General Surgery Residents Bian Wu, Victoria Lyo, and Evan Werlin Winners in 1st NorCal ACS Laparoscopic Competition
Department of Surgery Residency Program - May 22, 2014
General surgery residents Bian Wu, M.D. (left), Evan Werlin, M.D. (center) and Victoria Lyo, M.D. (right), coached by Matthew Y.C. Lin, M.D., Assistant Professor Surgery, Division of General Surgery, were winners of the the first laparoscopic competition held at the Northern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons educational meeting on May 17, 2014. The event was a regional competition between teams consisting of three residents from UCSF, Stanford, UC Davis, UCSF East Bay and UCSF Fresno. The surgical techniques were variations on tasks from the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery Curriculum. Residents were graded on time and precision by attending surgeons. The group ably represented the Department Surgery with distinction, reflecting the Department's commitment to rigorous training as underscored by its Surgical Skills Center.
Rogers Urges Caution on New Medical Device to Treat GERD
U.S. News - February 22, 2013
study in the New England Journal of Medicine touts a new
medical device for the treatment of
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) as an alternative
to standard therapy, long-term proton-pump inhibitors or
Nissen Fundoplication. The
new treatment is a surgical procedure in which a small band of
magnetic beads is surgically implanted to augment the lower esophageal
sphincter, the valve
between the esophagus and stomach.
ButStanley J. Rogers, M.D.,Associate Professor of Surgery at
UCSF,Chief of Minimally
Invasive Surgery, and Chief of Bariatric Surgery, expressed concern
about its use, telling CBS/KCBS News Healthwatch that the
device was essentially
untested except for the small study cited above. He cautioned that
the beads were a foreign
object and where the device was placed could
potentially cause serious complications including infection,
perforation and abdominal sepsis, leading to ultimate removal. He
emphasized that long-term data was needed to demonstrate
its safety and effectiveness.
CFCF Awards New Research Grant to Dr. Eric Nakakura to Study Resistance to mTOR Inhibition in Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors
UCSF Department of Surgery & CCFC-AACR - December 13, 2012
Eric Nakakura, M.D., Ph.D. has been awarded the 2012
Caring for Carcinoid Foundation-AACR Grant for Carcinoid Tumor and
Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor Research. Dr. Nakakura will
receive $250,000 over two years to understand why some patients
develop resistance to mTOR inhibiting drugs like everolimus. In
particular, he will focus on INK128, a new mTOR inhibitor to see if
it can overcome this resistance in mouse models of pancreatic
neuroendocrine cancer. He will also evaluate the utility of
(68)GA-DOTATOC PET-CT to monitor tumor response to mTOR inhibiting
therapies like everolimus and INK128.
Bariatric Surgery May Improve Chances for Successful Organ Transplantation
American Society For Metabolic And Bariatric Surgery, ABC News - December 03, 2012
"Bariatric surgery has been widely accepted in the medical
field, but now we're trying to apply it to specific patient
Matthew Y.C. Lin, M.D., a gastrointestinal surgeon, a former
surgical fellow*, and now an Assistant Professor of Surgery at
UCSF. In a pilot study of 26 morbidly obese patients waiting
for a kidney or liver transplant, Dr. Lin and colleagues in the UCSF Bariatric
Surgery Program found laproscopic sleeve
gastrectomy, a procedure that removes most of the stomach and
reshapes it into a small tube or sleeve, significantly improved the
chances of undergoing successful organ transplantation. "The
reason why physicians are skittish about bariatric surgery for
organ transplant is that these patients have more medical
comorbities," said Lin, who is the lead author of the study. "But
our study shows that it is safe to proceed."
