Minimally Invasive Surgery
Board Certified in Thoracic Surgery
As co-director of the Esophageal and Lung Institute, Schumacher has played a major role in the resurgence of Allegheny, which is now treating pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma in Pittsburgh.
Schumacher was part of the team that performed Allegheny’s first robotic lung cancer operation.
“Robotic surgery is an exciting field that I’m quite passionate about,” she said. “It turns advanced technology into greater care for the patient. I’m fortunate in my field that we can give patients [with lung cancer] the chance for a cure.”
Robotic lung surgery is performed using the da Vinci Surgical System, a close-chest procedure that allows doctors to resect diseased lung tissue through small incisions. Robotics leads to less trauma to the patient and a quicker, post-surgery recovery.
Schumacher also uses it to perform esophageal surgery, thymus gland removal and the removal of chest cavity masses.
The use of robotics with mesothelioma is still evolving. It is used mostly as a diagnostic tool to determine who should undergo more aggressive surgery.
It also can be used to help achieve a more complete resection, reaching tumor cells in the hardest-to-reach places.
Outside the operating room, Schumacher spends considerable time working with Breathe Pennsylvania, the smoking cessation campaign that has spread across western Pennsylvania.
She works to encourage patient participation in Allegheny’s lung screening program aimed at early cancer detection.
With patients, she goes well beyond treating them in a traditional sense. She believes in making sure patients understand exactly what they are facing.
“When I meet a new patient, I really try to educate them on the disease they are seeing me for,” she said. “When they leave my office, they are well informed, able to make decisions on what their next step will be. That’s important.”
Schumacher came to Allegheny following a fellowship at nearby University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She did an earlier residency at Stanford Hospitals and Clinics.
She graduated from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Schumacher has expertise in most thoracic malignancies, doing esophageal surgery, laparoscopic surgery, thymus surgery and COPD surgery.
Her Allegheny Health Network is part of the Highmark Health system, which serves Western Pennsylvania.
There are eight hospitals in the system, including Allegheny General, its flagship academic medical center.
Disclaimer: Dr. Lana Schumacher has no professional affiliation with Asbestos.com.
Tim Povtak is an award-winning writer with more than 30 years of reporting national and international news. His specialty is interviewing top mesothelioma specialists and researchers, reporting the latest news at mesothelioma cancer centers and talking with survivors and caregivers. Read More