Dr. Delmar R. Aitken, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Delmar R. Aitken, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Surgical oncology, endocrine and general surgery plus advance laporoscopic surgery, delivered in a “family practice” distinguish this top doctor. Named one of “America’s Top Surgeons,” 2007 and 2008 by Consumers Research Council of America.
By Ellen Paris
Dr. Delmar Aitken’s advanced general surgical expertise combined with his surgical oncology practice make him one of the county’s leading surgeons. He is a pioneer in the development of the NeoProbe, which is widely used in the detection of cancer. Dr. Aitken’s patients range from those seeking advice regarding minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures, tension-free hernia repairs, gallbladder problems, and office treatment of hemorrhoids to those needing complex and life-saving surgical oncology operations.
Dr. Aitken, fellow of the American College of Surgeons, is certified by the American Board of Surgery, and recognized by his peers as an authority in the detection of cancer. During his two-year surgical oncology fellowship at James Cancer Center, Ohio State University, he performed the basic science research that led to the development of the NeoProbe. Dr. Aitken did the first surgeries in the world using the NeoProbe in the detection of breast and colorectal cancer. Today surgical oncologists around the world rely on the NeoProbe for detection of sentinel lymph nodes in patients with breast cancer or melanoma.
Another milestone in cancer treatment came when Dr. Aitken first implemented intraoperative radiation for unresectable tumors at both Loma Linda University and the James Cancer Center. “During my fellowship, I came to appreciate the importance of applying basic science research to the clinical care of patients.” He is also recognized as an international authority on the safe placement of chemotherapy MediPort catheters.
In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Aitken has written and published extensively in books and medical journals on general surgery techniques, cancer detection, and research projects.
At Loma Linda University, he was twice honored as Faculty Researcher of the Year in recognition of medical student research projects. He is an active member of both local and national medical societies and organizations.
“My professional memberships allow me to share information with some of the finest medical minds in the nation,” he observes. He has served as president of the Loma Linda Branch of the American Cancer Society and served as a board member and chairman of the Professional Education Committee for the California Division of American Cancer Society. He is a member of the Southern California Chapter of American College of Surgeons, Association of Academic Surgery, Pacific Coast Surgical Association, Riverside County Medical Association, and San Bernardino Medical Society. Dr. Aitken currently serves as chairman of the Cancer Committee and section chief of general surgery at Desert Regional Medical Center.
Dr. Aitken’s knowledge base makes him an excellent choice as the surgeon to consult for any condition from hernia repair to major cancer surgery. His dedication to his patients is evident from the moment you meet him. Taking time to talk to his patients, explaining options and relieving fears, is an integral part of how he has practiced surgery since his internship at Kettering Memorial Hospital.
“This is how I’ve always practiced,” states Dr. Aitken, pointing to an antique wooden sign, proclaiming, “Every case is my most important case.” Because of his extensive experience, Dr. Aitken looks for nonsurgical solutions when medically appropriate.
“My philosophy is sometimes the best surgery is no operation at all.” Dr. Aitken’s compassion is appreciated from the initial consultation. He gives patients the necessary attention to determine a diagnosis and explain treatment options and surgical procedures to determine the best management decisions.
A personal insight into Dr. Aitken that speaks clearly to his caring about his patients is that at Christmas he plays Santa Claus for patients and staff at Desert Regional Medical Center.
A major aspect of Dr. Aitken’s surgical oncology specialty is an integrated approach to patient care. Weekly tumor boards and breast pretreatment conferences provide opportunities to work with his colleagues, including primary care physicians, pathologists, radiologists, surgeons, medical oncologists, and radiation therapists. “I don’t just perform surgery and pass the patient to another specialist,” he says. “I work with other professionals from the start. The goal is to incorporate the best possible treatment plan.”
The office staff answers phone calls, books office consultations, initiates authorizations with insurance providers, and schedules urgent surgical procedures in a timely manner.
Dr. Aitken’s office on the campus of Desert Regional Medical Center is truly a “family practice” team effort. Cheree Aitken, R.N., his wife of 36 years, was his research assistant when he developed the NeoProbe. Her training in cardiovascular radiology, cancer nursing, and wound care at Loma Linda helps her answer patients’ questions and allay apprehensions. “When talking with patients, I endeavor to address their questions and concerns,” she says. “I believe answering and educating these issues facilitates my husband to provide a personalized and thorough surgical assessment.” Cheree’s warmth and caring is greatly appreciated by patients at office visits and when they call with pre- and post-operative concerns.
A recently added aspect to Dr. Aitken’s practice is his use of the patented CRH Hemorrhoid Banding System. He is the only physician in the Coachella Valley performing this procedure.
It’s fast and painless with virtually no recovery time and a major advancement in hemorrhoid treatment. Hemorrhoid banding patients do not require surgery, hospitalization, or general anesthesia. Dr. Aitken performs the procedure in his office using a small suction devise that painlessly and gently places a tiny rubber band around the hemorrhoid, cutting off its blood supply. The hemorrhoid shrinks and falls off within a day or so. Gone are the painful symptoms hemorrhoid suffers have endured. This simple procedure has proven to be 99.1 percent effective.
When considering surgical expertise, look to Dr. Delmar Aitken. His knowledge, combined with compassionate care, make him a most welcome medical resource for the Coachella Valley and beyond.
Delmar Aitken, M.D., F.A.C.S.
1180 N. Indian Canyon Dr., Suite E-419
Palm Springs, CA 92262
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