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Thoracic Surgery

The Center for Thoracic Surgery

The Center for Thoracic Surgery offers advanced thoracic and lung care normally only found in major cities, with the ability to provide care in a convenient local setting close to home. Thanks to our clinical affiliation with Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, we can provide you with a team of thoracic specialists considered among the best in the region.

The Center for Thoracic Surgery at Care New England provides each patient with a unique patient experience, one that is tailored to fit the needs of the patient in their local community. Our center provides expert and personalized diagnostic and treatment services to patients with disease and disorders of the lung including lung cancer, collapsed lungs, pleural effusions and emphysematous diseases. We also treat patients with disorders of the ribs/sternum.

Our thoracic surgery team has office hours at Kent County Hospital in Warwick. They are available to meet all of your thoracic needs from the basic to the most complex. For complex cases, when appropriate, we can quickly arrange for the most advanced care at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Brigham and Women's Thoracic Surgery Associates at Care New England

Ambulatory Services Pavilion,  First Floor
455 Toll Gate Road
Warwick, RI 02886
P: (401) 736-1092
F: (401) 738-0013
E: thoracic@carene.org

  • Services
  • Diagnoses Requiring Thoracic Care
  • Online Resources
  • Message from the Chief

What is Thoracic Surgery?

Thoracic surgery encompasses the operative and perioperative care of the patient with an acquired or congenital condition of the chest. Thoracic surgeons perform evaluation of the lungs, esophagus, and other organs in the chest. Thoracic surgeons operate on diseases that occur in the organs inside the chest, and in the bony structures and tissues that form the chest cavity. General thoracic surgeons treat lung cancer and diseases of the esophagus.

General Services

Brigham and Women’s Thoracic Surgery Associates offers:

  • Inpatient evaluations.
  • Outpatient evaluations.
  • Preoperative assessment.
  • Diagnostic testing review and second opinions for complex cases.
Testing 

Through the Kent Hospital Diagnostic Imaging Department, chest x-rays and chest CAT scans are available. We also assist with the scheduling of:

  • PET CT scans.
  • Pulmonary function tests.
  • MRIs.
  • Esophageal manometry.
  • pH measurements (for our gastroesophageal reflux patients).
  • Cervical mediastinoscopy.
  • Referral to our lung cancer screening program.
Advanced Thoracic Care Nursing Support

Specially trained nurses staff the thoracic care unit at Kent Hospital. One-on-one nursing care is provided for patients requiring thoracic intensive care treatments.

Diagnoses Requiring Thoracic Care

Lung Nodules

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

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.

Pneumothorax

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.

Lung Cancer

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:

  • Surgery.
  • Chemotherapy.
  • 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.

Mediastinal Tumors

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.

Online Resources

Lung Cancer

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 surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or targeted drug therapy.

Learn More 

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.

Learn More

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.

Learn More

Message from the Chief

It is a privilege for me to introduce you to the Center for Thoracic Surgery at Care New England. Through a unique clinical affiliation with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, we are pleased to provide you with a team of world-class surgeons who can caringly guide you or your loved one from diagnosis to surgery and recovery.

As someone who has dedicated his career to the surgical treatment of cancer and other highly complex thoracic diagnoses, it is wonderful to see the advancements we have made over time. These advancements result in greater options for patients and improved outcomes. Led by the Brigham and Women’s Thoracic Surgery Associates, you now have access to an array of leading-edge clinical treatments designed to best meet your specific needs. Together, along with a multidisciplinary team of highly specialized caregivers, we can offer immediate scheduling for appointments and follow up care.

At the Center for Thoracic Surgery at Care New England we know a diagnosis of cancer and other lung and esophageal diseases can be difficult for the individual and the entire family. Our philosophy is to care not only for our patients, but also to address the concerns of their loved ones.

We would encourage you to spend a few minutes reviewing the information contained in these pages. Get to know our team of caregivers. Also included here is a listing of the specialized thoracic services available to best meet the complex needs associated with your care. Please do not hesitate to call our office to discuss our services and to inquire about the services we can provide.  

Our goal is not only to treat the patient but to bring hope to their lives. When there is hope, anything is possible.  

Thank you for considering the Center for Thoracic Surgery at Care New England. Our highly-skilled team is ready to compassionately guide you through this journey.

Marcelo DaSilva, MD, FACS, Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Care New England