“The advent of endovascular repair for aneurysms has been phenomenal.”
Dr. Elizabeth Mahanor has always known that she has wanted to be a surgeon. “I knew it since I could say the word,” she explains. “There was never any question that being a surgeon was what I was going to do with my life. Perhaps the reason I knew this at such a young age is that my father is also a surgeon. He is a remarkable man who has been a major influence on my life.”
Dr. Mahanor believes in establishing good lines of communication with all of her patients. “Listening to your patients is key. Each patient has a lot of information to tell you, and the important thing is to listen to what they have to say. I go over everything from head to toe with my patients, and it is amazing what you discover when you hear their answers.”
As a vascular surgeon, Dr. Mahanor operates on people to repair damaged veins and arteries, restore proper blood flow to the body and repair dangerous aneurysms. “More people suffer from vein disease than cardiac disease. It is a very busy specialty.” For Dr. Mahanor, there is a lot that goes into planning for surgery before it is performed. “You have to work carefully in conjunction with each patient’s primary care physician and the anesthesiologists as well as others. It is a big effort to get these patients ready for surgery and have them succeed. However, I really do enjoy having patients come back to the office to see how well they are doing.”
One of the biggest problems Dr. Mahanor faces is patients who have difficulty making the needed lifestyle changes their doctors have recommended. “Lifestyle changes are the hardest thing for people to achieve. However, we do have many success stories of people who have managed to get healthier by controlling their cholesterol and diabetes and quitting smoking. I sometimes must tell people that ‘you get to keep your cigarettes or you get to keep your legs,’ because the top reasons vascular surgeons must resort to amputations to keep patients alive are diabetes and smoking.”
Dr. Mahanor enjoys using the new surgical techniques that have transformed surgery for aneurysms and other problems. “The advent of endovascular repair for aneurysms has been phenomenal. I can perform surgery on someone and send them home the next day with a stent. I think that is pretty incredible compared to open surgery.”
Dr. Mahanor has practiced in another city and clearly enjoys Worcester and Reliant Medical Group more. “The atmosphere is very collegial here. The surgeons and OR staff I work with here are just fantastic. My office staff is also great and work very hard. It really is a nice place to work.”
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