As a surgeon with specialty training in surgical oncology, I care for people with benign and malignant (cancerous) diseases of the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreas, as well as cancers that have spread to the liver from the colon.
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I am one of seven board-certified surgeons at Memorial Sloan Kettering who specialize in treating these diseases, and together we perform between 800 and 1,000 cancer-related operations every year. One unique aspect of care at MSK is that patient cases are discussed at weekly meetings of our Hepatopancreatobiliary Disease Management Team, which is made up of world leaders in surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, radiology, gastroenterology, nursing, and other specialties, to provide the very best, individualized care for our patients.
One of my main goals as a surgeon is to find more-effective ways to remove liver and pancreas tumors through techniques that are considered “minimally invasive” – so that the physical stress on the patient and, related, the amount of time it takes for my patients to recover from an operation can both be reduced. Advances in laparoscopic and robotic surgical approaches have helped make this happen, and many of these techniques were originally developed at MSK. My colleagues and I continue to look for more and better ways to reduce the stress on our patients from surgery, including using heat and cold to kill tumors through an approach called image-guided ablation.
In addition to my patient care responsibilities, I have directed exciting clinical trials examining methods for quickly determining the stage of pancreatic cancer, identifying genetic signatures of colorectal cancer to create genetic scoring systems, and using an image-guided 3-dimensional liver modeling system to improve outcomes of liver surgery. I have also written multiple book chapters and many papers on topics related to treating tumors of the liver, bile ducts, gallbladder, and pancreas, and given lectures internationally.
When I am not in the clinic or operating room atMSK, I try to share my knowledge and experience with healthcare professionals around the world. Over the past 15 years, I have spent time in developing countries — Tanzania, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Mexico, Malawi, and Nigeria — providing surgery and cancer care, and also training local medical professionals. These experiences led me, in 2007, to co-found Surgeons OverSeas (SOS), a non-profit organization for which I now serve as president. In 2015, I was appointed Director of Global Cancer Disparity Initiatives at MSK. We have created a consortium of hospitals in West Africa that allows us to collaborate with physicians working in low-income countries. These efforts have led to several prospective studies that will determine how to diagnose patients with cancer in low resource environments and determine why some cancers seem to behave differently in West African patients when compared with the same cancers in US patients.
- Clinical Expertise: Benign and Malignant Disease of the Liver, Bile Ducts, and Gallbladder; Pancreatic Cancer; General Surgical Oncology; Minimally Invasive Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery; Ablation Therapy
- Languages Spoken: English
- Education: MD, SUNY at Stony Brook
- Residencies: General Surgery - New York University Medical Center
- Fellowships: Surgical Oncology - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
- Board Certifications: Surgery
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.Learn more
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.Learn more