Dr. Shanel Bhagwandin
Medical Director for Gastrointestinal Surgery Oncology at Jupiter Medical Center
Dr. Shanel Bhagwandin is the Medical Director for the gastrointestinal surgery oncology program at Jupiter Medical Center in South Florida. He regularly performs HIPEC with cytoreductive surgery for malignant peritoneal mesothelioma.
Jupiter Medical Center
1210 S. Old Dixie Highway, Jupiter, FL 33458
JUMP TO A TOPIC
More About Mesothelioma Specialist Dr. Shanel Bhagwandin
Dr. Bhagwandin began the peritoneal surface malignancies program at Jupiter Medical Center in 2017. The focus includes treatment for patients with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma, a clinical focus for the specialist.
He trained under Dr. Daniel Labow, an esteemed peritoneal mesothelioma specialist. Dr. Labow runs the HIPEC program at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, New York. HIPEC, the acronym for “hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy”, is a cornerstone therapy for peritoneal mesothelioma.
Dr. Bhagwandin was in a fellowship at the cancer center, an experience he called “tremendous.”
“A lot of what we do is determining whether a patient is eligible to undergo HIPEC with surgery.”
Dr. Bhagwandin brought what he learned under Dr. Labow to Jupiter Medical Center. Since starting the peritoneal malignancies program, he sees 10‑15 peritoneal mesothelioma cases each year. While patients are usually local or regional to Florida, he does accept cases from throughout the United States.
- Medical degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Bradenton, Florida
- Residency in general surgery at the University of Illinois‑Chicago
- Fellowship in complex general surgery oncology at Mount Sinai Medical Center
- Certification in general surgery from the American Board of Surgery
- Certification in complex general surgery oncology from the American Board of Surgery
Get Connected to Dr. Shanel Bhagwandin
Dr. Bhagwandin sees around a dozen peritoneal mesothelioma cases each year. This puts him towards the top of specialists for case volume. He’s been treating patients with cytoreduction and HIPEC since 2013 and founded the Jupiter Medical Center’s peritoneal malignancies program.
Why Choose Dr. Bhagwandin?
- Use of HIPEC for surgical candidates
- Work with a multidisciplinary team of medical experts
- Conducts virtual appointments
Belief in HIPEC for Improved Survival
Dr. Bhagwandin built an affinity for helping peritoneal mesothelioma patients during his residency at the University of Illinois‑Chicago. This led to building his own program a few years later.
Peritoneal mesothelioma has poor survival rates if left untreated. Many patients don’t live more than a year past their diagnosis. For patients who see a general oncologist, they may only get systemic chemotherapy. Most doctors say this approach won’t improve survival by more than a few months, and some patients miss out on a chance at a better outcome.
“A lot of times patients are told they have too much disease,” Dr. Bhagwandin said, stressing the importance of a surgeon’s opinion on treatment options. “Oftentimes, it could be a lot of disease but it’s treatable as well.
“I think there is a large variation for opinions given. The onus is almost put back on the patient to try and get some hope (from a doctor). So a lot of hope can be lost when the prognosis is poor without a surgical opinion.”
HIPEC also has fewer side effects than systemic chemotherapy, which travels from an IV through the bloodstream.
Support From a Multidisciplinary Team
Dr. Bhagwandin has a full team of experts helping him at Jupiter Medical Center. The input of many professionals is invaluable to determining the best course for treatment.
The team helping Dr. Bhagwandin includes a general oncologist, radiation oncologist, dietician, program navigators and nurses. They all play a role in why he’s a top peritoneal mesothelioma doctor.
Focus on Quality of Life for Patients
He also prioritizes the balance between quality of life and treatment. He takes his time in assessing the status of the disease with imaging tests and a diagnostic laparoscopy. This helps with staging the cancer and determining the feasibility of surgery.
“If you’re going through this big operation, you want to make sure the treatment is at least going to improve survival. It shouldn’t worsen the disease and lead to an unfortunate outcome.”
Dr. Bhagwandin said his first objective is thoroughly explaining to a patient the medical options. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a fast‑spreading cancer with the ability to quickly reach organs. Patients must make difficult decisions regarding treatment, and he is right there to help them in the process.
“I think it’s important with regards to quality of life to figure out goals of care,” he said. “The more accurate information we can provide upfront as physicians really helps patients.”
Anyone interested in seeing Dr. Bhagwandin should contact our staff. Our patient advocate and registered nurse, Karen Ritter, can help you set up a consultation. Dr. Bhagwandin has allowed Telehealth meetings since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact Nurse Karen through our patient advocate page or sign up for our free Doctor Match program.
Sources & Author
- Meet Our Oncology Physicians. Jupiter Medical Center. Retrieved from: https://www.jupitermed.com/services/cancer-care/meet-the-physicians/. Accessed: 11/21/22.