Stavros N. Stavropoulos MDChief of Endoscopy Director, Program in Advanced GI Endoscopy (PAGE); Adjunct Professor, Clinical Medicine, Columbia University, New York, New York
Dr. Stavropoulos grew up in Athens, Greece and moved to the US after high-school. He earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University summa cum laude and his medical degree with AOA distinction from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University, where he also completed his internship, residency, fellowship, and advanced endoscopy fellowship under the tutelage of Peter Stevens and Charles Lightdale. He stayed at Columbia as one of the only two ERCP operators (along with Pete Stevens) and Director of Endoscopic Ultrasound for 6 years at which time he was recruited to Winthrop University Hospital.
Distinguished as an advanced therapeutic endoscopist and endoscopic ultrasonographer, he is considered an expert in the technique of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), including ERCP in bariatric patients and children, as well as adjunctive techniques such as cholangioscopy, electrohydraulic lithotripsy, ablative techniques for pancreatobiliary cancer and EUS-guided biliary drainage in cases that defy ERCP access.
Dr. Stavropoulos was among the first users in the US of the SpyGlass™ Direct Visualization System for choangioscopy and pancreatoscopy and the Barrx Radiofrequency ablation system for Barrett’s ablation. Under Dr. Stavropoulos’ guidance, Winthrop became the first Hospital in Long Island and one of only of only three other centers in the state to offer the new advanced imaging technology of probe based confocal endomicroscopy (Cellvizio®). This device is a miniature microscope that can allow assessment of potentially malignant lesions at the cellular level during routine endoscopy, thus providing a real-time “optical biopsy” and allowing expeditious treatment.
Dr. Stavropoulos has been a pioneer in the US in ESD (Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection) and EFTR (Endoscopic Full Thickness Resection). ESD is a technique that allows curative non-surgical endoscopic resection of early GI cancers. Only a handful of centers in the US have significant experience in ESD. EFTR was first performed in humans in the US at Winthrop in 2012 which currently boasts the highest volume of such procedures. EFTR allows endoscopic removal of deep seated precancerous tumors of the wall of the GI tract such as GI stromal tumors (GISTs) via complete excision of the GI wall and closure of the resultant iatrogenic perforation. EFTR spares the patient the need for surgery, the standard treatment for such tumors. Dr. Stavropoulos is invited in the US and abroad to lecture and provide instruction in these novel, technically challenging techniques.
Dr. Stavropoulos has also gained international recognition for his pioneering work in the novel per-oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) procedure which offers a minimally invasive alternative to standard laparoscopic Heller myotomy for the treatment of achalasia. Under his guidance, in 2009, Winthrop was the first center outside Japan to offer POEM. Indeed, as one of the technique’s pioneers, Dr. Stavropoulos has performed more POEMs than any other practitioner in the United States. He led the effort that culminated in the recently published multisociety sponsored NOSCAR POEM white paper, a comprehensive review of POEM by an international panel of experts published simultaneously in the journals of SAGES and ASGE.
Alongside Winthrop’s bariatric team, Dr. Stavropoulos is also one of few pioneers in the US involved in the development of a novel endoscopic therapy for weight loss initially developed at the Mayo Clinic. Using an endoscopically-placed suturing device, Dr. Stavropoulos is able to perform sleeve gastroplasty (a surgical procedure) via an endoscopic, incisionless, safer and less invasive approach. The first such procedure to be demonstrated live in an endoscopy course anywhere in the world was performed at the Winthrop in 2014.
Dr. Stavropoulos is a member of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Gastoenterology Association and the New York Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, as well as the American College of Physicians, with board certification in both Internal Medicine (1997) and Gastroenterology (2002, 2012).
In addition to his work at Winthrop, Dr. Stavropoulos also currently serves as Adjunct Professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University, and is an active researcher, with collaborative studies with Johns Hopkins, Brigham and Women’s, Geisinger Clinic and other academic centers and publications in Gastroenterology, Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, Endoscopy, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and elsewhere.