Christina Weltz, MD
- ASSISTANT PROFESSOR | Surgery, Surgical Oncology
Specialties:Surgical Oncology, Breast Cancer - Surgery, Surgery
My surgical practice for the past twelve years has been exclusively in the area of breast disease, specifically in the diagnosis of breast cancer and the surgical treatment of all aspects of benign and malignant breast disease. Each individual with breast cancer has a unique presentation, and breast cancer is a very heterogeneous condition.
The primary goal of my practice is to carefully consider each individual’s situation in order to determine the best treatment plan. This includes thoroughly reviewing imaging studies which have been done, and determining if more are needed; considering whether surgery is the right first treatment, or whether other therapies such as chemotherapy or hormonal therapy should be used first; and reviewing biopsy information to learn as much as possible from already available pathology in order to make the best treatment recommendations.
The Dubin Center, which emphasizes multidisciplinary care with breast surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, oncologists, plastic surgeons and other experts working together, will greatly facilitate this approach. I feel strongly about bringing the same focus and effort to every surgical procedure, whether a simple biopsy, lumpectomy, mastectomy – including skin and nipple sparing procedures, or axillary lymph node surgery.A primary concern, both in clinical practice and research, is quality of life issues as they relate to the treatment of breast cancer.
With the realization that side effects of general anesthesia can be more debilitating than surgery itself, I developed a regional anesthetic technique called paravertebral block as an alternative anesthetic for women undergoing breast surgery. This work has been funded by federal research grants and this technique is now being practiced world-wide. I have also worked with Mount Sinai’s team of biobehavioral researchers to develop hypnosis and other interventions which markedly improve post-operative well-being.
I am also interested in psychological and emotional aspects of breast cancer, and am now researching why some individuals delay in presenting for diagnosis and treatment for this disease.The most important and rewarding aspect of my breast surgery practice is being available for the individual patient not only medically, but also in a human way.
Being diagnosed with breast cancer is extremely stressful and dismaying, but I have always felt, and always will, that there is no problem that cannot be solved and that the patient and physician are very much in this together. I feel that this philosophy is in accord with the goals of the Dubin Center, and I look forward to being part of a team that will deliver the very best breast cancer care.
In the News:
Dr. Christina Weltz discusses breast cancer surgery in The Daily News feature The Daily Check Up.
American Board of Surgery
MD, University of Pennsylvania- School of Medicine
Residency, Surgery, New York Hospital - Cornell Medical Center
Residency, Surgery, Hospital of The University Of Penn.
Residency, Surgery, University of California Hospitals
Residency, Surgery, Duke University Hospital
Educator of the Year
John Harvard Scholarship
Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
Elizabeth Agassiz Scholarship
Phi Beta Kappa
Montgomery GH, Bovbjerg DH, Schnur JB, David D, Goldfarb A, Weltz C, Schechter C, Graff-Zivin J, Tatrow K, Price DP, Silverstein J. A randomized clinical trial of a brief hypnosis intervention to control side effects in breast cancer surgery patients. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2007 Sep 5; 99(17): 1304-1312.
Schnur JB, Montgomery GH, Hallquist MN, Goldfarb AB, Silverstein JH, Weltz CR, Kowalski AV, Bovbjerg DH. Anticipatory psychological distress in women scheduled for diagnostic and curative breast cancer surgery. Int J Behav Med;.
Weltz CR, Klein SM, Arbo JE, Greengrass RA. Paravertebral block anesthesia for inguinal hernia repair. World J Surg 2003 Apr; 27(4): 425-429.
Montgomery GH, David D, Goldfarb AB, Silverstein JH, Weltz CR, Birk JS, Bovbjerg DH. Sources of anticipatory distress among breast surgery patients. J Behav Med 2003 Apr; 26(2): 153-164.
Montgomery GH, Weltz CR, Seltz M, Bovbjerg DH. Brief presurgery hypnosis reduces distress and pain in excisional breast biopsy patients. Int J Clin Exp Hypn 2002 Jan; 50(1): 17-32.
Paciucci PA, Raptis G, Bleiweiss I, Weltz C, Lehrer D, Gurry R. Neo-adjuvant therapy with dose-dense docetaxel plus short-term filgrastim rescue for locally advanced breast cancer. Anti-Cancer Drugs 2002; 13: 1-5.
Weltz CR. Ductal Carcinoma in Situ. In: August D, Haffty B, Hait WN, editors. Expert Consultations in Breast Cancer. Marcel Dekker Publishers;.
Coveney E, Weltz CR, Greengrass R, Iglehart JD, Leight GS, Lyerly HK. Use of thoracic paravertebral block anesthesia in the ambulatory surgical management of patients with breast cancer. Ann Surg 1998; 227: 496-501.
Weltz CR, Greengrass RA, Lyrely HK. Ambulatory surgical management of breast cancer using paravertebral block. Ann Surg 1995; 222: 19-26.
Weltz CR, Lyerly HK. The Breast. In: Sabiston DC, editor. Essentials of Surgery. Philadelphia, WB Saunders;.