Michael J. Cavnar, MD

4.92 out of 5

Conditions

  • Colon & rectal cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • Appendix cancer
    • Pancreas cancer
    • Liver cancer
    • Sarcoma
    • Neuroendocrine tumors
    • Esophageal 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

  • 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 40 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 Statment

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

Ratings & Reviews

4.92 out of 5
14 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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    April 26th 2022
    Dr cavnar and his team are wonderful i'm very confident with their care. Tech issues are a barrier how come the link from MYCHART by laptop or my iPhone wouldn't work( I tried both), needed a new email with updated link. That should have been pushed to me BEFORE the meeting

    Patient Review

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    March 15th 2022
    Dr. Cavnar and his staff are the best!

    Patient Review

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    March 8th 2022
    Dr. Cavnar is absolutely the best! He takes time to explain in terms I can understand. He never seems to be in a hurry. He has taken great care of addressing any concerns. He always has a smile on his face, and he has a can do attitude that just really puts me at ease. I am so grateful to have him in my corner!

    Patient Review

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    February 22nd 2022
    Dr. Cavnar is awesome. He is knowledgeable and caring. He called me "family"!

    Patient Review

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    February 22nd 2022
    I saw both the doctor and his nurse practitioner! Both were very professional and listened to my concerns. The doctor explained why the surgery could not proceed before having another endoscope first where he (the surgeon) will be there to observe so he will know exactly how extensive the surgery will have to be, then he will schedule another appointment with me to discuss the findings and then schedule the actual surgery!
    • Patient Review

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      February 21st 2022
      Dr. Cavnar was terrific in answering questions I had post-operatively and before and during the procedure to remove my port. It's been a pleasure having him as part of my surgical team throughout my complicated surgery, hospital stay and now during this follow-up appointment
    • Patient Review

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      February 8th 2022
      Love my team of doctors.
    • Patient Review

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      January 27th 2022
      Great team of providers!
    • Patient Review

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      January 13th 2022
      Dr Cavnar has a wonderful manner, always patient focused.
    • Patient Review

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      November 16th 2021
      Dr. Cavnar is the best. He explains everything in great detail. He is very patient and answers all questions.
    • Patient Review

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      October 28th 2021
      Clear, concise & answered all questions completely
    • Patient Review

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      October 19th 2021
      They told me the pro and cons of my condition and the best course of treatment
    • Patient Review

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      September 28th 2021
      Good
    • Patient Review

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      September 2nd 2021
      All great! Great dr. & care.