SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A group of longtime Sioux Falls surgeons have created their own private practice in Sioux Falls, hoping to serve more patients at their own clinic Dakota Vascular. 

After nearly 20 years as a vascular surgeon in Sioux Falls, this week Dr. Pat Kelley is trading his surgical tools for power tools.

“We’re supposed to be good with our hands as surgeons right?” Dr. Kelley said. “And it’s a new start-up so it’s all hands on deck.”

August 1st brought the first official day of business for Dakota Vascular, but while the company may be new, the work is familiar for the four founding doctors.

“We have been Sanford employees for some time, but decided to be independent and hopefully create an opportunity to take care of more patients,” Dr. Angelo Santos said. 

Dr. Santos has also been a vascular surgeon in Sioux Falls for 10 years.

“We have a significant amount of experience in taking care of patients and being involved in the community,” Dr. Santos said. 

He says it’s a specialty field that can often be misunderstood.

“People actually think it’s heart, but we take care of all the blood vessels outside of the heart and the brain. So varicose veins, arteries, difficulty with wounds, difficulty with walking,” Dr. Santos said. 

Dakota Vascular’s surgeons plan to continue contracted work with both Sanford and Avera, likely performing any major surgeries at one of the local hospital systems. But Dakota Vascular also has its own clinic and procedure space on Elmwood Avenue just south of the Western Mall in Sioux Falls. 

“Usually we can do things in this procedure room with an incision less than half a centimeter,” Dr. Santos said. 

Their goal is to serve as many patients as possible in their clinic with these minimally invasive procedures.

“We love surgery as surgeons, we try to avoid it as much as possible. If we can treat things non-operatively, we want to,” Dr. Santos said. “All of these are procedures where you actually go home the same day.”

While they’re still putting on a few finishing touches to their newly remodeled building, there are already more than 20 nurses, techs and patient care employees ready to start serving patients at Dakota Vascular.

“There is a large investment in terms of sweat equity and in terms of finances, but we feel like the future will take care of itself as long as we take care of patients the right way,” Dr. Santos said. 

Dakota Vascular will be accepting all forms of insurance and working with both Sanford and Avera hospitals. The clinic is hosting an open house Tuesday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with food and kid friendly activities for the whole family.