“I got lucky that I suck at golf. I threw my back out playing a sport that people usually enjoy in khakis.”
Academic Office One
12631 East 17th Avenue
Aurora, CO 80045
Aiming to increase the number of living liver donors by making liver donation surgery easier and quicker to recover from, the University of Colorado Department of Surgery recently performed its first robotic hepatectomy (surgery to remove a portion of the liver) from a living donor. Using a surgical robot to perform the procedure results in a smaller incision, less scarring, less pain, and a faster recovery for the donor.
“I got lucky that I suck at golf. I threw my back out playing a sport that people usually enjoy in khakis.”
Aiming to increase the number of living liver donors by making liver donation surgery easier and quicker to recover from, the University of Colorado Department of Surgery recently performed its first robotic hepatectomy (surgery to remove a portion of the liver) from a living donor. Using a surgical robot to perform the procedure results in a smaller incision, less scarring, less pain, and a faster recovery for the donor.
For all the differences between males and females, here’s one Alison Xie, PhD, wasn’t expecting.
Dan Wood, PhD, MBBS, FRCS, is an adolescent and reconstructive urologist bringing his expertise, compassion, and leadership experience to his new role as associate vice chair of transitional care for the University of Colorado Department of Surgery. His work with older adolescent patients transitioning into adult care is an important and steadily developing space in the surgical field.
Their work developing a set of guidelines for the general surgery residency program in the University of Colorado Department of Surgery led faculty members Nicole Christian, MD, MSCS, and Shannon Acker, MD, to write an editorial on how important it is for surgery training programs to support the young parents in their ranks.
This week, Denver Broncos wide receiver KJ Hamler announced that he had been diagnosed with pericarditis, or inflammation of the heart. Hamler said he started feeling chest pain while working out prior to Broncos training camp.
University of Colorado Cancer Center member Marco Del Chiaro, MD, PhD, division chief of surgical oncology, is coordinating a new effort to standardize global diagnosis and treatment efforts for cystic tumor of the pancreas. More frequent than solid lesions, cystic tumors are usually detected incidentally and are often asymptomatic.
Denver-area magazine 5280 released its list of top doctors for 2023, and CU School of Medicine faculty members continue to be ranked among the best. Congratulations to the more than 200 CU School of Medicine faculty members honored with the title "Top Doctor."
Even before the robot, the University of Colorado Department of Surgery was leading the way when it comes to mitral valve surgery. Morbidity and mortality outcomes for mitral valve repair at CU are well below the national average. In 2019, CU surgeons began using a minimally invasive approach to repair leaky heart valves that affect blood flow in the body and can lead to congestive heart failure.
Barb Spanjer lay on the floor of her office. She had never been so tired. Her stomach and left side ached, and the pain under her left shoulder blade was relentless. She had seen her doctor a couple of times that autumn of 2017, but the medicine for the ulcer he suspected she had wasn’t working. She had been too tired and too busy running the construction company she and her husband, Steve, owned to follow up with the doctor. But it was getting harder to ignore the symptoms. Something just wasn’t right.
For Doug Scanlon, last year’s Walk to End Colon Cancer was a victory lap. This year, it’s more like a homecoming.
For the past four years, University of Colorado Cancer Center member Sarah Tevis, MD, has focused her research on the psychosocial outcomes of breast surgery for women with breast cancer — specifically comparing patient-reported outcomes three and six months after receiving a lumpectomy (surgery in which just the tumor and some of the surrounding cells are removed) and a mastectomy (surgery to remove the entire breast).
The tears flowed almost as freely as the thank-yous at Friday night’s graduation ceremony for residents and fellows in the University of Colorado Department of Surgery.
Though it affects around one in every 150 male births, chances are good you have never heard of hypospadias — a condition in which the penis, rather than having a hole at the tip through which urine passes, has a hole on the underside. It’s a condition that can cause issues with urination, as well as sexual function, if it isn’t corrected early.
The Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) is an important tool that ranks each U.S. Census tract on 16 social factors – including poverty, crowded housing, and lack of vehicle access – to help identify communities and populations at greater risk for poor health outcomes during emergencies.
An ocean, several countries, and more than 8,000 miles lie between the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and Kibogora Hospital in Kirambo, Rwanda. The similarities between the two locations, however, are significant.
Sean Ryan did everything right.
Ryan’s father died of colorectal cancer when he was just 45, so Ryan knew he was at high risk for the disease. When he turned 50, he made plans to get a screening colonoscopy. (In 2021, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force lowered the recommended screening age for colorectal cancer from 50 to 45 for men and women at average risk for colorectal cancer.)
From analyzing the effects of social vulnerability and health disparities on postoperative outcomes to mitigating the effects of trauma to evaluating new treatment modalities for pancreatic cancer, the research presented at the annual University of Colorado Department of Surgery Research Symposium on May 22 posed a plethora of new possibilities for patient care.
Danny Naranjo was still several years from his 40th birthday, but he was increasingly aware of that milestone on the horizon.
His body mass index (BMI) was about 80. He had back pain and struggled with lymphedema. His knees hurt when he had to walk even short distances for his job at Elitch Gardens, and he did it only with a steady stream of Tylenol, ibuprofen, and sometimes tramadol. As 40 approached, he knew these concerns might only get more acute, with new ones possibly joining them. He wanted to change what was beginning to feel like an inevitable future.
