Ask The Doctor

Jeffrey A. Perri, M.D.

Question:  What types of surgical procedures are available at St. Clair Hospital and can some of them be done using minimally invasive techniques?


A:  St. Clair Hospital has grown dramatically over the last decade coinciding with an increase in the complexity of surgical procedures performed there.  Most recently, the hospital added three state-of-the-art surgical suites with integrated monitors on overhead booms surrounding the operating tables.  These monitors allow surgeons to simultaneously view patients radiographs or laboratory data of the body using a lighted scope inserted through tiny incisions.  This advanced technology is necessary to keep pace with the increase in surgical services offered at St. Clair Hospital, where surgeons perform more than 11,000 surgeries each year.  That number is expected to increase approximately 3 percent to 4 percent annually.

Surgery through tiny slits, or minimally invasive surgery, has revolutionized patient care in almost all surgical subspecialties.  The benefit of minimally invasive surgery include fewer complications, less blood loss, quicker healing, a shorter recovery period and hospital stay, minimal pain, nominal or no scarring and a return to one’s activities much sooner.

General surgeons do minimally invasive or laparoscopic operations to repair hernias or to remove diseased organs such as the gallbladder, colon, appendix and spleen.  Surgeons at St. Clair Hospital do more minimally invasive colon resections than any other hospital in Western Pennsylvania.  Other laparoscopic surgeries include stomach operations for obesity in adults and acid reflux disease in people with certain hernias.

Our thoracic surgeons biopsy and remove lung tumors using the minimally invasive technique of thorascopic surgery and orthopedic surgeons often repair ligaments and tendons in joints through small incisions in arthroscopic surgery.  Urologists also use laparoscopy to remove kidney tumors and repair urinary tract problems and gynecologists resect uterine tumors and deal with reproductive pathology.  Neurosurgeons and orthopedic spine surgeons routinely treat disc problems through extremely small incisions called microdissection.

In the past, treatment of aortic aneurysms, clogged arteries, and other vascular diseases required large incisions and long operations, but these are now repaired through simple needle sticks and real time radiologic viewing called fluoroscopy.

St. Clair Hospital surgeons perform these types of cutting edge operations every day.


Dr. Jeffry Perri is board certified in general surgery.  He earned his Medical Degree at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.  He practices with the group Perri Surgical Associates.  Contact Information

This article is for informational purposes and is not intended to serve as medical advice.  Please consult your personal physician.

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