Section of Colorectal Surgery

Our mission is to provide clinical excellence, education, and advancement of medical knowledge in the field of Colorectal Surgery including the full spectrum of colorectal cancer treatment.

Welcome to the Section of Colorectal Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Our surgeons are board-certified in General and Colorectal surgery and hold faculty appointments at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Our mission is to provide clinical excellence, education, and advancement of medical knowledge in the field of Colorectal Surgery including the full spectrum of colorectal cancer treatment. Our physicians work together and across medical specialties to provide a collaborative approach to care. This includes weekly multidisciplinary conferences for both benign and malignant diseases. We aim to provide an efficiently managed and operated environment that facilitates resident training, fulfillment of faculty responsibilities, patient access to care, professional interaction between faculty and other staff, and meet the health care needs of our patients.

Regards,

Jon Vogel, MD, FACS, FASCRS
Professor of Surgery
Section Head, Colorectal Program

Vogel Jon - 140 x 140
Jon Vogel, MD, MACS, FASCRS

Jon Vogel, MD, FACS, FASCRS

Professor of Surgery
Section Head, Colorectal Program

Office Phone: 303-724-2728

E-mail: jon.vogel@cuanschutz.edu

View profile

Elise Birnbaum, MD

Elisa Birnbaum, MD, FACS, FASCRS

Professor of Surgery

Office Phone: 303-724-2728

E-mail: elisa.birnbaum@cuanschutz.edu

View profile

Steve Ahrendt, MD, FACS

Steven A. Ahrendt, MD, FACS

Professor of Surgery

(Dr. Ahrendt's colorectal surgery practice is limited to colorectal and anal cancer.)

Brandon C. Chapman, MD, MS

Brandon C. Chapman, MD, MS

Assistant Professor of Surgery

View profile

Ana Gleisner, MD, PhD

Ana Gleisner, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Surgery

(Dr. Gleisner's colorectal surgery practice is limited to colorectal and anal cancer.)

Martin McCarter, MD

Martin McCarter, MD, FACS

Professor of Surgery

(Dr. McCarter's colorectal surgery practice is limited to colorectal and anal cancer.)

Whitney Herter, PA-C

Whitney K. Herter, PA-C

Physician Assistant
Colorectal Cancer Multidisciplinary Clinic Coordinator

Phone: 720-848-0714

E-mail: whitney.herter@cuanschutz.edu

Shanna Zwick, PA-C

Shanna Zwick, PA-C

Physician Assistant

Phone: 720-724-2728

E-mail: shanna.zwick@cuanschutz.edu

Trish Knox

Trish Knox

Patient Affairs Coordinator / Scheduling

Phone: 303-724-2727

E-mail: patricia.knox@cuanschutz.edu

Tanya Obernyer

Tanya Obernyer

Patient Affairs Coordinator / Scheduling

Phone: 303-724-2726

E-mail: tanya.obernyer@cuanschutz.edu

Types of Surgery


Abdominal Perineal Resection of the Rectum

This operation is occasionally required for cancers that involve the anal sphincter. It results in a permanent colostomy. Fortunately, at specialized centers like University of Colorado, this operation is infrequently required.

Benign Anal & Rectal Conditions

  • Hemorrhoidectomy:
    • Stapled Hemmorhoidectomy (PPH)
    • Traditional hemorrhoidectomy
    • Rubber band ligation of hemorrhoids
  • Anal fistula surgery:
    • Seton insertion
    • LIFT surgery (Ligation of Inter-sphincteric Fistula Tract)
    • Anal fistula plug insertion
    • Rectal mucosa advancement flap
  • Rectovaginal fistula repair
  • Anal fistulotomy for chronic fissure
  • Anorectal abcess drainage
  • Fecal incontinence surgery
  • Pilonidal cyst and abscess surgery
  • Topical formalin therapy (to control rectal bleeding)
  • Sacral nerve stimulation

Colectomy

The colon and rectum, or “large intestine,” is the end part of the gastrointestinal tract where liquid waste is converted into formed stool (solid waste). Colectomy is the surgical removal of part or all of the colon. The term proctectomy is used for surgical removal of part or all of the rectum. Both types of surgery are often performed with a minimally invasive, laparoscopic approach. In most cases, individuals who undergo colectomy or proctectomy for cancer or benign disease do NOT require a colostomy. They should expect to lead a normal, productive, and happy life with little or no impact on their activities or diet.

Colorectal Polyps

Most colon and rectal polyps can be removed via colonoscopy. This procedure is mostly performed by the gastroenterologists at University of Colorado. Removal of certain types of colon polyps helps prevent colon cancer. Please talk to your primary care doctor about colorectal cancer screening. Surgical treatment of colon or rectal polyps is occasionally needed for large precancerous polyps, cancerous polyps, and for polyposis syndromes.

