Vitaliy Y. Poylin, MD

Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School


Research Group

Jose Cataneo, MD
Jonathan Pastrana Del Valle, MD

Research Focus

A major focus of my research has been on improving care for patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and evaluating outcomes after colon and rectal surgery, especially minimally invasive colorectal surgery. In close collaboration with colleagues from IBD Gastroenterology and Acute Care Surgery, as well as colon and rectal surgeons from other Harvard institutions, we currently are involved in a number of projects evaluating outcomes after Ileal Pouch Anal Anastomosis (IPAA) surgery, the effects of new biologically active medications on IBD surgery outcomes, and decision making in IBD surgery. Recently I completed an outcome study of a novel technique in creating low anastomosis in IPAA surgery and examined outcomes of surgery in older patients with Ulcerative Colitis.

Current projects include:

  • Decision making in IBD surgery
  • Effect of Clostridium Difficile infection on outcomes of IPAA surgery
  • Effects of new biologically active medications on outcomes of IBD surgery
  • Effects of non-related surgery on IBD outcomes

Accomplishments 2016-2017

  • Named a Boston magazine top doctor
  • Member of Clinical Guidelines Committee for the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, working on guidelines for surgery for ulcerative colitis, rectal cancer, and lower gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Elected into the Academy of Medical Educators at BIDMC
  • Completed the Physician Leadership Development Course BIDMC
Invited Presentations
  • Closed incision negative pressure wound therapy is associated with decreased surgical site infection in high-risk colorectal surgery laparotomy wounds; American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons Annual Meeting, Plenary Session, 2017
  • Mortality is a rare event following elective and non-elective surgery for ulcerative colitis; Winner of the Young Investigator Award; Digestive Disease Week, 2017
  • Surgery for ulcerative colitis in geriatric patients is safe without increased risks compared to younger patients; Digestive Disease Week, 2017
  • Despite prophylaxis, venous thromboembolism is not rare following elective and non-elective surgery for ulcerative colitis; Digestive Disease Week, 2017
  • Oral exams and beyond; Invited speaker; American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons Annual Meeting, 2017

Teaching, Training, and Education

This year I participated in Harvard combined courses on colorectal surgery for primary care physicians and surgeons. I have recently given lectures at Harvard Medical School on topics including anal fissures, managing common anal complaints, and technical tips and tricks in colorectal surgery.

Additionally, I participate in resident and medical student training in colorectal surgery, and I mentor residents interested in colon and rectal surgery. I also give lectures to GI and oncology fellows on common anorectal conditions, inflammatory bowel disease, and surgical approaches to rectal cancer.

Selected Publications

Poylin, V, Curran, T, Alvarez, D, Nagle, D, Cataldo, T. Primary vs. delayed perineal proctectomy? There is no free lunch. Int J Colorectal Dis. 2017; 32 (8):1207-1212. Poylin, V, Mowschenson, P, Nagle, D, Cataldo, T., Rectal Eversion Technique: A method to achieve very low rectal transection and anastomosis with particular value in laparoscopic cases. Dis Colon Rectum. 2017;60 (12):1329-1331. Tillou, J, Nagle, D, Poylin, V, Cataldo, T. The impact of surgeon choices on costs associated with uncomplicated minimally invasive colectomy: You are not as important as you think. Gastroenterology Report. In Press.

Poylin, V, Kunitake, H. Complications after anorectal surgery. Clin Colon Rectal Surg. 2016;29 (1):14-21.

Tillou, J., Poylin, V. Functional disorders: slow transit constipation. Clin Colon Rectal Surg. 2017;30 (1):76-86.

Feuerstein, J, Alosilla, M, Curran, T, Falchuk, K, Poylin, V. Mortality is a rare event following elective and non-elective surgery for ulcerative colitis. Digestive Disease and Science. In Press.