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.

Surgical Packing List Suitcase

Some thoracic surgeries will require a hospital stay postoperatively. Although we know that the hospital is not nearly as comfortable as home, we have put together a resource to help you think about items that may make your stay more comfortable.


  • Patient Itinerary
  • Photo ID and Insurance Cards


  • Cell Phone and Charger
  • Headphones (wireless units minimize cords)
  • Table/Laptop and Charger
  • Portable speakers or phone docking station

Toiletries and Personal Care Items

  • Earplugs
  • Shampoo (dry shampoo) & conditioner
  • Body wash/facial scrub
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Lotion
  • Sleep mask
  • Shaving necessities
  • Chapstick/lip balm (common to have dry lips after surgery)


  • Button-down shirts (pulling clothing after your head following chest surgery can be difficult and in some cases should be avoided)
  • Comfortable shorts and/or pants
  • Loose t-shirts
  • Flip-flops, sandals or slippers (although you likely will be given hospital grip socks and asked to wear at all times)
  • Underwear (sports bras or front-closure bras work well for female patients)
  • Socks

Other Recommendations and Helpful Tips:

  • You may bring snacks or food from outside the hospital for when you feel up to eating (verify with your provider any post-op dietary restrictions)
  • It is advisable to leave valuables at home (cell phones/laptops/money should be left with family during surgery)
  • WiFiBody-piercings, nail polish and all jewelry will need to be removed before your surgery (no exceptions)
  • All campus have free guest Wi-Fi (recommend stocking up on online movie titles)
  Request Appointment