Welcome to

The Pediatric Heart Center


Thoracic Surgery, Chest Wall Defects

The Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Montefiore has a robust Thoracic Surgical Program that treats a variety of different pulmonary and chest wall diseases. 

The airway team at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) frequently treats patients with complex tracheal disease that require major surgical therapy. The group at Montefiore has extensive experience with tracheal resections and slide tracheoplasty, a new technique that treats even the most severe form of tracheal stenosis, complete tracheal rings.

The intensive care unit and the pulmonary, radiology and infectious disease departments at CHAM support an aggressive program that treats children who have pneumonia that is failing to improve with medical therapy. Children with pneumonia who fail to respond to antibiotics quickly can suffer complications such as an abscess in the lung or an empyema, an infection in the chest cavity. The team at Montefiore evaluates these patients with ultrasound, a technique that is not only painless but also avoids radiation exposure for the child. When complications of pneumonia are detected, the surgical team treats the patients with video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS), a minimally invasive approach. Patients who might have spent weeks in the hospital can usually go home in just a few days after a VATS procedure. Children with complications of pneumonia are transferred to CHAM routinely from around the region for such therapy.

Pectus excavatum and pectus carinatum are common defects of the chest wall affecting both young children and adolescents. The thoracic program at CHAM coordinates care of these patients between the pulmonary department, psychology department and surgical division. Performing the modified Ravitch procedure, surgeons at Montefiore have extensive experience with this lesion, which affects not only children's bodies, but also how they view themselves at a key time of development.