penn medicine
penn surgery
penn surgery home penn surgery clinical penn surgery education penn surgery research penn surgery administration

Heather Wachtel, MD
Endocrine and Oncologic Surgery

  • Profile Home
  • Appointments
  • Education
  • Societies
  • Research
  • Publications
  • Awards

Administrative Office:
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
3400 Spruce Street
4 Silverstein Pavilion
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Executive Assistant:
Administrative Telephone:
Administrative Fax: 215-662-3629
Patient Appointments: 215-615-5858

Clinical Office:
Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine
Abramson Cancer Center
West Pavilion, 4th Floor
3400 Civic Center Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Contact Information (internal use only)


Dr. Wachtel graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University prior to receiving her MD degree from the Yale University School of Medicine.  She completed general surgery residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and subsequently completed fellowship in Endocrine Surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital of Harvard Medical School.  She is a board-certified general surgeon, with a clinical focus on Endocrine Surgery, including minimally invasive adrenal, parathyroid, and thyroid surgery.  Her research focuses on operative outcomes in Endocrine Surgery.

Faculty Appointments
2017 - present Assistant Professor of Surgery
Perelman School of Medicine
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2009 MD - Yale University School of Medicine
2003 BA - Harvard University
Postgraduate Training and Fellowship Appointments
2016 - 2017 Fellowship in Endocrine Surgery
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts
2009 - 2016 General Surgery Residency
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2016 - present Society of Asian Academic Surgeons
2016 - present American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
2016 - present Society of Surgical Oncology
2012 - present Association for Academic Surgery
2012 - present  American Association of Endocrine Surgeons
2009 - present  American Medical Association
2009 - present  American College of Surgeons

Current areas of active research include surgical outcomes for adrenal disorders, including pheochromocytoma, aldosteronoma (Conn's disease), cortisol-producing adrenal tumors (Cushing's syndrome), metastatic adrenal tumors, and adrenocortical carcinoma, as well as thyroid and parathyroid conditions.

