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Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery

General Thoracic Surgery Section

The Section of General Thoracic Surgery provides diagnostic and treatment services for patients with benign and malignant disease of the lung, esophagus, mediastinum, and chest wall.  The program provides patients with comprehensive evaluations by a multidisciplinary team from the NCI designated Hollings Cancer Center.  This team includes specialists in surgery, medical oncology, pulmonary medicine, gastroenterology, radiation oncology, radiology, and pathology.  The program offers innovative treatment such as minimally invasive surgical techniques, navigational bronchoscopy and endobronchial and endoscopic ultrasound, as well as traditional surgical approaches.

As well as a team approach to each patient’s disease, cutting-edge clinical trials and basic and clinical research are part of the mission of the thoracic surgical team.

Our surgeons also are also an integral part of South Carolina’s only lung transplant program.  Patients are initially seen by pulmonologists specializing in lung transplantation and undergo a comprehensive evaluation when transplantation is thought to be a likely treatment option.

Why Choose Us?


The Section of General Thoracic Surgery is led by surgeons who are board-certified in cardiothoracic surgery and have chosen to limit their practice to general thoracic (non-cardiac) surgery.  Only 10-15% of US cardiothoracic surgeons devote 100% of their practice to general thoracic cases.  A patient at MUSC will have a thoracic operating room team, a specialized intensive care unit, and a designated patient-care floor dedicated to optimizing recovery.  While hospitalized, our patients are managed continuously by the thoracic surgical team with 24/7 coverage.

There are advantages to coming to a hospital with high volume in general thoracic cases.  For some conditions, such as esophageal cancer, a high volume surgeon and hospital have been correlated with better outcomes.  High volume allows us to build a support team that facilitates a continuum of care of high quality.

We are proud of our team approach and are dedicated to optimizing treatment plans for each patient.  We work closely with referring physicians across the state and strive to coordinate additional treatments, when necessary, close to home. For example, in order to make traveling for our patients more convenient, we have established a satellite office for out-patient visits in Pawleys Island.  

For a consultation regarding thoracic surgery, call 843-876-4844

Read more about our Thoracic Oncology Program

Meet Our Faculty and Staff

Chadrick E. Denlinger, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery

Larisa Diffley, PA
Clinical Instructor
Maggie McClain Ramsden, NP
Clinical Instructor
Collette L. Mayes
Administrative Assistant
to Dr. Klapper
Allison McCreary
Administrative Assistant
to Dr. Denlinger



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