Blacksburg — Jason R. Fowlkes, MD, FACS, a board-certified general surgeon with LewisGale Hospital Montgomery in Blacksburg, reached a milestone Monday by completing his 500th robotic surgery.
Dr. Fowlkes routinely performs the following surgeries utilizing robotics: hernia repairs to fix tears in the abdominal wall, anti-reflux surgery for those patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), common colon procedures and gallbladder surgery to remove the gallbladder and gallstones.
Dr. Fowlkes has been performing robotic surgeries since June 2017. Since that time, he has seen his patients experience many positive benefits, one of which is a decrease in a patient’s hospital stay.
“A traditional colon resection can result in a three-to-five-day hospital stay as opposed to performing the surgery laparoscopically where the incision is tiny and their time in the hospital is minimal,” said Dr. Fowlkes. “Immediately following the surgery, patients are eating gelatin and broth and preparing for discharge to the comfort of their homes. The smaller incision also decreases the area where an infection could develop and it is more cosmetically appealing to the patient. Another significant advantage to robotic surgery is that the patient often needs much less pain medication.”
“At LewisGale Hospital Montgomery we offer the most technologically advanced surgical treatment options for our community,” said Alan Fabian, the hospital’s CEO. “We congratulate Dr. Fowlkes for the milestone that he has reached at our hospital. Our patients truly benefit from his vast experience and we are proud to have surgeons of his caliber on our hospital staff who successfully serve our patients throughout southwest Virginia.”
After earning his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, Dr. Fowlkes completed his internship and his residency in Roanoke. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and is board-certified by the American Board of Surgery. His experience in general surgery includes his tenure as the Director of Trauma, and he currently serves as the Chief of Surgery at LewisGale Hospital Montgomery.
LewisGale Hospital Montgomery is part of the LewisGale Regional Health System which has 44 Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) patient care facilities including four hospitals, one standalone ER, two regional cancer centers and affiliations with both employed and independent physicians.
With 2,500 employees, its annual payroll is $236 million. The system also paid $36 million in taxes and provided more than $73 million in uncompensated care to those most in need in 2018 alone.
LewisGale is also part of HCA Virginia, the largest and most comprehensive healthcare provider in the commonwealth, with nearly 15,000 employees.