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Advancing Cardiothoracic Care: Shuddhadeb Ray, MD, MPHS

Doctors Munfakh and Ray at Christian Hospital

Since completing his thoracic surgery fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Shuddhadeb Ray, MD, MPHS, has joined the Washington University Cardiothoracic Surgery Faculty at Christian Hospital, where he delivers expert care for patients with heart, lung and esophageal conditions in North St. Louis.

Ray earned his medical degree at University of Kansas School of Medicine in 2011, then completed general surgery residency training and a Master of Population Health Sciences degree at Washington University School of Medicine. For Ray, surgical training at Washington University was a homecoming—before medical school, he had earned a degree in biomedical engineering from Washington University. After nearly a decade of surgical training, Ray graduated from the Thoracic Surgery Fellowship program in 2020.

Now Ray joins his mentor, Washington University cardiothoracic surgeon Nabil Munfakh, MD, at Christian Hospital. Ray sees patients for a number of cardiac and thoracic problems.

Ray and Munfakh offer some of the most advanced heart care procedures available in the region. Some of the heart procedures provided include heart valve surgery, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVR), and mechanical circulatory support.

They also offer the latest surgical treatments for diseases of the chest, including lung cancer, esophageal cancer, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), mesothelioma and pleural disease. Surgical techniques include open surgery and minimally invasive options, many of which use robot-assisted surgery.

As a fellowship-trained cardiothoracic surgeon, Ray is able to provide expert care in both areas, using top surgical techniques and technology.

“I want my patients to know that we have the most state-of-the-art technologies available at Christian Hospital,” Ray says. “These include the surgical robot for thoracic cases, as well as mechanical circulatory support systems, such as the Impella heart pump, for advanced heart failure cases.”

Ray specializes in minimally invasive techniques, including laparoscopic and robotic surgery. These surgeries use smaller incisions than traditional open surgery. Patients who are treated with these techniques usually have a shorter hospital stay and a much faster recovery than with traditional open surgery. Using a laparoscopic approach has helped him expand surgical offerings at Christian Hospital to treat more benign esophageal conditions, including hiatal hernia, achalasia, esophageal diverticular disease and other benign esophageal conditions.

The Perfect Place to Care for Patients

It was clear for Ray early in his training that cardiothoracic surgery was the specialty for him. He appreciates the meticulous technical nature of the operations, the vast array of complex disease processes he treats, and the team of Washington University surgeons he works alongside every day, constantly advancing the field.

After years of training in St. Louis, it was also obvious to Ray that this was where he wanted to start his career as a surgeon.

“Over almost a decade in St. Louis, a lot happened professionally and personally to closely link my life to this city,” he says. “I married my college sweetheart, had two amazing children, moved into our first house, and progressively made it through general surgery residency and cardiothoracic fellowship. I knew it would be the perfect place to start my career. I can’t imagine a better place to care for patients, advance my research interests, and help train residents and fellows, all with excellent mentors for guidance.”

Outside of the operating room, Ray is a devoted husband and father with two young children, a son and daughter who he says keep him very busy. He spends his free time with his family, enjoying the restaurants around St. Louis and running in Forest Park.

Ray looks forward to helping more patients and furthering the field of cardiothoracic surgery at Christian Hospital in the years to come.

“I hope to continue to grow as a surgeon, establish a busy practice, advance research in CT surgery and hopefully make a significant contribution to our field,” he says.

To learn more about cardiothoracic conditions and treatments, visit the Cardiothoracic Surgery website. For more information about Christian Hospital, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Shuddhadeb Ray, visit the Christian Hospital website or call 314-747-9355.