Health Cover Stories

Better Outcomes: SSM Health DePaul Hospital

The medical field is constantly evolving, and it’s especially apparent with surgical breakthroughs. Whether it’s a faster recovery time, less reliance on pain medication or improved cosmetic results, new technology and techniques continue to improve patients’ outcomes. For more than 30 years, Surgical Arts of St. Louis at SSM Health DePaul Hospital has offered innovative surgeries and comprehensive care to ensure the best experience possible.

Dr. Betsy Krebs and Dr. Robert Hacker are the newest additions to the team, and both specialize in minimally invasive surgeries. Krebs is a board-certified general surgeon with a clinical interest in robotic procedures, and Hacker is a board-certified vascular surgeon, working with complex limb salvage and aneurysm repair. “As the new generation, it’s exciting to see our partners embrace our approaches to operations that they have been doing for years,” Krebs says. “They are excited to learn new techniques as well as share their experience with us.”

Krebs and Hacker both are dedicated to improving surgical and recovery experiences at DePaul Hospital. “I have an interest in finding ways to do large, complex operations through small incisions,” Hacker explains. “It has major benefits for patients, including an easier recovery and better cosmetic outcomes.” Since joining Surgical Arts this summer, he has seen success in reducing rates of primary limb amputation and treating aneurysms that had previously been thought inoperable. Krebs has had similar success with robotic hernia repair. “A lot of people can’t take much time off work for surgery,” she says. “My approach requires less pain medicine, leaves virtually no scars and allows patients to get back to normal in a week to two weeks.”

Surgical Arts gives patients the advantage of having a team of multidisciplinary experts on hand. If the problem is complex or an unforeseen issue arises, other surgeons can weigh in and help solve it. “It’s not uncommon for someone to come in for vascular treatment and have us discover another issue,” Hacker says. “In most situations, we can find someone in-house to treat it. No one should have to suffer while waiting for care. When a problem arises, we find a solution and address it as soon as possible.” Krebs adds that the group prides itself on providing easy access to care. “If you have a hernia or wound, you should be able to be seen that week,” she notes. “In our office, there is always someone who can take care of you.”

Building strong relationships with patients is central to the group’s approach. “We want to make sure you can live a better life after we’ve taken care of you,” Krebs says. She and Hacker are excited to be part of a community hospital that offers a high level of surgical care. “We’re not missing out on any of the technology,” Hacker notes. “We offer the latest and greatest approaches. It’s the same care people may receive at major university hospitals, but we’re conveniently located in their own backyard.

Located at SSM Health DePaul Hospital, Surgical Arts of St. Louis offers innovative, complex surgical care in a community setting. Pictured on the cover: Board-certified surgeons Dr. Robert Hacker and Dr. Betsy Krebs. For more information, call 314.770.0991 or visit

Cover design by Cydney Moore
Cover photo by Bill Barrett

Pictured at top: Dr. Betsy Krebs and Dr. Robert Hacker
Photo: Bill Barrett