To start with, there was his usual schedule of national travel for his job as a Wall Street journeyman – he was always flying somewhere. Add to that moving to Castle Rock from San Francisco, plus a love for concerts and baseball games and whatever else life offers, and it’s no wonder that Lincoln Yersin was feeling run down.
But this run down? This exhausted? He went to see his primary care provider in San Francisco a few times, had a few tests, and the diagnosis was stress.
As a 4-year-old with severe asthma, Cheryl Meguid, DNP, MBA, formed a special bond with the nurses who took care of her in the hospital as she lay, isolated, in a special heated tent.
Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) are cystic lesions that can form by the ducts of the pancreas. They generally are asymptomatic and discovered in the course of testing for other conditions.
In its early stages, bladder cancer can be easy to ignore or write off as something it isn’t – a UTI, a bladder infection, or other conditions that are commonly treated with an antibiotic.
Despite its occasional reputation as a place to pick fights with strangers, Twitter can often be a valuable tool – for awareness, for education, for connecting with peers around the world.
The American Urological Association (AUA) recently named Kerri Thurmon, MD, associate professor of urology in the University of Colorado Department of Surgery, as one of the recipients of its 2023 Young Urologist of the Year Award. The award is presented annually to recognize early-career association members for their efforts and commitment to advancing the development of fellow young urologists.
It’s not uncommon for patients to approach their health care providers in blushes and whispers, burdened by the weight of perceived taboos.
A $1.9 million grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) will help researchers at the University of Colorado Department of Surgery and Colorado School of Public Health develop better treatment methods for children diagnosed with craniosynostosis, a present-at-birth condition in which a baby’s skull plates fuse together too early, before the brain is fully formed.
The continuing move to multidisciplinary surgical care has meant a growing number of approaches to treating surgical issues. In cardiac surgery, the conversations that happen between surgeons, cardiac imagers, and interventional cardiologists have become integral to providing the best care that puts patients at the lowest risk.
The relationship between alcohol use and burn injuries is a negative one in multiple ways. Not only are about 50% of adults who sustain burn injuries intoxicated at the time of injury, suggesting that alcohol use may have contributed to the incident, but alcohol use among burn-injured patients is associated with more severe complications, delayed recovery, and increased morbidity and mortality.
Nathan Hammond knew things were getting bad when his doctors had to put the feeding tube in.
One of the first questions that patients often ask when they enter the list for a transplant organ is, “How long will I be waiting?”
Kidney disease is sometimes called the “silent disease” because it can be symptomless in its early stages. An estimated 90% of Americans who have chronic kidney disease (CKD) may not even know they have it until it is advanced.
Earlier this month, the Division of Transplant Surgery in the University of Colorado Department of Surgery hosted its annual Controversies in Transplantation conference (CIT), which gathered the finest minds in transplantation science from around the country in Colorado. For more than two decades, this conference has served as a platform for groundbreaking ideas and discussions within the transplant community.
For her innovative research on how cannabinoids affect the tumor immune microenvironment in melanoma, University of Colorado Cancer Center member Camille Stewart, MD, has been named to the 2023 cohort of the National Cancer Institute’s Early-Stage Surgeon Scientist Program (ESSP). The National Cancer Institute coordinates the United States National Cancer Program and is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Before receiving a pancreatic cancer diagnosis eight years ago – a diagnosis that resulted from persistent self-advocacy – Carolyn Degrafinried spent one awful weekend wondering if she was losing her mind.
For Stephanie Farmer, MHA, an "a-ha!" moment in her career happened as an undergraduate working in the University of Colorado Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. In that role, she began to see how the business and administration aspect of health care can play a significant part in patient care, and how she could have a role in that care.
In honor of Women's History Month, Leah Lleras, MS, director of finance for the Department of Surgery, interviews Farmer, vice chair of administration for the Department of Surgery and the CU Cancer Center, about the path her career has taken since that a-ha moment.
For women with dense breasts, getting a mammogram to screen for breast cancer can be something of a double whammy. Not only is cancer more difficult to detect in dense breasts, but dense breasts also are a risk factor for developing breast cancer in the first place.
If surgery is often seen as a male-dominated medical specialty, the stereotype goes double for the field of urology, with its focus on male concerns including erectile dysfunction, prostate issues, and vasectomies. A 2020 study from the American Urological Association, for example, found that women accounted for just 10.3% of all practicing urologists in the U.S.
In honor of Women’s History Month, Whitney Herter, PA-C, BS, a senior instructor in surgical oncology at the University of Colorado Department of Surgery, talked with Elisa Birnbaum, MD, professor of GI, trauma, and endocrine surgery, about her illustrious career.
When surgeons from the Netherlands needed help establishing a national program for patients with hard-to-treat pancreatic cancer, they knew just whom to turn to: Marco Del Chiaro, MD, PhD, professor and division chief of surgical oncology in the University of Colorado Department of Surgery.
