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Welcome to the Department of Surgery

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Center for the Surgical Treatment of Lung Infections

With emphasis on the combined medical surgical treatment of NTM and Tuberculosis


Chronic lung infections, also known as Infectious Lung Diseases, cause millions of deaths throughout the world each year.  Tuberculosis (TB) alone results in two to three million deaths per year, despite the use of highly potent anti-TB medications and modern antibiotics.  NTM is a silent killer since it’s not transmissible from person, therefore exact data is lacking.

Infectious Lung Diseases

  • Tuberculosis
  • Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB)
  • Non-tuberculous mycobacterial infections (NTM) – also known as atypical mycobacteria, environmental mycobacteria (EM) and mycobacteria other than tuberculosis (MOTT)
  • Fungal lung infections
  • Bacterial lung infections


The first line of defense against these serious lung infections is drug therapy.  National Jewish Health, a collaborative partner of the University of Colorado Hospital, is an international referral center for the most complex and challenging lung infections.  When drug resistance has built up or if there is extensive damage to the lungs, surgery may be the best option for controlling and sometimes even curing the disease.  The surgical center has been the referral source for these patients.  Dr. John Mitchell has been the surgeon since 2004.


Surgical cases are referred to The Center for the Surgical Treatment of Lung Infections at the University of Colorado Hospital, the only center of its kind in the United States.  The Center is under the direction of Dr. Marvin Pomerantz.  Our team has performed more than 750 infectious lung disease surgeries over the past 27 years, including more than 250 cases of tuberculosis and multi drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).  We have operated on more than 400 patients with NTM (EM, MOTT, etc), and the remaining cases are fungal and bacterial lung infections.

Case Reviews

University of Colorado Hospital has a multidisciplinary team of infectious lung disease specialists who are available to review cases and provide a second opinion on the most appropriate course of treatment. We have been the surgical consultants for National Jewish Health (world renowned for its pulmonary care) for more than 27 years. Upon reviewing documentation provided by you and your referring physician, our team will make one of four recommendations:

• Continue with your current treatment.

• Add a new drug(s) to your regimen.

• Your unique problem would benefit by a referral to a specialized program such as those at National Jewish Health.

• Your situation would benefit from surgical intervention by specialized surgical teams. If you choose to come to our program we would ask you to be evaluated at National Jewish Health prior to surgery.

Information required before we can do a case review includes chest X-rays, CT scans, PFTs, cardiac workups and VQ scans, including the date of each procedure/test.

Please note that it takes a minimum of five business days for us to review a case after we have received all of the necessary documentation. We will contact you as soon as we have fully reviewed the case.

If surgery is your best option, our team will work with you and your referring physician to make sure you fully understand the process, risk and anticipated outcome of your case.

Request an Appointment

To learn if you are a surgical candidate, please have your doctor contact Amy Bishop, Patient Affairs Coordinator at 1-800-877-9245.