Volume 13 | June 1, 2018
Surgical Notes
From the Chair

Many thanks to all who attended the 2nd Annual Town Hall Meeting. The feedback you provided has been invaluable. If anyone has continued questions, concerns, or suggestions, we welcome them. Feedback can be provided by email, in person, or anonymously in the West 16 suggestion box.

As we roll into June, I wish everyone a happy and healthy summer.

Vigneshwar Kasirajan, MD
TransMedics Clinical Trial
Dr. Sudha Jayaraman has made news with her collaboration with Dr. Dayanjan Wijesinghe (School of Pharmacy) researching the use of mass spectrometry to analyze medications that are in trauma patients' blood.

The current method - simply asking the patient or family - isn't always reliable or even an option if the patient is unable to respond. This can result in significant health risks in an already volatile situation. For example, current medications could interact with any administered during surgical procedures; those medications could affect responses to wounds or treatment; or suddenly stopping a medication could result in withdrawal, creating in and of itself an additional medical crisis.

Upon receipt of funding from the C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research and Commercialization Fund, as well as support from VCU Innovation Gateway , they have continued their research and even applied for a patent. To date, of the 50 drugs they aim to catalog, they've knocked out 45.

To read more about this, click here .
TransMedics Clinical Trial
The VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center has partnered with TransMedics to participate in a clinical trial that aims to improve the functionality of donated organs, increasing available organs across the nation. " TransMedics’ Organ Care System, or OCS, preserves organs opposite of how hospitals have been preserving them for decades. While most organs held for transplant are stored cold, stopping the metabolic process, the OCS preserves them warm, perfused with nutrient-enriched blood at their natural temperature, allowing the organs to metabolize and function outside the body on their way to being transplanted in a patient"

Trevor Reichman MD, Associate Professor with the Division of Transplant Surgery, continues, "In Virginia, there are about 200 candidates currently waiting to receive a liver transplant. The TransMedics system will allow us to transplant patients faster, safer and with better outcomes. Because the OCS allows livers to remain functional outside of the body, the liver can recover from damage before it is transplanted into a patient resulting in less injury.”

VCU Health is the first Virginia hospital to participate in this trial, joining other east coast institutions like Massachusetts General and Emory.

To read more from the Hume-Lee press release, click here .
American College of Surgeons at Capitol Hill
Drs. Guilherme Campos , Paul J. Nutter Professor and Division Chair for Bariatric and Gastrointestinal Surgery, and Brian Kaplan , Professor of Surgical Oncology, recently joined a team of faculty with the American College of Surgeons in Washington, D.C.

There they met with Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine as well as other members of Congress to discuss healthcare policy issues and concerns among today's surgeons and patients alike. Topics included the opioid crisis, gun violence, graduate medical education, and electronic medical records.
NIH Clinical and Translational Research Course
Ria Fyffe-Freil, PhD student under the guidance of Dr. Martin Mangino (Professor and Associate Chair for Basic Research) has been awarded the much coveted slot at the NIH Clinical Center's Clinical and Translational Research Course for PhD students. This highly competitive program aims to reinforce the role of basic science researchers in the clinical and translational research process, providing resources and role models to PhD students.

Fyffe-Friel is working on molecular mechanisms of liver preservation injury in deceased donor grafts, specifically focusing on the role sphingosine-1-phosphate metabolism and signaling in cytoskeletal rearrangement plays in ischemic hepatocytes.
European Urology Publication
European Urology, a medical journal with a significant impact factor, has published a paper authored by Associate Clinical Professor, Ricardo Autorino , MD, PhD and Division of Urology Chair Lance Hampton , MD (and others). The paper, titled "Outcomes of Robot-Assisted Partial Nephrectomy for Clinical T2 Renal Tumors: A Multicenter Analysis (ROSULA Collaborative Group," analyzes the perioperative, functional, and oncological outcomes of Robot-assisted PN (RAPN) for cT2 tumors as compared to CT1 renal masses.

To read more, click here .
Hume-Lee in the News
The Hume-Lee Transplant Center at VCU was recognized recently by Channel 10 News as it ran a story about Bethany Sandone, a recent patient of Dr. Amit Sharma , Associate Professor with Transplant Surgery.

Sandone, a student of Virginia Tech, arrived by med flight at VCU Health where she underwent a life saving surgery to transplant a donor liver.

About the procedure, Sharma stated, " The decision for transplant was pretty cut and dry. Without a liver transplant, she wasn't going to make it. The question in these cases is how quickly an organ offer can come through, because if you wait too long and the patient gets any infection or doesn't do well in terms of brain swelling, then it can be too late sometimes."

