Marcus Ortega, MD, recently completed his Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and is now an attending physician and faculty member at the Mass General Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Below, Dr. Ortega talks about what drew him to this specialty, his new practice in New Hampshire and his research that aims to help patients recover faster following surgery.
Q. Tell me about your career trajectory. What brought you to Mass General?
After graduating from the University of Sao Paulo, I completed my residency at the University of Massachusetts. I then came to Mass General to complete the Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship which is one of the most prestigious fellowships in my field; it’s a really well-established program that has served the New England community for over 30 years.
The Mass General program not only offers continued training in general urogynecology but also the opportunity to treat complex cases. The Center for Pelvic Floor Disorders brings together nationally renowned physicians from across specialties to treat patients with complex pelvic floor issues collaboratively and comprehensively.
I also wanted to participate in innovative research that will help advance a field that is still relatively new within obstetrics and gynecology and improve the quality of the treatments offered to patients. I knew Mass General would be the best place for my subspecialty training.
Q. Why did you choose to specialize in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery?
I was drawn to this specialty because there is a big focus on quality of life—treatments can have an immediate impact on a patient’s health, comfort and enjoyment and that’s very rewarding to me. I primarily treat pelvic floor disorders which can range from pelvic organ prolapse, including vaginal prolapse, to urinary and fecal incontinence.
Secondly, as mentioned, there are many research opportunities to take part in that are exciting and novel.
Q. Tell me about your research work.
My main research focuses on two main concepts, the first being surgical outcomes. The Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Initiative looks at how a series of interventions, before and after surgery, improve recovery and help patients resume their day-to-day activities more quickly.
My second research focus is patient experience. Specifically, I research how to offer better surgical experiences for patients—which can actually start before they’ve even decided to have surgery by giving them clear information, so they feel more empowered and supported when making decisions about their care.
My mission is always to advance the treatment of pelvic floor disorders as well as develop and continue refining better surgeries and procedures that improve the outcomes that matter the most to patients.
Q. Where do you practice?
I primarily see patients for clinical appointments and office procedures in Waltham, Boston and at the Center for Women's Health and Wellness in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, which is located on the former Pease Air Force base.
I perform surgical procedures at the Mass General Boston, Waltham and Danvers locations as well as Newton Wellesley Hospital.
Q. How does your practice in New Hampshire benefit patients?
Currently, patients from the North Shore, southern New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont must drive into Boston to receive care for their pelvic floor disorders. With Holly Milch, nurse practitioner, and I now at the Center for Women's Health and Wellness in Portsmouth, patients will be able to receive the same state-of-the-art care closer to their own community. They’ll be able to schedule clinical appointments and necessary tests more conveniently. I’m glad we’ll be able to help serve more Mass General Brigham patients in New England.