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Thoracic Surgery

The Thoracic Surgery at Sengkang General Hospital specialises in treating the entire spectrum of benign and malignant conditions of the chest. Our team of thoracic surgeons treat both noncancerous (benign) and cancerous (malignant) conditions of the:

  • Trachea: The windpipe that connects the voice box (larynx) to the lungs
  • Esophagus: The food pipe that connects the throat to the stomach
  • Lungs: The two organs in the chest that help you breathe
  • Pleura:Lining of the lung
  • Mediastinum: The space between the lungs that contains the heart, esophagus and trachea
  • Chest wall: The bone, fat and tissue cage around the organs in the chest
  • Trachea (airways leading to the lungs)
  • Spine surgery

Our Approach to Thoracic Surgery

At Sengkang General Hospital, we offer latest techniques, specialised facilities and a commitment to making surgery safer, faster and more effective.

Our surgeries are performed invasively with video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). This procedure is less invasive than traditional lung surgery which requires a thoracotomy incision. The surgery requires a few small incisions (each usually about 2cm or less) whereby the surgeon will place a small tube containing a camera through one of the incisions. This allows the surgeon to view the lungs on a video monitor.

The team also specialised in 3D surgery to perform procedures with smaller incisions, better outcomes, less blood loss and faster recovery. Each member of our surgical team undergoes rigorous surgical training, giving them the experience and skill to perform safe, effective surgeries.

Our Clinical Services

Pain or problems in your lungs, esophagus and digestive tract can make it challenging to do routine activities, such as swallowing or breathing. Our team of thoracic surgeons treats these conditions, including:

Lung

  • Lung cancer
  • Lung nodules
  • Lung metastases (ie, cancer that has spread to the lung)
  • Emphysema / giant bullae
  • Infections requiring surgery (eg. Aspergilloma)
  • Congenital abnormalities requiring surgery (eg. Pulmonary sequestration)

Pleura (lining of the lung)

Various conditions can arise in the lining of the lungs that may require the attention of a thoracic surgeon or specialist. Some of these conditions include:

  • Pneumothorax
  • Pleural effusion
  • Empyema
  • Hemothorax
  • Mesothelioma

Mediastinum (space between the lungs in front and behind the heart)

SKH’s team of thoracic surgeons are able to help you with the following conditions:

  • Mediastinal masses
  • Mediastinal lymphadenopathy
  • Myasthenia gravis

Chest wall (ribcage)

The chest wall, otherwise known as the ribcage, can be a place for various tumours and conditions to arise. These can be serious if left untreated. Our team of thoracic surgeons and specialists can assist you with conditions such as:

  • Chest wall tumors
  • Rib fractures
  • Pectus excavatum

Sympathetic chain (nerves that run behind the lung)

The sympathetic chain is a paired bundle of nerve fibres that runs from the base of the skull to the coccyx. Our thoracic surgery clinic can offer treatments for:

  • Palmar/axillary hyperhidrosis (sweaty palms and armpits)

Trachea (airway leading to the lungs)

Commonly known as the windpipe, the trachea splits into two airways: the left and right bronchi, which lead to the two lungs. If you are suffering from one of the following tracheal conditions, our thoracic clinic can help.

  • Tracheal tumors
  • Tracheal stenosis

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FAQs

When do you need to see a thoracic surgeon?

There are many reasons you or a family member may require the assistance of a thoracic surgeon. Any illness, accident, condition, growth, or disease occurring in the chest area may require a thoracic surgeon or specialist’s professional attention or specialist who can diagnose your condition and work out the best way to achieve a successful health outcome.

What are some of the risks of thoracic surgery?

As with any other surgery, there are some risks involved in any thoracic surgery. The following are conditions that may arise:

  • Haemorrhage
  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Stroke
  • Nerve injury
  • Embolism (blood clot or air bubble that obstructs an artery)
  • Infection

Why do I need a bronchoscopy if it has already been performed by my referring pulmonologist?

Performing a bronchoscopy after inducing anesthesia allows the surgeon to make a complete visual assessment of the airway, ensuring that there are no other airway problems and, most importantly, to properly position the double-lumen endotracheal tube that is used to separate the lungs during the operation.

How long is the recovery period for lung surgery? Will help be needed at home?

When patients are discharged from the hospital following lung surgery they are able to walk on their own and breathe without difficulty. The incision is usually closed with dissolvable sutures. These sutures do not need to be removed and allow one to shower soon after the operation. Patients are advised not to drive until they no longer require pain medication every day. Although some help around the house for the first week or two may be necessary, there is no need for nursing care at home. It is recommended that patients rest for four to six weeks at home after lung surgery, although some patients may return to work sooner.

What kind of activities should I do at home post-recovery?

 

Our Care Team

The Sengkang General Hospital Thoracic Surgery Department employs advanced physician expertise and medical technology to offer comprehensive care for your surgical needs. Our thoracic surgeons work daily with our multidisciplinary team across SKH to provide exceptional treatment for lung and digestive diseases. Together, the SKH team offers dedicated care of both benign and malignant conditions and cancers.

Senior Consultant

  • Clin Asst Prof Tina Koh Puay Theng

Consultant

  • Clin Asst Prof Kang Ning
  • Clin Asst Prof Ong Boon Hean
  • Clin Asst Prof Soo Ing Xiang

Associate Consultant

  • Dr Cynthia Chia
 

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