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Do You Know?

  • Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the U.S.
  • The average person’s lifetime risk of developing it is 1 in 20
  • It affects men and women equally
  • African Americans are at greater risk compared to any other ethnic group
  • There is a strong genetic component with colorectal cancer; therefore, it is very important to know your family’s medical history
  • Women over 75 years are more likely to die of colorectal cancer than breast cancer
  • It can be prevented by removing polyps before cancer starts
  • Many people have no symptoms
  • With early detection, survival rates are 80%+

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Colorectal Surgery

Colorectal Surgery

Established in August 2006, Virginia Hospital Center Physician Group – Colorectal Surgery at Virginia Hospital Center provides the best medical and surgical treatment for patients with diseases and disorders of the colon, rectum and anus. Our board-certified surgeons, Craig Rezac, MD, FACS, FASCRS and Rebekah Kim, MD, FACS, offer their patients compassionate and personalized care with customized treatment options. They perform groundbreaking colorectal procedures including:

  • Laparoscopic/Robotic Minimally Invasive Surgery
    Drs. Rezac and Kim devote their practice exclusively to colon and rectal surgery with an emphasis on laparoscopic/robotic minimally invasive surgery thereby shortening patients’ length of stay and minimizing their discomfort. They have extensive experience in performing a number of laparoscopic procedures.
    Until quite recently, most traditional colorectal surgical procedures required large incisions with lengthy hospitalization and recovery.
    Now, many colorectal surgeries can be performed safely and effectively with minimally invasive techniques or laparoscopic surgery. Using a small telescope with built-in magnification, long, thin surgical instruments are placed through 3-5 incisions (each of which is usually no larger than a dime in size) and the surgery is performed in a manner that is similar to how it would be performed through an open incision.
    Minimally invasive procedures offer the same diagnostic and therapeutic benefits of traditional open surgery - but also reduced post-operative pain, shorter hospitalization, faster recovery, and better cosmetic results.
    Many standard laparoscopic procedures may be performed more quickly and easily using the da Vinci Surgical System. Read more

  • Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEM)
    Virginia Hospital Center Physician Group – Colorectal Surgery was the first practice in the state of Virginia to offer Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEM) and it is offered at only about 50 locations in the U.S. including Virginia Hospital Center.
    Surgery to remove rectal tumors most often requires an abdominal incision. However, patients with certain early stage rectal cancers or benign rectal polyps may be eligible for an alternative treatment that requires no surgical incision and only a one night hospital stay. Performed under general anesthesia, TEM is a painless method of removing abnormal rectal growths. Dissolvable suture and metal clips are either absorbed or expelled from the body naturally, so there is no need for follow-up suture removal. This surgery is converting what was formerly major abdominal surgery to outpatient day surgery. Read more
With Colorectal Surgery, Virginia Hospital Center offers comprehensive treatments for a broad range of digestive and pelvic floor disorders. Drs. Rezac and Kim work in partnership with Virginia Hospital Center Physician Group — Urology and Surgical Specialists at Virginia Hospital Center to develop comprehensive treatments for both male and female incontinence, as well as other urological and pelvic floor disorders. 

Robotics in Colorectal Surgery

Less than 20% of colorectal surgery in the United States is performed robotically, because most surgeons are not trained in the techniques.

Virginia Hospital Center has been at the forefront of Robotic Surgery for more than a decade. As a recognized leader in Robotic Surgery, Virginia Hospital Center offers the most advanced technology and the best surgeons, nurses and care teams around. The latest additions to the Virginia Hospital Center Robotic Surgery Program include the new da Vinci ® Xi surgical robot and Robotic Colorectal Surgery expert, Craig Rezac, MD, FACS, FASCRS.

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Advanced Technologies. Skilled Surgeons.

“Virginia Hospital Center was one of the first hospitals in the region to fully embrace robotic surgery,” says Robert Mordkin, MD, FACS, Director of Robotic Surgery. “Over the years, as the technology has improved, the Hospital has continued to invest in the depth of our program.” Initially, minimally invasive robotic surgery was used primarily for urology. It then expanded into the surgical areas of gynecology, urogynecology and general surgery. While there are many advantages, both for surgeon and patient, robotic surgery is technically difficult. As a result, less than 20% of colorectal surgery in the United States is performed robotically, because most surgeons are not trained in the techniques.

Dr. Rezac’s robotic surgery expertise and the new da Vinci Xi elevates Virginia Hospital Center’s Robotic Surgery Program to new heights by offering the highest level of colorectal surgery options to patients and physicians referring into the practice and program. “Dr. Rezac brings a breadth of experience and knowledge that very few hospitals in our area have, particularly in robotic surgery,” says Pradeep Gupta, MD, Medical Director of the Gastroenterology Unit at Virginia Hospital Center. “His use of the new technology is certain to be unsurpassed and unparalleled for our colorectal cancer patients.”

Better Patient Outcomes. Faster Recovery.

The use of advanced robotic surgery can make a critical difference in the ability of physicians to help patients become cancer-free. “Every parameter of postoperative care is improved,” says Dr. Gupta. Robotic surgery is the 21st century way of performing minimally invasive colorectal surgery, according to Dr. Rezac who is a firm believer in minimally invasive surgery, whenever it is medically appropriate.Surgeons have the ability to operate through very small incisions with enhanced visualization and greatly improved dexterity. “If robotic surgery can be done, it should be, because patient outcomes are better,” he says. “There is less blood loss and therefore lower infection rate. Patient recovery is also much faster, with less pain compared to open surgery.” “With the techniques Dr. Rezac is spearheading, first at Rutgers and now here, patients will recover faster from surgery,” says Keeran Sampat, MD, medical oncologist. “That means chemotherapy treatment can start earlier, which can be very beneficial for the patient. Starting postoperative therapy sooner may lead to fewer relapses and improved survival.”

Surgery for the 21st Century

The da Vinci Xi represents the most advanced robotic surgical platform yet developed. Since its installation at Virginia Hospital Center this summer, it already exceeds expectations for use. Read more


After 12 years as Section Chief, Colon and Rectal Surgery at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey, Dr. Rezac joins VHC Physician Group–Colorectal Surgery.

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Congratulations to Dr. Rebekah Kim for being named in Washingtonian’s 2017 TOP DOCTORS!

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