Dr. David Rutledge admits he’s a bit of a tinkerer. “I like fixing thing and working with my hands,” he said. Whether he’s working on cars or fiddling with electronics, he enjoys thinking outside the box to find a solution. This problem-solving mindset made him a natural for a career as a surgeon and an early pioneer in minimally-invasive surgical procedures, including laparoscopic gallbladder surgery for digestive disorders. “Traditional open gallbladder surgery requires a longer recovery period and a good deal of pain,” he said. “With less-invasive laparoscopic surgery I can offer my patients a minimally-invasive procedure and a return to their normal activities within a week.”
Through his affiliation with Surgical Associates of Mansfield, Dr. Rutledge has been able to go a step further with the da Vinci Surgical System, the leading robotic surgery platform which works in real time translating the surgeon’s hand movements into precise micro-movements of the instruments at the surgical site, allowing Dr. Rutledge to perform major surgery through the smallest of incisions.
He stresses the importance of proper preparation and says a large part of being a surgeon is the planning. “With the proper planning, the actual operation only takes a small percentage of my time,” he said. “Most important is the time I spend sitting face-to-face with the patient discussing their needs and expectation. It’s the thought process before and during the surgery that’s important, not just the wielding of a knife. It’s the planning and fact finding that ensure each patient receives the treatment I’d want for myself or a family member.”
Dr. Rutledge completed his undergraduate at Duke University and his medical school and a general surgery residency at University of Texas Southwestern. He’s ardent about staying on top of advancements in his field and excited by the rapid rate of improvement in modern medical science. “Consider that antibiotics have only been around for eighty years, and surgery was pretty difficult a hundred years ago,” he said. “Who knows where we’ll be fifty years from now.”
The da Vinci and other technological advancements at Surgical Associates of Mansfield have made surgeries exponentially safer, simpler, and more successful than ever before. And the care Dr. Rutledge brings to his craft ensures his patients get the care they deserve.
2975 East Broad Street, Suite 200
Mansfield, Texas 76063
By Meredith Knight