News, publications and events from the Department of Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital.
- Phone: 617-643-1010
07/15/2014: #1 in New England, #2 in the nation
U.S. News & World Report ranks Massachusetts General Hospital among the top hospitals in America based on our quality of care, patient safety and reputation in 16 specialties.
07/10/2014: Cultured circulating tumor cells reveal genetic profile, potential drug susceptibility of breast cancer cells
Circulating tumor cells captured with a microchip-based device developed at the MGH Center for Engineering in Medicine and the MGH Cancer Center can be cultured to establish cell lines that accurately reflect a tumor’s genetic mutation over time and changing susceptibility to therapeutic drugs.
Two international research studies, both led by investigators affiliated with MGH and the Broad Institute, have uncovered new information about genes that may increase the risk of serious cardiac arrhythmias.
A system developed by investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Engineering in Medicine allowed successful transplantation of rat livers after preservation for as long as four days, more than tripling the length of time organs currently can be preserved.
06/27/2014: Dexterity for charity
It takes a very steady hand to remove a wrench from the ankle, a butterfly from the stomach, or a charley horse from the hip. But eight teams of highly skilled MGH employees arrived on the Bulfinch lawn ready to take on the challenge of life-size game board proportions.
Cameron Wright, MD, associate chief of the MGH Division of Thoracic Surgery, was honored as the first incumbent of the Mathisen Family Professorship in Surgery in the Field of Thoracic Surgery.
06/13/2014: Journey of discovery
Some virtuosos play the piano to perfection, others paint like Picasso, but for MGH physician-researchers, talent lies in the art of discovery.
05/27/2014: Skin grafts from genetically modified pigs may offer alternative for treatment of serious burns
A specially-bred strain of miniature swine lacking the molecule responsible for the rapid rejection of pig-to-primate organ transplants may provide a new source of skin grafts to treat seriously burned patients.
Application of a technology currently used to disinfect food products may help to get around one of the most challenging problems in medicine today, the proliferation of bacteria resistant to antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs.
05/16/2014: Exploring opportunities to expand cancer care
The MGH Cancer Center recently sent a team to the city of Mbarara in southwestern Uganda to explore a collaboration with the local university and hospital to build a new national referral cancer center.
A team of Massachusetts General Hospital surgeons, lead by Curtis Cetrulo, Jr., MD, of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, perform a series of complex surgeries to reattach a patient's arm.
MGH investigators have identified the mechanism by which an enzyme produced in the intestinal lining helps to maintain a healthy population of gastrointestinal microbes.
A system developed by investigators at the MGH Center for Engineering in Medicine and the MGH Transplant Center has the potential to increase both the supply and the quality of donor organs for liver transplantation.
04/04/2014: Austen named chief of Burn Surgery
William (Jay) G. Austen, Jr., MD, was appointed chief of the MGH Division of Burn Surgery on March 24.
A new MGH study is one of the first to detail the outcomes of breast reconstruction surgery after having a nipple-sparing mastectomy, and this new, hard data, researchers say, is good news.
03/21/2014: New approach for breast reconstruction surgery
Amy S. Colwell, MD, surgeon in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses a new approach for breast reconstruction surgery after a cancer diagnosis.
David King, MD, trauma surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, shares his inspirational experience running the 2013 Boston Marathon and operating on bombing victims.
Dolores Dunne LeGeyt is a Mass General breast imaging technologist who has never missed a mammogram. She is also a breast cancer survivor.
01/10/2014: New year, new lease on life
When the call came in at 4 am, just before Christmas, Eric Fritz, 38, of Liverpool, N.Y., was so surprised he made the transplant coordinator tell him twice. After a year of waiting, he had a donor liver.
Making an important step towards greater availability of hand and face transplants, MGH investigators have shown that a procedure developed to induce immune tolerance to organ transplants can induce tolerance to a model limb transplant in miniature swine.
12/22/2013: New lungs give Peru man new life
Massachusetts General Hospital surgeons perform life-saving double lung transplant on patient Chad Kiniry of Peru.
Station nightclub fire survivor Joe Kinan discusses his incredible path to recovery since undergoing the first hand transplant at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Colleagues, friends and family gathered Nov. 5 in the Sweet Room to celebrate the designation of W.G. (Jay) Austen Jr., MD, chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, as the first MGH Trustees Chair in Plastic Surgery.
36-year-old Connecticut resident Benard Basant got his life back when he underwent the MGH’s first combined heart-lung transplant surgery.
David Berger, MD, surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, performs life-saving complex surgery on patient with a massive liver tumor.
