Chest & Lung Conditions

Overview

What Are Chest and Lung Conditions?

Chest and lung conditions – which also include esophageal disorders – are called “thoracic conditions” in the medical community. These conditions include a very broad group of health issues. They can affect the throat/esophagus, aorta (your body’s main artery), heart, lungs, ribs and other organs and structures.

A variety of specialists are involved in treating chest and lung conditions. If you come to Aurora Health Care for chest-and-lung-related treatment, we may refer you to a team of care providers who work together to treat you.

These providers may include general thoracic surgeons or cardiovascular surgeons. Cardiovascular surgeons deal with chest and lung conditions that also involve the heart.

Learn more about our thoracic surgery program.

Types

Common Chest and Lung Conditions We Treat

Esophageal Conditions

  • Achalasia (muscle problem between esophagus and stomach)
  • Esophageal and swallowing problems
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Hiatal hernia (paraesophageal hernia)

Chest & Rib Conditions

  • Chest wall tumors
  • Diaphragm paralysis
  • Empyema (pus buildup from lung infection)
  • Myasthenia gravis (neurological disorder treated by removing the thymus gland)
  • Mesothelioma (a type of cancer)
  • Rib pain and chest wall pain

Lung Conditions

World-Class Care

Aurora’s Specialized Treatment For Chest and Lung Conditions

People from all 50 U.S. states come to Aurora for our specialized diagnosis and treatment of chest and lung conditions. Here’s why:

  • Multidisciplinary collaboration: Chest and lung conditions can be complicated, so our experts work closely together on your diagnosis and care options. Our thoracic specialists consult with cancer specialists, gastroenterologists (doctors who specialize in the gastrointestinal tract or digestive system), physical therapists and others to share information, strategize and closely coordinate your care.
  • Minimally invasive treatment approach: Whenever possible, we favor procedures that allow us to avoid traditional surgery. We do this so our patients experience less pain and faster healing times. A good example of this is our use of robotically assisted surgery for removing esophageal and lung tumors.
  • Advanced technology: Doctors from all over the world come to Aurora to learn about robot-assisted thoracic surgery and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). In fact, we are one of only a handful of national case observation sites for robotic thoracic surgery. Our high-tech expertise translates into better surgical results for you.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Chest and Lung Conditions

Each chest and lung condition has its own symptoms. However, some general symptoms for this group of conditions include:

  • Coughing, with or without mucus or blood
  • Rib, chest or lung pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble swallowing

Diagnosis & Treatment

Thorough Evaluation & Treatment for Chest and Lung Conditions

To diagnose your condition, your doctor will:

  • Review your medical history
  • Ask you detailed questions about your symptoms
  • Do a physical exam

Diagnostic Tests

To pinpoint your condition and treatment options, we may also do some diagnostic tests. Learn more about our advanced diagnosis of heart, lung and chest conditions.

Treatment Options

Depending on the nature and severity of your condition, your doctor may recommend medication, minimally invasive procedures or even surgery. We are particularly proud of our excellent results using robotically assisted and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). Learn more about our surgical and minimally invasive treatments for chest and lung conditions.

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