Colon & Rectal Surgery
Neil H. Hyman, MD
Professor of Surgery
Chief, Section of Colon & Rectal Surgery
Co-Director, Digestive Diseases Center
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Members of the Center for Pelvic Health. Bottom row from left to right: Sandra Valaitis, MD, Vijaya Rao, MD, Sarah Faris, MD, Abraham Dachman, MD, Carla Harmath, MD
Top row from left to right: Dianne Glass, MD, Neil Hyman, MD, Benjamin Shogan, MD, Konstantin Umanskiy, MD, Juraj Letko, MD
Cutting-Edge Technologies Paired with Compassionate Care
For many physicians, taking a history and physical is the first step in patient evaluation and care. However, for Konstantin Umanskiy, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery, this step is anything but routine.
Dr. Umanskiy is a colorectal surgeon who specializes in pelvic floor dysfunction at the University of Chicago Medicine Center for Pelvic Health, and the patients he sees are grappling with medical diagnoses that often bring shame along with discomfort: fecal and urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and constipation.
“You have to be very calm and understanding, and set aside time to really listen and pay attention to the patients,” Dr. Umanskiy explained. “In many cases, they have struggled with their problem for a long time; you need to build a comfort zone and make the physical exam comfortable for them.”
Whole team, whole patient
Dr. Umanskiy and an integrated team of urologists, gynecologists, radiologists and physical therapists at the Center for Pelvic Health have dedicated their practice to treating patients with pelvic disorders. “Very rarely do we have patients with an isolated disorder,” he says. “We typically come up with a multidisciplinary plan and operate together using robotic surgery. By involving the whole team, we can treat the whole patient.”
Among the cutting-edge technologies available at the Center for Pelvic Health is a sacral nerve stimulator (SNS). The SNS lives up to its name, stimulating the sacral nerve to help patients struggling with incontinence.
For patients who have tried more conservative treatments like physical therapy but are still battling incontinence, the SNS can be a powerful tool in their treatment. For those coping with prolapse, there is a sophisticated robotic procedure that suspends the rectum.
Konstantin Umanskiy, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery
The struggles are real
Pelvic disorders often occur in women, with traumatic vaginal delivery as a leading cause; as women age, the pelvic floor can weaken, leading to pelvic floor dysfunction. Psychological trauma, such as sexual abuse, can also be a cause. The result can severely impact quality of life: Patients experience difficulty with bowel function, incontinence and intimacy.
Patients may attempt to minimize their problems by staying home or in close proximity to a restroom at all times, but this way of coping limits patients’ quality of life in a way that may not be obvious at first, Dr. Umanskiy said. “Patients often feel they do not have a problem if they simply don’t go anywhere, but we would love for them to hear that we can help them.”
Because of the feeling of embarrassment when talking with a physician about these disorders, Dr. Umanskiy explained, patients also tend to resort to self-treatment with such over-the-counter remedies as adult diapers, laxatives and pharmaceuticals. While these can be helpful in the short term, they are “bandages on a problem, not solutions.”
Quality of life is everything
Sometimes the patients are simply not aware that there are modern treatments available to them. “Many women who have struggled with these disorders for years do not realize that something can be done about it,” Dr. Umanskiy said. “They think ‘this is just what happens’ when they have children.”
Not all pelvic floor disorders are curable, but all of them are treatable—and Dr. Umanskiy works closely with patients to set goals that are all about improving quality of life. The Center for Pelvic Health has modalities both surgical and nonsurgical to provide care that can have a profound effect on patients’ lives.
Konstantin Umanskiy, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery
A chance course correction
The career path that Dr. Umanskiy had been following took a slight turn when he found his calling.
“I trained as a colorectal surgeon and spent years focusing on treatment of colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease,” he said. “But after realizing that there was a large, underserved group of patients with colorectal pelvic floor disorders, I felt compelled to dedicate my practice to treating those patients.”
Dr. Umanskiy has helped make the UChicago Medicine Department of Surgery a regional leader in treating pelvic floor disorders. “As a surgeon and faculty member working at an academic institution,” he said, “I am always asking, ‘What can I improve upon? How can I best serve our patients?’ I took advanced courses, visited colleagues to learn from their experience and brought my new skills and dedication back to UChicago Medicine.”
His patients are glad he did.
Professor of Surgery
Roger D. Hurst, MD, Professor of Surgery
Neil H. Hyman, MD, Professor of Surgery; Chief, Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery; Co-Director, Digestive Diseases Center
Associate Professor of Surgery
Konstantin Umanskiy, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Benjamin Shogan, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery
Kinga Skowron-Olortegui, MD, Clinical Associate
Roger D. Hurst, MD, and Neil H. Hyman, MD, were named 2020 Top Doctors by Chicago magazine.
