From the instant Dr. Laura Pignotti helped deliver her first baby, she was hooked. While that moment took place during an obstetrics/gynecology rotation in medical school, she had been on the path to following in her father, Dr. Blase Pignotti’s footsteps ever since working in his office in high school. Today, that path is complete as Laura recently joined Blase’s practice, West County OB/GYN Specialists. “It’s an awesome opportunity to join my dad and learn everything he has to teach,” she says. “I can learn a lot from textbooks, but it can’t compare to the knowledge I can gain from his years of experience.”
After more than 25 years as an obstetrician and gynecologist, the elder Pignotti’s experience is extensive. He has operated his own practice for the past 12 years, where he offers “a full spectrum of OB/GYN care, from adolescent to post-menopausal care,” he says. That focus on women’s health ranges from routine gynecological and prenatal care to deliveries and major surgeries. While the doctors are on staff at Mercy Hospital St. Louis (where the Pignottis’ office is located), Missouri Baptist Hospital and St. Luke’s Hospital, their small private practice allows them to concentrate solely on their patients. “You get personalized care every day—in the past, just by me, and now by Laura and myself— so there’s more consistency and access,” Blase explains. “We’re not one of 10 people on call and you flip a coin to see what doctor you get.”
Both doctors work hard to stay current on new techniques and innovative skills to provide their patients the best care possible. Blase utilizes laparoscopic and robotic surgeries, which are minimally invasive. “Before, if there was a cyst on a patient’s ovary, we’d have to make a big incision, and she’d be in the hospital for a week. Technology has made a huge difference in patient care.”
The practice also offers some cosmetic procedures, including Smart Lipo. “No one knows my patients better than I do, and with the newer techniques, it’s less invasive and less traumatic for patients, and we can offer it cost-effectively,” Blase says, noting that he can guide his patients to experts in the St. Louis medical community for other cosmetic services, as well.
Although Blase had been a solo practitioner for 12 years, he is excited for the possibilities as his daughter has begun to work alongside him. “I’ve seen many residents who I’d be pleased to work with, but I haven’t seen a better candidate than Laura, in terms of her techniques, personality and concern for patients.”
As Laura takes on new patients, Blase is confident the practice will be enhanced. “We’re both 100 percent behind each other, so there’s not going to be that competition you may get with other practices. The more successful she is, the greater my pride and admiration will be of her,” he says. “And sometimes, if her opinion is different than mine, we can discuss the case and provide even better care to our patients.”
While he looks forward to his daughter taking some of the calls that OB/GYNs inevitably wake up to in the middle of the night, there are no retirement plans for Blase in the near future, as he focuses on growing the practice every day. “Our attitude is that we’re both going to be here a long time, taking good care of our patients for many, many years.”