Dr. Schultz – always looking for a better way

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 21, 2006



LAPLACE — Dr. Stuart Schultz of LaPlace admits he’s always looking for a better way to do things.

For the local OB-GYN, that entails a better way to help the women he treats, especially in the difficult area of having hysterectomies.

Schultz, now 54, was one of the first doctors to begin doing laproscopic hysterectomies in the early 1990s, and even turned some heads at one doctors’ seminar when he stood up in the back of the room to announce that he had a better way for one of the procedures.

&#8220I remember telling them that I had a better way to do it, and the next thing I know, I’m presenting it at a seminar,” he said.

Hysterectomies are one of the difficult surgeries for women, since it can sideline them for as much as six to eight weeks due to the seriousness of removing the uterus and cervix.

But now Schultz has taken this delicate procedure one step further in LaPlace at River Parishes Hospital, and is using some new tools in the trade to reduce the recovery time to as little as three to four weeks.

The improvement in hysterectomies from the old way, to the new laproscopic method has made the surgery much better in itself.

Whereas there used to be a six-inch incision for the surgery, now there are only three to four small holes. Incredibly, Schultz and other doctors who perform the procedure can completely remove the internal organs through one of those holes.

The surgery has also been reduced to a little over an hour, instead of the former time of three to four hours. Other new techniques can also make it as little as 30 minutes in some cases.

&#8220I’ve always been a doctor who has tried to treat possible hysterectomies with nutrition since we certainly don’t want to do this if possible,” Schultz said. &#8220But for women who get into their late 40s and begin to go through menopause, the possibility of cervical cancer increases, and that’s why we frequently have to do it.”

&#8220At least now we’re improving the procedure to make it easier for women who have to go through it,” he added. &#8220I’m happy to see how much we’ve improved this procedure.”

Schultz graduated from LSU Medical School, and was originally from the LaPlace area. He started at River Parishes Hospital when the local facility first opened in 1982, and has remained here ever since.

&#8220When I started here, there were 10 other OB-GYNs, but they were all from New Orleans and just had satellite offices here. So when I started with my office here, I was surprised how fast the business took off,” he said.

Schultz says he still loves being involved in the business of seeing new babies born, but can hardly guess how many babies he has delivered.

&#8220Oh my gosh, I don’t even know. I definitely haven’t kept count,” he stated. &#8220I know I used to do 10 to 12 a month, and now I’m slowing down to maybe five to six a month. But I still love this profession, especially trying to help women who face the problems associated with menopause.”

Schultz is well known in the area for his work in the nutritional area with his patients.

&#8220I’ve always tried to use natural methods to treat problems, like fish oil for endometriosis,” he said. &#8220Sometimes I’m told I try too hard. But I think that’s always a better approach than surgery.”

Schultz also researched the change in sexual function for women who had hysterectomies, and discovered that leaving the cervix can help with the problem of diminished sexual pleasure.

&#8220I’ve found there is a connection with leaving the cervix or not,” he said. &#8220And while most doctors used to always just take out the cervix, I have offered the option to leave it, if medically it was going to be OK. Many doctors didn’t seem to realize that there is more of a connection with sexual desire and pleasure from the cervix than they had previously realized.”