Massachusetts General Hospital surgeon David King, MD, has a run of emotions from his combined 2013 Boston and New York Marathon experiences.
Blind since birth, Lil had difficulty getting to medical appointments including annual mammograms. With help from a patient navigator, she learned to overcome the many challenges she faced with a breast cancer diagnosis.
10/02/2013: Expanded health insurance in Massachusetts shown to reduce racial gap for minimally invasive surgery
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers have linked state health care reforms to reduced racial disparities for minimally invasive procedures.
09/20/2013: Health care reform’s impact
On Sept. 10, The Disparities Solutions Center hosted a Keeping Current Seminar Series: “Racial Disparities after Massachusetts Health Reform: Does the Expanded Insurance Coverage Impact Variation in Surgical Care?”
09/16/2013: Massachusetts General Hospital offers specialized operation to remove chronic blood clots from pulmonary arteries
Massachusetts General Hospital offers pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE), a highly specialized operation to remove chronic blood clots in the lungs. Without surgery, patients who have this life-threatening disease will likely develop progressive shortness of breath so severe that it leads to heart failure.
In a study published in the journal Cancer, Mass General researchers, with colleagues from Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, found that the majority of women who die from breast cancer do not have regular mammograms.
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers have grown an artificial ear from living tissue.
07/16/2013: #1 in New England, #2 in the nation
U.S. News & World Report ranks Massachusetts General Hospital among the top hospitals in America based on our quality of care, patient safety and reputation in 16 specialties.
07/03/2013: Tissue engineering: How to build a heart
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers seek to engineer new organs for patients in need of heart transplants.
06/19/2013: Restoring appropriate movement to immune cells may save lives of patients with serious burns
A device that measures the movement of key immune cells, developed by MGH investigators, may help determine which patients with serious burns are at risk for septic complications, and a novel treatment that directly addresses the cause of those complications could prevent many associated deaths.
06/07/2013: New procedure is easy to swallow
The MGH offers its first per-oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) procedure, a new surgical treatment for achalasia.
Feeding an intestinal enzyme to mice kept on a high-fat diet appears to prevent the development of metabolic syndrome – a group of symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and fatty liver – and to reduce symptoms in mice that already had the condition.
A new system for isolating rare circulating tumor cells – living solid tumor cells found at low levels in the bloodstream – shows significant improvement over previously developed devices and does not require prior identification of tumor-specific target molecules.
03/22/2013: Hodin named to new position
THE MGH DEPARTMENT OF SURGERY has announced that Richard Hodin, MD, has been appointed as chief for Academic Affairs. In his new role, Hodin – who also will continue in his roles as chief of Endocrine Surgery and surgical director of the MGH Crohn’s and Colitis Center – will be actively involved in faculty development and academic promotions and will join the leadership of the department on the Chiefs’ Council.
David R. King, MD, director of the Knight Surgical Research Lab at Mass General, is part of a team investigating the use of a biofoam to assist wounded soldiers.
03/15/2013: Communication is key for cardiac surgery team
Late last year, the Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Care Redesign team – made up of anesthesiologists, perfusionists and surgeons – formed a subgroup focused specifically on the practice of CPB. They began to investigate different ways they could strengthen not only how care was administered, but also how they could work more collaboratively on a daily basis.
03/04/2013: Rethink Varicose Veins
Julianne Stoughton, MD, vascular surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses options for treating varicose veins.
Jonathan Winograd, MD, and Curtis L. Cetrulo Jr, MD, discuss how Joe Kinan, a Station nightclub fire survivor, became the first hand transplant recipient at Massachusetts General Hospital.
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.
12/12/2012: Innovative surgery for migraines
Dr. Jay Austen, Jr, Mass General’s chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery, uses plastic surgery techniques to decompress nerves that trigger debilitating migraines.
12/03/2012: Plastic surgery techniques bring migraine relief
W.G. (Jay) Austen Jr., MD, Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses how a plastic surgery procedure done at Mass General provides treatment for migraines.
11/02/2012: MGH performs its first hand transplant
On Oct. 26, 19 days after becoming the MGH’s first hand transplant recipient, Joe Kinan showed how his unwavering commitment to having a positive attitude has paid off – he wiggled the fingers on his left hand for the first time in public.
Emil Petrusa, PhD joins the faculty of the Department of Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital as Educational Research Specialist.
