St. Luke's - Roosevelt Hospital Center

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Anagnostopoulos CE | Balaram SK | Belsley SJ | Swistel DG | Tilson MD | Todd GJ
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Aneurysm Center | Bariatric | Endovascular | Hepatobiliary | Minimal Access | Robotics
St. Luke's Roosevelt Department Of Surgery | New York Obesity Research Center | Continuum Health Partners | The HCM Program
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SLRHC Robotics and Surgical Sciences Lab











Welcome to the Surgery Department at St. Luke's Roosevelt Research Home Page. SLRHC has had a proud and enduring commitment to research for more than a century. Aided by the generosity of a grateful patient, Charles McBurney built the most advanced surgical theater of its time in 1882, where he innovated the modern diagnostic and surgical treatment of appendicitis. His operating room was visited by many pioneers, including the Mayo brothers, and he set many trends for the emergence of American leadership in the field of surgery in the 20th century.

At St. Luke's Hospital, the first successful pneumonectomy for lung cancer was performed in 1935 by Henry Lyle, MD and Alexander Ada, MD. Some of the first work on the heart-lung machine was performed at SLR. This research allowed Hugh Fitzpatrick, MD, to performed the first open heart operation in New York in 1955. George Green, MD, began pioneering work that established the internal mammary artery as the preferred graft of revascularization of the coronary arteries in 1968. Other innovations include technqiues of renal cell preservation and refinements in kidney transplantation. These innovations opened doors in related departments serving as building blocks for the theories behind the modern anesthesia machine as well as the effects of aspirin on platelet aggregation.

Today the Surgical Research Laboratory serves as a core facility to centralize research projects and facilitate collaboration between surgeons representing their respective divisions. Our group consists of members specializing in Aneurysm Biology, Bariatric Surgery, Cardiac Surgery, Minimally Invasive Surgery, Robotic Surgery, and Vascular and Endograft Surgery. We also collaborate with many other SLRHC hospital departments including the Departments of Pathology, Pulmonology, and Cardiology. Projects also include alliances with researchers at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. The Research laboratory is located across the street from the Columbia University Undergraduate Campus; current projects include collaboration with a Columbia University Bioengineering Group as well as the Department of Machine Learning.

Two surgical residents are chosen each year after completing their PGY-3 training to perform a research fellowship. One or both residents will stay on at the labs at St Luke's-Roosevelt to continue both clinical and basic science projects. In addition to the many staff attendings and fellows who facilitate projects in their respective fields, there is also one full-time employee and often at least one pre-medical student who complete the group.

Our facilities are located at St. Luke's Hospital in the S&R building on the 11th floor and include a chemistry lab, cell-culture room, two inanimate training labs, an operating room that accommodates large animal experiments, as well as office space and an adjoining conference room with teleconferencing and video-recording capabilities. We have weekly meetings to discuss project progress and formulate research plans; these are led by our research resident fellows. 

Below is a brief description of just some of the projects we are currently working on:








The Roosevelt Hospital tradition took shape during the latter part of the 19th Century under the leadership of Charles McBurney, MD whose techniques for abdominal surgery were widely adopted throughout the world.







The surgeons above are shown working on a prototype organ perfusion device used for renal cell preservation.  Research and clinical work performed at St. Luke's Hospital allowed the first renal transplant service in this region to be developed in the 1960's. 









The Robotics Laboratory consists of five rooms on the 11th floor of St. Luke's Research Building. Members of the laboratory worked closely with the Information Technology Department to ensure the most advanced computer technology would complement St. Luke's - Roosevelt existing teleconferencing capabilities.




Aneurysms/Vascular Surgery:

  • Multiple projects that evaluate genetic predisposition for aneurysms and possible genome markers
  • Murine experiments to evaluate the rule of anti-oxidants in the prevention in AAA formation.

Cardiothoracic Surgery:

  • Examining the effect of novel compounds on lung ischemia-reperfusion injury.
  • Reviewing the outcomes of an institution-specific HCM surgical procedure.
  • Database reviews of High-Risk CABG patients and use of the bilateral internal mammary artery grafts for revascularization

Robotic Surgery:

  • The use of third party optical systems and their interactions with the Da Vinci Console
  • Robotic Application of Brachytherapy Seeds for High Risk NSCLC Stage IA who would not tolerate definitive resections
  • Clinical Studies examining three hole robotic esophagectomy and thymectomy
  • Evaluation of the future of the Da Vinci robot with new applications, new procedures, and its use in resident training.
  • Robotic research has focusing on the development of specific drills which can be considered sufficient for the discrimination of experts and novices.
  • Advanced Programming Interface (API) evaluations of user Flight-Path Data

NOTES Surgery:

  • Developing NOTES surgery, including several trans-gastric surgical procedures for high-risk or bariatric patients.

Bariatric Surgery:

  • Comparing outcome data for patients undergoing different weight reduction surgeries.
  • Studying the connection between inflammation and obesity.

Simulation/Resident Education:

  • Developing resident training standards involving the LapSim, Da Vinci Robot and Inanimate trainers.



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