Richard R. Barakat, MD, FACS


Director, Regional Care Network; Vice Chair, Regional Care Network & Affiliations; Ronald O. Perelman Chair in Gynecologic Surgery

Richard R. Barakat, MD, FACS -- Deputy Physician-in-Chief for Memorial Sloan Kettering Regional Care Network and Alliances; Ronald O. Perelman Chair in Gynecologic Surgery

About Me

I am a gynecologic surgeon who specializes in surgery for women with ovarian, endometrial, cervical, vulvar, or vaginal cancer. Each year, more than 500 patients newly diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer come to Memorial Sloan Kettering for treatment, and in most cases surgery plays a role in their treatment. When possible, we use minimally invasive surgery (robotic or laparoscopic) to remove their tumors, which typically shortens hospital stays and allows patients to recuperate faster. My main areas of surgical expertise are advanced robotic and laparoscopic surgery for uterine cancer as well as radical procedures for debulking ovarian cancer. The latter involves removing not only the cancerous ovaries but as much other tissue that the cancer may have invaded as possible (such as portions of the bladder, bowel, and other sites in the upper abdomen). This makes the tumor much more responsive to additional treatment.

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I am also very involved in clinical research to help determine the best treatments for patients with gynecologic cancers, including studies that have helped show a benefit to the role of intraperitoneal therapy in the treatment of women with advanced ovarian cancer. I also was the lead investigator on several studies at Memorial Sloan Kettering. These include a study to compare the benefits of laparoscopic vs. standard surgery for patients with endometrial cancer.

I joined the Memorial Sloan Kettering staff in 1991 and became Chief of the Gynecology Service in the Department of Surgery in 2001. In addition to my clinical and research activities at Memorial Sloan Kettering, I am actively involved in gynecologic oncology on a national level. I was the Vice Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Committee of the Gynecologic Oncology Group and still am actively involved with cancer prevention studies on that committee. I am currently the lead investigator on a federally funded national trial to evaluate the risk factors for the development of lymphedema (swelling of the lower extremities) following radical surgery for gynecologic cancer. I am also an examiner for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. In addition, I was recently named President Elect II for the Society of Gynecologic Oncology and will take over as president in March of 2014.  I serve as a reviewer for numerous medical journals and I am an associate editor of an Atlas of Procedures in Gynecologic Oncology. I am also one of the editors of the 6th edition of Principles and Practice of Gynecology Oncology, one of the leading texts in the field.

  • Clinical Expertise: Gynecologic Oncology; Cancers of the Cervix, Uterus, Ovary, Vagina, and Vulva
  • Awards and Honors: New York Magazine Top Doctors (2002-2016)
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Education: MD, SUNY Downstate Medical Center
  • Residencies: Obstetrics and Gynecology - New York University - Bellevue Medical Center
  • Fellowships: Gynecologic Oncology - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Board Certifications: Obstetrics and Gynecology; Gynecologic Oncology

New Patient Appointments

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See My Colleagues


Atlas of Procedures in Gynecologic Oncology. 3rd ed. Abu-Rustum NR, Levine DA, Barakat RR, eds. London: Informa Healthcare; 2013.

Principles and Practice of Gynecologic Oncology. 5th ed. Barakat RR, Markman M, Randall ME, eds. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2009.

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“Gynecologic cancers.” Levine D, Barakat RR, section eds. In: Atlas of Cancer. 2nd ed. Markman M, ed. Philadelphia: Current Medicine; 2008.

Atlas of Procedures in Gynecologic Oncology. 2nd ed. Levine DA, Abu-Rustum NR, Barakat RR, eds. London: Informa Healthcare; 2008.

Principles and Practice of Gynecologic Oncology. 4th ed. Hoskins WJ, Perez CA, Young RC, eds; Barakat RR, Markman M, Randall ME, associate eds.   Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins; 2005.

“Gynecologic cancers.” Barakat RR, Hoskins WJ, section eds. In: Atlas of Cancer. Markman M, ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2003.

Visit PubMed for a full listing of Richard R. Barakat’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. Medicaid and New York State Medicare also provide benefits for care at MSK.

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