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The Department of Thoracic Surgery at the Shanghai Chest Hospital (SCH) has a long tradition of leadership in China for developing new therapies and performing complicated surgeries in all areas of thoracic diseases. As a referral center for pulmonary, esophageal, tracheal and mediastinal diseases, it claims the largest volume (over 1300 annually) and the highest quality of treatment in the field in China.

So far, they have accumulated over 15,000 cases of pulmonary resection for lung cancer alone, and that number is one of the highest among thoracic centers in the world. The five-year survival rate at SCH was 30% in 2005, a result awarded by the Bureau of National Science and Technology Development and the Shanghai Bureau of Science and Technology Development. Aided by the da Vinci robotic surgical system, they have successfully performed the first in China roboticly assisted lobotomy on a patient who was in the early stage of lung cancer. The procedure was completed in two hours and only four 1 cm holes were made on the chest according to

For esophageal surgery, SCH uses the three-incision approach (cervico-thoraco-abdominal). With the principle of extended lymph nodes dissection and selective adjuvant chemotherapy, the Shanghai Science and Technology Committee has confirmed significant improvement in the mid-term survival rate of esophageal carcinoma. The National Committee of Science and Technology presented the SCH with a First-Class Achievement Award for their technique to treat esophageal defects using free jejunum under a microscope.

SCH is the best center for the management of mediastinal tumors. The surgical-pathological research team has achieved remarkable results, with more than 1000 cases of thymic epithelial carcinoma, the largest number of thoracic centers in the world.

SCH has been the leading hospital in tracheal surgery in China ever since the department was first established. They are the first center to perform carinal resection and reconstruction through either the right or the left approach. The Ministry of Public Health awarded them for their results in tracheal circumferential resection and reconstruction, and the Municipal Government of Shanghai awarded them for their tracheal surgery.

Other treatments include allograft sternum transplants, allograft tracheal transplants, allograft lobar lung transplants, and reconstruction of the chest wall with the tissue engineering technique. Thoracoscopy and mediastinoscopy are routinely used to aid diagnosis and treatment of various thoracic diseases.

In order to keep abreast with world-class thoracic centers, the department regularly sends surgeons abroad to either receive training on newly developed surgical procedures or participate in scientific research with top scientists from around the globe.

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