He is board certified in Surgery and Thoracic Surgery. After graduating from
Duke University School of Medicine, he completed his Surgery residency at
Brigham and Women's Hospital. He then went to the University of Pittsburgh for
training in cardiothoracic surgery under Dr. James Luketich. While in
Pittsburgh, he was also a visiting fellow at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer
Center in New York City where he worked with Dr. Valerie Rusch and Dr. Manjit
His clinical interests include minimally invasive surgery for thoracic and
esophageal diseases. Some of his particular interests include the following:
Minimally invasive esophagectomy for cancer. Using thoracoscopic and
laparoscopic techniques, the diseased esophagus is mobilized, resected, and
reconstructed with minimal trauma. The goal is improved recovery and return to
activity with less pain and a complete oncologic resection.
Video assisted lobectomy. Lung resection for cancer often requires a
large thoracotomy incision with spreading of the ribs. VATS lobectomy uses three
small incisions without any spreading of the ribs. A camera is used to assist
the dissection of sensitive blood vessels and lung structures. Less pain and
quicker recovery are the goals. If chemotherapy is deemed necessary after
surgery, patients are healthier and can more reliably begin their adjuvant
GERD, Giant Paraesophageal Hernias, Achalasia, Diverticulum. A
variety of benign esophageal diseases can be treated through laparoscopic or
Video assisted Thymectomy. Whether for myasthenia gravis or thymic
tumor, a VATS thymectomy can help avoid large sternotomy incisions by
approaching the tumor though 3 mm incisions in the chest.
Hyperhydrosis. VATS sympathectomy can reduce or alleviate excessive
sweating from the face, axilla, and hands by disrupting the sympathetic nerve
conduction through small 3 mm incisions.
Radiofrequency ablation and cyberknife therapy for tumors. Patients
who are too high risk for conventional surgery can still have options for
treatment of their tumors. RFA and cyberknife provide low risk options for local
Transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF). The TIF procedure uses
endoscopy to address moderate-to-severe gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
It has been shown to be effective in patients with severe reflux esophagitis,
chronic regurgitation, recurrent aspiration, chronic vocal cord edema, or for
those who simply wish to stop taking chronic antireflux medication.
Approximately 80% of patients get relief of symptoms and stop taking medication.
Most patients have minimal pain and experience few, if any, symptoms of
dysphagia after the procedure. Patients who undergo TIF are not precluded from
future laparoscopic surgery, if it becomes necessary. Patient selection is an
important factor, as patients with large hiatal hernia are not candidates for
Robotic thoracic surgery. Robotic surgery, using the DaVinci
Surgical Robot system, is another minimally invasive approach that can be used
for a variety of thoracic conditions including but not limited to lung cancer,
complex mediastinal disease, esophageal cancer, thymic resection, and benign
esophageal diseases such as achalasia and paraesophageal hernias. Although many
of these complex procedures are routinely performed laparoscopically and
thoracoscopically, the robotic approach is ideal in situations where the
additional level of dexterity and control provided by the robotic
instrumentation permits improved visualization and better dissection. The
robotic approach, for example, can facilitate operation in an obese patient
undergoing a complex operation, who might otherwise be precluded from minimally
Dr. Wee's research interest is in studying the effects of minimally invasive
surgery on patient outcomes, developing new techniques and technology for
minimal access surgery, lung and esophageal cancer, and pathogenesis of reflux,
hernias, and cancer.