7/1/13: Dr. Waisbren says good bye

After more than 15 years of working with my colleagues at Maple Grove Surgical Specialists, I have decided to return to my academic roots and take a new job at the Minneapolis VA Hospital.  At the VA I will be teaching University of Minnesota medical students and residents general surgery while caring for and performing surgery on our veteran population.

While I have thoroughly enjoyed my years in private practice, I was ready for new professional challenges.  I have strong research and teaching background, having received my Ph.D. in cellular and molecular physiology back in 1993.   While at Fairvew Northland for the past 10 years, I have been teaching medical student for 12 weeks per year.  Three years ago I started spending my “day off” on Wednesday’s teaching anatomy to the first year medical students at the University.  I have enjoyed it.

I have cherished the relationships I have made with my co-workers and patients.  I truly apprecialte the support my colleagues have provided me both with the patient-care they have provided and their confidence in my by referring their patients.  Furthermore, I am honored that my patients have entrusted me to be the steward of their health and well-being.

This time in my life feels a bit like graduation: I have very much enjoyed the work I have done and will miss my co-workers and patients.  Thus, it is certainly with a bit of sadness coupled with excitement that I say good bye and thanks to all of you.

I wish you my best,

Steven J. Waisbren, M.D., Ph.D.

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Dr. Pietrafitta Attends Seminar in France

Dr. Joseph Pietrafitta recently returned from Elancourt, France (near Paris) where he participated as a consultant with a group of surgeons from around the world to evaluate the performance of a new composite mesh for hernia repair in comparison to other products that are on the market.

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Don’t Stand for Hemorrhoids Any Longer

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in or near the anal canal.  The affected tissue may protrude outside the body.  They are a very common problem that affect all people men and women.

Symptoms may include itching, pain, swelling, burning, cracking, bleeding, and/or sensitive lumps.


  • constipation or poor bowel habits
  • pregnancy
  • sitting or standing for long periods
  • heavy lifting
  • lack of exercise or too much stenuous exercise
  • chronic coughing

Tests:  Our physicians may perform an anal exam in office and may further recommend you have a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy performed before determining a proper care plan for you.

Treatment:  Our doctors will create an individualized treatment plan for you to follow at home.  The goals are to help relieve your symptoms and ease your constipation.  There may be a need for surgical care in which our doctors would determine if you are a candidate for a minimally invasive approach called Procedure for Prolapse and Hemorrhoids (PPH).


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Colon Cancer Screening – Are You At Risk?

Preventable. Treatable. Beatable.

Each year more than 140,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, often referred to as colon cancer, in the U.S. and over 50,000 people die from it annually. The disease, however, is largely preventable with regular screening and is treatable with early detection.

If you are over 50, considered a high risk and/or have a family history of colorectal cancer, please call to speak with our qualified office staff so that we can assist you with coordinating your care.

Colon cancer is easily detectable through a procedure called Colonoscopy, in which a small colonoscope is passed through the rectum. If detected early before it has a chance to spread, colon cancer can be cured. The specialists at Maple Grove Surgical Specialists offer endoscopic examinations such as colonoscopies for colon cancer screening. For more information about colon cancer screening, contact us at 763-416-0676.

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Do I Have a Hernia? Signs You Should Be Aware Of

Each year, an estimated 5 million Americans develop hernias. Today, there is little reason to fear surgical repair. Hernia surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis and patients are able to return to most normal activities in a matter of a few days.

Is it a hernia? Most of the time, you will not notice the beginning of a hernia, as they start out as pain or as a very small unnoticeable lump. Signs that you may have a hernia include:

  • Swelling or a lump in the midline of the abdomen, around the umbilicus or in the groins
  • Nausea or an upset stomach
  • Localized pain – from mild to severe pain
  • Heartburn or excessive belching

If you suspect that you may have developed a hernia or have unusual groin or stomach pain, consult the experts at Maple Grove Surgical Specialists who have over 20 years of hernia repair experience. Got questions? Give us a call anytime at 763-416-0676 or stop in to our Maple Grove location.

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Dr. Pietrafitta Attends the 14th Annual Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Symposium

The Fairmont Chicago – October 4-7, 2012: 
The optimal management of breast cancer continues to evolve based on new research findings. A multidisciplinary team of medical, surgical and radiation oncologists, pathologists, plastic surgeons and genetic counselors are routinely involved in treatment planning for breast cancer patients. With the emergence of new prevention strategies, women at high risk of developing breast cancer are now evaluated for medical therapies, surgical options and lifestyle changes that may reduce their risk of developing breast cancer. The 14th Annual Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Symposium provided a forum for presenting laboratory and clinical research and discussing the care of patients with breast cancer.

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