Meet Breast Cancer Surgeon Lisa Sclafani

Lisa M. Sclafani, MD, FACS

Surgical Oncologist

Titles

Director, Surgical Services, Long Island Regional Network

Clinical Expertise

Breast Cancer

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Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., (Eastern time)
Accepted Insurance Providers

Dr. Sclafani accepts the following list of insurance providers. Select your insurance provider to see more details.

Aetna

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO, EPO PPO, POS, Transplant

Aetna Medicare Advantage (City of NY retirees only, starting 7/1/23)

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO

Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO, PPO

Blue Cross Blue Shield New York

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS, EPO, HMO

Blue Cross Blue Shield states outside of NY/NJ

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO, EPO PPO, POS

Blue Cross Health Plus

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO

Carrum Health

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): Supplemental

Cigna

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS, HMO

Connecticare

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): POS, EPO, HMO

Emblem

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS, EPO, HMO

Emblem Essential

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO

Emblem Medicare Advantage

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, HMO

Empire Blue Cross Medicare Advantage

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, HMO, DSN

Empire Essential

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO

Empire Plan / NYSHIP (Blue Cross/UnitedHealthcare split plan)

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO

Fidelis

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO, EPO

Fidelis Managed Medicaid & HARP

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO

Fidelis Medicare Advantage

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO

First Health

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO

Healthfirst

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): EPO, HMO, PPO, POS

Healthfirst Managed Medicaid

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO

Healthfirst Medicare Advantage

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO, PPO

Healthsmart

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO EPO

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey (HMO)

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey (PPO)

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey Omnia Tier I (EPO)

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): EPO

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey Omnia Tier II (EPO)

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): EPO

Horizon Medicare Advantage

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, HMO

Husky CT Medicaid

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): State Government

Magnacare

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS, EPO

Medicare Part A&B (traditional Medicare)

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): Federal Government

Multiplan/Beech Street/PHCS

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): Supplemental

MVP

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO/OAP

Non-Participating Plans with Out of Network Benefits

Payor Type: Other
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS, EPO, HMO

NYC Medicare Advantage Plus for City Employees

Payor Type:
In Network Coverage Type(s): TBD

Oscar

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): HMO/EPO

Oxford

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, EPO

Qualcare

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS, HMO

Straight NJ Medicaid

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): State Government

Straight NY Medicaid

Payor Type: Medicaid/Managed Medicaid
In Network Coverage Type(s): State Government

Tricare

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, HMO

UMR

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS

United Healthcare

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): PPO, POS, HMO

World Trade Center Health Program (WTC)

Payor Type: Commercial
In Network Coverage Type(s): State Government

Contact and Location

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Find a Convenient Location

Memorial Sloan Kettering has locations throughout New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Westchester. These locations offer many services, including screening, chemotherapy, and medical testing.

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About Me

Education

MD, New York University School of Medicine

Residencies

Surgery - Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center

Fellowships

Surgical Oncology - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Board Certifications

Surgery

I am a surgical oncologist who has been caring for people with breast cancer for more than 30 years. I am particularly interested in the genetics of breast cancer as well as addressing the psychosocial aspects that impact how people cope with their diagnosis and treatment.

I perform approximately 250 to 300 surgeries per year and work closely with an experienced and dedicated team of experts at MSK Commack who specialize in chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation, reconstruction, and other aspects of breast cancer treatment. We coordinate closely so patients on Long Island can receive high-quality cancer care that is also convenient.

When patients are told that they have cancer, sometimes that is all they hear. They often think of someone they know who has died of cancer and are afraid they will have the same fate. A newly diagnosed patient may not realize that there are many types of cancer and different stages, and that, in most cases, cancer found at an early stage can be successfully treated.

I make it a priority to arm my patients with the best and most up-to-date information about their diagnosis and treatment options so they are empowered to make good decisions about their care. I believe that knowledge is power. By taking the time to show them their mammograms, review their radiology and pathology reports with them, and explain the staging and the choices they need to make, they lose some of that fear. They feel more confident about their decisions and know that they can rely on me to help get them through this difficult time.

I was trained in surgery in the Bronx in the 1980s, where much of the care we provided was for emergency traumas. This meant that I had to think quickly and make snap decisions, and I typically did not have the chance to develop a rapport with my patients. I realized that it was more rewarding to build relationships with the people in my care by considering their problem, planning their surgery, and maintaining long-term follow-up with them. That’s how I built my practice over the years.

Early in my career, mastectomy used to be the primary treatment for breast cancer, often followed by chemotherapy and sometimes radiation. Today, the focus has shifted to using less radical surgery and more than one type of treatment. Many patients can now be treated with an outpatient lumpectomy and a pill and no other treatments, especially if they are older. Some patients with more aggressive or advanced cancers get preoperative treatments that allow us to do less surgery with fewer complications.

The decisions about whether or not to treat a cancer, which operation to choose, and the proper timing for surgery have become very complicated, and I help patients weigh the risks and benefits of all their options. I am also experienced in all the new oncoplastic techniques, including skin- and nipple-sparing mastectomies, and which one is most appropriate for each patient.