Funding from the Paul R. O’Hara Seed Grant Fund at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus will allow CU Cancer Center member Akshay Chauhan, MD, to explore new methods of detecting and treating esophageal cancer.
As the first one in his family to go to college, Josue Estrella had to navigate his own way through his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan, where he first developed his interest in medicine.
Each year, since 1987, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation designating the month of March as Women’s History Month. It is significant that the leadership of our country recognizes the importance of reaffirming the historical accomplishments of women with this annual proclamation.
Generations of women have endured hardships, exclusion, and discrimination and despite these challenges have furthered equity and equality in our communities. As a nation, we have made great strides in medicine, technology, social justice, and much more through their unwillingness to surrender their dreams and goals.
We would like to take this time to highlight a few of the great women and their work in the CU Department of Surgery.
Megan Adams, MD, surgical director of pediatric living donor transplantation at the University of Colorado Department of Surgery, has received the 2023 Pipeline Award from the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS).
Gallstones are one of the most common problems affecting Americans and are more common the older you get. When gallstones get stuck in the bile ducts, they can cause the gallbladder to back up with bile and become inflamed, often leading to a cholecystectomy, or removal of the organ altogether.
For many people who receive a cancer diagnosis, one of the first things they want is information – about the cancer itself, about treatment options, about side effects they may experience, about what it all means.
Christian Scott’s dream of working in the sports industry never materialized, but as administrative director for the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery in the University of Colorado School of Medicine, he still gets to work with an all-star team dedicated to being the best in its field.
2022 was a record-breaking year for the number of transplants performed by the organ transplant team at the University of Colorado Department of Surgery, with more than 300 kidney transplants, more than 130 liver transplants, more than 60 heart transplants, and 40 lung transplants performed over the past 12 months.
The University of Colorado School of Medicine is proud of our faculty's work that contributes to UCHealth's annual rankings on the U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals. These rankings are important as many students, residents, faculty, and patients consider these rankings when deciding where to train, practice and receive care.
Bonnie Dahl knows chance and circumstance played key roles in halting her pancreatic cancer, one of the most deadly and insidious forms of the disease.
Today, the Division of Pediatric Surgery in the University of Colorado Department of Surgery welcomes a new chief, one who brings a strong commitment to growing diversity and equity in pediatric surgery and supporting surgeons as research scientists.
Carotid artery blowout, while rare, is a life-threatening surgical emergency with a mortality rate approaching 60%.
Editor’s Note: Since this story first published, Damar Hamlin was discharged from a Buffalo, New York, hospital January 11 and on January 28 released a video updating his fans and community on his recovery.
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, 24, remained in critical condition Wednesday after collapsing on the football field six minutes into the first quarter of Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Former Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman, 31, died Wednesday of a rare type of kidney cancer that disproportionately impacts young people who are Black with sickle cell trait or sickle cell disease.
The University of Colorado Department of Surgery had an excellent year in 2022. We posted more than 75 great stories that highlighted the research, patient care, and education done this year by faculty, students, researchers, and staff in the department.
In the course of her research, Jamie Burke, a student in the University of Colorado School of Medicine, learned that at least 50% of patients surveyed at a safety net breast surgical oncology clinic were uncomfortable interpreting their own medical results.
Patients receiving cardiac surgery are at higher risk for acute kidney injury following the procedure, which is why the University of Colorado Department of Surgery has implemented a new preoperative pathway to identify patients who are more likely to suffer acute kidney injury (AKI) following elective cardiac surgery and prevent that injury from occurring.
An innovative device designed to secure gastrostomy buttons recently won the Shark Tank challenge at the 2022 North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) annual meeting.
During his first year as a resident in the University of Colorado Department of Surgery, Ali Lilo, MD, felt the pressure.
Historically, the outlook has been grim for obese patients who need kidney transplants. Due to the physical requirements of the operation, those with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher typically have been denied access to the life-saving procedure.
Urinary tract infections (UTI) are among the most commonly diagnosed bacterial infections in children. While the incidence of UTI is highest in a child’s first year, they can be a concern throughout childhood.
Cenea Kemp, MD, a general surgery resident in the Department of Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, took home the award for Best Oral Cardiac Presentation at the annual meeting of the Eastern Cardiothoracic Surgical Society in October.
From its founding in 1903, the Society of Clinical Surgery has pursued general advancement of surgery – seeking to stimulate its members to work along lines of original thought and investigation in the clinic, laboratory, or library.
Surgical patients under the care of clinicians at the University of Colorado Department of Surgery are at lower risk of complications brought on by an aspiration event, thanks to a new patient safety protocol led by the Office of Quality & Clinical Effectiveness of the Department of Surgery, as reported by Viviane Leite Abud, MD, a quality and executive leadership resident in the department.
Laura Foote is now three years out from her pancreatic cancer diagnosis, thanks to a surgery performed by Richard Schulick, MD, MBA, director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center and chair of the Department of Surgery.
Lymphedema is a chronic disease that causes lymphatic fluid to build up in the body, especially in the legs, arms, genitals, face, neck, and chest wall. It can be painful, debilitating, and have significant negative impacts on a person’s quality of life.
Blood transfusion is a vital and lifesaving intervention in a broad range of scenarios, from trauma response to cancer treatment. However, it is not entirely without risk.