The elevated risk of melanoma among people with red hair and fair skin may be caused by more than just a lack of natural protection against ultraviolet radiation. Resarchers at the MGH Cutaneous Biology Research Center and Cancer Center have found that the type of skin pigment predominantly found in red-haired, fair-skinned individuals may itself contribute to the development of melanoma.
Recipient of Massachusetts General Hospital's first hand transplant operation performed by Curtis L. Cetrulo Jr., MD, on path to recovery.
10/09/2012: Hand transplant is a first for Mass General
Massachusetts General Hospital's Curtis L. Cetrulo Jr., MD, leads Mass General’s first hand transplant operation.
Joseph Kinan, Station nightclub fire survivor, is Massachusetts General Hospital's first hand transplant recipient.
Dr. Curtis L. Cetrulo Jr. performs Massachusetts General Hospital's first hand transplant surgery on Joseph Kinan, Station nightclub fire survivor.
09/24/2012: 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).
09/03/2012: Tapping the body to fight disease
Massachusetts General Hospital's assistant professor of surgery, Biju Parekkadan, explores potential treatments for conditions like kidney and liver failure and inflammatory bowel disease by using cellular therapy and leading medical technology.
08/23/2012: Weight loss surgery cuts diabetes risk
The results of a Swedish study show that weight loss surgery significantly reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes in obese people.
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.
07/17/2012: Massachusetts General Hospital Ranked #1 in the Nation on U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll
Massachusetts General Hospital has moved into the number one spot on the 2012-13 U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals” list.
07/16/2012: Innovations in Breast Cancer Treatment
As part of the multidisciplinary approach to breast cancer treatment, Mass General Cancer Center patients receive care from an integrated team of pathologists, radiologists, and medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists.
07/16/2012: New Frontier in Breast Cancer Recovery
William Gerald Austen Jr., MD, chief, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, is using liposuction techniques to advance less complicated breast reconstruction, with more natural outcomes.
New research by a team from the Broad Institute, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Massachusetts General Hospital suggests that how cancer evade drug treatment may depend on the interplay between tumor cells and their healthy counterparts.
Massachusetts General Hospital surgeon Matthew Hutter, MD, explains how a quality consortium of Partners HealthCare hospitals reduced colon surgery infections by 23%.
MGH surgeons have developed a new technique for reconstructing the larynx after surgery for advanced cancer. The approach uses cryopreserved aortas from deceased donors to replace removed larynx tissue and allows some patients to avoid a permanent tracheotomy and maintain voice and swallowing function.
A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projects that three out of four obese children will become obese adults, increasing the obese adult population to 42 percent by 2030. Just days after the report, on May 10, the MGH Weight Center brought together clinicians from 24 different programs – many within MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) – for the first Pediatric Obesity Collaborative Retreat.
04/10/2012: Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital are using plastic surgery techniques to treat migraines
Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital are using leading-edge techniques such as nerve decompression to treat migraines.
Dr. Jay Austen, Jr, Mass General’s chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery, is using leading-edge techniques such as nerve decompression to help those who suffer from the most debilitating of these headaches.
03/21/2012: Making old hearts new again at Mass General
Learn how Massachusetts General Hospital doctors are changing the world of organ transplantation.
MGH investigators have developed a novel strategy to protect the liver from drug-induced injury and improve associated drug safety. The team reports that inhibition of a type of cell-to-cell communication can protect against the damage caused by liver-toxic drugs such as acetaminophen.
01/10/2012: Accelerated Development
The Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center at Mass General focuses on locating the most promising research and safely accelerating its transformation into new lifesaving products.
12/23/2011: MGHers help Santa stay in tip-top shape
Every December for as long as many staff members can remember, a cheerful old man with a long white beard has been admitted to the MGH Department of Surgery.
Serious traumatic injuries, including major burns, set off a "genomic storm" in human immune cells, altering around 80 percent of the cells' normal gene expression patterns.
10/28/2011: Gaining ground in limb replacement surgery
The first successful replantation of a human limb took place at the MGH in 1962. Now, nearly 50 years later, the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is in the process of reviewing potential candidates for the latest in medical advances – hand transplantation surgery.
10/07/2011: Lord Darzi presents McCabe Lecture
The MGH Department of Surgery hosted Lord Ara Darzi of Denham, England, as the keynote speaker of the third annual Charles D. McCabe Lecture in Surgical Education Sept. 16.
08/04/2011: New chief of Cardiac Surgery ready for impact
The Division of Cardiac Surgery at Mass General welcomes new chief. Thoralf M. Sundt III, MD, bridges legacy of surgical practice and passion for new ideas to improve upon the patient experience.
