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The Division of Thoracic Surgery at The Ottawa Hospital currently maintains specialty programs and clinical services in close collaboration with other medical teams. These include:

1. Thoracic Oncology Program

The Division of Thoracic Surgery leads a multidisciplinary team approach to the efficient diagnosis and treatment of tumours of the lung, esophagus, mediastinum, pleura and chest wall. The multidisciplinary team is well-organized and consists of thoracic surgeons, chest radiologists, thoracic oncologist, thoracic pathologists, pulmonary physicians, thoracic nurses and thoracic anaesthetists. There is a strong clinical and academic collaboration between The Ottawa Hospital Thoracic Oncology Program and Cancer Care Ontario. The Ottawa hospital administration recognized the importance of providing timely care for patients suffering from cancer and supported the development of the Cancer Assessment Clinic in 2007. This unit now receives 100 referrals each month, and there are over 2000 total patient visits per year. Over 800 new lung cancer patients and 100 oesophageal or gastric cancer patients are seen through the CAC annually.

2. Benign Oesophageal Diseases

The Division of Thoracic Surgery established an Oesophageal Function Laboratory in 1983 for objective functional assessment of benign disorders of the oesophagus. This much-needed service was considered to be essential for best  patient care. Today, approximately750 patients per year are assessed in this laboratory and the referrals come from general surgeons, otolaryngologists, thoracic surgeons, cardiologists, family physicians, gastroenterologists and respirologists.

Comprehensive surgical care is provided by the members of the Division of Thoracic Surgery for the benign oesophageal disorders using both open approach and minimally invasive technique.

3. Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS)  and Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS)

  • MIS is used for oesophagectomy, gastrectomy, and hiatus hernia repair
  • VATS is currently  used for the treatment of  disabling upper limb hyperhidrosis, recurrent spontaneous pneumothoraces, resection of posterior mediastinal tumours, lung cancer, pericardial and pleural effusion, empyema, and excision of benign oesophageal tumours and cysts.

4. Surgical Treatment of Generalized Myasthenia Gravis by Thymectomy

in collaboration with neurologists who provide preoperative and postoperative myasthenic care

5. Diagnostic and Therapeutic Interventional Thoracic Radiology

The Department of Radiological Sciences has established a full range of diagnostic and therapeutic interventional radiological procedures for the efficient care of patients with chest diseases. This includes

  • Diagnostic fine needle and core needle aspiration biopsy of lung nodules, mediastinal tumours, and pleural space tumours
  • Diagnostic and Therapeutic thoracentesis and insertion of drainage catheters for loculated pleural effusions
  • Radiofrequency ablations of lung tumours

6.  Education of Thoracic Surgical Residents and Fellows

Formal education of the trainees in the specialty is ensured through mandatory attendance and participation in

  1. Thoracic Surgery Clinics
  2. Weekly didactic teaching conference
  3. Weekly multidisciplinary  tumour conferences in Thoracic and Gastrointestinal Oncology
  4. Monthly visiting professorial teaching  sessions
  5. Monthly Pathology Conference
  6. Monthly Clinical-Pathology-Radiology Conference
  7. Monthly Thoracic Surgery Research Meeting

7. Research within the Ottawa Division of Thoracic Surgery

Over nearly three decades of existence, the Ottawa thoracic team has demonstrated a proud tradition of pursuing relevant, useful, innovative clinical research. While building a rich legacy of comprehensive clinical evaluation, remarkable surgical volume, and principles based surgery, it took time to amass the critical mass necessary within the division to expand a research program. Ottawa Thoracic research has grown considerably in recent years, and has several areas of focus

  • Over the last three years, there has been an evolving divisional focus and expertise on the monitoring of thoracic surgical outcomes using standardized prospective documentation of the incidence and severity of adverse events after thoracic surgery.
  • Leading in multicentre randomized controlled trials, such as the role of PET scanning in the management of lung cancer patients and the role of melatonin in decreasing lung cancer recurrence after resection.
  • We are developing a system to perform bedside iPad clinical documentation, information management and quality monitoring.

Last updated on: November 29th, 2016