University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Madhulika Varma, MD

Madhulika Varma, MD

Chief of Colorectal Surgery; Director, UCSF Center for Pelvic Physiology Professor, Department of Surgery, UCSF
Maurice Galante, MD Distinguished Professor in Surgical Oncology, UCSF

Research Summary

Dr. Madhulika Varma, Chief of Colorectal Surgery, specializes in the surgical treatment of diseases of the colon, rectum, and anus. Her areas of expertise include colon and rectal cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and pelvic floor disorders. She is also a specialist in advanced laparoscopic and robotic colorectal surgery, using minimally invasive techniques to treat many of these diseases. Dr. Varma is the director of the UCSF Center for Pelvic Physiology, which evaluates patients with fecal incontinence, constipation, pelvic floor prolapse, rectal cancer, and anal fistulas. She is a member of the clinical team of the UCSF Women’s Continence Center and the UCSF Center for Colitis and Crohn’s Disease.

Dr. Varma earned her medical degree at Brown University School of Medicine in Providence, R.I. She completed her residency in general surgery at UCSF and spent a year at the University of Minnesota to obtain specialized training in colon and rectal surgery. She returned to the faculty at UCSF in 2000, where she completed a fellowship in Clinical Outcomes Research and Epidemiology. Her research interests include the assessment of clinical outcomes and quality of life for patients with colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases, and defecation disorders.

Selected Publications

  1. Savoie MB, Paciorek A, Zhang L, Van Blarigan EL, Sommovilla N, Abrams D, Atreya CE, Bergsland EK, Chern H, Kelley RK, Ko A, Laffan A, Sarin A, Varma MG, Venook AP, Van Loon K. Vitamin D Levels in Patients with Colorectal Cancer Before and After Treatment Initiation. J Gastrointest Cancer. 2019 Dec; 50(4):769-779.
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  2. Marco MR, Zhou L, Patil S, Marcet JE, Varma MG, Oommen S, Cataldo PA, Hunt SR, Kumar A, Herzig DO, Fichera A, Polite BN, Hyman NH, Ternent CA, Stamos MJ, Pigazzi A, Dietz D, Yakunina Y, Pelossof R, Garcia-Aguilar J. Consolidation mFOLFOX6 Chemotherapy After Chemoradiotherapy Improves Survival in Patients With Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer: Final Results of a Multicenter Phase II Trial. Dis Colon Rectum. 2018 Oct; 61(10):1146-1155.
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  3. Bailey JJ, Jordan EJ, Burke C, Ohliger MA, Wang ZJ, Van Loon K, Varma MG, Hope TA. Does Extended PET Acquisition in PET/MRI Rectal Cancer Staging Improve Results? AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2018 10; 211(4):896-900.
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  4. Bordeianou LG, Carmichael JC, Paquette IM, Wexner S, Hull TL, Bernstein M, Keller DS, Zutshi M, Varma MG, Gurland BH, Steele SR. Consensus Statement of Definitions for Anorectal Physiology Testing and Pelvic Floor Terminology (Revised). Dis Colon Rectum. 2018 Apr; 61(4):421-427.
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  5. Varma MG. Expert Commentary on Rectal Prolapse. Dis Colon Rectum. 2017 11; 60(11):1135-1136.
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  6. Zukotynski K, Jadvar H, Hope T, Subramaniam RM, Van Loon K, Varma M, Niederkohr RD. SNMMI Comment on the 2016 Society of Surgical Oncology "Choosing Wisely" Recommendation on the Use of PET/CT in Colorectal Cancer. J Nucl Med. 2017 01; 58(1):11-12.
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  7. Matthews CA, Varma MG, Takase-Sanchez MM, Hale DS, Van Drie D, Muir T, Wells E, Jannelli M, Richter HE. Characteristics Associated With Successful Fitting of a Vaginal Bowel Control System for Fecal Incontinence. Female Pelvic Med Reconstr Surg. 2016 Sep-Oct; 22(5):359-63.
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  8. Sarin A, Litonius ES, Naidu R, Yost CS, Varma MG, Chen LL. Successful implementation of an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery program shortens length of stay and improves postoperative pain, and bowel and bladder function after colorectal surgery. BMC Anesthesiol. 2016 08 03; 16(1):55.
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  9. Cohan JN, Ozanne EM, Sewell JL, Hofer RK, Mahadevan U, Varma MG, Finlayson E. A Novel Decision Aid for Surgical Patients with Ulcerative Colitis: Results of a Pilot Study. Dis Colon Rectum. 2016 Jun; 59(6):520-8.
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  10. Paquette IM, Varma M, Ternent C, Melton-Meaux G, Rafferty JF, Feingold D, Steele SR. The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons' Clinical Practice Guideline for the Evaluation and Management of Constipation. Dis Colon Rectum. 2016 Jun; 59(6):479-92.
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  11. Varma MG, Matthews CA, Muir T, Takase-Sanchez MM, Hale DS, Van Drie D, Richter HE. Impact of a Novel Vaginal Bowel Control System on Bowel Function. Dis Colon Rectum. 2016 Feb; 59(2):127-31.
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  12. Cohan JN, Rhee JY, Finlayson E, Varma MG. Impact of Surgery on Relationship Quality in Patients With Ulcerative Colitis and Their Partners. Dis Colon Rectum. 2015 Dec; 58(12):1144-50.
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  13. Chou AB, Cohan JN, Varma MG. Differences in Symptom Severity and Quality of Life in Patients With Obstructive Defecation and Colonic Inertia. Dis Colon Rectum. 2015 Oct; 58(10):994-8.
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  14. Cohan JN, Chou AB, Varma MG. Faecal incontinence in men referred for specialty care: a cross-sectional study. Colorectal Dis. 2015 Sep; 17(9):802-9.
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  15. Cohan JN, Bacchetti P, Varma MG, Finlayson E. Impact of Patient Age on Procedure Type for Ulcerative Colitis: A National Study. Dis Colon Rectum. 2015 Aug; 58(8):769-74.
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  16. Sbitany H, Kwon E, Chern H, Finlayson E, Varma MG, Hansen SL. Outcomes Analysis of Biologic Mesh Use for Abdominal Wall Reconstruction in Clean-Contaminated and Contaminated Ventral Hernia Repair. Ann Plast Surg. 2015 Aug; 75(2):201-4.
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  17. Garcia-Aguilar J, Chow OS, Smith DD, Marcet JE, Cataldo PA, Varma MG, Kumar AS, Oommen S, Coutsoftides T, Hunt SR, Stamos MJ, Ternent CA, Herzig DO, Fichera A, Polite BN, Dietz DW, Patil S, Avila K. Effect of adding mFOLFOX6 after neoadjuvant chemoradiation in locally advanced rectal cancer: a multicentre, phase 2 trial. Lancet Oncol. 2015 Aug; 16(8):957-66.
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  18. Paquette IM, Varma MG, Kaiser AM, Steele SR, Rafferty JF. The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons' Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Fecal Incontinence. Dis Colon Rectum. 2015 Jul; 58(7):623-36.
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  19. Cohan JN, Bacchetti P, Varma MG, Finlayson E. Outcomes after ileoanal pouch surgery in frail and older adults. J Surg Res. 2015 Oct; 198(2):327-33.
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  20. Richter HE, Matthews CA, Muir T, Takase-Sanchez MM, Hale DS, Van Drie D, Varma MG. A vaginal bowel-control system for the treatment of fecal incontinence. Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Mar; 125(3):540-7.
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