Thoracic Surgery

Press Room

Tracey Weigel 

Meet Westchester Top Doctor Thoracic Surgeon Dr. Tracey L. Weigel


Department of Surgery




Thoracic Surgery

Thoracic Surgery

A Leader in Minimally Invasive Robotic Procedures

The Cardiothoracic Surgery Program and its experienced team maximize the latest technology and innovative procedures to provide expert and comprehensive surgical intervention conveniently close to home for all diseases of the heart and lungs.

Such advantages have led to the Cardiothoracic Surgery Program, which also has dedicated robotic-surgery and anesthesia teams, being one of the busiest in the nation.

Ninety percent of the program’s approximate 300 annual surgeries are performed using the minimally invasive and extremely precise high-definition da Vinci XI robotic system at Westchester Medical Center and MidHudson Regional Hospital, also a member of Westchester Medical Center Health Network, in Poughkeepsie. This embrace of technology results in enhanced patient comfort, shorter hospital stays, faster recovery, less scarring, the ability to perform thoracoscopic (VATS) lung-preserving segmentectomies, and potentially decreased blood loss.

The da Vinci robotic system translates the surgeon’s hand movements into corresponding micro-movements with noise “tremor” reduction. Articulating instruments are inserted through small incisions. The surgeon is guided by three-dimensional high-definition video stereoscopic cameras that deliver bright, crisp, high-resolution views and precisely replicate natural color. Magnification of up to 10 times gives surgeons a view offering exceptional detail – often better than with larger, more painful “open” surgical incisions. Surgeons team with outstanding registered nurses, specialized, robotically trained physician assistants and technicians. All are dedicated to the highest level of patient compassion from diagnosis to treatment to aftercare.

Pioneering Robotic Surgery in the Hudson Valley

Nationally respected Chief of Thoracic Surgery Tracey Weigel, MD, also performs surgery at WMCHealth’s HealthAlliance Hospital in Kingston and MidHudson Regional Hospital. She has extensive clinical and research expertise in both minimally invasive and robotic-assisted surgical treatment of thoracic conditions, and was one of the pioneers who adopted the first da Vinci robotic platform in 2006. Her surgeries treat conditions ranging from the benign and routine to the rare and malignant. Her clinical research has focused on developing innovative surgical techniques to treat lung, thymic and esophageal conditions. She specializes in robotic lung- sparing surgery for high-risk COPD patients and those diagnosed with cancer. She also participates in the Lung Cancer Screening Program across WMCHealth and provides second opinions for patients throughout the Hudson Valley.

Westchester Medical Center provides the only multidisciplinary tracheal program in the Hudson Valley. It is comprised of a dedicated, board-certified otolaryngologist, interventional pulmonologist and a thoracic surgeon to treat patients with complex tracheal stenosis and/or tracheal malacia. Dr. Weigel has developed a team with Westchester Medical Center gastroenterologists focusing on swallowing disorders (dysphagia) including achalasia, and other rare neuromuscular disorders or diverticula of the esophagus that inhibit swallowing.

WMCHealth Heart and Vascular Institute cardiologists partner with the thoracic team through pre-operative screenings and clearance of patients through lab tests, scans and reviews of a patient’s cardiac history. This assesses each patient’s needs to determine the best, most comprehensive course of treatment.

Thoracic Surgery Program team members, dedicated to the best outcomes and patient satisfaction, are establishing a “Prehabilitation” Program to help patients improve their physical condition in advance of surgery. This home-based approach includes an exercise regimen, smoking cessation, and nutritional and psychological support. In addition, surgeons share their expertise by teaching and training medical students and surgery residents at New York Medical College, WMCHealth’s academic affiliate.

Surgical Services and Specialty Areas

Diseases And Conditions We Treat

  • Lung mass/nodule/obstruction
  • Mesothelioma
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Thymoma/Thymic Cancer
  • Paraesophageal and hiatal hernias
  • Pleural effusions
  • RSD/ hyperhidrosis
  • Zencker’s diverticulum
  • Mediastinal mass
  • Epiphrenic diverticulum
  • Enteric or bronchogenic duplication cyst
  • Esophageal leiomyoma
  • Esophageal Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST)

Thoracic Surgeries

  • Minimally Invasive, Video Assisted (VATS)
  • Lobectomy
  • Segmentectomy /sublobar resection
  • Esophagectomy
  • Thymectomy
  • Sympathectomy
  • Paraesophageal and hiatal hernia repair
  • Heller myotomy, Dor or Nissen Fundoplication
  • Pleural biopsy/pleurodesis (talc or doxycycline)

Robotic Procedures

  • Lobectomy
  • Esophagectomy
  • Thymectomy
  • Paraesophageal and Hiatal Hernia repair
  • Heller Myotomy, Dor or Nissen Fundoplication

Endoscopic Procedures

  • Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS)
  • Endobronchial cryotherapy, tumor ablation, stenting for bleeding or obstruction
  • Esophageal cryotherapy, tumor ablation, stenting for obstruction

Open Procedures

  • Thoracotomy
  • Pancoast Tumor Resection
  • Extrapleural Pneumonectomy
  • Chest Wall Desmoid Resection
  • Chondrosarcoma Resection
  • Belsey Mark IV Hiatal Hernia repair
  • Transthoracic Nissen Fundoplication

The da Vinci XI Robot Technology

Contact and Locations

For General Information | Call 914.493.8793

Appointments, Referrals and Information

Westchester Medical Center
100 Woods Road
Valhalla, NY 10595

MidHudson Regional Hospital
241 North Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Learn more about Robotic Surgery at MidHudson Regional Hospital.

HealthAlliance Hospital
105 Mary's Avenue
Kingston, NY 12401

1561 Ulster Avenue, 2nd Floor
Lake Katrine, NY 12449

Our Providers

Weigel, Tracey L., MD
Tracey Weigel, MD
Chief, Thoracic Surgery
Clinical Professor of Surgery
  • Thoracic Surgery