In honor of Doctor’s Day on March 30, Prowers Medical Center would like to celebrate our dedicated team of 10 fulltime providers who offer integral services to our community. Each week, you’ll meet two providers and learn about their role in caring for patients. This week the spotlight is on our general surgeons, Dr. James Smith, FACS and Dr. Jessica Swanson, FACS.
Did you know that your local hospital offers the best of the best when it comes to general surgeons? Both Dr. Smith and Dr. Swanson have completed an extensive process to earn the title Fellow of the American College of Surgeons or FACS. Not all surgeons choose to accept this challenge beyond medical school and training.
“It’s an extensive process that took me about five years after becoming a surgeon to finish. It’s really the crowning step for surgeons in this country,” says Dr. Smith.
“Every surgeon wants to know they are providing excellent care to their patients, and the fellowship tells patients that our peers recognize that ability in us,” says Dr. Swanson.
Besides joining the FACS, Dr. Swanson also completed additional training in laparoscopic surgery, which allows her to bring a higher level of expertise to her patients. Laparoscopy is a minimally-invasive type of surgery that often provides better patient outcomes with decreased pain, lower risk and fewer complications.
Dr. Smith has extensive experience in trauma surgery, something he practiced frequently as a military surgeon, and puts to use as a national trauma trainer, and at Prowers Medical Center. He also shares his talents with residents of Haiti during his annual church trips with his wife, Carrie, and a medical team of 25 including providers from the hospital.
“It’s something that my wife and I really value doing. We’ve been going to Haiti for the past 15 years,” he says.
Dr. Swanson also has her favorite projects outside of her practice in Lamar, including providing surgical coverage for hospitals in the Denver area, and providing volunteer surgical care for the underserved through Doctor’s Care in Littleton.
“I have been very blessed, and I am grateful to be able to pass that on by offering surgical care to those who might not otherwise have access,” she says.
The two are pleased to work in the new operating suites at Prowers Medical Center. New laparoscopic equipment gives them a more accurate, advanced tool for performing surgeries, and new visualization tools including scopes, cameras, and larger monitors enhance viewing.
“The new OR is state-of-the-art and equivalent to any that I experience in Denver. It allows us to provide exceptional care and better outcomes for our patients,” Dr. Swanson says.
General surgeons are trained to perform common surgeries to resolve conditions such as cancer, hernias, appendicitis, gall bladder, colonoscopies, foot problems and more. You may not realize it but general surgeons are often more equipped to handle such common surgeries than specialty surgeons.
“We perform thousands of colonoscopies just like gastroenterologists. Interestingly, a recent article showed that getting common, less complex surgeries, like gall bladder and hernia surgeries, from smaller hospitals was safer than getting them from larger hospitals. That’s because small hospitals perform so many of them,” Dr. Smith concludes.
For more information on surgical services at Prowers Medical Center or to discuss a pending surgery with one of our surgeons, call 719-336-7005. We’re your place for complete, compassionate care.