Surgery

In cancer care, surgical procedures are used to diagnose, stage and treat the disease and some of the symptoms it causes. You need the right surgery by an experienced, highly trained team. You’ll find both at the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, which performed more than 7,000 procedures from 2017-20.

About 60 percent of people with cancer will have some kind of surgery. Sometimes, it is the only treatment needed. Other times, surgery is combined with other measures such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy or radiation to help prevent the cancer from growing, spreading or coming back.

To determine if surgery is right for you, your team will look at the type of cancer you have, the size and location of the tumor and the stage of the disease, as well as your general health.

Our surgeons hold weekly collaborative meetings with a variety of specialists to discuss treatment plans, protocols and clinical trials. Their participation in clinical trials offered through our membership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance gives our patients access to the latest advancements in care.


Connect with a Nurse Navigator

Call 855.255.6181 or request a callback for support, advice, or a second opinion.

Meet Our Team


Our surgical team has expertise in multiple procedures, treating these cancers:


Types of Cancer Surgery

  • Curative surgery: Removes the cancerous tissue. This is best for cancers contained in one place that haven’t spread to other parts of the body. It is usually followed by radiation therapy or chemotherapy to make sure all cancerous cells were removed.
  • Minimally-invasive surgery: A skilled approach to removing cancerous tumors by surgeons with advance training who use state-of-the-art equipment, including surgical robots. Small incisions mean less risk and faster recovery times.
  • Preventive or prophylactic surgery: Helps keep cancer from occurring. The most common example is the removal of precancerous polyps from the colon during a colonoscopy, which can prevent colon cancer.
  • Staging surgery: Helps your oncology team understand the extent of your cancer. This can be done by taking tissue samples for analysis.
  • Reconstructive surgery: After cancer treatment, when needed, to return your body to near-normal appearance or function. The most common type is breast reconstruction surgery after breast removal.
  • Supportive surgery: Available to help with other treatments, such as inserting a port under the skin for chemotherapy.
  • Palliative surgery: Eases pain caused by advanced or untreatable cancer, improving quality of life.

Minimally-Invasive Surgery

When possible, we opt for minimally-invasive procedures. The surgeon performs the same procedure as in traditional surgery but through smaller incisions using advanced technology and special instruments, including surgical robots.

This means less bleeding, less scarring, less postoperative pain and a shorter hospital stay. You also recover and return to normal activities faster. Your provider will talk with you about the best procedure based on your diagnosis.

Our focus is always on curing your cancer, and sometimes minimally-invasive techniques are not the best option.

Your cancer team might suggest combining surgery with chemotherapy or radiation as the most effective way to remove all of the cancerous cells.


Advanced Treatment

Another innovative way to give chemotherapy is called Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC). This newer approach is designed for people with certain types of Stage IV abdominal cancers, such as colorectal and gynecologic.

In the operating room, specially-trained surgical oncologists remove the cancerous tumors from the abdomen. They then deliver HIPEC directly into the abdominal cavity to target any remaining cancer cells that are too small to see.

The high concentration of warm chemo in HIPEC can be more effective than conventional treatment. It is also given in one dose versus multiple visits and causes fewer side effects


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance

We offer the latest treatments through our ongoing membership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Alliance, which gives you access to the latest standards of care and clinical trials.

The MSK Alliance

Support at the Cancer Institute

The Cancer Institute offers whatever you and your family need on your journey, whether it’s access to an oncology social worker, a nurse navigator to coordinate your care or the support of our Patient and Family Resource Center.


