Experience matters when it comes to surgery.
At Penn State Hershey, you'll find that our surgeons have advanced disease-specific training and are experts in their individualized fields. Because they practice at an academic medical center, they diagnose and treat some of the most complex cases around. Their experience speaks volumes.
Interested in meeting the surgeons behind the hands? Check out these recent video interviews with some of our surgeons.
Meet Vanessa Elliott, M.D.
She started medical school intending to become a family physician specializing in women's health, but rounding with a urologist peaked Vanessa Elliott's interests in urology. Today she specializes in female urology and voiding dysfunction, and is highly trained in InterStim therapy - a small surgical procedure with a huge benefit that treats urgency, frequency and urinary incontinence. Working closely with her nurse practitioner Jane Lindenmuth, Elliott sees a large variety of patients as part of her practice (though predominantly women) who are suffering from incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, chronic pelvic or bladder pain, voiding dysfunction or urinary urgency/frequency, and neurologic bladder disorder. More than 90 percent of her patients successfully responded to InterStim therapy and experienced optimal results. Elliott's advises patients to only have surgery with someone you feel comfortable with, who encourages a second opinion, and who has performed a lot of procedures - because as with most everything, the more you do, the better you are - and the greater the outcome for the patient.
Elliott used InterStim therapy to treat patient Jennifer Pottle's urgency and frequency of urination - both of which she thought would never stop ruling her life. Read Jennifer's story and learn more about InterStim therapy here.
Meet David Stewart, M.D.
Curing people with colorectal cancer by advanced laparoscopic surgery is what David Stewart, M.D. finds most rewarding about his job. As a board-certified colorectal surgeon, Stewart has specialized training and expertise in treating colorectal disease exclusively. He is one of a handful of surgeons in the country to perform single site laparoscopy or SSL) for colorectal cancer. SSL allows Stewart and his team to achieve the same cancer cure rates without compromising quality of the care. While surgery is almost always a component of a multidisciplinary treatment plan for patients with colorectal cancer, Stewart presents all of the treatment options and risks - even if they are unpleasant or not recommended - so that patients can make informed decisions.
Click here for more videos featuring colorectal cancer survivors and other members of our colon and rectal cancer team.
Meet Michael Reed, M.D.
Thoracic surgeon Michael Reed, M.D., entered medical school with an open mind. Very early on, he was attracted to surgery for a number of reasons, including the hands-on aspect, technical challenge, and atmosphere of the operating room; being able to cure cancer; and when treating patients for palliation, improving lives in a hands-on manner. Reed is inspired by not only his colleagues who he refers to as brilliant, talented, caring people, but also his patients.
Click here to read more about the cutting-edge thoracic care available by Reed and his team at Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute.
Meet Rena Kass, M.D.
A love for operating and the courage of her patients are what drive Rena Kass, M.D., a board-certified breast surgeon who for the last ten years has been part of the Penn State Hershey breast cancer team for nearly ten years. As a surgeon, her goal is to make her patients cancer-free. She performs a high volume of lumpectomies and mastectomies with a desirable cosmetic outcome so that when looking in the mirror, patients don't have a constant reminder that they in fact had breast cancer. Because of the academic medical center setting, Kass believes that patients treated here have an opportunity to become part of the cure, as the personal stories they share with the multidisciplinary team could potentially spark research that one day leads to a cure.
Kass and her team of nationally renowned specialists see patients at Penn State Hershey Breast Center which is accredited by the National Association of Programs for Breast Centers for its commitment to providing the highest evaluation and management of patients with breast disease, a designed American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Center of Excellence based on its outstanding personnel and advanced equipment, and a national leader in patient satisfaction.
Meet Jay Raman, M.D.
Jay Raman, M.D. is confident in both his experience and outcomes. The surgical tools he first used as a medical student at Cornell University spawned his interest in minimally invasive surgery and robotics. Raman is one of three surgeons who is part of the urologic cancer tumor board in which specialists from different areas of expertise review patient cases to determine the best treatment for each individual rather than a generic, one-size-fits-all approach. He not only encourages patients to contact his recent post-operative patients to learn about their experience, but also to seek a second opinion to reaffirm that surgery is the right decision.
Click here for more videos featuring prostate cancer survivors and other members of our urologic cancer team.
Meet David Goldenberg, M.D.
During his medical training, David Goldenberg, M.D., discovered there was something different about surgery and felt that with his own hands, he could make a difference and relatively quickly change the course of a disease. As director of head and neck surgery, Goldenberg treats patients with benign and malignant tumors of the head and neck region. He’s one of few surgeons in the state to perform minimally invasive parathyroid surgery and trans oral robotic surgery—advanced laparoscopic procedures that remove cancerous tumors. He finds that there are few things more rewarding then being able to alter his patient’s life for the better. Watch the video to learn more.
Click here for more videos featuring head and neck cancer survivors and other members of our head and neck cancer team.