Dr. Ghulam Abbas to lead thoracic surgery, surgical thoracic oncology at WVU Medicine

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Ghulam Abbas, M.D., has been named chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery in the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute and director of surgical thoracic oncology at the WVU Cancer Institute’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center. He officially joined the WVU Medicine family on March 13.

Dr. Abbas, who is also an associate professor in the WVU School of Medicine Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, came to Morgantown from Meridian Health System in New Jersey, where he served as director of minimally invasive thoracic surgery and medical director of thoracic oncology. Prior to that, he served as an assistant professor in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Medical Center for eight years. He also served as the chairman of the Department of Surgery at UPMC Passavant.

He completed his residency training at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York and fellowship training in cardiothoracic surgery at Rush University Medical Center. He subsequently obtained advanced training in minimally invasive lung and esophageal surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In 2013, he received his master’s degree in healthcare management from Harvard University.

Dr. Abbas is internationally recognized for robotic lung sparing surgery for lung cancer and minimally invasive esophagectomy for esophageal cancer. His clinical interests also include endoscopic and minimally invasive esophageal surgery for achalasia (POEM), Zenker’s diverticulum, Barrett’s esophagus, hiatal hernia, and insertion of LINX for GERD.

He is also an expert in robotic surgery for complex lung cancer resection, first rib resection for thoracic outlet syndrome, thymectomy for thymomas and myasthenia gravis, neurogenic tumors, chest wall tumor resection and reconstruction, and sympathectomy for “sweaty palms.”

He complements WVU Medicine’s existing ablative therapies by adding cryotherapy for obstructive airway tumors/strictures and microwave ablation for lung tumors. Innovative procedures, like GPS-guided surgery for lung cancer, image-guided hybrid thoracic surgery, and peroral endoscopic myotomy for achalasia, will enable patients to have the least invasive solutions for their complex medical conditions.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Abbas and his leadership to enhance our existing excellent thoracic program and fully support the vision of expanding into new clinical areas for WVU,” Vinay Badhwar, M.D., executive chair of the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute and Gordon F. Murray Professor and chairman of the WVU Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, said. “In particular, Dr. Abbas will expand our statewide initiative to enhance access to advanced esophageal and pulmonary operations for all West Virginians, the majority of which will be performed with minimally invasive and robotic technology.”

Abbas is board certified in surgery and thoracic surgery and author of numerous peer reviewed scientific articles and book chapters. He has been an invited speaker at many international conferences on lung and esophageal cancer and is a member of several professional and scientific societies, including the Society of Robotic Surgery, the Society of Thoracic Surgery, the International Society of Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery, the American College of Surgeons, the General Thoracic Surgical Club, and the American College of Healthcare Executives.

For more information on the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, visit www.wvumedicine.org/heart. For more information on the WVU Cancer Institute, visit www.wvumedicine.org/cancer.