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Acid Reflux causes and Treatment

UNC Surgery Profile: Timothy Farrell, MD (Treating Patients as Individuals Not as Numbers)

UNC Surgery Profile: Timothy Farrell, MD (Treating Patients as Individuals Not as Numbers)

My name is Tim Farrell. I’m a GI surgeon. I’m a professor of surgery here at the University of North Carolina and also
serve as Vice Chair of the department of surgery for education. My practice is centered on minimally invasive GI surgery for benign conditions like a
hiatal hernia surgery for elderly men and women is very common in my practice, swallowing disorder surgery for people with gastroesophageal reflux disease or motility disorders like achalasia and also weight loss surgery or
bariatric surgery which has become about half of my practice. Well what gets me up in the morning is on days when I’m seeing patients, it’s the
opportunity to interact with people of North Carolina who are wonderful to work with. On days when I’m in the operating room, it’s the the joy of
doing highly technical operations through small incisions and seeing
patients go home in one or two days, and on days when I’m teaching, it’s the
pleasure of teaching advanced trainees and younger trainees at undergraduate
level, things that I can do so that it can inspire them and get them to
consider a surgical career. Well, I think my practice is one that has been here at the University of North Carolina since I came out of training and I feel like
although I’m a transplant to the area we are growing deep roots in the red clay
of North Carolina. I plopped myself down in a place where I felt like we could have a long term relationship, both professionally and as a family and so
I’ve been here a long time and it feels like I’ll be here for the rest of my career. And I hope on the last day of my career I’ll still be doing the same
thing I was doing on the first day of my career. My aspirations are not for
titles and leadership but to continue to just do what I do, better,
safer, faster for my patients and at the same time to have a thriving family in
this area that can grow deep roots and hopefully have future generations in
North Carolina. One of the benefits of working at the University of North
Carolina is that our approach has been multidisciplinary care for patients and
so I work alongside experts in non-surgical domains, gastroenterologist in the Center for Esophageal Diseases and Swallowing are
expert and help me to provide a component of the care of patients with
GI diseases such as achalasia or hiatal hernias but it’s not weighted
towards just surgical management if it’s correct for a patient to have surgery of
course we are able to provide that and at the highest level but in another case
if a patient needs their symptoms managed by non-surgical treatments we
have some of the world leaders in gastroenterology here. The same is true for bariatric surgery. Weight loss surgery is something that we have been doing since the early 2000s shortly after I came to Chapel Hill and
we have developed the program carefully so that we’re not treating patients as
numbers but as individuals and now I’m excited to say we have colleagues in the department of medicine in the division of endocrinology, who are experts in
medical weight loss efforts. We have colleagues in Family Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation who are providing top-level behavioral and
exercise related programs in weight loss and we’re getting better and better
at integrating these into a program that allows us to tailor the treatment
plan for a patient to minimize their risk but to achieve the best outcomes. Under the leadership of our Chair men and women and our division Chiefs we’ve
gotten a team that has longevity and great knowledge about the care of these
patients so I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the best nurses, and
nurse practitioners, and administrative support staff. I feel like when
our patients or our potential patients contact our office, they’re going to
speak to individuals who treat them personally, who understand where they need to go. It’s a big complex system,
health care is across the board. I think the division of GI surgery and our staff are wonderful at helping patients navigate
the complexities of getting to the right specialist and I’m very pleased to have
had the opportunity to work with the people I do.

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