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Dr. Richard Schaefer Named a Center of Excellence Physician

Feb 21st, 2023

Dr. Richard Schaefer Has Been Named a National Center of Excellence Physician for Carpal Tunnel Release With Ultrasound Guidance

The Institute of Advanced Ultrasound Guided Procedures recognizes Dr. Richard Schaefer of Fond du Lac Regional Clinic in Wisconsin (an SSM Health member) as a national Center of Excellence Physician for carpal tunnel release with UltraGuideCTR™ and real-time ultrasound guidance.

Center of Excellence Physicians are recognized for their demonstrated expertise in carpal tunnel release with real-time ultrasound guidance and achieving outstanding patient outcomes.

Hand surgeon next to the CEO and two Founders of Sonex Health medical device company in front of a conference booth.
Dr. Richard Schaefer with Sonex Health’s President and CEO Bob Paulson and Founders Darryl Barnes and Jay Smith. (Left to Right)

Dr. Schaefer is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon who says about 40 to 50 percent of his patients see him for issues with carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, and other hand maladies.

He became interested in offering his patients carpal tunnel release (CTR) with UltraGuideCTR and real-time ultrasound guidance because he found that ultrasound enabled him to visualize the underlying structures of the wrist and carpal tunnel versus using endoscopy.

“Being able to visualize the surrounding area and major anatomical structures provides me with a greater confidence in performing the procedure,” says Schaefer.

Ultrasound Guidance Drives Excellent Patient Experience

“For me, it’s all about offering a superior patient experience,” he says. “Other CTR techniques offer such a different experience when compared to using ultrasound. For one, I don’t need to use sedation, which from a payor and patient perspective, eliminates anesthesia charges.” Dr. Schaefer adds that another benefit of not using sedation is that patients can drive themselves to and from their procedure.

“I also like that the procedure is basically painless, and my patients experience very little pain post-procedure. This takes prescription medications off the table and many of my patients don’t even bother with Tylenol or ibuprofen.”

Excellent Patient Outcomes Leads to Higher Demand

Since offering CTR with real-time ultrasound guidance, Dr. Schaefer says his hand volumes have significantly increased. “I was already known as someone who tried to offer good outcomes and quick recoveries. Now, I’m finding that most of my patients are referring friends and family members to me, so I’ve had to find ways to accommodate the increased demand. I’ve added surgical cases before clinic and am now offering this minimally invasive technique at other hospitals.”

This increased demand has also required more efficiency within his practice. Dr. Schaefer credits his team for helping make the added capacity available. “It isn’t just the surgeon,” says Dr. Schaefer, “everyone at every level gets really good at what they do so we can focus solely on each patient.”

When asked if there were any patient stories that stands out to him over others, he said, “there is one recent case that stands out, I recently performed CTR with real-time ultrasound guidance on someone who owns a construction business. We were able to do the procedure on a Friday, and on Monday, he poured a concrete wall. After that, he was headed to Florida to golf.”

It’s that rapid recovery that seals the deal for Dr. Schaefer. When asked what it means to be named a Center of Excellence Physician for carpal tunnel release with UltraGuideCTR and real-time ultrasound guidance, he says, “It’s a privilege to be recognized as a surgeon who strives for excellent outcomes and results for his patients.”

To learn more about becoming a national Center of Excellence Physician, visit The Institute of Advanced Ultrasound Guided Procedures and begin your training today.