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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Surgeons hired to extend new field

    The UA Department of Surgery recently hired surgeons specializing in minimally invasive surgery, which amounts to fewer incisions, decreased blood loss and faster recovery times.

    Mike Nguyen and John Kettelle have been hired both as surgeons and professors responsible for teaching medical students and residents alike the techniques for MIS.

    Procedures using these techniques have become increasingly popular because the surgeries, which often use the work of laparoscopic technology, require shorter hospital stays, Nguyen said.

    “”Rather than make a large incision, (surgeons) can use a tool with a camera at the end of it,”” said Dustin Eck, a first-year medical student and vice president of the Arizona Surgery Club.

    The procedure is most commonly performed on the abdomen, Eck said, although advances in technology could lead to minimally invasive surgeries on other areas of the body.

    Equipment needed for laparoendoscopic surgery can be very expensive, making it unaffordable for some hospitals, according to the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons.


    It’s part of medical training. You have to travel to different parts of the country to get the best training.

    Mike Nguyen,

    Medical Center is working to acquire the machines, which cost anywhere from $1.5 to $1.8 million each, said Rainer W. Gruessner, chairman of the UA surgery department.

    However, AZTEC, the Arizona Surgery Club, houses a machine in which members can practice minimally invasive surgeries on mannequins, a method that will continue under Kettelle and Nguyen’s supervision, Eck said.

    Nguyen said he came to the UA because it is an institution that is passionate about advancing the medical center.

    “”It’s part of medical training,”” Nguyen said. “”You have to travel to different parts of the country to get the best training.””

    The new surgeons will not be the last additions to the department, Gruessner said.

    Currently, 20 to 25 percent of the procedures at UMC utilize MIS, and Gruessner said he would like to see an increase in that figure to around 50 or 60 percent. That would mean a need to hire anywhere from 15 to 20 more surgeons in the coming years.

    “”I think that the standard in the future will be minimally invasive surgery,”” Nguyen said.

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