Medical College of Wisconsin Division of Minimally Invasive and Gastrointestinal Surgery - Research and Innovation

Surgeons from the Division of Minimally Invasive and Gastrointestinal Surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin who have completed specialty training in Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery lead our research program (see below). Nurses and clinical research staff that help administer the Division's research program support us in our efforts to advance minimally invasive surgery. Dr. Jon Gould, Chief of the Division of Minimally Invasive and Gastrointestinal Surgery, is Director of the Division's Research and Innovation Program.

What is Minimally Invasive Surgery?

Minimally Invasive Surgery is surgery performed through tiny incisions. In laparoscopic surgery, several small incisions are made in the abdominal wall. Surgeons watch themselves operate on a video monitor that projects an image from inside of the patient’s abdominal cavity. When compared to a traditional ‘open approach’ (one large incision rather than multiple small incisions), laparoscopic surgery has been demonstrated to result in a quicker recovery, less post-operative pain, and fewer complications for many procedures.

As the field of minimally invasive surgery has continued to evolve, technology has progressed as well. Surgeons can now perform certain procedures without any incisions using an endoscope inserted through a natural orifice such as the mouth. An example would be a POEM procedure performed entirely through the mouth for achalasia. Robotic surgery is another example of a technology that has the potential to change what surgeons can do and how we do it. The answer to the question “what is minimally invasive surgery” continues to change as the field evolves.

What kinds of research and innovation are you conducting now?

The academic activities of the MIGS Research and Innovation Program are focused in several core areas that complement our clinical expertise. Our objective is to improve patient outcomes in the fields of:

You can learn more about the research activities and academic credentials for each MIGS program surgeon below.

Specialized Surgery

Many recent studies have demonstrated that for certain procedures, surgeons who specialize achieve the best results. This is true in the field of minimally invasive surgery as well. Because we specialize in minimally invasive and laparoscopic treatment for conditions of the esophagus and stomach, as well as complex hernia repair, we are often referred some of the most difficult and complicated cases by our surgical colleagues throughout the Midwest. Our Laparoscopic Fellowship trained surgeons are nationally and internationally known experts in minimally invasive surgery. We serve on the editorial boards of major surgical journals, hold leadership positions in prominent surgical societies, and publish and present our work at national meetings. The Division’s commitment to lead the nation in the education of physicians is evident through its rich history of general surgery training and a long-standing fellowship. To schedule an appointment with a Minimally Invasive Surgeon, please call (800) 272-3666. Ask to see a MIGS surgeon in the Division of Minimally Invasive and Gastrointestinal Surgery or ask for one of us by name.



Jon Gould, MD, MBA

Chief, Professor


Matthew I. Goldblatt, MD

Professor of Surgery


Rana Higgins, MD

Associate Professor


Andrew Sean Kastenmeier, MD

Associate Professor


Tammy Lyn Kindel, MD, PhD

Associate Professor


Kathleen L. Lak, MD

Assistant Professor