Today is Tuesday, Apr. 24, 2018

Department of


Section of Cardiothoracic Surgery


Division of Thoracic Surgery

The University of Cincinnati division of thoracic surgery is a leader in treating the entire spectrum of thoracic diseases including lung cancer, benign and malignant esophageal disorders, airway, mediastinal, diaphragmatic and chest wall disease. The division has the most extensive experience in minimally invasive thoracic procedures in the Tri-State region, including video-assisted thoracoscopic (VATS) lobectomy, minimally-invasive esophagectomy and robot-assisted thoracic surgery. We also utilize sophisticated interventions for complex airway and foregut disorders.

Dr. Valerie Williams, who joined the Division in 2011, offers special expertise in the evaluation and surgical treatment of benign esophageal diseases, including advanced endoscopic therapies for esophageal malignancy. She is the only surgeon in the region to offer the LINX procedure for gastroesophageal reflux disease, a minimally-invasive procedure reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The division specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer and they perform the highest volume of lung cancer surgery in Cincinnati. Special attention is directed to patients who are at high risk for surgery due to underlying lung disease.

The division offers a full range of lung cancer treatments from minor resections to highly complex thoracic operations. Dedicated lung cancer surgeons work in partnership with radiation oncologists, pulmonologists, chest radiologists and medical oncologists to provide comprehensive lung cancer care to patients through the UC Cancer Institute Lung Cancer Center. Through UC Health, the team launched the first and only multi-disciplinary lung cancer screening program for patients at increased risk for lung cancer in November 2012. Lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scans has been shown to improve lung cancer survival in those at higher risk for lung cancer. We have a dedicated nurse coordinator, Michelle Ottersback, and our team offers individualized care for our patients while working closely with referring physicians. We have screened 300 people at high risk for lung cancer to date and remain the only lung cancer screening program in the region to be recognized as a Screening Center of Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance.

Julian Guitron, MD
Sandra L. Starnes, MD
Dr. Starnes in OR
Division Director:
Sandra L. Starnes, MD
Professor of Surgery
John B. Flege, Jr. Chair in Cardiothoracic Surgery
Chief, Section of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Director, Division of Thoracic Surgery