In July 2011, the Department of Surgery created a new
Hepatobiliary and Pancreas Service naming Carlos
Corvera M.D., a hepatobiliary surgical oncologist, as its
Chief. The multidisciplinary program brings together faculty
members from surgery, hepatology, medical oncology, anesthesia,
radiology and pathology to care for patients with benign and
malignant conditions of the liver, gallbladder, biliary tract and
pancreas. The service holds clinics and weekly tumor boards at the
Mt. Zion and Parnassus campuses of UCSF. "Rather than isolated
silos of care, we have a team approach, which makes a big
difference for the overall care of the patients," said Dr. Corvera.
"When you are looking at a broad spectrum of disease, there are
often competing therapies for which a patient might be a good
candidate," said John Roberts, MD, FACS, chief of the UCSF
Targeted Gene Therapy Offers Relief from Pain and Inflammation
UCSF News - May 11, 2012
Chronic pain affects an estimated 116 million Americans and
costs $635 billion each year in medical treatment and lost
productivity. Aditi Bhargava, PhD, Associate Professor in the
UCSF Department of Surgery and Director of the Bhargava
Lab, is using a technique known as RNA interference (RNAi)
to develop a gene therapy system that sends specific commands to
certain neurons, or nerve cells, telling them to turn off pain, or
"The current treatments for pain dull everything," Bhargava
said. "You have a little fire in the kitchen, but your only
solution is a fire hose that floods the entire house. You put out
the fire, but you're affecting the whole house in the process - a
huge negative side effect."
Likening her method to a Trojan horse, Bhargava's novel
therapeutic approach essentially hides the pain-silencing commands,
carried by distinct proteins that affect cellular function, inside
other proteins which bind only to the troublemaker cells. Once
attached, they release their hidden power. Text above includes excepts from UCSF News story by
Twenty-Five Department of Surgery Faculty Named to U.S. News Top Doctors List
U.S. News - March 01, 2012
In its most recent survey, U.S. News in collaboration with Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. listed twenty-five (25) surgeons in the UCSF Department of Surgery, nearly one-third (1/3) of the clinical faculty, on the list of U.S. News "Top Doctors". The list, compiled from the opinion of colleagues, denotes the top 10% of physicians within a region practicing a given specialty. Fifteen of the 25 department surgeons were also named by their peers to the list of America's Top Doctors (ATD), a distinction reserved for the top 1% of physicians in the nation for that specialty. The listings are published online at U.S. News. The group rankings are intended to guide patients in selecting a doctor and physicians in making specialty referrals.
Physicians Emphasize Importance of Story Telling to Advance Patient Care
UCSF News Center - January 24, 2012
"Two doctors who have learned the art of telling stories are convinced that it has become indispensable to top-notch medical care. "A slow cultural shift over the past 20 years led by television - from "St. Elsewhere" to "ER" - has been humanizing society's view of the practice of medicine," said John Maa, M.D., an assistant professor in the UCSF Department of Surgery. "... As physicians, we must now harness the power of storytelling to enlighten Capitol Hill to enact new laws" to support emergency health care personnel. Maa spoke at Grand Rounds on "The Future of Emergency Care in America: Doctors as Storytellers." He was joined in Cole Hall by Neal Baer, M.D., executive producer and writer for television's "ER" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." His current show is "A Gifted Man."
Bhargava Lab Surgical Resident Honored with Multiple Awards for Research Excellence
UCSF Department of Surgery Bhargava Lab - September 22, 2011
M.D., a surgical resident in the Bhargava Lab, was recently honored
with several prestigious awards for his research:
the Kenneth P. Warren/ Pancreas Club Award for Outstanding
Resident Research Presentation bestowed by "The
Pancreas Club", a select group of world-renowned pancreatic
surgeons, and the Excellence in Research Award from the American College of Surgeons in the category,
"Alimentary Tract", the latter to be awarded at the 2011 Surgical
Forum in October, 2011 in San Francisco.
