Ralph W. Aye, MD

  • Thoracic Surgery
Accepting New Patients
1101 Madison St.
Suite 900
Seattle, WA 98104
751 NE Blakely Drive
Suite 3020
Issaquah, WA 98029

General Information

I offer compassionate, effective and appropriate care. I cure when possible -- listen and comfort always.
  • 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



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, Valli�res 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."

View selected presentation slides

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

Preliminary Experience with Minimally Invasive Thymectomy

Youssef S, Blitz M, Valli�res 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; ..."

View selected presentation slides

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, Valli�res 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, Valli�res 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, Valli�res 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, Valli�res 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, Valli�res 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, Valli�res 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, Valli�res 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, Valli�res 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, Valli�res 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, Valli�res 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, Valli�res 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, Valli�res 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, Valli�res 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, Valli�res 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

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...

Clinical Experience

  • Thoracic Surgery
Clinical Interests
  • abdominal abscess
  • abdominal adhesions
  • abdominal cancer
  • abdominal mass
  • abdominal pain
  • abrasion
  • achalasia
  • adrenalectomy
  • airway disorders
  • anomalies of diaphragm
  • appendectomy
  • appendiceal abscess
  • appendicitis
  • arteriovenous fistula
  • asbestos lung
  • atelectasis
  • axillary abscess
  • axillary cyst
  • back mass
  • barretts esophagus
  • barrx
  • benign breast lump
  • benign neoplasm of skin
  • biliary colic
  • biopsy chest wall
  • biopsy diaphragm
  • biopsy of lung
  • breast abscess
  • breast cyst
  • breast lump
  • breast surgery
  • bronchial fistula repair
  • bronchoscopy
  • cancer
  • cancer of ge junction
  • cancer of mediastinum
  • cancer surgery
  • carbuncle
  • carcinoid of stomach
  • chest wall disorder
  • chest wall tumors
  • cholecystectomy
  • cholecystitis
  • cholecystostomy
  • cholelithiasis
  • closure of diaphragmatic fistula
  • closure of external fistula of trachea
  • collapsed lung
  • contusion abdominal wall
  • contusion of chest wall
  • correction of pectus deformity
  • cryoablation
  • cystadenoma of pancreas
  • cytoreduction surgery
  • decortication of lung
  • deep thrombophlebitis
  • desmoid tumors
  • diaphragm pacemaker procedure
  • diaphragm pacing
  • diaphragmatic disorders
  • diaphragmatic hernia
  • diaphragmatic tumor
  • diastasis
  • diverticulitis
  • diverticulosis
  • duodenal fistula
  • duodenal ulcer surgery
  • ectopic calcification xyphoid
  • empyema
  • encysted hydrocele
  • endocrine surgery
  • endoscopic biopsy of trachea
  • endoscopic division of adhesions of peritoneum
  • endoscopic mucosal resection
  • endoscopy
  • enterovaginal fistula
  • epidermoid cysts
  • esophageal diverticulectomy
  • esophageal diverticulum
  • esophageal mass
  • esophageal myotomy
  • esophageal perforation
  • esophageal stenosis
  • esophageal stricture
  • esophageal ulcer
  • esophagectomy
  • excision mole
  • excision of bronchus
  • excision of lesion
  • exploratory laparotomy
  • exploratory thoracotomy
  • face stitch removal
  • fasciitis
  • feeding tube placement
  • femoral hernia
  • fiberoptic bronchoscopy
  • fine needle aspiration thyroid
  • fistula enterocutaneous
  • foreign body foot
  • foreign body in esophagus
  • foreign body trunk
  • fracture of sternum
  • frostbite
  • frostbite of ear
  • frostbite of face
  • frostbite of finger
  • frostbite of nose
  • frostbite of toes
  • fundoplication
  • ganglion cyst
  • gangrene
  • gastrectomy
  • gastric anomaly
  • gastric bypass
  • gastric ulcer surgery
  • gastric volvulus
  • gastrin secreting tumor of pancreas
  • gastroduodenal fistula
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • gastrointestinal cancer
  • gastrointestinal stromal tumor
  • gastrojejunostomy
  • gastroplasty
  • glucagonoma
  • goiter
  • groin mass
  • groin pain
  • hamartoma
  • hamartoma of lung
  • head abscess
