Lung Cancer – The Basics

Learn more about lung cancer types, symptoms and treatment from Washington University surgeons at Siteman Cancer Center.

Sarcoma – What It Is and How It’s Treated

Sarcomas are a cancerous condition that manifests in different types of tissue. Symptoms include progressively enlarged or painful lumps that are superficial, deep or in the joints. There are many options for diagnosing sarcomas, and their progress or stage determines treatment options. Sarcoma is a rare type of cancer that often doesn’t cause symptoms, which makes screenings vitally important if you develop any new and unidentified lumps.

Blood Donation: What, How and Why

Washington University patients benefit from blood donations during surgery and in critical care situations. Learn about the “what, how, and why” of blood donation.

Demystifying the Circulatory System

Blood cells circulating through a vessel

The Department of Surgery explains terminology and components of the circulatory system. We use plain language to explain to describe what arteries, vessels, and related structures are, how they are different and some common conditions that affect them.

Four-Year Grant Awarded to Acute and Critical Care Research Project

Dr. Isaiah Turnbull, a researcher and surgeon at Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, has received a four-year $1.5 million grant for his research on immunosuppression induced by burn injuries. This work is in partnership with the Military Burn Research Program.

Neurogenic Bladder: Common Causes

Problems with signals from the nervous system to the bladder cause neurogenic bladder.

Neurogenic bladder is a condition in which the nerves signaling to the bladder have been damaged, resulting in dysfunction of the bladder muscles and function. Common causes include genetic nerve problems, birth defects, injury, stroke, diabetes, infection, brain or spinal cord tumors. Treatments include lifestyle changes, medicinal treatments and surgery.

What is HIPEC Surgery?

Hyperthermic or heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) surgery is a two-step procedure that treats certain cancers in the abdomen. This is a procedure conducted by surgeons in the Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Cancer Staging: What, Why and How?

Featured graphic illustration of cancer cells in human lung with text overlay that reads "Cancer Staging: What, Why and How"

Cancer staging is an essential step in the cancer treatment process. When a patient is diagnosed with cancer, staging tests indicate the extent and progress of cancer. Knowing this information assists physicians in deciding treatment options and can also predict health outcomes for the patient.

The Impact of Persistent Smoking on Outcomes After Lung Cancer Surgery

Researchers from Washington University and Siteman Cancer Center conduct research on patient health outcomes after surgery for stage I non-small cell lung cancer to understand if persistent smoking after surgery is associated with worse survival. They conclude that persistent smoking after surgery decreases the survival rates of patients.

2021 Annual Report for the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery

The Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery does essential, life-saving work for our patients at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where surgeons are shaping the future of surgery. To highlight the year’s accomplishments among our surgeons, are proud to share the 2021 Annual Report for the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, which is now available online.

Department of Surgery 2021 Annual Report

With another year in the books, we are proud to share the Department of Surgery 2021 Annual Report, demonstrating our mission in action. You can read the Annual Report online to learn how the Department of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has continued its leadership in patient care, research, education and health equity in a year of challenges and successes.

Ask the Research Director: Research During Residency with Ryan C. Fields, MD

Residency applicants need to know the fit of a program’s research education to their interests and needs. Ryan C. Fields, MD, the Director of Resident Research for the General Surgery Residency Program at Washington University, explains why WashU is an ideal location for research in surgery.

Ask the Doctor: Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy

The medical term for an enlarged prostate is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). An enlarged prostate is not a medical problem, but it is a condition patients should understand.

Ask The Residents: Advice to Applicants

General Surgery residents give their “best advice” to current or future applications to hospital residencies. Their insight and recommendations reflect their trials, successes, and learning experiences within the application process. They also emphasize how applying to programs like the General Surgery Residency is a major decision that cultivates professional and personal growth as a physician.

Disparities After Surgery: Readmission from Complications More Common for People of Color

Physicians at Washington University School of Medicine conducted a research study on the disparities of post-surgery complications and readmission, visualizing differences of readmission between white and non-white patients. Patients of color are more likely to require readmission after surgery, which may be related to other lived disparities, such as barriers to accessing equal healthcare to their white counterparts.

Ask the Doctor: Heart Failure with Dr. Moon

Heart failure is a chronic and progressive condition in which the muscle tissue of the heart cannot pump enough blood to supply oxygen and circulation throughout the body. It results in symptoms like fatigue and shortness of breath but can cause other complications. Multiple types of HF exist and are treated differently depending on the stage.

Ask the Doctor: Colorectal Cancer with the Colorectal Team

Colorectal Cancer Team

Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the lower intestine, either the colon or rectum, and causes symptoms such as bowel movement changes, pain and weight loss as it progresses. It is a common cancer that is often detected through regular screening and requires physician diagnosis from specific tests. Colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable and curable through surgical and radiation treatments. Washington University School of Medicine and Siteman Cancer Center provide patients with screening, diagnoses and treatment options.

Ask the Doctor: Diverticulitis with Dr. Kerri Ohman

Diverticulitis is the inflammation or infection of diverticula, small pouches commonly occurring in the colon. The presence of diverticula is known as diverticulosis. If one or several diverticula become inflamed or infected, diverticulitis develops. Diverticulitis causes abdominal pain, fever, nausea and a changes in bowel habits. Mild diverticulitis can be treated with rest, changes in diet and use of antibiotics, but severe or persistent attacks of diverticulitis requires surgery.

