Honors and Awards

by Columbia Surgery on July 3, 2014

Congratulations to these faculty members for receiving outstanding awards this quarter

Dr. Spencer Amory

Spencer Amory, MD, FACS

Spencer E. Amory, MD, FACS
Chief, Division of General Surgery, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center

Dr. Amory has been awarded the 2014 Jerry Gliklich Award for Exemplary Clinical Care, formerly “Practitioner of the Year” award, by the NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center Society of Practitioners. To qualify, a physician must demonstrate exceptional care to patients, engender respect and collegiality with peers, and have outstanding outcomes.

Sheldon Marc Feldman, MD

Sheldon Marc Feldman, MD

Sheldon M. Feldman, MD
Chief, Division of Breast Surgery NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center

Dr. Feldman was named the Secretary Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBS) in early May, 2014. ASBS is the leading national association of surgeons who treat patients with breast disease. Dr. Feldman’s position on the ASBS Board reflects his leadership and dedication to advancing the treatment of breast disease through clinical care, research, and education.

Mark Hardy, MD

Mark Hardy, MD

Mark A. Hardy, MD
Director Emeritus and Founder, Renal and Islet Transplantation, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center

Dr. Hardy has received the 2014 Pioneer Award from the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS). The Pioneer Award is the highest award bestowed upon an individual by the ASTS for a significant contribution to the field of transplantation.

Henry Spotnitz, MD

Henry Spotnitz, MD

Henry M. Spotnitz, MD
George H. Humphreys II Professor of Surgery, Vice-Chairman, Research & Information Systems, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons Director, Cardiovascular Surgery Research Laboratory, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

Henry M. Spotnitz, MD and colleagues received first prize in the arrhythmia section of the Scientific Presentations to the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery (ISMICS) for their poster: Introducer development for cardiac resynchronization via right parasternal mediastinotomy. The presentation stimulated considerable interest regarding multiple potential novel applications.

Dr. Spotnitz also received the Charles W. Bohmfalk Award during the College of Physicians and Surgeons Commencement Ceremony May 21, 2014. This significant honor recognizes Dr. Spotnitz for his distinguished teaching in the pre-clinical and clinical years.


Recent Questions About the Usefulness of Mammography

by Columbia Surgery on March 7, 2014

mammogramMany patients have inquired about a recent study in the British Medical Journal by Canadian researchers who found that mammography did not reduce death rates from breast cancer and may even have harmed some women by leading to unnecessary surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. A vast majority of physicians, researchers, and breast radiologists have criticized the study sharply and cited massive evidence to discredit it.

It is important to keep in mind that the study is based on data from mammographic screening performed 30 years ago. At that time, two-view analog film-screening mammography was the standard of care. Unfortunately, the results from the study shed no light on the benefit of screening with current digital mammographic technique.

Differences in sensitivity between mammograms from the 1980s and now

Almost a third (30.6 percent) of the mammographically detected breast cancers in the Canadian study had already spread to lymph nodes and the vast majority were palpable (could be felt) by physical exam. Thus, it is no surprise that there was no survival benefit from mammography performed with the primitive technique of the 1980s. Results from contemporary studies1 show that with modern digital mammography, 18 percent of screening-detected cancers involve the lymph nodes; they are also more likely to be closer to 1 cm at diagnosis, compared with the mean size of 1.91 cm found by mammography in the Canadian study. The improved accuracy of digital mammography vs. analog film is well established for women under age 50 with dense breast tissue.2

Quality-of-Life Advantages to Earlier Detection

The Canadian study fails to acknowledge the many benefits associated with detecting tumors at smaller sizes. When tumors are detected earlier, patients are more likely to avoid mastectomy and to take advantage of breast-conserving options such as lumpectomy. They are also less likely to be prescribed radiation and chemotherapy.

Breast-Cancer Screening of the Future

Scientists at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia are involved in research to improve methods for early detection of breast cancer, including a PAP smear-type method to analyze nipple fluid to detect pre-cancerous changes. Another promising approach in development is 3D mammography. According to Sheldon M. Feldman, MD, Chief of the Breast Surgery Division, “Though digital mammography, the current ‘gold standard,’ performs reasonably well, we anticipate significant improvements in diagnostic capabilities in the near future.”