Amanda Vegter did not have time for whatever it was that she felt on the side of her left breast.
She was six weeks into her fourth year of veterinary school, she had backpacking trips to go on with her boyfriend, walks to go on with her two dogs, plus plans for a summer externship in South Africa. She was busy and happy and it was probably nothing.
But that firm spot she first felt on her breast in January 2021 while working out at her boyfriend’s house didn’t just go away. Now she can look back and shake her head – of course it was breast cancer.
Just as Invisalign® plastic aligners have revolutionized orthodontic treatment, a team at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus hopes its project using 3D printed plastic molds can transform cleft lip and palate care.
It wasn’t his first stroll through a teeming Kathmandu market, his first taste of momos, or even his first view of the Himalayas that weaved a piece of his heart into the fabric of a country 12,000 miles from his Denver home.
ARCS Foundation, a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting academically outstanding students in science, engineering, math, technology, and medical research, has awarded a $7,500 scholarship to Anna Lee, a second-year medical student at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Prostate cancer is the second most common and deadly cancer in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that 1 in 8 men will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. Treatment techniques range from aggressive therapies such as radical prostatectomy or radiation therapy to targeted therapies that treat only the affected cancer cells.
That pain when you walk could be more serious than you think. It could be a sign of peripheral artery disease (PAD), a condition in which a narrowing of the arteries results in reduced blood flow to the arms or legs. When the arms or legs — PAD typically affects the legs — don't receive enough blood flow to keep up with demand, it can cause pain when walking and other symptoms. PAD is usually a sign of a buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries, known as atherosclerosis.
A new research study by Danielle Abbitt, MD, a resident in the University of Colorado Department of Surgery, shows that a protocol that started as a necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved into a time-saving step for patients recovering from surgery.
A new enhanced recovery protocol for patients undergoing lung resection surgery performed by faculty members in the University of Colorado Department of Surgery is resulting in patients going home sooner, experiencing less postoperative pain and complications, and taking fewer opioid drugs to manage their pain.
Pediatric patients did not experience a significant difference in pain levels following ureteral stent removal between those who took a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine before the procedure and those who didn’t, new research reports.
Research recently published in JAMA Surgery demonstrates that living-donor liver transplant (LDLT) recipients gain an additional 13 to 17 life-years following their surgery compared with patients who remain on the donor waitlist.
For children with pediatric-onset chronic conditions, the relationships they form early on with their doctors and care team members often turn out to be among the most important connections of their young lives.
Years later, when those youth are on the cusp of adulthood and required to transition to adult care, the doctor-patient relationship becomes even more important, and thoughtful transition of care is critical. The growing field of transitional care encourages collaboration among doctors to help young patients effectively manage the shift from pediatric to adult care, to encourage those patients to play a greater part in their own health care, and to improve health care systems to make those transitions more seamless.
The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by the prostate gland. The PSA test is a blood test used to measure the amount of this protein found in the blood. Results are reported (ng/mL), which means nanograms of PSA per milliliter of blood. High levels of PSA have been found in men with advanced prostate cancer.
Each year, about 27,000 women age 45 or younger are diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. Of those, about 4% are pregnant at the time of their diagnosis.
One of the most common surgical procedures worldwide is the repair of inguinal hernias, hernias that occur in the groin. An inguinal hernia is tissue — sometimes intestinal tissue — that bulges out of a weak spot in the abdominal wall, below the belt line. Men are far more likely than women to get inguinal hernias, and the surgery is typically a low-risk, outpatient procedure.
Liver transplant surgery is a vital and life-saving procedure, but it also is associated with a high rate of postoperative complications. As many as one in four liver transplant patients will return to the operating room (R-OR) within 48 hours of their initial surgery.
Soldiers and others who receive severe injuries to the hands and face often can benefit from a type of transplant known as vascularized composite allograft (VCA) — the transplantation of multiple tissues, including muscle, bone, nerve, skin, and blood vessels, as a functional unit (such as a hand or face) from a deceased donor to a recipient with a severe injury.
Less than a year ago, Ken Herfert got a puppy and named her Bailey after the Colorado town where she was born.
This was a big deal for several reasons, including the responsibility of adopting a new family member, but perhaps the biggest was this: About six months after receiving a diagnosis of esophageal cancer in early 2018, Herfert’s oncologist in California told him he had maybe a year to live, maybe less.
Solid organ transplants — heart, lung, liver, and kidney — are resource-intensive operations that require patients to take immunosuppressive drugs after the procedure to keep the body from rejecting the new organ.
After a 30-year, off-and-on battle with metastatic breast cancer, Australian-born actress and singer Olivia Newton-John died on August 8 at age 73. Best known for her role as Sandy in the 1978 movie musical “Grease,” Newton-John also hit the music charts with singles like “Physical” and “Magic.”
When the 21st Century Cures Act went into effect in April 2021, health care organizations began releasing electronic health information (EHI) to patients immediately.
A new study released by the University of Colorado Cancer Center shows that more than 70 percent of breast cancer patients have reported changes that affect their sexual health during and beyond treatment.
