Biography & Education

I offer compassionate, effective and appropriate care. I cure when possible -- listen and comfort always.
  • General Surgery
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Thoracic surgery
Education Background
Medical School: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Residency: New York University; Swedish Medical Center, WA
Fellowship: Frenchay Hospital, United Kingdom, Thoracic Surgery
Fellowship: Howard S. Wright Fellow, Washington, Thoraco-Esophageal Surgery
  • English
Personal Interests
Family; music - voice and guitar, jazz, classical; the outdoors; sailing

Care Locations

1101 Madison Street
Suite 900
Seattle, WA 98104
Fax 206-215-6801
751 NE Blakely Drive
Suite 3020
Issaquah, WA 98029
Fax 206-215-6801
Accepting New Patients
Accepting Medicare



The Hill Antireflux Repair at 5 Institutions over 25 Years

Aye RW, Rehse D, Kraemer S, Hill L

"In 1181 patients undergoing open Hill repair with median follow up of 9.98 years: 93% of patients had good or excellent results ... Open Hill repair was successfully performed by surgeons not trained by Hill"

View selected presentation slides

Presented at the North Pacific Surgical Association, Seattle, WA November, 2008.

The Nissen-Hill Hybrid: Pilot Study of a New Anti-reflux Procedure

Buduhan G, Louie EB, Orlina J, Daniel S, Rees J, Vallières E, Aye RW


"Laparoscopic Nissen-Hill Hybrid repair is safe and technically feasible. Preliminary results in complicated GERD: excellent control of acid reflux ... high patient satisfaction."

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The International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus, Budapest, Hungary, September, 2008

Preliminary Experience with Minimally Invasive Thymectomy

Youssef S, Blitz M, Vallières E, Aye RW, Louie BE

" Minimally Invasive Thymectomy has been successfully adopted at Swedish Medical Center; Compares favorably to traditional resection methods; Utility of neck incision in robotic thymectomy is being investigated; ..."

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Washington Chapter of the American College of Surgeons. Lake Chelan, WA. June 14, 2009


Principle Investigator, Lung Cancer Screening- I-ELCAP Investigators

Survival of Patients with Stage I Lung Cancer Detected on CT Screening

New England Journal of Medicine, 355:1763-71, 2006

Full Text of This Article

Book Chapters:

Aye RW, Hill LD, Kraemer SJM. Shackelford’s Surgery of the Alimentary Tract. Orringer, M, Heitmiller R (editors). The Hill Repair. 5th ed Volume I. W.B. Saunders Company, 2002

Aye RW. Current Therapy in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. The Hill Procedure for Gastroesophageal Reflux. 1st ed. Harcourt Health Sciences, 2001

Aye RW, Marcus DR, Hill LD. Laparoscopic Repair of Hiatal Hernia and Gastroesophageal Reflux. Soderstrom R (editor). In Operative Laparoscopy,- The Masters' Techniques. 2nd ed. Lippincott-Raven Press: New York, 1998

Hill LD, Mazza DE, Aye RW. The Hill Repair. In operative Techniques in Cardiac & Thoracic Surgery. W.B. Saunders Company 2(1):16-36, 1997

Kraemer SJ, Aye RW, Hill LD. The Hill Repair: A definitive Antireflux Procedure. In Surgery of the Esophagus, Stomach, and Small Intestine. 5th ed. Wastell C, Nyhus L, Donahue P, (editors). Little, Brown, and Company:New York, 1995


