Thoracic Surgery

The Division of Thoracic Surgery was founded in 2000. The division plays a significant part in the academic mission of the department, through education, research, and promoting excellent clinical care.

The division offers a full compliment of thoracic surgical activities, including:
  • Management of lung cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Mediastinal and pleural diseases and benign diseases of the esophagus and lung, including transplantation
The Royal Alexandra Hospital has become the center of the program, where most outpatient, inpatient and administrative activities take place.

By embracing innovation, and working with a collaborative spirit, the division has evolved to become a significant contributor to the specialty at a local, provincial and national level.

Noteworthy administrative activities include participation in the following:
  • Alberta Medical Association representation
  • Canadian Association of Thoracic Surgeons
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta

Areas of Interest

​The division is a recognized national leader in minimal access procedures of pulmonary resections, mediastinal and esophaeal diseases. Recently, the division developed clinical programs in endobronchial ultrasound and pleural disease and is about to role out a region wide triage program.


​The division faculty are members of the discovery learning program and active participants in undergraduate medical education, with didactic lectures in the surgery program supervising students during their specialty rotations.

The postgraduate medical education clinical program is typically comprised of residents from cardiac and general surgery.

The division also provides significant educational interaction with Allied Health Professionals in respiratory therapy, nutritional services, pharmacy and nursing.

Programs and Courses

​The division has a one year fellowship program for trainees wanting to improve their skills in video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) techniques.

Dr. Eric Bédard has developed a mentorship program for practicing surgeons to learn the VATS technique for anatomic pulmonary resections. The program has been recognized by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) with an award for outstanding mentorship.


​The research contributions of the division are diverse, but centered on clinical activity and program development. These include publications and international presentations on postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy, pulmonary transplantation and VATS pulmonary resections.

There is ongoing research in the areas of postoperative pain management, clinical program development of VATS pulmonary resections and the management of esophageal cancer.

The division has developed a tumour-bank at the Royal Alexandra Hospital which has fostered collaborative research with the Cross Cancer Institute.