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Treatments & Services

Photo of Dr. Finley in surgery The Dartmouth-Hitchcock Section of Thoracic Surgery strives to continuously improve the surgical treatment of diseases and conditions in the chest. Our highly trained and skilled surgeons make optimal use of advanced new technologies, and partner with your primary care physician and other medical experts, to integrate the best surgical and follow up care into an effective and comprehensive treatment plan for you.

Minimally Invasive and Robotic Thoracic Surgery

D-H Thoracic Surgeons are experts in minimally invasive, video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) and robotic video-assisted thoracic surgery (RVATS), particularly for difficult to treat thoracic conditions such as large tumors and late stage cancers.

Cancer Diagnosis, Staging and Surgical Treatment

D-H Thoracic Surgeons work at the forefront of thoracic care to provide the most advanced options in the diagnosis and staging and surgical treatment of thoracic cancers.

We participate in a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of thoracic cancers as part of the Comprehensive Thoracic Oncology Program (CTOP).

Surgical Treatment of Other Thoracic Conditions

Hiatal Hernias

Hiatal hernias are commonly repaired through a surgery that places the stomach back into the abdomen and repairs the diaphragm. We often use a minimally invasive approach such as robotic-assisted laparoscopy. In cases of large, paraesophageal hernias, surgery to repair the hernia is often paired with anti-reflux surgery (fundoplication).

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Patients with GERD that does not respond to medication may choose to have anti-reflux surgery (fundoplication). This surgery strengthens the valve between the esophagus and stomach to minimize the backup of stomach acid into the esophagus. The procedure is usually done using a minimally invasive or robotic approach through the abdomen or chest.

Barrett's Disease

Ablation of Barrett's Disease uses a laser or heat to destroy abnormal cells lining the esophagus, which allows the normal lining to regrow. This procedure uses an endoscope, a thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera and light that is inserted through the mouth and into the esophagus. Sometimes Barrett's disease needs to be treated with anti-reflux procedures.

Tracheal Stenosis

Surgical options in the treatment of tracheal stenosis include:

  • Tracheal resection and reconstruction, in which the constricted section of the trachea is removed and the remaining upper and lower sections reconnected.
  • Bronchoscopic dilation and spray cryotherapy to open the stenosis, although this is not always a permanent fix. Read more about Dr. Finley's participation in published research on the use of spray cryotherapy in the treatment of thoracic conditions.

Tracheal Papillomatosis

Adults with recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP) may undergo one or more bronchoscopic treatments with laser and/or spray cryotherapy to control and potentially cure the condition.

Myasthenia Gravis

Surgical removal of the thymus can help manage myasthenia gravis symptoms. A minimally invasive approach called RVATS thymectomy helps to minimize complications in these patients, whose weakened muscles can make them more susceptible to complications after surgery.

Traumatic Rib Fractures

Rib plating and fixation, and pleural space drainage when necessary, can help to control pain, support respiratory function and stabilize the chest wall for faster healing of complex rib fractures.


A surgical procedure called a sympathotomy can be an option for some patients who suffer from excessive sweating. In a sympathotomy, the sympathetic nerve is cut in particular places to control the sweating reaction in the body. The sympathotomy is conducted via a minimally invasive approach, often as an outpatient procedure.

Page reviewed on: Jun 26, 2015

Page reviewed by: Dr. David J. Finley

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