Colquitt Regional Medical Center’s senior surgeon Dr. Howard Melton recently celebrated a major milestone. On July 31, Melton was recognized for his 1,000th surgery using the da Vinci Surgical System. Having completed over 1,000 robotic surgeries, Melton joins a small group of surgeons in Georgia to reach this achievement.
The da Vinci Surgical System is a sophisticated robotic platform designed to expand a surgeon’s capabilities and offer a state-of-the-art, minimally-invasive option for major surgeries. The device, operated by the surgeon, utilizes small incisions to insert miniaturized instruments and a high-definition 3D camera into the body. The surgical system is then able to filter and seamlessly translate the surgeon’s movements into precise micro-movements through the da Vinci’s arms, which improves range of motion, dexterity, and overall surgical precision.
The da Vinci robot is utilized during a number of routine and elective procedures such as treatment of cancers, removals of organs, abscesses, blockages, ruptures, and bariatric surgeries.
“Dr. Melton is a leader in our surgical department and a huge asset to our team at Colquitt Regional and Sterling Physician Group,” said Colquitt Regional Medical Center President and CEO Jim Matney. “He has touched thousands of lives in this community and we are so grateful to him for the compassionate, expert care he delivers every day to our patients.”
Originally from Valdosta, Melton attended the Medical College of Georgia where he received his medical degree. He then went on to complete a surgical residency at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
Melton first crossed paths with Colquitt Regional Medical Center in July 1985 when he completed his first clinical rotation in the hospital with Dr. Lanny Copeland. Little did he know that he would return to Colquitt Regional in 1996 and spend the majority of his career, over 26 years, in Moultrie.
“I am fortunate that my medical career brought me to Moultrie and Colquitt Regional,” said Melton. “I couldn’t ask for a better place to practice medicine, raise a family, and build a life. I love Moultrie and it has been good to me and my family. Colquitt Regional has been my second home. I have spent countless hours here in this hospital and have been able to develop relationships with thousands of patients through the years. Thank you to each person for trusting me with your care.”
During his time at Colquitt Regional, he has served as chief of staff, chief of surgery, and is currently serving on the Hospital Authority of Colquitt County. He also has served as Governor-at-Large on the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons and president of the Georgia Society of the American College of Surgeons for the last two years.
Further indicating Melton’s expertise, he recently presented at the Georgia American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery meeting, where he discussed the endoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, one of Sterling Center Bariatrics’ most popular procedures.
“Dr. Melton is truly deemed an expert in his field, especially when it comes to the da Vinci, and has mentored many medical learners,” said Hospital Authority Chairman Richard E. Turner, Jr. “He has passion for his patients, years of experience and exceptional proficiency in his field. We are blessed that he has chosen Colquitt Regional to call home for so many years.”
In addition to his 1,000th robotic surgery, Melton also has another reason to celebrate. His daughter, Dr. Dresden Melton Soderstrom, is in her final year of surgical training at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and will be joining Sterling Physician Group next summer.
Caption: Colquitt Regional Medical Center’s senior surgeon Dr. Howard Melton recently celebrated a major milestone. On July 31, Melton was recognized for his 1,000th surgery using the da Vinci Surgical System. Having completed over 1,000 robotic surgeries, Melton joins a small group of surgeons in Georgia to reach this achievement. Pictured with the da Vinci Surgical System, from left, is John Goldenberg, Intuitive Surgical Representative, Priscilla Fillyaw, RRT, RN, CNOR, Ruby Martinez, RN, Melton, Amber Holt, DO, Amanda Taylor, CST, CSFA, Nikki Wheeler, CST, William Stembridge, DO, FACOS, FACS, and Lania Newton, CST.