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Resident and Faculty Research

Research is encouraged throughout the five-year surgical residency. There is a dedicated three-month research rotation devoid of daytime clinical responsibilities during the PGY-2 year. Residents participate in funded local and national clinical trials.


Mesh cruroplasty in laparoscopic repair of paraesophageal hernias is not associated with better long-term outcomes compared to primary repair.
Tam V, Luketich JD, Levy RM, Christie NA, Awais O, Shende M, Nason KS.
Am J Surg. 2017 Oct;214(4):651-656. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2017.06.011. Epub 2017 Jun 24.

Minimally invasive staging of esophageal cancer.
Mehta K, Bianco V, Awais O, Luketich JD, Pennathur A.
Ann Cardiothorac Surg. 2017 Mar;6(2):110-118. doi: 10.21037/acs.2017.03.18. Review.

Cancer Recurrence After Esophagectomy: Impact of Postoperative Infection in Propensity-Matched Cohorts.
Tam V, Luketich JD, Winger DG, Sarkaria IS, Levy RM, Christie NA, Awais O, Shende MR, Nason KS.
Ann Thorac Surg. 2016 Nov;102(5):1638-1646. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2016.04.097. Epub 2016 Jun 25.

Non-Elective Paraesophageal Hernia Repair Portends Worse Outcomes in Comparable Patients: a Propensity-Adjusted Analysis. Tam V, Luketich JD, Winger DG, Sarkaria IS, Levy RM, Christie NA, Awais O, Shende MR, Nason KS. J Gastrointest Surg. 2016 Aug 4. [Epub ahead of print]

Cancer Recurrence After Esophagectomy: Impact of Postoperative Infection in Propensity-Matched Cohorts. Tam V, Luketich JD, Winger DG, Sarkaria IS, Levy RM, Christie NA, Awais O, Shende MR, Nason KS. Ann Thorac Surg. 2016 Jun 25. pii: S0003-4975(16)30441-6. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2016.04.097. [Epub ahead of print]

Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy-Guided Dye Marking for Thoracoscopic Resection of Pulmonary Nodules. Awais O, Reidy MR, Mehta K, Bianco V, Gooding WE, Schuchert MJ, Luketich JD, Pennathur A. Ann Thorac Surg. 2016 Jul;102(1):223-9. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2016.02.040. Epub 2016 May 5. PMID: 27157054

Angiomyolipoma and Malignant PEComa: Discussion of Two Rare Adrenal Tumors. Kwazneski Ii D, Merrill M, Young J, Sell H Jr. Case Rep Oncol Med. 2016;2016:5204092. doi: 10.1155/2016/5204092. Epub 2016 Feb 22.

Scaife M, Giannakopoulos T, Alkhoury G,ChaerR, Avgerinos E. Contemporary Applications of Ultrasound in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Management. Frontiers in Surgery. 2016

Reitz K, Allen P, et al. A Case of Vibrio vulnificus Septicemia in a Patient with Gastric Bypass Surgery. Surgical Infections Case Reports. Issue 1. 2016.

Effects of wound dressings on cultured primary keratinocytes. Esteban-Vives R, Young MT, Ziembicki J, Corcos A, Gerlach JC. Burns. 2016 Feb;42(1):81-90. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2015.06.016. Epub 2015 Dec 9.

Thoracic Esophageal Diverticula: A 15-Year Experience of Minimally Invasive Surgical Management. Macke RA, Luketich JD, Pennathur A, Bianco V, Awais O, Gooding WE, Christie NA, Schuchert MJ, Nason KS, Levy RM. Ann Thorac Surg. 2015 Nov;100(5):1795-802. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2015.04.122. Epub 2015 Sep 19.

Roux-en-Y near esophagojejunostomy for failed antireflux operations: outcomes in more than 100 patients. Awais O, Luketich JD, Reddy N, Bianco V, Levy RM, Schuchert MJ, Gooding WE, Crist LR, Landreneau RJ, Pennathur A. Ann Thorac Surg. 2014 Dec;98(6):1905-11; discussion 1911-3. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2014.07.004. Epub 2014 Oct 29.