  • head cyst
  • head lump
  • head papilloma
  • hemorrhoids
  • hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia
  • hernia
  • hernia epigastric
  • hernia repair
  • hiatal hernia
  • hiatal hernia repair
  • hidradenitis
  • hyperhidrosis surgery
  • ileostomy
  • incarcerated hernia
  • incision and drainage of deep pelvirectal abscess
  • incision and drainage of perianal abscess
  • incision drainage abscess
  • incisional hernia
  • inclusion cyst
  • inguinal hernia
  • injury to spleen
  • internal hernia
  • interstitial emphysema
  • intestinal artery disease
  • intestinal infarction
  • intestinal obstruction
  • intra-abdominal cancer
  • intraabdominal cyst
  • intussusception
  • inverted nipple
  • keratin cyst
  • laceration
  • laparoscopic adhesiolysis
  • laparoscopic appendectomy
  • laparoscopic cholecystectomy
  • laparoscopic fundoplication
  • laparoscopic gastroenterostomy
  • laparoscopic hernia repair
  • laparoscopic jejunostomy
  • laparoscopy
  • leiomyosarcoma
  • ligation of bronchus
  • linx
  • lipoma
  • liposarcoma
  • lung abscess
  • lung cancer
  • lung cancer screening
  • lung contusion
  • lung mass
  • lung resection
  • lung volume reduction surgery
  • lymph node biopsy
  • lymphadenopathy
  • lymphangiomas
  • lysis of adhesions
  • malignant effusion
  • malignant neoplasm of esophagus
  • malignant neoplasm of main bronchus
  • mallory weiss tear
  • malrotation of bowel
  • mass on trunk
  • mechanical complication of gastrostomy
  • meckel's diverticulum
  • mediastinal abscess
  • mediastinal tumor
  • mediastinitis
  • mediastinoscopy
  • mediports
  • melanoma on ear
  • melanoma on face
  • merkel cell carcinoma
  • mesenteric cyst
  • mesenteric mass
  • mesh removal
  • mesothelioma
  • minimally invasive lung cancer surgery
  • minimally invasive pulmonary lobectomy
  • mole removal
  • muscle biopsy
  • myasthenia gravis
  • myxofibrosarcoma
  • neck papilloma
  • necrotizing fasciitis
  • necrotizing soft tissue infections
  • neuroendocrine tumors
  • nevus
  • non-healing wound
  • nontraumatic hematoma of soft tissue
  • open biopsy of bronchus
  • open biopsy of lesion of mediastinum
  • open biopsy of liver
  • open biopsy of lung
  • open wound leg
  • open wound of finger
  • open wound of forearm
  • open wound of neck
  • open wound of scalp
  • open wound of shoulder
  • paracolostomy hernia
  • parastomal hernia
  • parathyroid adenoma
  • parathyroid cancer
  • parathyroid disease
  • parathyroid mass
  • parathyroidectomy
  • paronychia
  • partial splenectomy
  • pectus carinatum
  • pectus excavatum
  • pelvic abscess
  • pelvic adhesions
  • peptic ulcer surgery
  • percutaneous tracheostomy
  • perianal haematoma
  • peritoneal catheter
  • peritonitis
  • phototherapy
  • pilar cyst
  • pilonidal cyst
  • pleural cancer
  • pleural effusion
  • pleurodesis
  • pleurx catheter
  • plication of emphysematous bleb
  • pneumothorax
  • polypectomy
  • postphlebitic syndrome
  • pressure ulcer
  • pulmonary metastases
  • pyloroplasty
  • pyogenic granuloma
  • quadrantectomy
  • rectus sheath hernia
  • recurrent femoral hernia
  • recurrent hernia
  • reducible hernia
  • regional enteritis
  • repair laceration
  • repair of diaphragm
  • repair of graft-enteric fistula
  • repair of vaginoenteric fistula
  • repair tracheoesophageal fistula
  • retroperitoneal fibrosis
  • revision of tracheostomy
  • rib fracture
  • right lower quadrant pain
  • sarcoma
  • second degree burn
  • sequestrum of lung
  • skin abscess
  • small bowel biopsy
  • small bowel obstruction
  • spigelian hernia
  • spleen cancer
  • spleen pain
  • splenectomy
  • splenic anomalies
  • splenic cyst
  • splenic disease
  • splenic infection
  • splenic injury
  • splenomegaly
  • spontaneous pneumothorax
  • staging laparotomy
  • stomach cancer
  • stomach cramps
  • stomach fistula
  • stomach pain
  • stomal hernia
  • subcutaneous lipomas
  • subphrenic abscess
  • surgical staging
  • surgical treatment crohns disease
  • surgical treatment of regional enteritis
  • tension pneumothorax
  • third degree burn
  • thoracentesis
  • thoracoplasty
  • thoracoscopy
  • thoracostomy
  • thoracotomy
  • thymectomy
  • thymoma
  • thymus cancer
  • thymus disorders
  • thyroid
  • thyroid cancer
  • thyroid nodule
  • thyroid surgery
  • tobacco use cessation
  • tracheal reconstruction
  • tracheoesophageal fistula
  • tracheomalacia
  • tracheostomy
  • transmetatarsal amputation
  • umbilical hernia
  • urachal cyst
  • venous stasis disease
  • ventral hernia
  • video assisted thoracoscopic surgery
  • wound therapy
1101 Madison St.
Suite 900
Seattle, WA 98104
751 NE Blakely Drive
Suite 3020
Issaquah, WA 98029