Laura Mitchell, P.A.-C., is a certified physician assistant who specializes in vascular surgery. She works with Vascular Surgeon Enrique Criado, M.D., and is a member of MidMichigan’s comprehensive heart and vascular team. This team includes cardiologists, interventional cardiologists, electrophysiologists, structural heart specialists, as well as vascular, thoracic and cardiovascular surgeons.
“I grew up with a dad who is a surgeon and have always loved watching surgical procedures. Throughout my whole time in physician assistant school, I knew that I wanted to have a job in the surgical field,” she said.
Philosophy of Care
“I always try to advise and treat my patients as if they are a member of my family, no matter what treatment is required,” said Mitchell. “I also like to get to know my patients as much as I can, so that I can effectively evaluate them and come up with a plan that works best for them. I want to create a trusting relationship where my patients can trust the advice I give them, and know that each decision is ultimately up to the them. I can give them options and tell them which one I believe would be best for them, but in the end, I leave the decision making up to the patient.”
According to Mitchell, building relationships with patients and seeing how much of a positive impact she has made on their lives is the most satisfying aspect of her work.
“I enjoy spending time getting to know my patients and making sure they are comfortable with whatever plan is chosen,” she said. “I also make sure that every question is answered before the patient leaves our office or goes into surgery. “
Special Interests and Procedures
In the area of vascular surgery, Mitchell finds special interest in carotid endarterectomies, endovascular aortic aneurysm repairs and treatment for thoracic outlet syndrome.
Mitchell feels like the ability to fix an abdominal aortic aneurysm through an endovascular approach is one of the more exciting developments that has happened in the field of vascular surgery. “With this development, the patient has less pain, the healing process is a lot faster, and patient is generally only in the hospital for one night,” she said.
In the summertime Mitchell enjoys helping her two brothers fly their hot air balloons. “It is something that I absolutely love because of the camaraderie within the sport,” she said. “I also enjoy kayaking and spending time with family.”