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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

When to See a Thoracic Surgeon

A thoracic surgeon is a doctor who performs operations on the heart, lungs, esophagus and other organs within the chest. A general thoracic surgeon treats diseases of the:

  • Lungs
  • Esophagus
  • Chest wall
  • Mediastinum

Your primary care physician or a physician specialist such as a cardiologist, pulmonologist or gastroenterologist may refer you to a thoracic surgeon if they feel that you would receive more effective treatment for a condition affecting the thoracic region.


  • New or changing lung nodule
  • Unexplained cough, shortness of breath or hoarseness
  • Pleural effusion
  • Hemoptysis (coughing up blood)
  • Interstitial lung disease


Complex Airway and Other

  • Mediastinal tumor, adenopathy or cyst
  • Chest wall tumor
  • Central airway obstruction
  • Diaphragmatic hernia, tumor, or paralysis
  • Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)


To make a referral, please contact our Physician Access Line at 800-638-3737, or request a first time appointment online.

Last UpdateFebruary 13, 2012


For more information or to make an appointment please call 312-695-3800.