Zarzaur BL, Kozar R, Myers JG, Claridge JA, Scalea TM, Neideen TA, Maung AA, Alarcon L, Corcos A, Kerwin A, Coimbra R. The splenic injury outcomes trial: An American Association for the Surgery of Trauma multi-institutional study. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2015 Sep;79(3):335-342.

Dasyam A, Koo J, Miller M, Sell H, Tublin M. The cystic duct knot sign: case report with description of a new ultrasound sign of gallbladder torsion. Emerg Radiol. 2015 Aug;22(4):445-7. doi: 10.1007/s10140-015-1331-8.

Esteban-Vives R, Young M, Over P, Schmelzer E, Corcos A, Ziembicki J, Gerlach J. In vitro keratinocyte expansion for cell transplantation therapy is associated with differentiation and loss of basal layer derived progenitor population. Differentiation. 2015 Jun 30. pii: S0301-4681(15)00042-0. doi: 10.1016/j.diff.2015.05.002.

Huk MD, Brozovich ME, Hwang PG. Multiple Granular Cell; Tumors of the Colon: A Case Report and Review of the Literature. World Journal of Colorectal Surgery Vol 5:2, Article 6.

Developing a complex endovascular fenestrated and branched aortic program. Schanzer A, Baril D, Robinson WP 3rd, Simons JP, Aiello FA, Messina LM. J Vasc Surg. 2015 Mar;61(3):826-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2014.08.121. Epub 2015 Jan 13.

Summers JI, Ziembicki JA, Corcos AC, Peitzman AB, Billiar TR, Sperry JL. Characterization of sex dimorphism following severe thermal injury. J Burn Care Res. 2014 Nov-Dec;35(6):484-90. doi: 10.1097/BCR.0000000000000018. PMID: 24823341

Allen P. $20,000 grant to develop a new retractor system.

Riggins S, Pakraftar S, Corcos A, Stahlfeld K. How Accurately Does the Trauma Team Classify Open Fractures? An Interdisciplinary Evaluation of a Novel Classification System . Pennsylvania Committee on Trauma. Harrisburg, PA. 2014

Kurapati S, Huk M, Stahlfeld K. The Clinical Relevance of Pneumatosis Detected by Computed Tomography. ACS Clinical Congress. San Francisco, CA. October 2014

A propensity-matched analysis comparing survival after primary minimally invasive esophagectomy followed by adjuvant therapy to neoadjuvant therapy for esophagogastric adenocarcinoma. Zahoor H, Luketich JD, Levy RM, Awais O, Winger DG, Gibson MK, Nason KS. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2015 Feb;149(2):538-47. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2014.10.044. Epub 2014 Oct 14

Madigan M, Forsythe RM, Peitzman AB, Tevar A, Hilmi I, Corcos A, Marsh JW. Suprahepatic inferior vena cava injury II. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2014 Sep;77(3):516-7.

English J, Stahlfeld K, Six C. Diagnostic Laparoscopy and Removal of Migrated Orthopedic Hardware. CRSLS. e2014.00171

Pakraftar S, Atencio D, Corcos A, Altschuler E, Stahlfeld K. Dabigatran etixilate and traumatic brain injury: Evolving anticoagulants require evolving care plans. World J Clin Cases. 2014 Aug 16;2(8):362-6. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v2.i8.362.

Baril DT, Ghosh K, Rosen AB.Trends in the incidence, treatment, and outcomes of acute lower extremity ischemia in the United States Medicare population. J Vasc Surg. 2014 Sep;60(3):669-77.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2014.03.244. Epub 2014 Apr 24.