Meet our Cancer Surgical Oncologists:

Name Specialties Location
Aydin, H. Nail, MD Aydin, H. Nail, MD
4.8 /5
57 surveys
860.423.5000
  • Surgical Oncology
  • General Surgery
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  • Willimantic
Banever, Thomas Clark, MD, FACS Banever, Thomas Clark, MD, FACS 860.249.9189
  • General Surgery
  • Breast Surgery
  • Surgical Oncology
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  • Hartford
Bliss, Lindsay Ann, MD, MPH Bliss, Lindsay Ann, MD, MPH
4.8 /5
104 surveys
860.246.2071
  • Surgical Oncology
  • General Surgery
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  • Hartford
  • Bloomfield
  • Enfield
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Brutus, Valerie, MD, FACS Brutus, Valerie, MD, FACS
5.0 /5
55 surveys
475.210.7002
  • Breast Surgery
  • Surgical Oncology
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  • Bridgeport
  • Trumbull
  • Wilton
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Callender, Glenda Grace, MD, FACS Callender, Glenda Grace, MD, FACS
5.0 /5
38 surveys
203.576.6141
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Endocrine Surgery
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  • Bridgeport
Cha, Charles, MD, FACS Cha, Charles, MD, FACS
4.9 /5
65 surveys
203.576.6141
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Bridgeport
Curtis, David Eugene, MD Curtis, David Eugene, MD
4.9 /5
82 surveys
860.246.2071
  • Hepatobiliary and Surgical Oncology
  • General Surgery
  • Surgical Oncology
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  • Hartford
  • Glastonbury
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Eisenberg, David Paul, MD, FACS Eisenberg, David Paul, MD, FACS
4.9 /5
170 surveys
860.696.2040
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Breast Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Hartford
  • Avon
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Flaherty, James Francis, MD 860.224.5011
  • Surgical Oncology
  • General Surgery
  • Thoracic Surgery
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  • New Britain
Killelea, Brigid Kelley, MD, FACS Killelea, Brigid Kelley, MD, FACS
4.9 /5
105 surveys
475.210.7002
  • Breast Surgery
  • Surgical Oncology
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  • Bridgeport
  • Milford
  • Trumbull
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Piorkowski, Robert Joseph, MD, FACS Piorkowski, Robert Joseph, MD, FACS
5.0 /5
178 surveys
860.696.2040
  • Breast Surgery
  • General Surgery
  • Head & Neck Surgery
  • Surgical Oncology
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  • Hartford
  • Wethersfield
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Rubinstein, Jill Carol, MD, PhD Rubinstein, Jill Carol, MD, PhD 203.576.6141
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Endocrine Surgery
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  • Bridgeport
Schipper, Bret Mitchell, MD, FACS, CPE Schipper, Bret Mitchell, MD, FACS, CPE
4.9 /5
85 surveys
860.696.2040
  • Surgical Oncology
  • General Surgery
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  • Hartford
  • New Britain
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Siddiqui, Imran, MD, FACS Siddiqui, Imran, MD, FACS
4.8 /5
70 surveys
860.696.2040
  • Surgical Oncology
  • New Britain
  • North Haven
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Meet our Breast Cancer Surgeons:

