OBGYN brings years of experience
Dr. Stanley Santiago, a board-certified OBGYN, is changing the way people perceive medicine in the Florida Keys. Santiago joins a growing trend of specialized doctors recruited to Key West by Lower Keys Medical Center — offering advanced technology, robotic surgery, family planning, hormone replacement and other advanced treatments that many local women once believed only existed above the 18 Mile Stretch.
Dr. Santiago was born in New York but raised in his family’s native Puerto Rico. It was there he received his residency training, which offered exchange programs with prestigious hospitals in the northeastern United States, eventually leading him to the Temple University Medical System.
“There was a large Hispanic population and no Spanish-speaking physicians,” said Santiago. “They needed a bilingual and bicultural OBGYN and it was a great fit.”
After 17 years in Philadelphia, Santiago had earned a reputation as a leading physician in the obstetrics and gynecology field, specializing in non-invasive surgery (microscopic and robotic), and menopausal and hormone therapy treatments. At the same time, he completed his MBA at the Fox School of Business because he said he wanted to expand his horizons both as a doctor and administrator.
“I was honestly tired of the cold weather in Philly,” said a smiling Santiago. “I started doing interviews in places like San Diego, Boston, Tampa, Delaware, St. Pete and Miami, but one morning someone called and said there was an opening in Key West and something felt right.”
Not long after, Dr. Santiago joined his partner Dr. Gregory Delong (also board certified) and a midwife at Keys Medical Group Obstetrics Gynecological Services in Key West. The group offers a satellite office in Marathon and continues to accept new patients. Santiago says he knew he was moving to a location that many, mistakenly, perceived as second-tier medical community. But after visiting, Santiago says he realized the quality of the local doctors and facilities were equal to many of the larger cities in the northeast.
“We have excellent physicians on the island and we have the equipment,” said Santiago. “We have one of the best surgical robotic devices in the world, a cath-lab, certified oncologists, certified robotic surgeons, certified radiation oncologists. I think it’s a cultural belief that if we stay in Key West we won’t get the best treatment, but it’s a misconception.”
Currently, Dr. Santiago offers a wide-array of OGBYN treatments, ranging from minimally invasive procedures at his office to hysterectomies in the hospital. He’s also versed in hormone replacement therapy.
“Most people associate hormone replacement with menopause,” said Santiago. “And yes, symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, pain during sex, body aches and mood swings are all candidates. But there are also those who may have had their ovaries removed at age 30 due to cyst or incurred damage to their ovaries during chemotherapy.”
In addition, Santiago’s office utilizes 3D and 4D technology, which is essential in “evidence based” medicine. With this technology, doctors can examine a fetus to determine early signals of physical abnormalities or have the ability to pinpoint ailments such as tumors.
“With a two-dimensional view, we could only see a cyst,” said Santiago. “Now we can target the treatment and surgical precision involved; minimizing the damage to other tissue.”
Santiago also offers long-term reversible contraceptive implants, which provides a safer alternative to birth control pills for sexually active women who are typically in college or developing careers.
Today, Dr. Santiago speaks about women’s health the way most guys talk about last night’s game. He has a passion for his profession that stretches well beyond most general practitioners of a trade. Santiago says he knew he wanted to be an obstetrician by his third year of medical school and he’s never looked back.
“There is something moving about preventative medicine,” said Santiago. “We treat mostly healthy young couples, young adults and menopausal women. This is not to say we are not qualified to treat and track diseases, but the bulk of what we do is preventative. We are a family practice, surgeons, pediatrics, internal medicine and female health. We deal with healthy and that’s what I like.”
The Keys Medical Group is located at 1111 12th Street, Suite 104, in Key West. The phone number is 305-293-1830.