Minimally Invasive Chest Surgery and Thoracic Surgical Oncology

The Division of Minimally Invasive Chest Surgery and Thoracic Surgical Oncology is committed to excellence in patient care, teaching, research and community service. Services provided by the Saint John’s Cancer Institute Division of General Thoracic Surgery encompass all aspects of chest diseases. Our surgeons are well recognized leaders in Thoracic Surgery nationally and internationally.

Doctors talking

About our practice

Our patients come from all over the world to have their operation with our team. Surgeons from over 40 countries have visited our team to learn our techniques for minimally invasive surgery. We have run over 100 advanced VATS courses for thoracic surgeons around the world and developed minimally invasive techniques to perform chest operations for the last 25 years.

x-ray of chest

Lung Cancer Screening

In the US, lung cancer kills more people than breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer combined because lung cancer is usually found at an advanced stage that is not curable. Whether you are an active smoker or quit years ago, undergoing a screening can aid in the early detection of lung cancer, when it is most treatable and offers the greatest chance of survival.

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Rendering of cancer in the lung of a person


The diagnosis of lung cancer was terrifying, but I knew I needed to totally trust my surgeon at Providence Saint John’s and I did.

Jo-Ann was diagnosed with breast cancer, and her pre-operation screening revealed she also had lung cancer.

Dr. McKenna is recognized worldwide as a brilliant diagnostician, teacher, lecturer and technical innovator in the field of thoracic surgery. This man has saved thousands of lives, including mine.

Jeannette G.

Dr. Onugha is a very personable and kind physician. He was great with answering all of my questions.

Sara P

Dr. McKenna is kind, personable and an excellent doctor. I recommend him highly.

Marge Rheuban

Dr. Onugha took his time and explained everything to me. He made me comfortable throughout my appointment.

Rick T

Dr. McKenna has been following my care since 2011 when I had lung cancer. He is caring and he really knows his stuff.

Lu V

Dr. McKenna is very kind as is his staff. The level of care and his expertise is the very best. I also want to mention how great Saint John’s Hospital is, as I have never before received such incredible attention.

Linda Chase
Jo-Ann and family

A combined testimonial from Linda and Geoffrey, patients of Dr. Robert McKenna, Director of Minimally Invasive Chest Surgical and Thoracic Surgical Oncology at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica California.