When diseases, injuries or malformations in the chest need to be treated, the thoracic surgeon takes action. The thorax consists of the pleura, the bronchi, the lungs and the windpipe. The mediastinum, as the space between the sternum and the thoracic spine is called, also belongs to the field of thoracic surgery.
Whether it's pneumonia, an inflammation of the pleura or an accumulation of pus in the thorax, which in turn can be the result of a lung abscess, or if air enters the pleural cavity causing a so-called pneumothorax - these are all areas of application for thoracic surgery. Specialists for thoracic surgery also deal with congenital malformations of the thorax such as funnel chests, tumors in the chest cavity and - together with the oncologist - lung cancer and lung metastases.
Of course, as in all areas of surgery, this also includes those therapies that do not require surgery. In the case of the thorax, for example, these include radiation therapy or chemotherapy to treat lung cancer or the use of antibiotics.