Thoracic Surgery Faculty / Medical Staff >

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.

Departments List

Patients' Rights and Responsibilities

Patients' Rights

1. Right to receive medical care

Patients have the right to receive proper medical and nursing services for their Health Protection and Promotion and they will not be discriminated for gender, age, religion, status, nationality, language, race, or physical/mental/financial circumstances nor be violated of their health. Medical team may not deny medical care without justifiable reason.

2. Right to be informed & autonomous decision

Patients have the right to receive be well-informed and to inquire in detail about the treating physician’s specialty, status of their disease, purpose of the treatment, treatment plan, method, expected results and side effects of the treatment, discharge plan, medical cost, whether or not they are a subject to medical research, organ transplant/donation and etc, and to decide whether to give consent. Patients may stop or deny specific treatment or planned medical care within the ethical guideline and may decide on an alternative treatment.

3. Right to have confidentiality

Patients will not be violated of their rights to confidentiality regarding their physical/health status and privacy. Medical team and facility may not reveal or announce patient’s confidential information, including personal information, unless patient has gives consent or specified in the law, such as criminal investigation.

4. Right to request for consultation and mediation

Patients may request for consultation and mediation from an internal or external agency (Korea Consumer Agency, Korea Medical Dispute Mediation and Arbitration Agency) in the event of any medical dispute.

5. Right to be respected of values or beliefs

Patients will not be discriminated for their culture, religious values or beliefs, and their rights will not be violated.

6. Right to be physically protected and to have stability of mind and bod

Patients have the right to be protected from possible danger in the hospital and to have the stability of mind and body.


1. Responsible to trust and respect the medical team

Patients must accurately inform the medical team of their health condition, trust and respect the medical team’s treatment plan. Patients may be responsible for consequences which results from not following the instruction.

2. Responsible to not use dishonest method for medical treatment

Patients must reveal their identity before receiving any medical care and must not use false or dishonest method, such as receiving medical case under disguised ownership.

3. Responsible to abide by all hospital regulations

Patients must abide by all hospital regulations, respect hospital staff and other patients, and earnestly fulfill the financial obligation to the hospital.