Colovesicle & Colovaginal Fistula Surgery

Abnormal connections between the colon and the urinary bladder or vagina may occur in people with diverticular disease, Crohn's disease, cancer, radiation injury, or traumatic injury. Often, these abnormal communications can be repaired surgically.

Enterocutaneous Fistula Surgery

Abnormal connections between the bowels and the skin surface may occur in people with diverticular disease, Crohn’s disease, cancer, radiation injury, or traumatic injury. Often, these abnormal communications can be repaired surgically.

Ileal J-pouch Surgery

In patients with ulcerative colitis that cannot be controlled by medications, surgical removal of the colon and rectum with creation of an ileal j-pouch is often the next step in management of the disease. In this procedure, a portion of the ileum (small intestine) is reconfigured into a J-shaped pouch that takes the place of the rectum. The ileal j-pouch eliminates the need for a permanent ileostomy. Ileal j-pouch surgery may be performed via an open or laparoscopic approach and usually involves two operations or “stages” and a temporary ileostomy.Individuals with an ileal j-pouch should expect to live a normal, productive, and happy life. This ileal j-pouch procedure may also be used in some patients with Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) and a very select group of individuals with Crohn’s disease.

Ileocolic Resection

This procedure involves removal or modification (strictureplasty) of the end of the small intestine and the first part of the colon when these areas are effected by Crohn’s disease. Most often, this is done with a laparoscopic technique.

Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery

Laparoscopic surgery is a technique that enables surgeons to look into the abdomen with a specialized camera and remove diseased parts of the colon or rectum without making a large incision. Whereas traditional open surgery often requires incisions that measure 8-12 inches, laparoscopic surgery is performed with 2-4 inch incisions. In comparison to traditional open surgery, the use of laparoscopy has been shown to result in less pain, fewer infections, and less time in the hospital recovering from surgery. While a very useful and appealing technique, laparoscopic surgery may not be appropriate for all patients with colorectal disease.

Low Anterior Resection of the Rectum

This is a sphincter-saving operation that we perform routinely at University of Colorado. This operation is typically done for rectal cancers and allows patients to avoid a permanent ostomy.

Ostomy

An ostomy is a surgically created opening in the bowel that drains stool into an external appliance. Surgeons create an ostomy when the body's normal pathway for eliminating waste is disrupted due to disease, injury, or a necessary surgical procedure. Two of the common types are an ileostomy and a colostomy. An ileostomy is a surgically created opening in the small intestine that is placed on the patient’s abdominal skin. A colostomy is similar to an ileostomy but involves the colon rather than the small intestine. An ileostomy or colostomy may be temporary or permanent depending on the individual and the specifics of their intestinal disease.

Ostomy Reversal

Sometimes, patients with diverticular disease undergo surgery that leaves then with an ostomy. Most often, this ostomy can be reversed with another surgical procedure.

Robotic Colorectal Surgery

Since January of 2019, our surgeons have performed over 250 robotic colorectal surgical operations. These procedures were performed for benign or malignant (cancer) diseases. Through the use of the most advanced, Da Vinci Xi® robotic technology, our patients have benefitted from smaller incisions, less pain after surgery, and more rapid return to normal activities. Please ask your surgeon about this exciting and innovative technology to see if it is right for you.

Small Bowel Resection

This procedure involves removal or modification (strictureplasty) of small intestine that is effected by Crohn's disease. Most often, this is done with a laparoscopic technique.

Sphincter-saving Rectal Cancer Surgery

Rectal cancer is often a complex problem that requires the expertise of multiple medical and surgical specialists. The University of Colorado Hospital has an experienced team that works together to formulate the best treatment plan for patients with rectal cancer. When surgery is required, our goal is to minimize the chance of cancer recurrence, save the anal sphincter, and avoid a permanent colostomy whenever possible. Our experienced and specialty-trained colorectal surgeons allow most patients with rectal cancer to avoid a permanent colostomy.

Stapled Hemorrhoidectomy

Hemorrhoids are a bothersome and often embarrassing problem. In most cases, surgical treatment is not required to solve the problem. However, for individuals with advanced hemorrhoid disease, surgical treatment may be needed. Traditional hemorrhoid surgery, while effective, is often quite painful. Stapled hemorrhoidectomy (also known as PPH or stapled hemorrhoidpexy) is an effective alternative that results in far less pain. The procedure is performed as an outpatient surgery, and those who undergo the procedure should be back to their work and regular activities within a few days.

Trans-anal Excision of Early-stage Rectal Cancer

At University of Colorado we perform trans-anal excision and trans-anal minimally invasive surgery (TAMIS) for carefully selected early-stage rectal cancers and large polyps that might otherwise require a major abdominal surgery. Trans-anal excision and TAMIS are usually outpatient procedures.

Phone:

Dr. Vogel (Office Phone)
303-724-2728

Colorectal Surgery Outpatient Clinic Nursing Line:
720-848-2709