06/02/2011: Target: Melanoma
The latest news on melanoma treatment and research from the new issue of Synergy magazine and a recent edition of the television program Chronicle.
05/13/2011: A new chapter begins
MGH Hotline 6.13.11 On April 26, Andrew L. Warshaw, MD, stepped into the operating room to perform his last procedure after four decades of practice and nearly 14 years as surgeon-in-chief and chair of the MGH Department of Surgery.
05/13/2011: Introducing Keith D. Lillemoe, MD
MGH Hotline 5.13.11 Keith D. Lillemoe, MD, the MGH's new surgeon-in-chief and chair of the Department of Surgery, spent 27 years at Johns Hopkins and most recently led the Department of Surgery at Indiana University Hospital.
04/25/2011: Adolescents and Weight Loss
The challenges that face adolescents in their fight against obesity and the solutions available to help them, including weight-loss surgery.
02/18/2011: Lunder Building to “Go Live” this summer
MGH Hotline 2.18.11 In preparation for the summertime transition of several hospital programs and services to the Lunder Building, the MGH Go Live Group for the new facility was established under the auspices of Jean Elrick, MD, senior vice president for Administration.
02/04/2011: Chief of Cardiac Surgery named
MGH Hotline 02.04.11 THORALF M. SUNDT III, MD, has been named chief of the Division of Cardiac Surgery.
MGH Hotline 1.28.11 Keith D. Lillemoe, MD, a world-renowned general surgeon who specializes in pancreatic and biliary surgery, has been selected as the MGH's next surgeon-in-chief and chief of the Department of Surgery.
12/17/2010: In General 12.17.10
MGH Hotline 12.17.10 In General Awards and Honors
12/03/2010: Conquering Organ Rejection
A new breakthrough transplant procedure developed at Massachusetts General Hospital confirms that the problem of organ rejection after transplantation can be mitigated without using immunosuppressive drugs, sparing transplant recipients a lifetime of side effects.
11/11/2010: From lab bench to the battlefield
At the MGH, a team of scientists led by Hasan Alam, MD, an MGH trauma surgeon and director of research for the Division of Trauma, Emergency Surgery and Surgical Critical Care, is developing novel tools, techniques and treatments to help save the lives of soldiers traumatically injured on the battlefield.
10/01/2010: MGH surgeons play for charity
MGH Hotline 10.01.10 Being skilled and dexterous with their hands is required of surgeons, who daily use special instruments that most people would never have the opportunity to handle.
MGH Hotline 8.13.10 HASAN ALAM, MD, of the Division of Trauma, Emergency Surgery and Surgical Critical Care and director of the Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at MGH, starred in the sixth episode of "Boston Med."
Combined targeted therapy against the BRAF/MAPK pathway with immunotherapy shows promise as a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of melanoma, according to results of a preclinical study by MGH researchers.
05/21/2010: In Memoriam
MGH Hotline 05.21.10 Betty Honey, a former MGH Department of Surgery employee, died April 10.
MGH Hotline 4.30.10 THE MGH has been designated a Blue Distinction Center for both spine surgery and knee and hip replacement by Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
Technical improvements to a microchip-based device for detecting and analyzing tumor cells in the bloodstream are revealing cellular differences that may reflect a tumor's aggressiveness and long-term response to treatment.
12/04/2009: Facing a better future
MGH Hotline 12.04.09 When she looked in the mirror, the long jagged scars running across her cheek reflected back at her, a disturbing reminder of the physical and emotional abuse she suffered at the hands of the father of her children.
Mass General surgeon Patricia Sylla, travels to Barcelona to perform the first-ever rectal cancer surgery on a human using natural orifice surgery (NOTES).
10/19/2009: Clots traveling from lower veins may not be the cause of pulmonary embolism in trauma patients
A report from a team of Massachusetts General Hospital physicians calls into question the longstanding belief that pulmonary embolism – the life-threatening blockage of a major blood vessel in the lungs – is caused in trauma patients by a blood clot traveling from vessels deep within the legs or lower torso.
Christopher Morse, MD, of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital has been able to remove esophageal tumors using an innovative minimally invasive procedure that offers patients less postoperative pain and a shorter recovery time
06/29/2009: 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.
05/08/2009: Luncheon raises funds and skin cancer awareness
MGH Hotline 5.08.09 Approximately 100 people attended the Friends of the MGH Cancer Center’s annual fundraising forum April 22 in the Bulfinch Tents. This year’s event featured MGH skin cancer experts David Fisher, MD, PhD, chief of the Department of Dermatology and director of the Center for Melanoma, left, and Jennifer Wargo, MD, of the Department of Surgery.
