Thoracic Surgery

World Class Thoracic Surgery Services in Rhode Island

Renowned surgeon Abbas El-Sayed Abbas, MD is chief of thoracic surgery for Lifespan hospitals and chief of thoracic oncology for the Lifespan Cancer Institute. Bringing clinical excellence as a thoracic oncologist and as a thoracic surgeon specializing in robotic, minimally invasive surgery to Lifespan, Dr. Abbas is nationally and internationally recognized for his skill at treating the most complex thoracic diseases and conditions.

Welcome Message from Thoracic Surgery

A welcome message from Abbas El-Sayed Abbas, MD, Chief of Thoracic Surgery, Lifespan, and Chief of Thoracic Oncology, Lifespan Cancer Institute.

What Is Thoracic Surgery?

Thoracic surgery is the field of surgery that treats for conditions of the thoracic (chest). These include lungs, esophagus, diaphragm, trachea, and chest wall. Thoracic surgery mainly treats lung cancer, lung diseases, and conditions occurring in the esophagus and chest wall.

There are different approaches to thoracic surgery including open, minimal, robotic, and endoscopic. We specialize in providing the most advanced treatments possible even for complex conditions.

Traditional and Robotic Thoracic Surgery

Traditional thoracic surgery involves opening the chest by making a long incision and spreading the ribs open, leading to considerable pain and a long recovery. In recent decades, the use of robots has led to major advancements in the safety and efficacy of thoracic surgery. 

A robot does not actually operate; rather, a surgeon controls a robotic arm, allowing for extreme precision and improved visualization. Robotic thoracic surgeries allow surgeons to perform complex procedures that may have been difficult or impossible using other methods.

abbas davinci surgery

In the News

Rhode Island Hospital is the first in the state to use a leading-edge lung biopsy procedure with robotic assistance. Hear Lifespan Cancer Institute’s Abbas El-Sayed Abbas, MD, explain how that helps patients. 

Read more on WJAR NBC 10

Benefits of Robotic Thoracic Surgery

Some benefits of robotic surgery include:

  • Less pain at the incision site
  • Faster recovery
  • A shorter stay in the hospital
  • Fewer pain-related complications
  • Decreased chance of infection
  • Ability to perform complex procedures through smaller incisions 
Man in striped shirt looking at camera outdoors with building in background

Contact Thoracic Surgery

To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call the Thoracic Surgery Program at 401-272-1800.

What Conditions Do Thoracic Surgeons Treat?

Lifespan’s thoracic surgery program treats a diverse set of conditions, including:

  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome – A disorder that stems from blood vessels or nerves between the collarbone and first rib being compressed. The thoracic outlet refers to the thin passageway formed by the top ribs below the collarbone.
  • Tracheobroncomalacia – A rare condition occurring when the bronchial tubes become weak or abnormally collapsible. Surgical treatment for tracheobroncomalacia involves the insertion of a silicone stent into the windpipe to open the airway.
  • Hyperhidrosis – Characterized by excessive sweating, usually in the underarms, hands, feet, or face, that is not related to heat, exercise, or stressful situations. If the use of prescription-strength antiperspirants or other medications doesn’t alleviate excessive underarm sweating, minimally invasive surgery to remove the sweat glands there can be an effective treatment option.
  • Myasthenia Gravis - A neuromuscular disorder in which the immune system produces antibodies that block or destroy receptor sites for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, leading to muscle fatigue and weakness.
  • Complex Hiatal Hernia – A complex paraesophageal hiatal hernia is when the whole stomach, spleen, pancreas, small and large bowels, or liver is pushed up into the chest. A common treatment option is fundoplication, a surgery in which the upper part of the stomach is wrapped around the esophageal sphincter in order to strengthen it.

See the full list of disorders we treat

Experts in the Surgical Treatment of Lung Cancers

Our thoracic surgery team is also part of the Thoracic Multidisciplinary Clinic at the Lifespan Cancer Institute, where our experts use the most advanced thoracic surgical options to treat lung cancer, as well as conditions like carcinoid tumors and mesothelioma.

See the full list of thoracic cancers we treat

Thoracic Surgery Locations