Kunal J. Patel, MD, PhD
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Kunal J. Patel, MD, PhD

Lung Transplant Surgeon, Thoracic Surgeon

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Where I See Patients
Duke Cancer Center - Durham, NC
Duke Cancer Center Thoracic Clinic - Durham, NC
Duke Cardiothoracic Surgery - Clinic 2F/2G - Durham, NC
Duke Lung Transplant Clinic - Clinic 2F/2G - Durham, NC

About Me

I care for patients with a range of illnesses, including lung and esophageal cancer, acid reflux, paraesophageal hernias, and severe lung disease requiring transplantation. I have a deep interest in minimally invasive robotic approaches to the treatment of thoracic diseases. I firmly believe that these techniques provide a safer approach that facilitates more thorough surgical care, minimizes postoperative pain, and enhances recovery for patients. When treating patients, one of my primary goals is to foster trust, ensuring a shared understanding of the illness, the treatment options (both surgical and non-surgical), and establishing realistic expectations for patients regarding their care.

School of Medicine Departments and Divisions
Current Appointments and Affiliations
Languages I Speak
English

Call for an Appointment

Training and Education

Fellowship
Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Virginia, 2021-2023
Residency
General Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, 2013-2021
Education
MD, University of Virginia, 2013
PhD, Medical University of South Carolina, 2019

Clinical Focus and Research

My Research Interests

My research investigates different mechanisms of lung transplant rejection, with a view to ultimately figuring out better ways to manipulate the immune system to improve lung transplant survival.

Publications

Insurance Accepted

Duke Health contracts with most major health insurance carriers and transplant networks, including the ones listed below.

    • Aetna Choice POS, Aetna Choice POS II
    • Aetna Elect Choice HMO, Aetna Open Access Elect Choice
    • Aetna Health Network Only, Aetna Health Network Option
    • Aetna HMO
    • Aetna Limited Benefit Insurance PPO
    • Aetna Managed Choice POS
    • Aetna Medicare Assure Plan (HMO D-SNP)
    • Aetna Medicare Eagle Plan (PPO)
    • Aetna Medicare Essential Plan (PPO)
    • Aetna Medicare Value Plan (HMO)
    • Aetna Open Access HMO, Open Access Aetna Select, Aetna Open Access Managed Choice
    • Aetna Open Choice PPO
    • Aetna PCP Coordinated POS Plan
    • Aetna Quality Point of Service (QPOS)
    • Aetna Select HMO
    • Aetna Traditional Choice
    • Aetna Voluntary Indemnity Group Plan
    • Aetna Whole Health – Duke WakeMed WKCC
    • Aetna/CVS Health
    • Ambetter of North Carolina
    • Blue Advantage
    • Blue Medicare (HMO, PPO)*
    • Blue Options (123, PPO, HSA)
    • Blue Select
    • NC State Employees Health Plan
    • *Duke HomeCare and Hospice does not participate in the plan.

    • Cigna Behavioral Health (*Limited eligibility)
    • Cigna Choice Plus
    • Cigna Connect Individual Family Plan
    • Cigna Open Access
    • Cigna Open Access Plus
    • *Please call Cigna Behavioral Heath to see if the provider is participating in your plan.

    • Duke Basic
    • Duke Select
    • Experience Health Medicare Advantage (HMO) Plan
  • Gateway Health Alliance
  • Healthgram
    • Humana Choice (PPO)
    • Humana Choice - Medicare Advantage (PPO)
    • Humana ChoiceCare - Medicare Advantage (PPO)
    • Humana Gold Choice - Medicare Advantage (PFFS)
    • Humana Gold Plus - Medicare Advantage (HMO)
    • Humana Medicare Advantage Group Plan - NC State Retirees
  • MedCost
    • First Medicare Direct
    • Medicare Part A
    • Medicare Part B
    • AmeriHealth Caritas North Carolina
    • Carolina Complete Health
    • Healthy Blue
    • NC Medicaid Direct
    • WellCare of North Carolina
    • TRICARE Prime
    • TRICARE Prime Remote
    • TRICARE Select
    • AARP Medicare Advantage Plan 2 (HMO-POS)
    • AARP Medicare Complete (HMO, PPO)*
    • AARP Medicare Complete Essential (HMO)*
    • All Savers Alternate Funding
    • All Savers Fully Insured
    • United Healthcare (HMO, PPO, POS)
    • United Healthcare Charter/Charter Balance/Charter Plus
    • United Healthcare Choice/Choice Plus
    • United Healthcare Core/Core Essential
    • United Healthcare Navigate/Navigate Plus/Navigate Balanced
    • United Healthcare Option PPO
    • United Healthcare Passport Connect Choice/Choice Plus
    • United Healthcare Passport Connect Options PPO
    • United Healthcare Select/Select Plus
    • United Healthcare Shared Services - Harvard Pilgrim/UHC Options PPO Network
    • United Medical Resources (UMR)
    • *Duke HomeCare and Hospice and mental health providers do not participate with the plan.

Before scheduling your appointment, we strongly recommend you contact your insurance company to verify that the Duke Health location or provider you plan to visit is included in your network. Your insurance company will also be able to inform you of any co-payments, co–insurances, or deductibles that will be your responsibility. If you proceed in scheduling an appointment and your health insurance benefits do not participate with Duke, your out of pocket liability may be higher. We will contact you regarding your coverage and patient liability. If you are uninsured, learn more about our financial assistance policy.

External Relationships

Duke requires faculty members to report certain relationships outside of their employment in order to ensure potential conflicts can be addressed. This faculty member has reported no outside activities that relate to their Duke responsibilities.