Dr. Rodney J. Landreneau is an accomplished thoracic surgeon and pleural mesothelioma specialist currently practicing in Kittanning, a borough located 44 miles from Pittsburgh, PA. He is globally recognized for his talent using highly advanced minimally invasive surgical techniques, including video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) and photodynamic therapy. Dr. Landreneau was the first surgeon in Louisiana to perform surgical debulking with hyperthermic chemotherapy, a process in which tumor tissue is removed and then the abdomen is soaked in a heated chemotherapy solution.
About Dr. Landreneau
Dr. Landreneau is a talented thoracic surgeon, known for his innovative and creative approach to solving medical challenges, including mesothelioma. He was one of the pioneering surgeons in the nation to combat mesothelioma with cytoreduction and HIPEC therapy and effectively brought the technique to Louisiana hospitals.
Mesothelioma Specialist Update
Dr. Landreneau is a strong advocate for minimally invasive procedures, including video-assisted thoracic surgery, which enables faster healing times with fewer side effects. He also employs radiosurgery in his treatment of patients, utilizing groundbreaking techniques like photodynamic therapy and the CyberKnife system. These surgical techniques attack cancer cells using focused energy beams, eliminating the need to open a patient’s body.
Though Dr. Landreneau takes a scientific approach to treating patients, he also personally understands the devastating effects cancer can have.
“My family has been afflicted with cancer through all of the generations.” — Dr. Landreneau
While often recognized for his work with advanced diseases like mesothelioma, Dr. Landreneau is also adept in complicated esophageal conditions, including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and esophageal cancer.
Dr. Landreneau has made significant contributions to the academic medical community, writing over 350 clinical journal articles. These articles often focus on lung cancer and minimally invasive techniques but cover a breadth of cardiothoracic topics. Dr. Landreneau was one of the first surgeons to practice and publish best practices for video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS), and he completed innovative lung cancer research alongside the late mesothelioma expert, Dr. David Sugarbaker.
Outside of work, Dr. Landreneau is husband to his wife Sandy, the proud father of seven children, and a grandfather of two.
Dr. Landreneau’s Location
Mesothelioma patients can reach out to Dr. Landreneau at his private clinic:
Landreneau Thoracic Surgical Associates, P.C.
600 Medical Arts Building
Kittanning, PA 16201
Dr. Landreneau’s Career Highlights
Dr. Landreneau’s career boasts many cancer-fighting highlights, including:
- Former Director of Thoracic Oncology at Allegheny Cancer Institute
- Former Director of the Lung Cancer Program at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
- First surgeon in the world to complete a minimally invasive lung resection
- Published 350+ clinical articles in medical journals
- Helped pioneer video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS)
Dr. Landreneau’s Background
Dr. Landreneau is recognized for his talent is treating advanced thoracic diseases, including mesothelioma, but he worked relentlessly for his accomplishments.
Dr. Landreneau grew up in South Louisiana and began his medical training at Louisiana State University’s School of Medicine in New Orleans, graduating in 1978. After receiving his MD, Dr. Landreau completed a residency in general surgery at the University of Texas-Southwest Medical Center, followed by a thoracic surgery residency at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor.
In 1989, Dr. Landreneau joined the team at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the top-ranked hospital in the city, where he became Director of their Lung Cancer Program.
It was here that he performed the first lung resection using minimally invasive surgical techniques and helped refined optimal strategies for video-assisted thoracic surgery. During his two decades at UPMC, Dr. Landreneau worked along many of the world’s top surgical oncologists and mesothelioma experts, including the late Dr. David Sugarbaker.
In 2013, Dr. Landreneau then became Medical Director of the Ochsner Health System Cancer Institute, located in New Orleans. However, it was only a year before Dr. Landreneau returned to Pittsburgh to head the Allegheny Health Network’s thoracic surgery division.
“I’m used to the medical hustle and bustle of Pittsburgh and missed it. It is really good to have competition here. We have to be really proud of Western Pennsylvania’s medical system.” —Dr. Landreneau
Dr. Landreneau worked at Allegheny for a little over a year, before founding his private practice, Landreneau Thoracic Surgical Associates, in 2016. This practice has three primary locations in Pennsylvania, Dubois, Kittanning, and New Castle, and is affiliated with DuBois Regional Medical Center, Jameson Memorial Hospital, and Armstrong County Memorial Hospital, respectively.
Dr. Landreneau specializes in advanced thoracic and esophageal diseases, including mesothelioma. He is one of the first mesothelioma surgeons to have extensive experience performing hyperthermic chemotherapy, first debulking the tumors by removing as much infected tissue as possible, and then soaking the lungs in a heated chemotherapy solution to remove any remaining mesothelioma cells.
“The survival rate [of mesothelioma] has almost doubled among selected patients with favorable cell types that are cleared from the chest.” — Dr. Landreneau
Dr. Landreneau is also drawn to minimally invasive surgical techniques, including video-assisted surgery, photodynamic therapy, and radiosurgery. Dr. Landreneau was one of the first surgeons in the nation to adopt and refine VATS, writing several articles that founded the medical community’s understanding of VATS and helped make the technique standard practice for surgeons.
Dr. Landreneau’s Career Accomplishments
Dr. Landreneau is a talented surgeon who has saved the lives of many people with complex thoracic diseases.
Dr. Rodney Landreneau pioneered the use of hyperthermic chemotherapy in Louisiana and was the first surgeon to perform a lung resection using minimally invasive techniques. These are the two accomplishments he is widely recognized for. But he has also contributed extensive knowledge to the academic community, including several early guides on how to best perform video-assisted thoracic surgery.
Awards & Honors
- America’s Top Doctors – Castle Connolly
- Health Care Hero Award – Pittsburgh Business Times
- Best Oral Presentation in Thoracic Surgery
- Young Investigator Award – American College of Surgeons
- Faculty of the Year – General Thoracic Surgery
- The 318 Top Cancer Specialists for Women – Good Housekeeping Magazine
- Best Doctors for Breast, Lung, and Colorectal Cancer – Hearst Corporation
- Distinguished Contributor – ASAM Principles of Addiction Medicine
Dr. Landreneau’s Current Work
Dr. Landreneau currently operates out of his private practice, where he continues to practice and refine minimally invasive surgical techniques. In addition to serving patients, Dr. Landreneau participates in educational initiatives to train other surgeons and is a frequent contributor to the academic community through avid scientific research.
Notable Work by Dr. Landreneau
Though VATS is a fairly standard practice now, Dr. Landreneau’s article titled “Video-assisted thoracic surgery: basic technical concepts and intercostal approach strategies” was groundbreaking at the time of its publication in 1992.
The article explains the best instrument positioning and access strategy for several VATS procedures, based on Dr. Landreneau and his team’s experience working with 467 patients during an 18 month period.
This article was critical to improving the surgical community’s understanding of VATS and continues to be regularly cited in VATS studies and textbooks more than two decades later. In fact, almost every scientific study on video-assisted thoracic surgery begins with Dr. Landreneau’s seemingly timeless article.
Dr. Landreneau’s Healing Philosophy
Dr. Landreneau has dedicated a significant portion of his career to perfecting minimally invasive techniques that encourage faster healing time and better patient outcomes. In addition to traditional VATS surgery, Dr. Landreneau also uses photodynamic and radiosurgery techniques that utilize energy beams instead of a scalpel to fight cancer.
For more information on working with mesothelioma specialists like Dr. Landreneau, contact our Patient Advocates today.