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Section of Cardiothoracic Surgery

Division of Thoracic Surgery

The University of Cincinnati division of thoracic surgery is a leader in treating the entire spectrum of thoracic diseases including lung cancer, benign and malignant esophageal disorders, airway, mediastinal, diaphragmatic and chest wall disease. The division has the most extensive experience in minimally invasive thoracic procedures in the Tri-State region, including video-assisted thoracoscopic (VATS) and robotic lobectomy, minimally-invasive esophagectomy and robot-assisted surgery for mediastinal tumors. We also utilize sophisticated interventions for complex airway and foregut disorders.  Our surgeons have consistently been named as Top Doctors in Cincinnati by Cincinnati Magazine.  Our team provides state-of-the-art compassionate care at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, University of Cincinnati Health West Chester Hospital, and the Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The division specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, and they perform the highest volume of lung cancer surgery in Cincinnati. Special attention is directed to patients who are at high risk for surgery due to underlying lung disease. The division offers a full range of lung cancer treatments from minor resections to highly complex thoracic operations. Dedicated lung cancer surgeons work in partnership with radiation oncologists, interventional pulmonologists, chest radiologists and medical oncologists to provide comprehensive lung cancer care to patients through the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center's Lung Cancer Center.

Through UC Health, the team launched the first and only multidisciplinary lung cancer screening program for patients at increased risk for lung cancer in November 2012. Lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scans has been shown to reduce lung cancer mortality by at least 20% in those at higher risk for lung cancer. We have three dedicated coordinators to navigate patients through the screening process, an integrated smoking cessation program, and we use the expertise of our multi-disciplinary lung cancer team to provide individualized care for our patients while working closely with referring physicians. We perform over 2500 lung cancer screenings annually and were the first lung cancer screening program in the region to be recognized as a Screening Center of Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance.

The division offers expertise in the evaluation and treatment of esophageal cancer, with the most experienced esophageal surgeons in the region. The Esophageal Disease Center offers coordinated multidisciplinary care in which patients are seen by a team of esophageal cancer experts in one location, including thoracic surgery, surgical oncology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, gastroenterology, oncology dietitians, and social workers.

The division continues to expand its expertise in research. The group collaborates with multiple departments in the UC College of Medicine and has active research projects in molecular predictors of lung cancer recurrence, lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scans, enhanced recovery pathway in thoracic surgery and offers clinical trials in thoracic cancers.

Sandra L. Starnes, MD
Robert M. Van Haren, MD

Director of Research:
Peterson Pathrose, MS

Nurse Practitioner:
Emily Fogel, CNP



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Department of

University of Cincinnati
College of Medicine
231 Albert Sabin Way
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0558

Mail Location: 0558
Phone: 513-558-4748