Thoracic surgery encompasses those pathologies affecting the chest cavity: lung, pleura, mediastinum, ribs, diaphragm, esophagus, trachea, and any other structure located within this cavity, except the heart.
The most common of these pathologies is lung cancer. The disease is characterized by a lack of symptoms in early stages and is usually detected at advanced stages. For this reason, around 80% of patients are considered inoperable at time of diagnosis. However, this evaluation can change radically according to the interventionist criteria of the medical oncologist and the experience of the thoracic surgeon.

An experienced oncologist working with a first-rate thoracic surgery team is able to provide their patients with comprehensive medical and surgical treatment.

Despite advances in medical oncology, thoracic surgery remains the treatment of choice for lung cancer. In fact, in early stages surgery is the only treatment required. However, only some 20% of patients are diagnosed at this stage.

In many cases, treatment with chemotherapy and radiotherapy is required, either before or after thoracic surgery; sometimes both. It is in these cases where coordination between highly skilled teams of oncologists and thoracic surgeons is most important since the combination of the two treatments considerably increases the number of patients who will benefit from surgical resection, thus improving the chances of survival. Thoracic surgery should also be considered for those patients with limited metastatic disease as they can also obtain significant clinical benefit.
Another common pathology is lung metastasis from tumors originating in other parts of the body (colon, kidney, breast, bone, etc.). In certain cases, these lesions, whether single, multiple, unilateral or bilateral, can be removed with excellent results.
Our Thoracic Surgery Unit is led by Dr José Antonio Maestre. Dr Maestre graduated in Medicine and Surgery from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and served as Head of Service at the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, Barcelona until 1995. From 1995-2009 he led the Lung Transplant Program at Vall d’Hebron Hospital, Barcelona.
He is highly experienced in advanced-stage lung cancer surgery and was the first surgeon to work in this area in collaboration with the medical oncology service led by Dr Rafael Rosell, publishing their results in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1993.