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We aim to drive excellence, innovation, and accessible, high-quality surgical care. Our ultimate goal remains clear: people taking care of people. 

Dr. Guilherme Campos, MD, PhD, FACS, FASMBS
Division Chair

Practice What You Preach

Cynthia Reed is a nurse on the Acute Care Surgery floor at VCU’s Critical Care Hospital. Previous struggles with her weight caused her to try a variety of methods to become a healthier person. It was her work in VCU Health’s bariatric surgery unit that motivated her to look into the procedure for herself. She received support from her peers at VCU Health as she embarked on her own health journey, and despite her concerns about the procedure, she knew she “would be in good hands” while receiving care from her colleagues.

Even before she underwent the procedure, Cynthia understood what the process entailed from having taken care of bariatric surgery patients. “It’s a very emotional process, and you really have to make sure your mind is right before you take this kind of physical journey.” Ultimately, it was her desire to become healthier and to be a better caretaker for her patients that drove her to undergo the procedure.

She speaks of how undergoing the same procedure as her patients has made her a better caretaker. She can now speak to the struggle of adapting to results after the procedure, having gone through it herself, and can share tips for how to overcome these challenges. She is also able to provide guidance to her coworkers on how to coach their patients through the post-bariatric surgery experience. Now, she says, she feels better able to care for her patients - “a ‘practice what you preach’ thing.”

“I’m able to have a lot of empathy for these patients [in the bariatric surgery unit]. I am often approached by my coworkers, who will tell me that they have a patient who is really struggling with the process, and I’m able to go and talk to that patient and offer my experience and be a cheerleader for them and explain to them that while this may be difficult right now, I’m living proof that it’s worth it and you’re going to be a healthier person. You’re going to be glad that you did this once you get to the other side.”

All gastric bypass patients stay on the 7th floor of VCU Health’s Critical Care Hospital, where they receive care from Dr. Guilherme Rocha-Campos, the Division Chief of Bariatric & GI Surgery, and his team. The 7th floor is like “their home floor,” with a dedicated PA and nurses who are trained for caring for patients in the post-op phase, including any special diet modifications.

By the numbers


Mortality O:E


Length of Stay O:E


Focused PSI O:E


7-Day Readmission