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

Surgical Oncology News

August 23, 2021

The Care Gap Between Black and White Men With Prostate Cancer

COVID-19 temporarily closed operating room doors to almost all non-emergent procedures, a step that, in retrospect, seems to have affected [...]

May 20, 2021

Prostate Cancer and Robotic Surgery: 20 Years, and 5,000 Surgeries, Later

An appreciation of technology and innate curiosity collided in May 2001 when a urologic surgeon now at Hartford HealthCare (HHC) [...]

May 05, 2021

CHH Recognizes 2021 Nightingale Award Nurse Nominees During National Nurses Week 

In a week set aside to honor the value and contributions of nurses at hospitals across the Nation, Charlotte Hungerford [...]

April 21, 2021

Why This Neurosurgeon Relocated to U.S. to Perform Complex Spine Cases

The main difference between practicing medicine in his native Brazil and the United States, according to neurosurgeon Dr. Pedro Coutinho, [...]

April 19, 2021

Alcohol and Liver Disease: Why Women Are at Higher Risk

The expectation of local and national experts for an increase advanced liver disease, especially among women, is on the rise [...]

October 16, 2020

Dr. David Aughton Joins CHH Surgical Department

The Charlotte Hungerford Hospital Department of Surgery welcomes surgeon Dr. David Aughton, who is now accepting patients at 538 Litchfield [...]

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 Surgical Oncologists:

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Name Specialties Location
Aydin, H. Nail, MD Aydin, H. Nail, MD 860.423.5000
  • Surgical Oncology
  • General Surgery
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  • Willimantic
  • Manchester
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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
73 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 475.210.7002
  • Breast Surgery
  • Surgical Oncology
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  • Bridgeport
  • Trumbull
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Callender, Glenda Grace, MD, FACS Callender, Glenda Grace, MD, FACS 203.576.6141
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Endocrine Surgery
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  • Bridgeport
Carr, Bethany Anne, APRN Carr, Bethany Anne, APRN 860.696.2040
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Hartford
Cha, Charles, MD, FACS Cha, Charles, MD, FACS 203.576.6141
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Bridgeport
Curtis, David Eugene, MD Curtis, David Eugene, MD
4.8 /5
81 surveys
860.246.2071
  • Hepatobiliary and Surgical Oncology
  • General Surgery
  • Surgical Oncology
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  • Hartford
  • Glastonbury
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Demestihas, Anthy, MD Demestihas, Anthy, MD
4.9 /5
80 surveys
203.332.4744
  • Breast Surgery
  • General Surgery
  • Surgical Oncology
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  • Bridgeport
  • Bridgeport
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Devanney, Kendra R., PA-C Devanney, Kendra R., PA-C 860.696.2040
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Hartford
  • Glastonbury
  • Manchester
  • West Hartford
  • Wethersfield
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Eisenberg, David Paul, MD, FACS Eisenberg, David Paul, MD, FACS
5.0 /5
158 surveys
860.696.2040
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Breast Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Hartford
  • Avon
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Finoia, Lisa M., APRN, FNP-C Finoia, Lisa M., APRN, FNP-C 203.576.6141
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Bridgeport
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
4.8 /5
33 surveys
475.210.7002
  • Breast Surgery
  • Surgical Oncology
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  • Bridgeport
  • Milford
  • Trumbull
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Picciano, Brian, PA-C 203.382.2475
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Bridgeport
Piorkowski, Robert Joseph, MD, FACS Piorkowski, Robert Joseph, MD, FACS
5.0 /5
191 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
4.8 /5
63 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
4.9 /5
39 surveys
203.576.6141
  • Surgical Oncology
  • General Surgery
Show Less
  • Bridgeport

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Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute