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Departments / Surgery / Divisions / Surgical Oncology

Section of Surgical Oncology

The University of Cincinnati section of surgical oncology delivers compassionate state-of-the-art care to patients with cancer and allied diseases, and has the distinction of offering clinical programs that draw patient referrals from across the United States, particularly in the Midwest. Our nationally known physicians are all board certified in general surgery and have supplemental fellowship training in cancer surgery. Recognized by Best Doctors in America and Cincinnati Magazine Top Doctors in Cincinnati, our physicians and staff provide an outstanding level of care and work closely with other medical disciplines.

Clinical and basic science research by the section’s faculty and interdisciplinary collaborations with other researchers in the surgery department and the UC College of Medicine have gained national attention. Patients are offered state-of-the-art treatment protocols and access to innovative clinical trials as part of the UC Cancer Institute.

The section of surgical oncology is headquartered at the UC Health Barrett Center, a comprehensive cancer treatment center accredited by the American College of Surgeons. The majority of operative procedures are performed at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, UC Health West Chester Hospital and The Christ Hospital. The section’s faculty surgeons also staff the Cincinnati Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The section also provides physician staffing at the UC Health Physicians Office North and Women’s Health Center on our West Chester campus in order to meet the needs for surgical oncology services in northern Cincinnati suburbs.

UC has formed a strategic partnership with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and University of Cincinnati Medical Center to establish the Cincinnati Cancer Center, a joint cancer center that will coordinate oncology care from childhood to adulthood in southern Ohio and beyond. By leveraging the individual cancer strengths of each institution, the Cincinnati Cancer Center will be able to provide innovative multidisciplinary cancer research and highly specialized patient care for children and adults in our region. Together, the Cincinnati Cancer Center (CCC) will be able to advance care faster, especially for those with complex disease. The vision of the Cincinnati Cancer Center is to create a world class cancer center leading in innovation to eliminate cancer, with a goal of achieving the highly prestigious National Cancer Institute designation.

The surgical oncology section offers:

  • Surgical care for benign and malignant diseases of the breast, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal glands and pancreas. Dr. Tammy Holm is the only board-certified endocrine surgeon in Cincinnati.
  • Leading-edge therapy for esophageal, colorectal, small bowel and gastric tumors.
  • Personalized therapy for primary and recurrent cancers involving the liver, colon, and peritoneum.
  • One of the highest volume pancreas surgery practices in the nation.
  • Advanced surgical treatments for melanoma, sarcoma and other serious skin and soft tissue malignancies, including being the only site for isolated hyperthermic infusion procedures in the Greater Cincinnati area.
  • Techniques such as hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) for the treatment of primary and metastatic peritoneal malignancies and carcinomatosis. We are the highest volume center in Cincinnati for HIPEC.
  • Participation in UC Cancer Institute multidisciplinary pancreas, liver, and esophageal disease centers where patients can be seen by physicians from multiple specialties all in one office visit to help quickly begin an optimally sequenced treatment plan without repetitive testing.
  • Surgical resection of the breast can be coordinated with immediate reconstruction by our plastic surgeons, should the patient be eligible from a cancer and reconstructive perspective.
  • One of the few national sites performing total pancreatectomy and islet cell transplantation for chronic pancreatitis. We have one of the largest experiences in the world with this procedure.
  • Surgical resection of the breast can be coordinated with immediate reconstruction by our plastic surgeons, should the patient be eligible from a cancer and reconstructive perspective.
  • Discussions of complex patient treatment plans at tumor board conferences for all major cancer types.
  • Minimally invasive cancer surgery approaches for the pancreas, liver, esophagus, stomach, spleen, adrenal gland and colon.
  • Robotic surgery for liver, pancreas, stomach, and esophageal diseases.

The Pancreatic Disease Center, directed by Dr. Syed Ahmad, is among the most active in the world and focuses on the multidisciplinary care of patients with benign and malignant diseases of the pancreas. The autologous islet cell procedure, for treating chronic pancreatitis, is offered as one of only two programs offering this in the United States.

Media Sources:

See a story and video on the WCPO Channel 9 website concerning "Give Hope" for pancreatic cancer research.


Syed A. Ahmad, MD (Chief)
Alicia Heelan, MD, MS
Tammy M. Holm, MD, PhD
Jaime D. Lewis, MD
Sameer Patel, MD
Elizabeth A. Shaughnessy, MD, PhD
Jeffrey J. Sussman, MD
Gregory C. Wilson, MD

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Department of

University of Cincinnati
College of Medicine
231 Albert Sabin Way
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0558

Mail Location: 0558
Phone: 513-558-4748