Endometriosis patients face barriers to treatment with high out-of-pocket surgery costs

March 15, 2017 // Posted in: Conditions, Featured, In The Press

WTOP

Waiting for treatment for endometriosis can prolong painful cycles, and many women are convinced that the only way to find relief is to pay tens of thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for surgery. Endometriosis is a condition that is misunderstood, even by OBGYNs. Endometriosis excision is the gold standard procedure for treating the condition, a technique that requires extensive training to perform. Selecting an endometriosis specialist is important for a thorough diagnosis, surgical treatment and long-term maintenance, but that can come at a steep cost if the provider does not accept health insurance.

“When it comes to this complex gynecological condition, finding a GYN specialist who is an expert in localized endometriosis excision and who can perform necessary bowel, bladder and ureter repairs is essential,” said Rupen Baxi, MD. “However, choosing a specialist should not evoke concerns about medical bankruptcy. Specialist providers who do not accept insurance are known to charge thousands of dollars above actual surgery costs, and patients are so desperate for relief, they are willing to mortgage their houses.”

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OUTDOOR ENTHUSIAST NEEDED A LAPAROSCOPIC FIBROID REMOVAL SPECIALIST

March 7, 2017 // Posted in: Conditions, Featured, Fibroids, Medical Travel

LAAM minimally invasive fibroid removal surgery at The Center for Innovative GYN Care has such an amazing recovery, our patients do not have to put their lives on hold. Ruchika S. from Rhode Island, an active woman both outdoors and in her job, was getting back to her normal routine just days after her surgery thanks to choosing laparoscopic fibroid removal specialist Dr. Paul MacKoul, MD at CIGC.

The CIGC minimally invasive GYN specialists perform LAAM using just two small incisions.

“I was back to myself in a week and a half, and that was important to me. After two weeks I was back at work. Compared to the alternative, I’m so grateful. Everything is back to normal now. I’ve been working out. I went ice climbing two weekends ago, and I’m traveling for my normal insane life. Three weeks after the surgery I was running 7 to 8 kilometers.”

Traveling For Surgery

“Getting on a plane to go anywhere is not that a big deal for me at all. I live on the East Coast, my boyfriend lives on the West and my brother lives in New York, so regardless of where I had the surgery, they were going to have to travel to be with me. I was looking for the best surgeon. The one thing I have learned is that choosing the right surgeon matters. If he had been in Germany, I would have gone to Germany.

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Get Diagnosed: Endometriosis Awareness Month

March 1, 2017 // Posted in: Featured, Patient resource

March is Endometriosis Awareness month. Women who suffer with severe menstrual pain are encouraged to get diagnosed early by a CIGC GYN specialist.

This is a disease that can cause severe pain, and for now, has no cure. For many women, choosing the right specialist who fully understands the disease, and how seemingly unrelated symptoms are connected due to the unpredictable nature of endometriosis. The inflammation it causes can result in scarring within the pelvic cavity, so that organs stick together. Women have reported extreme pain, heavy bleeding, bloody diarrhea, pain urinating and other symptoms that could also be misdiagnosed as digestive problems.

Learn more about endometriosis treatment and choosing a specialist.

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Fibroid Patient Advocates for Better Options for African-American Women

February 28, 2017 // Posted in: Featured, Fibroids

“I would always have one day of intense pain during my period when I had to take heavy doses of painkillers. It was when the bleeding got out of control that I had to do something. In 2009, I would be on my period for weeks sometimes. I couldn’t wear certain clothes. I had to take a grocery store in my bag. I could never have a period with just a tampon. Everything had to be super or overnight. Even then it wouldn’t be enough. It started to interfere with my work. I was tired, I was losing a lot of blood. It was taking up a lot of my time. I would have to dedicate a week and a half each month to having my period on a consistent basis.”

