2016 Top Doctor: Keith Zacher, M.D.

Written by Editorial Staff Category: Profiles Issue: April 2016
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General Surgery  
Med School/Year Graduated: Creighton University, 1996

Years in Practice: 15

photography by Steve Craft; Keith Zacher, M.D.What prompted your interest in advanced laparoscopic surgical techniques? What conditions does a general surgeon typically treat?
The minimally invasive technique markedly improves recovery time with less pain and diminishes post-operative complications. A general surgeon treats a broad spectrum of problems including emergent  (e.g. appendicitis or bowel perforation), traumatic (e.g. blunt and penetrating injury), elective (e.g. gallbladder, hernia), and cancer (e.g. colon, breast and thyroid).

What are some of the latest advancements in laparoscopic surgery?
Robotic surgery is a computer-assisted platform that works in tandem with the surgeon providing more precision and dexterity as well as 3D high-definition visualization during laparoscopic surgery allowing more complex surgery to be done minimally invasive.

How do you keep calm and think clearly during high-stress surgeries?
The years of intense training performing thousands of surgeries prepares you to maintain objective focus during intense operative situations.

Are there any instances when a cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) would be an emergency, rather than an elective, procedure?
This surgery can be an urgent/in-hospital procedure if the gallbladder becomes acutely inflamed/infected (cholecystitis) or if gallstones pass into and obstruct the bile duct (choledocholithiasis).

Of all the different types of hernias, which is most severe, and how can we avoid it?
Any type of hernia can ultimately become complicated by incarceration leading to bowel obstruction, or strangulation resulting in ischemia (gangrene). These complications can be avoided by having any hernia evaluated by a surgeon and repaired electively rather than emergently.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to golf and travel with my wife and three kids. I also enjoy time with my dad, brothers and close friends.