Stanford Surgery News

The Latest

Dr. Korndorffer Named Vice Chair of Education

The Stanford University Department of Surgery has named James R. Korndorffer Jr., MD, MPHE, FACS, vice chair of education effective December 1, 2017. Vice chair of education is a new position in the Department of Surgery.

With the creation of the new position, it was clear to me that Dr. Hawn and the department leadership understand the changes occurring in surgical education. The education of a surgeon is a continuum from undergraduate medical education, through residency and fellowship, to lifelong learning as a practicing surgeon,” said Korndorffer. “I was drawn to this position for the opportunity to work with dedicated surgical educators in all of these areas.”

Dr. Cheng Signs Book Deal

Christopher Cheng, PhD, of the Division of Vascular Surgery, has signed a book deal with Elsevier to write a book tentatively titled "Determining Dynamic Boundary Conditions For Cardiovascular Device Durability." 

"For medical device companies to properly design and evaluate cardiovascular implants, they must not only know the primary function of the implant, but also the dynamic environment in which the implant needs to survive," said Dr. Cheng. "This is a relatively new field that is not well studied, and much of the sparse knowledge resides as tribal know-how within individual companies."

With his combined experience in academia and the medical device industry, Dr. Cheng has been commissioned to write the first book to cover this topic.

Dr. Wapnir appointed to NCI BOLD Task Force

Dr. Irene Wapnir has been appointed to the Breast Oncology Local Disease (BOLD) Task Force of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Breast Cancer Steering Committee (BCSC) as a Representative of NRG. 

Med Students Design Course to Encourage Service Through Surgery

According to an article in The American Journal of Surgery, surgeons play an essential role in improving health outcomes for low‐income populations, but they comprise only a small fraction of their community. Stanford Medical Students Paloma Marin Nevarez and Jecca Steinberg wish to change that.

“Surgery is a service to all who require help, including the underserved. This calling is not solely answered by those in primary care,” said Dr. James Lau, Director of the Goodman Surgical Education Center. “These two students realized this, were moved by this, and wanted to get the word out. I therefore supported them in their efforts for my beloved specialty and facilitated their passion for caring for those less fortunate.”

Under Lau’s guidance, Marin Nevarez and Steinberg created the framework for SURG 234: Service Through Surgery, a 10-week, 1-credit seminar that will be offered for the first time this winter. 

Read the article.

Stanford Vascular Medicine Fellowship to Resume July 2018

The Division of Vascular Surgery at the Stanford School of Medicine will officially resume the Stanford Vascular Medicine Fellowship beginning in July 2018. 

Between 2006 and 2013, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) funded seven K12 centers in the United States—including Stanford—to offer comprehensive clinical research training in vascular medicine to prepare clinicians for academic leadership roles as mentors and clinical researchers.

“We are resuming the fellowship as there is a continuing need to educate the next generation of vascular medicine specialists,” said Dr. Eri Fukaya, a clinical assistant professor of surgery (vascular surgery) at Stanford, a graduate of the NHLBI K12 fellowship program, and director of the new Vascular Medicine Fellowship Program.


On October 1, 2017, a gunman opened fire on a crowd of fans at a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada leaving 58 people dead and more than 500 injured. A majority of those in need of medical attention, were taken to University Medical Center Southern Nevada (UMCSN) which is staffed in part by medical residents from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

“After the shooting happened in Las Vegas, we were reading the news reports, and I think a lot of us had the same thought” ‘what can I do to help?’” said Dr. Clement Marshall, a general surgery resident at Stanford University. 

Marshall and his fellow Stanford Surgery residents donated more than $1200 worth of energy drinks, Cliff Bars, bottles of water, snacks, and other items to the UMCSN residents in the hopes of making their lives a little bit easier.

Dept. of Surgery Doctors Inducted as ACS Fellows

Five Stanford Department of Surgery doctors were inducted as fellows of the American College of Surgery (ACS) during the ACS's 2017 Clinical Congress. They were:

• Dr. Venita Chandra of Vascular Surgery,
• Dr. Monica Dua of General Surgery,
• Dr. Neelima Katragunta of Vascular Surgery,
• Dr. Rahim Nazerali of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and
• Dr. James Wall of Pediatric Surgery.