Ask The Residents: Advice from Attendings

he expertise and advice provided by our attending physicians and surgeons are integral to the development of our residents. We asked those in the General Surgery Residency about the best advice they received from attendings during their time at Washington University.

Ask the Doctor: Hirschsprung Disease with Dr. Baddr Shakhsheer

Hirschsprung disease is a congenital condition that causes issues with the digestive system. The bowel or colon is not able to contract due to a cell deficiency, leading to constipation and other digestive problems. Treatment for this condition includes surgery to repair the colon.

Ask The Doctors: Critical Limb-Threatening Ischemia

Ask the Doctors Header Image, featuring Patrick Geraghty, MD shown to the right, with Critical Limb-Threatening Ischemia typed to the left.

Limb ischemia is a peripheral arterial disease that causes reduced blood supply to the limbs. Long-term limb ischemia can progress into chronic limb-threatening ischemia (CL-TI), which requires immediate medical attention and treatment. Dr. Geraghty and the limb preservation team at Washington University answer questions about this condition, risk factors and treatment options.

Meet the Residents: Annie Hess and Robert MacGregor

Hess and MacGregor

Get to know residents Annie Hess and Robert MacGregor in the General Surgery residency program, why they chose Washington University School of Medicine for their surgical training and what it’s like to be a resident in St. Louis.

Washington University’s Surgical Prehabilitation and Readiness (SPAR) Program

Prehabilitation (or rehabilitation before surgery) helps patients be healthy and strong before surgery and has been shown to improve recovery and health outcomes. The Surgical Prehabilitation and Readiness (SPAR) program at Washington University guides patients for the weeks before a procedure by providing strategies and goals to prepare their body and mind.

Toriola and Zayed Awarded NIH Research Grants

Surgeons Adetunji Toriola, MD, PhD and Mohamed Zayed, MD, PhD from the Department of Surgery have received prestigious R01 grants from National Institutes of Health (NIH) for their research in cancer and vascular medicine, respectively.

The Essentials of Biological Tissue Grafts, Donation and Research at Washington University

There are several sources for biological tissue grafts used for reconstructive, reparative or replacement surgery. Allografts are obtained from tissue donors and transplanted into recipients through the tissue donation process. The decision to donate involves registration as a donor and is an important conversation to have with family. Ongoing surgery and research at Washington University benefits from the donation of tissue grafts or specimens from consented donors.

Health Literacy Month – October 2021

Katherine Glover-Collins, MD, discuss what to expect before surgery with a patient.

Celebrating health literacy this October comes with two initiatives: to increase personal literacy and improve organizational literacy. Patient health literacy and education are important goals for those seeking medical treatment, and hospital programs can encourage the familiarity of patients with the language of health. Organizations are also responsible for providing accessible, understandable information to their patients.

The Importance of Comfort: Patient Gender Selection in Colorectal Surgery

Colorectal screening, diagnosis and treatment are integral parts of overall health, but obstacles related to patient comfort can prevent effective medical intervention for colorectal illness. Having a diverse, accessible department of colorectal surgeons reassures patients and advances the optimal benefits for their colorectal health.

Dr. Evarts Graham and the History of Cardiothoracic Medicine and Research at Washington University

Exploring the history of research in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery begins with the career of surgeon and clinical researcher Dr. Evarts Graham. A gifted cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Graham’s research included one of the earliest studies of smoking as it contributed to lung cancer, and this pioneering work has directed similar research on smoking cessation and health impacts for decades.

Meet the Residents: Julie Clanahan and Britta Han, WISE Fellows

Get to know residents Julie Clanahan and Britta Han in the General Surgery residency program, why they chose Washington University School of Medicine for their surgical training and what it’s like to be a resident in St. Louis.

Three Aspects of Health and Healing: The Biopsychosocial Model in Medicine

The biopsychosocial model is a valuable perspective on health and wellness than can be applied to patient experience. Whether biological, psychological or social health, these aspects of wellness have influence each other and can impact a patient’s condition as well as how care should be administered. This model has helped direct surgeons at WashU hospitals.

Ask the Residents: Laura Lee, Urology

Get to know resident Laura Lee in the Urology residency programs, why she chose Washington University School of Medicine for her surgical training and what it’s like to be a resident in St. Louis.

How Kidney Allocation Changed in 2021

Kidney transplant is a life-saving surgical procedure which requires the matching of a donor kidney to the receiving patient, or recipient. National policy updates change the process of matching kidneys to recipients.

Ask the Doctors: Aortic Aneurysms and Repair

Vascular surgeon Brian Rubin, MD, answers frequently asked questions about aortic aneurysms. Dr. Rubin specializes in endovascular and open surgical treatment of vascular disease, including thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms.

Ask the Doctors: Hernias and Hernia Repair Surgery

Sara E. Holden, MD

Hernia repair surgeon Sara Holden, MD, answers frequently asked questions about hernias. Holden specializes in abdominal wall hernia repair and is an expert in minimally invasive techniques.