At Premier Surgical Associates of Knoxville, we take pride in our surgical team who treats patients as family. We are very pleased to welcome Dr. David G. Schutter to our general surgical team at our Premier North Knoxville location serving Tennova North.
Dr. Schutter is a board-certified general surgeon who specializes in treating foregut conditions (conditions affecting the esophagus, stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and a portion of the duodenum). He also does hernia repairs and surgeries of the colon, biliary tract, spleen, and rectal areas through robotic and laparoscopic technologies.
He graduated from the University of Nebraska with a B.S. in Psychology and Biochemistry and then the University of Kansas School of Medicine.
After completing his residency in general surgery at Western Michigan University Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine, he signed up and completed a Minimally Invasive Surgery fellowship in Tacoma, Washington. That fellowship specializes in advanced gastrointestinal surgery, including robotic and laparoscopic procedures.
Let’s get to know Dr. Schutter better:
What drew you to this field?
“ I realized at about age 20 that I wanted to go into medicine.
I was on a mission trip in Puebla Mexico building casitas. A casita is a small 10×16 foot single family home made out of cinder blocks and covered with a tin roof. They are not fancy at all but they are useful. One trip, a general surgeon came down with our group and set up a clinic for the locals. He saw over 100 patients in 3 days and helped so many people.
I thought his ability to help so many in just 3 days was really intriguing. So I went back home and shadowed that same surgeon for a week and promptly decided then to switch to medicine. I have been truly happy with that decision ever since.”
What conditions do you treat?
“I completed a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery following general surgery residency. This is basically advanced training in robotics and laparoscopic surgery.
I was fortunate enough to train with experts in foregut, surgical oncology, and colon and rectal. I now focus on diseases including hiatal hernia, GERD, gastric cancer as well as pancreatic and adrenal disease. I also treat all matters of colon and rectal disease with minimally invasive techniques. In addition to this I am happy to do the usual bread and butter of general surgery including hernia, gallbladder, and skin disorders.”
What do you find most rewarding about being a surgeon?
“It’s hard to pick just one thing, so I will talk about two. First, it’s the matter in which I get to help people. Someone comes to me with a problem, usually a small surgery will fix that problem. I love that. I love being able to be that instrument in their life. Second, I really enjoy the technical aspect of surgery. I enjoy planning out operations, making them more efficient and safer for the patient. That’s part of the reason I am such a believer in minimally invasive surgery. Smaller incisions, safter dissections, almost always leads to lower pain, better patient satisfaction and better outcomes overall.”
When you’re aren’t seeing patients, what do you like to do?
“I have been graciously blessed with a beautiful wife, two sons, and a dog. We love the outdoors. We go on adventures, as my 3 year old would say, as often as our schedule permits. This mostly includes hiking in whatever beautiful setting we can get to. I also love music and sports. I play guitar and sing and have played in a few bands over the years. As far as sports, I have always been involved in athletics growing up. This has included everything from hockey to track and field. I was also part of the University of Nebraska track team during college as a Javelin thrower.”
When asked about his philosophy of care, Dr. Schutter says he treats his patients as a whole, not just the disease.
He recognizes and appreciates the opportunity to work with patients during some of their toughest periods in life and will work with each patient as if they were family.
He believes that the best outcomes are obtained when the patient and their involved family members have a comprehensive understanding of the surgical problem, as well as the plan to get the patient to the best possible outcome. In addition, communication and collaboration with the other physicians and providers involved in the care of the patient are very important.
Dr. Schutter is accepting new patients at Premier Surgical in North Knoxville. To request an appointment, please call (865) 938-8121.