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Medical students from Tulane University, Louisiana State University, the University of Queensland, or elsewhere may take electives in Colon and Rectal Surgery for 3 to 6 weeks during the academic year and one or two may be appointed to clerkships during the summer months.

House officers make rounds with staff surgeons daily. During rounds they are instructed in diagnosis, pre- and post-operative care, and the management and treatment of complications.

Each staff surgeon in our department has broad expertise in the comprehensive surgical and medical management of diseases of the small bowel, colon, rectum, and anus. We are proud of the diverse backgrounds of our staff and feel that our focused areas of interest provide trainees with experiences that make our program unique.

  • Dr. Whitlow has particular interests in transanal excision of rectal tumors, sphincter-preserving surgery for rectal cancer, and management of inflammatory bowel disease and its complications, diverticulitis, and advanced endoscopic techniques (EMR/ESD).
  • Dr. Vargas has special interest in minimally invasive approaches to complex rectal cancer, including both laparoscopic and robotic techniques.
  • Dr. Kann has special interests in the management complex inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal malignancies.
  • Dr. Johnston has a particular interest in treating patients with complex colon and rectal disorders in an individualized, caring, and respectful manner utilizing minimally invasive surgical and advanced endoscopic techniques.
  • Dr. Giglia has special interests in laparoscopic and robotic approaches to management of colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Dr. Paruch is interested in complex management of inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal malignancies and pelvic floor disorders.
  • Dr. Kethman has special interests in minimally invasive management of colon and rectal cancers, inflammatory bowel disease, and pelvic floor disorders

In addition, the Department has an Anorectal Physiology Laboratory that is fully equipped to conduct comprehensive evaluations of patients with colorectal diseases. Anal manometry and intra-rectal and intra-anal ultrasonography are utilized by the department in studies of fecal continence, constipation, and pre- and post-operative evaluation of patients for sphincter conservation surgery.

Formal departmental conferences are held on Monday and Wednesday. The Monday morning didactics curriculum is modeled after the ASCRS Colorectal Educational Systems Template (CREST) and is designed to provide fellows with a fundamental understanding of colorectal diseases. This curriculum is taught by faculty within the Department of Colon and Rectal Surgery and includes guest lectures from specialists in the fields of Gastroenterology, Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Urologic Gynecology, and Enterostomal therapy. Monthly, we hold a Patient Quality and Safety conference and Combined Gastroenterology/Colorectal inflammatory bowel disease on Monday afternoons. Every Wednesday morning fellows and staff participate in a multidisciplinary tumor board conference which provide fellows with broad exposure to care of complex colorectal and anal malignancies. In addition, the Department hosts monthly journal club conferences at a staff member’s home.