Headshot of Dr. Matthew Steliga

Dr. Matthew Steliga

Dr. Matthew Allen Steliga is a thoracic oncologist and cardiovascular surgeon. He currently treats patients at the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute’s Surgical Oncology Clinic at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and at the Baptist Health/UAMS Thoracic Surgery facility.

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About Dr. Matthew Steliga

Dr. Steliga applies a multidisciplinary approach to treat patients diagnosed with mesothelioma. He works with a wide range of professionals to diagnose and treat cancer, viewing each case as unique.

“I find working at UAMS very rewarding. We work very closely with our pulmonologists, medical oncologists, interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, and pathologists, as well as our nurses. We all work together and do some really incredible things.”

- Dr. Matthew Steliga

His areas of expertise include:

  • Cancer care
  • Lung cancer care
  • Soft tissue cancer care

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Dr. Steliga’s Career Highlights

  • Certified in thoracic and general surgeries
  • Completed his cardiothoracic surgery residency at MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Treats patients using minimally invasive and robotic surgical techniques

Dr. Steliga’s Background

Dr. Steliga is recognized as a top thoracic surgeon with expertise in mesothelioma and other abdominal malignancies.

He initially enrolled at medical school with the intention of becoming a pediatrician but gravitated toward thoracic oncology after working with phenomenal mentors.

“I liked to see the results of the operations and different ways to treat problems with surgery. I got suckered in and liked it ever since.”

- Dr. Matthew Steliga

After earning his medical degree at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Dr. Steliga completed a general surgery internship and residency at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences. He later completed a second residency in cardiothoracic surgery at the Texas Heart Institute.

Dr. Steliga previously worked at MD Anderson Cancer Center, treating patients and instructing students in cardiothoracic surgery. In 2009, he joined the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UAMS and began working at the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Center.

Medical Specializations

Dr. Steliga is a board-certified thoracic oncologist with a primary focus on esophageal and lung cancers, including mesothelioma. He has extensive experience with minimally invasive surgery, recognizing its ability to heal patients faster than traditional alternatives.

Dr. Steliga has experience in treating:

Dr. Steliga also works in treating many types of lung cancer and works hard to encourage smoking cessation and help his patients quit.

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Dr. Steliga’s Career Accomplishments

Dr. Steliga became a top thoracic oncologist and mesothelioma specialist at a relatively young age.

His patients appreciate his excellent bedside manner, ability to listen, and detailed explanation of their conditions. He deeply cares about the individuals he works with, treating them with respect and kindness throughout the treatment process.

Dr. Steliga’s awards and honors include:

  • CMS Stage 1 HER
  • Regional Top Doctor

Dr. Steliga’s Current Work

Dr. Steliga currently works at UAMS as a thoracic oncologist. He specializes in chest cancers, including mesothelioma, and uses minimally invasive techniques as much as possible.

Dr. Steliga is a member of several associations, including:

  • American Board of Thoracic Surgery (Member)
  • American College of Surgeons (Associate Fellow)
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery Network (Member)
  • International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery (Member)
  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons (Member)

Notable Work by Dr. Steliga

While working at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Dr. Steliga participated in research evaluating the preoperative identification of nodals in malignant pleural mesothelioma patients.

Traditionally, a mediastinoscopy (a type of biopsy technology) was frequently used to detect nodals in mesothelioma patients because of its success in doing so for lung cancer. The study explored the ability to detect mesothelioma nodals better using two forms of ultrasound: endobronchial and esophageal endoscopic.

Dr. Steliga and his colleagues examined 85 patients who received one of these exploratory procedures before a major mesothelioma operation. Of the 85 patients, 50 had received a mediastinoscopy, 38 had an endobronchial ultrasound, and 11 had an esophageal endoscopic ultrasound.

His research concluded that the patients who received an endobronchial ultrasound were the most likely to have the most accurately identified stage of mesothelioma.

However, all three forms of cancer detection were flawed, and overall performance is considered suboptimal. As a result, surgical exploration remains the best method for evaluating and staging mesothelioma.

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Dr. Steliga’s Healing Philosophy

Dr. Steliga believes in a multidisciplinary approach to treating mesothelioma, where specialists from numerous fields collaborate to develop a treatment strategy.

“Mesothelioma is a very challenging cancer to treat. All these cases are handled in a multidisciplinary fashion. You look at each case individually, and in the context of that patient, figure out the best treatment plan.”

- Dr. Matthew Steliga

He works with a comprehensive mesothelioma team at UAMS, which includes oncologists, pathologists, and radiation specialists. All of these professionals work together to develop treatment strategies that are personalized for each patient.

Dr. Steliga is also an advocate for minimally invasive surgeries, recommending them whenever possible.

“It’s smaller incisions, doing the same operations, and getting patients home sooner. Some people are interested in the cosmetic appearance of a smaller incision, but its bigger benefit is a quicker recovery and getting patients home and out of the hospital, and recovered with a little less pain, and getting them back to their normal activities of daily living.”

- Dr. Matthew Steliga

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Mesothelioma Hope has no affiliation with and is not endorsed or sponsored by Dr. Matthew Steliga. Any contact information listed is for informational purposes only. You have the right to contact Dr. Matthew Steliga directly.

Written by:

Lead Editor

Laura Wright is a journalist and content strategist with more than 14 years of professional experience. She attended college at the University of Florida, graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2008. Her writing has been featured in The Gainesville Sun and other regional publications throughout Florida.

9 References
  1. Baptist Health. “Baptist Health/UAMS Thoracic Surgery.” Retrieved from: https://www.baptist-health.com/location/baptist-health-uams-thoracic-surgery/. Accessed on December 8, 2022.

  2. Baptist Health. “Matthew Steliga, MD.” Retrieved from: https://www.baptist-health.com/doctor/matthew-steliga-md/. Accessed on December 8, 2022.

  3. CTSNet. “Matthew Allen Steliga, M.D.” Retrieved from: https://www.ctsnet.org/home/msteliga. Accessed on December 8, 2022.

  4. Little Rock Soiree. “7 People You Have To Meet in 2016: Dr. Matthew Steliga.” Retrieved from: http://www.littlerocksoiree.com/post/108978/7-people-you-have-to-meet-in-2016-dr-matthew-steliga. Accessed on December 8, 2022.

  5. UAMS Health. “Matthew A. Steliga, M.D.” Retrieved from: https://uamshealth.com/provider/matthew-a-steliga/. Accessed on December 8, 2022.

  6. UAMS News. “Thoracic Surgeon, Lung Cancer Specialist Matthew Steliga, M.D., Joins UAMS.” Retrieved from: https://uamshealth.com/news/2009/08/12/thoracic-surgeon-lung-cancer-specialist-matthew-steliga-m-d-joins-uams/. Accessed on December 8, 2022.

  7. U.S. News & World Report. “Dr. Matthew A. Steliga.” Retrieved from: https://health.usnews.com/doctors/matthew-steliga-666928. Accessed on December 8, 2022.

  8. YouTube. “Faces of UAMS: Dr. Matthew Steliga.” Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzUUUQ0trYc. Accessed on December 8, 2022.

  9. YouTube. “Matt Steliga, M.D – Introduction: Lung Cancer in the 21st Century.” Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDDIlnOSdPY. Accessed on December 8, 2022.

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