Provider Spotlight 13 December 2019
Dr. Pete Graham
Dr. Graham joined Ivinson Medical Group's Surgical Clinic last December as a general surgeon.
Dr. Pete Graham celebrated his one year anniversary at Ivinson on December 1st, the same day he celebrated becoming an official resident of Wyoming.
“I grew up team roping in Montana,” Pete said. “I thought I’d be a professional team roper and that didn’t work out. So I thought I’d be a rancher but I couldn’t find any girl with a ranch that would marry me. So I decided to go to medical school.”
In medical school, he was interested in infectious disease — a stark difference from his fast paced schedule as a general surgeon.
“When I was in medical school, I thought I’d be in infectious disease and then I started interviewing for residencies. By the time I was done interviewing, I decided that surgery was the way I wanted to go.”
Dr. Graham enjoys general surgery because it is exciting and he has an immediate impact on his patient’s quality of life.
“That’s the best feeling to have as a doctor, to feel like you’ve helped your patient that quickly.”
Before coming to Ivinson, his family lived in Texas where his wife was stationed with the Navy, but Texas never felt like home. He always knew he wanted to come back west, close to family and away from the big city.
“It’s a more peaceful way of life, but still with quite advanced medical care. It’s quite amazing because I’ve been to a few different hospitals but Ivinson continues to impress me. The staff here is very knowledgeable and the equipment is very high quality.”
Arriving at Ivinson, he trained to use the Da Vinci robot, equipment that was unavailable in his previous work. Having been in practice 11 years before coming on at Ivinson, he felt comfortable in minimally invasive surgery having performed countless laparoscopic surgeries. After training with the Da Vinci, Dr. Graham reports his favorite surgery to perform is hernia repairs with the robot.
“I go through the different surgery options with the patient. There is an open traditional hernia repair, laparoscopic and robotic. And I’ll let the patient know I think the robot is the best option. My biggest incision is smaller than it would be laparoscopically, it’s a faster recovery time and it’s just better visualization.”
Dr. Graham enjoys hernia repairs because the surgery brings instant relief to his patients. Prior to his arrival, hiatal hernias repairs were not available at Ivinson at all. Currently, Dr. Graham treats hiatal hernias laparoscopically but intends to do more of these repairs with the Da Vinci.
Comparing laparoscopic surgery to using “long chopsticks”, Dr. Graham explains that with the Da Vinci, the robot has articulating wrist, which allows for the advanced precision.
“Now that I’m here and that I’ve used it, I do think that there are certain surgeries where, while laparoscopic is good, the robot is even better.”