The practice of thoracic surgery in India; challenges, scope and opportunities

India has an enormous burden of lung diseases, including both cancerous and non-cancerous pathologies. Compared to the rest of the world, the proportion of non cancerous lung ailments in India is very high. These include chronic respiratory illnesses such as COPD, fungal and bacterial lung infections, asbestosis, pneumoconiosis and other debilitating illnesses. In addition, tuberculosis and its dreadful sequelae are still rampant in India. A good proportion of these diseases, is amenable to surgical treatment. However, patients have limited access to quality thoracic surgical care due to a number of obstacles. The biggest obstacles include the shortage of trained thoracic surgeons and lack of awareness amongst the public.

The department of Thoracic Surgery at Fortis Hospital is amongst the handful of specialized and dedicated centers in India for the prevention, early diagnosis and surgical treatment of diseases of the chest. We continue to expand treatment options for the patients, utilizing minimally-invasive procedures (key-hole surgeries), including video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) and robotic-assisted technology. Our surgeons provide state-of-the-art surgical techniques and cancer therapies, with a major focus in research on early diagnosis, better cancer staging, and prediction of recurrent disease in lung and esophageal cancer. We take a multi-disciplinary approach to the treatment of lung cancer, esophageal cancer, and other diseases of the chest, so we can streamline the patient experience with all thoracic specialists at Fortis.

The scope of non-cardiac thoracic surgical practice includes the diagnosis and management of benign and malignant diseases of the lung, esophagus, foregut, mediastinum, chest wall, pleura and pleural space. Thoracic surgeons treat the following diseases: