Pittsburgh , PA, 3 rd September, 2009: Dr. David Blumberg, a laparoscopic colon surgeon in Pittsburgh has pioneered a novel laparoscopic colon surgery technique that is widely applicable and successful in many diseases including complicated Crohn’s disease .
Dr. Blumberg's pioneering work was reported in the journals Surgical Innovations in September 2008 and Surgical Laparoscopic, Endoscopic and Percutaneous Techniques in February and June of this year. This novel laparoscopic colon surgery technique enables patients to have a 95-98% success rate compared to a 20-25% failure rate commonly reported for traditional laparoscopic colon surgery.
Two of Dr. Blumberg’s patients who had Crohn’s surgery over the past month shared their experiences with us. Susan an 18 year old morbidly obese female with a stricture involving her transverse colon suffering from Crohn’s disease for 4 years remarked: “No surgeon would operate on me because they said it was too risky”. “They told me I weighed too much and that the location of the stricture was too difficult to remove you know with the small cut surgery”. “But I knew I wasn’t getting better and I needed an operation”. “I travelled two hours so that I could get an expert colon surgeon to help me”. “Dr. Blumberg was able to perform a laparoscopic colectomy on me and I was in the hospital for only 3 days with no complications and 1 week later I am like a new person”. “I am so grateful for what he did for me and I no longer feel sick.”
While a traditional colon resection performed laparoscopically is associated with increased complication rates for patients with obesity like Susan, Dr. Blumberg’s has shown that his novel laparoscopic technique is equally effective and safe in patients with obesity. His work was reported in the peer reviewed journal, Surgical Laparoscopic, Endoscopic and Percutaneous Techniques this February. Using this technique, Dr. Blumberg found that his new laparoscopic colon operation could be completely successful in 96% of obese patients and 92% of morbidly obese patients. There were no increased complication rates and patients with obesity had a similar short hospital stay as thin patients.
Dr. Blumberg has been successful in performing laparoscopic Crohn’s disease surgery in some of the most complicated patients. We caught up with a second patient of his, Steven who recently had a laparoscopic colectomy. Steven was referred to Dr. Blumberg with recurrent Crohn’s disease with a stricture where the small intestine had previously been connected to the colon. “Twelve years ago I had my initial operation for Crohn’s disease. “My colon was perforated and the surgeon needed to make a big incision to remove the bowel”. “I did well but it took a long time for me to recover from surgery”. “This year it came back in my intestine as a narrowed area. After struggling for 9 months with medications I was referred for surgery”. “I saw multiple surgeons and all of them said I needed a big cut because there would be a lot of scar tissue in my abdomen from the first operation and because I had a perforation”. I did not want a big incision because I knew that it would take months for me to recover like the last time. I needed to get healthy quick and get back to my job”. “I consulted with Dr. Blumberg even though he was several hours away and he was able to resect my colon stricture completely laparoscopically with only 4 days in the hospital and no complications. Two weeks after surgery Steven is back at work as a College Professor and said: “I feel great now and my recovery was so smooth thanks to the small incisions and Dr. Blumberg’s compassion and expertise”.
Laparoscopic Crohn’s disease surgery is usually not offered to patients with recurrent Crohn’s disease because it is technically difficult and has a higher failure rate in part do to scar tissue created from prior surgery. Dr. Blumberg says that he was successful in Steven’s case as well as many other patients because he utilizes a laparoscopic device called a harmonic scalpel that can safely separate the intestine when it is trapped in scar tissue. Utilizing this device, Dr. Blumberg demonstrated in the peer-review journal Surgical Innovations last September that combined use of laparoscopic colectomy with a harmonic scalpel was successful in 95% of patients with scar tissue in the abdomen thus avoiding an open colectomy (colon resection).
About Dr. David Blumberg
Dr. David Blumberg, is a colorectal surgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. Dr. Blumberg pioneered Band-Aid colon surgery, a novel laparoscopic colon surgery technique which results in less discomfort, quicker recovery, and improved cosmetic look. His technique offers hope for patients with colorectal diseases that also have obesity and prior abdominal surgery. Dr. David Blumberg, M.D., FACS, FASCRS is a Board Certified General and Colorectal Surgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. David Blumberg received his M.D. from SUNY-Downstate Medical School. He trained as a surgical oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and as a colorectal surgeon at the prestigious Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. Dr. Blumberg is recognized as a national expert in the area of colorectal cancer and laparoscopic colon surgery. He has written over 40 articles and has lectured at multiple national meetings. He is listed in Who's Who in America and was awarded by his peers as one of Pittsburgh's Top Doctors in 2007 and 2008. Dr. Blumberg's clinical expertise is in the areas of colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohns & Colitis), diverticulitis and laparoscopic colon surgery. Dr. Blumberg is dedicated pioneer actively working to improving the surgical outcomes of patients with colorectal cancer, diverticulitis, colon polyps, Crohn’s disease & ulcerative colitis while minimizing the trauma of an operation.
Dr. David Blumberg, M.D., FACS, FASCRS
Bandaid Surgery, PC
The Coronado Medical Building
500 South Aiken Ave, Suites 107-110
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Phone: (412) 682-3333
FAX: (412) 682-3335
Visit us on the web http://www.bandaidcolonsurgery.com