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What's Up Magazine

Dr. Paul R. Johnson

Sep 27, 2011 11:12PM ● By Anonymous

Although Dr. Paul R. Johnson has been named What’s Up? Eastern Shore’s Top Doc in the field of Thoracic Surgery, his expertise is in many fields of surgery. Dr. Johnson earned a double Board Certification in Thoracic Surgery and General Surgery. He practices both, in addition to Cardio-Vascular Surgery, in the community of Chestertown and is proud to be able to offer patients a local surgical alternative.

After graduating from University of Massachusetts Medical School and completing his General Surgery Residency at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, he served as Surgical Registrar at William Harvey Hospital in Kent, England. Returning to Boston, Dr. Johnson completed a Residency in Thoracic Surgery at New England Deaconess Hospital, Harvard Surgical Service, and is Board Certified in both fields. Dr. Johnson has served as Surgery Clerkship Preceptor for Physician Assistant students from Anne Arundel Community College and Towson University. Additionally, he is now affiliated with the Center for Vein Restoration office in Easton.

Dr. Johnson divides his surgical patient care equally amongst Vascular Surgery (neck artery surgery, repair of aneurysms, bypass of leg and arm artery blockages, and varicose vein surgery), Thoracic Surgery (bronchoscopy, lung and chest masses, esophageal reflux and diaphragm surgery), and General Surgery (open abdominal cases and laparoscopic-endoscopic surgery including minimally invasive scope repair of hernias, scope removal of gallbladder and colon masses, and colonoscopy, gastroscopy, etc.).

The minimally invasive approach to surgery which Dr. Johnson practices allows patients less discomfort, fewer complications, and a more rapid return to work. He pioneered the endoscopic approach to leg bypass surgery, and his research was published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Johnson employs Endovascular techniques in the Radiology Suite, allowing repair of aneurysms and opening up blocked arteries by wires, balloons, and stents, which has revolutionized Vascular Surgery. Dr. Johnson also uses the endo-venous laser to seal varicose leg veins which is performed in the office under local anesthesia.

Dr. Johnson’s favorite part about living and practicing surgery on the Shore is the connection to the people he serves. He was inspired to follow in his father’s footsteps. Dr. Walter Johnson was a naval surgeon who served in Vietnam and on the carrier U.S.S. Forrestal. Like his father, Dr. Johnson believes in the community connection to patient care, and is pleased to make house calls!

Besides his love of surgery, his love of family and Civil War history are pivotal to Dr. Johnson. He lives on Maryland’s Eastern Shore with his wife and daughter. Dr. Johnson is fascinated by Surgeons in the Civil War and is passionate about sharing their courage and dedication. He is a Contributing Editor for Military Images Magazine, teaches Civil War History of Surgery to students and organizations, has participated in reenactments for several Civil War movies and documentaries, and has published articles and a chapter for a reference work on this subject.

Dr. Johnson’s hope is that his patients, colleagues, friends, and family will consider him successful in following in his father’s footsteps and example to be a capable, faithful, honest Christian surgeon, and who has always tries to do his best for his patients.

Q: What is the most significant innovation in your field in the last 10 years?

A: As with nearly all forms of modern surgery, there have been great advances with minimally invasive techniques to perform procedures. This is especially relevant for Vascular Surgery in which many procedures are now accomplished with punctures and wires/balloons/stents in the Radiology Suite under local/sedation. I was the first Vascular Surgeon in the State of Maryland (excluding D.C.) to perform balloon cryoplasty (brief freezing) of tight/blocked arteries. This assists in preventing local angioplasty complications, lessens the need for requiring a stent, and decreases future scarring of treated arteries.