David W. Mercer, M.D., chair of the department, noted that Dr. Langenfeld has achieved national recognition in the field of colorectal surgery.
"He has one of the busiest referral practices in the region and still finds time to be an associate program director for the general surgery residency program," Dr. Mercer said. "Moreover, he is now sitting on editorial boards in colorectal surgery because of his expert opinions."
Dr. Langenfeld said his goals include building the med center's colorectal surgery brand and becoming established as a Center of Excellence for rectal cancer.
"That program, through the American College of Surgeon's Committee on Cancer, will reaffirm a lot of things we're already doing," Dr. Langenfeld said. "It ensures very high-quality rectal cancer care."
The multidisciplinary process of achieving that designation will involve medical oncologists, radiologists, radiation oncologists, administrators and others over the next year, he said.
Additionally, the colorectal surgeons been using Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS), a protocol that the Journal of the American Medical Association called a "paradigm shift in perioperative care, resulting in substantial improvements in clinical outcomes and cost savings."
"We've been using this over the past six years on our patients," Dr. Langenfeld said. "but we are now shifting to a multidisciplinary approach, streamlining different phases of care -- pre-hospital education, perioperative, post-surgical. With a multidisciplinary buy-in, we think the program will be much more successful."
With a team of three physicians already well-established locally and regionally in colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease care, the next move is to establish a more robust national reputation, Dr. Langenfeld said. Becoming a rectal cancer Center of Excellence and creating a multidisciplinary ERAS program that will extend beyond colorectal surgery will be positive steps in that direction.
"A longer-term goal, which will unfold over the next couple of years, is becoming an inflammatory bowel disease Center of Excellence, as well," Dr. Langenfeld said. "That is an effort that has been spearheaded by the gastroenterology department. My end of that is to be the surgical liaison."
He said he was glad to be leading "an outstanding team."
"The fascinating part," Dr. Mercer said, "is that his academic career is just getting started and he has already accomplished so much! We are fortunate to have him here at UNMC and Nebraska Medicine."
Congratulations! A focus on rectal cancer is timely and much needed as rectal cancer incidence is increasing in 30 and 40 year olds. Dr. Langenfeld is my surgeon and it is wonderful to have him lead the Colorectal surgery program at UNMC.
Congratulations Dr. Langenfeld!
Congratulations Dr. Langenfeld! So well deserved. This program is extremely important to patients and families in this region. The execution of your vision will help so many.