Robert Jean, MD, FACS
For Dr. Robert Jean, becoming a physician was something he was interested in from a very young age. Although he came from a family of engineers, it was his friends’ parents who were physicians that piqued his interest in medicine. After waffling over choosing a career, Dr. Jean settled on medicine and then general surgery and knew he had found the right profession to keep himself stimulated and fulfilled.
“I can’t remember if I had an ‘aha’ moment about medicine, but I did have a lot of strong influences in my life that urged me in that direction. Medicine was always more interesting to me than anything that meant sitting in one place all day long,” says Dr. Jean. “One of my mentors growing up was a general surgeon in Huntsville that took me under his wing, not to push me towards surgery, but to provide that first-hand experience in high school and early college. It helped me realize that medicine was for me, and more specifically, that surgery was for me. I knew I wouldn’t become complacent with that kind of challenge every day.”
Dr. Jean considers the unpredictability of surgery to be both exciting and challenging – not knowing what tomorrow will hold does makes it harder to plan, but it also keeps him on his toes and wanting to know what’s coming next. It’s one of the things he especially enjoys about his area of focus.
In his practice, Dr. Jean specializes in general surgery and minimally invasive robotic surgery. Minimally invasive robotic surgery was originally marketed to urologists, but it also has uses in other areas like colorectal, gynecologic, and head and neck surgery. Dr. Jean has honed his skills and is excited to push the boundaries of general surgery with minimally invasive robotic surgery. He currently uses robotic surgery technology to perform all types of hernia repairs, colon surgery and single site cholecystectomy, which is removal of the gallbladder through one incision.
One of the reasons Dr. Jean believes robotic surgery will continue to expand in general surgery is due to the benefits for patients – and surgeons. In addition to offering an advanced minimally invasive option for patients that can lead to faster recovery, robotic surgery offers greater visibility in small spaces and enhanced fine motor control.
“More so than other specialties, general surgery seems to be very set in tradition with a cautious approach to adapting to new technologies. This was true during the transition from open surgical techniques to laparoscopic surgery, which has been proven safe and effective,” says Dr. Jean. “It takes time for the research and literature to support the benefits, and I believe that in certain situations robotic surgery does improve patient outcomes. It’s exciting to be part of an advancing field and offer this minimally invasive option to my patients.”
Robert Jean, M.D., earned his medical degree from the University of South Alabama COM in Mobile, Alabama. He completed a general surgery internship and residency at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Chattanooga, Tennessee. He also went on to complete fellowship training in surgical critical care at this same institution. Dr. Jean is a board-certified general surgeon who specializes in general and advanced minimally invasive surgery. He began practicing medicine in Memphis, Tennessee, before joining University Surgical Associates in November 2017.
Dr. Jean and his wife, Lindsey, have three children – an 8-year-old boy, a 7-year-old girl, and an 18-month-old girl. When they’re not doing things together as a family and spending time outdoors, they enjoy being ‘amateur foodies’ and trying out the newest spots in Chattanooga’s growing restaurant scene.
Dr. Jean sees patients at USA's Hixson office located at 2051 Hamill Road, Suite 108 on the campus of CHI Memorial Hixson. To schedule an appointment, please call (423) 267-0466.