Dr. Karen Rieger is an associate professor of clinical surgery with Indiana University’s Department of Surgey and Division of Cardiothoracic.

Phone: (317) 274-7728
Address: IU Cardiothoracic Surgeons 545 Barnhill Dr EM 215 Indianapolis, IN 46202

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Dr. Karen Rieger is an associate professor of clinical surgery with Indiana University’s Department of Surgey and Division of Cardiothoracic. Her specialty is in thoracic surgery and she holds a clinical team membership with the Thoracic Oncology Program of the IU Simon Cancer Center. With that program, Dr. Rieger has the opportunity to bring innovative care to sufferers of chest cancers, including lung, esophagus, pleura, chest wall, and mediastinum.

Her membership also makes her the member of a team which includes professionals specializing in thoracic surgery, radiation oncology, pulmonology, medical oncology, dietetics, psychology, and nursing. Together, this diverse group of medical professionals develops specialized treatment plans for each patient they see.

With the Thoracic Oncology Program, Dr. Rieger is part of the first program of its kind in Indiana. This program was developed in 1992 by Dr. Lawrence Einhorn, a world-renowned oncology specialist, and Dr. Ken Kesler, a nationally-recognized expert in the surgical care of thoracic germ cell cancers as well as esophageal cancers. The university describes their Thoracic Oncology Program as a being comprised of a “multidisciplinary team of experts” who diagnose and treat thoracic cancer in a manner that allows patients “to see a number of physicians with one visit.”

This program combines clinical and laboratory expertise, as they recognize that basic scientific research is an essential and unique part of their program. The Indiana campus Dr. Rieger works on maintains advanced laboratories where she is part of research that uses advanced molecular biology to understand the biology of tumors more fully and improve patient care.


One of her recent publications is the study titled “Survival after resection for metastatic testicular nonseminomatous germ cell cancer to the lung or mediastinum,” under which she served as a contributing author. According to this study’s background, the authors “undertook an institutional review of testicular NSGCT patients who underwent operations to remove lung or mediastinal metastases after chemotherapy in the cisplatin era to determine outcomes.” This study was published in April 2011 in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

Educational Background

Dr. Rieger received her medical degree from Rush University’s Rush Medical College in 1990. She then took up her residency at the University of Florida, practicing surgery until 1996. She then moved on to her fellowship at Indianan University, where she furthered her knowledge of cardiothoracic surgery. All told, Dr. Rieger has accumulated more than 20 years experience practicing in the medical field after graduating from medical school.


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