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Divisions: General Surgery

Welcome to the Division of General Surgery

Contact Information for General Surgery

A major component of the academic mission of the General Surgery Division is to foster the development and maturation of the General Surgeon. This not only involves clinical experience but an exposure to and understanding of the basic physiological principles of surgery.

While the faculty members in the Division of General Surgery have the ultimate administrative and legal responsibility for the patients, the division’s philosophy places strong emphasis on the individual resident’s sense of responsibility, his/her participation in unit teamwork, the leadership capabilities of the Chief Residents and above all, communication between all levels to insure optimum patient care. In addition, the housestaff are responsible for organizing and conducting weekly didactic teaching conferences.

In addition, the housestaff have a primary participatory role in over 95% of the operations done by the service, which average 1500 yearly. The surgical experience encompasses gastrointestinal, obesity, and colorectal. The general categories include 550 GI cases, approximately 170 each of pancreas/biliary, hernias; and 275 miscellaneous operations.

Clinical Programs and Patient Care

The General Surgery Division consists of four active General Surgeons and the Minimally Invasive Surgery Center. Surgical procedures undertaken in this section include laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication procedures for gastroesophageal reflux disease, laparoscopic Heller myotomy for achalasia, laparoscopic and thoracoscopic esophagectomy for cancer, laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair and incisional hernia repair, laparoscopic cholecystectomy (including bile duct exploration), laparoscopic splenectomy, gastric surgery for morbid obesity including laparoscopic and open gastric bypass, gastric banding sleeve gastrectomy, laparoscopic total abdominal colectomy and ileoanal pouch anastomosis for ulcerative colitis and familial polyposis, laparoscopic resections and stricture plasties for Crohn’s disease, endocrine, pancreatic, and biliary surgery. Residents are expected to perform these procedures under immediate faculty supervision.

Research Opportunities

The areas of research in which a house officer can participate reflect the clinical interest of the faculty members. These areas include nutrition and gastrointestinal physiology, advances in the therapy of severe obesity, QOL studies of ileoanal pouch, apotosis in the colon, telesurgery, intestinal transport, and laparoscopic training of general surgery resident

Divisional Conferences

Tuesday Afternoon – Multidisciplinary GI Conference
Review of GI topics from an integrated approach with medicine, radiology and surgery residents and attendings.

Tuesday Morning – Clinical Teaching Conference
Case presentations, discussion, and literature review by surgery residents and MIS Fellow.


John M. Kellum, MD, Interim Chair
James G. Bittner IV, MD
James W. Maher, MD (VA Hospital)
Ronald Merrell, MD (Professor Emeritus)
Thomas Miller, MD (VA Hospital)
Jeanne Savas, MD (VA Hospital)
Luke Wolfe, MS (Research Faculty)

Contact Info

Location/Delivery Address:
West Hospital, 15th Floor, West Wing
1200 E. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23298

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 980519
Richmond, VA 23298-0519

Phone: (804) 827-0045
Fax: (804) 828-9299


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last updated: 08/18/2014