Benjamin Shogan, MD, was voted a faculty member of Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society by Pritzker School of Medicine students. He was chosen to receive awards at the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons Presidential Luncheon.
Konstantin Umanskiy, MD, was named Program Director of the 2021 American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons annual meeting.
Alverdy J, Hyman N. Bowel preparation under siege: A tale of two trials. Br J Surg, 2020; 107(3):167-170.
Alverdy J, Hyman N, Gilbert J. Re-examining the causes of surgical site infections (SSIs) in the current era of asepsis. Lancet Infectious Disease, 38(3):38-43.
Alverdy JC, Shogan BD. Preparing the bowel for surgery: rethinking the strategy. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2019; 16(12):708-709. PMID 31548712.
Aquina CT, Fleming FJ, Hall J, Hyman N. Do all patients require resection after successful drainage of diverticular abscesses? J Gastrointest Surg, 2020; 24(1):219-220.
Barnes MJ, Perry BG, Hurst RD, Lomiwes D. (2020). Anthocyanin-Rich New Zealand Blackcurrant Extract Supports the Maintenance of Forearm Blood-Flow During Prolonged Sedentary Sitting. Frontiers in Nutrition, 7, 74. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2020.00074.
Bertucci Zoccali M, Hyman NH, Skowron KB, Rubin M, Cannon LM, Hurst RD, Umanskiy K, Rubin DT, Shogan BD. Exposure to anti-tumor necrosis factor medications increases the incidence of pouchitis after restorative proctocolectomy in patients with ulcerative colitis. Diseases of the Colon and Rectum. 2019; 62(11):1344-1351. PMID 31596761. doi: 10.1097/DCR.0000000000001467.
Eisenstein S, Holubar SD, Hilbert N, Bordeianou L, Crawford LA, Hall B, Hull T, Hyman N, et al. The ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program–Inflammatory Bowel Disease Collaborative: Design, implementation and Validation of a Disease-specific Module. Inflamm Bowel Dis, 2019; 25(11):1731-1739.
Gaines S, Hyman N. Anastomotic leak after colectomy. In Dimick J, Upchurch GR, Sonnenday CJ, Kao L ed. Clinical Scenarios in General Surgery: Decision Making and Operative Technique. Wolters Kluwer, Philadelphia, pending publication.
Gaines S, Hyoju S, Williamson AJ, van Praagh JB, Zaborina O, Rubin DT, Alverdy JC, Shogan BD, Hyman N. Infliximab does not promote the presence of collagenolytic bacteria in a mouse model of colorectal anastomosis. Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery. 2020 (epub ahead of print). PMID 31898107.
Gaines S, van Praagh JB, Williamson AJ, Jacobson RA, Hyoju S, Zaborin A, Mao J, Koo HY, Alpert L, Bissonnette M, Weichselbaum R, Gilbert J, Chang E, Hyman N, Zaborina O*, Shogan BD*, Alverdy JC*. Western diet colonized the gut with collagenolytic microbiota and drives tumor formation following colorectal surgery. Gastroenterology. 2019; 158(4):958-970. PMID 31655031. *co-senior author
Gaines S, van Praagh JB, Williamson AJ, Jacobson RA, Hyoju S, Zaborin A, Mao J, Koo HY, Alpert L, Bissonnette M, Weichselbaum R, Gilbert J, Chang E, Hyman N, Zaborina O, Shogan BD, Alverdy JC. Western diet promotes intestinal colonization by collagenolytic microbes and promotes tumor formation following colorectal surgery. Gastroenterology, 2020; 158(4):958-970.
Glick LR, Sossenheimer PH, Ollech JE, Cohen RD, Hyman NH, Hurst RD, Rubin DT. (2019). Low-Dose Metronidazole Is Associated With a Decreased Rate of Endoscopic Recurrence of Crohn’s Disease After Ileal Resection: A Retrospective Cohort Study. Journal of Crohn’s & Colitis 13(9):1158–1162. doi: 10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjz047.
Guyton KL, Levine ZC, Lowry AC, Lambert L, Gribovskaja-Rupp I, Hyman N, Zaborina O, Alverdy J. Identification of collagenolytic bacteria in human samples: Screening methods and clinical implications for resolving and preventing anastomotic leaks and wound complications. Dis Colon Rectum, 2019; 62(8):972-979.
Guyton K, Shanksheer B, Hyman N. Chapter 13: GI malignancies. In Stein G, Luebbers K, ed. The Biology and Treatment of Cancer, second edition, Wiley-Blackwell, 2019, pp. 259-270.
Huang E, Hyman N. Fistula. In Kuipers E, ed. Encyclopedia of Gastroenterology, second edition, 2020: Oxford: Academic Press; Vol. 2, pp. 436-442.
Hurst RD, Lyall KA, Roberts JM, Perthaner A, Wells RW, Cooney JM, Jensen DJ, Burr NS, Hurst, SM. (2019). Consumption of an Anthocyanin-Rich Extract Made From New Zealand Blackcurrants Prior to Exercise May Assist Recovery From Oxidative Stress and Maintains Circulating Neutrophil Function: A Pilot Study. Frontiers in Nutrition, 6, 73. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2019.00073.
Hurst RD, Lyall KA, Wells RW, Sawyer GM, Lomiwes D, Ngametua N, Hurst SM. (2020). Daily Consumption of an Anthocyanin-Rich Extract Made From New Zealand Blackcurrants for 5 Weeks Supports Exercise Recovery Through the Management of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation: A Randomized Placebo Controlled Pilot Study. Frontiers in Nutrition, 7, 16. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2020.00016.
Hyoju S, Adriaansens C, Wienholts K, Sharma A, Keskey R, Arnold W, van Dalen D, Gottel N, Hyman N, Zaborina A, Gilbert J, van Goor H, Zaborina O, Alverdy J. Low fat/high fibre diet prehabilitation improves anastomotic healing via the microbiome: an experimental model. Br J Surg, 2020; 107(6):743-755.
Jacobson RA, Wienholts K, Williamson AJ, Gaines S, Hyoju S, cn Goor H, Zaborin A, Shogan BD, Zaborina O, Alverdy JC. Enterococcus faecalis exploits the human fibrinolytic system to drive excess collagenase: implications in gut healing and identification of druggable targets. American Journal of Physiology–Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology. 2019; 318(1):1-9. PMID 31604031.
Jacobson RA, Williamson A, Wienholts K, Gaines S, Hyoju S, Goor H, Zaborin A, Shogan BD, Zaborina O, Alverdy JC. Prevention of anastomotic leak via local application of tranexamic acid to target bacterial-mediated plasminogen activation: a practical solution to a complex problem. Annals of Surgery. 2019. (epub ahead of print). PMID 31851007.
Krezalek M, Hyman N. Reoperative pelvic surgery. In Steele S, Maykel J, Wexner S. Clinical Decision Making in Surgery, second edition, Springer, pending publication.
Krugliak Cleveland N, Ollech JE, Colman RJ, Rodriquez D, Hirsch A, Cohen RD, Hanauer SB, Hart J, Hurst R, Rubin DT. (2019). Efficacy and Follow-up of Segmental or Subtotal Colectomy in Patients With Colitis-Associated Neoplasia. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology: The Official Clinical Practice Journal of the American Gastroenterological Association, 17(1), 205–206. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2018.04.061.
Lomiwes D, Ha B, Ngametua N, Burr NS, Cooney JM, Trower TM, Sawyer G, Hedderley D, Hurst RD, Hurst SM. (2019). Timed consumption of a New Zealand blackcurrant juice supports positive affective responses during a self-motivated moderate walking exercise in healthy sedentary adults. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 16(1), 33. doi: 10.1186/s12970-019-0300-0.
Michelassi F, Mege D, Rubin M, Hurst RD. (2020). Long-term Results of the Side-to-side Isoperistaltic Strictureplasty in Crohn Disease: 25-year Follow-up and Outcomes. Annals of Surgery, 272(1), 130–137. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000003221.
Ollech JE, Rubin DT, Glick L, Weisshof R, El Jurdi K, Israel A, Krugliak Cleveland N, Hyman N, Sakuraba A, Pekow J, Cohen RD, Dalal SR. Ustekinumab is effective for the treatment of chronic antibiotic-refractory pouchitis. Dig Dis Sci, 2019; 64(12):3596-3601.
Pekow J, Hernandez K, Meckel K, Deng Z, Haider HI, Khalil A, Zhang C, Rubin DT, Hyman N, Bissonette B, Kibraya MG. IBD-associated colon cancers differ in DNA methylation and gene expression profiles compared to sporadic colon cancers. J Crohn’s Colitis, 2019; 13(7): 884-893.
