Michael J. Cavnar, MD

4.94 out of 5

Conditions

  • Colon & rectal cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • Appendix cancer
    • Pancreas cancer
    • Liver cancer
    • Sarcoma
    • Neuroendocrine tumors
    • Esophageal cancer
    • Neuroendocrine cancer
    • Primary liver cancers (cholangiocarcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma)
    • Benign liver lesions (adenoma, focal nodular hyperplasia, cysts, hemangioma)
    • Liver metastases, including colon cancer, neuroendocrine tumors and others
    • Cholangiocarcinoma arising in the hilum (Klatskin tumor), bile duct or pancreas
    • Pancreas cysts (intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm [IPMN], mucinous cystic neoplasm [MCN], serous cystadenoma)
    • Pancreatic adenocarcinoma
    • Gallbladder mass, adenocarcinoma
    • Neuroendocrine tumors arising in the stomach, duodenum, pancreas or small intestine, with or without metastases
    • Stomach adenocarcinoma
    • Small intestine adenocarcinoma
    • Gastrointestinal stromal tumor arising in the stomach and small intestine with or without metastases
    • Intra-abdominal sarcoma such as liposarcoma
    • Complex or re-operative stomach, duodenal or biliary surgery
    • Spleen lesions/malignancy, splenomegaly, hematologic diseases requiring splenectomy

Procedures Performed

  • Hepatic arterial infusion
  • Whenever possible surgery is performed with minimally invasive techniques, including laparoscopic, robotic and hybrid approaches.
  • Stomach: total, subtotal or partial gastrectomy with Bilroth I or II, or Roux-en-Y reconstruction with lymph node dissection
  • Pancreas: Whipple procedure, central pancreatectomy, distal pancreatectomy/splenectomy
  • Liver: hepatic artery infusion pump, partial hepatectomy or lobectomy, microwave ablation, cyst fenestration
    • Gallbladder: Cholecystectomy with or without liver resection and lymph node dissection
    • Bile duct: bile duct resection with or without liver resection, Roux-en-Y hepaticojejunostomy
    • Small bowel resection including duodenal resection, with or without lymph node dissection
    • Intra-abdominal/retroperitoneal sarcoma resection with multivisceral resection

About

Cavnar earned his medical degree from the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. Afterward, he completed five years of a general surgery residency at New York University School of Medicine. He then completed a two-year fellowship in complex general surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York City, the same institution where he spent the previous three years completing laboratory research under the guidance of Dr. Ronald DeMatteo through the Surgical Oncology Research Training Program. After the conclusion of 14 years of rigorous medical and surgical training in New York City, Cavnar was recruited to UK to join the Section of Surgical Oncology at the Markey Cancer Center in 2017.

Cavnar’s clinical interests include treating cancers of the liver, biliary tract, pancreas, stomach and small intestine, as well as abdominal sarcomas such as gastrointestinal stromal tumor. His current research focuses on clinical application of hepatic artery infusion (HAI) pump therapy for cancers of the liver, translational research on progression factors in gastrointestinal stromal tumor, and evaluation of biomarkers for detection of recurrence in pancreatic cancer. In 2020, Dr. Cavnar initiated a program of HAI chemotherapy at the University of Kentucky as a part of a clinical trial, becoming the only HAI program in the state. This treatment is used for colorectal cancer metastases to the liver, as well as intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. He is actively involved in the HAI Consortium Research Network (HCRN), a collaboration of over 60 worldwide institutions studying HAI. Cavnar is member of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, and is the site principal investigator for multiple cooperative group trials at the University of Kentucky.

Overall, with the expertise he gained through his training, Cavnar hopes to provide care and treatment to patients at UK HealthCare with a broad array of complex oncologic problems.

Personal Statement

I believe the best outcomes for patients with complex oncologic problems are accomplished through careful, detailed, multidisciplinary planning. In other words, measure twice, cut once. Cancer surgery is much more than just cutting and sewing. It involves careful coordination of many factors, including chemotherapy, radiation, nutrition, physical and occupational therapy, optimization of physical and mental health, family support, and much more. Through good teamwork and communication, I believe this can be achieved.