Denver-area magazine 5280 recently published its list of top doctors for 2022. On this year’s list, CU School of Medicine faculty members continue to be ranked among the best. We're proud to congratulate the 193 CU School of Medicine faculty members honored with the title "Top Doctor."
Kristen Lowe, DDS, MS, an assistant professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery in the University of Colorado School of Medicine, has received a grant from Align Technologies, the company that makes the Invisalign tooth-straightening system. The grant will support Lowe in developing more efficient ways to treat infants with cleft lip and palate.
Camille Stewart, MD, assistant professor of surgical oncology in the University of Colorado School of Medicine, is leading general surgery residents on valuable training with new robotic surgical equipment that is becoming more and more common in the world of medicine.
For John Iguidbashian and Alejandro Suarez-Pierre, general surgery residents in the Department of Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, the research started as a way to give patients who were eligible for lung transplants more accurate information about their life expectancy after the surgery.
Children’s Hospital Colorado is once again ranked among the top 10 children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News and World Report. The magazine released its 2022–23 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings this week, and Children’s Colorado is ranked number 7 nationally and number 1 in the Rocky Mountain region and state of Colorado.
It happened so fast, and it was so unexpected.
In August 2020, Mario Carrasco got what he suspected was COVID-19 and took Tylenol to combat his high fever. When that didn’t work, he took an antibiotic he had received from Mexico and eventually felt better. For several months afterward, he felt fine. He felt like he always does.
Before Maurice Musoni, MD, completed his surgical training in South Africa, his home country of Rwanda had no cardiothoracic surgeon.
The graduating physicians honored Friday at the University of Colorado Department of Surgery Resident and Fellow Graduation navigated portions of their training during an unprecedented time. The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic significantly altered not only surgery schedules and overall hospital operations, but the landscape of health care.
Through analyzing post-operative outcome data for more than 5.5 million patients, Helen Madsen, MD, found that patients who are overweight or obese are at increased risk for post-operative infection, blood clots, and renal complications.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, intensive care unit (ICU) beds were in limited supply, and the pandemic only exacerbated this growing concern. Since the pandemic began, ICU resources have been in such demand that clinicians across the United States and world have struggled to meet the need.
It’s not unusual for students to enter medical school with ideas about paths they’d like to pursue in medicine. Those ideas can evolve over time as they delve into course work and clinical rotations, but the initial interests that guided them to medicine in the first place can be significant.
The dangers of using electronic cigarettes are well known when it comes to the potential for addiction and lung injury, but new research published in the Journal of Surgical Research finds another cause for concern when it comes to e-cigarettes: the potential for the vaping devices to explode during use.
University of Colorado Cancer Center member Janet Kukreja, MD, assistant professor of urology in the University of Colorado School of Medicine, is taking part in this weekend’s Walk to End Bladder Cancer along with her office staff, fellow physicians, and even some of her patients. For this year’s “virtual” event, hosted by the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network to kick off Bladder Cancer Awareness Month in May, participants walk in their own cities at their own pace, sharing their progress with others around the country.
The future of cancer research and care got a little brighter on April 22 as more than 50 biomedical science students from Denver-area high schools came to the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus for Learn About Cancer Day.
The development of the anti-cancer immunotherapy drugs called immune checkpoint inhibitors has improved treatment for many cancer patients, but patients with mucosal melanomas — melanomas that occur not on the skin but in the mucous membranes in the head, neck, eyes, respiratory tract, and genitourinary region — are particularly resistant to immune checkpoint inhibitors for reasons researchers don’t fully understand.
The skills that Ryan Gupta, MD, learned during his master of business administration (MBA) studies aren’t necessarily the skills usually associated with vascular surgery: how to understand financial statements, how to conduct market research, how to make difficult decisions about resource allocation.
In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, a resource for primary care clinicians who prescribe opioids for chronic pain outside of active cancer treatment, palliative care, and end-of-life care.
At first, she was reluctant to talk about it – a little sheepish, even. The obvious question was, “Why are you doing this?” And though she had answers, none of them were quick or easy.
A tool designed to help surgical trainees practice skills such as knot tying, suturing, vascular and bowel anastomoses, and other techniques has helped eliminate barriers to simulation resources.
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee in the CU School of Medicine Department of Surgery (DOS) has made great strides over the past year, working toward the department’s goal of becoming the most diverse, equitable, and inclusive department of surgery in the country by 2030.
For years, surgery for patients with stage III melanoma — melanoma that has spread to the lymph nodes — involved removing those lymph nodes along with the primary tumor. Known as completion lymph node dissection (CLND), the surgery was meant to ensure that no cancer remained after surgery.
There were a lot of things Jim White thought he’d never do: stay in one place long enough to feel roots grow beneath his feet, meet the love of his life, have a child whose daily joy in discovering the world reignites White’s own joy.
Service members join the military with a passion to serve, and that passion remains long after they have fulfilled their formal commitments. Upon their departure from military service, many veterans remain committed to serving others. Their military experience often inspires them to become active in their communities at home.
Comedian Bob Saget’s death on January 9 was a shock to fans who loved him as Danny Tanner on “Full House” or for his stand-up comedy, and to those who admired and respected him as a colleague.
