Thoracic surgery in France

J Thorac Dis. 2022 Jul;14(7):2721-2727. doi: 10.21037/jtd-21-1462.


Until recently, thoracic surgery in France was associated with vascular or cardiac surgery. It is now increasingly performed as a specific activity. Training of a thoracic surgeon has a common part with cardiovascular surgery during a 6-year curriculum including theory and practical practice acquired both by simulation and clinical fellowship. There are 343 board-certified surgeons performing thoracic surgery in 147 authorized centers. To be authorized to perform thoracic surgery, these centers must have at least 2 qualified surgeons and perform a minimum of 40 procedures per year for thoracic cancer. The discussion of the cases in a multidisciplinary tumor board (MDTB), validated by a written conclusion, is also mandatory and is a prerequisite for operating on patient for any cancer. All thoracic surgery procedures are recorded in a national database, Epithor. This database gives a precise idea not only of the activity but also of operative data, morbidity, mortality and follow-up. In 2023, participation to Epithor database will be a prerequisite for the certification of thoracic surgeons. Major changes in diagnostic and therapeutic options, development and innovations in video-assisted and robotically-assisted surgery, forthcoming transbronchial approaches will more likely lead to reorganize thoracic surgery with specialized and expert multidisciplinary boards as well as a concentration in high volume centers.

Keywords: Thoracic surgery; database; education.

Publication types

  • Review