Thoracic Surgery: Incidental Lung Nodule Program

  Please contact us at 1-855-GWLUNGS, option 2
to refer a patient to our program or to be evaluated in our lung nodule clinic.

The Incidental Lung Nodule Program at GWU Hospital specializes in the evaluation, risk assessment, and management of incidentally detected lung nodules on imaging studies. Our goal is to provide prompt and evidence-based care for patients with pulmonary nodules and ensure that they are followed appropriately for better patient outcomes.

Lung nodules are an increasingly common finding on imaging studies. Some estimate that over 30% of CT scans detect a lung nodule and that 1.6 million patients are found to have a lung nodule each year. Often, the lung nodules are found on imaging performed for an unrelated reason. 

doctor pointing to a chest x-ray

Although most lung nodules are benign, a small percentage of them may be cancer or require further workup. Evaluation and monitoring of incidentally detected lung nodules can help to diagnose lung cancer at earlier stages when it is most treatable. Improper or nonexistent follow up can negatively impact patient outcomes. Approximately 2 out of 3 patients with incidental pulmonary nodules do not receive adequate radiographical and clinical follow up. 

The Incidental Lung Nodule Program was therefore created at GW to efficiently evaluate, manage, and follow patients with lung nodules. The evaluation of incidental nodules has become increasingly complex, and many times overlooked. Our team will carefully assess and follow nodules according to criteria guidelines, patient history, and risk factors. Our program is designed to ensure that patients found to have a lung nodule receive the appropriate follow-up and evaluation and do not “fall through the cracks.” This program opens a new path for the early detection of lung cancer. 


  • Our lung nodule clinic provides prompt, systematic evaluation and customized care plans for patients with detected lung nodules. In most cases, new patients can be evaluated within a week of referral.
  • Multidisciplinary nodule review board including experts in Thoracic Surgery, Pulmonology, Interventional Pulmonology, and Chest Radiology.
  • Direct access to medical and radiation oncology consultations when appropriate. 
  • Recommendations are communicated throughout the care process to patients, referring physicians, and primary care providers.
  • Our clinic offers second opinions of previously assessed nodules.

Refer a Patient to our Lung Nodule Clinic:

  • Providers may refer patients to our clinic for evaluation of lung nodules. Please call 1-855-GWLUNGS and select option 2.

Patient Self-referral:

  • Please contact us at 1-855-GWLUNGS, option 2 to be evaluated in our lung nodule clinic. 

Program Leadership

Sora Ely

Sora Ely, MD
Physician Lead

Our Location