John F. Lazar, MD| Thoracic Surgery | MedStar Health

John F. Lazar, MD
Provider is directly employed by MedStar Health

4.8 out of 5 (306 reviews)

Specialties: Thoracic Surgery

Languages: English


About me

John F. Lazar, MD, is a board-certified general thoracic surgeon, director of thoracic robotics at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, and an assistant professor of thoracic surgery at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Dr. Lazar also serves as the medical director of the MedStar Center for Surgical Innovation, part of the MedStar Institute for Innovation. He is a member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the Society of Robotic Surgery, and serves on the executive board of both the Eastern Cardiothoracic Surgical Society and the American Lung Association.

As a general thoracic surgeon, Dr. Lazar specializes in the treatment of malignant and benign diseases of the lung, the esophagus, the mediastinum, the trachea, and the bony structures of the chest wall. Dr. Lazar uses laparoscopic, video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS), robotic, and open surgical techniques for the treatment of thoracic conditions. Some of the surgeries he performs are robotic esophagectomy, mediastinal resections, hiatal hernia repair, tracheal repair and resection, and complex robotic lung preserving resections. In addition, Dr. Lazar and his team are one of the only teams in the world that robotically treat tracheobronchial malacia, a condition that causes difficulty breathing due to airway collapse.

Dr. Lazar’s clinical interests include treating benign and malignant diseases of the esophagus, lung cancer prevention, and the use of advanced robotic surgical techniques in the chest. His professional interests have focused on the development of new technologies for robotic surgery, understanding and alleviating healthcare disparity, and applying multidisciplinary approaches to improve long-term survival and quality of life for thoracic cancer patients. He is passionate about educating communities about the benefits of quitting smoking while giving them the tools necessary to quit, and educating them on the ways to get screened for lung cancer.

One of Dr. Lazar’s major clinical interests is building MedStar Health into a regional epicenter for robotic surgery, with a comprehensive emphasis on the patient’s individual experience at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center. He and his team of surgeons are receiving referrals of patients with conditions of the thoracic region.

Dr. Lazar received his medical degree from Saint George University School of Medicine and completed his general surgery training at UPMC/Pinnacle in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He went on to complete a two-year fellowship in thoracic surgery at the University of Rochester, a national leader in esophageal surgery and complex minimally invasive surgery. Anticipating the growing role of robotics in surgery, Dr. Lazar joined the Division of Thoracic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City as a fellow in minimally invasive thoracic surgery with a concentration in robotic surgery and thoracic oncology. As result of this training, he is one of the only dedicated fellowship trained thoracic robotic surgeons in the world. Subsequently, he returned to UPMC/PinnacleHealth in Pennsylvania, where he developed their Robotics Institute and expanded the program into the largest community based robotic programs in the state.

Dr. Lazar has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Intuitive Clinical Robotic Research Grant, which gave him the opportunity to explore the financial impact and clinical benefit of a community thoracic robotic program; the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education Alley-Sheridan Scholarship; Pennsylvania Comprehensive Cancer Control Mini-Grant for smoking cessation in pregnant women; and First Place for best video presentation awarded by the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery at the annual meeting, where he presented a video presentation of robotically assisted bilateral bronchoplasty for tracheobronchial malacia. In addition, Dr. Lazar has presented his research at dozens of meetings across the country for international conferences and organizations.

Philosophy of Care

“As a careful, skilled, and well-trained surgeon, I treat each and every patient of mine as if they were a member of my family. To me, this means being transparent and communicating clearly.

“I am dedicated to the public education of the community in an effort to help educate individuals on how their choices may affect their health and give them the tools to make decisions that are beneficial to their health.” 

Clinical areas of focus

  • Adenocarcinoma Of Lung
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Large Cell Cancer Of The Lung
  • Lung Cancer
  • Lung Metastasis
  • Non Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Pleural Cancer
  • Pulmonary Nodule
  • Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Head And Neck
  • Thymus Cancer
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Conditions and procedures

Conditions I treat

  • Achalasia
  • Adenocarcinoma Of Lung
  • Barrett's Esophagus
  • Chest Wall Tumors
  • Diaphragmatic Hernia
  • Diaphragmatic Tumor
  • Emphysema
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Esophageal Diverticulum
  • Esophageal Mass
  • Hamartoma Of Lung
  • Hilar Adenopathy
  • Hyperhidrosis
  • Large Cell Cancer Of The Lung
  • Lung Abscess
  • Lung Cancer
  • Lung Mass
  • Lung Metastasis
  • Malignant Effusion
  • Malignant Neoplasm Of Main Bronchus
  • Mediastinal Mass
  • Mediastinum Cancer
  • Mesothelioma
  • Non Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Paraesophageal Hernia
  • Pleural Cancer
  • Pleural Diseases
  • Pleural Effusion
  • Pneumothorax
  • Pulmonary Metastases
  • Pulmonary Nodule
  • Sequestrum Of Lung
  • Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Spontaneous Pneumothorax
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Head And Neck
  • Tension Pneumothorax
  • Thoracic Malignancy
  • Thymoma
  • Thymus Cancer
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Procedures I perform