All patients should check with their physician before making any decisions about breast cancer screening or treatment.

      Sheldon M. Feldman, MD
      Chief of the Breast Surgery Division
      NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center

Learn more about diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer at breastmd.org

    1. Nederend J, Duijm LEM, Louwman MWJ, Groenewoud JH, Donkers-van Rossum AB, Voogd AC. Impact of transition from analog screening mammography to digital screening mammography on screening outcome in the Netherlands: a population-based study. Ann Oncol 2012;23(12):3098–3103
    2. Pisano et al; DIMIST Trial: N ENGL J MED 10.1056/NEJMoa052911


Innovations in Breast Cancer: Intraoperative Radiation Therapy Update

February 14, 2014

TweetPrevious posts have informed our readers about an innovative breast cancer therapy, intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT), which became available at the Breast Center during the summer of 2013.  New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center is one of the first institutions in the New York metropolitan area to offer IORT, which entails a single dose of radiation […]

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Breast Cancer Management 2014: CME

January 16, 2014

TweetOver the past several years there have been many important breakthroughs in the treatment and management of breast cancer. New screening methods, the advent of minimally invasive biopsy techniques, advances in oncoplastic surgical procedures, and new information on the ever-important role of genetic analysis are just a few of the many exciting recent developments in […]

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New Procedure to Prevent Lymphedema Gains Media Attention

January 13, 2014

TweetA new protocol to help patients undergoing breast surgery is gaining widespread media attention as NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center continues an important clinical trial of the LYMPHA protocol. The LYMPHA protocol combines microsurgery with advanced imaging in order to prevent, detect, and treat lymphedema. Lymphedema, painful swelling of the arm or hand, can be a […]

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WABC-TV Breast Cancer Special features NYP/Columbia Breast Surgeons

September 28, 2013

TweetTune in October 5th for the WABC-TV Special “BREAST CANCER: ANSWERS, UPDATES & PROGRESS” features NYP/Columbia Breast Surgeons On Saturday, October 5th, WABC-TV will air a special program, “Breast Cancer: Answers, Updates & Progress” at 7:30PM, EDT (also to be re-run Sun. 10/6 at 5:30am).  Hosted by Eyewitness News Anchor Diana Williams, the program focuses […]

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Whole Living Features Reiki, Raven Keyes, and NYP/Columbia Surgeon

October 30, 2012

TweetThe most recent issue of Martha Stewart’s Whole Living magazine featured an article, How Reiki Supports Health: Q&A with Author and Reiki Master Raven Keyes covering Raven’s extensive work with Sheldon Marc Feldman, MD, Chief of Breast Surgery and Associate Professor of Surgery, New-York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. Raven Keyes, author of the The […]

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Dr. Sheldon Marc Feldman at 2012 New York Reiki Conference, Part 2

October 26, 2012

TweetBy Raven Keyes, Author of The Healing Power of Reiki, A Modern Master’s Approach to Emotional, Spiritual and Physical Wellness Having given an overview of research and his observations about the power of Reiki to help patients before, during, and after surgery, Dr. Feldman then introduced someone he proclaimed to be “the most important person […]

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Dr. Sheldon Marc Feldman at 2012 New York Reiki Conference, Part 1

October 12, 2012

Tweet By Raven Keyes, Author of THE HEALING POWER OF REIKI, A Modern Master’s Approach to Emotional, Spiritual and Physical Wellness As a Reiki master who goes into the operating room with Dr. Sheldon Marc Feldman, Chief of Breast Surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, it was thrilling for me to have the opportunity […]

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Dramatic News in Breast Cancer Research

October 3, 2012

TweetThe latest scientific research has confirmed that breast cancer can be categorized into four specific types, depending on its genetic root. Perhaps even more significantly, the study revealed distinctive genetic changes that feed not only breast cancer but many other kinds of cancer. “We’ve known for awhile that there are several breast cancers, and we’ve […]

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