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Thoracic surgeon joins Southcoast Hospitals, expands lung cancer surgery

Richard Miller, MD, becomes the South Coast region's only dedicated thoracic surgeon

For Immediate Release Contact: Joyce Faria Brennan
February 15, 2007 508-961-5270
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Richard T. Miller, MD
FALL RIVER, Mass. — Richard T. Miller, MD, a thoracic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive thoracic surgery and thoracic oncology, has joined the practice of cardiothoracic surgeons Thomas Carr, MD, and Christian T. Campos, MD, of Southcoast Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery in Fall River, formerly Southcoast Cardiac Surgical Associates. He will serve on the staff of Southcoast Hospitals Group in the practice of thoracic surgery at Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford and Tobey Hospital in Wareham.

Cardiac and thoracic surgeries are commonly practiced together. Cardiac surgery generally refers to surgery of the heart and its vessels while thoracic surgery refers to surgery in the chest other than the heart. Drs. Carr and Campos perform both cardiac and thoracic surgeries. Dr. Miller specializes in thoracic surgery and is currently the only dedicated thoracic surgeon in the South Coast region.

The addition of a dedicated thoracic surgeon expands the scope of Southcoast's cardiothoracic surgery program, which has brought unprecedented access to advanced cardiothoracic services to the region and has received exemplary reviews and outstanding patient satisfaction since its inception in 2002.

Southcoast's thoracic surgery program will include more comprehensive and minimally invasive surgery for lung cancer and palliative surgical interventions for lung and esophageal cancer.

"The South Coast region has a high number of lung cancer patients who must leave the area to receive surgery and treatment," Dr. Miller said. "Southcoast's thoracic surgery program will build upon the success of the heart surgery program and similarly offer comprehensive thoracic surgery right here in the community, where it is needed the most."

Dr. Miller specializes in video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery, or VATS, which is performed primarily in early stage lung cancer patients or high risk patients that may not be a candidate for conventional lung surgery. The technique uses a thorascope, or a special tube-like instrument equipped with a camera, and surgical instruments that are inserted through small incisions made between the ribs. This minimally invasive approach to lung surgery is the first for our region, offering patients quicker recovery time, less pain and smaller surgical incisions.

Having completed an Advanced Thoracic Surgery Fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Dr. Miller also brings extensive experience in additional types of lung surgery, foregut surgery and anti-reflux surgery. He is board certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery.

Dr. Miller said he is enthusiastic to work with Southcoast's cardiac surgery team, which continues to be recognized for its commitment to quality and outcomes data. He plans to have office hours at all three Southcoast hospital locations.

Dr. Carr, Director of Cardiac Surgery at Southcoast Hospitals, said Dr. Miller's appointment to the Southcoast Hospitals medical staff "further expands the advanced services being offered to the patients, families and the communities of the entire South Coast region."

Prior to joining Southcoast, Dr. Miller practiced at St. Luke's Hospital in Bethlehem, Pa. A graduate of Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., Dr. Miller received his medical degree from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark, N.J. He completed a residency in general surgery at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, N.J. and a cardiothoracic residency at the University of West Virginia in Morgantown, W.Va.

Dr. Miller resides in Fairhaven with his wife, Sarah.

About Southcoast's Cardiac Surgery program

Southcoast Hospitals Group performed the first open heart surgery in Southeastern Massachusetts in April 2002, bringing the lifesaving procedure to the region with the state's highest incidence of heart disease. Southcoast was the first of three community hospitals approved by the DPH to offer open heart surgery and elective coronary angioplasty at its Charlton Memorial Hospital site in Fall River. Supplemental material about Southcoast Heart Services can be found online at

About Southcoast

Southcoast Health System, a not-for-profit charitable organization, is a community based health delivery system with multiple access points, offering an integrated continuum of advanced health services throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and East Bay, Rhode Island. It includes Southcoast Hospitals Group, formed in 1996 from the merger of Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford and Tobey Hospital in Wareham.

Southcoast has more than 40 ancillary facilities, including the Southcoast Health Van, home health care, hospice and infusion services, numerous outpatient medical services, an assisted living facility and a wellness center. For more information visit

Southcoast is one of three community hospitals approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to perform open heart surgery and primary angioplasty beginning in Spring 2002.

Media Contact

Joyce Faria Brennan
Phone: 508-961-5270
Pager: 508-387-9605
Fax: 508-961-5876

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