Just over a year later, Sandone is doing well and set to graduate this December. To read more from the Channel 10 story, click here .
Transplant Teaching Conference
Yolanda Becker , MD visited VCU where she presented at the May 24th Transplant Teaching conference.
Dr. Becker is the current president of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and the lead surgeon for kidney and pancreas transplantaion at the University of Chicago. She conducts clinical research on reducing transplant rejection rates as well as immunology.

During her presentation, she provided an update on the areas of focus and goals for UNOS for the next few years.

Pictured right is David M. Hume Professor and Division Chair, Dr. Marlon Levy with Dr. Becker.
American Urological Association 2018
Dr. Anthony Herndon , Children's Hospital Foundation Endowed Professor and Chair, recently presented the State-of-the-Art Lecture at the 2018 American Urological Assocation meeting in San Francisco.

His talk focused on the association between urinary tract infections and prenatal urinary dilation, "examining the impact of prophylactic antibiotics for prenatal UTD and the role of imaging in the postnatal period."

To read more, click here .
Richmond's Outstanding Nurses
Nurse Practitioners Hannah Sadek, AGACNP (Acute Care Surgical Services) and Jenna Brand, MS, RN, CPNP (Urology) were recently recognized as Outstanding Nurses in the OurHealth Richmond Magazine .
About nursing, Hannah states, “I always wanted to be in the medical field. I have always enjoyed direct patient care, working extensively with patients and families, and collaborating with a team to ensure best outcomes.”

One of her patients was recently recognized at the 2018 Shining Knight Gala.

To read more from her story in OurHealth, click here .
Jenna, who practices in the Children's Hospital of Richmond with pediatric urology, cites the birth of her sibling as the reason for becoming interested in nursing. She states, " The birth of my only sibling inspired me to become a nurse. I was 20 years old when my mom had my sister. I remember my mom’s OB handing me scrubs and saying, “You’re coming into the OR with us."

Her story can be read by clicking here .

Surgery Staff Feature
Meet Suellen Leftwich, administrative assistant with the newly created Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery .

Suellen joined the Department of Surgery 6 months ago and has quickly become an invaluable member of the team. In her role, she supports the faculty and other providers within the division as they've quickly grown and expanded their footprint in Richmond.

When asked what gives her the greatest satisfaction she responded quite easily - She loves to make her team members smile.

Rachel Wilson, Division Supervisor for Bariatric and GI, continues that sentiment stating: "'I would love to be part of the team to make VCU Colon and Rectal [surgery] world renowned.' Suellen wrote [this] quote as a sign off to her Thank You email after her final interview with Dr. Bohl. It perfectly encapsulates everything about Suellen and how much enthusiasm and energy she brings to the team, every single day. Suellen keeps a smile on everyone’s face. If you haven’t had a chance to meet her, make it a priority. I promise you will not stop laughing."

Outside of West, you will find Suellen spending time with her family and reading non-fiction books.
Monthly Wellness Note
As stresses of the day build up, it's often quite difficult to stay positive. That's where the Three-Good-Things app comes in.

This app has you write down 3 good things that happened during the day - every day- which helps refocus your brain and reduce stress.

Want to give it a try? Download the app in the iTunes or Google Play stores.

And don't forget! The Department of Surgery is hosting Yoga on June 14th in Main 2-125. Let Jessica Carey know if you'd like to participate!
Upcoming Events
Isaac A. Bigger Banquet & Graduation
Wednesday June 23, 2018
6:00 - 10:00 PM
Jefferson Lakeside Country Club

RSVP by Wednesday June 13, 2018.

Questions? Contact Cindi Phares at cindi.phares@vcuhealth.org .
Research Open Forum
Monthly, 2nd Mondays
4:00 - 5:00 PM
West 16 Conference Room (16-103)

All are welcome to attend!
Upcoming Guest Lectures

June 21, 2018
Dr. L. Scott Levin
Theogaraj Plastic Surgery Visiting Professor
Paul B. Mangnuson Professor of Bone & Joint Surgery
Chairman, Orthopedic Surgery, Penn Medicine
VCUHS Learning & Development
Click here to view available Learning Events through the Office of Training & Development for the month of February.

For more information or to register, visit the Learning Exchange or email educationmatters@vcuhealth.org
Have a story to tell? Contact jessica.carey@vcuhealth.org
Department of Surgery | Virginia Commonwealth University | (804)828-7874 | surgweb@vcu.edu