Oliver Zivanovic, MD, PhD


Section, Ovarian Cancer Surgery; Director, Innovative Surgical Technology, Gynecology Service, Department of Surgery

Conditions Treated

Memorial Sloan Kettering surgeon Oliver Zivanovic
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About Me

I am a gynecologic oncology surgeon with ten years of experience in caring for women with ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, cervical cancer, and vulvar cancer. I perform about 250 procedures each year using a variety of techniques, including minimally invasive approaches. At Memorial Sloan Kettering, we are able to combine our experience and expertise both in and out of the operating room — working closely with our colleagues in pathology, medical oncology, and radiation oncology — to provide better outcomes than ever for women with gynecologic diseases.

I come from a family of doctors, so I naturally developed an interest in medicine. After completing my fellowship at MSK, there was no question that I would devote my professional life to helping people with cancer. I decided to focus my clinical practice on gynecologic diseases because they can be complex surgical cases requiring a great amount of skill and focus to treat successfully.

In the operating room, I have particular expertise in performing cytoreductive surgery for women with advanced ovarian cancer. The goal of this procedure is to remove as much visible disease as possible, making the tumor more responsive to chemotherapy and improving the chances of successful treatment. In addition, I have extensive experience in surgically treating uterine cancer. When appropriate, I use minimally invasive techniques (laparoscopy and robotics) to reduce recovery time so that patients can get back to their lives sooner. I am also skilled at performing risk-reducing surgery for women who have breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancer in their families and who may have a higher chance of developing these diseases.

The main focus of my research has been to establish and evaluate how we can use hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion (HIPEC) to improve outcomes for women with advanced ovarian cancer. HIPEC delivers heated chemotherapy into the abdominal cavity, where it attacks the diseased tissue directly. I am also involved in patient-centered research, in which we ask patients to evaluate how we are doing and provide suggestions on what we can do improve the treatment experience. The goal of this research is to make communication between physicians and patients after surgery easier, and ultimately help patients recover faster.

I am also supporting ovarian cancer research at MSK by running the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon with Fred’s Team. If you would like to donate or learn more, please visit my page

Though I partner closely with my colleagues, my most important teammates are my patients and their families. It’s my job to provide expert surgical care, but in order for this to happen, I need to work with my patients to decide on the best approach to treating their specific disease. I provide my patients with all the information they need in order to feel empowered about making decisions related to their care, taking into account individual circumstances, concerns, and fears. Together, we craft a plan that we can be confident will lead to the best possible outcome.

Outside of the office, I enjoy spending time with my family, running, and listening to classical music and jazz. 

  • Clinical Expertise: Uterine Cancer; Cervical Cancer; Ovarian Cancer; Vulvar Cancer; Cytoreductive Surgery; Peritonectomy Procedures; Hyperthermic Intraoperative Intraperitoneal Chemoperfusion (HIPEC); Minimally Invasive Procedures including Robotics; Fertility-Sparing Surgery; Risk-Reducing Surgery in People with Familial Susceptibility for Breast Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, and Endometrial Cancer
  • Languages Spoken: English; German; Serbo-Croatian
  • Education: MD, Johannes Gutenberg University
  • Residencies: Obstetrics and Gynecology - Bonn University School of Medicine
  • Fellowships: Gynecologic Oncology - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Breast Medicine/Gynecologic Oncology - Bonn University School of Medicine
  • Board Certifications: Obstetrics/Gyecology (Germany): Gynecologic Oncology (Germany)

See My Colleagues


Visit PubMed for a full listing of Oliver Zivanovic’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

Research is integral to our mission at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and clinical trials help us discover better forms of patient care and treatment. For you, this could mean access to a new therapy or therapy combination. Click to see a list of the trials I’m currently leading.


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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