Thoracic Surgery

As a fellowship trained and board certified thoracic surgeon, Joseph Whitlark, MD, FACS, Mount Nittany Physician Group, and a team of professionals specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions of the veins, arteries and chest.

About thoracic surgery

Thoracic surgery treats diseases affecting the organs inside the chest including the lungs, chest wall, esophagus and diaphragm.

Common thoracic conditions treated include:

  • Lung cancer/diseases
  • Emphysema
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Aneurysms of the chest
  • Gastro esophageal reflux disease

Wellness Library

Healthsheet Article

Surgical Diagnosis of Chest, Lung Problems

You’ve been told you need a surgical procedure to diagnose a problem in your chest or lung. Surgical procedures are used to get large samples of tissue or lymph nodes from the chest or lung. These samples allow for more complete testing. Surgical procedures typically require incisions and may take some time to recover from. With mediastinoscopy, the scope enters the mediastinum through an incision in the neck.   A sample of mass can be taken using VATS. In some cases, a mass or part of the lung is removed if cancer is found. Mediastinoscopy Mediastinoscopy allows the doctor to see inside the mediastinum (area between the two lungs) and remove large lymph node samples (biopsy). First, an incision is made at the base...

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