Miguel Alvelo-Rivera

Miguel Alvelo-Rivera M.D.

Thoracic Surgical Oncologist

Specialty: Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery
Medical Treatment Center: Henry Ford Hospital 4100 John R. Street, Detroit, MI 48201

About Dr. Alvelo-Rivera

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Miguel Alvelo-Rivera left quite an impression as a resident at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he finished his training as a thoracic surgeon almost 10 years ago.

Patients don’t easily forget great doctors.

Fast Fact: He started doing minimally invasive esophagectomies with Dr. Luketich in Pittsburgh.

Alvelo-Rivera, now at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, became the topic of discussion three years ago on the Cancer Survivors Network of the American Cancer Society website when a surgical candidate asked for advice about a possible esophagectomy.

Cancer survivor William W. Marshall still remembered his similar surgery and the care he received from more than a decade before. His online endorsement was ringing:

“I recommend wholeheartedly Dr. Miguel Alvelo-Rivera, an extremely talented young thoracic surgeon. He assisted Dr. Luketich [in Pittsburgh] with my … surgery on May 17, 2003. He visited me daily, attended to my every need while I was a patient [there]. He was tireless. He was busy at the hospital from morning to night. I began to wonder if he ever slept.

I would highly recommend him, and would trust my body to him if I ever need another operation. He is highly skilled, and trained in the latest laparoscopic techniques.

Alvelo-Rivera is a little older and a lot wiser today than he was in Pittsburgh, where he first honed his skills, but his attention to patients remains the same. Alvelo-Rivera is a little older and a lot wiser today than he was in Pittsburgh, where he first honed his skills, but his attention to patients remains. He came to Henry Ford after spending four years at the nearby Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State. He also spent several years at the Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa.

Broad Interests

He specializes in minimally invasive thoracic surgery, esophageal surgery, palliative procedures for lung cancer and esophageal cancers, and the multidisciplinary management of mesothelioma and lung and chest wall cancers.

He again worked with Luketich in 2003 to help publish a study on “Photodynamic Therapy as Palliation for Esophageal Cancer” in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery. They studied 215 patients, concluding that 85 percent of them received effective palliative care.

He was part of the panel at the 2011 State of the Art Treatment of Gastrointestinal Cancers Seminar in Detroit. He spoke on Surgical Management of Localized Esophageal Cancer.

He received his medical degree from the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, along with much of his postgraduate training before moving to Pittsburgh.

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Tim Povtak is an award-winning writer with more than 30 years of reporting national and international news. His specialty is interviewing top mesothelioma specialists and researchers, reporting the latest news at mesothelioma cancer centers and talking with survivors and caregivers.

  1. Karmanos Cancer Center Adds Four Physicians. (2010, November 7). The Oakland Press. Retrieved from
  2. Karmanos Cancer Institute. (2010, October 29). Physicians join Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center [Press Release]. Retrieved from
  3. Litle, V.R., Luketich, J.D., Christie, N.A., Buenaventura, P.O., Alvelo-Rivera, M., McCaughan … & Fernando, H.C. Photodynamic Therapy as Palliation for Esophageal Cancer: Experience in 215 Patients. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 76 (55), 1687-93. doi: 10.1016/S0003-4975(03)01299-2
  4. Marshall, W.M. (2011, February 10). Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy @ University of Pittsburgh Medical Center on May 17, 2003 and so far still cancer free. Message posted to http://csn.cancer.org/

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