Robert W. Thompson, MD, FACS

Robert W. Thompson, MD, FACS


Specialty Areas

  • Thoracic outlet syndrome

Common Procedures

  • Thoracic outlet decompression
  • Pectoralis minor tenotomy
  • Upper extremity arteriography
  • Upper extremity venography
  • Subclavian artery reconstruction
  • Subclavian vein reconstruction

Common Diagnoses Treated

  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Peripheral aneurysm
  • Neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Venous thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Arterial thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Axillary-subclavian vein thrombosis
  • Paget-Schroetter syndrome
  • Cervical rib
  • Subclavian artery aneurysm

Board Certifications

Vascular surgery


1983, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI


1983-1990 General Surgery Residency, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA


1991-1992 Vascular Surgery Fellowship, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Professional Memberships

  • American College of Surgeons
  • American Heart Association
  • American Society for Clinical Investigation
  • American Surgical Association
  • American Society for Peripheral Nerve
  • Midwestern Vascular Surgical Society
  • Society of University Surgeons
  • Society for Vascular Surgery
  • Southern Surgical Association
  • St. Louis Vascular Society

Awards and Honors

  • Faculty Research Fellowship, American College of Surgeons (1994-1996)
  • Edwin J. Wylie Scholar Award in Academic Vascular Surgery, Pacific Vascular Research Foundation (1996-1999)
  • William J. von Liebig Foundation Award for Excellence in Vascular Surgical Research for Residents, Fellows, and Mentors (Finalist 2001)
  • Distinguished Reviewer Award, Journal of Vascular Surgery (2001)
  • Surgery Mentoring Award, Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia, American Heart Association (2003)
  • Appreciation Award, American TOS Association (2009)
  • The Best Doctors in America, St. Louis Magazine (2018-current)

Areas of Research Interest

Clinical and translational research on Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Read more about Dr. Thompson’s work at the Center for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.


  • Multidisciplinary Evaluation and Management of Thoracic Outlet Syndromes
  • Development and Application of Clinical Diagnostic Criteria for Thoracic Outlet Syndromes
  • Establishment of Reporting Standards for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Development and Refinement of Surgical Techniques for Treatment of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Clinical Outcomes Research for Treatment of Thoracic Outlet Syndromes

Financial Disclosures



1. Thompson RW. Comprehensive management of subclavian vein effort thrombosis (review). Seminars in Interventional Radiology 2012;29(1):44-51. PMID: 23448848.

2. Caputo FJ, Wittenberg AM, Vemuri C, Driskill MR, Earley JA, Rastogi R, Emery VB, Thompson RW. Supraclavicular decompression for neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome in adolescent and adult populations. Journal of Vascular Surgery 2013;57(1):149-157. PMID: 23127984.

3. Raptis CA, Sridhar S, Thompson RW, Fowler K, Bhalla S. Imaging of the patient with thoracic outlet syndrome. Radiographics 2016;36(4):984-1000. PMID: 27257767.

4. Vemuri C, Salehi P, Benarroch-Gampel J, McLaughlin LN, Thompson RW. Diagnosis and treatment of effort-induced thrombosis of the axillary subclavian vein due to venous thoracic outlet syndrome. Journal of Vascular Surgery: Venous and Lymphatic Disorders 2016;4(4):485-500. PMID: 27639006.

5. Illig KA, Donahue D, Duncan A, Freischlag J, Gelabert H, Johansen K, Jordan S, Sanders R, Thompson RW. Reporting standards of the Society for Vascular Surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. Journal of Vascular Surgery 2016;64(3):e23-e35. PMID: 27565607.

6 .Thompson RW, Dawkins C, Vemuri C, Mulholland MW, Hadzinsky TD, McLaughlin LN, Pearl GJ. Performance metrics in professional baseball pitchers before and after surgical treatment for neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome. Annals of Vascular Surgery 2017;39(1):216-227. PMID: 27522980.

7. Vemuri C, McLaughlin LN, Abuirqeba AA, Thompson RW. Clinical presentation and management of arterial thoracic outlet syndrome. Journal of Vascular Surgery 2017;65(5):1429-1439. PMID: 28189360.

8. Balderman J, Holzem K, Field BJ, Bottros MM, Abuirqeba AA, Vemuri C, Thompson RW. Associations between clinical diagnostic criteria and pretreatment patient-reported outcomes measures in a prospective observational cohort of patients with neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome. Journal of Vascular Surgery 2017;66(2):533-544. PMID: 28735950.

9. Balderman J, Abuirqeba AA, Pate C, Eichaker L, Earley JA, Bottros MM, Jayarajan SN, Thompson RW. Physical therapy management, surgical treatment, and patient-reported outcomes measures in a prospective observational cohort of patients with neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome. Journal of Vascular Surgery 2019;70:832-841. PMID: 30852035.

10. Brownie ER, Abuirqeba AA, Ohman JW, Rubin BG, Thompson RW. False-negative upper extremity ultrasound in the initial evaluation of patients with suspected subclavian vein thrombosis due to thoracic outlet syndrome (Paget-Schroetter syndrome). Journal of Vascular Surgery: Venous and Lymphatic Disorders 2020;8:118-126. PMID: 31732483.

11. Ohman JW, Annest SJ, Azizzadeh A, Burt BM, Caputo FJ, Chan C, Donahue DM, Freischlag JA, Gelabert HA, Humphries MD, Illig KA, Lee JT, Lum YW, Meyer RD, Pearl GJ, Ransom EF, Sanders RJ, Teijink JAW, Vaccaro PS, van Sambeek MRHM, Vemuri C, Thompson RW. Special communication: Evaluation and treatment of thoracic outlet syndrome during the global pandemic due to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. Journal of Vascular Surgery 2020;72:790-798. PMID: 32497747.

12. Cook JR, Thompson RW. Evaluation and management of venous thoracic outlet syndrome (review). Thoracic Surgery Clinics 2021;33(1):27-44. PMID: 33220769.

13. Thompson RW. Complications of surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome (chapter). In: Vascular and Endovascular Complications: A Practical Approach, Hans SS, Conrad M (eds), CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Abingdon, 233-245, 2021.

14. Illig KA, Thompson RW, Freischlag JA, Donahue DM, Jordan SE, Lum, YW, Gelabert HA (Textbook Editors), Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS), Second Edition, Springer Nature, Switzerland, 2021. ISBN: 978-3-030-55072-1.

15. Jammeh ML, Ohman JW, Vemuri C, Abuirqeba AA, Thompson RW. Anatomically complete supraclavicular reoperation for recurrent neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome: clinical characteristics, operative findings, and long-term outcomes. Hand (NY) 2022 in press


Hospital Affiliations

Barnes-Jewish Hospital

Patients Seen At

Center for Advanced Medicine
Heart and Vascular Center
4921 Parkview Place, Suite A, Floor 8
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 362-7410
Fax: (314) 747-3548

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    To request an appointment with Dr. Thompson, please call (314) 362-7410.