Name Specialties Location
Banever, Thomas Clark, MD, FACS Banever, Thomas Clark, MD, FACS 860.249.9189
  • General Surgery
  • Breast Surgery
  • Surgical Oncology
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  • Hartford
Bassin, Leah R., MD, FACS Bassin, Leah R., MD, FACS
4.9 /5
276 surveys
860.246.2071
  • Breast Surgery
  • Farmington
  • Avon
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Brutus, Valerie, MD, FACS Brutus, Valerie, MD, FACS
5.0 /5
55 surveys
475.210.7002
  • Breast Surgery
  • Surgical Oncology
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  • Bridgeport
  • Trumbull
  • Wilton
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Caprio, Kimberly Anne, MD Caprio, Kimberly Anne, MD
4.8 /5
106 surveys
860.496.4190
  • Breast Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Torrington
  • Enfield
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Coletti, David Edward, MD, FACS Coletti, David Edward, MD, FACS
4.8 /5
104 surveys
860.886.0660
  • General Surgery
  • Breast Surgery
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • Endocrine Surgery
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  • Norwich
  • Mystic
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Duckworth, April Marie, MD Duckworth, April Marie, MD
4.9 /5
208 surveys
860.224.5416
  • Breast Surgery
  • Plainville
  • Manchester
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Eisenberg, David Paul, MD, FACS Eisenberg, David Paul, MD, FACS
4.9 /5
170 surveys
860.696.2040
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Breast Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Hartford
  • Avon
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Fritts, Lori Louise, MD Fritts, Lori Louise, MD 860.726.1414
  • General Surgery
  • Breast Surgery
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  • Bloomfield
Killelea, Brigid Kelley, MD, FACS Killelea, Brigid Kelley, MD, FACS
4.9 /5
105 surveys
475.210.7002
  • Breast Surgery
  • Surgical Oncology
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  • Bridgeport
  • Milford
  • Trumbull
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King, Heather Marie, MD, FACS King, Heather Marie, MD, FACS
4.9 /5
267 surveys
860.246.2071
  • Breast Surgery
  • Farmington
  • Glastonbury
  • Manchester
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Kurowski, Kathleen, MD, FACS Kurowski, Kathleen, MD, FACS
4.9 /5
176 surveys
860.204.9126
  • Breast Surgery
  • Norwich
  • Waterford
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Lawrence, Camelia, MD, FACS Lawrence, Camelia, MD, FACS
4.9 /5
130 surveys
860.224.5416
  • Breast Surgery
  • Plainville
Piorkowski, Robert Joseph, MD, FACS Piorkowski, Robert Joseph, MD, FACS
5.0 /5
178 surveys
860.696.2040
  • Breast Surgery
  • General Surgery
  • Head & Neck Surgery
  • Surgical Oncology
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  • Hartford
  • Wethersfield
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Posner, Michael Gary, MD Posner, Michael Gary, MD 860.826.4453
  • General Surgery
  • Breast Surgery
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  • New Britain
Stanat, Christy Ann, MD Stanat, Christy Ann, MD
4.8 /5
129 surveys
860.204.9126
  • Breast Surgery
  • Norwich
  • Waterford
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Wilson, Niamey, MD, FACS Wilson, Niamey, MD, FACS
5.0 /5
119 surveys
203.694.5200
  • Breast Surgery
  • Meriden
  • Cheshire
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Young, Whitney, MD, FACS Young, Whitney, MD, FACS 203.694.5200
  • Breast Surgery
  • Meriden
  • North Haven
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Meet our Breast Cancer Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons:

Name Specialties Location
Allen, Brian Michael, MD Allen, Brian Michael, MD
4.9 /5
156 surveys
860.223.0800
  • Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
  • Plainville
Babigian, Alan, MD, FACS Babigian, Alan, MD, FACS
4.9 /5
198 surveys
860.548.7338
  • Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
  • Hand Surgery
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  • Farmington
  • Hartford
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Bass, David Martin, MD Bass, David Martin, MD 860.247.3479
  • Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
  • Hand Surgery
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  • Hartford
  • Avon
  • Glastonbury
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Bluestein, Harvey Jay, MD Bluestein, Harvey Jay, MD 203.254.8557
  • Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
  • Fairfield
  • Norwalk
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Castiglione, Charles Leonard, MD, FACS Castiglione, Charles Leonard, MD, FACS
4.8 /5
153 surveys
860.548.7338
  • Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
  • Farmington
  • Hartford
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Cech, Alex Charles, MD Cech, Alex Charles, MD
4.9 /5
165 surveys
860.548.7338
  • Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
  • Farmington
  • Glastonbury
  • Hartford
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Chandler, Laurel, MD Chandler, Laurel, MD 203.423.3132
  • Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
  • Darien
Craig, Elizabeth Stirling, MD Craig, Elizabeth Stirling, MD 475.210.7002
  • Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
  • Bridgeport
  • Milford
  • Westport
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Delucia, Orlando, MD, FACS Delucia, Orlando, MD, FACS
4.9 /5
133 surveys
860.548.7338
  • Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
  • Farmington
  • Glastonbury
  • Hartford
  • Torrington
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Hughes, Christopher David, MD Hughes, Christopher David, MD 860.548.7338
  • Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Farmington
Smith, Steven Scott, MD Smith, Steven Scott, MD
4.9 /5
147 surveys
860.548.7338
  • Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
  • Hand Surgery
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  • Farmington
  • Glastonbury
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Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute