Current Research and Scholarly Interests
My main areas of research interest are in surgical education, laparoscopic surgery, bariatric surgery and robotic surgery
In laparoscopic surgery, I have performed both animal and clinical studies. The animal studies have focused on investigating the safety of pneumoperitoneum and increased intra-abdominal pressure during pregnancy. In clinical studies, I have performed prospective, randomized trials investigating laparoscopic vs open surgery for colon cancer and investigating outpatient vs inpatient management of patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy. I have a variety of ongoing projects looking at the advantages of laparoscopic surgery for various disease processes.
In the area of surgical education, I am particularly interested in teaching and assessing surgical skills. I initiated a surgical skills curriculum for residents and I am investigating whether teaching surgical skills outside of the operating room translates into improved outcomes (decreased time and complications) in the operating room.
I am also investigating methods of evaluating educational programs and work environment. Fewer and fewer medical students are interested in pursuing surgery as a future career. As a surgeon and program director, I am trying to identify the causes for this decreased interest and methods for correcting it.
I have a very busy bariatric surgery practice. I am actively involved in numerous projects investigating outcomes in bariatric surgery. Some of these have included examining the learning curve for laparoscopic gastric bypass, studying the effect of preoperative weight loss on the results of bariatric surgery and determining factors that will identify successful outcomes postoperatively.
Recently, I performed the first totally robotic laparoscopic gastric bypass with the daVinci robotic system. We are currently studying the use of the robot in bariatric surgery, including comparing this technique to a pure laparosocpic hand-sewn technique, evaluating the learning curve of the robot and investigating the ergonomic benefits of the robot compared to laparoscopic surgery