Research Publications, peer reviewed (print or other media)
  1. Habibollahi P, Shin B, Pourhasan S, Wachtel H, Fraker DL, Trerotola SO.  "Eleven year retrospective report of super-selective venous sampling for the evaluation of recurrent or persistent hyperparathyroidism in 32 patients.” CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology, in press.
  2. Wachtel H, Sadow PM, Stathatos N, Lubitz CC. “Hormonally active adrenocortical carcinoma in a 24-year old woman.” American College of Surgeons Case Reviews in Surgery, in press.
  3. Wachtel H, Sadow PM, Phitayakorn R, Parangi S. “Primary hyperparathyroidism presenting as hypercalcemic crisis.” American College of Surgeons Case Reviews in Surgery, in press.
  4. Tagawa M, Ghosn M, Wachtel H, Fraker DL, Townsend R, Trerotola S, Cohen DL. “ Lateralization index but not contralateral suppression at adrenal vein sampling predicts improvement in blood pressure after adrenalectomy for primary aldosteronism.” J Hum Hypertens . 2017 Jan 12.  PMID : 28079049.
  5. Kuo LE, Simmons KD, Wachtel H, Zaheer S, Karakousis GC, Fraker DL, Kelz RR.  “Racial disparities in initial presentation of benign thyroid disease for resection.” Ann Surg Oncol. 2016 Aug;23(8):2571-6. PMID: 27026437.
  6. Wachtel H, Zaheer S, Shah PK, Trerotola SO, Karakousis GC, Roses RE, Cohen DL, Fraker DL.  “Role of adrenal vein sampling in primary aldosteronism: impact of imaging, localization, and age.”  J Surg Oncol, 2016 Jan 21. PMID: 267992453.
  7. Wachtel H, Kennedy EH, Zaheer S, Bartlett EK, Fishbein L, Roses RE, Fraker DL, Cohen DL.  “Preoperative metyrosine improves cardiovascular outcomes for patients undergoing surgery for pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma.”  Ann Surg Oncol, 2015 Sep 15. PMID: 26374407.
  8. Kuo LE, Wachtel H, Roses RE, Fraker DL, Kelz RR.  “Incidental and intentional medicine achieve similar results in primary hyperaldosteronism.”  Ann Surg Oncol, 2015 Jul 21.  PMID: 26193964.
  9. Asmar, M, Wachtel H, Yan Y, Fraker DL, Cohen DL, Trerotola SO. “Reversing the established order: Should adrenal venous sampling precede cross-sectional imaging in the evaluation of primary aldosteronism?”  J Surg Oncol, 2015 July 17.  PMID: 26185950.
  10. Wachtel H, Jackson BM, Bartlett EK, Karakousis GC, Roses RE, Bavaria JE, Fraker DL.  “Resection of primary leiomyosarcoma of the inferior vena cava (IVC) with reconstruction: A case series and review of the literature.” J Surg Oncol, 2015 Mar;111(3):328-33. Epub 2014 Oct 8.  PMID: 25297650.
  11. Wachtel H, Cerullo I, Bartlett EK, Roses RE, Cohen DL, Kelz RR, Karakousis GC, Fraker DL.  “Clinicopathologic characteristics of incidentally identified pheochromocytoma.”  Ann Surg Oncol. 2015 Jan;22(1):132-8. Epub 2014 Jul 22.  PMID: 25047479.
  12. Wachtel H, Gupta M, Bartlett EK, Jackson BM, Kelz RR, Karakousis GC, Fraker DL, Roses RE. “Outcomes after resection of leiomyosarcomas of the inferior vena cava: A pooled data analysis of 377 cases.”  Surg Oncol. 2014 Nov 8. pii: S0960-7404(14)00081-4.  PMID: 25433957.
  13. Wachtel H, Cerullo I, Bartlett EK, Kelz RR, Karakousis GC, Fraker DL. “What can we learn from intraoperative parathyroid hormone levels which do not drop appropriately?” Ann Surg Oncol. 2014 Oct 30. PMID: 25354574.
  14. Wachtel H, Cerullo I, Bartlett EK, Kelz RR, Cohen DL, Karakousis GC, Roses RE, Fraker DL.  “Long-term blood pressure control in patients undergoing adrenalectomy for primary hyperaldosteronism.” Surgery. 2014 Dec;156(6):1394-402; discussion 1402-3. Epub 2014 Nov 11.  PMID: 25456918.
  15. Wachtel H, Bartlett EK, Kelz RR, Cerullo I, Karakousis GC, Fraker DL.  “Primary hyperparathyroidism with negative imaging: A significant clinical problem.”  Ann Surg. 2014 Sep;260(3):474-80; discussion 480-2.   PMID: 25115423.
  16. Bartlett EK, Simmons KD, Wachtel H, Roses RE, Fraker DL, Kelz RR, Karakousis GC.  “The rise in metastasectomy across cancer types over the past decade.”  Cancer. 2014 Nov 6. PMID: 25377689.
  17. Kuo LE, Wachtel H, Fraker DL, Kelz RR.  “Reoperative parathyroidectomy: who is at risk and what is the risk?”  J Surg Res. 2014 Oct;191(2):256-61. Epub 2014 Jun 2. PMID: 25012272.
  18. Kuo LE, Wachtel H, Karakousis GC, Fraker DL, Kelz RR.  “Parathyroidectomy in dialysis patients.”  J Surg Res. 2014 Aug;190(2):554-8. Epub 2014 May 20.  PMID: 24950795.