Farivar AS, Cerfolio RJ, Vallières E, Knight AW, Bryant A, Lingala V, Aye RW, Louie BE. Comparing robotic lung resection with thoracotomy and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery cases entered into the society of thoracic surgeons database. Innovations (Phila). 2014 Jan-Feb;9(1):10-5.
Deen SA, Wilson JL, Wilshire CL, Vallières E, Farivar AS, Aye RW, Ely RE, Louie BE. Defining the Cost of Care for Lobectomy and Segmentectomy: A Comparison of Open, Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic, and Robotic Approaches. Ann Thorac Surg. 2014 Mar;97(3):1000-7.
Wilson JL, Louie BE, Farivar AS, Vallières E, Aye RW. Fully covered self-expanding metal stents are effective for benign esophagogastric disruptions and strictures.  J Gastrointest Surg. 2013 Dec;17(12):2045-50.
Mattar SG, Alseidi AA, Jones DB, Jeyarajah DR, Swanstrom LL, Aye RW, Wexner SD, Martinez JM, Ross SB, Awad MM, Franklin ME, Arregui ME, Schirmer BD, Minter RM. General surgery residency inadequately prepares trainees for fellowship: results of a survey of fellowship program directors.  Ann Surg. 2013 Sep;258(3):440-9.
Hunt BM, Louie BE, Dunst CM, Lipham JC, Farivar AS, Sharata A, Aye RW. Esophagectomy for failed endoscopic therapy in patients with high-grade dysplasia or intramucosal carcinoma. Dis Esophagus. 2013 Jun 24.
Hunt BM, Louie BE, Schembre DB, Bohorfoush AG, Farivar AS, Aye RW.  Outcomes in patients who have failed endoscopic therapy for dysplastic Barrett's metaplasia or early esophageal cancer.  Ann Thorac Surg. 2013 May;95(5):1734-40.
Qureshi AP, Aye RW, Buduhan G, Knight A, Orlina J, Farivar AS, Wagner OJ, McHugh S, Louie BE. The laparoscopic Nissen-Hill hybrid: pilot study of a combined antireflux procedure.  Surg Endosc. 2013 Jun;27(6):1945-52.
Louie BE, Kapur S, Blitz M, Farivar AS, Vallières E, Aye RW. Length and pressure of the reconstructed lower esophageal sphincter is determined by both crural closure and Nissen fundoplication.  J Gastrointest Surg. 2013 Feb;17(2):236-43.
Aye RW, Swanstrom LL, Kapur S, Buduhan G, Dunst CM, Knight A, Malmgren JA, Louie BE. A randomized multiinstitution comparison of the laparoscopic Nissen and Hill repairs.Ann Thorac Surg. 2012 Sep;94(3):951-7; discussion 957-8.
Wagner OJ, Louie BE, Vallières E, Aye RW, Farivar AS. Near-infrared fluorescence imaging can help identify the contralateral phrenic nerve during robotic thymectomy.  Ann Thorac Surg. 2012 Aug;94(2):622-5.
Hunt BM, Farivar AS, Vallières E, Louie BE, Aye RW, Flores EE, Gorden JA. Thoracoscopic talc versus tunneled pleural catheters for palliation of malignant pleural effusions.  Ann Thorac Surg. 2012 Oct;94(4):1053-7; discussion 1057-9.
Louie BE, Farivar AS, Aye RW, Vallières E.  Early experience with robotic lung resection results in similar operative outcomes and morbidity when compared with matched video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery cases.  Ann Thorac Surg. 2012 May;93(5)
Farivar AS, Louie BE, Aye RW, Horton MP, Vallières E. Extrapleural pneumonectomy for primary pleural mullerian tumor in a young woman. Ann Thorac Surg. 2012 Jan;93(1)
Louie BE, Kapur S, Farivar AS, Youssef SJ, Gorden J, Aye RW, Vallières E.  Safety and utility of mediastinoscopy in non-small cell lung cancer in a complex mediastinum. Ann Thorac Surg. 2011 Jul;92(1):278-82
Beatty JD, Adachi M, Bonham C, Atwood M, Potts MS, Hafterson JL, Aye RW. Utilization of cancer registry data for monitoring quality of care. Am J Surg. 2011 May;201(5):645-9.
Aye RW, Rehse D, Blitz M, Kraemer SJ, Hill LD.  The Hill antireflux repair at 5 institutions over 25 years. Am J Surg. 2011 May;201(5):599-604.
Louie BE, Blitz M, Farivar AS, Orlina J, Aye RW. Repair of symptomatic giant paraesophageal hernias in elderly (>70 years) patients results in improved quality of life. J Gastrointest Surg. 2011 Mar;15(3):389-96.
Youssef SJ, Louie BE, Farivar AS, Blitz M, Aye RW, Vallières E. Comparison of open and minimally invasive thymectomies at a single institution. Am J Surg. 2010 May;199(5):589-93.

Buduhan G, Orlina J, Louie B, Vallieres E, Aye R. Endoscopic and manometric position-related characteristics of the normal gastroesophageal junction; Surg Endosc Online, Feb 2010

I-ELCAP Investigators. Survival of Patients with Stage I Lung Cancer Detected on CT Screening. New England Journal of Medicine. 355:1763-71, 2006

Tseng D, Rizvi AZ, Fennerty B, et. al. Forty-Eight-Hour pH Monitoring Increases Sensitivity in Detecting Abnormal Esophageal Acid Exposure. Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery. 9(8): 1043-1058, 2005

Jobe BA, Kahrilas PJ, Vernon AH, Sandone C, Gopal DV, Swanstrom LL, Aye RW, Hill LD, Hunter JG. Endoscopic Appraisal of the Gastroesophageal Valve After Antireflux Surgery. The American Journal of Gastroenterology. 99(2):233-43, Feb 2004

Jobe BA, Aye RW, Deveney CW et al. Laparoscopic Management of Giant Type III Hiatal Hernia and Short Esophagus: Objective Follow-up at Three Years. Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery. 6:181-188, March 2002

Rehse DH, Aye RW, Florence MG. Respiratory Failure following Talc Pleurodesis. The American Journal of Surgery, 177:437-440, May 1999

Aye RW, Mazza DE, Hill LD. Laparoscopic Hill Repair in Patients with Abnormal Motility. The American Journal of Surgery, 173:379-382, May 1997

Hill LD, Kraemer, SJ, Aye RW, Mercer D, Low D, Pope CE. The Gastroesophageal Flap Valve: In Vitro and in Vivo Observations. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy 44(5):541-47, 1996

Aye RW, Hill LD, Kraemer SJ, Snopkowski P. Early Results with the Laparoscopic Hill Repair. The American Journal of Surgery, 167:542-546, May 1994


