Dr. Diego González Rivas

Thoracic Surgery Specialist at Quirónsalud A Coruña Hospital
Clinical area

Dr. González Rivas became the first surgeon in the world to perform single-port VATS anatomical resections (firstly in June 2010). The single-port VATS surgical technique is pioneering at world level, since it enables the removal of more complex tumours through a single incision. With over 15 years’ experience, Dr. González Rivas is also a pioneer in performing major single-port lung surgery in patients without intubation and with spontaneous breathing (firstly in April 2014), and he is also a pioneer in performing single-port resections using an articulated robotic arm, without the need of an assistant (firstly in 2016).

Professional experience

• Creator of the Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery Unit (UCTMI) at Quirónsalud A Coruña Hospital. He also works at San Rafael Hospital and at HM Modelo Medical Centre.

• Creator and current Director of the single-port video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery training programme at Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, China (the largest thoracic centre in the world with 10,390 major lung resections performed in 2016 alone).

• Specialist in Thoracic Surgery at A Coruña University Hospital Complex (2005-present). Member of the lung transplantation programme (one of the largest in Spain, with 40-45 cases each year).

• Thoracic Surgery Department at Santiago de Compostela University Hospital Complex (2004-2005).

• Resident Doctor in Thoracic Surgery at A Coruña University Hospital Complex (1999-2004).

Membership in scientific societies
  • Coordinator of the Congress Committee of the Spanish Association of Thoracic Surgery (SECT) between 2014-2017.
  • He contributes to the educational activities of the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS), the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS) and the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery (ISMICS).
  • He has held the qualification of the European Board of Thoracic Surgery (EBTS) from the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS) since 2010.
  • He is a member of several scientific societies, with whom he collaborates every year, including the prestigious American Association of Thoracic Surgery (AATS), where he was elected the youngest member of the society in 2016.
Research and teaching

Dr. González Rivas is a member of many editorial committees, reviser of several scientific journals and has participated in many presentations and congresses at world level. These include:

  • Single-port VATS Master-class in Taiwan: live surgery from hospital and theoretical sessions at medical university, Tri-Service General Hospital and National Defence Medical Centre, Taipei, Taiwan, 13th February 2014.
  • Professor at ESTS School of Surgery: Minimally Invasive Surgery for lung diseases, diaphragm dysfunction and thoracic trauma, European Society of Thoracic Surgery, Elancourt Centre, Paris, 10-11 February 2014.
  • Director and Organiser of the Fourth Experimental Workshop and Live Single-Port VATS Surgery at A Coruña Hospital and Technological Training Centre, 10-12 December 2013, A Coruña.
  • Professor at IRCAD (Research Institute Against Digestive Cancer): Advanced Course on Thoracoscopic Surgery (theory and wet lab) at IRCAD Centre, Strasbourg (France), 21-23 November 2013.
Stay in foreign centers
  • Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, China: Creator and current Director of the single-port video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery training programme. It is the largest thoracic centre in the world with 10,390 major lung resections performed in 2016 alone.
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, New York.
  • He began performing minimally invasive surgery for anatomical resections (VATS) in 2007, after learning the technique at Cedars Sinai, Los Angeles with Dr. Rob McKenna. After performing over 100 lung resections with the 3-incision technique, he visited the Duke University Medical Centre in North Carolina to learn the biportal technique with Dr. Thomas D’Amico. Once he had gained experience with this technique, he developed the surgery until evolving to the single incision approach for lung surgery.
Languages for clinical practice
  • Spanish
  • English