Obici surgeon’s talk aims to demystify colorectal surgery

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 15, 2004

The free speaker series &uot;Obici Presents …&uot; will address &uot;New Reasons Not to Fear Colorectal Surgery&uot; at 7 p.m. June 29 in the Garden Level classrooms at Obici Hospital, 2800 Godwin Blvd.

Leading colorectal surgeon Dr. David Vargas will discuss advances that take pain and embarrassment out of treatment for hemorrhoids, colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. These include both medical and surgical improvements, such as alternatives to colostomy and minimally invasive &uot;stapled hemorrhoidectomy.&uot;

&uot;Too many people suffer in silence because they fear the unknown or are embarrassed to seek help,&uot; says Dr. Vargas, a prominent Hampton Roads surgeon who recently joined Obici Hospital’s Medical Staff. &uot;I try to inform people about colorectal procedures and point out mistaken assumptions about pain or loss of function.&uot;

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For example, blood in the stool can be a symptom of hemorrhoids or colon cancer. Someone who fails to seek medical attention to avoid the expected pain of a hemorrhoid operation may learn too late that the problem is cancer. Or, someone diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease may suffer unnecessary distress over unfounded concern that he or she will have to wear an ostomy bag to collect body waste.

In the case of hemorrhoids, Dr. Vargas says, &uot;A new technique for removing them causes far less discomfort and disability.&uot;

Dr. Vargas has been practicing in Hampton Roads since 1997 and recently opened an office in Obici’s Medical Office Building, Suite 210. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the UVA Medical School. He completed a general surgery residency at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pa. He also had a fellowship in colorectal surgery at Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans and received special training in advanced laparoscopy.

To register for &uot;New Reasons Not to Fear Colorectal Procedures,&uot; call 934-4981.