Thoracic Surgery

Thoracic Surgery

The CHA Division of Thoracic Surgery helps patients with health conditions affecting the chest including the airway, chest wall, foregut (esophagus and stomach), lungs, mediastinum, and pleura.

Dr. Jennifer Wilson is on staff at both CHA and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, giving you access to high quality care and the latest techniques.

Diseases Evaluated or Treated

  • Achalasia
  • Airway Diseases (tracheal stenosis, malacia)
  • Benign and Malignant Esophageal Diseases
  • Chest wall tumors
  • Diaphragm hernia
  • Esophageal motility disorders
  • Esophageal stricture
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD)
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Hyperhydrosis
  • Infectious Diseases of the Lung (ie tuberculosis)
  • Lung Cancer
  • Lung Nodules
  • Mediastinal Tumors (ie thymoma, germ cell tumors)
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Pectus Excavatum
  • Pleural Diseases (ie effusion, empyema, pneumothorax)
  • Sarcoidosis

Services Provided

Airway diseases: Cervical tracheal stenosis

Surgical treatments:


  • Cervical tracheal resection

Benign esophageal disease evaluation and treatment: achalasia, esophageal motility disorders, hiatal hernia, gastroesophageal reflux, benign esophageal stricture

Surgical treatments:

  • Esophagoscopy: stricture dilation
  • Laparoscopic fundoplication
  • Laparoscopic Heller myotomy
  • Laparoscopic hiatal hernia repair

Chest wall tumors

Surgical treatments:

  • Chest wall resection

Diaphragm hernia

Surgical treatment:

  • Minimally invasive diaphragm hernia repair

Esophageal cancer evaluation and treatment

  • A multidisciplinary approach to the staging and treatment of esophageal cancer to our patients.
  • Our team consists of gastroenterologists, medical and radiation oncologists, pathologists and thoracic surgeons.
  • Surgical treatments:
    • Esophagectomy

Hyperhydrosis of the hands

Surgical treatments:

  • VATS thoracic sympathectomy

Infectious diseases of the thorax (ie tuberculosis)

Surgical treatment:

  • Lung resection, decortication

Lung cancer evaluation and treatment

  • A multidisciplinary approach to the staging and treatment of esophageal cancer.
  • Our team consists of interventional radiology, pulmonologists, medical and radiation oncologists, pathologists, and thoracic surgeons.
  • Surgical procedures:
    • Video assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS); also known as minimally invasive surgery
    • Lung (wedge) biopsy or resection
    • Anatomic lung resection: segmentectomy and lobectomy
    • Pneumonectomy

Mediastinal lymphadenopathy evaluation and treatment

  • Surgical biopsy often required for diagnosis:
    • Endobronchial ultrasound transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) – an outpatient procedure using a bronchoscope
    • Mediastinoscopy
    • Mediastinotomy

Mediastinal mass evaluation and treatment

  • Surgical treatments:
    • VATS biopsy, mass resection, thymectomy

Pectus excavatum

  • Surgical treatments:
    • Nuss bar or Ravitch procedure

Pleural disease evaluation and treatment: effusion, malignancy, masses, pneumothorax

  • Surgical treatments:
    • Thoracentesis
    • Chest tube (drain) placement
    • Tunneled pleural catheter (Pleurex) placement for chronic malignant pleural effusions
    • VATS pleural biopsy
    • VATS blebectomy and pleurodesis to treat recurrent pneumothoraces

Pulmonary nodule or mass evaluation and treatment

  • Surgical treatments when indicated include VATS wedge biopsy, segmentectomy, or lobectomy

Pulmonary rehabilitation programs for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or emphysema

Meet Jennifer Wilson, MD

Director of Thoracic Surgery at CHA

SPECIALTY: Thoracic Surgery

CLINICAL TITLE: Director of Thoracic Surgery at Cambridge Health Alliance

ACADEMIC TITLE: Instructor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School

PRACTICE AFFILIATIONS: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Cambridge Health Alliance


  • Airway Diseases
  • Benign and Malignant Esophageal Diseases
  • Chest Wall Tumors
  • Hyperhydrosis
  • Lung Cancer
  • Lung Cancer Screening
  • Mediastinal Tumors (ie thymoma)
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery (laparoscopic, robotic, video assisted thoracoscopic surgery/VATS)
  • Pectus Excavatum
  • Pleural Diseases
  • Thoracic Oncology


  • Medical School: University of Missouri Kansas City 2009
  • Residency: Swedish Medical Center - Seattle, Washington 2014
  • Fellowship: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center – Boston, MA 2016
  • Certifications: American Board of General Surgery, American Board of Thoracic Surgery Candidate


Locations and Appointment Information

Appointment line: 617-665-2555

Where you can see a CHA Thoracic Surgeon:

Patient Resources

For Physicians

We look forward to working with you to provide excellent communication and ensure the best possible outcome for your patient. Our goal is to keep you updated on your patient's status and to make ourselves available to answer your questions or address any concerns.

To refer a patient for evaluation or treatment please call 617-665-2555.