From Silly Putty to the microwave oven, there is a long history of consumer products “accidentally” discovered during the scientific discovery process.
When they realized their number of patients with urinary tract infections caused by urinary catheters was tracking above the national average, urologic oncologist Janet Kukreja, MD, and Shannon Bortolotto, APRN, clinical nurse specialist at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, knew they had to take action.
While both patients and clinicians prioritize information transparency, a 21st Century Cures Act requirement for the immediate release of test and lab results is proving more controversial, according to recently published survey results of clinicians and patients.
Rebecca Henkind grew up seeing the example of her grandmother’s volunteer work with people experiencing homelessness – at the Flemington (New Jersey) Area Food Pantry and with Flemington Presbyterian Church’s shelter.
Emma Lamping, a second-year student at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, has received a $5,000 “Emerging Scientist Award” from the Institute of Cannabis Research in Pueblo, Colorado, for her work on a research study comparing postoperative pain medication requirements and surgical outcomes after major abdominal surgery for the treatment of cancer between daily cannabis users and nonusers of cannabis.
After the chemotherapy and radiation treatments, when she was discussing necessary surgery with her UCHealth Cancer Center care team, Irma Lechuga learned her rectal cancer surgery would include creation of a temporary ileostomy.
For the 50 years of his career, Ernest Moore, MD, a distinguished professor of surgery, has been eager to go to work – not just caring for patients or the challenges of the operating room, but for the myriad paths of research he has pursued since he was an undergraduate.
Two general surgery residents at the University of Colorado School of Medicine — Margot DeBot, MD, and TJ Schaid, MD — placed first and second, respectively, in the District 8 regional competition for the 2022 American College of Surgeons’ Committee on Trauma Paper Competition in early December. DeBot and Schaid are both T32 NIH research fellows in the CU Trauma Lab.
Some battles begin before a shot is even fired, with an army building bridges and grading roads, clearing and smoothing the path to make the invading force stronger and more effective.
For many women in the medical field, the common pressures associated with the profession – long hours, emotional toll, work/life balance – can be magnified by the added experiences of misogyny and sexism. From making less than their male colleagues to seeing people express surprise that they are the doctor, women’s experiences can be fraught and frustrating.
Looking to improve methods to treat patients with sepsis, Richard Tobin, PhD, an assistant research professor of surgical oncology in the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and Laurel Hind, PhD, an assistant professor in the biomedical engineering program at the University of Colorado Boulder, are teaming up to study the role of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in sepsis.
Happy Movember! No, that’s not a spelling error. Movember has been celebrated each November since 2003 to bring awareness (and funding) to men’s health issues, particularly prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention.
With two female cardiothoracic surgeons in its ranks, the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine is ahead of the curve when it comes to gender representation in the field. By one recent estimate, just 8% of cardiothoracic surgeons in the country are female.
The victory lap came 50 years after high school, in a female restroom at Denver’s East High School.
There’s a significant body of research on opioids – how they’re metabolized, how they react with other drugs, the physiology of addiction, and how they’re prescribed, among the many areas of focus.
When a woman receives a breast cancer diagnosis, she may have many questions about her immediate future – the stage of the disease, what treatment she’ll receive, where it will happen.
The U.S. Department of Defense is funding a study by Arek Wiktor, MD, associate professor of GI, trauma, and endocrine surgery and interim medical director of the UCHealth Burn and Frostbite Center – Anschutz Medical Campus, to aid in treatment of military and civilian burn patients.
Research shows that Hispanic patients spend longer on the transplant waiting list than other ethnic groups. They also face higher mortality rates while waiting for a transplant. With a goal to change this disparity in transplantation, Elizabeth Pomfret, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Transplant Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, created a clinic to better serve the Hispanic community in the Rocky Mountain region.
Erica Ramsthaler was only given three years to live when she was first diagnosed with colorectal cancer, but after transferring her care to the University of Colorado Cancer Center, she is thriving more than four years later.
Kirsten Stewart was just putting on lotion, like she does every morning after her shower. That particular morning, though, she noticed something different: a lump that hadn’t been there before and that definitely wasn’t normal. She was only 30 years old.
As the American Medical Association’s Women in Medicine Month concludes today, the University of Colorado Department of Surgery shines a spotlight on Elizabeth Pomfret, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Transplant Surgery and the Igal Kam, MD, Endowed Chair of Transplant Surgery.
Over the past five decades, childhood overweight and obesity has transitioned from public health concern to public health crisis. In 1971, 5.2% of U.S. children ages 2 to 19 were experiencing obesity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a number that increased to 19.3% by 2018.
Actor Willie Garson was probably best known for his role as Stanford Blatch on “Sex and the City,” playing one of Carrie Bradshaw’s New York-savvy best friends.
Jonathan Fox happily entered his 50s with his identity, stress outlet and social life entwined in a heart-healthy activity – cycling – that would easily propel him into his golden years.
The traditional path for surgeons after they’ve completed medical school is a five-year general surgery residency followed by a two-year fellowship in an area of specialization. Even for surgeons who choose their specialty in medical school, this has been the most common training path.
Ideas and innovation don’t always co-exist with convenience. On the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, the road to a novel mask design to address the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic took some unexpected twists and turns.
