Linda Martin, MD, Interim Chief, Thoracic Surgery Division
The UVA Thoracic Surgery Division offers excellence in the full range of surgical diseases of the chest. We are part of the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center and work closely with a multidisciplinary team in managing complex cancer care for lung, esophageal and other chest malignancies. We strive to provide outstanding medical care, delivered with compassion and individualized to each patient’s circumstances. We are comprised of 3 faculty members, all with outstanding training and uniformly focused on achieving the best for our patients. We each bring specific areas of expertise to the group. I encourage you to browse our faculty profiles to learn more about each of us. We continuously look at ways to advance the quality of thoracic surgical care by participating in the STS General Thoracic Database, so that we may track our patients’ successes and address areas that can be improved.
Our areas of expertise include:
- Cancer surgery for lung, esophagus, thymus, chest wall, tracheal and bronchial cancers, mesothelioma, tumors metastatic to the lungs
- Lung transplantation
- Surgical treatment of esophageal diseases such as hiatal or paraesophageal hernia, achalasia, gastroesophageal reflux, esophageal diverticulum
- Pleural effusion management
- Diaphragm diseases – paralysis, diaphragmatic hernias and tumors
- Lung biopsies for interstitial lung disease
- Pulmonary thromboendarterectomy for chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) from chronic blood clots in the lungs
- Management of other lung disease such as pneumothorax, lung bullae, lung volume reduction surgery, infections such as empyema
What is Unique About Our Program?
UVA Thoracic Surgery has gained international acclaim for developing a Thoracic Enhanced Recovery Program in 2016. The goals are to improve the patient experience from start to finish, in terms of comfort, speed and quality of recovery, optimizing pain management while minimizing use of opioid medications. This program also focuses on patient education about every step of the surgical journey. Patients recover faster, have fewer complications, and better pain control even while using 60-80% less opioid pain medication. Results have shown that Enhanced Recovery Programs After Surgery make it more likely that patients will be able to receive other treatments they need to beat their cancer, such as chemotherapy or radiation. Patients return to full function more rapidly after surgery and don’t face delayed or missed treatment doses as they have in the past.
Treatment of Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH) is another unique feature of our practice. Dr. Christopher Scott has recently joined the faculty and is focusing on CTEPH treatment, in which he removes chronic blood clots from inside the lungs (pulmonary thromboendarterectomy, or PTE surgery). He has developed a comprehensive, team approach to evaluating and treating people who suffer from severe shortness of breath due to chronic pulmonary emboli (blood clots). Very few programs in the country offer this treatment.
We take great pride in our outstanding team of doctors, nurses, navigators, physician assistants, and surgical residents. We are a cohesive unit and excellent patient care is our top priority. We make every effort to communicate and collaborate with other specialists, as well as the patients and their primary care doctors. There is something special about the culture at UVA and it shines throughout our Thoracic Surgery Team.
Training the Next Generation
UVA has one of the top training programs in the nation in cardiothoracic surgery. We have recruited and trained some of the best thoracic surgeons in the country. We are very proud of our surgical residents. We feel strongly that they are an integral part of keeping us on the “cutting edge” of new approaches and technologies in chest surgery.
Speaking of New Technologies…
Surgical care is rapidly evolving – and so is our faculty expertise. We offer all versions of chest surgery, tailored to the needs of our patients – including robotic assisted surgery, other minimally invasive approaches (video assisted thoracic surgery, laparoscopic surgery, endoscopic and bronchoscopic procedures) and where appropriate, traditional “open” surgery, yet with the most advanced pain control methods to minimize the impact of the incisions.
When it comes to cancer care, there have been tremendous breakthroughs in the last few years and our team is at the forefront – not only offering, but authoring and leading several clinical trials to push our field forward to help our patients beat their cancer diagnoses, and live long healthy lives. We are committed to adopting, and in some cases developing, the newest and best approaches to treating thoracic surgical diseases.
Linda Martin, MD, MPH
Interim Chief, Thoracic Surgery Division