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Theodore N. Pappas, MD

The Duke Surgical Innovation Professorship
Chief, Division of Advanced Oncologic and Gastrointestinal Surgery
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


Pappas, TN, and Swanson, S. "The life, times, and health care of Harry L Hopkins: Presidential advisor and perpetual patient." Journal of medical biography 26, no. 1 (February 2018): 49-59.

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Han, JL, and Pappas, TN. "A Review of Empathy, Its Importance, and Its Teaching in Surgical Training." Journal of surgical education 75, no. 1 (January 2018): 88-94.

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Pappas, TN. "Heroic Measures for an American Hero: Attempting to Save the Life of General Douglas MacArthur." The American surgeon 83, no. 12 (December 2017): 1329-1335.


Pappas, TN. "Bright's Disease, Malaria, and Machine Politics: The Story of the Illness of President Chester A. Arthur." Surgery journal (New York, N.Y.) 3, no. 4 (October 2017): e181-e187.

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Lidsky, ME, Speicher, PJ, Ezekian, B, Holt, EW, Nussbaum, DP, Castleberry, AW, Perez, A, and Pappas, TN. "Subtotal cholecystectomy for the hostile gallbladder: failure to control the cystic duct results in significant morbidity." HPB : The Official Journal of the International Hepato Pancreato Biliary Association 19, no. 6 (June 2017): 547-556.

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Adam, MA, Thomas, S, Youngwirth, L, Pappas, T, Roman, SA, and Sosa, JA. "Defining a Hospital Volume Threshold for Minimally Invasive Pancreaticoduodenectomy in the United States." April 2017.

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Papalampros, A, Moris, D, Petrou, A, Dimitrokallis, N, Karavokyros, I, Schizas, D, Delladetsima, I, Pappas, TN, and Felekouras, E. "Non-Whipple Operations in the Management of Benign, Premalignant and Early Cancerous Duodenal Lesions." Anticancer research 37, no. 3 (March 2017): 1443-1452.

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Scarborough, JE, Schumacher, J, Pappas, TN, McCoy, CC, Englum, BR, Agarwal, SK, and Greenberg, CC. "Which Complications Matter Most? Prioritizing Quality Improvement in Emergency General Surgery." Journal of the American College of Surgeons 222, no. 4 (April 2016): 515-524.

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Pryor, AD, Branch, MS, Pappas, TN, Pryor, AD, Branch, MS, and Pappas, TN. Gastrointestinal bleeding: A practical approach to diagnosis and management, second editionPreface (PublishedPublished). January 1, 2016.

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Bendersky, VA, Mallipeddi, MK, Perez, A, and Pappas, TN. "Necrotizing pancreatitis: challenges and solutions." Clinical and experimental gastroenterology 9 (January 2016): 345-350. (Review)

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