Tulsa’s oldest surgical practice, Surgery, Inc. celebrates its 80th anniversary this year. The long established practice was founded in 1932 by Dr. D.L. Garrett. “Dr. Garrett opened the first office in the Medical Arts building at 6th and Boulder,” says Robert Shepard, M.D., retired. “Dr. Garrett was an accomplished surgeon and the first member of the American Board of Surgery in Tulsa. He was a colorful, interesting person. He taught himself five languages, was a great hunter and fisherman, and had a commanding, dynamic personality.”
Garrett was joined by Harold A. White, M.D. in 1948, followed by Shepard in 1951. The practice was incorporated in 1967, one of the first medical practices in the state to do so. Shepard continued in the surgical practice until his retirement in 1984.
Over the years, Surgery, Inc. continued to expand its services from general surgery, adding vascular and cardiovascular. In fact, the first heart operations in Tulsa were performed by Surgery Inc. Today, its surgical services include a wide range of procedures such as in-office ultrasound with diagnostic and therapeutic imaging, laparoscopic and open treatment of esophageal disorders, gastric tumors, splenectomy, colon cancer and other conditions.
When asked about the progress in surgical techniques over the years, Stephen D. Bruns, M.D., says, “Laparoscopic (minimally invasive) technology has made many procedures possible on an outpatient basis which results in quicker recovery times, less post-operative pain, and much smaller scars.”
Bruns explains, “Staying on top of technology and utilizing additional advanced procedures such as robotic surgery allows us to make precise movements inside the abdomen where it was previously not accessible. This is valuable where there is sewing involved.”
Bruns says one of the biggest big growth areas for robotic surgery is prostatectomy, “Robotics offers tremendous advantages in these types of procedures and utilizing this technology allows us to remain on the forefront of surgical techniques.”
“In addition to outpatient procedures, we perform a broad range of general surgery,” says Bruns. “Our ten surgeons are highly trained in lung thoracic, esophageal, minimally invasive solid organ surgery, bariatric, breast, and intestinal procedures.” Surgery Inc.’s surgeons, affiliated with St. John’s Health System, provide their wide range of surgical services at locations in Tulsa, Owasso and Broken Arrow. The practice provides trauma and emergency care for all three locations as well.
Surgery Inc.’s surgeons work closely with patient care teams in order to provide the highest quality and safest patient-centered care. As an example, Bruns mentions bariatric surgery. “Bariatric surgery requires and integrated plan that involves the surgeon, nutritionists, exercise physiologists and dietitians. All of these components are required in order to provide the patient with the comprehensive care and follow-up that such a procedure requires.”
The team approach to patient-centered care reflects Surgery Inc.’s core values of quality, a caring attitude, respect, teamwork, compassion, accountability, trust, efficiency, honesty, empowerment, confidentiality and creativity.
When asked about plans for the future, Bruns says, “We will continue to grow as a practice and have plans to actively recruit the best surgeons. We want people to work here who share our guiding philosophy of compassionate care, and who aspire to continually achieve excellence through continuing education in order to offer the highest quality services to our patients.”