The attending staff for the Colon and Rectal Surgery Fellowship consists of 7 board-certified colon and rectal surgeons. The fellowship is based at St. Vincent Health Center in Erie, PA with secondary activity at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA. The surgical volume between the two sites includes approximately 650 abdominal cases, 400 anorectal cases and 1500 colonoscopies annually. The teaching faculty represent the largest colorectal surgical presence in northwest Pennsylvania drawing from western New York and northeast Ohio as well as the largest colorectal group in the greater Pittsburgh area whose patients range into central Pennsylvania, southwest Ohio and northern West Virginia.
The program is proud of its devotion to providing our patients with the most up to date minimally invasive surgery techniques and evidence-based surgical treatments. Robotic and laparoscopic surgery are performed on a routine basis for both malignant and benign diseases of the colon and rectum. There are a wide array of anorectal cases ranging from the routine hemorrhoidectomy to that of complex Transanal Minimally Invasive Surgery (TAMIS) for low rectal disease. Additionally, there is ample exposure to and experience with complex IBD surgery and ileal pouch construction.
The same devotion exists to the endoscopic and physiological assessment services. In addition to routine colonoscopy, therapeutic modalities including stenting, hydrostatic balloon dilation, argon beam plasma coagulation and tattooing are performed. Available physiologic studies include anal manometry, pudendal nerve terminal motor latency testing and anorectal ultrasound. In office, the full spectrum of challenges in the appropriate diagnosis and workup of malignancies, benign disease as well as anorectal pathology is present. This allows for excellent continuity of patient care for the fellow - both pre-operatively and post-operatively.
There is active interest in both prospective as well as retrospective clinically based research with projects ongoing annually. Each fellow is expected to prepare a manuscript suitable for oral presentation to the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. The program is devoted to an ACGME competency-based approach to evaluating progress through the program. Fellows alternate in preparing and delivering weekly evidence-based PowerPoint presentations covering the topics of the colorectal curriculum based on the ASCRS textbook. This serves as the basis for discussion of key points and controversies within the surgical literature. Additionally, a multi-disciplinary tumor board and GI conference meet on a monthly basis.