Our primary mission is to provide all patients with streamline access to UF Health cancer specialists and to the full spectrum of high-quality and cutting-edge treatment options.
UF Health surgeons provide quality, innovative care to patients with pancreatic, liver and biliary diseases featuring a wide range of advanced diagnostic and treatment modalities for patients with cancers of the anus, appendix, bile ducts, colon, esophagus, gallbladder, liver, pancreas, rectum, retroperitoneum, small intestine and stomach. We are proud to care for patients at UF Health Shands Hospital, ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s top hospitals for cancer care.
GI Oncology Surgery:
- Sphincter-preserving surgical procedures
- Minimally invasive or laparoscopic resection of the colon, esophagus, liver, pancreas, rectum, and stomach
- Spleen-preserving pancreatic surgery
- Transhiatal or transthoracic esophagectomy
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy
- Minimally invasive esophagectomy
We offer the latest in surgical care for both benign diseases and cancer, including laparoscopic procedures for patients who are candidates for minimally invasive surgery,as well as personalized care and treatments to optimize each patient’s outcomes, and emphasize coordinated care to streamline clinic visits and hospital procedures. As part of our mission, investigative treatments are available for appropriate patients as we strive to continually improve patient care and outcomes. UF Health pancreatic and liver surgeons work closely with gastroenterologists and other specialists from the University of Florida Health Gastrointestinal (GI) Oncology Center to provide a comprehensive, compassionate and multidisciplinary approach to caring for patients diagnosed with cancers of the digestive organs.
UF Health pancreatic surgeons care for:
- Acute pancreatitis
- Bile duct cancer
- Bile duct injuries and strictures
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Duodenal/ampullary cancer
- Gall bladder cancer
- Liver disease and cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
In 2016, the National Pancreas Foundation named University of Florida Health among its first group of National Pancreas Foundation (NPF) Centers for excellence in pancreatic cancer treatment. For patients with pancreatic cancer and other pancreatic diseases, there can be inconsistencies in the level of care they receive. The NPF Center designation emphasizes high-quality, multidisciplinary care approaches.
UF Health pancreatic and liver surgeons care for patients from throughout Florida and the nation. Up-to-date volume and outcome data is openly provided during consultation.
Steven J. Hughes, MD, is a professor and chief of surgical oncology at the UF College of Medicine. He also serves as vice chair for the department of surgery.
He obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and graduated from Mayo Medical School. Dr. Hughes then completed a general surgery residency as well as a NIH-Surgical Oncology research fellowship and a surgical critical care residency at the University of Michigan.
His clinical expertise is minimally invasive approaches to hepato-pancreato-biliary diseases including the performance of laparoscopic radical pancreatoduodenectomy (Whipple’s procedure).
Dr. Hughes is a past Counselor-at-Large and Chair of the Membership Committee of the Society of University Surgeons. His NIH-funded research focuses on improving our understanding of the biology of pancreatic cancer aiming to discover new methods for the diagnosis and personalized treatment of this terrible cancer.
- Surgical Oncology
Thomas E Read MD, FACS, FASCRS
Thomas E. Read, MD, FACS, FASCRS, is professor and chief of the division of gastrointestinal surgery at the UF College of Medicine.
Dr. Read graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in biology from Harvard University. He received his medical degree with honors from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in 1988, and stayed at UCSF for residency training in general surgery, which he completed in 1995. During that time, he served two years as a research fellow at the UCSF Cardiovascular Research Institute. He completed residency training in colon and rectal surgery at the Lahey Clinic in Massachusetts in 1996.
Throughout his career, Dr. Read has maintained a busy clinical practice, with a focus on complex abdominal and pelvic disease, particularly rectal cancer, diverticulitis and inflammatory bowel disease. He has also attempted to improve patient care, educate the next generation of surgeons and better our understanding of disease processes and treatment outcomes.
