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Notes on Women's Health

Notes on Women's Health

da Vinci surgery and endometriosis

In the last few months I’ve blogged about several different surgery types that can be performed using the da Vinci Surgical System. (If you’re new to this blog, the da Vinci Surgical System uses five very small abdominal incisions and state-of-the-art remote control technology to convert my hand movements from a console a few feet away into precise movement of da Vinci surgical instruments.) Another condition that can be treated using the da Vinci Surgical System is endometriosis. Read More

Essure permanent birth control: risks and benefits

(PART 2)

In my last blog I wrote about Essure, a relatively new procedure that offers a highly effective option for permanent birth control. One of the best ways to evaluate whether or not a medical procedure is right for you is to look at it in terms of its risks and benefits. Here are some more questions and answers that I hope will help you with your decision.

Is the Essure procedure effective?

While no form of birth control is 100% effective, fewer than one in 100,000 pregnancies occur when tubal blockage has been confirmed by the three-month test. The Essure procedure is the only birth control method with zero pregnancies in clinical trials.

Is the Essure procedure safe?

Studies have shown that the Essure procedure is safe. However, as with most birth control methods, there are risks. In some cases one or both Essure coils may not place properly in the Fallopian tubes and may have to be re-applied.

Is the Essure procedure painful?

In most cases the pain of an Essure procedure is far less and shorter-lasting than the pain often associated with Read More

Essure Permanent Birth Control: Questions and Answers

(PART 1)

Lately I’ve been getting a lot of questions from my patients about the Essure birth control procedure. Maybe it’s because of the recent publicity from Olympic gold medalist Picabo Street, who announced earlier this year that she’d undergone the procedure. In any case, I thought I’d answer some of the most common questions I’ve heard. I’ve also included some useful links at the bottom of this blog. Read More

da Vinci surgery, pelvic organ prolapse and sacrocolpopexy

Along with uterine fibroids, which I discussed in my last blog, one of the conditions I treat pretty regularly is pelvic organ prolapse. This is a relatively common condition, affecting more than a third of all women at some point in their lives. It can occur in women of all ages, but it’s more common as women get older. It’s also more common among women who have had a difficult labor or recent abdominal surgery such as a hysterectomy. Smoking, obesity, respiratory disorders and repetitive strain injuries can all make pelvic organ prolapse more likely.

Prolapse literally means “to fall out of place”. When pelvic organ prolapse occurs, organs such as the uterus or bladder fall down or slip out of place, often pushing into or through the vagina. Pelvic organ prolapse can be uncomfortable and it can interfere with urination, bowel movements and sexual activity.

Going back just a decade or so, the most common treatment options for serious pelvic organ prolapse cases were relatively limited. Reconstructive surgery was one option, and hysterectomy was another. Today, an increasingly common option is called sacrocolpopexy. Read More

da Vinci surgery, uterine fibroids and myomectomy

da Vinci myomectomy

da Vinci myomectomy

In my last blog I wrote about hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) and how this surgery is well-suited for surgery using the da Vinci approach. One of the main reasons a woman might consider a hysterectomy is the presence of uterine fibroids, which are non-cancerous tumors that grow out from the muscle layer and connective tissue in the uterus. Uterine fibroids (also called leiomyomas or myomas) are very common, especially during a woman’s middle and later reproductive years: about 20-40% of women will be diagnosed with uterine fibroids at some point in their lives.

In most cases uterine fibroids are harmless. But sometimes they can cause heavy and painful menstruation, painful sexual intercourse, and urinary frequency and urgency. Uterine fibroids that are located inside the uterine cavity can make it difficult or impossible to conceive a child, and they can cause complications in pregnancy, including bleeding, miscarriage, premature labor, or interference with the position of the fetus.

If you or someone you know has problems with uterine fibroids, there are several options for treatment. Read More

da Vinci Surgery and Hysterectomy

In my last blog, I mentioned that da Vinci surgery provides precision that’s crucial when working in close proximity to delicate organs like the bladder. In addition, the camera technology provides a great deal of detail. If you’re facing the prospect of surgery and you think of the kind of surgery you’d prefer to have, hopefully words like detail and precision are ones that come to mind.

This combination of detail and precision makes da Vinci very well suited for a variety of surgery types and procedures, including several that I do regularly as part of my medical practice. For this blog I thought I’d talk about da Vinci surgery and hysterectomy. Read More

What is da Vinci surgery?

Leonardo da Vinci

As I mentioned in my last blog, the da Vinci Surgical System uses a computerized interface between the surgeon and the instruments to conduct surgical procedures. The name “da Vinci” was chosen for the system because legendary artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci is credited with designing the first robot. It’s also a fitting name because Leonardo da Vinci used anatomical accuracy and three-dimensional details to lend realism to his art.

For many people, the use of robots or robotic tools in surgery raises some concerns. One commonly accepted definition of a robot is “an automatically guided machine, able to do tasks on its own.” This definition is a bit vague, but experts generally agree that robots tend to do some or all of the following: move around, operate a mechanical limb, sense and manipulate their environment, and exhibit intelligent behavior, especially behavior which mimics humans or other animals.

Given only those definitions to describe da Vinci technology, I’d be concerned too. To be honest, I’ve avoided using the word “robot” or “robotic” to describe the da Vinci Surgical System in my website. It’s not really an accurate term, since the da Vinci system is directed and controlled by a human being Read More

da Vinci surgery: your questions answered

As one of the first doctors in Fairfield County, Connecticut to be certified in da Vinci surgery, I’m asked a lot of questions about the technology and how it can be used to treat endometriosis, uterine fibroids, pelvic organ prolapse and other conditions. Since I’ve seen so much interest and heard so many questions about da Vinci surgery, I thought it would be helpful to use this blog to provide information to women who may be considering or facing surgery.

In the next few weeks, I’ll be posting a series of blogs about da Vinci surgery and how I use it in my own medical practice. If you have any experiences you’d like to share, please feel free to comment. Read More

Do You Forget To Take Your Birth Control Pills?

If you occasionally forget to take your birth control pills, you should consider using the Nuvaring. The Nuvaring is a soft flexible plastic ring that is inserted into your vagina and removed after 3 weeks. A new ring is then inserted one week later. Just like birth control pills, the Nuvaring contains a combination of estrogen and progesterone. Instead of having to take a birth control pill every day, the Nuvaring prevents pregnancy for a full four weeks by slowly and continuously releasing estrogen and progesterone into your body every day for 21 days. Since it contains the same types of hormones that birth control pills contain, using the Nuvaring has the same risks and benefits for your health. As compared to birth control pills, the major advantage of the Nuvaring is the convenience factor. Read More

Announcement of Risks and Prevention of Swine Flu H1N1 During Pregnancy

H1N1 FLU ANNOUNCEMENT

Please listen to this important announcement about the risks and prevention of the Swine Flu H1N1 Virus for pregnant women.

Prenatal Care Visits Week-by-Week