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Mayo-Trained Surgeon Slices Into Niche at WellStar
​​Dr. Theolyn Price is the new Director of Robotic Thoracic Surgery for WellStar Health System.
Dr. Theolyn Price, the new Director of Robotic Thoracic Surgery for WellStar Health System, is board certified in general surgery and thoracic surgery. She specializes in the treatment of lung, esophageal and chest wall disorders, with a particular interest in thoracic oncology (cancer surgery of the chest) and robotic procedures.​

Dr. Theolyn Price performed the first robotic-assisted lobectomy in southern Colorado and went on to build a robotic thoracic surgery program as the Clinical Director of Thoracic Surgical Oncology. She has been a pioneer in robotic thoracic surgery, having performed more robotic cases than any other thoracic surgeon in Colorado, and was the leading female thoracic surgeon for robotic thoracic cases west of the Mississippi.

Dr. Price is now starting a new mission: build a robotic thoracic surgery program at WellStar North Fulton Hospital.

 

What was your inspiration to become a surgeon?

Dr. Price: When I was 15, a boy in my neighborhood was seriously injured in a life-threatening, accidental home shooting. It was in this moment, as we were caring for his needs while transporting him to the nearest ER, that I realized my calling was to pursue a surgical career. He was eventually flown to a trauma center where his life was saved, and they were able to amazingly reconstruct his face. I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life being a part of this miracle —the miracle of changing lives and healing.

 

What do you love about your profession?

Dr. Price: I love the personal relationship that develops between a patient and physician, as well as the ability to transform or enhance a patient’s life. It is my privilege to plan a course of treatment that will hopefully bring healing that will impact the patient’s quality of life. It is an honor to have the opportunity to make such a difference.

 

You’ve had eight surgeries—how does that help you connect with your patients?

Dr. Price: Not only have I had eight surgeries myself, but I have also been by my mother’s side during her diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer. As difficult as these times were, I truly believe I am a better person and a better surgeon for what I have endured. This enables me to connect with my patients in a way that many surgeons cannot. I understand the full spectrum of emotions that a patient experiences and the challenges they face during the work-up, hospitalization, and recovery. I also understand the heartbreak that family members feel when their loved one has just been diagnosed with cancer. I am able to not only sympathize with my patients, but I am able to empathize, which develops a very special bond.

 

You’re among a small group of robotic thoracic surgeons. What are the benefits of robotic surgery?

Dr. Price: Robotic surgery provides the same traditional surgery through the most minimally invasive approach. Robotic procedures are performed with less blood loss, less pain, shorter hospital stays, quicker recovery and an earlier return to work. It results in tremendous patient satisfaction. WellStar Thoracic Surgery Associates has a robust thoracic surgery program and we now want to incorporate this cutting edge minimally invasive technology.

 

What are some of your other interests outside of your job?

Dr. Price: An important personal mission is to give back to the community. I was fortunate enough to serve on five philanthropic boards in Colorado Springs (Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Goodwill Foundation, Independent Bank of Colorado, Penrose-St. Francis Foundation and the Colorado Springs Police Foundation). I also served nationally on the Workforce for Patient Safety for six years through the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. It is an honor to come on board with the WellStar team and be a part of this community partnership. Living in Roswell and primarily working in Alpharetta and Marietta, I look forward to new opportunities to get involved locally and to get to know my new home.

 

What are you looking forward to at WellStar North Fulton?

Dr. Price: It is very exciting to be a part of the WellStar family with a patient first, team centered approach, where we provide top notch, world class care that patients are able to receive from the comfort of their local community. In addition, I am now blessed to be within driving distance to my loving and supportive family. Among them is my grandmother for whom I am named, my grandfather who just reached the milestone of 100 years old, a niece and three nephews. Visiting them more often will be a gift of joy.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Price, please call WellStar Thoracic Surgery Associates at (770) 424-9732.