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CU Department of Surgery Top Stories of 2021

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CU Department of Surgery Top Stories of 2021

Revisit the top stories from the DOS newsroom spotlighting faculty, staff, trainees, and students.

Author Department of Surgery | Publish Date December 16, 2021

The University of Colorado Department of Surgery's commitment to improve every life was spotlighted numerous times by faculty, staff, trainees, and students throughout 2021.

The Department of Surgery celebrated a 'herstoric' moment with our cardiothoracic surgeons, inspired young children to dream big, helped a passenger mid-flight, performed the first COVID-19 lung transplant, supported a patient's lifelong dream to be herself, developed surgical training tools to meet global needs, and much more.

Here are the top stories of 2021 for the Department of Surgery that showcase our commitment to education, research, and patient care:


CT Female Surgeons - 11-16-21

Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at CU School of Medicine Celebrates a ‘Herstoric’ Moment

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.

It’s a distinction that was made clear recently, when CU cardiothoracic surgeon Jessica Rove, MD, performed a heart transplant at the same time Simran Randhawa, MBBS, was performing a lung transplant just down the hall. When both surgeries were complete, Rove couldn’t resist celebrating.


 

Matthew Bartley - 6-30-21

Viral Tweet Puts Surgery Resident in the Spotlight

Matthew Bartley, MD, MS, has gone viral (as in trending in the world of social media).

The CU Department of Surgery resident visited his 5-year-old son’s classroom on June 18 to talk to the students about what it’s like to be a doctor. The photo he tweeted of the occasion quickly spread — first among his friends and coworkers, then even farther. It currently has more than 35,000 likes.


 

Aftab header

“Is There a Physician Onboard?”: Emergency over the Atlantic Reaffirms Surgeon’s Commitment to Helping

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.

But midway across the Atlantic Ocean, Muhammad Aftab, MD, an assistant professor of surgery in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, was finally in vacation mode, ready for a five-day whirlwind through Rome and Athens with longtime friend Nauman Moazzam, MD.


 

Transplant Q&A

Two Transplant Doctors Explain the Basics of Organ Donation and What’s New in Transplants

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.

To highlight this month, we interviewed two liver transplant specialists at the University of Colorado School of Medicine to learn the basics of donation and the latest news in transplants. Megan Adams, MD, associate fellowship director of surgery, primarily works with pediatric patients, while James Burton, MD, professor of medicine and medical director of liver transplantation mainly serves adult patients. Here’s what they had to say.


 

Elizabeth Pomfret Women In medicine

CU Surgeon Inspires the Next Generation of Women Surgeons

As the American Medical Association’s Women in Medicine Month concluded in late September, the University of Colorado Department of Surgery shined a spotlight on Elizabeth Pomfret, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Transplant Surgery and the Igal Kam, MD, Endowed Chair of Transplant Surgery.

Pomfret, whose career spans two decades, is considered one of the top transplant surgeons in the world. Among her many accolades, Pomfret was recently recognized by the International Liver Transplant Society for her continued contribution to the field of liver transplantation.


 

Lung Transplant - 4-26-21

University of Colorado Surgeon Performs State’s First COVID-19 Lung Transplant

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.


 

Michelle LeFree hero BW

Gender Affirmation Surgery Helps Patient Feel Whole for the First Time in 71 Years

The victory lap came 50 years after high school, in a female restroom at Denver’s East High School.

As a teenager, when everyone knew her as Michael, using the restroom designated for the person she knew herself to be wasn’t an option. She used the male restroom, joined the football team, and overthought every step she took and syllable she spoke, hoping it was enough to maintain the façade. Rarely did she have a moment of not feeling like she was playing a game she didn’t want to play.


 

GSSA GlobalSurgBox Group

Medical Students Help Create Surgical Training Tool to Meet Local and Global Needs

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 group watched a video tutorial about how to tie square knots, then broke into smaller teams to practice the skill, looping shoelaces around nails hammered into wooden boards. The activity was reminiscent of an arts and crafts night, but these were no friendship bracelets or macramé wall hangings. Instead, the students were learning essential surgical skills to better prepare them for the operating room and the wards.


 

Craniofacial patient Danner

Young Craniofacial Patient Battles Multiple Surgeries With Positive Outlook

“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.


 

Operating Room

Practicing Fire Safety in the Operating Room

Edward Jones, MD, MS, an associate professor of surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, is a nationally recognized expert on preventing operating room (OR) fires. He has published multiple articles on the subject and annually lectures with the Fundamental of Surgical Energy (FUSE) curriculum at the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons meeting, which was held virtually in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.