Growing up in a small town in Iowa, Michael F. D'Angelo, was in a place where the local doctor still made house calls at all times of the day and night. Their local doctor happened to be a close family friend so D'Angelo was able to see first-hand how a physician interacts with his or her patients. That was the defining moment when he knew he wanted to be a physician.
Michael F. D'Angelo, MD, a robotic-trained, board-certified Urologist, brought his expertise in the field of robotic assisted surgery to Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center and the Heart of Florida Physician Group in April 2017.
He finds that using the robotic technology is the best course of action in treating the majority of his patients.
"My goal is to improve the quality of life for my patients and offer individualized solutions using advance technology,'' D'Angelo said. "The technology can help patients recover faster, with shorter hospital stays and in some cases they can go home the same day."
D'Angelo, who is certified in Advanced Robotic and Laparoscopic Surgery, is no stranger to the technology having launched two successful robotics programs, first at Naples Community Hospital and then Physicians Regional Medical Center - Pineridge.
He got his start in the robotics field in 2001.
"I was at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and was researching laparoscopic techniques and they had robotic training equipment there as well, so I started training on that and just really enjoyed the technology aspect,'' he said.
Although not a native of Florida, D'Angelo has called Florida home since 2002 when he moved to Naples after he had completed his six-year urology residency at the Mayo Medical Graduate School in Rochester, Minn. He graduated Cum Laude from Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Neb.
In Naples, D'Angelo was a partner and president of the Specialists in Urology group as well as a partner and medical director for the Sunergy Ambulatory Surgery Center. An added bonus of moving to Davenport to take his current job, was being closer to his wife, Adriana's family. He has five children and enjoys time as a recreational boxer.
Boxing was a hobby that started out as a way to relieve stress but then took an interesting turn to Mixed Martial Arts fighting.
"I was working with my boxing coach at a gym in Naples where there were a lot of MMA fighters training to be professionals, and I just started sparring with them and helping them train,'' D'Angelo said with a laugh. "It was a lot of fun, but I was never going to be a professional fighter."
D'Angelo is known for his sense of humor and helping to make patients feel comfortable, especially when discussing sensitive medical issues. But his talents don't lie with just his great bedside manner or his skills in the operating room; D'Angelo also has experimented with the design of medical instruments.
In 1999, he designed a laparoscopic renal clamp for partial nephrectomy surgeries. He also consulted in the design of the laparoscopic radio frequency ablation catheter.
"I was having a research year while I was at the Mayo and I was very interested in minimally invasive surgeries. We needed a clamp to be able to do certain surgeries better,'' explaining how he ended up designing the renal clamp.
D'Angelo believes in providing the highest quality of care to his patients and that requires staying up-to-date with the latest procedures, such as the prostatic urethral lift procedure to help men suffering from an enlarged prostate.
"We have a new treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH,'' said D'Angelo. "An enlarged prostate can now be treated with the prostatic urethral lift procedure. Prescriptions can be expensive and have side effects. The procedure is a minimally-invasive surgery that is done using sedation, not anesthesia, and results can be seen in a few weeks."
Although a fan of the procedure now, he was not one of the first physicians to get on board with the minor surgical operation.
"I have to admit I was a little hesitant at first. New procedures come along all the time and some don't hold up to the hype. I was waiting to see how the five-year data was for this procedure and the success rate is amazing. Studies show that the procedure is 90 percent effective, and is still effective for 90 percent of the patients five years later,'' he said. "I have had a lot of success with this procedure. It takes about 10 minutes or so and the patients get to go home the same day."
D'Angelo said the quick procedure can be done at the new Heart of Florida Surgery Center or at the hospital. It is also approved by Medicare and most insurance companies.
"It is amazing how easy it works. If a person suffering from an enlarged prostate no longer wants to take the pills, this is a safe and easy way to take care of it,'' he said.
During the surgery, tiny sutures hold the lobes of the enlarged prostate permanently open. More than 37 million men in the United States suffer from the condition. As men get older, the male urethra becomes enlarged and begins to obstruct the urinary system.
When he gives seminars on the procedure he usually has at least a couple of men come up to him afterward ready to make an appointment. He has also had several women come up and want to make appointments for their husbands as well.
"Men who suffer from frequency, urgency and having to get up several times during the night to urinate or men who have trouble passing urine will absolutely benefit from this procedure,'' D'Angelo said. "This simple surgery can have a life-changing effect on their way of life. It does effect the spouse. They have to deal with being awaken three or four times a night and it takes a toll.''
D'Angelo said he loves hearing from his patients how quickly they recover.
"I have one patient, he would ride his bike 50 miles a day. Two weeks after the surgery he was back to riding his bike,'' he said. "I had another patient who had just stopped going places and doing things because he always felt the need to go to the bathroom. He could tell you exactly where every bathroom was located in all of the stores near his house. He had the surgery and now he is out there living his life again. That is great. Those are the kinds of results a doctor wants to see."
In addition to the BPH procedures, he also specializes in erectile dysfunction or impotency, kidney stones, male and female incontinence, urinary retention, urinary tract infections, Peyronies disease, and several cancers - including kidney, bladder, prostate and testicular.
D'Angelo is a member of The Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons and the American Urologic Society. He is board certified by the American Board of Urology.
Dr. D'Angelo practices at his offices in Davenport, Champions Gate and Lake Wales.
Call his office at 863-419-2165 or visit the website, www.HeartOfFloridaPhysicianGroup.com.