About the Department for Thoracic Surgery

Our Department for Thoracic Surgery is one of the leading university centers in Switzerland. We inform you about diseases and injuries of the thorax (chest) and their surgical treatment options and therapeutic procedures.

Our history

Thoracic surgery at the University Hospital Zurich has a long tradition.

Renowned surgeons such as Ferdinand Sauerbruch, Alfred Brunner and others laid the foundations for the international importance and good reputation of our center several decades ago. After a heyday in the middle of the 19th century, the introduction of tuberculostatics with the consecutive decline in tuberculosis surgery and later the focus of interest on the new specialty of cardiac surgery temporarily pushed classical thoracic surgery into the background.

Over the last two decades, significant advances such as lung transplantation have revolutionized traditional thoracic surgery. This development has an enormous impact on both research and everyday clinical practice.

The experience gained can be used, for example, in trachea and bronchial surgery or in procedures on patients with advanced lung diseases. Video-assisted minimally invasive surgery was developed and has since replaced the classic thoracotomy for many procedures. Volume-reducing surgery for emphysema has also opened up new treatment options and expanded the surgical possibilities for treating patients. With interdisciplinary networking and expertise, a high level of specialization and successful research activities, our clinic pursues a high level of patient care and quality assurance.

Interdisciplinary collaboration

Our thoracic surgery clinic works together with other clinics and departments of the University Hospital Zurich on an interdisciplinary basis in diagnostics and therapy. For example, lung cancer is treated using interdisciplinary concepts, which makes diagnosis and treatment more demanding but also more effective.


The Clinic for Thoracic Surgery is a center certified by the German Cancer Society DKG and complies with the requirements of ISO 9001:2008 of TÜV Süd Management Service GmbH. In addition, the thoracic surgery clinic has been awarded “Institutional Quality Certification” by the ESTS (European Society of Thoracic Surgeons) and is an SIWF-certified training center.