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Donald Low

Donald E. Low, FACS, FRCS(C), FRCSI(Hon), FRCSE(Hon), FRCSED(Hon)

Virginia Mason Medical Center
Head of Thoracic Surgery & Thoracic Oncology
Director, Esophageal Center of Excellence and Director, Ryan Hill Thoracoesophageal Research Fellowship
Seattle, WA  98101
United States
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Surgeon - Cardiothoracic


Donald Low, FACS, FRCS(C), FRCSI (Hon.), FRCSE (Hon), FRCSEd (Hon) is the Director of the Esophageal Center of Excellence at the Digestive Disease Institute, President of the Ryan Hill Research Foundation, and Chief of Thoracic Surgery and Thoracic Oncology at Virginia Mason Medical Center.

Dr. Low's clinical interests include all aspects of general Thoracic Surgery but are focused on the treatment of Esophageal Cancer, Barrett's esophagus, benign tumors of the esophagus, primary and revisional antireflux surgery, paraesophageal hernia and achalasia.

Dr. Low is a Board Certified General Thoracic Surgeons, Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada. He has received Honorary Fellowships from the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. He is Associate Editor of the Diseases of the Esophagus journal and is responsible for the formation of the Esophageal Complications Consensus Group (ECCG) and the International Online Esodata database. 

Low DE, Allum W,  De Manzoni G, Ferri L, Immanuel A, Kuppusamy M, Law S, Lindblad M, Maynard N, Neal J, Pramesh CS, Scott M, Smithers MB, Addor V, Ljungqvist O. Guidelines for Perioperative Car in Esophagectomy: Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Society Recommendations. World J Surg 2018 Oct 1 [Epub ahead of print]

Zaninotto G, Bennett C, Boeckxstaens G, et al. EDITOR'S CHOICE: The 2018 ISDE Achalasia Guidelines. Dis Esophagus 2018;31:1-29.

Wirsching A, Zhang Q, McCormick SE, Hubka M, Low DE. Abnormal High-Resolution Manometry Findings and Outcomes after Paraesophageal Hernia Repair. J Am Coll Surg. 2018;227:181-188.e2.

Low DE, Kuppusamy MK, Alderson D, Cecconello I, Chang AC, Darling G, Davies A, D'Journo XB, Gisbertz SS, Griffin SM, Hardwick R, Hoelscher A, Hofstetter W, Jobe B , Kitagawa Y, Law S, Mariette C, Maynard N. Morse CR, Nafteux P, Pera M, Pramesh CS, Puig S, Reynolds JV, Schroeder W, Smithers M, Wijnhoven BPL. Benchmarking Complications Associated with Esophagectomy. Ann Surg. 2017 Dec. 4.

Schmidt HM, Roberts JM, Bodnar AM, Kunz S, Kirtland SH, Koehler RP, Hubka M, Low DE. Thoracic multidisciplinary tumor board routinely impacts therapeutic plans in patients with lung and esophageal cancer: a prospective cohort study. Ann Thorac Surg 2015;99:1719-1724.

Low DE, Alderson D, Cecconello I, Chang AC, Darling GE, D'Journo XB, Griffin SM, Holscher AH, Hofstetter WL, Jobe BA, Kitagawa Y, Kucharczuk JC, Law SY, Lerut TE, Maynard N, Pera M, Peters JH, Pramesh CS, Reynolds JV, Smithers BM, van Lanschot JJ. International Consensus on Standardization of Data Collection for Complications Associated With Esophagectomy: Esophagectomy Complications Consensus Group (ECCG). Ann Surg 2015;262:286-294.

Markar SR, Schmidt H, Kunz S, Bodnar A, Hubka M, Low DE. Evolution of standardized clinical pathways refining multidisciplinary care and process to improve outcomes of the surgical treatment of esophageal cancer. J Gastrointest Surg 2014;18:1238-1246.

Other Interests

Barrett's Esophagus
Esophageal Cancer
Interventional Endoscopy
Lung Cancer
LVRS Benign Esophageal Surgery
Paraesophageal Hernia
Thoracic Oncology


  1. VMRC #07020
    Single Dose/High Volume Recombinant Tissue Plasminogen Activator Therapy in Patients with Multiloculated Intrapleural Infections.
  2. VMRC #06044
    A Prospective Comparison of Outcomes of Treatment of Barrett’s Esophagus with Early Neoplasia: Endoscopic Therapy vs. Esophagectomy.
  3. IRB #9010
    Outcomes Associated with Esophageal Resection
  4. IRB #06078 Primary Investigator
    Operative Treatment of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Respiratory Symptoms: 10-Year Follow-Up of Outcomes and Quality of Life
  5. IRB #08129 Primary Investigator
    Gastric Emptying After Esophagectomy: Correlation of Subjective and Objective Measurements of Function.
  6. IRB #09021 Primary Investigator
    Cost Effectiveness of Current Esophageal Cancer Management Strategies
  7. IRB #09010 Primary Investigator
    Outcomes Assessment of the Management of Acute Esophageal Perforation
  8. IRB #09090 Primary Investigator
    Assessment of Tumor Board’s Impact on Patient Management
  9. IRB #12113 Primary Investigator
    Outcomes in Achalasia Database
  10. In Preparation Primary Investigator
    Randomized Controlled Trial of Suppression of Perioperative Dysrhythmias with Hydrocortisone Prophylaxis for Near Total Esophagectomy.
  11. Coordinator for International Project to Standardize Complications Associated with Esophageal Resection.
    Sponsored by: STS, ESTS, SSAT, AUGIS, OESO, ISDE

Practice Areas

  • Thoracic
  • Minimally Invasive
  • Thoracic
  • Chest wall
  • Lung
  • Esophagus
  • Mediastinum
  • Pleura
  • Professional Affairs