Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute

Thoracic Diseases Program

  • Overview
  • Diagnosis & Treatment
  • Meet Our Team

Diagnosis & Treatment

Thanks to recent advancements in technology, the diagnosis, treatment and management of thoracic diseases has significantly improved. Click here to learn more.

Some of the latest breakthroughs include:

Diagnosis of Thoracic Diseases

At Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, we offer the very latest, cutting-edge diagnostic procedures. This ensures a timely and more accurate diagnosis of thoracic diseases. Diagnostic procedures for airway and chest wall conditions include:

  • Bronchoscopy: A thin, flexible tube with a camera (bronchoscope) is inserted through the mouth or nose to visualize the bronchi, diagnose lung conditions, and obtain tissue samples if needed.
  • Thoracentesis: A fine needle is inserted into the pleural space to remove fluid for diagnostic purposes or to alleviate symptoms caused by fluid buildup.
  • Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS): A minimally invasive procedure combining bronchoscopy with ultrasound imaging, to visualize and sample lung tissue or lymph nodes more accurately, improving the diagnosis and staging of lung cancer and other lung conditions.
  • Mediastinoscopy: A surgical procedure that involves inserting a thin scope into a small incision in the neck or chest to examine and biopsy lymph nodes or other structures in the mediastinum.

Diagnostic procedures for esophageal or swallowing conditions include:

  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD): A flexible tube with a camera (endoscope) is inserted through the mouth to visualize the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine. This helps in diagnosing esophageal conditions and obtaining tissue samples.
  • Barium swallow: A liquid containing barium is swallowed which coats the esophagus, allowing it to be visualized on X-ray, so the structure and function of the esophagus can be assessed.
  • Esophageal manometry: The pressure and coordination of esophageal muscles during swallowing are measured by inserting a thin catheter with pressure sensors into the esophagus.

Treatment of Thoracic Diseases

Treatments for airway and chest wall conditions include:

  • Thoracotomy: A surgery which involves making an incision in the chest wall to access the lungs, heart, or other thoracic structures.
  • Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS): A minimally invasive surgical technique that uses a small video camera and specialized instruments inserted through small incisions in the chest wall to diagnose and treat various lung and chest wall conditions.
  • Lobectomy: A surgical procedure in which an entire lobe of the lung is removed, typically to treat lung cancer or other localized lung diseases.
  • Pneumonectomy: A surgical procedure in which an entire lung is removed, usually to treat extensive lung disease or lung cancer.
  • Segmentectomy: A surgical procedure in which a portion of a lung lobe is removed, preserving as much healthy lung tissue as possible, often used in early-stage lung cancer or for benign lung conditions.
  • Chest wall reconstruction: Surgery to repair or reconstruct chest wall deformities, such as pectus excavatum or pectus carinatum, to improve respiratory function and/or cosmetic appearance.
  • Pleurodesis: A procedure in which the pleural space is obliterated to prevent recurrent pleural effusion or pneumothorax, done chemically, mechanically, or surgically.
  • Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS): A surgical procedure in which damaged lung tissue is removed to improve lung function and alleviate symptoms in patients with severe emphysema or other chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD).
  • Lung Transplants.

Treatments for esophageal or swallowing conditions include:

  • Esophageal dilation: Stretching the esophagus using a balloon or a dilator to treat esophageal strictures or narrowing, often caused by conditions such as acid reflux, eosinophilic esophagitis, or scarring from radiation therapy.
  • Stent placement: A self-expanding metal or plastic stent is inserted into the esophagus to treat esophageal strictures, tracheoesophageal fistulas, or blockages due to esophageal cancer.
  • Peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM): A minimally invasive endoscopic procedure to treat achalasia by cutting the muscle fibers of the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing food to pass more easily into the stomach.
  • Nissen fundoplication: Surgery to wrap the upper part of the stomach (fundus) around the lower end of the esophagus to reinforce the lower esophageal sphincter and prevent acid reflux, commonly used to treat GERD.
  • Heller myotomy: Surgery to treat achalasia by cutting the muscle fibers of the lower esophageal sphincter to allow food to pass more easily into the stomach.
  • Esophagectomy: Part or all of the esophagus is removed, often to treat esophageal cancer or severe cases of Barrett's esophagus. The remaining esophagus is then reconnected to the stomach or a segment of the intestine.
  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA): A minimally invasive procedure using radiofrequency energy to destroy cancerous or abnormal tissue in the lungs or esophagus. Used to treat early-stage lung cancer, metastatic lung tumors, and Barrett's esophagus.
  • Esophageal reconstructive surgery: Reconstruction of the esophagus using tissue from another part of the body, such as the stomach or the colon, after an esophagectomy or to repair a damaged esophagus.
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Meet Our Team

A multidisciplinary team of experts at the Thoracic Diseases Program are involved in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of lung, chest, and esophageal conditions. The team may include specialists from various fields working together to provide comprehensive care tailored to each patient's specific needs. The team takes a collaborative approach to ensure patients receive the most appropriate and comprehensive care, leading to better outcomes and an improved quality of life.

The multidisciplinary team consists of:

  • Pulmonologists
  • Gastroenterologists
  • Thoracic Surgeons
  • Endoscopists
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Intensive Care Unit Physicians
  • Oncologists
  • Radiation Oncologists
  • Radiologists
  • Pathologists
  • Respiratory Therapists
  • Specialized Nurses
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Nutritionists
  • Physical Therapists
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