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Elizabeth J. Pronesti, MD, Joins Zubritzky-Christy OB GYN Group
By Nancy Kennedy

When Elizabeth J. Pronesti, M.D., was a young girl, she hoped to become a physician so that she could take care of people in the community where she grew up: Pittsburgh’s South Hills. As the newest partner in the practice of Zubritzky-Christy OB GYN Associates, part of St. Clair Medical Services, Dr. Pronesti is fulfilling her professional dreams. She joined this busy group in August and is seeing patients at the Robinson, Bethel Park and St. Clair Hospital office locations.

Dr. Pronesti enjoys every aspect of her work as an obstetrician-gynecologist, a specialty with a broad range of capabilities that enable her to care for women at every life stage. OB GYNs provide preventive care, screenings, primary care and diagnostic and therapeutic care for a variety of conditions. They provide pre-pregnancy care, prenatal care, birth control, infertility care and mid-life care, and of course, deliver babies. They are also fully credentialed surgeons who perform hysterectomies and other procedures to treat many conditions. “People don’t always realize that an obstetrician-gynecologist is also a surgeon,” Dr. Pronesti says.

Although she says that delivering babies is an experience that is unmatched in all of medicine, Dr. Pronesti has a special aptitude for minimally invasive surgery. Minimally invasive surgery, she says, transformed the field of surgery and remains an amazing technology. “It’s incredible that we can use these tiny instruments to remove large organs, benign tumors or cysts. Minimally invasive surgery can be used for many of the gynecologic problems that women experience. For instance, a hysterectomy is a major surgical procedure, but the patient will only see a few tiny incisions. This allows the patient to resume her previous quality of life more quickly.”

Minimally invasive surgery has numerous advantages for patients, Dr. Pronesti explains. “The patient experiences an easier recovery. No surgery is risk-free, but there is less risk of infection, less blood loss and less pain, which is especially important for the many patients who hope to avoid taking strong painkillers. With minimally invasive surgery there is a lower risk of damage to nearby organs. It’s one of the safest ways to perform surgery.” Over the past decade, the minimally invasive approach to hysterectomy, a common surgery, has become the standard for the majority of OB GYNs. This trend represents a reversal of previous practice: as recently as 2014, the majority of hysterectomies were still done with large abdominal incisions; now the opposite is true, as the majority are minimally invasive procedures. “In my residency, 80% of hysterectomies were minimally invasive; the traditional, open abdominal procedure is now the exception,” Dr. Pronesti states. “We still do vaginal hysterectomies in the appropriate candidates, which I feel are also a form of minimally invasive surgery because there are no abdominal incisions at all.”

Dr. Pronesti attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and completed her residency at UPMC Magee Womens Hospital earlier this year; she brings state-of-the-art skills and the most up-to-date knowledge of OB GYN science and technology to her practice. Zubritzky-Christy patients have an unusual advantage when they undergo surgery, Dr. Pronesti says. “We always operate with a partner. You will have two surgeons in the OR, so there is always a second pair of hands and eyes.”

Women who are anticipating having GYN surgery should prepare by getting into the best state of health possible, she recommends, and that includes cutting back on smoking: “Smoking increases the risk of anesthesia problems and breathing problems and can slow healing. Try to quit or cut back at least a month before your scheduled surgery.”

Dr. Pronesti is a native of Scott Township and a graduate of Chartiers Valley High School. She enjoys spending time with her family and is an enthusiastic Pittsburgh sports fan.

“I’m excited to be working with Paul Zubritzky, M.D., Patrick Christy, M.D., and their partners. I view my relationship with each patient as a partnership, and I always put their concerns first. It’s very helpful for a woman to have a long term relationship with her OB GYN; we get to know each other well and develop a high level of trust and comfort that can facilitate her long term health and quality of life.”

To make an appointment with Dr. Pronesti, call (412) 942-1066.

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