Thoracic Surgery London Overview

Thoracic Surgical treatments and procedures available in London

Thoracic surgery in London for cancers within the chest

We have a depth of experience ranging from surgery for locally advanced cancers that might otherwise be considered inoperable, to minimally invasive (keyhole) surgery for smaller tumours. These techniques have been learned from working with the most advanced surgical oncology units in the United States as well as the UK.

Before your Thoracic operation
We aim to discuss our patients with suspected or established cancer in a multidisciplinary meeting to ensure each patient is offered optimal care plan. This also ensures operative planning is safe and efficient You will have a final discussion with your surgeon after the necessary investigation have been performed, to review the results and decided on how to proceed.

The Thoracic Surgery itself
The benefits of undergoing treatment with us at London Bridge Hospital include:

A pleasant ward with large private rooms, big enough for relatives to stay as well, many with beautiful views over the river Thames towards the City of London.

The ward is exclusively for patients undergoing surgery of the chest, and has a long-established reputation for nursing expertise. The wider ward team includes specialist thoracic physiotherapists, dieticians and pain management experts. All of this is crucial to a safe and rapid recovery from surgery. Very few private hospitals offer such a degree of ward expertise specifically relating to chest operations.

We work exclusively with consultant anaesthetists who specialise in thoracic surgery, rather than relying on general anaesthetic support as is so often the case. We are sure this increases the safety of surgery immeasurably.

Thoracic Surgery Procedures and techniques

We have particular expertise in lung cancer, and are able to offer the whole range of curative resections. This includes the most extensive (such as where the tumour involves the whole lung, the ribs, the major blood vessels around the heart) to the least invasive (anatomic segmentectomy and other very localised operation when it is vital to preserve as much lung as possible).

VATS lobectomy Surgery London

In particular we have a level of expertise in thoracoscopic (VATS or keyhole) lobectomy for lung cancer. The techniques we practice for this operation were learned directly from the highest level operators in the US. This procedure is only available in a very few UK centres currently. If suitable for you, it can dramatically improve recovery rates from surgery.

Other types of tumour treated

We have the experience necessary to deal with most tumours within the chest, in particular:

Metastasis to the lungs

This is when another primary tumour (such as from the large bowel) has spread to the lungs. Under some circumstances the tumour deposits can be removed with beneficial effect.

Mediastinal tumours, especially thymoma

Chest wall conditions, including breast cancers sarcomas, with complex reconstruction as a team with colleagues from plastic surgery

Mesothelioma surgery London

From our work in the NHS and abroad we have an unusual degree of experience in the surgical management of this difficult condition. The range of treatments offered includes the most radical to the purely palliative. We are one of only two UK centres with significant experience in radical surgery such as extra-pleural pneumonectomy and pleurectomy-decortication. These techniques were learnt at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, widely accepted as the most successful US centre for surgical treatment of mesothelioma. We also offer less invasive operations which can improve the outcomes of people with mesothelioma, such as treatment to control pleural effusions.

We also liase with the London Bridge medical oncology team who are similarly experienced in non-surgical mesothelioma treatments.

Palliation of advanced cancers

Sadly sometimes a cancer has advanced too much for even advanced procedures to offer a chance of cure. However there is often a role for surgery in improving symptoms and quality if life.

We offer prompt, efficient and safe service in treating malignant pleural effusions large fluid collections around the lung causing breathlessness) by minimally invasive techniques (both pleurodesis and insertion of indwelling pleural catheters, as appropriate).

We offer endo-bronchial surgery, including airway stenting.

Thoracic surgery for other conditions

We are equally adept at operations for the whole range of conditions benefiting from surgery on the chest.

Pneumothorax ("collapsed lung")

This frequently recurs if it has happened once, and we offer safe, minimally-invasive operations to prevent this.


Sometimes symptoms can be improved by surgery, particularly if there is a large bulla (sac of destroyed lung)

Diagnostic operations:

We provide a full palette of diagnostic procedure to assess and biopsy abnormalities within the chest by the most accurate yet least invasive approach. Such procedures include: bronchoscopy (rigid and fibreoptic), endo-bronchial ultrasoundguided biopsy, mediastinoscopy, VATS lung biopsy

Infections of the lung or pleura space not responding to antibiotics; empyema, lung abscess, necrotizing pneumonia, atypical TB,

Chest wall deformity such as pectus excavatum or carinatum, or abnormalities of diaphragm muscle function

Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating can be improved by a minor operation (thoracoscopic sympathectomy)