K. Eric Sommers, M.D., FACS
Dr. Sommers is one of the most experienced cardiothoracic surgeons in Florida. He is nationally recognized for his expertise in minimally invasive lung and chest surgery techniques including daVinci robotic assisted and video assisted (VATS) thoracic surgery. Dr. Sommers specializes in surgery for lung cancer, sarcoma, esophageal, and other cancers in the chest.
Dr. Sommers obtained his undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and his medical degree at Northwestern University in Chicago Illinois. He spent ten years at the University of Pittsburgh for his residency training that included general surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, and research in the treatment of patients with cardiothoracic illnesses. He has won numerous awards, including an NIH National Research Service Award, and the prestigious Sheridan-Alley Fellowship to study health policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has over 50 publications, presentations, and abstracts in his name.
Dr. Sommers is on staff at Tampa General Hospital, St. Joseph’s and University Community Hospital. He served on the staff at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute for over 14 years, and served as the President of the Medical Staff at Moffitt. He has served on the faculty of the University of South Florida College of Medicine for over 10 years and currently holds the title of Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery and continues to be active in the education of future surgeons. He was the founding surgical director of the Tampa General Hospital Lung Transplant program, and served as the Director of the Heart Transplant program for three years. He has performed over 6300 cardiothoracic surgeries, including over 2500 for lung cancer, and over 350 daVinci assisted robotic procedures, by far the most of any surgeon in the region.
Dr. Sommers specializes in the surgical treatment of thoracic illness. His technique for daVinci robotic lobectomy for lung cancer has been utilized for teaching of other thoracic surgeons. Areas of particular experience include surgery for complicated lung cancer cases, metastasectomy for sarcoma and other tumors, Pancoast tumors, chest wall tumors, mediastinal tumors including thymoma, germ cell tumors; esophageal cancer, and malignant pleural effusions. He is the most experienced surgeon for these problems in the Tampa Bay area. In addition, he served as the Director of the venous access device program at Moffitt and supervised the insertion of over 2000 ports for chemotherapy and other reasons.
Dr. Sommers has extensive experience across the full spectrum of cardiothoracic surgery but has a special focus which includes:
- Lung cancer using video assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) and robotic techniques
- Lung nodules and lesions
- Pancoast tumors
- Chest wall tumors
- Mediastinal tumors
- Benign and malignant esophageal disease
- Disorders of the trachea (airway)
- Thymic disorders (thymomas)
- Germ cell tumors
- Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS)