Surgical Lung & Chest Care
From the Thoracic Surgery Team at Columbia University

Lung & Chest Care Programs & Services

Key Programs  |  Research  |  For Professionals

Columbia University’s Surgical Lung & Chest Care program offers a full-range of services for all lung, chest, and esophageal conditions and complications. We are distinguished by our high surgical volume and outstanding outcomes―meaning we have more experience and better results than other thoracic surgery programs. As part of a world-class medical center, our team of thoracic surgeons work in close collaboration with their colleagues in pulmonology, radiology, pathology and more to bring you the most comprehensive care available. We help our patients recover faster, get home sooner and get back to a better quality of life with our innovative and minimally invasive techniques.

If you’d like to speak to our team about any of these conditions or treatment options, call (212) 305-3408 for existing patients, (212) 304-7535 for new patients, or request an appointment online today.

Our team is now seeing patients in New Jersey at our New Jersey Lung & Esophageal Center. Learn More »

Key Clinical Programs

To better serve your specific needs, we offer several highly-specialized care centers:

  • Center for Advanced Lung Disease and Transplantation

    For people with advanced lung diseases like cystic fibrosis, emphysema and interstitial lung disease, highly-skilled care is a necessity. Columbia hosts the premier center in the northeast for lung failure treatment and lung transplantation. The three-year survival rate for our transplant patients is 81%–well above the national average of 69%. We are constantly developing new methods to replenish and repair lungs previously considered unsuitable for transplant. These discoveries have the potential to greatly increase the number of donor organs available in the future. Our multidisciplinary team also provides the most advanced treatment for acute respiratory failure. We pioneered the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)—temporary support of the lungs using a bypass machine—to help patients in crisis. ECMO may also be used to transport and stabilize patients with ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) and as a bridge to lung transplant. Our Extracorporeal Life Support program has received the Platinum Level ELSO Award for Excellence, recognizing distinguished programs worldwide that provide exceptional care.
    Lung Transplant Center

  • Advanced Emphysema & COPD Program

    For people struggling with emphysema or COPD even with help from medications, we offer non-invasive and surgical options to help your breathe easier. Our team is the most experienced in the entire U.S. in performing Lung Volume Reduction Surgery (LVRS) to remove damaged sections of lung to allow the remaining portion to function better. Columbia is the only medical center in the tri-state area designated a National Center of Excellence for this advanced surgery. Our patients’ one-year survival rate was 99% and three-year was 97% with major improvements noted in quality of life. We also offer a non-surgical bronchoscopic LVR (BLVR) approach for appropriate candidates, with similar results and shorter recovery times.
    Emphysema & COPD Program

  • Lung Cancer Screening Program

    The lung cancer screening program at Columbia and NewYork-Presbyterian brings together physicians and nurse practitioners from multiple disciplines to provide care for smokers and ex-smokers who are at high risk for lung cancer and other complications.
    Lung Cancer Screening Program

  • Women’s Lung and Health Center

    Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in women worldwide, affecting more women each year than breast cancer, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer combined. The majority of lung cancers among non-smokers also occur in women. Research indicates that women (especially non-smokers) tend to respond better than men to certain therapies for lung cancer. These findings have led us to create a multidisciplinary center designed to address the specific needs of women with lung disease.
    Women's Lung & Health Center

  • Diaphragm Center

    Columbia is proudly home to the first and only multidisciplinary program in the country that exclusively addresses weakness and paralysis of the diaphragm, which can cause respiratory distress, sleep apnea and disorders of the nervous system. We offer treatments for diaphragmatic paralysis like phrenic nerve grafting (a repair of damaged nerves) and plication (flattening the dome of the diaphragm to give the lungs more room to expand). We are also world leaders in diaphragmatic pacing (applying electrical impulses to provide breathing support) and in repair of hiatal hernias.
    Diaphragm Center

  • Esophageal Disorders Center

    Working closely with medical experts in gastroenterology, our chest surgeons offer the latest advances in the management of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Barrett's esophagus, esophageal cancer, swallowing disorders, achalasia, and hiatal hernias.
    Esophageal Disorders Center

  • Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery Program

    The Thoracic Surgery Program at Columbia is a world leader in minimally invasive surgery, even for the most complex cases and diseases. For many thoracic conditions, minimally invasive surgery can provide the same results as traditional surgery with shorter hospital stays, faster recovery, and fewer complications. It can also be an option for patients deemed too “high risk” for open surgery.
    Minimally Invasive Program

  • The Center for Hyperhidrosis

    Our center has been a leader in the diagnosis and treatment of hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) in the New York Metropolitan area for decades. The center offers a team approach to hyperhidrosis treatment, offering both medical and minimally invasive surgical therapies, including endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS).
    Hyperhidrosis Center

  • Thymus Center

    The team at our Thymus Center have helped develop the most effective treatments for diseases like myasthenia gravis, thymoma and thymic carcinoma, and we continue to lead the way with innovative new approaches to care.
    Thymus Center

Other Specialized Programs

  • High-Risk Lung Assessment Program: providing assessment, follow-up care, and ongoing testing, for those who have been found to have respiratory symptoms such as a chronic cough or an abnormality on an imaging study, as well as for those at risk for lung disease due to family history, smoking, or environmental exposures. The program draws upon the full resources of our multi-specialty academic medical center to help patients mitigate risk factors and facilitate rapid referral to additional experts as needed.
  • Interventional Bronchoscopy and Endobronchial Therapy Program: jointly founded by Columbia’s departments of medicine and surgery, this program is dedicated to the treatment of people with endobronchial tumors or tracheobronchial obstructions. The program offers a full range of diagnostic and therapeutic options for patients with benign or malignant airway pathology.
  • Acute Respiratory Failure/Medical ECMO Program: for adult patients who rapidly develop respiratory failure—typically from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), pneumonia, trauma, pulmonary embolism, or flare-ups of chronic lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema, or cystic fibrosis—we can provide advanced, life-saving options like Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), an artificial lung that can take over breathing during emergencies.

Research and Clinical Trials

As part of a major research center, we are always at the forefront of the latest advancements in medical science. Our patients have access to clinical trials using advanced immunotherapy and individualized gene analysis that more precisely target lung tumors, while decreasing standard chemotherapy side effects.

Information for Students and Healthcare Professionals

If you’d like to speak to our team about any of these conditions or treatment options, call (212) 305-3408 for existing patients, (212) 304-7535 for new patients, or request an appointment online today.

Learn More