Thomas Thornton, M.D., is a general surgeon with advanced training in surgical treatment of conditions and diseases of the esophagus, stomach, colon, gallbladder, hernia repairs and treats disease involving the skin, breast and soft tissue.
Dr. Thornton is the only surgeon in the area to offer endoscopic pre-peritoneal inguinal hernia repairs, also known as TEP inguinal hernia repair. This involves going between the muscle layers in the lower abdomen to repair inguinal hernias, and is especially advantageous in bilateral or recurrent hernias. He also has an interest in thyroid and parathyroid surgery, and can treat patients with thyroid nodules or cancer without the need for them to leave the area for their surgical care.
“I’ve always been interested in activities involving a hands-on approach, and while in medical school, the ability to operate on a given problem with the intent of solving the patients’ problems drew me to the field of surgery,” said Dr. Thornton. “General surgery in particular appealed to me because of the diversity of the field, and the ability to operate on a wide variety of organ systems in patients of all ages.”
Philosophy of Care
“My philosophy of care revolves around personalizing surgical care to the patient I’m dealing with,” he said. “There are many surgical procedures for a condition and often several ways to complete it. By getting to know my patients, finding out their overall health, activity level and expectations moving forward, I can help my patients choose the best approach.”
Dr. Thornton looks at each patient interaction as an opportunity to get to know them, and put them at ease. He believes that you can be the best technical surgeon in the world, but if you cannot establish a good relationship with your patient, you cannot deliver the best care.
Special Interests and Procedures
In addition to the standard general surgery procedures and endoscopic pre-peritoneal inguinal hernia repairs, Dr. Thornton enjoys thyroid and parathyroid surgery, and can treat patients with thyroid nodules or cancer.
He lives in Alpena with his wife and children. In his free time, Dr. Thornton likes getting outside on the water when the Michigan weather permits, scuba diving to discover all the underwater opportunities of the Thunder Bay, as well as running, hunting, and playing hockey.