UH Clinical Update - February 2017
School ties drew Timothy O’Donnell, MD, back home to Northeast Ohio from Western Pennsylvania – and that was University Hospitals’ gain.
Dr. O’Donnell, who joined UH this past summer as a colorectal surgeon, sees patients at UH St. John and UH Westlake Medical Center, as well as at Southwest General Medical Center. He grew up in Fairview Park and went to St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland. He left Northeast Ohio for Washington, DC, to attend both college and medical school, followed by a residency in surgery at Tulane University Medical Center in New Orleans. After that, he did his fellowship in the Department of Colon and Rectal Surgery at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.
For the past eight years, Dr. O’Donnell practiced in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, but when it was time for his son to go to high school, Dr. O’Donnell thought St. Ignatius would be the obvious choice. So he and his family moved back to Cleveland’s western suburbs – and he moved his practice to UH.
“It’s great to work for such an excellent system,” he says. “As the population ages, colon cancer and colon diseases are accelerating. This is a great opportunity to be right there on the front lines, treating diseases that are reversible.”
Dr. O’Donnell says that he was first drawn to surgery because “it’s a hands-on approach – you’re able to fix something that is broken, and that is something only afforded to you in real time during surgery.”
He treats patients with conditions that range from cancer, to irritable bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, as well as for benign conditions such as diverticulitis and polyps.
Many of the referrals he sees are for those who would benefit from surgery, but he also sees patients with non-operative chronic conditions, such as hemorrhoid disease and surveillance of previously treated cancers.
While colon surgery is often done via laparoscopy, Dr. O’Donnell is also trained in robotics, so he can use the daVinci robot, “which can be even more effective in providing good stable laparoscopic care.”
And, he adds, “I’m committed to not only taking care of colon problems, but the overall patient.” His advice for patients, he says, isn’t exactly novel but nonetheless important: “Healthy eating, high-fiber diets and regular exercise.”