The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

February 1, 2012

Surgical center to open in lower North Mankato

Business on Belgrade to get Port Authority grant, loan


A surgical center will open in the former Laundromat building on the corner of the 200 block of Belgrade Avenue.

Southern Minnesota Surgical, which has a surgery center in Blue Earth, will offer general surgery procedures as well as the Lap-Band weight-loss surgery.

Dr. William Lee, who opened the Blue Earth center in 2010, also has credentials at Rivers Edge Hospital in St. Peter.

“We’ve done an outreach clinic in St. Peter and we’ve had growth in the area,” said Dawn Fellows, operations coordinator at Southern Minnesota Surgical.

She said Lee will work between the two clinics with the North Mankato office being open at least two days a week initially.

The North Mankato Port Authority on Wednesday approved a $25,000 grant and a $25,000 loan to the surgical business. The total cost of renovation in the building will be $205,900 with primary financing from Wells Federal Bank, said City Administrator Wendell Sande.

“We’re pleased to have that space occupied,” Sande said. The former Laundromat was closed last year and the main floor of the building gutted.

Fellows said about half of their surgeries are for laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. The Lap-Band is the least invasive surgical procedure for weight loss. The surgical procedure partitions the stomach into uneven compartments, leaving a small pouch (about 10 percent of the overall capacity) as the new reservoir for food, limiting the amount of food intake.

The size of the passageway between the two compartments can be adjusted without further surgery.

Lee performs other general surgery, from hernia repair and vasectomy to colectomy and mastectomy. More complicated surgeries are performed at the St. Peter hospital.

A native of Iowa, Lee completed his medical residency in Kalamazoo, Mich., before relocating to Minnesota to be closer to his children.

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