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Spotlight: Anesthesiologist Ranjit Kesha, MD, uses conventional and integrative therapies to manage patients’ pain

“I take a multidisciplinary and long-term approach to managing chronic pain.”
University of Minnesota Health Anesthesiologist Ranjit Kesha, MD, blends traditional pain management techniques with integrative therapies like acupuncture and botox.

Anesthesiologist Ranjit Kesha, MD, blends conventional pain management techniques; new integrative therapies such as botox; and acupuncture to manage chronic pain.

Kesha, who recently joined University of Minnesota Health, works to improve his patients’ lives in the Clinic for Comprehensive Pain Management, which is a new endeavor at University of Minnesota Medical Center.

Kesha treats all kinds of chronic pain, but specializes in cancer-related and palliative pain management, medical spine pain management, acupuncture, and botox injections to manage headaches. He also focuses on rehabilitation, lifestyle changes and mental health to aid his patients.

We caught up with Kesha to ask him about his work.

Describe your role within the Clinic for Comprehensive Pain Management.
My role is to direct my patients' overall chronic pain care. Every patient gets a comprehensive assessment and an individualized plan. We start with a foundation of physical and emotional rehabilitation and build upon that using a variety of proven techniques to help reduce pain, and improve function and quality of life.

How do you think integrative therapies such as acupuncture and botox are changing the field of pain management?
The traditional model that relied largely on medications—primarily opioids and injections—is giving way to a model based on a variety of options tailored to each patient. I take a holistic and long-term approach to managing chronic pain. This includes integrative therapies like acupuncture, chiropractic and physical therapy, and botox.

Why did you want to become an anesthesiologist?
My background was in Internal Medicine. I worked as a hospitalist for 15 years with a special interest in perioperative care of surgical patient. This triggered my interest in anesthesiology. My other interest is palliative medicine. Pain medicine became a natural fit for me, encompassing all my previous training.

Why are you passionate about pain management?
I am passionate about pain management because these patients are often underserved. Pain can be a very challenging and frustrating condition to treat and I hope to make a difference in my patients' lives.

What do you love about the University of Minnesota Health community?
Everyone—from doctors, to nurses, to behind-the-scenes professionals—works to make the care of each patient their priority. The university has a strong tradition of research and innovation and can offer possibilities to patients that may not be available elsewhere.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?
I am married with two boys with whom I love to spend my free time. They also keep me very grounded. I love to garden and cook and I make the most of the outdoors for five months of the year!