The doctors she saw initially didn’t seem too concerned, but 22-year-old Ella Neal knew something was seriously wrong. A persistent, unusual abdominal pain was keeping her up at night and distracting her from her studies at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Richard Schulick, MD, MBA, director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center, becomes close with all of his patients, but he has a special bond with Gerry Turner, one of Schulick’s surgical patients for pancreatic cancer.
You know how it is trying to leave for vacation – there’s always one last thing to do, one last note to write, one last end to tie up before committing to the rest and relaxation.
Of all the lessons she learned during the eight-week Medical Student Summer Research Program (MSRP), Rose Castle, a rising second year at the University of Colorado School of Medicine who is interested in pursuing general surgery, drew her main takeaway outside the operating room.
The most important factor predicting the survival of pancreatic cancer patients is whether the cancer can be surgically removed (whether the cancer is “resectable”). The answer isn’t always clear.
Each year, Denver-area magazine 5280 publishes its list of top doctors. On this year’s list, which came out last week, CU School of Medicine faculty members continue to be ranked among the best. We are proud to congratulate the 138 CU School of Medicine faculty members honored with the title Top Doctor.
Comedian Kathy Griffin, 60, shared the news with the world Monday via Twitter: She was about to undergo surgery for stage I lung cancer.
“Basketball, playing with sheep, playing with goats, playing with dogs, horse camp, friends ...”
Nine-year-old Danner Plumhoff is rattling off a list of her summer plans. Many of these activities wouldn’t have been possible for her last summer, when she was fresh off an intensive craniofacial surgery. It was her biggest surgery to date, but as a child with a rare variant of Crouzon syndrome, it was hardly her first.
Opioid prescribing preferences and practices among surgical residents and faculty differ, according to a new study published in the journal Surgery.
Matthew Bartley, MD, MS, has gone viral (as in trending in the world of social media).
On June 28 the University of Colorado School of Medicine’s Center for Advancing Professional Excellence (CAPE) hosted the third installment in its virtual community event series “Being _____ On Anschutz Medical Campus.” The goal of the series is to connect with the Anschutz community and amplify diverse voices through candid conversations with members of underrepresented groups. Previous events centered on the Black and AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) communities.
Though people most often think of melanoma as affecting the skin, the cancer can occur anywhere in the body where pigment-producing melanocyte cells are found. That includes mucous membranes in the head, neck, eyes, respiratory tract, and genitourinary region.
U.S. News and World Report released its 2021–22 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings this week. Children’s Hospital Colorado ranked number 6 nationally and placed seven pediatric specialties in the top 10, including a number-one ranking for gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery. Children’s Colorado is affiliated with the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Together, the institutions are a national center for clinical care and medical research.
“To give someone their senses back feels really satisfying,” says Kia Washington, MD, director of research and professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. “To restore form and function in the hand, or restore someone’s vision, appeals to me because you can really change people’s lives. You can change the way they see the world.”
Patients’ rights advocates scored a major victory in April, when a provision went into effect that allows patients immediate access to all information in their medical records, including physician notes and test results. The change is part of the 21st Century Cures Act, which was passed by Congress in 2016 and continues to be updated.
Last month, the University of Colorado Burn Center underwent the American Burn Association (ABA) Survey, a verification process that occurs every three years. The Burn Center has achieved continual verification since its first ABA Survey in 1998, and that trend continues this year. The Burn Center received its verification confirmation on May 19, 2021, to continue through April 2024.
The University of Colorado School of Medicine Hooding & Oath Ceremony took place Friday, May 28, 2021, at 9 a.m. Due to ongoing COVID-19 precautions, the in-person ceremony was limited to the 184 members of the class of 2021, their personal CU School of Medicine faculty hooders, and up to two vaccinated guests each. The event was also livestreamed for friends and family members unable to attend in person.
On May 19, 2021, more than 20 medical students from the University of Colorado School of Medicine, along with a handful of residents, fellows, and faculty members from the Department of Surgery, gathered in the home of Yihan Lin, MD, MPH, a cardiothoracic surgery fellow.
The depth and breadth of the research happening across the Department of Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine was on full display in Monday’s eighth annual Research Symposium. Sixteen residents — eight from clinical and health services and eight from basic and translational research — presented papers on topics ranging from salvaging tissue in patients with frostbite to how shock can affect someone with a traumatic brain injury. The event was held virtually due to the pandemic.
Looking for better ways to treat patients with esophageal cancer, University of Colorado Cancer Center member Martin McCarter, MD, is investigating whether a new treatment sequence will result in better outcomes.
Gavi Roda’s journey to medicine was seeded at a young age but didn’t fully blossom until her teenage years. As a child, she traveled frequently with her parents, Veralex and Greg Roda. Her family crisscrossed the world and moved more than eight times, including living in Singapore for four years, before finding a home in Broomfield, Colorado.
When Sarah Massena joined the Center for Surgical Innovation (CSI) as executive director in 2007, she saw the role as an ideal way to merge her interests in science and business.
Fredric Pieracci, MD, MPH/MSPH, an associate professor in the University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Surgery, is the senior author on a new paper published in Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases that details the results of a public health initiative to provide affordable bariatric surgery to uninsured Denver County residents.
