New microsurgery techniques at St. Luke’s improve feeling and appearance of reconstructions

Dr. Peter Koltz has returned home. For him, that means returning not only to his hometown, but also to St. Luke’s Hospital, where he started his healthcare career as a nurse’s aide years ago.

He’s brought with him over a decade of medical training, which includes the ability to perform cutting-edge, big-city plastic and reconstructive surgical techniques that were previously not available in this area.

Koltz spent an extra year at the world-renowned University of Pennsylvania to train in microvascular surgery options that allow lives to be restored in the most natural way possible. These advanced reconstructive procedures benefit patients with breast cancer, devastating extremity trauma or cancers, challenging head and neck problems, and a variety of pediatric conditions.

One microsurgery technique—antilogous breast reconstruction—reconstructs the breast using tissue from another part of the body. When nerve endings and blood vessels are reconnected, the patient begins to regain feeling in the area, promoting a sense of wholeness and wellbeing. Patients also experience less pain and shorter recovery times after surgery. Beyond that, the technique minimizes complications at the site where the tissue originated.

As of March 2017, there are more than 3.1 million women with a history of breast cancer in the US. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.

While breast reconstruction is the most common use of reconstructive microsurgery, Dr. Koltz says that the techniques offer head-to-toe procedures that take tissue from one area of the body and transfer it to another.

“The key is to be able to offer patients the best surgical option for them,” Dr. Koltz said. “My goal for every patient I see is to provide them a reconstruction that will allow them to return to the things that they like to do as quickly as possible with the best aesthetic result. Whether performing DIEP flap breast reconstruction, implant breast reconstruction, extremity salvage, or reconstructing the head and neck following cancer or trauma, my goal is to individualize the reconstruction to every patient.”

Dr. Koltz is able to do this by offering a full breadth of options for reconstruction, ranging from common techniques to leading edge procedures.

“The beauty of Cosmetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery as a surgical subspecialty is the ability to tailor every patient’s plan to their specific situation and return them to what they love to do. It is important to me to be able to offer all options safely and efficiently to accomplish this goal,” Dr. Koltz said.

See a video of Dr. Koltz talking about today’s options in microsurgery and learn more about the personalized care and attention at St. Luke’s here.

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