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Theodore N. Pappas, MD

The Duke Surgical Innovation Distinguished Professorship
Professor of Surgery
Office: 1131 Hosp South, Yellow Zone, Durham, NC 27710
Campus Mail: DUMC Box 3479 Med Ctr, Durham, NC 27710

RESEARCH: We have a long interest in understanding the importance of the volume-quality relationship for surgeons. In addition, we have done extensive work studying the impact of surgical trainees on the outcomes for patients. Our division is trying to fully understand the importance of robotic surgery to the future of cancer surgery.

CLINICAL: Our team has an extensive experience in aggressive surgical approaches to pancreatic cancer, including Whipple resection, subtotal pancreatectomy, laparoscopic and open pancreatic tail resection, laparoscopic/robotic pancreaticoduodenectomy, ablative techniques for the pancreas, and peripancreatic vascular resection. When clinically indicated, we employ less extensive pancreatic and duodenal operations, such as ampullary resection, duodenal resection, sphinceroplasty, and benign tumor enucleation.

We take care of every variety of complicated abdominal wall and diaphragmatic hernias, including flank hernias, paraesophageal hernias, recurrent abdominal wall hernias, abdominal mesh infections, and hernias associated with colostomies. 

Other areas of interest include stomach surgery (for ulcer disease or cancer), treatment of complications of pancreatitis, routine and complicated gall bladder disease, and inguinal hernia repair. 

Education and Training

  • M.D., Ohio State University, 1981


Wang, Alice, John Yerxa, Suresh Agarwal, Megan C. Turner, Vanessa Schroder, Linda M. Youngwirth, Sandhya Lagoo-Deenadayalan, and Theodore N. Pappas. “Surgical management of peptic ulcer disease.” Curr Probl Surg 57, no. 2 (February 2020): 100728.

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Murray, Margaret, Theodore N. Pappas, and David B. Powers. “Maxillary Prosthetics, Speech Impairment, and Presidential Politics: How Grover Cleveland Was Able to Speak Normally after His "Secret" Operation.” Surg J (N Y) 6, no. 1 (January 2020): e1–6.

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Elsamadicy, Aladine A., Bilal Ashraf, Xinru Ren, Amanda R. Sergesketter, Lefko Charalambous, Hanna Kemeny, Tiffany Ejikeme, et al. “Prevalence and Cost Analysis of Chronic Pain After Hernia Repair: A Potential Alternative Approach With Neurostimulation.” Neuromodulation 22, no. 8 (December 2019): 960–69.

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Long, Chandler A., Theodore N. Pappas, Kevin W. Southerland, and Cynthia K. Shortell. “An analysis of the vascular injuries and attempted resuscitation surrounding the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.” J Vasc Surg 70, no. 5 (November 2019): 1652–57.

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Berger, Miles, Deborah Oyeyemi, Mobolaji O. Olurinde, Heather E. Whitson, Kent J. Weinhold, Marty G. Woldorff, Lewis A. Lipsitz, et al. “The INTUIT Study: Investigating Neuroinflammation Underlying Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction.” J Am Geriatr Soc 67, no. 4 (April 2019): 794–98.

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