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Scott Swanson, M.D.

Dr. Swanson
Boston, MA

Dr. Scott Swanson

Chief Surgical Officer

Brigham and Women's Hospital

75 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 732-6824

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Harvard Medical School - 1985

Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Harvard and Brigham and Women’s Hospital


Dr. Scott Swanson is a respected thoracic surgeon with experience at several top cancer centers on the east coast. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, he has returned to his alma mater to serve as director of minimally invasive thoracic surgery at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a medical center partner of Harvard and home of the International Mesothelioma Program. Dr. Swanson also serves as chief surgical officer at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a cancer care partner of Brigham and Women’s.

Educational Background

Dr. Swanson received his medical degree from Harvard in 1985. He went on to complete two residencies at Brigham and Women’s Hospital: one in general surgery and one specializing in thoracic surgery, or surgery of the lungs, chest and neck. He was awarded a research fellowship in vascular biology at Harvard and a fellowship in thoracic oncology at Brigham and Women’s.

Clinical and Laboratory Research

Dr. Swanson’s expertise lies in the areas of lung cancer, esophageal surgery, lung transplantation and thoracic oncology. Most importantly, he brings to Brigham and Women’s extensive experience with minimally invasive surgery techniques such as video-assisted thoracic surgery. Also known as VATS, video-assisted thoracic surgery is a relatively new technique that allows surgeons to access the inside of a patient’s chest cavity by slipping a video camera and surgical instruments through small incisions in his or her body. As opposed to open-chest surgery, VATS can offer patients a lower rate of complications and a quicker recovery time.

“In video-assisted thoracic surgery, or VATS, we make three small cuts—two for instruments and one for a tiny camera—and can perform operations that used to require a big incision and spreading the ribs,” Dr. Swanson told Boston Magazine in 2009. “It's a major advance—probably like the first guy who sent an e-mail and said, ‘This is the real deal.’”

Before assuming his current position at Brigham and Women’s, Dr. Swanson served as a thoracic and cardiothoracic surgeon at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

Additional Work

Dr. Swanson is board certified in surgery, surgical oncology and thoracic surgery, and is a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. He is also an active member of a number of professional associations, including the American Medical Association, the American College of Chest Physicians and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Relevant Publications

Dr. Swanson has authored a number of scholarly articles on the topics of thoracic surgery and is the co-author of The Atlas of Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery. He was also a co-editor of Sabiston and Spencer Surgery of the Chest, a two-volume reference book for medical students and surgeons.

Author: Linda Molinari

Editor in Chief, Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

Linda Molinari

Reviewer: Annette Charlevois

Patient Support Coordinator

Annette Charlevois


Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Division of Thoracic Surgery – Dr. Scott Swanson

Brigham and Women’s Hospital – International Mesothelioma Program

Discovery Channel Expert Profile – Dr. Scott Swanson

“Top Doctors 2009: Making the Rounds,” Boston Magazine

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