Dr. Harris elected President of Western Vascular Society

Dr. E. John Harris Jr. has been elected the 32nd president of the Western Vascular Society. The society encompasses the Western continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii, as well as the Canadian Provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, and the Pacific Rim. 

"The Western Vascular Society is the most prestigious group for vascular surgeons in this region," said Dr. Harris. "My father was one of the founding members, so it's an honor to continue his legacy." 

Dr. Harris term concludes at the society's annual meeting, which will be held September 21-25, 2018 in Santa Fe, NM. 

Charles Chan, PhD appointed Assistant Professor (UTL)

Charles Chan, PhD will be appointed as an Assistant Professor (Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery) in the University Tenure Line effective November 1, 2017.

"Dr. Chan was unanimously selected in an international search for a stem cell biologist," said Dr. Michael Longaker. "He discovered the Mouse Skeletal Stem Cell (Cell, 2015) and has a manuscript in revision describing the Human Skeletal Stem Cell. He is an outstanding scientist who will greatly add to our research programs."

Dr. Chan received his PhD from Stanford University in developmental biology in 2011, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford with Dr. Longaker. He was most recently an instructor in Stanford's Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. 

Dr. Venita Chandra Promoted to Clinical Associate Professor

Dr. Venita Chandra has been promoted to Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of Vascular Surgery. 

Dr. Chandra co-directs the Advanced Wound Care Center in Redwood City and is the Associate Director of the Division of Vascular Surgery's nationally-ranked residency and fellowship training programs.

"Under her capable direction, the volume, capabilities, and outcomes achieved in our limb salvage program have improved dramatically," said Vascular Division Chief Dr. Ronald Dalman. "She also happens to be a wonderful colleague, friend and mentor to many of our junior faculty. In addition to being a highly-skilled surgeon, she is a good person, first and foremost."

Stanford Surgeons Use VR to Enhance Education

Doctors in the Department of Surgery's Divisions of Pediatric Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery are exploring new technology to augment the instruction of residents, fellows, and medical students. 

“The gold standard in surgical education is to observe a procedure in-person, a video gives you one angle which is usually on the focal point of the surgery, but VR brings you closer to that immersive feeling,” said Dr. James Wall, an assistant professor of pediatric surgery and assistant fellowship director at the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign at Stanford University.

Surgeons Use Multidisciplinary Approach to Remove Tumor

Dr. George A. Poultsides from the Division of General Surgery's Section of Surgical Oncology and Dr. Matthew Mell from the Division of Vascular Surgery work together on a complex abdominal tumor case requiring vascular resection and reconstruction in the Stanford Hospital OR.

Stanford Surgery is internationally known for its interdisciplinary program treating patients with tumors involving major blood vessels, which are felt to be inoperable at other medical centers.

Dr. Neelima Katragunta joins Division of Vascular Surgery

Dr. Neelima Katragunta has joined the Stanford University Division of Vascular Surgery as a Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery. Dr. Katragunta earned her medical degree at the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, India in 2001. She completed a master’s in public health at the State University of New York (2004) and a master’s in epidemiology at Missouri State University (2005).

Following her internship in general surgery at the Western Pennsylvania Hospital (2007), she completed her general surgery residency at East Tennessee State University (2011) and her fellowship in vascular surgery at the University of Tennessee (2013).

Dr. Katragunta previously served on the faculty at University of Iowa as a clinical assistant professor of vascular surgery and staff vascular surgeon at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Iowa City. She is board certified in both general surgery and vascular surgery by the American Board of Surgery.

Dr. Karthik Mikkineni joins Division of Vascular Surgery

Dr. Karthik Mikkineni has joined the Division of Vascular Surgery as a Clinical Assistant Professor. A native of Southern India, joining Stanford's Department of Surgery fulfills Dr. Mikkineni's dream of working for a top academic medical center. 

