Lifespan has appointed esteemed surgeon Abbas El-Sayed Abbas, MD, MS, FACS, as chief of thoracic oncology for the Lifespan Cancer Institute.

“Dr. Abbas is a distinguished and highly skilled surgeon whose expertise and talents will further elevate Lifespan’s thoracic programs as a recognized center of excellence on par with the best in the world,” said Lifespan President and CEO Timothy J. Babineau, MD. 

Abbas is one of the earliest adopters of robotic surgical systems in the world and has performed thousands of robot-assisted minimally invasive surgeries of the esophagus, lungs, and airways – including those to treat a variety of thoracic cancers.  Under his leadership, Lifespan will offer many cutting-edge procedures not widely available locally and bolster its position as a provider of first choice for referring physicians and patients requiring thoracic surgery throughout New England.

“Dr. Abbas’ ability to perform minimally invasive complex thoracic procedures gives patients even greater treatment options here in Southern New England.  He is an outstanding addition to Lifespan’s thoracic multidisciplinary program,” said Lifespan Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer Kenneth Wood, DO.

Abbas will offer treatments for mediastinal, esophageal and lung diseases, using a robotic surgical system and minimally invasive procedures that have the advantage of reduced pain and bleeding, minimal scarring, and fewer complications.  

“The addition of Dr. Abbas will serve to elevate our program already known for providing the people of Rhode Island and the surrounding region with world-class, cutting-edge care,” said Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital Surgeon-in-Chief William Cioffi, MD. “Dr. Abbas’ robotic minimally invasive surgical skill set and experience in translational and clinical research oncology will also allow us to advance our programs at Lifespan and Brown Medical School.” 

Abbas’ areas of specialization include endoscopic procedures for gastroesophageal reflux disease, esophageal and bronchial stenting, robotic surgery for myasthenia gravis and thymic tumors, airway surgery, laser endoscopy and cryoendoscopy.  His research interests include gene therapy for esophageal and lung cancer, the role of tumor initiating cells in the microenvironment of esophageal cancer, esophageal dysmotility, cryospray therapy and transplant immunology.  He has authored numerous papers and chapters in the fields of thoracic surgery and minimally invasive surgery and is frequently invited to speak at national and international meetings. 

“I am beyond thrilled to join the team at Lifespan and Brown,” Abbas said. “The existing talent is incredible, and I plan to take advantage of the amazing resources we have in Rhode Island to build a unique and unrivaled thoracic medicine and surgery program. It will be one built on clinical excellence and academic superiority. In doing so, we will become a major provider of superb health care for all patients with thoracic disease in New England and beyond.”

Abbas comes to Lifespan from Temple University Hospital and the Fox Cancer Center, where he served as thoracic surgeon-in-chief and surgical director of lung cancer, thoracic malignancy and foregut disease. He was a professor and vice chair of thoracic medicine and surgery with the Lewis Katz School of Medicine of Temple University.

Abbas received his medical degree from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt and trained in general surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital (University of Pennsylvania Health System).  He completed fellowships at the Mayo Clinic (cardiothoracic surgery), Penn State’s Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (artificial hearts), and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (lung cancer gene therapy).  He is certified by both the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.

Richard Salit

Senior Public Relations Officer
The Miriam Hospital, Newport Hospital, Gateway Healthcare
401-793-7484
richard.salit@lifespan.org