Division of General Thoracic Surgery


About Us


World-renowned surgeon Dr. David J. Sugarbaker arrived at the Texas Medical Center in 2014 and founded the Division of General Thoracic Surgery, the Lung Institute, which integrates medical and surgical treatments for benign and malignant non-cardiac thoracic diseases, and the Mesothelioma Treatment Center, focused on the evaluation and treatment of patients with mesothelioma. Within its first year of operation, the division recorded over 1,100 clinic visits and 400 surgical cases cared for by a multidisciplinary team of experts ranging from surgeons to medical oncologists, radiologist, and social workers.

Today, Dr. Bryan M. Burt, associate division chief, Dr. Shawn S. Groth, director of Esophageal Surgical Services – former trainees of Dr. Sugarbaker recruited from Stanford University and UPMC respectively, and Dr. R. Taylor Ripley, director of the Mesothelioma Treatment Center, lead a team that is quickly making its mark in the Texas Medical Center.

Advanced techniques pioneered by the late Dr. Sugarbaker and colleagues are now offered at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, including the extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and inter-operative heated chemotherapy for the treatment of mesothelioma.

The Center for Dysphagia and Swallowing Disorders, co-founded and co-directed by Dr. Groth, provides a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to benign esophageal disease, supported by a team of otolaryngologists, gastroenterologists, radiologists, speech therapists, and nutritionists to evaluate and treat swallowing difficulties.




The Division of General Thoracic Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine offers a variety of clinical and research training opportunities. The Thoracic Surgery Residency at Baylor/Texas Heart Institute is a traditional cardiothoracic surgical training program that accepts four thoracic surgery residents annually.

One of these positions will be offered to a General Thoracic Surgery track applicant, who will receive the highest level of training in thoracic surgery at Baylor, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. Our division additionally offers two clinical fellowships.

Our Advanced General Thoracic Surgical Training fellowship accepts applicants for one to two years of advanced clinical training in minimally invasive lung and esophageal resections to complex open thoracic resections. Our Thoracic Oncology Fellowship is a one to two year fellowship that is divided into a clinical training program in advanced thoracic surgery, and a clinical research training program that is tailored to the research interests of the applicant.

Finally, our thoracic surgery research laboratory is focused on novel therapeutics to thoracic malignancies and offers post-graduate positions for training in basic and translational laboratory research.

Learn more about the Thoracic Surgery Residency



Our number one priority is to provide the highest quality of surgical and postoperative care to individuals with thoracic surgical problems. Our surgeons offer a wide range of innovative surgical services ranging from minimally invasive operations on the lung and esophagus to the most aggressive open approaches for advanced and complex thoracic malignancies. Our surgeons work in close collaboration with physicians in the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Baylor Lung Institute, facilitating a true multi-modal, multidisciplinary approach to patient care.

Find more about the thoracic surgical services we provide
Media Component
Baylor College of Medicine

Meet Dr. R. Taylor Ripley


Dr. R. Taylor Ripley is a specialist in thoracic surgical oncology and specializes in conditions such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other diseases of the chest.