Weaver MD, Rittenberger JC, Patterson PD, McEntire SJ, Corcos AC, Ziembicki JA, Hostler D. Risk factors for hypothermia in EMS-treated burn patients. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2014 Jul-Sep;18(3):335-41. doi: 10.3109/10903127.2013.864354. Epub 2014 Jan 24. PMID: 24460465

Dwyer CR, Scifres AM, Stahlfeld KR, Corcos AC, Ziembicki JA, Summers JI, Peitzman AB, Billiar TR, Sperry JL. Radiographic assessment of ground-level falls in elderly patients: Is the "PAN-SCAN" overdoing it? Surgery. 2013 Oct; 154(4):816-20; discussion 820-2. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2013.07.015

Hostler D, Weaver MD, Ziembicki JA, Kowger HL, McEntire SJ, Rittenberger JC, Callaway CW, Patterson PD, Corcos AC. Admission temperature and survival in patients admitted to burn centers. J Burn Care Res. 2013 Sep-Oct;34(5):498-506. doi: 10.1097/BCR.0b013e3182a231fb.

Kwazneski D 2nd, Six C, Stahlfeld K.The unacknowledged incidence of laparoscopic stapler malfunction. Surg Endosc. 2013 Jan;27(1):86-9. doi: 10.1007/s00464-012-2417-y. Epub 2012 Jul 18

Six CK, Young J, Sell H, Image of the Month. Arch Surg 2012 June: 147(6); 573-4

Six CK, Haught JM, Safyan EL, Patton T, Stahlfeld K. “Transfusion-Associated Graft-Versus-Host Disease: A Case Report and Review of Literature. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2012 Apr;66(4):e141-3. Review.

Evolving role of endovascular techniques for traumatic vascular injury: a changing landscape? Avery LE, Stahlfeld KR, Corcos AC, Scifres AM, Ziembicki JA, Varcelotti J, Peitzman AB, Billiar TR,Sperry JL. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2012 Jan;72(1):41-6; discussion 46-7.

Copeland CE, Stahlfeld K. “Two Tall Poppies and the Discovery of Helicobacter Pylori.” J Am Coll Surg. 2012 Feb;214(2):237-41. Epub 2011 Nov 6.

Bachelani A, Bautz J, Sperry J, et al. “Assessment of Platelet Transfusion for Reversal of Asprin Following Traumatic Brain Injury” Surgery 2011 Oct;150(4):836-43.

Oppermann T, Sell H, Stahlfeld K. “Primary Hemangiopericytoma of the Liver” Applied Radiology 2010 April:36-38

Falk G, Yurcisin B, Sell H. "Left Paraduodenal Hernia: Case Report and Review of the Literature" BMJ Case Reports 2010;doi:10.1136/bcr.04.2010

Burton E, Stahlfeld K, McKeating J. “Intracystic Papillary Carcinoma of the Breast.” Radiology Case Reports.2009:4(3)

Oppermann T, Christopherson W, Stahlfeld K. “Fulminant Clostridium Difficile Colitis Isolated to the Ascending Colon by a Diverting Transverse Loop Colostomy.” Am Surg. 2009 Sep;75(9):849-60

Hower J, Burton E, Agrawal ST 4th, Simone S, Stahlfeld K. “Abdominal Aortic Pseudoaneurysm Managed with Endovascular Stent Graft.” Surg Laparosc Endosc Percutan Tech. 2009 Jun;19(3):e106-8.

Awad M, Sell H, Stahlfeld K. “Split Shot Sinker in the Treatment of Perianal Fistula” Colorectal Dis. 2009 Jun;11(5)524-6.

Yurcisin BM, Myers CJ, Stahlfeld KR, Means JR. “Laparoscopic Hernia Repair Following Iliac Crest Harvest.” Hernia. 2010 Feb;14(1):93-6. Epub 2009 Apr 15.

Copeland C, Six C. “A Tale of Two Anticoagulants: Warfarin and Heparin.” J Surg Education 2009;66(3):176-181

Myers, C., Valdez, V., Sundermann, J., Sell, Jr., H. “Splenic Invasion by Pseudomyxoma Peritonei, A Rare Occurrence.” Surgical Rounds, 2008 February; 31(2):30-34.

