Physician Photo

David William (David) Rattner, MD

Chief, Division of Gastrointestinal and General Surgery

David William Rattner, MD, is chief of the Division of Gastrointestinal and General Surgery and a surgeon in the Digestive Healthcare Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.

  • Phone: 617-726-1893
General and Gastrointestinal Surgery
Department of Surgery


  • Cancer Center
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Gastrointestinal Cancers
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Digestive Healthcare Center
  • Swallowing and Heartburn Center
  • Colorectal Center
  • Barrett's Esophagus Treatment Center
Clinical Interests
Minimally invasive (laparoscopic surgery)
Colon and Rectal cancer
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Paraesophageal hernias
Gastric Cancer
Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST)
Barrett's esophagus
Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Waltham: Mass General West
Medical Education
MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital
Board Certifications
Surgery, American Board of Surgery
Patient Age Group
Accepting New Patients
Accepting New Patients


David Rattner received his MD degree from The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1978. He trained at The Massachusetts General Hospital from and was then appointed to the staff of the hospital's Department of Surgery in 1985. In 1999, he became the Chief of the Division of General and Gastrointestinal Surgery. He was made Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School in 2003. Dr. Rattner has served as President of the Boston Surgical Society, Governor of The American College of Surgeons, President of The Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons ( and President of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract ( He is also an active member of The American Surgical Association, The Society of Surgical Oncology, and ASCRS. Dr. Rattner has authored more than 150 original publications and 80 book chapters. He was one of the founding members of The Massachusetts General Physicians Organization and served on this organization's Board of Trustees. Dr. Rattner was a founding member of CIMIT (The Center for Innovative Minimally Invasive Therapies). He served as CoChair of the SAGES-ASGE joint committee on Natural Orifice Trans-lumenal Endoscopic Surgery and is a founding member of NOSCAR (Natural Orifice Surgery Consortium for Assessment of Research). His clinical interests include surgical treatment of  achalasia, hiatal hernias, gastroesophageal reflux,   minimally invasive surgery of the gastrointestinal tract, hernias, and treatment of gastrointestinal and colorectal malignancies.


Dr. Rattner is co-founder of the Natural Orifice Surgery Committee for Assessment and Research (NOSCAR) and PI of the CIMIT Strategic Initiative on NOTES, a 2.1 million dollar 3 year grant. In addition the team has received multiple grants from NOSCAR. The laboratory effort has been extremely active in investigating the feasibility of NOTES and refining techniques and instrumentation that will be required to make this safe for human application. Current projects focus on device development, Trans-Anal  Access for abdominal procedures, Endosopic Heller Myotomy(POEM)  and new devices for treatment of gastroesophageal reflux.


View my most recent publications at PubMed

NOTES transanal rectal cancer resection using transanal endoscopic microsurgery and laparoscopic assistance.
Sylla P, Rattner DW, Delgado S, Lacy AM.
Surg Endosc.2010 May;24(5):1205-10. Epub 2010 Feb 26.

Survival study of natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery for rectosigmoid resection using transanal endoscopic microsurgery with or without transgastric endoscopic assistance in a swine model.
Sylla P, Sohn DK,Cizginer S, Konuk Y, Turner BG, Gee DW, Willingham FF, Hsu M, Mino-Kenudson M,Brugge WR, Rattner DW.
Surg Endosc. 2010 Aug;24(8):2022-30. Epub 2010 Feb 21.

Don'tstop thinking about tomorrow-yesterday's gone.
Rattner DW, Jackson TD. Ann Surg. 2010Feb;251(2):215-6.
No abstract available.

Naturalorifice translumenal endoscopic surgery: current status.
Gee DW, Rattner DW.
Adv Surg. 2009;43:1-12.Review. No abstract available.

Preview clip of Digestive Healthcare Center CME program

David Rattner, MD, explains the management of gastroesophageal reflux, including indications for medical, endoscopy and surgical interventions to control this condition.

David Rattner, MD, explains how screenings can prevent esophageal cancer

David Rattner, MD, Co-Chief of the Massachusetts General Hospital Digestive Healthcare Center describes how chronic heartburn can lead to other serious conditions, who is most at risk and how Barrett's esophagus and esophageal cancer can be diagnosed and treated.

NOTES: Bringing a surgical revolution to MGH

MGH Hotline 6.5.09 In an MGH milestone, surgeon David Rattner, MD, chief of the Division of Gastrointestinal and General Surgery, and his team performed New England's first natural orifice surgery, leaving no visible scar and resulting in minimal postoperative pain.

Incision-free gallbladder surgery

On May 20 David Rattner, MD, chief of General Surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital Digestive Healthcare Center, performed New England’s first natural orifice surgery - completely incision free.

Massachusetts General Hospital offers new, less invasive treatment for GERD

Massachusetts General Hospital introduces an innovative procedure for patients experiencing symptoms of GERD. A bracelet of magnetic beads can help the lower esophageal sphincter to resist gastric pressures and prevent reflux.

Frequently asked questions: LINX® system

David Rattner, MD, chief of the Division of Gastrointestinal and General Surgery at the Mass General Digestive Healthcare Center, answers frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the LINX® Reflux Management System, a new treatment option for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Three months after surgery, patient has new lease on life

The MGH was the first hospital in New England to offer a new procedure in which a flexible bracelet of magnetic titanium beads is laparoscopically implanted around the esophagus to help treat GERD.

Magnetic esophageal sphincter device benefits patients with GERD

The New England Journal of Medicine publishes the three-year results of a study of the safety and effectiveness of a new device for treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

New procedure is easy to swallow

The MGH offers its first per-oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) procedure, a new surgical treatment for achalasia.

Massachusetts General Hospital
15 Parkman Street
Boston, MA 02114-3117

Phone: 617-726-1893
Fax: 617-724-0355

Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care
104 Endicott Street
Danvers, MA 01923-3623

Phone: 978-882-6883

Mass General West
52 Second Avenue
Waltham, MA 02451

Phone: 617-487-6100
Fax: 617-487-6201