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Thoracic surgery service

Providing surgical treatment for chest diseases

Coronavirus: thoracic surgery update

Due to increased demand on the hospital due to the COVID-19 pandemic we are having to make significant changes to our services which may require cancellation or postponement of appointments and operations, including cancer treatment.

Much of our cancer surgery is being carried out at London Bridge Hospital (private hospital) to minimise the risk of our patients getting COVID-19 infection while under our care. We are using HCA facilities but the surgery will be carried out by our Guy’s and St Thomas’ thoracic consultants.

Patients

We are attempting to contact all patients with a future scheduled appointment. In most cases we are changing appointments to a telephone consultation, and in certain circumstances, a video appointment. Some appointments may be cancelled without a future date being arranged at this stage. If we cancel your appointment you will remain on our waiting list and we will contact you in due course. Some patients may be discharged back to their GP or local services, and we will write to you if this is the case.

Please do not worry if you have not had confirmation of your rescheduled appointment yet. This is likely to vary depending on the length of the coronavirus lockdown. We will contact you nearer to the time of your appointment to confirm the date and time. If you feel that there has been a deterioration in your symptoms or health that might be related to your cancer, please contact us and we will advise whether further investigations are required at this time.

Existing patients

If you have a question about an appointment for clinic or surgery, please email our admin team at ThoracicOutpatientInbox@gstt.nhs.uk or call 020 7188 7188 ext 81069.

Our phone lines are very busy and there may be a delay in answering and responding. Please try email first where possible.

If you are an existing patient who has previously been seen in our service and need advice from the clinical team, please email gst-tr.thoracicsurgery@nhs.net or contact us via switchboard 020 7188 7188 and request the on call thoracic team.

Upcoming operation

If you have an upcoming operation with us, you and members of your household must not leave your home for two weeks prior to surgery. Groceries should be delivered to your door by delivery services or by family and friends who do not live with you. Please let us know if you think this will be a problem.

We need to be sure you are not developing viral infection at the time of your operation for your own and our staff's safety.

Please make sure you have adequate social support at home to manage once discharged from hospital after surgery. If you think this will be a problem, please let us know

If you or anyone in your household develops symptoms of COVID-19 infection prior to surgery, please let us know at once.

If you are on any anticoagulants or blood thinning medication, please let us know well in advance of your surgery, as we may need to pause this treatment.

GPs

For urgent clinical advice or referrals from other medical teams, GPs and hospitals, please email gst-tr.thoracicsurgery@nhs.net.

e-RS referrals

We are not currently accepting e-RS referrals. All referrals for urgent treatment should be discussed directly with the on call thoracic surgery consultant via our switchboard 020 7188 7188 or preferably by emailing gst-tr.thoracicsurgery@nhs.net, unless critical.


About us

The department of thoracic surgery specialises in the surgical treatment of chest diseases. 

It is one of the largest lung cancer practices in the UK and is one of only two centres participating in the mesothelioma and radical surgery trial (MARS). 

The most common problems we deal with are:

  • lung cancer
  • cancer of the lining around the lung (mesothelioma)
  • cancer from elsewhere in the body (lung metastases)
  • lung collapse due to air (pneumothorax), fluid (pleural effusion) or infection (empyema).

Patients may have experienced shortness of breath, a persistent cough, coughing up blood, chest pain, fevers, a chest infection or weight loss. Their symptoms are usually investigated with a chest x-ray or CT scan of the chest.

The most common operations we perform are video-assisted thoracoscopy (VATS), which is a form of keyhole surgery, and removal of part (or all) of the lung. We also diagnose and treat other chest pathologies such as mediastinal tumours, cysts or infections.

Coronavirus

Please visit the main Trust coronavirus (COVID-19) page for more information.