Welcome to the Mayo Clinic Chest Surgery Page. Chest surgery at Mayo Clinic (also known as thoracic surgery) involves the organs of the chest, but extends to the esophagus (tube between mouth and stomach), the trachea (airway) and the chest wall (rib cage and breastbone).

Follow this page to stay up-to-date on clinical trial research, patient stories and useful information for all of your thoracic needs. Our goal is to connect you to others to become informed decision makers. Post a comment and share your thoughts.

Introduction to your inpatient hospital unit

The purpose of this tab is to introduce you to the hospital unit you may stay on as part of your recovery. We have included both general information about the standards of care found at all locations as well as site specific unit information to help you plan your surgical stay.




General Information

Your health-care team

A team of highly skilled health professionals work together 24/7 to develop your plan of care. Physician regularly see their patients when they make "rounds" of the hospital floor. During rounds a Mayo Clinic staff supervising physician (consultant) forms a multidisciplinary team to review your care with you and your family members. Rounds usually occur in the morning. In the evening, you will be visited again by your surgical team to address concerns and evaluate progress. The thoracic surgeon team is available 24 hours a day.

The nursing team coordinates care of the patient throughout hospitalization. Registered nurses (RN's) and patient care assistant (PCA's) staff the unit 24 hours a day under the supervision of the nurse manager. In collaboration with the supervising physician, the nursing team strives to provide comprehensive care throughout your stay.

The multidisciplinary team consists of members to provide the best individual care for your stay. The members of the team that can be personalized to your individual needs include surgical team physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, the pain service, pharmacists, physician and occupation therapists, dietitians, social workers, discharge planners, health unit coordinator, chaplains etc. To assure good communication, these team members meet regularly to review your plan of care and coordinate services to meet your individual needs for your hospital stay and eventual discharge from the hospital .

We encourage you to freely discuss any concerns you have about your health and plan of care with the multidisciplinary team members. Mayo Clinic is committed to providing thorough examinations, comprehensive diagnosis and treatments and detailed answers to your questions about your care, medications, and preparation for discharge. Your health-care team will work in partnership with you to provide the best experience possible.


Health-care providers will help you to perform self-care activities while encouraging your independence. As you recuperate, your health-care team will perform some, but not all of your care, helping you to focus on those aspects of your care that you can still do. They will teach your family or friends ways to assist you and instruct you on new ways to care for yourself.

Communication and Confidentiality

In case it is necessary to reach a family member when they are not present at the hospital, please leave a current telephone number and address at the main desk.

On the day of surgery, family members should sign in and out at the main desk. A surgical communicator uses the sign-in sheet to locate family members in order to provide information regarding surgical start time, finishing time and time of arrival in the recovery room. In addition, the surgical communicator may ask that the family meet the surgeon after the completion of the surgery. Once you, the patient, arrive to the unit your family and friends no longer need to sign in or out.

Immediate family members are welcome to call the unit at any time to get limited updates on your status. Staff will, when possible, refer telephone calls to family members who are present at the hospital. In situations where authorized family members are unavailable to obtain permission for you or the patient to provide the caller with updates, we will inform the caller that no information is available. These measures are necessary to protect the privacy and confidentiality of our patients.

Spiritual Needs

Chaplains of most denominations are available 24 hours a day to help meet the spiritual needs of both patient and families. Staff can contact a chaplain or rabbi for you at any time. You may also contact a chaplain or rabbi directly.  A Patient & Visitor Handbook will also be available on the unit, which will list all church services at Mayo clinic and the location of its chapels.

Patients may leave the floor to attend chapel services with physician approval . For those unable to attend, closed circuit television covers the service at designated times.

Visiting Guidelines

We recognize the importance of family and friends in the support and recovery of the patients we care for. Visiting hours are flexible to provide quality time with family members and friends and to allow medical and nursing staff to care for their patient.

We suggest the following guidelines:

  • Visiting hours are open, unless otherwise specified by your physician or nurse.
  • Visitors in the hospital after 8:30 p.m. should obtain a visitors badge from the unit secretary
  • Refrigerators available on the unit for personal items (we ask that items be labeled)


Coming soon...



Coming soon...



Francis 5C is located on the Saint Marys Hospital campus in Rochester, Minnesota and provides care for adult thoracic surgical patients. The unit is a Progressive Care Unit (PCU) as well as a General Care post-surgical unit PCU monitoring is often used in the immediate post-operative period and with patients who have a cardiac history. The unit consists of 21 private rooms and 6 semi-private rooms.

Unit Phone Number:


Visiting Guidelines:

  • Quiet hours occur daily between 1:00pm-2:30 pm. During this time you will notice our lights being dimmed on the unit.
  • Overnight guest are limited to one family member if the patient occupies a private room.  Family members will not be able to stay overnight in the room for our semiprivate room set-ups.
  • We ask that all our guest adhere to our mutual respect policy in order to enhance our unit environment and recovery of all the patients on our unit.

Spiritual Needs:

The Saint Francis Chapel in the Francis Building, fifth floor is always open for quiet reflection. The Saint Marys Chapel and interfaith mediation room are also available to patients, family and visitors for reflection.



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