Quote with headshot

We serve as a pillar of support for individuals and families in their most vulnerable times, ensuring the best-possible outcomes and promoting a sense of hope and healing within their community.

Dr. Michel Aboutanos, MD, MPH, FACS
Division Chair

A Race Against Time

In a race against time, the operating room summoned the expertise of Dr. Rahul Anand and Dr. Edgar Rodas. The patient, already on bypass, faced complications that indicated abdominal bleeding and a rapid drop in blood pressure. With the situation critical, the team acted swiftly.

Upon performing an ultrasound, the surgeons opted for a laparotomy, revealing a significant vascular injury—a retrohepatic caval injury. Aware of the gravity, Dr. Anand called upon his partner, Dr. Rodas, to join the operation. Later, Dr. Michel Aboutanos was also summoned to contribute his expertise. Together, they controlled the bleeding and stabilized the patient. Months later, after a positive outcome, the patient returned to the clinic filled with gratitude. This collaborative effort exemplifies the significance of teamwork in managing high-stakes situations, reaffirming VCU Health's dedication to patient care.

Dr. Anand stressed the importance of clear and concise communication, as well as the value of exceptional partners like Dr. Rodas, who swiftly respond and work in tandem. Dr. Rodas emphasized that when a team is capable of promptly identifying and solving problems, including the surgeon, anesthesia team, and nursing staff, it can mean the difference between life and death.

At VCU Health's Division of Acute Care Surgical Services, we embody a culture of teamwork, recognizing the vital role of communication and collaboration in patient care. From surgeons to nurses, our staff works hand-in-hand to ensure patient safety and well-being.

Dr. Anand commended the collaborative environment at VCU, stating that collaboration is an integral part of the institution. With responsive partners, our teams communicate effectively and take prompt action in emergencies, delivering top-notch care. The impact of our teamwork shines through the lives we touch. As Dr. Anand shared, making a difference in patients' lives is one of the most rewarding aspects of emergency and trauma surgery. It is the collective effort of the team that guides patients through challenging times. Our commitment to collaboration not only saves lives but also earns the heartfelt appreciation of the patients and families we serve.

By the numbers


Mortality O:E


Length of Stay O:E


Focused PSI O:E


7-Day Readmission