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Inova Thoracic Oncology Program provides aggressive, leading edge therapies and surgical options to patients who have esophageal and lung cancer, with excellent outcomes.

Our multidisciplinary approach means surgeons, oncologists, pulmonologists and gastroenterologists coordinate their efforts to offer patients the most appropriate, beneficial treatment options in a rapid and coordinated approach.


Esophagus data graph Lung data graphThe Inova Thoracic Oncology Program provides care to the largest number of lung and esophageal cancer patients in Northern Virginia. These high volumes enable our dedicated thoracic surgeons to perform the most advanced, minimally invasive surgeries; our medical oncologists to provide the latest therapies and clinical trials; and our radiation oncologists to utilize the most cutting-edge treatment modalities available.

Our three dedicated thoracic surgeons specialize in minimally invasive surgical techniques, including robotics, laparoscopy and thoracoscopy. We have learned first hand that many of the most complex operations can be performed using the smallest of incisions. Whenever possible, we employ the newest technologies for the benefit of our patients to:

  • Minimize surgical pain
  • Hasten post-operative recovery
  • Improve overall quality of life

Lung cancer

Performing complex anatomic resection to remove diseased lung tissue continues to be one of our mainstays. Our high volumes and expertise in minimally invasive thoracic surgery have enabled us to reduce mortality and length of stay to well below national averages:

  • 75 percent of patients go home within three days of surgery
  • 70 percent of those who undergo minimally invasive surgery are discharged to home within two days
  • 2009 Inova hospital mortality = 0.9%

In 2009, 97 percent of all cases attempted with a minimally invasive approach were successful in meeting our goals for minimized pain, faster recovery and improved quality of life. Stated another way, of 212 thoracic cases attempted with a minimally invasive approach, only eight were converted to traditional open surgeries. Patients left the hospital sooner after surgery than with traditional surgery and returned to normal life activities more quickly.

Outcomes report

Read more details about the successes of Inova Thoracic Oncology Program PDF

Thoracic surgery volumes

Thoracic surgery volume graphThe number of thoracic oncology surgeries we perform has grown steadily since 2007. Our highly skilled, board-certified thoracic surgeons are experts in their field, bringing cutting-edge, minimally invasive techniques to our patients.

GTS National Database

Length of stay graphThe Society of Thoracic Surgeons General Thoracic Surgery (GTS) Database collects and reports outcomes data for thoracic surgery nationwide. Inova’s results routinely exceed GTS and Medicare benchmarks.


In 2009, Inova experienced a consistent 0% 30-day mortality in all procedures. This greatly exceeded Medicare’s 13.6%, as well as rates in the GTS database.


Inova’s 2009 mortality rate was 0% versus the 1.6% benchmark. Our 30-day mortality rate of 1.1% exceeded the 1.6% expected rate.

Wedge resection

Inova had 0% in-hospital mortality versus the 2.7% benchmark, and 1.5% 30-day mortality versus the 3.0% expected.


Inova had 0% in-hospital and 30-day mortality versus the 3.1% expected.

Length of stay

Thanks to Inova’s minimally invasive surgical techniques that promote faster recovery, length of stay for our patients following lobectomies, wedge resections and esophagectomies was far lower than those in the GTS database.