A lung nodule, or pulmonary nodule, is a small round or oval shaped growth in the lung tissue. There are two main types of lung nodules, malignant (cancerous) and benign (non-cancerous). Benign lung nodules have a wide variety of causes including, but not limited to, infections, inflammation, and lymph nodes. They are often diagnosed on chest x-ray and CT scans. Diagnosis, work-up and treatment will be guided by your thoracic surgeon.
Pleural effusions are often described as "water on the lungs." It is a build-up of fluid that can develop between the chest wall and the lung itself. Pleural fluid is normally produced by the body to lubricate the lining of the lung. Many medical conditions including pneumonia, congestive heart failure, and certain types of cancer can cause a pleural effusion. Treatment can include removing the fluid from the space (thoracentesis) and can also include surgical intervention and catheter placement. Management of a pleural effusion often depends on the etiology.
This is most commonly referred to as a collapsed lung. Air builds up between the lung and the chest wall. This air puts pressure on the outside of the lung so that the lung cannot expand normally. This can lead to shortness of breath and/or chest pain. This can be a life-threatening emergency and requires immediate treatment and evaluation. Treatment may include observation, chest tube insertion, or surgical intervention.
More than 225,000 Americans are diagnosed with lung cancer each year. Treatment depends on the type and stage of lung cancer and may include one or more treatments, including:
- Radiation therapy.
- Targeted drug therapy.
Benign Esophageal Disease
The esophagus is the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. It can be the site of various medical conditions that can cause difficulty with swallowing. Our surgeons treat issues related to the esophagus and stomach including:
- Zenker's diverticulum - An outpouching in the back of the throat.
- Achalasia - Disorder of the esophagus that includes difficulty with the lower part of your esophagus relaxing enough to let food/liquids pass through.
- Hiatal Hernia -A condition where the stomach that normally sits below the diaphragm, moves up into the chest area.
GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or "acid reflux")
Our services include a comprehensive evaluation and workup as indicated including, endoscopy, esophagrams, pH testing and manometry.
Malignant (Cancer) Esophageal Disease
Cancer of the esophagus occurs when normal cells in the esophagus change into abnormal cells that grow out of control. Early on in the process, patients may have no symptoms or might have trouble swallowing, weight loss, pain or burning in the chest area. Many of these symptoms can be caused by other conditions that are not cancer. If you have any of these symptoms, please discuss them with your physician or nurse. Our team will provide assistance and coordination of care with early diagnosis and treatment including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
Pleural Malignant Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that can affect the lining of body organs, and is often caused by asbestos exposure. The most common type of mesothelioma is that of the pleura, or lining of the lung. In collaboration with Brigham and Women's Hospital, we offer comprehensive evaluations and assistance with diagnosing Mesothelioma.
Pre-Lung Transplant Evaluation
A lung transplant evaluation involves a complete, comprehensive and detailed evaluation of a candidate’s medical and surgical history and involves several clinical tests and meetings with physicians and staff. We are happy to provide initial care and care coordination for patients and clinicians seeking information about the pre-transplant evaluation. Surgical procedures will take place at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Chest Wall Diseases
Diseases and disorders of the chest wall, or rib cage, as well as the sternum can be related to injury or illness. Rib fractures, both acute and chronic, are common following injury to the chest. Although many broken ribs heal without surgery, our surgeons offer evaluation and treatment if needed, using rib plating, a pioneering technique for repairing broken ribs that can reduce pain and recovery time.
The mediastinum is a term used to describe the middle of the chest and is the space between the lungs. The space contains lymph nodes, the heart, blood vessels and other organs. It can be the site of enlarged lymph nodes, and both cancerous and non-cancerous growths. We offer minimally invasive services to aid with the diagnosis and treatment of such conditions.