New York City-based Mount Sinai Health System’s esophagectomy program received the Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ highest rating, according to an April 4 hospital release.
Only 13 healthcare facilities in the U.S. have been awarded a three-star rating for esophagectomy surgery, which is the main surgical treatment for esophageal cancer.
Raja Flores, MD, chair of Mount Sinai’s thoracic surgery department, invented “a simple yet highly effective” modification to esophagectomy that he said is safer and more effective than the traditional surgical procedure.
Dr. Flores’ procedure causes less trauma, lowers average patient time in surgery from seven to 2.5 hours, and reduces post-surgical complications such as obstruction and leaking, according to the Journal of Surgical Oncology.
“It has been my hope that surgeons at other institutions would adopt our modification, which simply involves switching the juncture site between the stomach and the esophagus to promote better blood flow between the two organs.” Dr. Flores explained.
“It’s not about whether you use a robot or laser or some other tool,” he said. “Focusing on the fine points of an operation is what actually gets rid of the cancer and helps ensure that the patient will recover without a complication.”
The STS star rating system is a well-regarded measure of quality in cardiothoracic surgery programs.