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Divisions: Surgical Oncology

Welcome to the Division of Surgical Oncology

Contact Information for Surgical Oncology

VCU Massey Cancer Center logoThe Division of Surgical Oncology is responsible for one of the general surgical services at the VCU Medical Center, including participating in the clinical activities of the general surgical service at the Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Administration Medical Center (MVAMC).

The Divison plays a key role in the clinical, basic research, and clinical research activities of the Massey Cancer Center, one of only 67 NCI-designated cancer centers in the country.The clinical faculty supervises and participates in all general oncologic surgery and provides undergraduate and postgraduate training in General Surgery.

Dr. Harry Bear leading conferenceVirtually all of the surgical care of patients with cancer that falls within the realm of general surgery is provided on the Surgical Oncology Service. In addition, this service provides general surgical care for patients with other cancers. Clinical trials research and patient care activities of inpatients and outpatients are an integral part of the service's training.

MCV Hospitals has 779 beds (250 Surgery; 20 Surgical Oncology); over 1800 new cancer patients are seen each year. The Division of Surgical Oncology admits 450 patients per year and performs approximately 1,300 surgical procedures yearly, plus more than 200 oncologic procedures at the affiliated McGuire Veterans' Administration Hospital. Care of patients with cancer at the VCU Medical Center is focused in the Massey Cancer Center, with a heavy emphasis on multi-disciplinary care for most patients. Clinical research studies are also a key component of division activity.

Dr. Grover, robotic surgeonAbout 450 new patients are referred to the Breast Health Center annually and over 250 new patients are referred to the GI Tumor Center. The usual assignment of housestaff to this service includes one fifth-year surgical resident (Chief), one third-year general surgical resident (SAR), two or three first-year surgical house officers and, on occasion, an oral surgery house officer. In addition, there is one post-residency surgical oncology fellow.

Our service operates three separate operating rooms at MCV Hospitals (two in the Main OR and one in Ambulatory Surgery) and one at the McGuire VA Medical Center (MVAMC) each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, plus one or two rooms on Thursdays. The fellow and the Chief Resident are usually responsible for different surgical cases in separate ORs and each supervises his/her own “sub-service” patients. Therefore, the participation of the fellow does not reduce or dilute the operative experience of the general surgery house officers. The Chief Resident at the MVAMC is assisted in the operating room by one of our faculty members.

The outpatient activities of the Division of Surgical Oncology are conducted in the John Dalton Oncology Clinic as well as satellite clinics (Stony Point and Colonial Heights). Through the John Dalton Oncology Clinic and the Massey Cancer Center, the Division of Surgical Oncology is the primary surgical service for the multidisciplinary clinics for patients with breast cancer and GI cancers. Both of these groups of patients are managed by multi-disciplinary care teams through their entire course.

Surgical house officers participate in the outpatient clinics in addition to their training on the inpatient service. This outpatient experience occurs on Tuesdays and Thursdays, giving the residents an opportunity to participate in the diagnostic and pre-operative evaluations as well as long-term follow-up of patients with cancer. At the MVAMC, the Surgical Oncology Clinic is held from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Wednesdays.


The overall goal of the general surgery resident on the Surgical Oncology Service is to learn the basic principles of preoperative and postoperative surgical care as well as to develop basic operative skills.The level of responsibility and performance ranges from basic patient care decisions and performance of relatively minor OR imageoperative procedures (e.g., breast biopsies, insertion of venous access devices, melanoma excisions) under supervision for PGY-1 trainees, to overall patient responsibility for the entire surgical service and the performance of complex and demanding oncologic operative procedures ( e.g., major liver resections, total gastrectomies and pancreaticoduodenoctomies) during the Chief Resident’s rotation.

In addition to performing intermediate level procedures, (e.g., mastectomies, radical node dissections, colectomies), the third-year resident also carries the primary responsibility for evaluating patients for whom consults have been requested by other services. This ranges from newly diagnosed neoplasms to venous access for patients with leukemias and lymphomas to management of acute general surgical problems in patients with any form of cancer. Graduated responsibility during the course of the five-year training in general surgery routinely results in an effective practicing surgeon, who is both technically and intellectually competent to deal with most cancers.


The Surgical Oncology Training Program at VCU Medical Center is an ACGME-accredited two-year fellowship with 18 months spent on clinical rotations and six months doing oncology related research.



Surgical Oncology Conference | Tuesdays, 7:30-8:30am
Two to three interesting current patients are presented along with their X-rays. All students, faculty, and housestaff are in attendance. During this hour conference, follow-up data and complications are also presented. Once a month, one of the fellows presents a comprehensive review of a topic in surgical oncology.

Breast Health Center Conference | Tuesdays, 12:30pm-2pm
Multidisciplinary working conference to review data and make decisions about new referrals and breast cancer patients under treatment.

GI Tumor Center Conference | Thursdays, 1:30pm
Multidisciplinary conference to review data and make decisions about new referrals and gastrointestinal cancer patients under treatment.

MVAMC Tumor Conference | Wednesdays, 3:30-4:30pm
Multidisciplinary presentation of two patients each week with radiological findings. Pathology of each case is presented and discussed.


Harry D. Bear, MD, PhD, Division Chair
Amelia C. Grover, MD
Brian J. Kaplan, MD
Walter Lawrence, Jr. MD
James P. Neifeld, MD
Giao Q. Phan, MD
Kazuaki Takabe,MD, PhD
Huan N. Vu, MD


Division Coordinator:
Ann Whitaker

Location/Delivery Address:
West Hospital, 7th Floor, West Wing
1200 E. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23298

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 980011
Richmond, VA 23298-0011

Phone: (804) 828-9322
Fax: (804) 828-4808


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last updated: 01/14/2015