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UCLA Vatche & Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases

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Pancreaticobiliary Diseases

The Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases works closely with the Department of Surgery, seeing a vast number and array of patients with pancreaticobiliary diseases - disorders of the pancreas, gall bladder, and bile ducts. In particular, the Division faculty have developed a national reputation for evaluating and treating patients with pancreatic cancer. They provide a strong multidisciplinary approach, including a weekly clinical review and discussion with surgeons as well as radiologists and oncologists with regard to all new patients.

The advanced services provide state-of-the-art endoscopic diagnostic and therapeutic intervention for patients with these disorders. A great number of interventional biliary tract endoscopies are performed along with stenting. Hundreds of endoscopic ultrasounds are done yearly for the evaluation and treatment of pancreatic lesions and cysts. The latter area has become a strong venue for clinical and translational research resulting in several publications.

The goals are to increase the number of services provided, so as to accommodate the needs of our community and region. UCLA continues to be recognized as one of the most respected pancreaticobiliary diseases programs in the nation.

Click here to visit the UCLA Center for Pancreatic Disease »

Click here to learn more about the interventional endoscopy team listed below »

Meet the Experts

V. Raman Muthusamy MD, FACG, FASGE
Director of Interventional and General Endoscopy
Health Sciences Clinical Professor of Medicine
Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Dr. Muthusamy's clinical research interests focus on the evaluation of existing and new endoscopic technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of digestive disorders. These include endoscopic ablative techniques for Barrett's esophagus with dysplasia and early esophageal adenocarcinoma, clinical applications of endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) with a focus on EUS-guided tissue acquisition, assessment of new endolumenal stents, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and cholangioscopy, and endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR). He has previously served as the director of the GI Fellowship Program at the University of California, Irvine. Prior to his tenure at UC Irvine, he served as director of endoscopic ultrasound at the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Muthusamy completed his undergraduate work at Stanford University with distinction and graduated with honors from the University of Washington School of Medicine. His residency was undertaken at Duke University Medical Center, where he served as assistant chief resident and traveled abroad to study evidence-based medicine under Dr. David Sackett at Oxford University. He completed his fellowship in gastroenterology at the University of California San Francisco before undertaking his advanced endoscopy fellowship at the University of California Irvine, which he completed in 2001.

He is board-certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine and has been recognized by Best Doctors continuously since 2010. He is also a past-president of the Orange County GI Society and a current councilor for the Southern California Society of Clinical Gastroenterology. Dr. Muthusamy is a Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) and the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE). He serves on several committees for the ACG, ASGE, and the American Gastroenterology Association. He was recently elected the ACG Governor for the Southern California "A" Region and co-directs the ASGE's Improving Quality and Safety in Your Endoscopy Unit course. 


Stephen Kim, MD
Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine
Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Dr. Kim's clinical focus involves the application of advanced endoscopic procedures in the diagnosis, treatment and palliation of various gastrointestinal disorders. He is proficient in diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), ERCP, endoluminal stenting, deep enteroscopy, ablation of dysplastic Barrett's esophagus, and endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) of large colon polyps. His research and clinical interests lie in the endoscopic management of pancreatic diseases and gastric dysplasia.

Dr. Kim received his undergraduate education from Harvard University and earned his medical degree at Tufts University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania after which he spent an extra year as chief medical resident. He then moved to UCLA for his gastroenterology fellowship and faculty career development in advanced endoscopy. He is board-certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine and is an active member of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, American College of Gastroenterology and American Gastroenterological Association.


Alireza Sedarat, MD
Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine
Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Dr. Sedarat joined UCLA in 2013 as a member of the interventional endoscopy team and hemostasis group within the Division of Digestive Diseases. His clinical interests encompass the development and application of advanced endoscopic techniques and interventions to diagnose, stage, treat and palliate a range of benign and malignant gastrointestinal disorders. He is proficient in the application of advanced endoscopic techniques including therapeutic ERCP, EUS with fine needle aspiration and biopsy, ERCP in surgically altered anatomy, interventional EUS (such as biliary drainage or rendezvous procedures, pancreas pseudocyst drainage, pancreas necrosectomy, fiducial placement and abscess drainage), pancreatic and biliary endotherapy, endoluminal stenting, endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR), complex polypectomy, tumor ablation, deep (device assisted) enteroscopy, endoscopic fistula and leak closure, complex stricture dilation and endotherapy, endoscopic treatment of Barrett's esophagus with mucosal resection and radiofrequency ablation, Zenkers' diverticulum myotomy and chromoendoscopy.

His research interests include endoscopic device development and application as well as evaluation of existing and emerging endoscopic technologies with a focus on improving patient outcomes. He is interested in the application of the emerging fields of endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) for early tumor resection and peroral endoscopic mytotomy (POEM) for achalasia palliation. He will also be participating in new and ongoing research in GI bleeding in association with the CURE Hemostasis Research Group.

Dr. Sedarat completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his fellowship in gastroenterology here at UCLA and returned to UPenn to complete an advanced endoscopy fellowship. He is board-certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine and is a member of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, American College of Gastroenterology and American Gastroenterological Association.

Rabindra R. Watson, MD
Director, Faculty Career Development in Advanced Endoscopy
Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine
Division of Digestive Diseases
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Dr. Watson's clinical interests include the diagnosis, treatment and palliation of various gastrointestinal cancers with a focus on minimally-invasive treatment strategies. He is proficient in the application of advanced therapies; including pancreatic endotherapy, EUS-guided access and drainage of the biliary tree, endoscopic pancreatic necrosectomy, and endoscopic suturing for fistula and perforation closure. Other interventional therapies performed include EUS with fine-needle aspiration, endoluminal stenting, deep enteroscopy, altered anatomy ERCP, endoscopic mucosal resection and polypectomy.
 
Dr. Watson serves as the bariatric endoscopist at the UCLA Center for Obesity and Metabolic Health (COMET), where he is pursuing investigations in the emerging field of bariatric endoscopy. He is active in the development and testing of these novel therapeutic endoscopic techniques which include primary endoscopic therapies for obesity, endoscopic treatment of weight regain following bariatric surgery, and treatment of post-surgical complications.
 
Dr. Watson completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in gastroenterology at the University of California, San Francisco. He then went on to complete an advanced endoscopy fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital. He is board-certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine, and is a member of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the American College of Gastroenterology, American Gastroenterological Association, and American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. He was also selected Super Doctors Rising Star in 2015 and 2016.

 

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