Thoracic Surgery



The Department of Thoracic Surgery of Zhongshan Hospital was founded in 1947 with Prof. Huang Jiasi being the first director, who was a famous thoracic surgeon and one of the founders of thoracic surgery in China. Despite the extremely unfavorable condition at the time, the department still managed to deliver surgical treatments for tuberculosis, bronchiectasis, and lung cancer, which were in the national forefront in the field of thoracic surgery. Over the past 60 years, the department has made continuous progress, staying abreast with the time, and is now witnessing the emergence of nationally known thoracic surgeons like Shi Meixin and Qiu Dehui. With multiple innovative achievements in the country, the department has always been in the leading position in China.

With generations of efforts, the department has become an advanced diagnosis and treatment center for thoracic surgery diseases integrating medical practice, education and scientific research. In 2011, it was included as a clinical key discipline by the Ministry of Health, ranking at the top of thoracic surgery departmentsin general hospitals in China.

The current department director is Prof. Wang Qun, a renowned thoracic surgeon in China. The department consists of two sub-specialties: lung cancer and esophageal cancer, with Prof. Ge Di and Prof. Tan Lijie being the subspecialty director respectively. There are 115 beds and 29 doctors, including 3 professors andchief physicians, 12 associate chief physicians, 9 attending physicians, 5 resident physicians, 3 doctoral supervisors and 4 master supervisors. Every year, over 4000 surgeries are performed here, including 2500 lung cancer surgeries and 600 esophageal cancer surgeries, having one of the highest surgical numberamong the general hospitals in China.

Clinical features

With the strength in comprehensive diagnosis and treatment, and the heritage of outstanding surgical skills from the predecessors, thedepartment is capable of a variety of general thoracic surgeries, and high difficulty level surgeries such as carina reconstruction in patients with lung cancer, pancoast tumor resection, double sleeve lobectomy, tracheal tumor resection, lung volume reduction, colonic interposition for esophageal replacement, chest wall reconstruction after giant chest wall tumor resection, chest wall reconstruction with myomucosal flap transfer after open drainage for infectious empyema. 

The department was one of the first domestic thoracic surgery departments to deliver minimally invasive thoracic surgeries in China, with advanced endoscopic minimally invasive techniques. Various routine endoscopic surgeries are carried out including thoracoscopy for lobectomy, thoracoscopy for wedge resection, thoracoscopy for resection of esophageal leiomyoma, endoscopic hiatal hernia repair, endoscopic fundoplication, Nuss procedure for pectus excavatum, total endoscopic radical resection of esophageal carcinoma and robot-assisted resection,mediastinoscopy, endobronchial ultrasound bronchoscopy, and bronchopleural fistula treatment with fiberoptic bronchoscopy etc. Total endoscopic radical resection of esophageal carcinoma and single puncture thoracoscopic lung surgeries are especially well-known at home and abroad.

We pay a lot of attention and energy not only to the development of minimally invasive techniques, but also to its promotion. In accordance with our clinical continuing education mission of “In Shanghai, For China”, we regularly hold endoscopic surgery classes every year and host “Zhongshan Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery Forum & Endoscopy Senior Seminar” and “Zhongshan Lung Cancer Forum”, attracting a large number of thoracic surgeons. Director Wang Qun has been honored as a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, one of the few in China. Moreover, we have presented our research results many times at some of the top international conferences for thoracic surgery, such as AATS, STS, ESTS, EACTS, and ASCVTS, sharing our dazzling achievements on the international stage.

Research and Teaching Achievements

While making progress in clinical practice to maintain our leading position in the country, we also play an active role in scientific research. At present, achievements have been made in basic research domains such as mechanism of esophageal carcinoma metastasis and pulmonary post-ischemia reperfusion injury. We have undertaken 9 projects funded by National Natural Science Foundation and several by Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality and Shanghai Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning. Over 200 papers have been published in various journals both at home and abroad.

For years, we have achieved many important research results. Prof. Shi Meixin led studies on heart-lung machine, extracorporal circulation, and heart valve prosthesis, which won the National Science Conference Award in 1978, Science and Technology Progress Award of the Ministry of Health in 1999, and Science and Technology Award of the Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation in 2001. The minimally invasive surgical technique for esophageal carcinoma developed by Prof. Tan Lijie and his team won the third prize of Shanghai Science and Technology Progress Award in 2014.   

As a key department of a large teaching hospital, we are responsible for the teaching of undergraduates and 8-year program students. For decades, we have cultivated a large number of graduates with doctoral and master’s degrees, some of whom have become the backbone of the department, while others are contributing their talents in other famous thoracic surgical departments across the country.     

As the Chinese old saying goes, “the journey is long, but I will search up and down.” We will rely on our robust clinical skills and the comprehensive strength of the hospital, and forge ahead to build a world-class diagnosis and treatment center for thoracic surgery.