About the Bhargava Lab - the lab, a core component of
the UCSF Center for Neurobiology of Digestive Diseases,
is led by Aditi Bhargava, Ph.D. Associate Professor of
Surgery. The lab focuses on the molecular biology of
stress-related illnesses such as irritable bowel syndrome and
inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
For UCSF Surgeon, Hospital Overcrowding Becomes Personal
NY Times, New England Journal of Medicine, Wall Street Journal Digital Network - September 07, 2011
"The far-reaching implications were made painfully clear" in an eloquent and moving essay in the New England Journal of Medicine by John Maa, M.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery and Director of the UCSF Surgical Hospitalist Program. A national leader in improving emergency care, "Dr. Maa describes the all-too-familiar story of a 69-year-old woman who is admitted to the E.R. for a procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat. Her operation is delayed because she has to board for a full day while waiting for a real bed. During the delay, she suffers a major stroke and dies............The woman, we learn, was the author's mother."
-- From NY Times article by noted physician-journalist Dr. Pauline Chen
Lessons Learned from my Uncle's Sacrifice: A Proposal to Reform Medicare
The Healthcare Blog - June 21, 2011
"It is hardly news that the existing Medicare scheme already includes an element of rationing by limiting the number of Medicare inpatient and long-term care days a person can receive. Our nation has yet to meaningfully discuss end of life care and the potential solutions by setting a budget to overall spending, but starting this discussion will inevitably become necessary."
Note:This is a follow-up to John Maa, M.D.'s blog post Ultimate Sacrifice that appeared several months ago.The most recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine has a related healthcare policy story, The Waits that Matter, about Dr. Maa's mother.
The Ultimate Sacrifice - Suffering catastrophic illness and being uninsured
The Healthcare Blog - March 01, 2011
"An estimated 60% of American bankruptcies result from
overwhelming medical costs. My uncle's tale illuminates the dual
tragedy of suffering catastrophic illness and being uninsured. The
2008 recession claimed my uncle's job, health benefits, and assets,
except for a small inheritance. By 2009 he found work (but not
health coverage) as a consultant."
Concert to Benefit the GI Oncology Research Program
UCSF GI Oncology Research Program - May 05, 2010
Felsen, a classic and Indie rock band founded by
drummer Andrew Griffin, Luce, Jesse Brewster and Brad
Brooks held a benefit concert on Thursday, July
15th at 8 p.m at San Francisco's Red Devil Lounge.
Proceeds from this exciting evening of music and
dancing supported the research of the UCSF GI Oncology Research
Program, led by Robert S. Warren, MD and Alan P.
Venook, MD, research seeking to discover new
and potentially curative treatments for gastrointestinal (GI)
Andrew Griffin recently appeared on KFOG's Local Scene to
promote this benefit concert. The GI Oncology Program
wishes to thank Felsen, Luce, Jesse Brewster and Brad Brooks for
supporting its research.
Smokers Contemplating Surgery: A Unique Teachable Moment
Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons - November 01, 2009
"Given the enormous societal cost of tobacco, the fields of
anesthesia and surgery are presented with a special opportunity to
deliver a unified message about smoking cessation that will make a
real difference in the lives of patients. The first
step is to make surgeons around the world fully aware of the risks
of smoking so that they can educate their patients who smoke about
the increased risks of surgery. Surgeons should include a
discussion of active smoking and its risks during the preoperative
informed consent discussion when weighing the overall risks and
benefits of an operation."
Surgical & Therapeutic Advances in Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreas Cancer News Vol. 4, No. 1, July '09 - July 15, 2009
"Surgery for pancreas cancer is long and demanding, and surgeons
must be practiced to consistently perform it well. Pancreas cancer
surgery outcomes are better at high-volume, major medical centers
such as UCSF, where surgeons can specialize - perfecting and
maintaining skills and deepening their experience and
judgment." UCSF surgeons Kimberly Kirkwood, M.D., and Eric
Nakakura, M.D., Ph.D., achieve outstanding outcomes for
standard procedures and also perform operations rarely offered
elsewhere for select patients who would otherwise not
meet criteria for surgical treatment.