Gaetano Rocco, MD

Thoracic Surgeon

Conditions Treated

Memorial Sloan Kettering surgeon Gaetano Rocco
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About Me

I am a surgeon who cares for people with lung cancer. I specialize in treating lung nodules, pleural effusions, chest wall tumors, and cancer that has spread to the lungs from other parts of the body. Whenever possible, I use minimally invasive surgical procedures. These have been shown to minimize patients’ pain and discomfort and decrease their time in the hospital. I also have expertise in chest wall reconstruction following surgery to remove chest wall tumors. I perform about 220 operations every year.

I offer all of the procedures available to treat thoracic cancer. These include the single-incision approach (uniportal access) to the chest, thoracoscopic surgery (also called video-assisted thoracic surgery, or VATS), and open chest wall resections and reconstructions. I work with my patients and other members of their care team to select the technique that will be most effective in treating their disease.

I have also been engaged in several clinical trials. These have promise for managing thoracic conditions. My research includes studies of surgery combined with immunotherapy for the treatment of advanced lung cancer. I am also interested in technologies that improve lung cancer diagnosis and minimally invasive surgical techniques.

When patients meet with me for the first time, my goal is to successfully address their concerns. These may range from questions about their prognosis or pain after surgery to how long it will take to return to their normal activities. As an experienced thoracic surgeon, I use the most-advanced minimally invasive techniques and standards of practice aimed at improving patient outcomes.

I hope that my patients feel confident in knowing that I am a dependable, consistent, and skilled thoracic surgeon and do my best to bring a human touch to their care. I work with an outstanding team of dedicated professionals.

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family. I also appreciate fine art, especially 16th- and 17th-century European paintings.

  • Clinical Expertise: Primary and Metastatic Tumors of the Lung, Chest Wall, Mediastinum, Pleura, and Airway; Lung Cancer; Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques
  • Awards and Honors: Fellowship Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (FRCSEd – 2004); Silver Medal “Aesculapius,” Italian Minister of Health for Professional Achievements (2006); Alumnus d’Honore, Hopital Marie-Lannelongue-Universite Sud, France (2011)
  • Languages Spoken: English; Italian
  • Education: MD, University of Milan, Italy
  • Residencies: General Surgery – University of Milan Hospitals, Italy; Thoracic Surgery – University of Milan Hospitals, Italy
  • Fellowships: Advanced General Thoracic Surgery – Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN
  • Board Certifications: General Surgery; Thoracic Surgery

See My Colleagues


Visit PubMed for a full listing of Gaetano Rocco’s journal articles

Pubmed is an online index of biomedical articles maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

Clinical Trials

As home to one of the world’s top cancer research centers, Memorial Sloan Kettering is typically involved in more than 900 clinical trials at a given time. Currently, clinical trials focused on the conditions I treat are enrolling new patients. If you’re interested in joining a clinical trial, click to learn about the trial’s purpose, eligibility criteria, and how to get more information.

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Most major health insurers offer plans that include MSK as one of their in-network providers. If MSK is in-network, it means all our doctors are too. Medicare and New York State Medicaid also provide benefits for care at MSK.

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