University Surgeons Associates

Melissa Phillips LaPinska, MD, FACS

Matthew L. Mancini, MD

Board Certification

American Board of Surgery


Medical School: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Residency: The University of Virginia Health System
Fellowship: Minimally Invasive Surgery and Surgical Endoscopy Case Medical Center
Faculty Appointment: The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine

Dr. Melissa Phillips LaPinska is originally from Kingsport, Tennessee.  She received her B.S. in chemistry from Tennessee Tech in 2000 and her M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2005.  Dr. LaPinska did her residency in general surgery at the University of Virginia Health System from 2005 until 2010.  She then joined University Hospitals, Case Medical Center in Cleveland for an advanced fellowship in minimally invasive surgery and surgical endoscopy with a focus on gastrointestinal pathology.  Dr. LaPinska joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee in 2011.
With regards to her clinical practice, Dr. LaPinska’s surgical focus includes minimally invasive techniques, abdominal wall reconstruction, and breast disease.  She also performs advanced surgical endoscopy with a specific interest in the management of post-surgical complications.  Her research interests parallel these topics with numerous publications and book chapters on single incision surgery, flexible endoscopy including ERCP, abdominal and flank hernia repair, and resident education.  Her research has been presented at many national and international conferences.

Dr. LaPinska is a member of the University of Tennessee Cancer Institute’s Steering Committee.  She participates in weekly multidisciplinary conferences for the management of breast and gastrointestinal diseases.  At current, she is the only female surgeon treating both cancerous and benign breast conditions at UT.

Dr. LaPinska is board-certified in general surgery by the American Board of Surgery and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.  She is active in national surgical societies including the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, the American College of Surgeons, and the Association of Women Surgeons.

Dr. LaPinska has been awarded the Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, the James Ernest Kindred Award, and the Faculty Teaching Award by the University of Tennessee.  She is actively involved in education, teaching courses to other surgeons and residents in laparoscopic technique, flexible endoscopy, and abdominal wall reconstruction.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time kayaking, water skiing, and tubing, and she has been a certified scuba diver since 2000. She has backpacked across Europe, camped in the Appalachians, and hiked glaciers in Alaska. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Jim, and their daughter, Emma.

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