Thoracic Surgery

The Department of Thoracic Surgery of the Samsung Medical Center is largely divided into the Division of Cardiosurgery and the Division of Lung and Esophageal Surgery in which all medical staff are doing their best to implement accurate diagnosis and treatment and provide the best services.

Major areas of treatment / Clinics

The Division of Cardiosurgery is providing surgical treatment for patients with cardiovascular diseases such as congenital heart diseases, adult heart diseases and aortic diseases, and is playing an important role in our cardiovascular center. The Division of Lung and Esophageal Surgery treats diseases that occur in the lungs, esophagus, trachea, pleura, walls of the chest, and mediastinum.

Strong points

The number of open-heart surgeries that the Division of Cardiosurgery of the SMC performs each year amounts to 1,200, which is the highest level in Korea.
We are well-known not only for the number of surgeries we perform but also for their results. In fact, we are Korea's best hospital in this regard, and our mortality rate from valve and coronary artery surgeries, which occupy the most of heart surgeries, is only 0.5%. We are leading the state-of-the-art heart surgery field with our recent establishment of a hybrid operating room and installation of a Da Vinci machine which enables robotic surgery. Our success is not limited to our clinical results. We have grown significantly in the research field as well and are actively engaged in major international associations. Concerning our coronary artery bypass surgeries, we perform the highest number (more than 3,800 cases) and our fatality rate is the lowest (0.5%). The result of our aorta valve replacements does not have a single case of fatality for recent several years, and most of our patients with mitral valve problems are benefiting from valvuloplasty. The notoriously dangerous tricuspid valve surgery has reaped among the world's best results and was published several times through overseas seminars.
We are the first hospital to have adopted an extracorporeal membrane circulator and have introduced it nationwide. At present, almost all hospitals have this equipment in their departments of thoracic surgery and are using it to save lives. We are also planning on adopting a ventricular assist device, which will help patients waiting for heart transplant surgery to stay alive. We have successfully operated on all kinds of complex deformities found in children, and our success is remarkable among hospitals in Korea. By adopting new techniques and skills both decisively and actively, we have been applauded by other hospitals. We were the first to succeed in transcatheter aortic valve implantation, which is recently holding the spotlight, and are actively using endoscopy for heart surgeries. Robotic surgery using a Da Vinci machine has not been adopted yet as it is still not considered more advantageous than endoscopy, but is planned for adoption soon for patients with appropriate indications. The Division of Lung and Esophageal Surgery of the SMC performs approximately 2,200 surgeries per year (as of 2010), the highest in Korea and one of the highest in the world.
In addition to the large number of surgeries we perform, our performance in terms of minimizing the prevalence rate, fatality rate, duration of hospital stay, and cost of surgery and hospitalization is consistently the best in Korea. We enjoy an unparalleled reputation in terms of both quantity and quality of services. Not only are we a superior care provider, but we are also one of Korea's best research institutes. We publish more than 20 SCI papers annually, and actively engage in clinical research.