Stahlfeld, K., Robinson, J., Burton, E. “What Do Physician Extenders in A General Surgery Residency Really Do?” J Surg Education, 2008; 65:354-358.

Burton, E., McKeating, J., Stahlfeld, K. “Laparoscopic Management of a Small Bowel Obstruction of Unknown Cause.” J Laparo Endosc Surg, 2008;12(3):299-302.

Copeland, C., Myers, C. “Round Ligament Varicosities Mimicking Inguinal Hernias in A Gravid Patient.” Surgical Rounds, 2008 January; 31(1):39-41.

Oppermann, T., Corcos, A., Jones, L., Barrette, R., Varcelotti, J. “Traumatic Intrahepatic Portosystemic Venous Shunt: A Rare Complication of Grade V Liver Laceration.” Journal Trauma, 2007 December; 63(6):1230-3.

Stahlfeld, K., Hower, J., Homitsky, S., Madden, J. “Is Acute Appendicitis A Surgical Emergency?” The American Surgeon, 2007 June; Jun:73(6):626-9; Discussion 629-30.

Sell, H.W., Yurcisin, B.M., Stahlfeld, K.R., Sundermann, J. “Carcinosarcoma of the Pancreas: Did Random Gene Activation Cause Differentiation?” Surgical Rounds, 2007 February; 30(2):78-81.

Stahlfeld, K., Means, J.R., DiDomenico, P. “Carotid Artery Fibromuscular Dysplasia.” The American Journal of Surgery, 2007 January; 193(1):71-2.

Puckett, F., Stahlfeld, K., DiMarco, R.F. “Hyperacute Rejection of a Bovine Pericardial Prosthesis.” Texas Heart Institute Journal, 2006 November; 33(2):260-1.

Stofman, G., Neavin, T. “Better Sex With the Knife.” Aesthetic Surgery, 2006 January/February.

Myers, C., Sundermann, J., Sell, Jr., H. “Leiomyosarcoma of Adrenal Gland.” Surgical Rounds, 2005 January; 28(1):14-17.

Stahlfeld, K., Parker, J., McClain, III, E. “Supraspinatus Compartment Syndrome.” The American Journal of Orthopedics,2004; 33(12):615-17.

Dietz, D., Stahlfeld, K., Bansal, S., Christopherson, W. “Buttock Necrosis after Uterine Artery Embolization.” Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2004 November; 104(5):1159.

Stahlfeld, K., Dietz, D., Simone, T., O’Donnell, W. “Giant Condyloma Acuminata.” Surgical Rounds, 2004 October; 27(10):460-3.

Stahlfeld, K. “Is the American Board of Surgery Certifying Examination Archaic?” Current Surgery, 2004 September/October; 61(5):405.

Copeland, C.E., Marrangoni, A.G. “A 34-Year Longitudinal Study of General Surgery Categorical Residents at an Urban Teaching Hospital.” Focus on Surgical Education, Fall 2004; 25-26.

Dietz, D., Varcelotti, J., Stahlfeld, K. “Garlic Burns: A Not-so-rare Complication of a Naturopathic Remedy.” Burns, 2004 September; 30(6):612-3.

Stahlfeld, K., Mitchell, J., Sherman, H. "Endovascular Repair of Blunt Abdominal Aortic Injury." Journal of Trauma, 2004 September; 57(3):638-41.

Dattilo, D., Drooger, A. “Outcome Assessment of Patients Undergoing Maxillofacial Procedures for the Treatment of Sleep Apnea: A Comparison of Subjective and Objective Results.” Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, 2004 February; 62(2):166-68.

Parker, J., Roozrokh, H., Pollice, P., Sell, Jr., H.W., “Endoscopic Excision of a Polypoid Leiomyoma of the Esophagus.”Surgical Rounds, 2004 January; 27 (1):28-31.


