Thoracic Surgery at Northwell Health is one of the leaders in lung and chest surgery in the New York metropolitan area. Our cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons perform more than 2,500 procedures each year.

Our surgeons have extensive experience in minimally invasive surgeries, which can decrease pain, shortens recovery time, decrease injury to healthy tissue, and offer more precise visualization of the lungs and chest. At Northwell Health, minimally invasive procedures are preferred over traditional open surgery because of its efficiency and patient outcomes.

All thoracic surgeons receive advanced training and certification in minimally invasive techniques, including robotic surgery and video-assisted thorascopic surgery (VATS). Robotic surgery is often the preferred minimally invasive procedure because of its enhanced precision, flexibility and control during the operation. With robotic surgery, our surgeons can perform any complex procedure historically preformed via traditional surgical approaches.

Like robotic surgery, VATS uses advanced video technology that is inserted through small incisions and allows the surgeon to see the interior of the chest without the need for large incisions. In addition to our expertise in robotic and minimally invasive surgery, we utilize emerging technology in navigational bronchoscopy, endobronchial ultrasound and other novel techniques.

In 2014, Thoracic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital teamed up with the Division of Pulmonary Medicine to create the Lung Center, which is dedicated to the early diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the chest. The health system also initiated a lung cancer screening program at Forest Hills Hospital that offers free or low-cost lung cancer screenings to those at increased risk for lung cancer. The pilot program is expected to expand throughout the health system in 2016.

We are committed to treating the patient, not just the disease. That’s why the Thoracic Surgery works closely with a number of departments to ensure our patients are treated holistically.  During the course of treatment, you may receive care from the following departments:

  • Anesthesiology and pain management
  • Cardiac surgery
  • Gastroenterology
  • Imaging and radiology
  • Medical oncology
  • Neurology
  • Otolaryngology
  • Pulmonary medicine
  • Radiation medicine
  • Surgical oncology

Why choose us?

We are a national referral center, offering cutting edge screening and treatment for complex conditions of the lungs and chest. The department is continually implementing new measures to improve the care currently provided to patients and develop new prevention efforts to reduce the risk of diseases. In recent years, we have expanded our thoracic surgery services to community hospitals so patients can stay close to home for care.

Additionally, we work closely with pulmonologists and critical care specialists to develop early detection programs for lung cancer, emphysema and other conditions. While our program is constantly growing, we make sure we maintain the excellent quality of care patients have long associated with us.

Our patients continually choose us for care because:

Cutting-edge medicine – As healthcare leaders, we have our finger on the pulse of the latest innovations in the field. Almost all our surgeries are done utilizing a minimally invasive technique, while nationally only 20 percent of thoracic procedures are done minimally invasively. Additionally, with the expansion of thoracic surgery at our community hospitals, we now have one of the leading robotic thoracic surgical programs in the United States. Utilizing these techniques, we have lower mortality rates and significantly reduced rates of post-surgical complications.

Experienced physicians – We aren’t only committed to utilizing cutting-edge treatments, but to ensuring all our physicians are properly trained on the equipment. Many of our thoracic surgeons are considered national experts in the field, with years of experience treating complex chest problems. Additionally, all physicians are regularly trained in new surgical techniques and approaches.

Collaborative care – We work as an integrated team to ensure our patients are receiving the best care possible. We try to eliminate all the guess work of disease management, by coordinating care between our pulmonologists, medical oncologists, thoracic pathologists and a variety of therapists and support staff. Additionally, all thoracic teams across the system meet regularly to discuss cases and the best treatment approaches. This assures patients receive a second, third or even fourth opinion without having to see a bunch of doctors.


Paul Chinfai Lee, MD

  • Professor, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
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Barbara Samson, cancer survivor

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