At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), we are all involved in research. We conduct many clinical trials to try to improve care and outcomes for people with breast cancer. Many of our studies deal with de-escalating treatments, or giving patients only the treatments that we know will help them.

Because treatment plans often involve more than one specialty, and sometimes participation in a clinical trial, I believe that the best care is offered at a dedicated cancer center like MSK.

Outside of work, I love spending time with my three adult daughters and my large, extended family. It’s especially meaningful to cook recipes taught to me by my mother and grandmother. I also enjoy traveling, attending the opera and the symphony, and staying active by playing golf, hiking, and most recently, cross-country skiing!

Awards and Honors

  • Castle Connolly: America's Top Doctors (2023)

Colleagues

Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering work as teams, with specialists from all different areas. This allows us to consider all your needs together, and to give you the best possible care.

See all Breast Service doctors

Clinical Trials

Smiling doctors in the lab
Find a Clinical Trial for You

Memorial Sloan Kettering's doctors and scientists are constantly developing new treatments for cancer. MSK is typically running hundreds of clinical trials at a given time.

You may be able to participate in a clinical trial even if you are new to MSK. Search our online directory to find trial information and see more about who can participate.

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Research and Publications

Book Chapters
 “Multidisciplinary training for breast surgical oncology.” Kuerer HM, Pass HA, Simmons R, Sclafani L. In: Kuerer’s Breast Surgical Oncology. Kuerer H,ed. New York: McGraw Hill; 2008.

“Central duct exploration for nipple discharge.”  Sclafani L. In: Kuerer’s Breast Surgical Oncology. Kuerer H, ed. New York: McGraw Hill; 2008.

“Nutritional support in the gynecologic oncology patient.” Sclafani L, Brennan MF. In: Principles and Practice of Gynecologic Oncology. Hoskins WJ, Perez CA, Young RC, eds. Philadelphia: JB Lippincott; 1992.

“Nutritional support of the critically ill cancer patient.” Sclafani L, Lowry SF. In: Critical Care of the Cancer Patient. 2nd ed. Groeger J, ed. Chicago: Yearbook Medical Publishers; 1991.

Read more

“Nutritional support in the cancer patient.” Sclafani L, Brennan MF. In: Total Parenteral Nutrition. 2nd ed. Fischer J, ed. New York: Little, Brown; 1991.

“Benign papillary lesions of the breast.” Sclafani L. In: Breast Diseases. 2nd ed. Harris J, ed. Chicago: Yearbook Medical Publishers; 1991.

“Care of the surgical wound.” Coit DG, Sclafani L. In: Care of the Surgical Patient. 2nd ed. New York: Scientific American Medicine; 1990.

Studies

Sclafani LM, Baron RH. Sentinel lymph node biopsy and axillary dissection: Added morbidity of the arm, shoulder and chest wall after mastectomy and reconstruction. The cancer journal (Sudbury, Mass). 2008;14(4):216-222. doi:10.1097/PPO.0b013e31817fbe5e

Sclafani LM, Bleznak A, Kelly T, El-Tamer MB. Training a New Generation of Breast Surgeons: Are We Succeeding? Annals of surgical oncology. 2012;19(6):1856-1861. doi:10.1245/s10434-011-2164-7

Moo TA, Pawloski KR, Sevilimedu V, et al. Changing the Default: A Prospective Study of Reducing Discharge Opioid Prescription after Lumpectomy and Sentinel Node Biopsy. Annals of surgical oncology. 2020;27(12):4637-4642. doi:10.1245/s10434-020-08886-9Morrow M, Van Zee KJ, Patil S, et al. Axillary Dissection and Nodal Irradiation Can Be Avoided for Most Node-positive Z0011-eligible Breast Cancers: A Prospective Validation Study of 793 Patients. Annals of surgery. 2017;266(3):457-462. doi:10.1097/SLA.0000000000002354

 

Publications on PubMed

Visit PubMed for a full listing of Dr. Sclafani’s journal articles. Pubmed is an online index of research papers and other articles from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

See all on PubMed

Disclosures

Doctors and faculty members often work with pharmaceutical, device, biotechnology, and life sciences companies, and other organizations outside of MSK, to find safe and effective cancer treatments, to improve patient care, and to educate the health care community.

MSK requires doctors and faculty members to report (“disclose”) the relationships and financial interests they have with external entities. As a commitment to transparency with our community, we make that information available to the public.

Lisa M. Sclafani discloses the following relationships and financial interests:

No disclosures meeting criteria for time period


If you’re a patient at MSK and would like more information about your doctor’s external relationships, please talk with your doctor.

The information published here is for a specific annual disclosure period. There may be differences between information on this and other public sites as a result of different reporting periods and/or the various ways relationships and financial interests are categorized by organizations that publish such data.


This page and data include information for a specific MSK annual disclosure period (January 1, 2021 through disclosure submission in spring 2022). This data reflects interests that may or may not still exist. This data is updated annually.

Learn more about MSK’s COI policies here. For questions regarding MSK’s COI-related policies and procedures, email MSK’s Compliance Office at [email protected].


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