About the Orthopaedic Oncology/Sarcoma Chief
Dedicated to dramatically changing lives of children and adults afflicted with sarcomas and other orthopaedic tumors, James C. Wittig, MD, utilizes innovative limb-sparing surgeries, groundbreaking techniques, and a specialized multidisciplinary approach for all stages from diagnosis to treatment. Dr. Wittig has extensive experience in the orthpaedic oncology field and works diligently and cooperatively with other medical professionals for a seamless continuum of care. He is also committed to embracing the most advanced, viable solutions for all types of bone and soft tissue tumors, particularly sarcomas.
Specialized Skills and Multidisciplinary Approach at Mount Sinai
Bone and soft tissue tumors and sarcomas are a rare group of tumors. The treatment of these tumors is complex and requires specialized technical surgical skills as well as a multidisciplinary approach (several physicians from different subspecialties who collaborate in the treatment). Because they are rare tumors, few physicians have gained sufficient experience in treating these neoplasms in order to be proficient. Thus, most physicians who have experience in treating these tumors can be found at major medical centers and teaching hospitals, such as Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
These tumors should be treated by an orthopedic oncologist who is an orthopedic surgeon with specialized training in the treatment of these tumors. Orthopedic oncologists treat these tumors regularly and therefore maintain expertise in the diagnosis and surgical treatment, as well as medical (non-operative) management of these patients. Additionally, orthopedic oncologists are experts in limb-sparing surgery and work closely with other physicians.
At Mount Sinai, our multidisciplinary teams include musculoskeletal radiologists, pathologists, medical oncologists, pediatric oncologists and radiation oncologists, who diagnose the patient and discuss and develop treatment plans. Our multidisciplinary sarcoma team meets regularly to discuss patient care and make decisions concerning treatment. They maintain open communication with each other, which optimizes patients' treatment and outcome.
The Importance of Sarcoma Surgery and Follow-Up Care at a Medical Center
It is crucial that a sarcoma surgery be performed at a medical center, such as Mount Sinai, where these tumors are regularly treated. These surgeries are often of large magnitude. At specialized centers, the operating room staff, nurses, physical therapists, residents, social workers as well as other specialized physicians and ancillary staff are thoroughly familiar with the equipment needed for surgery, the surgical treatment, and the postoperative care. They participate in the care of these patients on a regular basis. Additionally, the patients' surgical and postoperative care and transition to the home environment is optimized with this approach.
Once again, because these tumors are rare, we at Mount Sinai believe that postoperative follow-up scans (radiographs, MRI, CT scans) should be performed at the same hospital and interpreted by the same radiologists that have expertise in this field. They will compare previous studies with new studies. Because of their expertise, they are likely to detect any recurrence of the tumor at an early stage. They can also coordinate special studies and perform special needle biopsies if there is any question concerning recurrence of the tumor.
For follow-up appointments:
Mount Sinai Orthopaedic Oncology/Sarcoma
Faculty Practice Studies
5 East 98th Street
New York, NY 10029