"It is exciting to be working with a renowned team of surgeons and training the future leaders of vascular surgery," said Dr. Mikkineni. "There are endless opportunities to clinically excel here and extensive resources for research to make advances our field."

Dr. Mikkineni completed his internship at New York-Presbyterian followed by residency at Allegheny General, Temple University. 

Dr. David A Spain and Palo Alto VA Clinical Professor Eve Carlson, PhD, officially awarded an R01

Stanford Surgeon Dr. David A Spain and Palo Alto VA Clinical Professor Eve Carlson, PhD, were officially awarded an R01. The NIH Research Project Grant will fund their project "Development of a Risk Factor Screen for Mental Health Problems after Sudden Illness or Injury."

Dr. Chang inducted as 72nd President of American Society for Surgery of the Hand

Dr. James Chang, the Johnson & Johnson Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery at Stanford, was inducted as the 72nd President of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH). The ASSH is the oldest and largest national organization for hand surgery, with more than 4,000 members.

In this role, Dr. Chang will be in charge of directing the education, research, and outreach efforts for hand surgery in the entire United States, as well as internationally. Dr. Chang is the third Stanford plastic surgery chief to achieve this honor, following the footsteps of Dr. Robert Chase and Dr. Vincent Hentz. In the induction ceremony in San Francisco, both past-Presidents escorted Dr. Chang onto center stage. The theme of Dr. Chang’s ASSH Presidential year will be “Inform, Innovate, and Inspire."

Dr. David Spain Elected to ACS Executive Committee of the Board of Governors

Chief of Acute Care Surgery Dr. David A. Spain has been elected to the American College of Surgeons' Executive Commitee of the Board of Governors as the Education Pillar Lead for 2017-18.

"I am honored to be selected as the Education Pillar Lead for the Board of Governors," said Dr. Spain. "The Education Pillar works closely with the American College of Surgeon's Division of Education to develop new educational offerings to Fellows and Trainee members. I am excited to help coordinate these efforts."

Treatment for Short Bowel Syndrome Applies for Human Trial Approval

Stanford University Chief of Pediatric Surgery James Dunn, MD, is applying to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to start human trials on his distraction enterogenesis-inducing endoluminal coils.

“The idea of applying force to the intestine is based on many other things that we do in surgery: tissue expanders that are applied for breast reconstruction and distraction osteogenesis for making bone,” said Dr. Dunn. “When I heard that one time in a lecture hall I said to myself ‘we must be able to do that for an intestine.’”

Prof. Sherry Wren, MD, receives Surgical Volunteerism Award from ACS

Stanford University Professor of General Surgery Dr. Sherry Wren will receive the International Surgical Volunteerism Award from the American College of Surgeons (ACS). 

Dr. Wren has worked extensively with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, also known as Doctors Without Borders) in several African countries.

"I am thrilled to be recognized by the American College of Surgeons; it is an incredible honor to receive from your peers," said Dr. Wren. "I am passionate about providing surgical care to the under-served and patients with access challenges. Working overseas has been one of the most meaningful additions to my career; being able to participate in a true bidirectional exchange between the U.S. and other nations to improve access and care leads to intellectual stimulation, personal satisfaction, and growth."

Dr. Wren will be formally recognized at the ACS Clinical Congress 2017 in San Diego, CA, during the annual B/G reception and dinner on October 24.

Division of Pediatric Surgery Approved to Perform Fetoscopic Neural Tube Defect Repairs

The Division of Pediatric Surgery has been approved to perform fetoscopic neural tube defect repairs. Lucille Packard Children's Hospital is only the second site approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to execute the procedure under an investigational device exemption (IDE). The operation is designed to enable surgeons the ability to repair spina bifida while the fetus is in utero. 

"Our pediatric surgery and minimally-invasive surgery skill set is critical to the effective conduct of the procedure," said Dr. Karl Sylvester, Executive Director of the Fetal and Pregnancy Health Program at LPCH. 