Faculty Rank

  • Assistant Professor of Surgery
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    Michael J. Cavnar - UK HealthCare
    Meet Dr. Michael Cavnar, Surgical Oncologist at UK HealthCare
    Michael J. Cavnar - UK HealthCare
    Meet Dr. Michael Cavnar, Surgical Oncologist at UK HealthCare
  • Awards

    Clinical Teaching Award, UK College of Medicine 2017-18

    Student & Resident Teaching award, UK Department of Surgery, 2018-19

Training & Education

Degree

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York

Residency

General Surgery, New York University Medical Center, New York, N.Y.

Fellowship

Surgery - Complex General Surgical Oncology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, N.Y.

Certifications and Special Training

American Board of Surgery
American Board of Surgery, General Surgery
American Board of Surgery, Complex General Surgical Oncology

Insurance Information

Insurance policies can vary widely. Please check with your doctor/clinic for specific insurance information before your visit or procedure to avoid unexpected out-of-pocket costs.

See list of insurers

Patient Stories

Related News

Ratings & Reviews

4.94 out of 5
30 Reviews

The star rating is a calculation based on feedback from our patients using our nationally-recognized Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Learn more about our survey process. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best score.

  • Patient Review

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    Good

    Patient Review

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    Dr explained everything carefully so that I could understand. Very kind and considerate. I really liked my doctor

    Patient Review

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    Dr Cavnar explaining each step and the effects side effects

    Patient Review

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    The best

    Patient Review

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    Dr. Cavnar is a very good and caring man
    • Patient Review

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      Fantastic dr
    • Patient Review

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      Doctor Cavnar is very good at listening and explaining things to where I can understand them
    • Patient Review

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      My experience is always excellent. I have Recommended UK Hospital, UK Markey Cancer Center, Lowell B Anthony, MD and Michael J Cavnar, MD to many people. Absolutely the best medical care anyone could ask for! Also a shout out to Dr. Cavnar's Nurse Jonathan D he's awesome.
    • Patient Review

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      Dr. Cavnar has been great on both visits I've had there, he took his time with me and explained everything and answered any questions I had. Couldn't ask for any better treatment.
    • Patient Review

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      Dr. Cavnar is most excellent! He is wonderful to visit with..
    • Patient Review

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      In my book, Dr. Cavnar saved my life TWO times!
    • Patient Review

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      Everyone provided good service
    • Patient Review

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      Excellent care and concern
    • Patient Review

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      Excellent Doctor
    • Patient Review

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      Of all my physicians, I believe Dr. Cavnar is the best overall. My interactions with him are always very informative, he answers all my questions, puts my wife and I at ease and really knows his speciality. He is excellent.
    • Patient Review

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      Dr. Cavnar is the best
    • Patient Review

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      Felt very comfortable and reassured
    • Patient Review

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      Very pleased to see his patient.
    • Patient Review

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      I had seen Dr Cavnar last year with a different cancer issue and have great respect for him
    • Patient Review

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      Excellent care!
    • Patient Review

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      Excellent doctor. Very professional. Dr. Explained things very well.
    • Patient Review

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      Several options for my care were discussed.
    • Patient Review

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      Dr. Cavnar is an awesome surgeon/ doctor. I am 100% grateful he is my physician at UKMC.
    • Patient Review

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      Excellent
    • Patient Review

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      Good
    • Patient Review

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      Very good experience..no bad experience!
    • Patient Review

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      Dr. Cavnar and his staff were very concerned about my care and were very professional. They did an excellent job throughout my visit. Definitely recommend.
    • Patient Review

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      Dr Cavnar is an excellent doctor
    • Patient Review

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      *Dr. Cavnar was very up front ref. my diagnosis even though it is terminal. He was supportive of my decision to not seek surgery/treatment.
    • Patient Review

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      Great Doctor!!!