Clinical Services

Department of Thoracic, Breast and Endocrine, and Pediatric Surgery

Chairman and
Associate Professor
Toshihiko Sato M.D.,Ph.D.

We provide surgical care for diseases related to the chest other than the heart and blood vessels above the diaphragm, and for children. Thus we perform surgery for respiratory, mediastinal, breast and thyroid diseases. Our department members are qualified as medical specialists and teaching doctors certified by their relevant medical societies. Our mission is to make full use of the best technology and to perform safe and effective treatment for difficult diseases by surgical intervention. Our team performs more than 650 cases of thoracic surgery annually, and our department's facilities are regarded as among the best in Japan. In thoracic surgery especially, which is the main focus of our department, we treat mediastinal disease, primary and metastatic lung cancer, benign lung tumors and pneumothorax according to the safest protocols based on our extensive experience.

Recently, thoracoscopic surgery, including robotic surgery, has moved from open surgery towards minimally invasive surgical procedures. Fukuoka University Hospital was one of the first institutions in Japan to adopt this new method. Many patients have visited the hospital for treatment from Fukuoka Prefecture as well as all over Japan. Our educational programs train endoscopic surgeons and many doctors have visited our institution to learn our techniques.

Lung transplants are performed on younger patients with severe respiratory failure. At the moment there are only nine brain death lung transplant facilities officially approved in Japan. We performed the first brain death lung transplant in Kyushu and the living donor lung transplant of the youngest patient in the world. We are one of the few facilities to undertake lung volume reduction surgery for emphysema in Japan, mainly for the elderly, having performed this surgery on about 100 patients under strict criteria.

Fukuoka University Hospital provides comprehensive breast cancer treatment. In addition to standard surgical treatments, our multidisciplinary approach includes breast reconstruction by the plastic surgery department, imaging studies and radiation therapy by the radiology department and systemic chemotherapy by medical oncology to obtain the best treatment outcome for our patients.

Fukuoka University Hospital has been designated as the General Perinatal Medical Center in Fukuoka. The number of surgical interventions for all newborn infants is increasing, and very advanced endoscopic surgery for children can also be performed.
Furthermore, our pediatric surgery group delivers surgical care for children from newborns to adolescents, performing about 150 operations a year. We treat not only common conditions such as inguinal hernias, undescended testicles, invagination of intestines and acute appendicitis but also congenital conditions such as esophageal atresia, intestinal atresia and anal atresia, which require surgery during the neonatal period. We work together with a wide range of other clinical departments to care for children. We also give priority to endoscopic surgery and aim to provide medical care which is less stressful for children.