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David P. Mason, M.D., is chief of thoracic surgery and lung transplantation at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. He has performed 54 types of surgery involving 47 different diseases.
Before joining Baylor University Medical Center in 2014, Mason explored a number of clinical specialties at the Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute, the Transplantation Center and Cancer Institute. He has a particular interest in minimally invasive, video assisted thoracic surgery (VATS), which speeds recovery time, decreases pain and avoids the more traumatic spreading of the ribs.
“The use of VATS has allowed more liberal criteria for surgery since recovery is much easier,” Mason said during a web chat.
Mason also is a proponent of the multidisciplinary approach to treatment, which became standard practice at the Cleveland Clinic. It allows doctors from different disciplines to collaborate more easily on a patient’s best treatment options.
“At the Cleveland Clinic, all patients with thoracic malignancies are evaluated in this fashion,” Mason said while he was at the Cleveland Clinic. “We believe that where you get started first for thoracic malignancies is critical to obtaining optimal survival.”
Mason has experience dealing with pleural effusions, fluid buildup commonly associated with pleural mesothelioma. The complication can cause discomfort for a patient until the fluid is drained from the lung area and pressure is relieved. He also has performed surgery involving achalasia, a rare condition in which the esophagus can’t move food into the stomach.
Mason is board certified in general and thoracic surgery. He is a member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. His interest in mesothelioma developed after a thoracic surgery fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he trained under surgeon David Sugarbaker.
He completed an earlier internship and residency at Brigham and Women’s before taking a position as senior research fellow in vascular surgery at the University of Washington. After completing his undergraduate degree at Harvard University, he received his medical degree from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York.
He has authored or co-authored several textbook chapters and articles on his special interests, including VATS and gastroesophageal reflux.
He was part of a major study involving 7,900 patients that measured the impact of smoking cessation prior to lung cancer resection.
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