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Dr. Kevin El-Hayek

Dr. Kevin El-Hayek

Surgical Oncologist

Dr. Kevin El-Hayek is a surgical oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic with expertise in treating patients with peritoneal mesothelioma.

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About Kevin El-Hayek

  • Heated Chemotherapy icon

    Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy

  • Peritoneal Mesothelioma icon

    Peritoneal Mesothelioma

  • Board Certified icon

    Board Certified in Surgery

  • Minimally Invasive Surgery icon

    Minimally Invasive Surgery

El-Hayek specializes in the utilization of hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy, also known as HIPEC, a procedure used effectively in combination with cytoreductive surgery.

The combination, which is used only at select cancer centers, has changed the course of treatment and extended lives significantly for several abdominal malignancies, including peritoneal mesothelioma.

Cancer patients are living considerably longer now than just a few years ago because of HIPEC.

“Someone with mesothelioma, who normally could have expected to live for months, could now expect a 50% chance at a five-year survival,” El-Hayek said. “So that’s someone who could now expect to make it to their daughter’s graduation, to see them get married.”

A Big Believer in HIPEC

El-Hayek also treats patients with colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, gastrointestinal stromal tumors and pseudomyxoma peritonei.

“For mesothelioma and pseudomyxoma, [HIPEC] is extremely effective. Those tend to respond a lot better,” he said. “For mesothelioma, it’s an excellent outcome.”

Unlike traditional chemotherapy, which is delivered systemically, HIPEC involves a heated, high-dose solution that is delivered directly into the abdomen after the cytoreductive surgery has removed all visible tumor cells.

The solution is circulated for up to 90 minutes before being drained. The intent is to eliminate any microscopic tumor cells that evaded the surgeon.

HIPEC can eliminate, or at least delay, tumor recurrence.

El-Hayek joined the Cleveland Clinic staff in 2013. He previously completed a residency in general surgery and a fellowship in flexible surgical endoscopy at the clinic.

He graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine after receiving his undergraduate degree from Harvard University.

A Family of Surgeons

El-Hayek’s interest in medicine — and helping others in need — stemmed from his father, a surgeon for more than 30 years in nearby Youngstown, Ohio.

“He showed me what a privilege it was to take care of another soul, another human being,” he said. “And I love that about my job, helping others get through a very tough time in their lives.”

El-Hayek also fits well into the multidisciplinary, teamwork approach that he has embraced at the Cleveland Clinic, one of the top specialty centers in the world.

In Cleveland, patients benefit from a personalized approach to treatment, where each case is discussed among doctors from different subspecialties, reviewing potential treatment options.

“It’s also important for me to know what the patient wants. Sometimes a patient will ask me, ‘What would you do, doctor?’ I often put that back to them,” he said. “It’s important for me to understand exactly what their wishes are. We talk a lot about risks and benefits, and getting to know exactly what they want.”

Disclaimer: Dr. Kevin El-Hayek has no professional affiliation with

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1 Cited Article Sources

The sources on all content featured in The Mesothelioma Center at include medical and scientific studies, peer-reviewed studies and other research documents from reputable organizations.

  1. Cleveland Clinic. (2018, November 20). Treating Cancer with Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC). Retrieved from:

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Last Modified August 4, 2020

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