Allen P, Awais O, Sosovicka M, Cuyar E, Train K. A case of Descending Mediastinitis from a Dental Infection.  Oral presentation SW Chapter ACS May 2018 – First place. Poster UPMC Mercy Research Day May 2018 – First place.

Yang K, Eslami M, Six C, Cunnion M, Stahlfeld K. Multiply Injured Trauma Patient with a Partially Transected Innominate Artery. Oral presentation SW Chapter ACS May 2018. Poster UPMC Mercy Research day May 2018.

Stahlfeld K, Sell HW, McKeating J, Desai H, Keller M.  Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole and the MRSA Epidemic. 40th Annual Boswick Symposium Maui, HI. February 2018.

Ackerman J, Scaife M, Abegglen R, Marsh J, Peitzman A, Stahlfeld K. Beware of the Interval Cholecystectomy. Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma. Hollywood FL, Jan 2017

Train K, Huk M, McKeating J, Stahlfeld K. Robotic-Assisted Iliac Crest Hernia Repair. 2nd Annual Global Symposium on Robotic-Assisted and Minimally Invasive Hernia Repair. September 2016. NY, NY.

Ackerman J, Leers S, Stahlfeld K. Inominate Artery Laceration. May 2016. SW Chapter of ACS. Pittsburgh, PA

Scaife M, Marsh W, Stahlfeld K. Primary Hepatoma and Renal Cell Cancer. May 2016. SW Chapter of ACS. Pittsburgh, PA

Abegglan R, Atencio D, Stahlfeld K. CT Imaging in the Acute Post-operative period following Elective Inguinal Herniorraphy. Poster American Hernia Society Washington DC May 2016

Witek T, Awais O, et al. Outcomes After Esophagectomy for Failed Reflux Procedures. UPMC Mercy Research Day. 1st Prize May 2016.

Witek T , Biano, Awais O , Pennathur A, Levy R , Luketich J. Esophagectomy for failed reflux. Accepted for presentation. Society for Thoracic Surgery. Phoenix, AZ. January 2016.

Huk M, Kurapati S, Stahlfeld K. The Clinical Relevance of Pneumatosis Detected by Computed Tomography. Oral Presentation First Place. May 2015. Pittsburgh, PA.

Witek T, Reidy R, Corcos A, Stahlfeld K. Traumatic Disruption of the Trachea and Esophagus. SW Chapter of the ACS Most Interesting Cases. First Place. May 2015. Pittsburgh, PA.

Bulkley R, Pyle W, Reidy A, Reidy M. Liposomal Bupivacaine Compared to Bupivacaine For Post-Operative Pain Management In Thoracotomy Patients: Reduction In Length of Stay and Narcotic Usage. TAS Poster Presentation, April 2015.

Pakraftar S, Evans A, Riggins S, Stahlfeld K. Open Fracture Classification. Pennsylvania COT Resident Paper Competition. Harrisburg PA. Oct 2014.

Chen A et al. Using the Glasgow Coma Scale Motor Score as a Predictor of Mortality in Elderly Trauma Patients. Pennsylvania Committee on Trauma. Poster presentation. Harrisburg, PA. 2014

Chen A. Six, C, Ziembicki J, Bonilla H. A Case Report of Herpes Hepatitis and Pneumonitis in a Patient with Severe Burn. Great Lakes Burn Conference. Pittsburgh PA. October 2014.

Reidy R, Awais O, Pennathur A, Luketich J. Outcomes of Nav Bronch. Podium Presentation. Southern Thoracic Association. Tucson AZ.

Pakraftar S, Dwyer C, Sell H, Stahlfeld K. Natural orifice Endoscopic Drainage of Perforated Duodenal Ulcer. SAGES Poster Presentation. Salt Lake City, UT. March 2014.



