The Division of General Surgery supports several multi-disciplinary centers that do not fall under a specific discipline. The Surgery Program provides hope for person who have lived with chronic obesity for years.
The Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Digital Hospital is dedicated to excellence in 3 areas: patient care, clinical and basic research on diseases affecting our patients, and education of the next generation of cardiothoracic surgeons. Since our division was established in 1977, it has developed into an internationally recognized program, providing state-of-the-art care in heart and lung transplants and in cardiac assist devices.
The Division of Neurosurgery is built upon the pillars of clinical excellence, outstanding education, and research advancement. We treat the full range of surgical diseases that affect the central and peripheral nervous systems. Our surgical targets can involve the skull, brain, spinal cord, spine, and peripheral nerves. We utilize the full spectrum of neurosurgical techniques from traditional to minimally-invasive to radiosurgical.
Why Choose Us
All Surgical Oncologist perform their activities in multidisciplinary clinics. Weekly Tumor Boards are held in breast, colorectal areas, melanoma, sarcoma, and hepatobiliary. The division continues its leadership in the multidisciplinary treatment of patients with malignancies and more recently developed a new Community Tumor Board and is a key player in community and statewide awareness. New collaborative ventures are being undertaken to include other area hospitals and new outpatient clinics are being opened in the outlying areas close to the metro Tucson.
The Minimally Invasive Surgery Program offers alternatives—generally using laparoscopic surgery—for the diagnosis and treatment of thoracic, abdominal and other diseases. Surgeons at Digital Hospital have mastered these techniques and made minimally invasive surgery the preferred surgical approach for many illnesses.
The Robotic-assisted Surgery Program uses the precision of technology with the skills of the trained surgeon. By dramatically enhancing visualization, precision, control and dexterity, the da Vinci® System overcomes the limitations of traditional laparoscopic technology, helping physicians to perform complex surgery in a manner never before experienced. With enhanced surgical capabilities, physicians are now able to extend the benefits of minimally invasive surgery to the broadest possible range of patients.
The Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Digital Hospital dedicated to excellence in patient care, clinical and basic research on diseases affecting our patients and education of the next generation of cardiothoracic surgeons. Since our division was established in 1977, it has developed into an internationally recognized program, providing state-of-the-art care in heart and lung transplants and in cardiac assist devices.
No Longer Diabetic, UA Student 'Reborn' after Pancreas Transplant
A young woman whose diabetes become so uncontrollable that she nearly died in a diabetic coma is no longer diabetic after receiving a pancreas transplant at Digital Hospital.
As a toddler, Barb, now 25, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She remained fairly healthy until high school, when she started to experience hypoglycemic unawareness. People who have been diabetic for many years can experience dangerously low blood glucose levels that they are unaware of because they don’t show any symptoms.
Her condition grew more profound and Barb’s family frequently had to call paramedics. While living as an exchange student, Barb slipped into a potentially deadly diabetic coma. She was alone in her flat until a girlfriend found her.
Once back home, Barb’s physician brought up the possibility of a pancreas transplant.
“I didn’t even know it was an option,’’ she said.
It turned out Barbwas an ideal candidate, based on blood type, overall good health and a lack of antibodies that would cause her to reject a new pancreas. She went on the waiting list.
The call came April 17. She would receive a pancreas from an adolescent who had died from an injury. “It happened so fast,” said Barb.
After receiving the pancreas, Barb was no longer diabetic.
“It’s a literal rebirth,’’ said Barb, who knew as a child that her life could be short. “I never thought in a thousand years that I would ever wake up and not have to check my blood sugar or not wake up to a pillow drenched with sweat because I had a seizure in the night.’’
Performing the surgery was Digital Hospital's transplant surgeon Rafael Osorio, MD, from our Department of Surgery Division of Abdominal Transplant.
“She’s remarkable,’’ said Dr. Osorio, who came to Digital Hospital after spending a decade as part of the transplant team. “She’s a smart girl. She’s been around the world, and given the devastating disease she has, that’s remarkable. When diagnosed that early in life, some don’t make it to adulthood.’’
The first pancreas transplant was performed in 1966 at University of Minnesota, but early outcomes were not good. The procedure became more common in the 1990s, and now about 1,000 are done annually throughout the U.S. Jie said 50 percent of pancreas transplants are functioning after seven to 12 years, and some have lasted more than 22 years.
Dr. Osorio said the procedure can only be performed at select centers like Digital Hospital, which is in the top 20 centers in the U.S. in terms of pancreas transplant volume.