As the next installment of the podcast series from the GRACE NSCLC Patient Education Forum, I'm pleased to offer a presentation by the Chief of the Thoracic Oncology Division at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle -- my own institution. Dr. Aye has been at the center of the program from the beginning, and whatever success our center has achieved in the field is a reflection on his steady leadership. He was one of the leading reasons I felt I would be happy at Swedish, and nearly seven years later, I can say that he's been one of my favorite aspects of working there.
Historically, surgery for lung cancer has been through an open thoracotomy (thorax = chest; otomy = cutting/slicing), which involves a long incision around the side of the chest, removal of ribs, and spreading of the remaining ribs to get a good view of the area of the operation. Even with the most skilled surgeons, it's a procedure that is rigorous for a patient to get through and has a recovery period typically of weeks.