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Thoracic Surgery

Why Choose Erlanger Thoracic Surgery?

Erlanger’s department of Thoracic Surgery focuses on prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the chest. Our team is highly skilled in the latest minimally-invasive procedures, such as video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) and robotic-assisted technology. To help ensure the best possible patient outcomes, we take a collaborative approach to care, integrating doctors trained in diagnosis, thoracic surgery, pathology, and oncology as well as therapists and other health care professionals.

What Is Thoracic Surgery?

Thoracic surgery may be needed for penetrating injuries, as well as infectious or cancerous issues of the chest cavity. Surgical interventions can be performed via open, video, and robotic methods. We specialize in abnormalities of the tissue in the thymus, esophagus, lungs, chest wall, pleural space, and diaphragm. Our thoracic surgery team plays an instrumental part in treating tumors of the chest and works in close collaboration with a multidisciplinary Tumor Board to ensure patients have timely and comprehensive care.

Our Services

Advanced Bronchoscopy

  • Rigid bronchoscopy for foreign body removal
  • Rigid bronchoscopy for deployment of tracheal stents
  • Electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy
  • Endobronchial ultrasound for biopsy
  • Airway stents
  • Argon ablation
  • Intrabronchial valves for air leak control

Advanced Esophagoscopy

  • Rigid esophagoscopy for stent placement
  • Rigid esophagoscopy for foreign body removal

Thoroscopic Surgery for diagnosis, cancer resections, interstitial lung disease, bleb resections, lung volume reduction, collapsed lung, empyema, or recurrent pleural effusion

  • Robotic
  • Video assisted
  • Open thoracotomy


Sternal/rib plating

Pectus repair

  • Veno-arterial (VA)/veno-venous (VV) ECMO implantation and removal with extensive management
  • Intra-aortic balloon pump insertion, removal, and management

Endobronchial valve placement for control of persistent air leak

Lung volume reduction surgery

Symptomatic hiatal hernia repair

Robotic diaphragm plication

Meet Our Team

Cardiothoracic Surgery Thoracic Surgery

Jeffrey Aaron Poynter, MD, MSc, FACS

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Thoracic Surgery

Joseph Wizorek, MD, FACS

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Cardiothoracic Surgery Thoracic Surgery

Larry L. Shears, MD, FACS

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