  • Biopsy Chest Wall
  • Biopsy Diaphragm
  • Biopsy Of Lung
  • Bronchial Fistula Repair
  • Chest Wall Resection
  • Decortication Of Lung
  • Esophageal Diverticulectomy
  • Esophageal Myotomy
  • Esophagectomy
  • Exploratory Thoracotomy
  • Fiberoptic Bronchoscopy
  • Fundoplication
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Surgery
  • Hyperhidrosis Surgery
  • Laparoscopic Heller Myotomy For Achalasia
  • Lung Resection
  • Mediastinoscopy
  • Minimally Invasive Lung Cancer Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Pulmonary Lobectomy
  • Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery
  • Mycetoma Resection
  • Open Biopsy Of Lesions Of Mediastinum
  • Open Biopsy Of Lung
  • Percutaneous Tracheostomy
  • Pleurodesis
  • Pleurx Catheter Insertion
  • Plication Of Emphysematous Bleb
  • Plication Of The Diaphragm
  • Repair Of Diaphragm
  • Sleeve Lobectomy
  • Thoracoscopy
  • Thoracotomy
  • Thymectomy
  • Thymus Surgery
  • Tracheal Resection
  • Tracheostomy
  • Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery
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Practice locations

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110 Irving Street Northwest
Washington, DC, 20010


Fax 855-570-5343

Get Directions

miles away

Fax 855-570-5343

3800 Reservoir Road Northwest
Washington, DC, 20007


Fax 202-877-3699

Get Directions

miles away

Fax 202-877-3699


MedStar Medical Group accepts most major health insurance plans. If you are uncertain as to whether your individual health insurance plan is accepted at MedStar Medical Group, please call your insurance company.

  • List of insurance plans we accept
    • CFBCBS Federal Employee Program (Std/Basic PPO/Blue Focus)
    • UnitedHealthcare and AARP Medicare Complete Plans/ UHC Group Medicare Advantage Plans HMO, POS, PPO"
    • UHC Community Plan of MD
    • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS) (PPO)
    • Kaiser Permanente Signature
    • Blue Choice Advantage & Healthy Blue (HMO, POS)"
    • Medicare Fee for Service
    • Kaiser Permanente Medicare Plus (Medicare Supplemental Plan)
    • Kaiser Permanente Signature-Added Choice
    • Kaiser MD Medicaid MCO
    • United Healthcare Options (PPO) (includes Empire PPO, GEHA, Compass Rose)"
    • Kaiser Permanente Flexible Choice POS
    • UnitedHealthcare Medicare Adv/Special Needs Plans
    • Kaiser PermanenteSelect-Added Choice
    • Kaiser Virginia Premier
    • Kaiser Permanente Select
    • Aetna Innovations: HMO & EPO Plus
    • Select HMO/HealthFund/Health Network
    • Aetna HMO
    • Open POS II
    • Innovation Health: Open POS Plus
    • Choice POS & Choice POS II
    • Aetna Managed Choice Open Access (POS)
    • Open EPO Plus
    • Opoen HMO Option
    • Open HMO
    • Innovation Health: POS
    • Aetna HMO-Open Access/Select OA/HealthFund/Health Network Option OA
    • Innovation Health: Open Network Only Plus
    • Aetna Elect Choice/ Open Access (POS)
    • Innovation Health: POS Plus
    • Aetna Managed Choice (POS)
    • Innovation Health: PPO
    • Aetna Open Choice (PPO)
    • Innovation Health: Indemnity
    • Aetna Traditional Choice (PPO)
    • BlueChoice Open Access
    • CFBCBS Blue Choice Opt Out Open Access
    • HealthyBlue PPO
    • CFBSBC Blue Preferred PPO
    • Choice Fund PPO
    • PPO and PPO Plus
    • POS OA & OA Plus
    • Network OA
    • CIGNA HMO Open Access (OA)
    • United Healthcare Choice
    • United Student Resources
    • Optimum Choice Preferred (POS) & OCI Direct (HMO)
    • Mamsi Life & Health (Indem./PPO)
    • Coventry of Delaware HMO/PPO
    • United Healthcare Choice Plus
    • Aetna Medicare Advantage HMO & PPO Plans
    • Aetna Student Health Insurance
    • United Healthcare Select Plus (POS)
    • MedStar Select (MedStar Associates' Plan)
    • CIGNA POS/Network POS
    • Great-West Healthcare POS/CIGNA
    • Aetna Elect Choice/ EPO (Aetna Health Fund) Innovation Health: Network Only Plus
    • First Health PPO
    • CFBCBS Blue Choice Opt Out Plus Open Access (POS)
    • CIGNA HMO & Network (HMO)
    • United Healthcare Select HMO - EPO/NPP
    • M.D. IPA Preferred (POS)
    • Coventry Health Care of Virginia
    • CFBCBS (NCA) Indemnity
    • MedStar Family Choice - Maryland Health Choice
    • Tricare for Life (Medicare Supplemental Plan)
    • M.D. IPA (HMO)
    • CFBCBS Maryland Indemnity or PPO
    • Aetna Quality Point of Service (POS)
    • CFBCBS BlueChoice HMO
    • Aetna Worker's Compensation Network
    • Tricare Prime
    • Coventry Health Care National Network PPO
    • CIGNA Indemnity
    • CFBCBS Maryland Point of Service Plan (MPOS)



Board Certification: American Board of Thoracic Surgery, Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery

Fellowship Program: Lenox Hill Hospital (2014)

Fellowship Program: Strong Memorial Hospital (2013)

Residency Program: Pinnacle Health Hospitals (2011)

Medical School: St. George's University School of Medicine (2005)

Ratings and reviews

  • Provider explained things understandably

  • Provider listened carefully

  • Provider knew medical history

  • Provider showed respect

  • Provider spent enough time with patient

  • Jan 31, 2023


  • Jan 25, 2023

    My experience with Dr. Lazar is wonderful

  • Jan 24, 2023

    Dr Lazar was all you could hope for in a provider. He spent time, answered my questions was kind and gave me hope.