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10 Questions With Colon and Rectal Surgeon Bogdan Protyniak, MD

Learn more about this IRONMAN triathlete and his advice to someone thinking about becoming a doctor

10 Questions With Colon and Rectal Surgeon Bogdan Protyniak, MD

Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence is excited to welcome board-certified colon and rectal surgeon Bogdan Protyniak, MD, to LVPG Colon and Rectal Surgery–Pocono and Lehigh Valley Hospital–Pocono.

“I treasure my patients and treat them like they are part of my own family.” - Bogdan Protyniak, MD

Dr. Protyniak offers a depth of colorectal surgical knowledge that’s unmatched, offering care for a wide range of conditions (including colorectal/anal cancer, diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease, hemorrhoids, fissures, fistulae and pilonidal disease). He’s also experienced in minimally invasive techniques and robotic surgery, which means faster recovery and less pain and scarring.

“I am passionate about providing access to the most advanced techniques and getting people back to their normal lives as quickly as possible,” Dr. Protyniak says. “But above all else, I treasure my patients and treat them like they are part of my own family.”

Learn more about Dr. Protyniak through our 10 questions interview:

What inspired you to get into medicine?

I emigrated from Ukraine with my grandmother, who played a significant role in my life. Unfortunately, she passed from gastrointestinal cancer.

While caring for her at a young age, I was exposed to many parts of the medical field, including diagnosis, surgery and palliative care. The surgeons who took care of her were my heroes, and they inspired me to pursue a career in health care.

What's one thing you hope patients take away from their time with you?

I treat my patients with the same level of detail and compassion that I would expect for my own family, so I hope my patients come away from their experience feeling supported and well cared for.

What advice would you share with someone who is considering a career in medicine?

Do it. It is one of the most challenging, rewarding and selfless things you will accomplish in your life.

What does the future of your field look like?

The future of colon and rectal surgery is both promising and exciting. The paradigm of care is evolving every day to bring the least invasive and disruptive treatments to patients in their own communities.

Today, conditions like colorectal cancer, diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease and rectal prolapse can be treated with robotic surgery, which involves several small incisions. In some cases, we can send patients home the same day as their procedure with minimal pain and a shorter recovery window. In some patients with rectal and anal cancer, surgery can be avoided altogether with combined chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

As part of Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence, I am excited to bring the latest robotic and minimally invasive surgical techniques to patients in the Pocono region. I also look forward to working with colleagues at Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute to offer the most advanced treatments to patients facing colorectal and anal cancers.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I am an avid triathlete and enjoy swimming, biking and running. I compete in IRONMAN long-distance triathlon races annually and have completed nine thus far at various locations (including New York, Kentucky, Maryland and Canada). I also enjoy relaxing with my wife and our four rescue dogs.

What is your favorite band/song?

I really like the Rolling Stones, and my favorite song of theirs is “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction.”

Do you have any pets?

My wife and I have four dogs (three of which are dachshunds). Their names are Charlie, Frank, Boone and Winnie.

What is your favorite inspirational quote?

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde

What is your favorite movie?

My all-time favorite is “Gladiator.”

Are you a coffee or tea person?

I prefer coffee, and in the great Starbucks versus Dunkin’ debate, I choose Dunkin’.

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