Management of Traumatic Brain Injury in Patients on Dabigitran. Pakraftar, Corcos, Riggins, Atencio, English, Stahlfeld.

RADIOGRAPHIC ASSESSMENT OF GROUND-LEVEL FALLS IN ELDERLY PATIENTS: IS THE “PAN-SCAN” OVERDOING IT? Christopher Dwyer, MD; Alain Corcos, MD; A.M. Scifres, Jenny Ziembicki, MD; Kurt Stahlfeld, MD; Jessica Summers, MD


Dwyer C, Scifres A, Corcos A, Peitzman A, Billiar T, Stahlfeld K, Sperry J. Radiographic Assessment of Elderly Ground Level Falls: Is the ‘Pan-Scan’ Over Doing It?. Central Surgical Society. Amelia Island, FL. March 2013.

Pakraftar S, Corcos A, Sperry J, Stahlfeld K. Outcomes of Traumatic Brain Injury on Patients on Dabigatran Etexilate. Western Trauma Association. Snowmass, CO. March 2013.

Awais, Omar; Luketich, James D.; Reddy, Neha; Levy, Ryan M.; Schuchert, Matthew J.; Gooding, William E.; Crist, Lawrence; Landreneau, Rodney J.; Pennathur, Arjun. Roux-en-Y near esophagojejunostomy for failed anti-reflux surgery: An analysis of outcomes in over 100 patients. Society of Thoracic Surgery. Los Angeles, CA. Jan 2013.

Reidy M, Luketich J, Awais O, Stahlfeld K. “Can a High Volume Surgeon Open an New Minimally Invasive Esophagentomy Program Without Compromising Outcome?” International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus. Oct 2012. Venice, IT.

Kwazneski II D, Ziembicki J, Summers J, Corcos A. "Combined Trauma and Burn Injury" Poster presentation for the American Burn Association Meeting, April 2012, Seattle, WA.

Kwazneski D, Stahlfeld K. "The Unacknowledged Failure rate of the Linear Stapler". Presentation at SAGES March, 2012. San Diego, CA.

Burnett L. “Repair of the Thoracoabdominal Aneurysm” Presented at SW ACS April 2012.

Avery L. “Resection of a Thyroid and Trachea Papillary Cancer” Presented at SW ACS April 2012

Gonzalez H, Kwazneski D, Awais O, Stahlfeld K. Video of a Minimally-Invasive Morgagni Hernia repair accepted to be part of the SAGES TV video library. November 2011.

Avery L, Stahlfeld K, et al. "The Evolving Role of Endovascular Techniques for Traumatic Vascular Injury: A Changing Landscape?" Presented September 16th at the AAST in Chicago.

Copeland CE, Stahlfeld K. “Two Tall Poppies and the Discovery of Helicobacter Pylori.” WV Chapter of the ACS May 2011. White Sulphur Springs, WV.

Bachelani A, Bautz J, Sperry J, et al. "Assessment of Platelet Transfusion for Reversal of Aspirin Following Traumatic Brain Injury" Presented at Central Surgical Association. March 2011, Detroit, MI.

Pakrafter S, Reddy N, Faust N, Ziembicki J, Corcos A, Varcelotti J. "Evaluation of Fluid Volume Requirements in Patients with Severe Burn Injury Following High Dose Ascorbic Acid Infusion" American Burn Association. March, 2011 Chicago Il.

Hiltner L, Stahlfeld K. "Clogged Feeding Tube Management now that Viokase is Unavailable" Presented at Clinical Nutrition Week. Jan 2011. Vancouver, CA.

Copeland, CE. "Surgical Care Improvement Project and Surgical Site Infections" Presented West Virginia Chapter ACS. May 2010. White Sulphur Springs, WV.

Six, C. "Colo-bronchial-gastric fistula" Presented at Pittsburgh Surgical Society. February 2010. 2nd place.

Stahlfeld K. "Retained foreign bodies" Presented at the SW Chapter ACS. May 2009. Farmington, PA.