Division of General Surgery

Message from the Division Director

Welcome to the Department of Surgery Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery at the University of South Florida

We are an active clinical and academic entity focusing on complex surgical care. As we continue to grow over the coming years, we are committed to pursuing excellence in patient care, education and research, but exceptional patient care remains our primary goal and interest.

We endeavor to provide optimal patient outcomes, excellent education and innovative research through tertiary care services, general and digestive disorders surgery, and trauma care. The core of our group is composed of the sections of foregut surgery (esophageal & gastric), abdominal wall reconstruction and hernia, bariatric surgery, and surgical endoscopy.

Faculty

Our faculty's diversity and expertise in clinical and research stimulate and promote applications of novel therapies for complex situations. Some highlights of current activities are mentioned below. Our clinical efforts, focused on improving patient care, encompass a wide variety of services, including the following specialties. 

Foregut Surgery

Our Foregut (Esophageal & Gastric) Program is the busiest in the state of Florida and recently ranked #1 with the US News and World Report.  We treat every esophageal pathology, from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and Barrett’s Esophagus to Esophageal Cancer.  This is done in close collaboration with the USF Health Joy McCann Culverhouse Center for Swallowing. This partnership with world renowned gastroenterologists provides us the ability to quickly diagnose which leads to an earlier treatment plan. We were also awarded one of the first Foregut Fellowship programs by the Fellowship Council, allowing us the opportunity to train future surgeons.

Minimally Invasive Surgery 

We offer the standard minimally invasive approach (laparoscopic surgery) yet we are also leaders in the field for robotic surgery and endoscopic surgery (transoral incisionless surgery). With robotic surgery, our surgeons boast a laundry-list of ‘first’ procedures in the Tampa Bay region.  Regarding our endoscopy surgery we offer POEM, G-POEM, and Z-POEM, and again, were the first in geographical area to perform such operations.

Bariatric Surgery 

The Section of Bariatric Surgery stakes the claim at being the busiest robotic academic bariatric program in the state of Florida. The program is comprised of surgical, medical, and endoscopic treatment options.  The surgical robotics program offers all types of surgery, from standard gastric sleeve and bypass, to duodenal-switch procedures. Recently this team performed weight loss surgery on a heart failure patient who has now lost enough weight that he is finally listed for a transplant. The Endoscopic Program is cutting-edge and offers a litany of procedures that can not be done surgically.

Abdominal Wall Reconstruction & Hernia

Within the section of Abdominal Wall Reconstruction & Hernia our surgeons are some of the first in the field to perform major abdominal wall surgery robotically.  The cases are complex but the benefit of how fast the patients recover is well worth the effort. All of our surgeons in the USF Health Hernia Center participate in the ACHQC (Abdominal Core Health Quality Collaborative).

Trauma Program 

The trauma program runs Tampa General Hospital's Level I Trauma Center, seeing approximately 3,000 admissions per year. Clinical and critical care on the emergency service is vigorous, providing superior care and exceptional training. The colorectal service addresses the clinical care of difficult and chronic colorectal problems. Diversity and complexity of clinical care seen on this service provide an outstanding patient care and clinical experience. The group is involved in numerous clinical trials and were leaders in the OPRA (organ preservation in rectal adenocarcinoma) trial.

Continued Education 

Whether teaching medical students at the university, educating residents on rounds, sharing findings with colleagues, or offering continuing medical education courses to community providers, our faculty are engaged in and dedicated to the daily teaching opportunities afforded by academic medicine. The division has fellowship programs in Foregut and Bariatric GI Surgery and Colorectal Surgery. Our Foregut program is one of the first in the country to be accredited with the Fellowship Council. In addition, the division hosts a dozen students (high school to graduate school) each summer in internships to help introduce them to and interest them in careers in medicine and medical research.

Research

Our growing research achievements continue to reflect our clinical focus and to improve our services. SORT (Surgery Outcomes Research Team) runs within the Division of GI Surgery.  At any one time we have fifty plus members consisting of medical students and residents working together on a plethora of research projects. Through our basic science work we bring investigative innovations to the clinical forefront, providing the therapies of tomorrow to our patients today. Special recognition has been achieved by many of our clinical programs, augmented by our basic science and scholarly work, and the division boasts a significant number of peer-reviewed publications.

If you are interested in our programs or have questions, please feel free to contact us.

Christopher DuCoin MD, MPH, FASMBS, FSAGES, FACS
Chief, Division of GI Surgery
Fellowship Director, Foregut & Bariatric Surgery
Director, Bariatric & Metabolic Surgery 
Department of Surgery, USF College of Medicine  

 

For program inquiries please contact:

Amber Thomas
(813) 538-0577
amberthomas2@usf.edu