Physician Detail

Mario Winn Katigbak, MD

Chief, Thoracic Surgery, Hartford Hospital

4.9 /5
167 surveys


Hartford HealthCare Medical Group


Thoracic Surgery, Board Certified < Accepting new patients for this specialty

Areas of Interest

Antireflux Surgery, Chest Wall Surgery, Complex Esophagus Surgery, Esophageal Cancer, Foregut Surgery, Hiatal Hernia Repair, Lung Surgery, Malignant and Benign Pleural and Pericardial Disease, Mediastinum, Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy, Robotic Surgery, Thoracic Oncology, Thymoma Surgery, VATS Surgery

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Katigbak, Mario Winn, MD

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Office Locations

  • Hartford HealthCare Digestive Health Center

    10 Jolley Drive
    Suite 102
    Bloomfield, CT 06002
    Get Directions >>

    Phone: 860.286.2470

  • Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute - Manchester, Thoracic Cancer

    376 Tolland Turnpike
    Suite 202
    Manchester, CT 06042
    Hartford HealthCare
    Get Directions >>

    Phone: 860.696.4306

  • Hartford HealthCare Medical Group at Hartford Hospital

    85 Seymour Street
    Suite 227
    Hartford, CT 06106
    Get Directions >>

    Phone: 860.696.4306
    Fax: 860.696.5140


Top Doctors in Thoracic Surgery in 2011.

Thoracic surgeon Mario Katigbak, MD, is now seeing patients at Backus Hospital, offering access to advanced surgical procedures for ailments of the chest.

In Norwich, Dr. Katigbak, who also serves as Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Hartford Hospital, primarily focuses on consultation for surgery for lung and esophageal cancer patients.

“Surgery is only a small part of cancer care. Patients have their follow-up care, chemotherapy and radiation, scans and other tests. All of that is better done close to home where patients are connected to their cancer team,” Katigbak says.

In addition, Katigbak offers procedures for hiatal hernia, anti-reflux surgery and other illnesses in the foregut.

“Adding Dr. Katigbak to the Backus medical staff is great news for our patients. They now have local access to the talent and expertise of one of the foremost thoracic surgeons in all of New England,” says East Region President Bimal Patel.

We are taking a closer look at lung cancer…You may recall Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently underwent a lobectomy – a type of surgery to remove one of five lobes in her lungs.

It’s a procedure that doctors at Hartford Hospital are performing more and more…

Joining us is Dr. Mario Katigbak, Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Hartford Hospital to talk about this and all of the other high-tech, minimally invasive treatment options for patients.


Q. A lobectomy is a major surgery that has become relatively common…explain this type of procedure…

A. Our lungs are divided anatomically into lobes - 3 on the right and 2 on the left. A lobectomy is a very safe, and yet tremendously complex procedure. When we remove a lobe, we have to carefully dissect out the artery, the vein and the bronchus or airway. We then have to seal them off and carefully divide them. Bear in mind, the beating heart is right next door and the other lung is moving with every breath. This means that the surgical field is never completely still - it keeps us on our toes!

Q. Tell us about some of the less invasive techniques that you are using…such as ultrasounds, robotic and video-assisted technology…

A. In the past, removing a lobe involved making a large incision that wrapped all the way from your spine to the front of the chest. Many patients said it looked like a shark bite, and was just as painful! Now, we are realizing that we can do the same surgery through smaller incisions. With the help of a camera and narrow instruments, we can manipulate the lung tissues and perform very controlled dissection. More recently, the surgical robot has evolved, and the latest generation was designed with thoracic surgery in mind. A high definition 3-D camera allows stunning visualization, and precision instruments permit very fine movements. The upside is that we can do the same quality of cancer surgery in a way that causes less pain. Patients are back to their normal lives more quickly.

(If there’s time: What’s really neat is that we also have a lot of complementary technology to help us get things done less invasively. We have an ultrasound at the end of a scope that helps us figure out if the cancer has spread to lymph nodes. We have a device called navigational bronchoscopy that’s like GPS for the airways. It lets us mark out even very small cancers so we can cut them out while saving healthy lung tissue. There’s even something called Firefly on the robot that actually makes these small tumors glow so we can locate them with precision).

Q. Through your partnership with Memorial Sloan Kettering tell us about the access patients have to clinical research trials…

A. I think this is a true win-win scenario for our patients. While we have a remarkable degree of specialization and expertise right here, there are resources that are only available at large dedicated research centers like MSK. Clinical trials are cutting edge medications, or treatment regimens not yet available to the mainstream. In addition, we present complex cases at a combined tumor board, which is where physicians from many specialties sit down and decide together what’s best for that patient. The bottom line is that our patients get cutting-edge care close to home.

Q. Lastly, you are utilizing something called, “Next-generation sequencing.” Explain what that is for our viewers…

A. We’ve realized that all cancers truly are different, even if they have the same name or cell type. That’s why some cancers spread quickly, and others seem to be less aggressive. Next generation sequencing is like getting the genetic fingerprint of a cancer, where we analyze for more than 50 different genetic mutations. This can allow us to see if the cancer will respond to a specific targeted therapy, and tailor the drug regimen accordingly. One size does not fit all, and this technology helps us find the right fit for each patient.

Thank you, Dr. Katigbak, for sharing such hope and promise for patients. If you would like to learn more about lung cancer at Hartford Hospital call 1-855-HHC-HERE.



Medical School

  • University of Philippines MD


  • Mount Sinai Hospital


  • Maimonides Medical Center


  • Yale University School of Medicine, Cardiothoracic Surgery

Insurance Accepted*

Aetna, Anthem, BCBS Medicare, CarePartners of Connecticut, Cigna Healthcare, Colonial Cooperative Care, Community Health Network of Connecticut, Inc., Connecticare, Connecticare Commercial, Connecticare Medicare, Corvel, Coventry, Essence Healthcare, Evercare, First Health Group Corp., Focus, Harvard Pilgrim, Health Connecticut, Health Direct, Health New England, Healthy Connecticut, HMC/ Northeast Healthcare, Medspan Commercial, Medspan Medicare, Multiplan, Northeast Health Direct, One Health Plan/ Great-West Healthcare, Oxford Health Plans, Prime Health Services, Private Health Care Systems, Inc., Senior Whole Health, United Healthcare, WellCare of Connecticut, Inc.

*This information is subject to change at any time. Please check with your insurance provider before scheduling your appointment or receiving services to confirm they are a participating member of the Hartford HealthCare network.