Spotlight On Our Experts
Soumya Reddy Neravetla, MD
Medical Director of SJ/C Robotic Thoracic Surgery
11806 Mercy Blvd.
Savannah, GA 31419
Office Hours: M-F 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
B.S., Kent State University 2000
M.D., Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, 2004
Residencies: General surgery, Allegheny General Hospital; Cardiothoracic Surgery, Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami
Fellowships: Thoracic Robotics, Baptist Health System/South Miami Hospital; Transcatheter Aortic Valve Insertion, Emory Healthcare
SJ/C: What is the one piece of advice that you wish your patients would follow and not ignore?
Dr. Neravetla: Watch what you eat, especially salt. Sodium has been linked to many different diseases including, but not limited to, heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, and even asthma. Incorporating more fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet will not only provide more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, it will also significantly reduce sodium intake.
SJ/C: Why did you choose this specialty?
Dr. Neravetla: I knew early on that cardiothoracic surgery was for me, and it was undeniable. During my college years and medical school training, I found myself drawn to every facet of the circulatory system: embryology, biology, cell biology, anatomy, physiology, pathology, etc. I also relished working with my hands and I especially appreciated that there was still an “art of medicine” in the surgical world. Sure there’s a standard of care for just about everything, but when you’re in the OR it’s just the magic that you and your hands can work to change a life. It was obvious that I was in love.
SJ/C: What do you see on the horizon for this specialty?
Dr. Neravetla: Now is an exciting time in the world of cardiothoracic surgery. There are many new technologies that allow us more options than ever before to care for our patients. For example, with the assistance of the da Vinci robot, we can now remove lung cancer without creating a big incision or with the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement procedure, we can fix aortic stenosis through a small incision in the groin in patients who previously had no other options. These less invasive options significantly reduce pain and recovery time and get patients back to living their lives quicker.
SJ/C: What are the two top key pieces of advice that you give your patients?
Dr. Neravetla: I know my patients hear this from me all the time, but I cannot emphasize it enough. There are three things I tell every patient: watch your diet, start exercising, and quit smoking. These lifestyle changes have a huge impact on prevention of disease, but also on improving outcomes after surgery. I have personally seen the immense difference these changes make on patients’ lives. I know it's not easy, but it's worth the effort.
SJ/C: Do you have a story where you thought, “This is why I choose to practice medicine?”
Dr. Neravetla: In high school, I went to the hospital and watched my dad during an off pump coronary aortic bypass graft. I was mystified by everything from the saw that opened the chest to expose the wondrous beating heart, to the delicate needle and suture that joined the small vessels. All I could think was “WOW!” When I started my residency, I tried to keep my options open. However, I quickly noticed how my heart beat just a little faster or I smiled a little wider whenever I was involved in a cardiothoracic (CT) or vascular case. Just talking to those attending physicians in the hall would make my day a little brighter. When I finished my rotation on the CT service, I knew this was it.
Family: I come from a family of physicians who have been exceptional mentors.
Hobbies/Interests: Kuchipudi Indian Classical Dance, Cooking, Do-It-Yourself Projects, Travel, Watersports