Thoracic Surgery Services

Dr. Seder doing a surgery

Thoracic Surgery Services

Thoracic surgeons at RUSH are leaders in minimally invasive surgery for lung cancer, GERD and other disorders of the lungs, chest wall, esophagus and diaphragm.

Thoracic surgeons at RUSH are leaders in minimally invasive surgery for lung cancer, GERD and other disorders of the lungs, chest wall, esophagus and diaphragm.

What to Expect from Thoracic Surgery at RUSH

When you need thoracic surgery, getting in to see a surgeon quickly is key. We are often able to get you in for an appointment within 24 to 48 hours of your first call, and 98% of patients are seen by a provider within one week.

You’ll also find care closer to home at a number of our convenient locations in Chicago, Aurora/Fox Valley and across the suburbs.

Whenever possible, our team performs minimally invasive surgeries. These treatments can reduce risks of complications, recovery time and time spent in the hospital. For example, about 50% to 60% of lung cancer resection patients leave the hospital the next day, and very few stay past 24 hours after their surgery.

If you’ve been referred to RUSH by a primary care provider, your surgeon will maintain constant contact with them. The surgeon will communicate all your health updates so you can resume care with your regular, trusted doctor after your procedure.

Why RUSH for Your Thoracic Surgery?

When it comes to thoracic surgery, experience matters. Thoracic surgeons at RUSH collectively perform hundreds of lung surgeries in Chicago and the surrounding areas each year. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has repeatedly given our thoracic surgery team a 3-star rating for excellent patient outcomes, which is the highest rating possible, only earned by the top 5% of participating centers across the country.

Our thoracic surgeons are international leaders in minimally invasive and traditional approaches to conditions that affect organs in the chest cavity. They will work with you to provide the most effective care with the lowest possible risks and recovery time.

They have the most experience in Chicago using video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) and robot-assisted thoracic surgery, minimally invasive surgical approaches to diagnose and treat lung cancer and other thoracic conditions. They are also experts at using the Ion platform, a robot-assisted bronchoscopy tool that lets them perform biopsies while allowing patients to go home the same day. Surgeons can use the results of these biopsies to ensure surgery is necessary, offer preoperative therapy and plan your personalized care.

After her dad died of lung cancer, RUSH thoracic surgeon Gillian Alex, MD, pursued thoracic surgery to care for other patients with the disease.

Thoracic Surgeons at RUSH

RUSH has thoracic surgery providers in Chicago, Lisle, Skokie, Arlington Heights and Aurora/Fox Valley.

Meet our thoracic surgery providers
stethoscope Meet our thoracic surgery providers

Getting a Second Opinion for Thoracic Surgery

If you’ve been diagnosed with a condition that needs to be treated with thoracic surgery, you may wish to get a second or third opinion. This can help to not only confirm your diagnosis, but also allow you and your care team to explore all your treatment options.

You can schedule a second opinion appointment with the RUSH thoracic surgery team by calling (312) 942-6642.

We also offer virtual second opinions on thoracic surgery without the need for in-person visits to patients who live in Illinois. To get started on a virtual second opinion, call or learn more on our Thoracic Surgery Virtual Second Opinion page.

RUSH Excellence in Thoracic Surgery

  • Using precision medicine to improve lung cancer care: Our thoracic surgeons work closely with Tempus — a biotechnology company that analyzes your specific genetic and clinical data and provides information about how your specific cancer may respond to targeted treatments. This allows our team to tailor your lung cancer treatment to your unique genetic makeup.
  • Nationally ranked for lung cancer surgery: The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has designated thoracic surgery at RUSH a three-star program — the society’s highest rating — for lung cancer surgeries. RUSH is one of 13 thoracic surgery programs in the nation that has earned the three-star distinction, which denotes an excellent program with better-than-expected outcomes for patients.
  • Leaders in minimally invasive surgery: If you need a lobectomy, your thoracic surgeon at Rush may recommend a video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) lobectomy. VATS is a minimally invasive surgery that can remove lung cancer, while allowing you to recover faster and with less pain than a traditional surgery. Our surgeons are highly skilled in VATS, performing more of these procedures than any other hospital in Illinois. 
  • Advanced bronchoscopy tools: Our surgeons are experts at using the Ion platform, a robot-assisted bronchoscopy tool. This allows them to perform minimally invasive biopsies, especially for lung nodules, and patients most often go home the same day.

FAQs About Thoracic Surgery at RUSH

What is thoracic surgery?

Thoracic surgery refers to surgical treatment of organs within the chest cavity. At RUSH, this type of surgery falls into two categories. The first is cardiac thoracic surgery, which concerns the heart and blood vessels. The second is general thoracic surgery, which includes surgery to treat lung cancer, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other cancerous and noncancerous disorders and diseases of the lungs, chest wall, esophagus and diaphragm.

Who should get thoracic surgery at RUSH?

Patients in need of any type of thoracic surgery will find care at RUSH that matches or exceeds the level of treatment available at any modern medical center in the nation. Whether you need diagnostic testing, surgery or a second opinion, our providers will be able to help.

For a complete list of conditions our thoracic surgeons treat and the procedures they perform, read our “Thoracic Surgery Procedures List” and “Thoracic Surgery Tests and Treatments” sections above on this page.

What are the most common thoracic surgery procedures?

The most common type of treatment our thoracic surgeons perform is lung resection, which involves removing part of a patient’s lung. This is usually needed to treat a tumor or lung nodule that is most often cancerous.

What is the recovery process after thoracic surgery?

The recovery process after thoracic surgery will vary widely depending on the type of surgery you need. For example, most patients who have minimally invasive lung surgery go home within a day or two. But, patients who receive an esophagectomy, which involves removing most of the esophagus, may need several weeks to recover.

Generally, the more minimally invasive the surgery, the shorter and easier the recovery process will be.

Patient Stories

Justin Karush and Denise Tovar

Denise's Story

Close attention and fast action catch a young mom’s lung cancer early
Read More

Get a Virtual Second Opinion

Virtual second opinion for thoracic surgery at RUSH allows you to get an expert second opinion without an in-person visit. 

Get started
Get started

Every time I came to RUSH for treatment, they never treated me like a ‘cancer patient.’ They just treated me like a normal person and made me feel so comfortable and confident.

Read Gina's story

Thoracic Surgery Locations

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Exterior view of Rubschlager Building

RUSH Thoracic Surgery

1520 W Harrison St
Joan and Paul Rubschlager Building - 6th Floor
Chicago, IL 60607

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Mon – Fri: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Sat – Sun: Closed
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RUSH Thoracic Surgeons - Skokie

9669 Kenton Ave
Suite 604
Skokie, IL 60076

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Mon – Thu: Closed
Fri: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Sat – Sun: Closed
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RUSH Thoracic Surgeons - Joliet

1890 Silver Cross Blvd
Pavilion A - Suite 375
New Lenox, IL 60451

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RUSH Hematology, Oncology and Cell Therapy - Lisle

430 Warrenville Rd
Suite 200
Lisle, IL 60532

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Mon – Fri: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Sat – Sun: Closed
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Built for you.

The new Joan and Paul Rubschlager Building is a destination for state-of-the-art outpatient care in cancer, neurosciences, digestive diseases and more. Read stories that highlight what RUSH means to its patients, providers, employees and community — and illustrate how the Rubschlager Building is supporting RUSH in providing excellent patient care, in 2023 and beyond.

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