The Most Trusted Name in Thoracic and Vascular Surgery in the Mahoning Valley
Call 911 or present to the nearest emergency department.
After office hours, you may contact Dr. Schmetterer through the Medical Dental Bureau 330-742-7895.
Dr. Lawrence Schmetterer: New Information for Patients
It has been over a year since the COVID 19 Pandemic has affected all of us. Please consider this update as we move forward together.
We remain committed to the safety of our patients and staff. Thankfully, all of the restrictions on the scheduling of both inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures have been lifted as the volume of COVID 19 cases continues to decline at all area hospitals.
All of our staff have received the vaccine and have remained free of infection. All patients are encouraged to seek vaccination against flu and COVID 19. Please contact your primary care physician for details.
Patients presenting for office or hospital clinic visits are requested to notify our staff ahead of the visit if experiencing any symptoms of COVID 19 and to wear a facemask during the visit. Temperatures are taken on site. We continue to practice social distancing in the waiting areas, and frequently disinfect all patient and staff areas.
In the interests of safety and streamlining of our consultation and follow up processes for our patients, we will be transitioning from a traditional paper format to internet based media. We will be requesting email contacts so that we can better provide our patients with updates on our practice, appointment and testing reminders and reduce the need for paperwork. We recognize that many patients are not experienced with these newer forms of communication and will continue to work with all patients through a format comfortable to them as we move forward.
As I follow up with our established patients I am so thankful that nearly all have avoided infection with COVID 19. It has been a trying time for sure as many continue to struggle with isolation from family members and friends, and aspects of life to which we have grown accustomed. I truly believe that major improvement in daily life is just around the corner, largely due to social distancing and increasing vaccination numbers.
We remain committed to providing our patients with the best care and medical treatment.
The current social and medical landscape is changing on a daily basis. Please follow us on Facebook or our website as updates may occur.
We will all get through this together.
Lawrence Schmetterer MD FACS
AboutIn 1967 I was 11 years old. This was the year that the first human heart transplant was successfully completed in Cape town, South Africa by Dr. Christian Barnard. The announcement was etched in my memory as this event captivated the evening news, newspaper headlines and the cover of Time magazine. This medical landmark was my introduction to medicine and the cardiovascular system. I visited the public library and read every book I could find on the heart, lungs and blood vessels.
What closely followed was the development of the artificial heart by the world-famous surgeon, Dr. Michael DeBakey in Houston, Texas. Dr. DeBakey appeared larger than life in the news. In seventh grade science class, we studied a cow’s heart, lungs and blood vessels. I was quite impressed, at the age of 13 years, when my grandfather traveled to Texas in order to undergo a vascular bypass operation by Dr.DeBakey himself. The operation saved my grandfather’s leg and added many years to his life.
For me, these events were amazing and further drew my interest to the field of cardiovascular disease Nothing mattered more to me than becoming a surgeon trained to repair the heart, lungs and blood vessels. From that point forward, all efforts and decisions were directed to achieving that goal.
Hard work lead to undergraduate studies at Duke University and Oxford, then medical school at the University of Illinois in Chicago with research in cardiac disease and a residency in General Surgery. Two additional years were spent at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda where my experience deepened in cardiovascular and lung physiology. I was given the opportunity to perform original laboratory research in pulmonary vascular function and collaborated with scientists at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and George Washington University who shared a common interest. During this time, my father required carotid artery surgery and coronary bypass surgery, both events spurring my desire to treat these diseases. He later suffered greatly from peripheral vascular disease, again, pushing me forward to treat others with this affliction. My experience in thoracic surgical oncology at the University of Illinois and a close family member with lung cancer also fueled my desire to pursue the surgical treatment of lung cancer.
After general surgery residency, I entered my cardiothoracic fellowship which brought me to Los Angeles for two years. I completed my training in 1992 and accepted a position to practice heart, lung and vascular surgery at Northside Hospital and St. Elizabeth’s in Youngstown, and have since expanded my practice to other hospitals in the Mahoning Valley. Perhaps due to my family’s involvement with vascular disease, my interest in limb salvage surgery developed further. I was fortunate to learn from leaders in this field and have employed these advanced techniques in my practice. My practice in treating diseases of the chest, most notably, lung cancer, has been extremely rewarding. I have had the great experience to follow many patients who are long term cancer survivors, some over twenty years since their surgery.
For the past 26 years, I have cared for people who live in my community. While my original childhood inspiration came from a titan of cardiovascular surgery, my daily motivation is to pursue what I love: fixing people and making them better so that they can enjoy all that life has to offer in our Valley. Whether it is bike riding along the Ohio Pyle River, walking through Mill Creek Park, attending a 50th wedding anniversary or attacking the cookie table at a wedding, good health is necessary to enjoy these activities to their fullest. I consider it a deep honor and privilege to be trusted and allowed to care for members of my community.
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