Today’s surgeons often specialize on specific body parts or organs. McLeod Thoracic Surgeon Dr. Wayne Holley explains his specialty, which involves the organs of the chest.
Here’s a summary of Dr. Holley’s description:
Cardiothoracic surgery is the surgical discipline that involves procedures of the chest — primarily of the heart, lungs, esophagus and thymus gland, as well as surgery of the chest wall.
Diseases that we treat include cardiac diseases, such as coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease and arrhythmia-type surgery. The non-cardiac surgical procedures include lung cancer, esophageal cancer, neoplasms or tumors of the thymus gland and tumors that are growing into the chest wall and comprise the discipline we in 2018 call thoracic surgery.
Thoracic surgery involves surgery for both benign diseases, like infections of the chest or lungs, as well as removal of tumors or cancers of the chest. Surgically removing cancers of the chest can be performed through the traditional method, where large incisions are made and an organ that involves the cancer is removed. Or we can remove the same cancer through small incisions.
Comparing the open lobectomy for lung cancer to a robotic lobectomy: 1) Length of stay for the hospital is 7 days for an open procedure, 1-2 days for a robotic-assisted procedure; 2) Return to work is 8-12 weeks for an open procedure, 2-4 weeks for a robotic-assisted procedure; 3) When it comes to pain management with open surgery there’s lot of intravenous narcotics and, when you go home, you take oral narcotics. With robotic-assisted surgery, it’s often just Tylenol and Motrin or Advil. The advantages are so outstanding that it’s worth providing robotic-assisted surgery for the patients.