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Departments / Surgery / Divisions / Colon and Rectal Surgery

Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery

Surgeons in the University of Cincinnati (UC) section of colon and rectal surgery treat benign, malignant, and inflammatory conditions of the colon, rectum, and anus. Patients with colorectal cancer and polyposis syndromes, inflammatory bowel disease, rectal prolapse and fecal incontinence, hemorrhoids and other benign anorectal disorders are seen at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center Medical Arts Building, UC Health Physician Offices in West Chester, and the Christ Hospital Medical Office Building.

Cutting-edge surgical techniques are offered at each of the hospitals where the colon and rectal surgeons work. Minimally invasive advanced laparoscopic, robotic, and transanal surgical procedures are available to patients with both benign and malignant diseases of the colon and rectum. Our surgeons have expertise in transanal minimally invasive surgery (TAMIS) for large rectal polyps and early rectal cancers. Robotic surgery, which allows superior visualization of pelvic anatomy and fine dissection in the pelvis, is also offered. These minimally invasive approaches are associated with less discomfort and a quicker return to normal activity than with traditional surgical approaches and are appropriate for patients with a wide range of diseases. We are the region’s referral center for the most complex cases of colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases.

Colorectal cancer patients are treated in collaboration with medical oncology, radiation oncology, and the hepatobiliary surgeons from the UC Cancer Institute. These patients benefit from coordination of care across specialties. Our multidisciplinary efforts to treat rectal cancer include a tumor board and clinical trials at UC Medical Center. Though we have the necessary surgical expertise to treat the most complex cases of rectal cancer, our multidisciplinary team offers a “watch and wait” approach to selected patients with rectal cancer after chemotherapy and radiation, allowing some patients to avoid surgery completely.

Patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis benefit from the region’s only multidisciplinary inflammatory bowel disease center: a collaboration between colon and rectal surgeons, gastroenterologists, radiologists, pathologists, and nurse navigators to select the best individual treatment for each patient with Crohn’s or colitis.

Patients undergoing elective abdominal operations for benign or malignant disease are placed on an “enhanced recovery pathway.” This approach has many elements that are all designed to accelerate recovery following major abdominal surgery, providing patients with the ability to return to their normal level of functioning at a much quicker rate than what has previously been achieved. Specifically, use of non-opioid pain medications decreases the incidence of adverse effects experienced with conventional opioids, such as slowed bowel function and narcotic abuse and dependence. The results of this pathway have been dramatic, with significant decreases in length of hospital stay and increases in patient satisfaction scores.

The team is one of only a few groups of colorectal surgeons in the Tristate area offering the Interstim device for the treatment of fecal incontinence.

We have two WOCN (Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing) certified nurse practitioners in our office, allowing us to take care of the most complex patients with wound and ostomy needs at all three of our locations.

Academic pursuits of our colorectal surgeons include clinical trials, novel surgical techniques, and innovative treatments for many colorectal disorders. UC colorectal research outcomes have been presented at national and international meetings.

Dr. Paquette is associate editor for the journal Diseases of the Colon and Rectum and was awarded the Victor Fazio Award in 2019 as the top editorial board member. He is also on the editorial board of Annals of Surgery. He is an examiner for the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery and serves as the Chair for the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee. He has served on 32 national and international committees for colon and rectal surgery and authored >100 peer reviewed manuscripts.

Dr. Snyder is a reviewer for the journal Diseases of the Colon and Rectum and serves on the Peer Review Committee for West Chester Hospital.

Dr. Thompson serves on the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons’ Public Relations Committee, the UC Medical Center, and The Christ Hospital (TCH) Robotic Surgery Committees, TCH Provider Enhancement Committee, and as co-chair of TCH General and Colorectal Surgery Quality and Performance Enhancement Committee. He was recently named Surgical Director of Anal Dysplasia Screening at UC Medical Center.

Dr. Justiniano serves on the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. She is also part of the Selected Abstracts Committee of the Diseases of the Colon and Rectum journal for which she also serves as a reviewer.

Ian M. Paquette, MD (Interim Chief, Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery)
Carla F. Justiniano, MD, MPH
Jonathan R. Snyder, MD
Earl "Tommy" Thompson, MD

Advanced Practitioners
Sara Pulskamp MSNFNP, CWOCN
Katelyn Riebesehl DNP, CWON


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University of Cincinnati
College of Medicine
231 Albert Sabin Way
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0558

Mail Location: 0558
Phone: 513-558-4748