and require a multidisciplinary approach. The Department of Thoracic Surgery at Baylor University Medical Center coordinates care between our thoracic surgeons, interventional pulmonologists, head and neck surgeons, radiologists, anesthesiologists, and pathologists to determine the optimal strategy for each individual patient.

We treat a variety of disease affecting the trachea, including benign conditions like tracheal stenosis and trachael inflammation as well as malignant conditions like tumors and cancer.

Treatments range from the administration of medication (such as chemotherapy) or radiation, to endoscopic interventions, to open surgery. Our physicians are constantly trialing new products and techniques to stay on the cutting edge of tracheal medicine, and often will provide therapy to patients deemed untreatable at other centers.

Endoscopic Internventions

Endoscopic interventions, which use no incisions and have minimal side effects, can be performed for treatment or symptom relief. These interventions include:

  • Tumor resection
  • Dilation
  • Stents

Surgical Options

Open tracheal surgery is complex, and requires a specialized center and a highly trained team. The surgeons in the Department of Thoracic at Baylor University Medical Center all underwent advanced training in airway surgery, which is only performed a select centers in the country.

Surgery on the trachea involves removal (resection) of the diseased segment followed by reattachment of the ends of the airway (reconstruction). This is the preferred method of treating cancerous diseases, as well as benign diseases that have not responded to less-invasive techniques. Sometimes there is a need for a temporary or permanent tracheostomy, a surgically created opening in the neck for breathing.

Surgical resection and reconstruction is most often done through an incision in the neck, but occasionally requires extension of the incision into the chest through a sternotomy, or dividing the upper part of the breast bone. Diseases of the lower airway, or bronchi, can be approached through the side of the chest, dividing the muscle between the ribs (thoracotomy), and sometimes can be performed in a minimally invasive fashion (video-assisted thoracic surgery, VATS).

Thymectomy for Myasthenia Gravis

The surgical treatment of MG is thymectomy (complete removal of the thymus gland). Thymectomy should be performed by a thoracic surgeon with specific expertise in removal of the thymus gland for MG. Theoretically, this removes the source of abnormal antibody production.

Individual response to thymectomy varies depending on a patient’s age, response to prior medical therapy, severity of disease and duration of symptoms. In general, 70 percent of patients have complete remission or significant reduction in medication needs within a year of the procedure. The other 30 percent of patients who have thymectomy experience no improvement in their symptoms. Data suggests that patients who have thymectomy are two times as likely to experience remission compared to medical treatment alone.

Thymectomy can be performed by several different surgical techniques, including:

  • Transsternal thymectomy
  • Robotic thymectomy
  • Video-assisted thorascopic thymectomy (VATS)

Your surgeon will choose the best approach for you.

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