Aye RW. Mediastinal Node Dissection for N2 Positive Lung Cancer. Presented at the ACS Thoracic Film Session, October 14, 1999, San Francisco, CA. Accepted for inclusion in the ACS film Library

Aye RW, Hill LD, Larrain A, Kraemer SJ, Mazza DE. The Laparoscopic Hill Repair. Presented at the ACS General Surgery Motion Picture Session, October 8, 1996, San Francisco, CA. Accepted for inclusion in the ACS film Library

Hill LD, Kraemer SJ, Kozarek RA, Aye RW. The Laparoscopic Hill Repair: A Definitive Laparoscopic Antireflux Procedure. Video for the ASGE, San Francisco, CA. May 12-13, 1992

Hill LD, Kozarek R, Pope C, Mercer D, Thor K, Aye RW. The Gastroesophageal Valve - A New Look. September 1989. Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons. October 1989



Youssef S, Blitz M, Vallières E, Aye RW, Louie BE. "Preliminary experience with minimally invasive thymectomy." Washington Chapter of the American College of Surgeons.Lake Chelan, WA. June 14, 2009.

Louie BE, Dunst CM, Swanstrom L, Aye RW. "Manometric Features of the Laparoscopic Hill repair vs the Nissen Fundoplication for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)." Digestive Diseases Week.Chicago. Illinois, June 1, 2009.

Buduhan G, Menon S, Aye RW, Louie BE, Mehta V, Vallières E. "Trimodality therapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma." Society for Thoracic Surgery. San Francisco, California. January 27, 2009.

Aye RW, Rehse D, Kraemer S, Hill L. The Hill Antireflux Repair at 5 Institutions over 25 Years. The North Pacific Surgical Association, Seattle, WA. November 14, 2008

Buduhan G, Louie BE, Vallières E, Orlina J, Aye RW. "The Right Lateral Decubitus Position is Associated with a Weakened Lower Esophageal Sphincter - Position Related Physiology of the Normal Gastroesophageal Junction." International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus. Budapest. September 2008.

Gordon G, Louie BE, Orlina J, Daniel S, Vallières E, Rees J, Aye RW. "The Nissen-Hill 'hybrid' - Pilot study of a new antireflux repair." International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus. Budapest. September 2008.



Patient Story: Anti-Reflux Surgery Cures 30 Years of GERD Symptoms

May 11, 2015
"I began experiencing heartburn symptoms in my mid-thirties and was in my forties when I first had GERD issues.  My symptoms were aggravated greatly with menopause and grew progressively worse as the years went along.  By the time I was 55 my reflux was something I dealt with when eating and drinking late at night.  If I went to a party and ate rich foods in the evening, I often woke up a few hours after falling asleep with acid shooting up from my stomach and getting trapped in my throat..."

Surgical treatment options for GERD

July 05, 2013
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the most common disorder of the upper gastrointestinal track.  It's estimated that up to 40% of Americans take some form of anti-acid medication at least once a month, making it one of the most commonly used types of medication in the world.  Heartburn is simply a burning sensation behind the breast bone, and is not necessarily from GERD.  It can be caused by a variety of other disorders, including heart disease, musculoskeletal disorders, and disorders of other parts of the gastrointestinal track, including the stomach, pancreas, gall bladder, liver, or intestine A simple way to differentiate GERD from heartburn is to take antacids or over the counter acid suppressants.  There are two classes of acid suppressants: H2 blockers like ranitidine/zantac; and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like prilosec/omeprazole.  If the symptom partially or completely responds, it is likely caused by stomach acid, particularly 4 comment(s)|Read More

Lung Cancer Screening

November 21, 2011
We screen for breast cancer with mammography, colon cancer with colonoscopy, and prostate cancer with blood tests and exams – why not lung cancer? If you’re a smoker or a former smoker, or even if you’ve had significant second-hand smoke exposure, you’ve probably worried about your chances of getting lung cancer, and whether there is anything you can do about it. Perhaps you even asked your doctor about getting an x-ray; he or she may have told you that there is no proof that it helps. That’s because a national study done years ago showed no benefit from getting chest X-rays, and therefore it’s not recommended. The studies However, since 2000, Swedish has participated in an international study – the International Early Lung Cancer Action Project (I-ELCAP) - to see whether CT scans or CAT scans – very highly detailed X-rays – might be able to find lung cancer earlier and improve cure rates. The study was begun by a group...


Board Certifications
  • General Surgery
Clinical Interests
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Chest Wall Tumors
  • da Vinci (Robot-Assisted Surgery)
  • Endoscopic Surgery
  • Endoscopy
  • Esophageal Achalasia
  • Esophageal Surgeons
  • Esophagectomies
  • Gastro-Esophageal Junction
  • Gastro-Esophageal Reflux
  • Laparoscopic Surgery
  • LINX System
  • Lung Cancer
  • Lung Surgeons
  • Mediastinal Masses
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Surgeons
  • Thoracic
  • Thoracic Surgeons
  • Thoracic Surgeons Pulmonologists
  • Thoracoscopic Lobectomies
  • Thorascopic Surgery
  • Thymoma
  • Tracheal Problems