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Dr. Rodney Landreneau

Dr. Rodney Landreneau

Thoracic Surgeon

Dr. Rodney J. Landreneau is an accomplished thoracic surgeon and pleural mesothelioma specialist currently practicing in Tampa, Florida. He was one of the first surgeons to perform video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). Learn more about Dr. Landreneau and see how Mesothelioma Hope can help you get connected to a top specialist.

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About Dr. Rodney Landreneau

Dr. Landreneau is a talented thoracic surgeon known for his innovative approach to the treatment of mesothelioma and other diseases.

  • 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 employs radiosurgery in his treatment of patients, utilizing groundbreaking techniques like photodynamic therapy and the CyberKnife system.
  • His surgical techniques attack cancer cells using focused energy beams, eliminating the need to operate.

Dr. Landreneau also completed his lung cancer research alongside the late mesothelioma expert Dr. David Sugarbaker.

Dr. Landreneau’s Career Highlights

Dr. Landreneau’s career highlights include:

  • Being the first surgeon in the world to complete a minimally invasive lung resection
  • Helping pioneer video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS)
  • Publishing 350+ clinical articles in medical journals
  • Serving as the Director of Thoracic Oncology at Allegheny Cancer Institute
  • Serving as the Director of the Lung Cancer Program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
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Dr. Landreneau’s Background

Dr. Landreneau is recognized for treating advanced thoracic diseases, including pleural mesothelioma.

Dr. Landreneau attended medical school at Louisiana State University School of Medicine, graduating in 1978. After receiving his medical degree, he 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.

In 1989, Dr. Landreneau joined the team at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, (UPMC), the top-ranked hospital in the city, where he became director of the center’s Lung Cancer Program.

Here he performed the first lung resection procedure through minimally invasive surgical techniques and optimal strategies for video-assisted thoracic surgery. During his two decades at UPMC, Dr. Landreneau worked alongside many of the world’s top surgical oncologists and mesothelioma experts, including the late Dr. David Sugarbaker.

In 2013, Dr. Landreneau was named medical director of the Ochsner Health System Cancer Institute in New Orleans. The following year, he turned to Pittsburgh to head the Allegheny Health Network’s thoracic surgery division.

Dr. Landreneau worked at Allegheny for a little over a year before launching his private practice, Landreneau Thoracic Surgical Associates, in 2016.

Medical Specialties

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. He 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.

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Dr. Landreneau’s Career Accomplishments

Through his surgical skills, Dr. Landreneau has saved the lives of many people with complex thoracic diseases.

Dr. Landreneau pioneered the use of hyperthermic chemotherapy in Louisiana and was the first surgeon to perform a lung resection using minimally invasive techniques.

He has also contributed extensively to the academic community, including developing several early guides on how to best perform video-assisted thoracic surgery. He has written more than 350 clinical journal articles, most of which focus on lung cancer and minimally invasive techniques.

Awards & Honors

  • 318 Top Cancer Specialists for Women – Good Housekeeping Magazine
  • America’s Top Doctors – Castle Connolly
  • Best Doctors for Breast, Lung, and Colorectal Cancer – Hearst Corporation
  • Best Oral Presentation in Thoracic Surgery, Eastern Cardiothoracic Surgical Society
  • Distinguished Contributor – ASAM Principles of Addiction Medicine
  • Faculty of the Year – General Thoracic Surgery
  • Health Care Hero Award – Pittsburgh Business Times
  • Young Investigator Award – American College of Surgeons

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 his team’s experience working with nearly 500 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 decades later.

In fact, almost every scientific study on video-assisted thoracic surgery begins with Dr. Landreneau’s seemingly timeless article.

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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.

Connect With Dr. Landreneau and Other Specialists

If you’ve been diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, you may be eligible for treatments that can help you live longer with fewer symptoms.

We can help you connect with Dr. Landreneau and other top mesothelioma doctors who provide heated chemotherapy, VATS, and photodynamic therapy. 

Try our Free Doctor Match program today to get started.

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

Jenna TozziWritten by:

Director of Patient Advocacy

Jenna Tozzi, RN, is the Director of Patient Advocacy at Mesothelioma Hope. With more than 15 years of experience as an adult and pediatric oncology nurse navigator, Jenna provides exceptional guidance and support to mesothelioma patients and their loved ones. Jenna has been featured in Oncology Nursing News and is a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators & the American Nurses Association.

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  1. Allegheny Health Network. “Nationally Recognized Lung and Esophageal Surgeon Rodney Landreneau.” Retrieved May 23, 2024, from

  2. CTSNet. “Rodney Jerome Landreneau, M.D.” Retrieved May 23, 2024, from

  3. LinkedIn. “Rodney Landreneau MD.” Retrieved May 23, 2024, from

  4. New Orleans Living Magazine. “Unparalleled Mesothelioma Care.” Retrieved May 23, 2024, from

  5. TRIB Live. “Ex-UPMAC surgeon slides to Allegheny Health Network.” Retrieved May 23, 2024, from

  6. U.S. News & World Report. “Dr. Rodney Landreneau.” Retrieved May 23, 2024, from

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