Second Opinion Clinic


WVU Medicine specialists provide virtual second opinions to patients without the need to travel or to be seen in person.

Why should you or a loved one get a second opinion?

Receiving a second opinion can help provide peace of mind to you and your loved ones. It can reassure you about a challenging diagnosis, or help you plan the most appropriate course of treatment. Reviewed cases can sometimes result in a change of treatment plan for complex diagnoses or confirmation that your treatment plan is the best option.

The WVU Heart and Vascular Institute offers virtual second opinions from leading experts in the treatment of diseases of the chest (thorax), lungs, and upper gastrointestinal system (esophagus and stomach).

In addition to the peace of mind a second opinion can provide, a virtual second opinion also offers:

  • Convenience: No matter where you live, you can receive a second opinion from an expert at the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute without traveling to Morgantown, West Virginia.
  • A hassle-free process: Our easy step-by-step process makes it easy. Our nurse navigator will walk you through compiling and sharing your medical records and testing documents online using our MyWVUChart secure patient portal.
  • One cost: Using our MyWVUChart secure patient portal online payment is easy and safe.*
  • Quick turnaround: Our goal for turnaround time is 24 to 48 hours.


How it works

STEP 1: Complete and submit the online form
Here you will provide your name and contact information. Once you click “submit,” your information will be sent to one of our highly-trained nurse navigators, who will review your information and contact you for more information about your condition. Your nurse navigator will also help compile any initial questions you have for your WVU Heart and Vascular Institute specialists to answer.

STEP 2: Import documents into the MyWVUChart secure online patient portal
Contact your local primary care doctor or other healthcare providers to collect your medical records and any test results or medical imaging. These materials will be necessary for our specialists when reviewing your case.

STEP 3: Arrange for your virtual consultation and receive your second opinion
Once your medical records have been collected, our thoracic surgery team will review and arrange for your virtual consultation. Afterwards, you and your local physician will receive a detailed second opinion report. Our goal for turnaround time is 24 to 48 hours.

Learn about advanced treatments and procedures we offer →

Thoracic surgery experts

Our WVU Heart and Vascular Institute thoracic surgeons are world-renowned experts, recognized for their innovations and contributions to the field of thoracic surgery. Each is board-certified and fellowship-trained with decades of experience. Our thoracic surgery team is one of the most experienced teams you will find anywhere, using the most advanced equipment and latest surgical procedures. These techniques include minimally-invasive robotic surgery and video-assisted thoracic surgery, which help us to achieve the best possible patient outcomes.

Learn about advanced treatments and procedures we offer →


U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals 2020-21: High Performing in Lung Surgery

U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals 2020-21 designated our Lung Surgery program as High Performing in the Procedures and Conditions category. Read full story.

Three-star (highest) Rating from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS)

We earned a distinguished three-star (highest) rating from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for esophageal cancer patient care and robotic esophagostomy outcomes. The rating, which denotes the highest category of quality, places the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute among the elite in the United States and Canada for general thoracic surgery. Read full story.

Conditions we treat

Our thoracic surgery team, along with the support of cardiologists, oncologists, gastroenterologists, pulmonologists, radiation oncologists, respiratory therapists, and other specialists, in collaboration with the WVU Cancer Institute, perform a range of advanced procedures. These treatment options range from the straightforward to the most complex thoracic surgeries available for adults.

Chest Cancers

  • Esophageal cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Mesothelioma

Swallowing Problems

Chest-related Problems

  • Pectus excavatum
  • Pericardial effusions
  • Pleural effusions
  • Pneumothorax
  • Rib abnormalities


  • Emphysema
  • Lung failure
  • Tracheal stenosis
  • Hyperhidrosis

Trust your care with WVU Medicine

WVU Medicine, West Virginia’s largest health system and largest private employer, unites the clinical and research faculty of the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center with the hospitals, clinics, and health professionals of the West Virginia University Health System.

The WVU Heart and Vascular Institute is part of an integrated network of doctors, researchers, allied health professionals, hospitals, labs, institutes, and clinics across all of West Virginia, and expands into Western Maryland, Southwest Pennsylvania, and Southeast Ohio. We’re unified in purpose and are anchored by a 690-bed academic medical center in Morgantown, West Virginia, part of West Virginia University, an R1 research institution and West Virginia’s land-grant university.

Learn more about our Department of Thoracic Surgery →

Opening in September 2020

Patient Story

Diana explains how after 15 years of chronic cough and reflux, our team helped her find relief.

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Leaders in Lung and Esophageal Surgery

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World Class Care Right Here.

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Our Thoracic Surgery Faculty

With decades of experience, our thoracic surgery team is one of the most experienced teams you will find anywhere. Our world-renowned thoracic surgery experts are recognized globally for their innovations and contributions to the field of thoracic surgery.

Ghulam Abbas, MD, MHCM, FACS

Ghulam Abbas, MD, MHCM, FACS

Chief, Division of Thoracic Surgery and Surgical Director of Thoracic Oncology at WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, and the WVU Cancer Institute’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center; Associate Professor in the WVU School of Medicine Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery.


Dr. Abbas is internationally recognized for robotic lung sparing surgery for lung cancer and minimally invasive esophagectomy for esophageal cancer. He is also an expert in robotic surgery for complex lung cancer resection, first rib resection for thoracic outlet syndrome, thymectomy for thymomas and myasthenia gravis, neurogenic tumors, chest wall tumor resection and reconstruction, and sympathectomy for “sweaty palms.”

He came to WVU Medicine from Meridian Health System in New Jersey, where he served as director of minimally invasive thoracic surgery and medical director of thoracic oncology. Prior to that, he served as an assistant professor in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Medical Center for eight years. He also served as the chairman of the Department of Surgery at UPMC Passavant.

Dr. Abbas completed his residency training at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York and fellowship training in cardiothoracic surgery at Rush University Medical Center. He subsequently obtained advanced training in minimally invasive lung and esophageal surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In 2013, he received his master’s degree in healthcare management from Harvard University.

Dr. Abbas is board certified in surgery and thoracic surgery and author of numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles and book chapters. He has been an invited speaker at many international conferences on lung and esophageal cancer and is a member of several professional and scientific societies.

Alper Toker, MD

Alper Toker, MD

Director, Tracheal Reconstruction Program at the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute; Professor of Medicine in the WVU School of Medicine.


Dr. Toker is internationally recognized for his expertise in minimally invasive/robotic thoracic surgery and is one of the pioneers of robotic surgery for myasthenia gravis, a chronic autoimmune disease in which the skeletal muscles that are responsible for breathing and moving parts of the body, such as the arms and legs, become weak. He served as president of the European Society of Thoracic Surgery and continues to serve on the editorial boards of numerous thoracic and cardiovascular journals. He has published nearly 200 scientific publications in various international journals.

Dr. Toker leads the tracheal surgery program, robotic thymus/mediastinal surgery program, program for extended surgery for lung cancer, mesothelioma program, and chest wall surgery program.