Surgical Oncology Photo

Surgical Oncology

Our board-certified surgeons lead the team that they specialize in. For example, surgery for a patient with breast cancer is performed by a surgeon who only treats breast cancer. They have been trained at elite cancer centers, and now share their knowledge nationally and internationally. Team members are dedicated to that area of expertise as well.

Our surgeons use various techniques to physically remove the tumor or visible cancer cells. At Stony Brook, our goal is to use the least invasive method possible. Surgical options include traditional open and minimally invasive approaches, including laparoscopic, robotic-assisted and natural orifice.

Surgeons work very closely with the medical oncologists and radiation oncologists on their teams. If needed, surgical collaborations occur between teams. The team plans the best course of treatment and discusses their recommendations with the patient and family members.

Aaron Sasson, MD, is the Chief of Surgical Oncology. Surgeons serve as members and leaders of the Cancer Care teams and Tumor Board meetings. They are partners in over 50 protocols approved by the Medical Center's Institutional Review Board, including the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group, National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project, Cancer and Leukemia Group B, and National Institutes of Health-funded research on consent for tumor bank tissues. 

To learn more about Dr. Sasson: Our New Chief of Surgical Oncology
VIEW VIDEO: Meet Our Doctor, Dr. Aaron Sasson
VIEW VIDEO: Dr. Aaron Sasson Explains the Whipple Procedure
Article: FAQs about Early Detection of Pancreas Cancer

For more information: Cancer Care Teams

Surgical Oncology Initiatives

  • Whipple procedure. For some individuals with pancreatic cancer, the Whipple procedure may be an option to extend life or offer a potential cure. Dr. Aaron Sasson has performed this complex surgery more than 500 times. For more information: Gastrointestinal Oncology Team
    VIEW VIDEO: Meet Our Doctor, Dr. Aaron Sasson
    VIEW VIDEO: Dr. Aaron Sasson Explains the Whipple Procedure
  • Cytoreduction with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). For individuals who have advanced cancer contained within the abdomen, HIPEC may be an option. HIPEC is a procedure that combines surgery and chemotherapy.  
    Ask the Expert: Georgios V. Georgakis, MD, PhD - FAQs About Cytoreductive Surgery and HIPEC
  • Patient Testimonials about HIPEC
  • Laparoscopic-assisted resection. The Department's colorectal surgeons are participating in a Phase III prospective randomized trial comparing laparoscopic assisted resection versus open resection for rectal cancer. They also published a study evaluating the responsiveness of surgery residents to simulated laparoscopic sigmoidectomy (SLS) training. Residents underwent SLS training for previously tattooed sigmoid cancer with use of disposable abdominal trays in a hybrid simulator to perform a seven-step standardized technique. Results showed a significant decrease in operating time and anastomotic leak rate. The training is now integrated into Stony Brook's surgical residency program.
  • Expanded high-risk screening program. Breast surgeons at the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Care Center expanded surveillance care for women at increased risk of developing breast cancer. This comprehensive screening program offers expert genetic counseling and screenings with the most sophisticated technologies.
  • Reconstructive surgery advances. The program in breast reconstructive surgery provides the most sophisticated care. The Department has been reorganized with the appointment of a new director committed to using the latest surgical advances and conducting leading-edge research. The Carol M. Baldwin Foundation for Breast Cancer Research awarded the Department a grant to evaluate minimally invasive imaging techniques that measure blood flow in skin during reconstructive breast surgery following mastectomy. Knowledge gained will help minimize complications with breast reconstruction, enabling more patients to be candidates for immediate reconstruction.
  • Novel approaches. Colorectal surgeons have performed a number of TAMIS (transanal minimally invasive surgery) procedures, which facilitate the resection of large rectal tumors in select patients who would otherwise require a radical operation. Surgeons in the Division of Otolaryngology now offer patients expertise in endoscopic, minimally invasive skull base surgery and pediatric head and neck surgery.

For more information, call (631) 638-1000.