Department of Surgery »  Faculty »  General Surgery »  Madhulika Varma, M.D.

Madhulika Varma, M.D.

Professor of Surgery
Division of General Surgery
Chief, Section of Colorectal Surgery 
Maurice Galante, MD Distinguished Professor in Surgical Oncology
Director, UCSF Center for Pelvic Physiology 

Contact Information

(415) 885-3606 Patients & Clinic
madhulika.varma@ucsf.edu
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  • 1983-87 Brown University, Providence, RI - A.B., Human Biology
  • 1987-91 Brown University, Providence, RI - M.D.
  • 1991-97 University of California, San Francisco - Resident, Surgery
  • 1997-98 University of California, San Francisco - Chief Resident, Surgery
  • 1994-96 University of California, San Francisco - Research Fellowship, Department of Stomatology, PI
  • 1999-00 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN - Fellow, Colon and Rectal Surgery
  • 2000-01 University of California, San Francisco - Fellow, Advanced Training in Clinical Research: Biostatistics & Epidemiology
  • American Board of Surgery, 1999; Recertification, 2007
  • American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery, 2001
  • Director, UCSF Center for Pelvic Physiology
  • Program Director, UCSF Center for Colorectal Surgery

Dr. Madhulika Varma is Professor and Chief of the Section of Colorectal Surgery, Division of General Surgery at UCSF. She specializes in laparoscopic colorectal surgery, using minimally invasive techniques to treat diseases of the colon, rectum and anus. Her areas of expertise also include inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and pelvic floor disorders.

 Dr. Varma is also 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. Highly respected by her peers, Dr. Varma was named to the list of U.S. News "America's Top Doctors," a distinction reserved for the top 1% of physicians in the nation for a given specialty.

  • A Randomized, Subject and Evaluator Blinded, Sham Controlled, Multicenter Study to Evaluate Efficacy and Safety of NASHA/Dx for the Treatment of Fecal Incontinence
  • The Comprehensive Validation of the CSI (Constipation Severity Instrument) and CRQOL (Constipation-Related Quality of Life) and the Comprehensive Validation of the RCM (Rome III Constipation Module)
  • A Phase II Trial of Neoadjuvant Chemoradiation and Local Excision for uT2uN0 Rectal Cancer
  • Timing of Rectal Cancer Response to Chemoradiation
  • The Effect of Rectal Resection on Bowel, Bladder, and Sexual Functioning in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • A Randomized Control Trial to Examine the Efficacy of Anorectal Biofeedback
  • Prevalence of Sexual Dysfunction in Ulcerative Colitis Patients
  • Outcomes of Patients Presenting to the UCSF Center for Pelvic Physiology with Pelvic Floor Disorders
  1. Varma MG, Wang JY, Garcia-Aguilar J, Shelton AA, McAninch JW, Goldberg SM. Dartos muscle interposition flap for the treatment of rectourethral fistulas. Dis Colon Rectum. 50: 1849-55, Nov/2007.
  2. McCrea GL, Miaskowski C, Stotts NA, Macera L, Hart SA, Varma MG. Self-report measures of constipation. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 27: 638-648, Apr/2008.
  3. Varma MG, Wang JY, Berian JR, Patterson TR, McCrea GL, Hart SL. The constipation severity instrument: a validated measure. Dis Colon Rectum. 51: 162-72, Feb/2008.
  4. Varma MG, Hart SL, Brown JS, Creasman JM, Van Den Eeden SK, Thom DH. Obstructive Defecation in Middle-aged Women. Dig Dis Sci. 53: 2702 - 2709, Oct/2008.
  5. Wang JY, Patterson TR, Hart SL, Varma MG. Fecal Incontinence: Does Age Matter? Characteristics of Older vs. Younger Women Presenting for Treatment of Fecal Incontinence. Dis Colon Rectum. 51: 426-431, Apr/2008.
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    Bouncing Back Fast After Minimally Invasive Surgery

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    Lata Mohan tackles life's challenges with grace and humor. In 2012, when a colonoscopy revealed a large tumor in her colon, Mohan's children launched an exhaustive search for the best possible surgeon to treat her. When the family met with Dr. Madhulika Varma, they clicked immediately. Describe your life before your diagnosis. I was living with my daughter and surrounded by my family, including my children and two grandchildren. My husband had been very ill, and I was the one who took care of him. I felt like I could do it all. It never[...]
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    I too am a rectal cancer survivor. My relationships with the hospital at UCSF and with Dr. Varma’s team was like yours: exceptional. I am now nearly four years out from “D Day” (April 17, 2009) and thus far, no recurrence. We are truly fortunate and blessed to have been exposed to this disease when we were. There is now so much that can be done with the number of treatments available. Hope you are now and remain ok. I continue to support the UCSF Center for Colorectal Surgery as I participate in the research project. And, I too got back to a gym routine and feel great. Good luck! -Herbert[...]
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    I found out I had colorectal cancer at 47. As an otherwise active and healthy person, when I saw traces of blood where they shouldn’t be, I chalked it up to my bike riding. Yet because of a family history of colon cancer and a father-in-law in the medical field, I thought I would preemptively get a colonoscopy, which turned out to be a wise decision.  Results for patients who discover colorectal cancer early are generally good, and the majority of patients with early stage disease are cured. However, despite my luck at finding the cancer early on, it was staged as III. I would require[...]
    Story Categories: Colon Cancer
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    My name is Courtney Annotti. I’m 22 years old and was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (UC) eight years ago. UC is a chronic condition that causes long-lasting inflammation in the large intestine. For years I experienced pain that would come and go, and the anxiety of always having to know where a bathroom was. I tried several medications to control my symptoms, but to no avail. Concerned that my condition was worsening day by day, my gastroenterologist referred me to UCSF to meet with Dr. Madhulika Varma, Chief of Colorectal Surgery at UCSF.  When I met with Dr. Varma, I immediately felt[...]
    Story Categories: ColectomyOstomy Surgery: Ileostomy & ColostomyUlcerative Colitis

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