Bryan Raymond was very nearly just another grim entry on the ever-growing list of COVID-19 fatalities. But thanks to efforts by faculty members in the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Department of Surgery, Raymond is a COVID statistic of a different sort — the first person in Colorado to receive a lung transplant related to the virus.
In the past, even relatively minor hand surgery was a major event. For patients, it required anesthesia and numerous hours at the hospital. And for hospitals and providers, it used up extensive material resources and time.
The Class of 2025, whose members arrive on campus in July to begin their first year of medical school, will usher in a new era at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. It will be the first class to experience a reimagined curriculum aimed at getting students into hospitals earlier and connecting them with patients in a more meaningful way, with a renewed focus on community engagement and social determinants of health.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday recommended a nationwide pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine because six women who received the vaccine have experienced a rare type of blood clot.
Over the past few years, Camille Stewart, MD, assistant professor of surgery in the Division of Surgical Oncology, has conducted research for the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) to examine unconscious bias within the organization. In her studies, Stewart examines unconscious bias and microaggressions by focusing on the subtle differences in introductions of speakers at professional meetings and conferences.
April is National Donate Life Month — an awareness month that encourages Americans to register as organ, eye, and tissue donors and that honors those who have saved lives through the gift of donation.
Although rare, kidney cancer is the third most common type of solid tumor affecting children. Thankfully, pediatric kidney tumors are generally treatable and most have high cure rates. Treatment outcomes depend on several factors including age, tumor type, staging, genetics, the overall health of the patient, and the risk of treatment side effects.
For the past nine years, the Surgical Outcomes and Applied Research (SOAR) group at the University of Colorado School of Medicine has been conducting research on health services within the Department of Surgery. A large part of that research has to do with clinical outcomes for surgery patients and how patients fare — in the short term and the long term — after an operation.
As they look back on one of the most challenging years in their medical careers, members of the Department of Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine remember the low points — the crowded emergency rooms, the delayed surgeries, the deaths from the disease — but they remember some high points as well.
Though breast cancer patients are now living longer than ever before, treatments for the disease can have wide-ranging effects on their long-term quality of life. Physical, social, and sexual wellbeing all can be impacted by radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, antiendocrine therapy and other challenges that go along with a breast cancer battle.
Kia Washington, MD, looks back on her undergraduate experience as four years that helped to shape who she is. One of those years in particular stands out as not just formative, but transformative.
A new vascular surgery clinic opened in February on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, offering easy access for patients with venous disease, peripheral artery disease, and mesenteric and renal artery disease. The clinic also offers hemodialysis procedures for arteriovenous fistula and graft maintenance.
“Diversity and inclusion in medicine can save lives.” That was the message from Robert Higgins, MD, MSHA, director of the Department of Surgery and surgeon-in-chief at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
As a resident in the Department of Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Heather Carmichael, MD, was accustomed to the emotional remove doctors have from their patients. The distance that allows surgeons to cut into someone without hesitation or to deliver bad news without falling apart.
Eighteen physicians, residents, and medical students from the University of Colorado School of Medicine presented on their research this week at the Academic Surgical Congress, an annual convention hosted by the Society of University Surgeons.
Dean John J. Reilly, Jr., MD, highlighted some of the CU School of Medicine’s accomplishments over the past five years and outlined key initiatives moving forward in his annual State of the School address on January 13. He also spoke to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new attention to the safety of patients during surgery. But long before the concerns brought on by coronavirus, the CU Department of Surgery was working to make patient safety a priority.
The racial reckoning occurring in America in a year that saw the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others touches nearly every aspect of society. From corporate boardrooms and HR departments to police forces and universities, assumptions are being questioned and priorities reexamined as we are reminded of the inequities that still exist for people of color.
Longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek announced it to the world on March 6, 2019: Like 50,000 other Americans each year, he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
If you live in or have visited Colorado, you most likely noticed that the state loves its outdoors. With 300 days of sunshine a year, many enjoy hiking, playing at a park or grabbing a craft brew on a patio. But with that love of sunshine comes an increased risk for skin cancer.
In the 1860s, French physician Armand Trousseau noticed that patients with a certain form of abnormal blood clotting often went on to be diagnosed with pancreas or gastric cancers. Unfortunately, at age 66 he noticed these same symptoms in himself and died of gastric cancer only a few months later.
Steve Becker always looks forward to Veterans Day. He and his father, Don, both did hitches in the Navy, so it’s a special day they set aside to hang out and reflect on their service to the nation.
A Montana family is no longer planning a funeral after their baby was saved by rare life-saving surgery that was performed at Children's Hospital Colorado last year.
Surgeons at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital's transplant center in Aurora performed what is believed to be the first robotic liver transplant surgery on a living donor in the Rocky Mountain region, officials announced in a news release.
PARKER, Colo. (KDVR) — Surgeons at the UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital have made a medical breakthrough, successfully completing a robotic living donor liver transplant for the first time in state history, according to UCHealth.
The unexpected death of Lisa Marie Presley last January has been linked to a complication of years-old bariatric, or weight loss, surgery, according to an autopsy report.