Thoracic & Esophageal Surgery

We offer decades of experience, knowledge, and innovation all coming together with advanced treatments and compassionate care.

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You can rest assured that you will receive the very best comprehensive, innovative, and supportive care in the region.

At the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, our board-certified, and fellowship-trained thoracic surgeons treat patients with diseases of the chest (thorax), lungs, and upper gastrointestinal system (esophagus and stomach), using the most advanced equipment and latest surgical techniques including minimally-invasive robotic surgery and video-assisted thoracic surgery to achieve the best possible patient outcomes.

Our thoracic surgery team, along with the support of cardiologists, oncologist, gastroenterologist, pulmonologist, radiation oncologist, respiratory therapists and other specialists, including collaboration with the WVU Cancer Institute, perform the most straightforward to the most complex thoracic procedures on adults.


U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals 2023-24: High Performing in Lung Surgery

U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals 2023-24 designated our Lung Surgery program as High Performing in the Procedures and Conditions category.



Conditions we treat

Chest Cancers

  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Thymoma and Thymic Cancer
  • Chest Wall Tumors
  • Mediastinal Tumors
  • Tracheal Tumors
  • Mesothelioma

Swallowing Problems

  • Achalasia
  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Zenker’s diverticulum
  • Esophageal diverticulum
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
    • LINX
    • TIF Procedure
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Esophageal Stricture
  • Cryotherapy

Chest-related Problems

  • Tracheomalacia
  • Pectus excavatum
  • Pneumothorax
  • Rib abnormalities
  • Slipped Rib Syndrome
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome


  • Tracheal stenosis/ injury
  • Tracheo-esophageal fistula
  • Lung Failure
  • Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome
  • Tracheomalacia
  • Hyperhidrosis

Treatments and Procedures

Screening techniques and surgical procedures include:

Lung Cancer staging and Treatment
Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS)
Robotic Bronchoscopy
Robotic Lung Surgery – Segmentectomy
Robotic lobectomy, sleeve lobectomy
Post-Chemoradiation lung surgery for locally advanced lung cancer

Esophageal Cancer Surgery
Endoscopic Mucosal Resection
Robotic Esophagectomy
Esophageal Stenting
Photodynamic therapy

Thymoma Surgery
Robotic Thymectomy for thymoma and Myasthenia Gravis

Surgery for GERD and Hiatal Hernia
Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF)
Robotic Fundoplication, Nissen, Toupet, Dor
Redo Laparoscopic Hiatal Hernia Surgery

Surgery for Achalasia
Robotic Heller Myotomy

Surgery for Zenker’s Diverticulum
Transoral Stapling of Zenker’s Diverticulum

Surgery for Esophageal Diverticulum
Robotic Esophageal Diverticulectomy

Surgery for Chest Wall Tumors/Disorders
Nuss Procedure for Pectus
Chest wall tumor resection and reconstruction
Rib Plating

Surgery for Slipped Rib Syndrome

Surgery for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Robotic First Rib Resection

Surgery for Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome
Robotic Incision of Median Arcuate Ligament

Other Procedures
Airway-Tracheal and Bronchus surgery
Epigastric hernia repair
Lung Volume Reduction Surgery
Mediastinal surgery
Myasthenia Gravis
Pericardial Window
Robotically assisted lung resection surgery
Surgical treatment of hyperhydrosis
Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS)

Minimally invasive and robotic-assisted surgeries

These surgeries are minimally invasive advanced procedures using the Da Vinci robot. With minimally invasive procedures some patients experience less pain, and faster recoveries than other surgeries, helping you spend less time in the hospital. Robotic surgery options include:

  • Esophagectomy to remove part of the esophagus
  • Sympathectomy for excessive sweating
  • Lung resection for thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Hiatal hernia repair
  • Heller myotomy to release the muscle at the end of the esophagus

Laparoscopic and endoscopic surgeries

These surgeries use fewer incisions or no incisions. With fewer incisions, patients are at a lower risk for pain, bleeding and infection. Patients also have a faster recovery from surgery. Laparoscopic surgeries include:

  • LINX magnetic ring for GERD to prevent stomach acid from entering the esophagus
  • Endoscopic mucosal resection to remove damaged or cancerous areas of the esophagus
  • Radiofrequency ablation to burn away cancerous or damaged cells
  • Cryoablation to freeze away cancerous or damaged cells
  • Transoral stapling of the diverticulum to treat Zenk’s divertuculum
  • Per oral endoscopic myotomy to release the muscle at the end of the esophagus

About our Centers of Excellence

Robotic Thoracic Surgery Program: Our physicians have more experience performing robotic surgeries than any other surgeons in the region. We also have one of the most structured robotic thoracic surgeries programs in country, giving patients access to the latest care and highly trained surgeons. Our program aims to improve patient safety as well as the quality of robotic surgeries.