Dr. Read is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades both for medical practice, academic teaching, and research. He has published more than 100 scientific manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, been an invited lecturer more than 300 times and a visiting professor at more than 20 institutions. He has served as the President of the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery, and is currently the President of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons.
- Colon and Rectal Surgery
Sanda A Tan MD, PhD
Sanda Tan, MD, is an associate professor of surgery and a board-certified colorectal surgeon, who joined the UF College of Medicine in 2007.
She earned her medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine, where she also completed her general surgery residency training. She then completed a colon and rectal surgical fellowship at Brown University. Prior to her medical training she earned a doctorate in medical sciences at Brown University.
Dr. Tan is part of the UF colorectal surgery team, which specializes in laparoscopic and open procedures for benign and malignant tumors of the colon, rectum and anus. In addition to offering transanal endoscopic microsurgery, or TEM, for rectal tumors, UF colorectal surgeons offer the complete array of open and minimally invasive procedures, including lower anterior resections, total mesorectal excisions for rectal cancer, and other advanced sphincter-sparing techniques to help patients retain their anus and preservation of function.
The colorectal surgical team also works to develop and apply new strategies for helping patients in maintaining continence, including sphincteroplasty and minimally invasive stapled transanal rectal resections (the STARR procedure) for those with obstructed defecation syndrome. For hemorrhoids, UF surgeons offer transanal hemorrhoidal dearterialization, or THD.
Dr. Tan is director of the UF Pelvic Floor Program, a multidisciplinary team of UF physicians, including gynecologists, urologists, gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons, who collaborate to provide complete care for patients with pelvic floor disorders.
- Colon and Rectal Surgery
- Surgical Oncology
Mark W Johnson MD, FACS
Mark W. Johnson, MD, FACS, is a professor of surgery in the division of transplantation surgery at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Johnson earned his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine and completed his residency in general surgery at New England Medical Center in Boston. He went on to complete a clinical and research fellowship in transplantation surgery at Harvard Medical School and a clinical teaching fellowship in surgery at Tufts University School of Medicine.
Dr. Johnson has previously worked as chief transplant officer and medical director of transplant services at Wellstar Health System in Marietta, Georgia, as program director of Piedmont Transplant Institute of Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta and as director of liver transplantation at University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
He has twice received the Montague Boyd Award and is recognized by the renowned Best Doctors in America. Dr. Johnson’s professional affiliations include the Medical Association of Georgia, the American Transplant Congress, the American Society of Transplantation and the American Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association.
Dr. Johnson’s clinical interests include liver transplantation, renal transplantation and management of biliary complications after liver transplantation.
- Transplant Surgery
Alexander Ayzengart MD, MPH, FACS
Alexander L. Ayzengart, MD, MPH, FACS, is an assistant professor in the division of general surgery. He earned his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor. Dr. Ayzengart completed his general surgery residency at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center. He completed subspecialty training in advanced laparoscopic, metabolic, and bariatric surgery at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He also served as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps. Dr. Ayzengart was a staff general surgeon at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Camp Pendleton and a department head at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, Japan.
Dr. Ayzengart’s clinical interests include weight loss surgery, gastroesophageal disease, anti-reflux surgery, and abdominal and inguinal hernia surgery. His research interests include novel techniques in management of gastroesophageal conditions.
He is board-certified through the American Board of Surgery and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He is also a member of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, and the Naffziger Surgical Society.
Ali Zarrinpar MD, PhD
Ali Zarrinpar, MD, PhD, is an associate professor in the Division of Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Surgery at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Zarrinpar earned his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco, where he also obtained a doctorate degree in biochemistry. He completed a general surgery residency and a fellowship in multivisceral transplant and hepatobiliary surgery from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Zarrinpar is a diplomate in general surgery through the American Board of Surgery and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a fellow of the American Society of Transplantation. He is also certified in multivisceral transplantation through the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.
- Transplant Hepatology
- Transplant Surgery