  19. Bartlett EK, Wachtel H, Fraker DL, Vollmer CM, Drebin JA, Kelz RR, Karakousis GC, Roses RE.  “Surgical palliation for pancreatic malignancy: practice patterns and predictors of morbidity and mortality.”  J Gastrointest Surg. 2014 Jul;18(7):1292-8. Epub 2014 Mar 27. PMID: 24671470.
  20. Bartlett EK, Gimotty PA, Sinnamon AJ, Wachtel H, Roses RE, Schuchter L, Xu X, Elder DE, Ming M, Elenitsas R, Guerry D, Kelz RR, Czerniecki BJ, Fraker DL, Karakousis GC.  “Clark level risk stratifies patients with mitogenic thin melanomas for sentinel lymph node biopsy.” Ann Surg Oncol. 2014 Feb;21(2):643-9. Epub 2013 Oct 12.  PMID: 24121883.
  21. Ullery BW, Wachtel H, Raper SE. “Sister Mary Joseph’s nodule presenting as a large bowel obstruction: a case report and brief review of the literature.” J Gastrointest Surg. 2013 Oct;17(10):1832-5. PMID: 23797882.
  22. Bartlett EK, Roses RE, Gupta M, Shah PK, Shah KK, Zaheer S, Wachtel H, Kelz RR, Karakousis GC, Fraker DL.  “Surgery for metastatic neuroendocrine tumors with occult primaries.” J Surg Res. 2013 Sep;184(1):221-7. Epub 2013 Apr 25.  PMID: 23643298.
  23. Cotta-de-Almeida V, Westerberg L, Maillard MH, Onaldi D, Wachtel H, Meelu P, Chung UI, Xavier R, Alt FW, Snapper SB.  “Wiskott Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) and N-WASP are critical for T cell development.”  Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2007 Sep 25;104(39):15424-9. PMID: 17878299.
  24. Giallourakis C, Cao Z, Green T  Wachtel H, Xiaohui Xie, Lopez-Illasaca M, Daly M, Rioux J, Xavier R. “A Molecular Properties Based Approach to Understanding PDZ Domain Proteins and PDZ Ligands.” Genome Res. 2006 Aug;16(8):1056-72. Epub 2006 Jul 6.  PMID: 16825666.
  25. Ishiguro K, Green T, Rapley J, Wachtel H, Giallourakis C, Landry A, Cao Z, Lu N, Takafumi A, Goto H, Daly MJ, Xavier RJ.  “Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II is a modulator of CARMA1-mediated NF-κB activation.”  Mol Cell Biol. 2006 Jul;26(14):5497-508. PMID: 16809782.
  26. Xavier R, Rabizadeh S, Ishiguro K, Andre N, Ortiz JB, Wachtel H, Morris DG, Lopez-Ilasaca M, Shaw AC, Swat W, Seed B.  “Discs large (Dlg1) complexes in lymphocyte activation.” J Cell Biol. 2004 Jul 19;166(2):173-8. PMID: 15263016.
Abstracts (Last 3 years)
  1. Bartlett E, Zeldow B, Wachtel H, Roses RE, Fraker DL, Gimotty P, Karakousis GC: Prognostic factors for angiosarcoma: Analysis of a rare histology utilizing the SEER registry. Annals of Surgical Oncology 21(1 Suppl 1): S143, 2014.
  2. Farquhar D, Wachtel H, Cerullo I, Bartlett E, Karakousis GC, Kelz RR, Fraker DL: Incidental cancer in surgically treated benign goiter. Annals of Surgical Oncology 21(1 Suppl 1): S95, 2014.
  3. Kuo L, Wachtel H, Roses RE, Fraker DL, Kelz RR: Incidental aldosteronomas: Opportunities for improving care. Journal of the American College of Surgeons 221(4 Suppl 2): e79-e80, 2015.
Editorials, Reviews, Chapters, Case Reports including participation in committee reports (print or other media)
  1. Ullery BW, Wachtel H, Raper SE: Sister Mary Joseph's nodule presenting as large bowel obstruction: A case report and brief review of the literature. [Case Report] Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery 17(10): 1832-1835, Oct. 2013.
  2. Wachtel H, Jackson BM, Bartlett EK, Karakousis GC, Roses RE, Bavaria JE, Fraker DL: Resection of primary leiomyosarcoma of the inferior vena cava (IVC) with reconstruction: A case series and review of the literature. [Case Report] Journal of Surgical Oncology 111(3): 328-333, Mar. 2015.
  3. Wachtel H, Fraker DL: Thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands.  Sect. III, Chap. 17 in Porrett PM, Drebin JA, Atluri P, Karakousis GC, Roses RE (eds.): The Surgical Review: An Integrated Basic & Clinical Science Study Guide, 4th Edition.  Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Page: 255-274, 2015.
2017 Best Clinical Poster Award, American Association of Endocrine Surgeons
2016 Keith Reemtsma Surgical Resident of the Year Award, University of Pennsylvania
2014 Paul LoGerfo Clinical Research Award, American Association of Endocrine Surgeons
2013 Spectacular Case Presentation, American College of Surgeons Surgical Forum

Heather Wachtel

footer Terms of Use Legal Disclaimer Site Map Contact Us Financial Assistance About Penn Medicine Privacy Statement
penn medicine