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Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery



David Fullerton, MD, elected President of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons

Dave Fullerton, MD

At the 50th Annual Meeting of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, David Fullerton, MD, head of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, was elected President.

“STS has been a preeminent medical society for many years,” said Dr. Fullerton. “It is truly a great honor to lead such a tremendous organization. Its influences span far beyond our own specialty, and I plan to continue that tradition during my tenure.”

You can read coverage on Dr. Fullerton’s election in:

(February 2014)


Patient freed from choke hold of mysterious disease

Kristen Green and daughter Abby

Kristen Green was pregnant with her daughter Abby when she was diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening disease.

Physicians in Vail, Colorado, told Kristen Green that her shortness of breath was most likely caused by asthma or acid reflux. In fact, it was caused by a rare disease that was slowly closing off her airway.

After a frustrating three-year quest for relief, she ended up in the Intensive Care Unit at University of Colorado Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a condition known as ISS.

Her best chance for a cure was a complex and delicate surgery, but she was an expectant mother at the time, and her surgeons (our own Drs. Mitchell, Weyant, and Meguid) believed it was too dangerous for her to undergo the procedure while pregnant. This placed Kristen and her medical team in a quandary.

(January 2014)


Dr. Robert Meguid and colleagues publish second edition of “The Johns Hopkins ABSITE Review Manual”

Book cover: The Johns Hopkins ABSITE Review ManualThe Johns Hopkins ABSITE Review Manual is a comprehensive general-surgery exam preparation book for surgical residents preparing for the annual American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination (ABSITE), as well as for practicing surgeons preparing for certification and re-certification. This project began while Dr. Meguid was a surgical resident at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He and his colleagues recognized the need for a well-written and comprehensive set of practice questions.

The first edition, published in 2009, comprised a single full-length 225-question practice exam with detailed and illustrated explanations. It was written by 20 Johns Hopkins surgical residents and edited by the surgical faculty over the course of two years. It was well-received, and the authors were rapidly invited by the publisher, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, to prepare a second edition.

This new edition includes a completely revised version of the first edition's exam plus an additional 225-question practice exam with detailed and illustrated explanations. The second edition took about four years to prepare, with a very satisfying end result. Dr. Meguid adds, “Most of the contributing authors and editors are from The Johns Hopkins Hospital, but we have begun to branch out to experts in their fields at other institutions, including the University of Colorado. We are looking forward to continuing this project in upcoming years.”

(November 2013) 


Patient goes a month without breathing, then trains for marathon

Photos of Victor Carlos

Victor Carlos, patient of Dr. Babu, during and after his medical crisis

One of our Division's newest surgeons, Dr. Ashok Babu, recently made national news on CNN for his work with Victor Carlos, a 42-year-old patient whose life was threatened by Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Near the point of death, Carlos did not breathe for a full month but was kept alive via ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation). Almost miraculously, his lungs were able to heal during the weeks of inactivity and finally began functioning again. After not breathing for four weeks, Carlos made a full recovery and is now training for a marathon. Watch the video on the CNN website.

(October 2013)


Three Cardiothoracic Surgery Faculty earn spots on 5280 Magazine “Top Docs” list

5280 Magazine top doctors issue 2013

Congratulations to Drs. Joseph Cleveland, David Campbell, and James Jaggers for making the list of Top Docs in 5280 Magazine.

Dr. Cleveland, on the list for his second time, can be found under Thoracic & Cardiac Surgery.

Drs. Campbell and Jaggers, achieving this honor for their third and second times, respectively, can be found under Congenital Cardiac Surgery.

View the list on the 5280 Magazine website.

(August 2013)