05/08/2009: In General awards and honors
MGH Hotline 5.08.09 In General awards and honors
A team of researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Engineering in Medicine has found the first evidence of cell-to-cell communication by amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, rather than by known protein signaling agents such as growth factors or cytokines.
04/01/2009: Moments in Surgery
MGH Hotline 4.3.09 Tribute to Charlie McCabe, MD, by MGH resident
03/11/2009: Cardiac surgery team simulates surgery
Massachusetts General Hospital’s cardiac surgical team is participating in operating room simulation work, a training regimen designed to reduce medical errors by drilling staff in emergent situations.
02/27/2009: MGH Durant fellows
MGH Hotline 2.27.09 As a true humanitarian, Thomas S. Durant, MD, spent his life bringing hope to some of the bleakest parts of the world. In honor of his service and compassion, the MGH Durant Fellowship in Refugee Medicine helps health care professionals bring their skills to those in critical need around the globe.
01/14/2009: Hospital pilot sites demonstrate surgical safety checklist drops deaths and complications by more than one third
A group of hospitals in eight cities around the globe has successfully demonstrated that the use of a simple surgical checklist during major operations can lower the incidence of deaths and complications by more than one third.
12/05/2008: Sailhamer wins paper competition
MGH Hotline: 12/05/08
12/05/2008: In General
MGH Hotline: 12/05/08
11/26/2008: Relief from GERD, once and for all
Finally, good news for patients who have chosen not to have surgery to treat their gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) because they doubted surgery’s effectiveness. A new study reveals the benefits of a simple procedure that can vastly improve their quality of life. And, even better, the relief offered by this surgery is lasting and doesn’t require the hassle and expense of taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and other prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
11/07/2008: A Day in the Life
A day in the life of trauma surgeon Dr. George Velmahos.
10/22/2008: Surgery without scalpels?
It may sound like science fiction, but the possibility of surgery that can be completed without a scar may soon be a reality.
05/21/2015: General Thoracic Surgery
Our annual post-graduate course in general thoracic surgery continues to fulfill its mission for the 43rd year.
12/06/2014: Surgery of the Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands
The Department of Otolaryngology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and the Department of Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital present “Surgery of the Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands.” This CME reviews surgical techniques, molecular genetic analysis, and advances in treatment for diseases of the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
11/02/2014: Trauma and Critical Care Symposium
The Trauma and Critical Care Symposium provides in-depth and leading-edge information in the field of critical care and trauma.
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.
Michael Jaff, DO, Medical Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Fireman Vascular Center explains how carotid artery disease can cause a stroke, unless it is found early and treated, and how you can identify your risk for this condition.
Alice Shaw, MD, thoracic oncologist at the Mass General Cancer Center, says patients with lung cancer can benefit from genetic testing, particularly if they are young non-smokers. Learn more about personalized treatment for lung cancer and new "smart drugs" that target a tumor's specific genetic mutation to slow the cancer's growth, and in some cases, reduce it significantly.
The Ferguson-Ottinger Endowed Fund for Surgical Residents supports a visiting professorship, educational and networking opportunities for surgical residents at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, Thomas Derigo, a husband and father to two teenage girls, had only one option: lung transplantation. Under the expert care of his team at Mass General, Thomas’s transplantation was a success, giving him the ability to live life normally and do the things he loves the most.
An ultrasound at 19 weeks showed that Andrew Johnson would be born with kidney functionality complications. Fortunately for Andrew, his mother was a compatible donor, and when he was strong enough, Andrew underwent kidney transplantation at MassGeneral Hospital for Children Transplant Center. “Everyone was so nervous that day,” Tara Johnson states. “I was elated.”
Thor Sundt, MD, chief of cardiac surgery and director of the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center, talks about heart valve options for patients undergoing heart valve surgery.
Jonathan Passeri, MD, co-director of the Mass General Heart Valve Program and director of Interventional Echocardiography, talks about aortic valve stenosis and answers common questions about symptoms to look out for and treatment options.
For two years, Amy DeStefano struggled with increasing heart complications, leaving her needing a heart transplantation. Through one of Mass General’s clinical trials, Amy became the first person in New England to receive a "heart in a box" transplant. The device circulates blood through the donated heart, keeping it beating and giving doctors more time to perform a transplant.
LINX® Reflux Management System is an innovative minimally invasive procedure used by Massachusetts General Hospital surgeons to treat appropriately selected patients experiencing symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). For more information, visit massgeneral.org/LINX