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NYU Lutheran Surgeon Returns to His Roots—Helping Treat Colon & Rectal Cancer in Brooklyn

Brooklyn has always been home to Josef A. Shehebar, MD. When he was recruited recently by NYU Lutheran to expand and grow the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Dr. Shehebar couldn't pass up the opportunity to work in the borough where his roots are firmly planted.

Born and raised in Brooklyn where he still resides, Dr. Shehebar is keenly aware of the borough's unmet healthcare needs—especially when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of colon and rectal cancer. “Although surgery is a key component in the treatment of colon and rectal cancer, prevention is always the first line of defense," Dr. Shehebar says.

Working with primary care providers and gastroenterologists, Dr. Shehebar is determined to assist in increasing the rate of colon and rectal cancer screening and detection with colonoscopy and physical exam. "Earlier detection leads to a greater chance for cancer-free survival and we must continue to educate the public about the benefits of colonoscopy and the warning signs of colon and rectal cancer, such as anorectal bleeding, weight loss, anemia, or change in bowel habits," Dr. Shehebar adds.

Dr. Shehebar additionally stresses the importance of family history in assessing a patient’s risk factors for developing colon and rectal cancer.

"NYU Lutheran is pleased to welcome Dr. Shehebar as director of its Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery," says Kenneth M. Rifkind, MD, chief of surgery at NYU Lutheran. "He is a highly skilled surgeon who is well-versed in traditional open and laparoscopic surgery, as well as advanced robot-assisted procedures. His addition to our faculty will greatly enhance our surgical oncology program at NYU Lutheran for the people of Brooklyn.”

H. Leon Pachter, MD, the George David Stewart Professor of Surgery and chair of the Department of Surgery for NYU Langone, adds, “It is important for the residents of Brooklyn to feel that they are receiving the same level of care at NYU Lutheran that they would receive at our main hospital in Manhattan. Bringing on board highly skilled surgeons like Dr. Shehebar will help us achieve this goal.”

Before joining NYU Lutheran, Dr. Shehebar, who also will serve as an assistant professor of surgery at NYU School of Medicine, served as an attending surgeon at Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey. He received his medical degree from Sackler School of Medicine of Tel Aviv University in Israel where he graduated with high honors, and completed his postgraduate training, including a year as administrative chief resident in surgery at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He then spent a year as a fellow in colon and rectal surgery at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center/Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Dr. Shehebar's clinical interests include minimally invasive surgery for the treatment of colon and rectal cancer, diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and complex anorectal procedures.

For Brooklyn residents who wish to be treated with top-flight care close to home, Dr. Shehebar offers the most up-to-date and cutting-edge treatment for all colon and rectal conditions. The latest da Vinci Xi® robotic system at NYU Lutheran provides a three-dimensional view, high magnification, and increased dexterity in instrument movement that can give the surgeon greater control and ability to preserve tissues and prevent complications. It offers patients several advantages: smaller incisions, less blood loss, and less pain—hence lessening the need for potentially addictive narcotics, a shorter hospital stay, and quicker recovery and faster return to activities of daily living.

Dr. Shehebar also treats patients for hemorrhoids, anal fissures, abscesses and fistulas, as well as functional bowel disorders such as rectal prolapse, constipation, and fecal incontinence.

Dr. Shehebar is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. His office is located at NYU Lutheran Medical Arts Pavilion, 8714 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 11209. For an appointment, call 718-630-8600.

Media Inquiries:

Neal Gorman
Phone: 718-630-8316

Colin DeVries
Phone: 718-630-7414

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