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Researcher | Research Overview

Dr. Zendejas has a wide range of clinical and research interest. Dr. Zendejas and his colleagues have developed and implemented a minimally invasive (thoracoscopic) alternative to the Foker (traction induced-esophageal growth) process, classically performed via thoracotomy, for children with long-gap EA. This novel approach allows children to not require muscle paralysis while on traction, which leads to less sedation requirements and shorter hospital stays, with equivalent outcomes. Furthermore, they have studied the role of esophageal perfusion, as measured with indocyanine green fluorescence, and developed an esophageal anastomotic scoring system that is highly predictive of anastomotic outcomes. This predictive ability allows surgeons to developed patient-centered postoperative management pathways based on their perceived risk of complications in order to further streamline patient care.

Dr. Zendejas and his colleagues discovered that children undergoing complex aerodigestive surgery are at great risk of vocal fold movement impairment (VFMI) secondary to recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) injury. Hence, they have undertaken an extensive research effort to elucidate the magnitude of the problem, clarify who is at greatest risk, raise awareness, and define the ideal screening program. To improve screening, they have evaluated and introduced laryngeal ultrasound into practice as a less invasive and equally accurate VFMI screening modality when compared with flexible nasolaryngoscopy. More importantly, they have pioneered and implemented the pediatric adaptation of technology originally aimed for use in adults in order to be able to perform intraoperative RLN monitoring in children of all ages. With this emphasis on RLN preservation, they have been able to demonstrate a substantial decrease in RLN injury rates for their patients.

From a surgical education standpoint Dr. Zendejas is actively involved in the implementation of SIMPL (System for Improving and Measuring Procedural Learning), which is a work-placed based operative assessment modality that evaluates pediatric surgery trainee’s operative autonomy and readiness for independent practice. With this data, aggregate metrics can be collated and used to predict future performance. Such efforts are key in the understanding of graduated autonomy and will be instrumental in the move from time-based training to competency-based training.

Researcher | Research Background

Dr. Zendejas is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. He currently serves as the Surgical Director of the Esophageal and Airway Treatment (EAT) Center at Boston Children's Hospital, as well as the Co-Surgical Director of the Vascular Ring Program. Dr. Zendejas attended medical school at the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara (UAG), in Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico. He later completed a Masters in Biomedical Sciences (MSc) in Clinical and Translational Sciences (CTSA) at the Mayo Graduate School in Rochester MN, where he focused on Surgical Education Research and Simulation-Based Training, and pursued the Surgical Education Research Fellowship of the Association for Surgical Education. He later completed his general surgery training at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN and his pediatric surgery fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital, where he stayed as faculty.

Dr. Zendejas has won numerous academic awards including the Mayo Brothers Distinguished Fellowship Award, the Jon van Heerden Award for Meticulous Patient Care, and the Karee K Nygaard Travel Award for Outstanding Surgical Research Achievement. Dr. Zendejas is an active member and serves on several committees with various leadership roles in several national and international organizations, such as the American Pediatric Surgical Association. Dr. Zendejas has coauthored more than 100 original manuscripts and has contributed significantly to the pediatric surgical care of children with esophageal atresia, tracheomalacia and vascular rings.

Researcher | Media

Caregiver Profile

Meet Dr. Benjamin Zendejas-Mummert

Nuestros Médicos

Conocer a Dr. Benjamin Zendejas-Mummert

Answers Blog

Thanks to vascular ring surgery, Louis can now play with his little sister — and eats as many as three hot dogs in one sitting!

Researcher | Publications