Dr. Michael Belfort of Baylor University and Texas Children's Hospital applied for the amendment to expand the study to a second site. 

Associate Professor Named to AcademyHealth's Surgical and Perioperative Interest Group Advisory Committee

Stanford Department of Surgery Associate Professor Dr. Alex Sox-Harris has been named to AcademyHealth’s Surgical and Perioperative Interest Group Advisory Committee.

The interest group is a community of MDs, RNs, policymakers and researchers that collaborate on work that informs policy.

Dr. Sox-Harris looks forward to working within the advisory committee to encourage the interest group’s growth and impact.

Abdominal Transplantation Division Experiences Almost 100% Increase in Pediatric Kidney Transplants

Pediatric kidney transplants in Stanford's Division of Abdominal Transplantation are up almost 100% from the previous fiscal year. The division has performed 51 pediatric kidney transplants to date as compared with 26 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. The division performed 34 pediatric kidney transplants in FY 15 and 33 in FY 14. The fiscal year begins in September. 

According to 2015 data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital is No. 1 in pediatric kidney transplant volume in the western United States. Also, the kidney transplant program’s outcomes exceed the national average with one- and three-year patient survival rates at 100 percent for the last five data-reporting periods.

Jordan Stern, MD, joins Division of Vascular Surgery

Dr. Jordan Stern has joined the Department of Surgery's Division of Vascular Surgery as a Clinical Assistant Professor. A Toronto native, Dr. Stern completed his residency at the University of Chicago before performing his fellowship at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. 

"I came to Stanford for the opportunity to work alongside world-class vascular surgeons and help train top-tier fellows and residents," said Dr. Stern. "Additionally, I was impressed with the research capability and resources available here at Stanford."

Stanford G.I. Surgery Ranked Among Top in the U.S.

In the latest U.S. News & World Report, Stanford Hospital ranked among the top 10 hospitals in the country, and nationally ranked in 13 adult specialties including G.I. Surgery.

Dr. Sherry Wren to Preside over Sept. Meeting of The Halsted Society

Stanford University Professor of General Surgery Dr. Sherry Wren will preside over The Halsted Society upcoming meeting, September 13 through 16 in Connecticut. The Halsted Society is an elite surgical society composed of 80 active members from academic surgical programs across the US. The society was started in 1924, and the name was slected to pay homage to the "father of American surgery," Dr. William Stewart Holman.  Dr. Wren was elected president of the society in September 2016. 

"It is an incredible honor to have been selected," said Dr. Wren. Dr. Wren is the third Stanford faculty member to serve in this position;  Dr. James B.D. Mark and Dr. Thomas Krummel were also presidents in 1984 and 2010 respectively.

Li Ka Shing Surgeons Scholars Fund Awards Grant to PGY4

General Surgery Resident Dr. Miquell Miller is the first recipient of funds from the Li Ka Shing Surgeons Scholars Fund. The grant will cover her tuition for her two years of professional development. Miller intends to pursue a Master's degree in health services research at Stanford University with the funds. 

10-year-old Girl Celebrates Liverversary

On August 6, 2017, 10-year-old Lily Richard of Eugene, CA and her family celebrated what they called Lily's 'liverversary,' the one year anniversary of her successful liver transplant at Stanford's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. 

Mary Hawn Elected to ABS Executive Council

 The American Board of Surgeons' Board of Directors recently elected Stanford University Department of Surgery Chair Mary Hawn, MD, MPH as an at-large member of their executive council. Dr. Hawn was elected to the board in 2015 and will serve on the council for the remainder of her tenure—another four years.

Willed Body Program Director Interviewed on Podcast

Christopher Dolph, director of the Division of Clinical Anatomy's Willed Body Program, was interviewed on the Funeral Fact Podcast about donating your body to science. 

