Jun 14, 2022 Welcome a Top Surgeon: Richard S. Lazzaro MD

A Nationally Recognized Leader In Minimally Invasive Thoracic Procedures Joins Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus.

A groundbreaking minimally invasive thoracic surgeon who has built a New York City hospital program with the top 10 outcomes in lung cancer for 12 consecutive years is bringing that unparalleled expertise to the RWJBarnabas Health Southern Region hospitals.

Richard S. Lazzaro, MD, joins Community Medical Center (CMC), Monmouth Medical Center (MMC) and Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus (MMCSC) from Northwell Health, where he served as system director of robotic thoracic surgery and as chief of thoracic surgery and director of robotic thoracic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital.

Bringing more than 30 years of specialized expertise to the hospitals’ thoracic surgery programs, Dr. Lazzaro has pioneered many groundbreaking firsts in minimally invasive surgery and is recognized nationally as a leader in this field. He made medical history in 2018 when he performed the world’s first robotic repair of a collapsed trachea, and his accomplishments also include performing one of the first pulmonary lobectomies for intralobar pulmonary sequestration, a congenital lung condition.

Richard Lazzaro, MD
Richard Lazzaro, MD

Minimally invasive surgery is associated with less pain, a shorter hospital stay and quicker recovery, with reduced risk of infection and less scarring. Dr. Lazzaro uses minimally invasive techniques such as robotic surgery and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) for more than 95 percent of his patients to treat a wide variety of thoracic conditions. “The field of medicine is very conservative, and the fundamental science and judgment of medicine are very important, but things do change—in particular, technology changes,” he says. “In my career, I’ve stayed true to medicine’s conservative principles—our approach never deviates from the best practice for the thoracic disease or condition.”

A Renowned Expert

Board-certified in general and thoracic surgery, Dr. Lazzaro completed his surgical and thoracic surgery fellowship training at North Shore University Hospital and State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn, and fellowship-trained in minimally invasive thoracic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

“When I began training as a surgeon, most surgery was done as open, invasive cases, but midway through my training we saw the introduction of minimally invasive surgery, and it was a paradigm shift,” he says.

In New York, Dr. Lazzaro led an award-winning thoracic surgery program, and he and his team earned recognition from the Surgical Review Corporation as America’s first Robotic Surgery Network of Excellence. He has presented at international conferences regarding his outcomes and techniques, which have been adopted at major medical centers throughout the country, and surgeons travel from throughout the country to train with him in robotic surgery.

Local Connection

Asked why he chose to join the RWJBarnabas Health Southern Region team, Dr. Lazzaro notes that he has lived in Monmouth County since 2005, and that he is excited to bring the same level of care he established in New York programs to his home community.

“Together with my RWJBarnabas Health colleagues in surgery, pulmonology, internal medicine, radiology, pathology, oncology and gastroenterology, we will deliver the highest level of thoracic care to patients at CMC, MMC and MMCSC,” he says. “The team we’re building will have a singular focus—that is, on the best outcomes for our patients.”

Eric Carney, President and CEO of MMC and MMCSC, notes that the addition of Dr. Lazzaro to the hospital’s thoracic surgery program gives patients access to additional therapies and treatment options as well as a national leader in minimally invasive surgery.

“Our Robotic Surgery Program features an experienced team of surgeons utilizing the most advanced robotic systems available,” Carney says. “Dr. Lazzaro shares our vision of a unified, robust and broad-based thoracic surgery program bringing state-of-the-art treatment to our patients. He is a leader in the field of minimally invasive thoracic surgery, and we are excited that his exceptional surgical expertise will help ensure that our patients have access to the most advanced treatment options.”

To learn more or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lazzaro, call 732-818-3811.