Dr. Alessio Pigazzi Appointed Chief of Colorectal Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medicine

One of the nation’s leading colorectal surgeons, Dr. Alessio Pigazzi, has been named chief of colorectal surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medicine, effective Sept. 28. He will also serve on Weill Cornell Medicine’s faculty.

In his new role, Dr. Pigazzi leads a world-class team of colorectal surgeons that uses state-of-the-art technologies and innovative surgical techniques to provide patients with the very best in comprehensive colorectal care.

Dr. Pigazzi was previously chief of the Divisions of Colorectal Surgery and Surgical Oncology at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), where he also served as professor in the Department of Surgery and vice chair for research. His new appointment marks a return to NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine, where he completed his residency nearly 20 years ago.

“Dr. Pigazzi is an exceptionally talented leader and surgeon whose excellence has driven advances in the field and helped countless patients,” said Dr. Fabrizio Michelassi, surgeon-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and chair of the Department of Surgery and the Lewis Atterbury Stimson Professor of Surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine. “We are thrilled to welcome him back to NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine to lead our colorectal surgery enterprise, where he will provide exceptional care to our patients and further advance our tradition of excellence in patient care, clinical research and teaching.”

“Returning to NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine to lead the distinguished colorectal surgery program is extremely fulfilling,” Dr. Pigazzi said. “The outstanding team shares my commitment to excellence in clinical activities, research and education, and I look forward to building on this solid foundation to provide the best possible care to all patients.”

Dr. Pigazzi’s clinical expertise focuses on the treatment of complex colon, rectal and anal conditions and cancers, including laparoscopic, robot-assisted and open surgical techniques. He performed the world’s first robot-assisted tumor removal for rectal cancer in 2004, a procedure that has revolutionized the treatment of this condition. He is also leading clinical research programs combining surgery with immediate postoperative chemotherapy to improve cancer survival.

Dr. Pigazzi is among a small cadre of surgeons skilled in the use of an innovative procedure called cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), which involves heated chemotherapy applied directly within the abdominal cavity following removal of cancerous tumors. He is also skilled in robot-assisted surgery for pelvic injuries caused by medical complications, specifically abnormal connections between body parts, or fistulas.

His research is focused on minimally invasive techniques to improve recovery after cancer surgery, postoperative chemotherapy, and the relationship between diet and colorectal cancer development.

Dr. Pigazzi is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons; a member of the Society of Surgical Oncology; and a founding member of the Clinical Robotic Surgery Association.

He earned his joint medical degree and doctorate at Boston University School of Medicine, and completed his internship and residency in general surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. He completed a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery at Hackensack Medical Center in Hackensack, N.J., and a fellowship in colorectal surgery at UCI Medical Center.