Board-certified general surgeon Sean Boyle, MD, is fellowship-trained in surgical critical care and a member of Saratoga Hospital Medical Group – General Surgery. His work includes robotic, laparoscopic, and open surgery, performing everything from hernia repairs to exploratory surgery. He earned his medical degree from Albany Medical College and completed his residency at Saratoga Hospital, where he was invited to stay. Having strong ties to the area, Dr. Boyle knew this is where he wanted to settle down. He and his fiancée live locally.
Q. Why did you choose a career in general surgery?
A. My grandfather, Leo Boyle, was an optometrist and my dad, Dr. Ted Boyle, was an ophthalmologist. They both grew up here in Saratoga Springs. Watching my father’s commitment to his patients all those years, I came to realize that being of help was important to me, and what better way than medicine.
It wasn’t until late in medical school, after a surgical rotation, that I became enthusiastic about the fact that, in general surgery, I can treat a wide range of conditions and interact with patients from all walks of life. I was excited to study and acquire the multiple areas of knowledge I would need for this specialty.
Q. Why did you choose Saratoga Hospital?
A. After the affiliation between Albany Med and Saratoga Hospital, Albany Medical College began rotating surgical residents here. I was the very first chief surgical resident from the college to rotate to Saratoga Hospital, and I liked it so much that, as an elective, I rotated here again during my fellowship.
I am working with a highly experienced group of surgeons who have considerable rapport and respect for each other. I knew, coming here, that I would be well supported by their teamwork and decades of combined experience. I also like the size of this hospital. It has a friendly atmosphere. I find it is closer to its patients and more in touch with its community than most hospitals.
Q. What quality or area of expertise most sets you apart in your work?
A. As a surgeon, it’s unusual to have critical care training. My knowledge of intensive care medicine has given me the opportunity to serve the most severe cases, both surgical and trauma patients. This has given me an intensive span of medical and surgical knowledge that accomplishes my desire to help people as well as my desire to learn. I find that very rewarding.
Q. What is the biggest change you have seen over the years in terms of treatments in your specialty?
A. That would have to be the widespread adoption of minimally invasive techniques and enhanced recovery pathways that are getting patients back to their lives faster. A decade or two ago, surgery meant at least a week’s stay in the hospital with IV fluids, no solid food, and a bunch of narcotics. Today, minimally invasive surgery gets you home in two or three days with an earlier transition to food and better pain treatment strategies that minimize narcotics.
Q. What helpful words of advice or tips would you most like to share with existing or potential patients of your specialty?
A. First, put your trust into us as much as you can. Everybody here in the hospital cares about you. We are all trying to help you and are more personally invested in your wellbeing than it might seem on the surface.
Second, don’t read too much stuff online. There’s misinformation, fabrication, and some stories out there have no purpose other than to scare you. Don’t let them. This is an excellent hospital with exceptional staff and highly advanced technology. I’d want my surgery done here.
Third, visit your primary care provider regularly and follow their advice. Stop smoking. Take recommended tests. Seriously, don’t put off your healthcare. Most illnesses and conditions go much better when caught early. Take good care of yourself, and you might never need to see me.
Q. What might patients be surprised to learn about you?
A. I really love animals. I come across as a very professional, no-nonsense person, especially at work, but you’d be surprised how big my soft spot is for animals. I have two cats now, but as soon as we move into a house, we’re planning on a couple of dogs, too. I used to volunteer regularly with animal rescue groups, and I still support them. Pets are part of the family. They offer loyal companionship, unconditional love, and can get you through tough times. Even a pandemic.
Dr. Boyle performs surgical procedures at Saratoga Hospital and at the hospital’s Saratoga Surgery Center on the Wilton campus. He sees patients at 1 West Avenue, Saratoga Springs. To make an appointment, call 518-693-4418. For more information, go to SaratogaHospital.org.