Shogan BD, Chen J, Duchalais E, Collins D, Chang M, Krull K, Krezalek MA, Larson DW, Walther-antonio MR, Chia N, Nelson H. Alterations of the rectal microbiome is associated with the development of postoperative ileus in patients undergoing colorectal surgery. Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery. 2020; 24(7):1663-1672. PMID 32323252.
Shogan BD, Harmsen WS, Dozois EJ, Nelson H, Larson DW. Overlapping surgery in tertiary colorectal surgery is safe: a model for advancing team-based care. Annals of Surgery. 2019; 270(2): 322-326. PMID 29916866.
Skowron KB, Hurst RD, Umanskiy K, Hyman NH, Shogan BD. (2020). Caring for Patients with Rectal Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery: Official Journal of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, 24(7), 1698–1703. PMID 32415658. doi: 10.1007/s11605-020-04645-z.
Sossenheimer PH, Glick LR, Dachman AH, Skowron KB, Rubin MA, Umanskiy K, Smith R, Cannon LM, Hurst RD, Cohen RD, Hyman NH, Rubin DT. (2019). Abnormal Pouchogram Predicts Pouch Failure Even in Asymptomatic Patients. Diseases of the Colon and Rectum, 62(4), 463–469. doi: 10.1097/DCR.0000000000001285.
Sossenheimer P, Skowron K, Glick L, Rubin M, Dachman A, Smith R, Hurst R, Umanskiy K, Cannon L, Hyman N, Rubin D. Abnormal pouchogram predicts pouch failure even in asymptomatic patients. Dis Colon Rectum, 2019:62(4): 463-469.Steinhagen E, Hyman N. Colon polyps and polyposis syndromes. In Dimick J, Upchurch G, Alam H, Pawlik T, Hawn M, Sosa JA, ed. Mulholland and Greenfield’s Surgery: Scientific Principles and Practice, 7th edition, pending publication.
Twohig K, Ajith A, Mayampurath A, Hyman N, Shogan BD. Abnormal vital signs after laparoscopic colorectal surgery: more common than you think. The American Journal of Surgery. 2020. (in-press).
Umanskiy K, Hyman N. Anastomotic complications. In Steele SR, Hull TL, Hyman N, Maykel J, Read T, Whitlow C, eds. The ASCRS Manual of Colon and Rectal Surgery, third edition, Springer, 2019, pp. 135-144.
Umanskiy K, Hyman N. Chapter 53: Anus. In Townsend CM, ed. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 21st edition, Elsevier, Philadelphia, pending publication.
Vigneswaran J, Shogan BD. The role of the intestinal microbiome on colorectal cancer pathogenesis and its recurrence following surgery. Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery. 2020 (epub ahead of print). PMID 32588187.
Wang J, Prenner J, Wang W, Sakuraba A, Hyman N, Dalal S, Hurst R, Cohen RD, Umanskiy K, Shogan BD, Alpert L, Rubin DT, Colwell J, Pekow J. Risk factors and treatment outcomes of peristomal pyoderma gangrenosum in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 2020; 51(12):1365-1372. PMID 32383278.
Wang Y, Wang J, Pekow J, Dalal S, Cohen RD, Ollech J, Israel A, Shogan BD, Micic D, Cannon L, Umanskiy K, Hurst R, Hyman N, Rubin DT, Sakuraba A. Outcome of elective switching to vedolizumab in inflammatory bowel disease patients under tumor necrosis factor antagonist-maintained clinical remission. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2019; 34(12):2090-2095. PMID 31169926.
Wang J, Prenner J, Wang W, Sakuraba A, Hyman N, Dalal S, Hurst R, Cohen RD, Umanskiy K, Shogan BD, Alpert L, Rubin DT, Colwell J, Pekow J. (2020). Risk factors and treatment outcomes of peristomal pyoderma gangrenosum in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 51(12), 1365–1372. doi: 10.1111/apt.15766.
Wang Y, Wang J, Pekow J, Dalal S, Cohen RD, Ollech J, Israel A, Shogan BD, Micic D, Cannon L, Umanskiy K, Hurst R, Hyman N, Rubin DT, Sakuraba A. (2019). Outcome of elective switching to vedolizumab in inflammatory bowel disease patients under tumor necrosis factor antagonist-maintained clinical remission. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 34(12), 2090–2095. doi: 10.1111/jgh.14751.
Xue L, Hyman N, Turaga K, Eng O. Management of peritoneal metastases. J Gastrointest Surg, 2020; 24(3):720-727.
residents & fellows
View the Colon & Rectal Surgery Residents and Fellows here.