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Madhulika G. Varma


Colorectal surgeon
Chief, Colorectal Surgery

Dr. Madhulika (Mika) Varma, chief of colorectal surgery at UCSF Medical Center, specializes in diseases of the colon, rectum and anus. Her areas of expertise include colorectal and anal cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, and pelvic floor disorders. She also is a specialist in treating many of these diseases using laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgical techniques.

Varma is director of the Center for Pelvic Physiology, which evaluates patients with fecal incontinence, constipation, pelvic floor prolapse, rectal cancer and anal fistula. She is co-director of the UCSF Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease and a member of the Women's Continence Center and Women's Health Clinical Research Center. Varma's research interests include clinical outcomes for inflammatory bowel diseases and defecation disorders.

Varma earned her medical degree at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She completed a residency in general surgery at UCSF and spent a year at the University of Minnesota for specialized training in colon and rectal surgery. In 2000, she returned to UCSF, where she completed a fellowship in clinical outcomes research and epidemiology.

  • Education

    Brown University School of Medicine, 1991

  • Residencies

    UCSF Medical Center, General Surgery, 1998

  • Fellowships

    University of Minnesota, Colon and Rectal Surgery, 2000

  • Board Certifications

    Colon and Rectal Surgery, American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery

  • Academic Title


  • Languages



"I love the feeling of the immediacy of helping people… and seeing the patient feel better. It's very gratifying."

Where I see patients (1)

    My reviews


    Overall Experience
    148 Ratings
    About our process
    Nov 14, 2023
    This was a second opinion appointment. I think had it been a formal surgical consultation- we would have discussed in more detail the explanation of my condition and the potential risks of the recommended treatment.
    Nov 10, 2023
    Dr. Varma was knowledgeable friendly encouraging
    Aug 15, 2023
    I felt very comfortable and confident in her as my surgeon.
    May 16, 2023
    May 02, 2023
    Dr. Varma exceeded all of our expectations !!
    Mar 02, 2023
    I traveled across the country after sending medical reports with photos and expressed my desire for alternative thinking as my case was extremely difficult. I believe that the provider upon reviewing my case and me verbally expressing my needs with the PAs that I would not have had an in person appointment when my only option was exactly the same as the physicians here locally advise me of. I was extremely excited because I had hoped that upon review of my case I would've either been turned down or scheduled because there was something that could be done for me. It was a huge waste of time and energy based on false hope.
    Feb 28, 2023
    All was good
    Feb 04, 2023
    Dr Varma was thorough in all of her work. We had a good visit with her and her staff. We will recommend Dr. Varma to others.
    Feb 02, 2023
    Outstanding experience! Cannot wait to see Dr Varma again. Wish all doctors had her enthusiasm and bedside manners.
    Feb 02, 2023
    Dr. Varma was extremely informative about my upcoming procedure. She even diagrammed on a handout what would be taking place during the surgery. Her explanations and answers to my questions have left me feeling very comfortable about my upcoming surgery.
    Dec 06, 2022
    This was an appointment as part of post rectal cancer monitoring. Have been receiving care fo 2+ years and it has been excellent!
    Dec 05, 2022
    Dr. Varma was excellent and treated me with great professionalism and helpfulness.
    Oct 24, 2022
    Dr. Varma did not wait to answer my questions. I was seen for 2 minutes and the prescribed a medication from a compounding pharmacy that does not accept any insurance. I was not told how to take the medication until I asked as Dr. Varma headed out the door.
    Sep 27, 2022
    Such great service. THANK YOU ALL!
    Sep 13, 2022
    Aug 30, 2022
    I was there for a quick visual confirmation of a specific diagnosis to rule out HS and she did that quickly in a professional way.
    Aug 21, 2022
    While speaking with on phone about Diverticulitis noise from children on their line made understanding directions and input difficult. Was never given PIN number but was asked for it every time I was on the phone.
    Jul 26, 2022
    I trust her judgment and appreciate that she heard my concerns
    Mar 23, 2022
    Very outstanding Dr.
    Mar 16, 2022
    No complaints. Very good compassion consideration and Quality of care.

    My work

    Q&A: Enjoying the challenge of colorectal surgery

    Dr. Varma loves caring for diverse patients who need many types of procedures at a world-class institution like UCSF.