“Choosing Your Thoracic Surgeon”

Lung-Focused Surgeons

ask your surgeonWhen choosing a surgeon for lung cancer surgery, your best bet is a surgeon whose practice is devoted specifically to Thoracic Surgical Oncology with a predominant focus on major lung operations. A Thoracic Surgical Oncologist/General Thoracic Surgeon is board-certified in Thoracic surgery, which includes the heart and lung. But their only practice is basically lung – they don’t do heart or vascular surgery.

Having specialized training, experience, and a focused practice in complex lung procedures is a significant advantage for patients. A lung-focused surgeon tends to work within a well-established group involving Medical Oncologists, Radiation Oncologists, Pathologists, Thoracic Nurse Navigators, nursing coordinators, and therapists, all collaborating on decisions and treatments as a Multidisciplinary Team.

Ask about qualifications. Any surgeon who you want to operate on you would be very comfortable talking about that.

You need to ask your surgeon.

If a surgeon’s practice is mixed with heart or vascular surgery, then you don’t want that surgeon. If your surgeon’s practice is predominantly heart or vascular surgery, then you don’t want that surgeon. If your surgeon does not regularly perform major anatomic lung surgery, then you don’t want that surgeon. If your surgeon doesn’t regularly provide minimally invasive surgical approach for appropriate patients, then you don’t want that surgeon. If your surgeon does not regularly perform the operation you’re going to be having, then you don’t want that surgeon. If your surgeon is not the primary Thoracic Surgical Oncologist, then you don’t want that surgeon.

Ask the surgeon;

  • Are you completely comfortable doing this?
  • Is it totally in your wheelhouse?
  • Do you perform major lung surgery regularly?
  • weekly? monthly?

Loki Skylizard MD FCCP