Center for Benign Esophageal Disease: We collaborate with our Digestive Diseases team to provide diagnosis and cutting-edge therapies that include high-resolution manometry, impedance, and BRAVO capsule aid in difficult diagnoses.

Esophageal Cancer Program: We take pride in the quality of care given to esophageal cancer patients. Robotic esophagostomy is used for esophageal cancer procedures.

Center for Airway Disease: We offer multiple minimally invasive options for patients with complicated airway disease. Tracheal stenosis, endobronchial tumors, and bronchial strictures can be treated with ablative therapy, cryotherapy, photodynamic therapy, endobronchial stenting, endobronchial valves, and tracheal resection. Conventional modalities of rigid and flexible bronchoscopy are also available

Adult ECMO Program: The only program of its kind in the state, it is a nationally recognized Center of Excellence, providing the highest level of care and outcomes. Learn more about the Adult ECMO program.

Advanced Lung Cancer Program: Our multidisciplinary program, which includes radiation and medical oncology, provides SBRT and uses state-of-the-art technology to treat stage III and IV lung cancer. We also offer immunotherapy, ablative therapy, and a mesothelioma program.

Lung Cancer Screening Program: Lung cancer screening uses a low dose CT scan (LDCT) of the chest to screen for a lung mass or nodule that could indicate lung cancer.

Latest News

The WVU Heart and Vascular Institute Advanced Heart Failure team was the first in West Virginia to implant the Cordella® Pulmonary Artery Pressure Sensor System as part of the PROACTIVE-HF Pivotal Trial sponsored by Endotronix.

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Clinical Research

The experts at the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute conduct ongoing heart and vascular clinical trials and research studies.

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Academics & Fellowship Programs

Learn more about the WVU School of Medicine Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery.

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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 have been recognized around the world for their innovations and contributions to the field of thoracic surgery.

Alper Toker, MD

Professor and Division Chief
Thoracic Surgery
Morgantown, WV

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J.W. Awori Hayanga MD, MPH

Thoracic Surgery
Morgantown, WV

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Jason Lamb, MD

Assistant Professor
Thoracic Surgery
Morgantown, WV, Elkins, WV

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Shalini Reddy, MD

Assistant Professor
Thoracic Surgery
Morgantown, WV

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Through partnerships and affiliations with local hospitals and clinics, we bring access to complete comprehensive care for patients across West Virginia, and into surrounding regions, including Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and beyond. It is also our privilege to work with community providers and help provide advanced care for their patients.

WVU Heart and Vascular Institute Main Campus at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital

1 Medical Center Drive
Morgantown, WV 26506
Phone: 877-988-4478
Services: Clinic, Surgery

WVU Heart and Vascular Institute at Camden Clark Medical Center

705 Garfield Avenue
Parkersburg, WV 26101
Phone: 304-424-4760
Services: Clinic, Surgery

Get Directions

Elkins - Clinic

105 Nathan Street
Elkins, WV 26241
Services: Clinic

Garrett Regional Medical Center - Clinic

13079 Garrett Highway
Oakland, MD
Phone: 855-WVU-CARE
Services: Clinic

Get Directions

WVU Heart and Vascular Institute at Berkeley Medical Center

2000 Foundation Way, Suite 3650Martinsburg, WV 25401
Services: Clinic, Surgery

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WVU Heart and Vascular Institute at Wheeling Hospital

20 Medical Park, Ste. 105
Wheeling, WV 26003
Phone: 304-242-4800
Services: Clinic, Surgical Procedures

Thomas Memorial Hospital

4605 MacCorkle Ave. SW

South Charleston, WV 25309

Phone: 304-766-3600

Services: Clinic

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United Hospital Center

527 Medical Park Drive
Bridgeport, WV 26330
Phone: 681-342-3730
Services: Clinic, Surgery

Get Directions

For more information or to schedule an appointment,
call 855-WVU-CARE (855-988-2273) or schedule online.