Stanford Surgery Welcomes Colorectal Surgeon Dr. Brooke Gurland

Dr. Brooke Gurland is the Medical Director of the Stanford Pelvic Health Center which is scheduled to open in Redwood City, CA, July 2018. Dr. Gurland performed her undergraduate and general surgery training in NYC, New York (Barnard College, Mount Sinai Medical Center), and her medical school training in Pennsylvania (Drexel University). She completed a colorectal surgery fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (Weston, Fla) and she was a Staff surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic for over a decade.

Abdominal Transplantion Surgeon receives Arthur L. Bloomfield Award

Stephan Busque, MD, professor of surgery and director of the adult kidney and pancreas transplant program, received the Arthur L. Bloomfield Award in Recognition of Excellence in the Teaching of Clinical Medicine. Jeffrey Dunn, MD, clinical professor of neurology and neurological sciences and chief of clinical neuroimmunology, and Peter Pompei, MD, clinical professor of medicine, also received the recognition. 

General Surgery Associate Professor Receives Award for Excellence in Patient Care

James Lau, MD, clinical associate professor of surgery, received the Alwin C. Rambar-James BD Mark Award for Excellence in Patient Care,. The award recognizes a member of the medical faculty for compassion in working with patients and their families, excellence in providing medical treatment, and effectiveness and pleasantness in interactions with patient-care staff.

Clinical Anatomy Asst. Professor wins Lawrences H. Mathers Award

Darren Salmi, MD, clinical assistant professor of surgery and of pathology, received the Lawrence H. Mathers Award for Exceptional Commitment to Teaching and Active Involvement in Medical School Education.

General Surgery Associate Professor Receives Award for Teaching

 Martin Bronk, MD, consulting associate professor of surgery, received the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Award for Excellence in Preclinical Teaching. Manuel Amieva, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and of microbiology and immunology; Sharon Chen, MD, clinical associate professor of pediatrics; and Andrew Nevins, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine, also received the recognition.

Clinical Anatomy Chief Wins Award 

Sakti Srivastava, MD, associate professor of surgery, director of Digital MEdIC and chief of clinical anatomy, received the Award for Excellence in Promotion of the Learning Environment and Student Wellness.

General Surgery Resident Honored at Annual School of Medicine Awards

General Surgery resident Lindsay Sceats, MD, received the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Award for Humanism and Excellence in Teaching. The award is given to residents based on their commitment to teaching and the compassionate treatment of students, colleagues and patients and their families. Medical residents Collin Culberston, MD, neurology; Jessica Gold, MD, psychiatry; Kyle Graham, MD, obstetrics and gynecology; Andre Kumar, MD, medicine; , surgery; and Charlie Wickremasinghe, MD, pediatrics, were also recognized.

Dr. Gordon Lee Receives 2017 Program Director Award

Plastic Surgery Residency Program Director Dr. Gordon Lee is the recipient of the Stanford University School of Medicine 2017 Program Director Award. 

"He has done an outstanding job, and was the overwhelming favorite by the award committee amongst a number of other terrific program directors," said committee member Dr. Laurence Katznelson. 

Postdoctoral Fellow Wins 2017 ATC Award

Yarl Balachandran, MD, a postdoctoral fellow in transplant immunology, was selected as a winner of the 2017 American Transplant Congress (ATC) Award out of approximately 100 applicants. The travel award will enable Yarl to offset the cost of travel to the 2017 ATC Congress in Chicago. 

Conjoined twins successfully separated at Packard Children’s Hospital

Two-year-old twin sisters Erika and Eva Sandoval are recovering in the pediatric intensive care unit following their Dec. 6 separation surgery. 

“They did very well,” said lead surgeon Gary Hartman, MD, clinical professor of pediatric surgery at Stanford's Department of Surgery. 

Dr. Thomas Krummel Named APSA Foundation Chair

Department of Surgery Chair Emeritus and Co-Director of the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign Dr. Thomas M. Krummel was chosen to serve the American Pediatric Surgical Association Foundation (APSAF) as their new chair. According to a release from APSAF Interim Chair Dr. Dan von Allmen, "The Foundation Board is confident in Dr. Krummel’s talents and skills to lead the foundation to the next level."