Robotic Thoracic Surgery

Robotic Thoracic Surgery

If you need surgery for a tumor of the chest cavity, including the lungs, thymus, or mediastinum, surgeons at Hackensack Meridian Health are New Jersey’s leader in thoracic robotic surgery.

We are the busiest and most experienced robotic thoracic surgery program in the state. Robotic surgery allows us to remove your tumor or tumors with less pain, shorter recovery time and excellent cancer outcomes.  

When Should You Consider Robotic Thoracic Surgery

Hackensack Meridian Health thoracic surgeons offer minimally invasive robotic surgery for the following conditions: 

  • Primary Lung Tumors – cancer or benign – that begin in the lungs
  • Metastatic Lung Tumors – cancer that has spread (metastasized) to the lungs
  • Thymus Tumors – cancer or benign – located in the thymus gland 
  • Mediastinum Tumors – cancer or benign – located in the chest cavity between the sternum and spine

Preserving Lung Capacity and Healthy Tissue While Safely Removing Your Tumor

In the past, surgery for lung cancer meant removing an entire lung or lobe of the lung. Surgery for tumors of the thymus or mediastinum (in the chest cavity between the sternum and spine) meant cutting the breastbone and a long, painful recovery. 

Robotic thoracic surgery is a minimally invasive approach that’s changed all that. Surgeons use very small tools and a camera that fit into your body through incisions less than a half-inch long. 

Robotic technology provides greater precision and flexibility in the hardest-to-reach areas, allowing our thoracic surgeons to:  

  • Remove your lung tumor along with just a segment of your lung, helping you preserve as much lung capacity as possible 
  • Remove tumors in the thymus or in the chest cavity without cutting the breastbone and sparing as much healthy tissue as possible
  • Achieve better cancer control by safely removing the most cancer possible (cleaner margins)

Less Pain, Faster Recovery and Other Benefits

Robotic thoracic surgery offers many advantages compared to traditional surgery, including:  

  • Decreased blood loss (and reduced need for transfusions)
  • Less risk of infection
  • Less pain after surgery
  • Shorter hospital stay 
    • Segmentectomy or lobectomy for lung tumor – 1-2 days  vs. 3-4 days at other hospitals
    • Thymectomy for thymus tumor – same day or 1 day  vs. 2-3 days at other hospitals
  • Smaller scars, both external and internal
  • Faster recovery and return to normal activities
Patient Story

“It was the biggest shock of my life,” says Phyllis Rosenberg, a 91-year-old grandmother about her lung cancer diagnosis. Phyllis was happy to find that her research on robotic surgery proved true. Her experience was about as good as a surgical procedure could be. 

Phyllis Rosenberg

Ion Navigational Bronchoscopy for Earlier Detection, Treatment

Hackensack University Medical Center is the first in New Jersey to offer Ion navigational bronchoscopy. This allows doctors to biopsy and localize hard-to-reach nodules -- small masses or tumors in the lungs. By combining bronchoscopy, CT data, and robot technology, we can perform biopsy and surgery on the same day. Here's how Ion works:
  • Using CT scan of your lungs, we generate a 3D image to map the safest path through your lung to reach a nodule.  
  • The thoracic surgeon navigates an ultra-thin, flexible catheter, passing tight turns to reach nodules even in the farthest branches of the lungs. 
  • A special Ion needle is used to take a biopsy and mark the nodule in case it needs to be surgically removed.  
  • The thoracic surgeon withdraws the catheter and bronchoscope, and the tissue sample is analyzed for cancer cells by a pathologist. 

Learn more about Ion Navigational Bronchoscopy 

Patient Story

When doctors ordered a chest scan to check Eileen’s heart, they instead discovered concerning spots on Eileen’s lungs. Fortunately, she was a candidate for Ion navigational bronchoscopy and robotic surgery. 

Why Choose Hackensack Meridian Health for Robotic Thoracic Surgery

Leaders in Robotic Surgery

  • Thoracic surgeons at Hackensack Meridian Health are New Jersey’s most experienced in robotic surgery – performing robotic procedures for more than 10 years, and robotic thoracic surgery exclusively for four years.
  • Today, 90 percent of our lung cancer surgeries are performed with robotic technology. 

Innovation

  • Our robotic systems incorporate the latest 3D, high-definition imaging technology, providing surgeons with increased visibility using the smallest possible incisions.
  • We are the only surgeons in New Jersey with Ion navigational bronchoscopy to access hard-to-reach nodules and identify and treat lung cancers earlier than with existing technology.

Patient Experience

  • Early detection and treatment. Thanks to advanced imaging and Ion navigational bronchoscopy, you benefit from detection and biopsy of even the smallest lung nodules. This means our patients can start cancer treatment sooner before cancer has a chance to grow and spread.  
  • Faster recovery. Our robotic expertise and experience managing thoracic tumors translates to significantly shorter hospital stays than the national average – putting you on a faster road to recovery. 
Our Doctors

Our Thoracic surgeons use robotic technology which means smaller incisions, less pain, and a faster recovery.

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