A New Lease on Life: Scott’s Story

After a shocking diagnosis, Scott Pulley was told a heart transplant was his only option. The Washington University heart team came together to find another way – and save his life in the process.

A Helping Hand: Carmen’s Story

Dr. Pet listens to pulse in patient's fingers using ultrasound in clinic room

A rare disease nearly cost Carmen her hands, until she met microvascular surgeon Mitchell Pet, MD.

Atrial Fibrillation at a Glance

A healthy heart is essential to overall health and wellbeing, and an irregular heartbeat can be an early warning sign of complications down the line.

Embracing Life With an Ostomy Bag

Ostomy surgery can be life altering – but for many patients, it can uncover a newfound sense of freedom and a new outlook on life.

Understanding ECMO

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation helps the body recover during heart or lung failure.

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.

A Beautiful New Heart: Audrey’s Story

Baby Audrey smiling in red dress at birthday party holding parents' hands.

Audrey was born with a rare combination of heart conditions. Thanks to an organ donor and the St. Louis Children’s and Washington University Heart Center team, she celebrated her first birthday at home with a new heart.

High Blood Pressure and Erectile Dysfunction

Doctor taking a blood pressure reading with cuff and stethoscope.

Both high blood pressure and erectile dysfunction are common among older men. Understanding the relationship between these conditions could help men find the treatment that’s right for them.

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.

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.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Comparison of IBS and IBD symptoms with medical illustration of the digestive system.

Inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome are two different gastrointestinal conditions. Learn more about each, and how Washington University Colon & Rectal Surgery provides team-based care for inflammatory bowel disease.

7 Things to Know About Lymphedema

Lymphedema is swelling caused by a blockage or damage to the lymphatic system. Most cases of lymphedema in the United States happen after cancer or cancer treatment. Understanding this condition can help with lymphedema prevention, management and treatment.

Coaching After Amputation: Sam’s Story

Sam Schaefer returning to his active lifestyle after amputation surgery. Text overlay reads "Coaching After Amputation: Sam's Story"

Sam Schaefer suffered from constant pain after an injury left him with a rare neurological condition. After a below-the-knee amputation at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, he is back to playing hockey, breaking world records and coaching at a local gym.

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.

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: 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.

Meet the Pancreatic Cancer Team

Meet the Pancreatic Cancer Team Washington University hepatobiliary-pancreatic & gastrointestinal (HPB-GI) surgeons, along with the multidisciplinary team of specialists at Siteman Cancer Center, are nationally recognized for their screening, diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, pancreatic cancer is the eighth most common cancer in women and the tenth most […]

Meet the Lung Cancer Team

Washington University thoracic surgeons provide the highest level of care for patients with lung cancer.

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.

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.

Breast Cancer Care

Breast Cancer Surgery

Washington University surgical oncologists and plastic and reconstructive surgeons provide the highest level of care for people with breast cancer.