“No woman should have to live with the painful and long periods that I did. There is such a huge potential for the fibroids to grow. I want to be able to help other women who have fibroids understand the different options that are out there. In my research, I realized how disproportionately African-American women are affected by fibroids and I want to make sure women know their options. I want to be more vocal about this procedure in the medical community. I think a lot of doctors are well meaning, and if they knew about this, they would refer more patients to The Center for Innovative GYN Care.”

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Forget the Scars: Strategic Placement of Laparoscopic Incisions Improves Recovery

February 15, 2017 // Posted in: Featured, In The Press

WTOP

In minimally invasive GYN surgery, laparoscopic incision placement and size play a significant role in patient recovery time. Choosing the best incision locations for recovery also happen to be the most cosmetically appealing. Strategic placement of tiny incisions through the midline of the abdomen bypass the lateral abdominal muscles completely, allowing for a safer surgery and faster recovery from hysterectomy or myomectomy procedures with minimal pain.

When incisions and instruments have to pass deep within the abdominal muscles they are less safe and take a long time to heal. Conventional laparoscopic and robotic laparoscopic procedures use incision placement that has a higher likelihood of lacerating blood vessels and damaging nerves, but at minimum, they go through musculature that takes much longer to heal, and has a higher level of pain during the recovery.

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ABNORMAL BLEEDING: WHEN SHOULD I WORRY?

February 3, 2017 // Posted in: Conditions, Featured

Getting your period each month can be stressful enough. When abnormal bleeding occurs, discovering the cause can add another layer of anxiety.

Heavy bleeding can be embarrassing and problematic. On a day to day basis, the possibility of having to change clothes or be caught without tampons or pads can force restrictions on what women can plan for themselves. Many women ask themselves, when it comes to abnormal bleeding: when should I worry?

“Any abnormal changes to a menstrual cycle, including heavy bleeding or pelvic pain should be taken seriously,” said Rupen Baxi, MD. “There are several treatable conditions that can cause heavy blood loss, and if left untreated can lead to anemia and other dangerous conditions.”

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Fast Facts About Pelvic Pain: Common GYN Conditions

January 31, 2017 // Posted in: Conditions, Featured

woman in pain orange water bottleMultiple GYN conditions can cause pelvic pain. This quick fact sheet is a primer to help women seek treatment when the pain begins to overtake their lives. Ignoring the pain, or soldiering through it can actually cause long-term damage. If you suspect you have one of the conditions below, it is important to see a minimally invasive GYN specialist. Read more about fibroids, endometriosis, adenomyosis, and ovarian cysts.

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Cervical Health Awareness Month: Plan Your Annual Well Woman Visit

January 26, 2017 // Posted in: Conditions, Featured

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month.

Cervical cancer is preventable, and highly treatable if caught early. While the National Cervical Cancer Coalition works throughout the year to help women take advantage of screenings that can detect early signs of cervical dysplasia (abnormal cell growth) or cancer, January is designated as Cervical Health Awareness Month.

Over the last 30 years, the cervical cancer death rate has gone down by more than 50 percent. Annual Well Woman visits are to be credited as increased use of screening tests during these exams finds changes in the cervix, known as dysplasia, before cancer develops, or can find cervical cancer early while it has a higher cure rate.

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Fibroid Removal Surgery Made Getting Pregnant Possible for Tiffani

January 19, 2017 // Posted in: Featured, Patient Spotlight

In 2012, Tiffani D. (Fort Washington, MD), was a deputy digital director for a political campaign, and while filming a video she was running, she fell into a huge sinkhole while carrying her equipment. It was that accident that led to her ultimately discovering she had fibroids.

“I think my bags acted as a cushion. My body literally slammed into the concrete. I heard a bunch of people gasping behind me. I continued on with the shoot, in a whole other zone, I was so pumped up on adrenaline. Four or five hours later, my back was burning. I went to the ER and had a x-ray. I had a hip contusion, some chest contusions, and other muscular bruises. Eventually all of those went away, but after the end of the campaign, I came back home. I was lugging my bags at the airport, and I tried to lift it and I felt something rip. I managed to get home. I signed up to talk to a couple of doctors. They set me up for physical therapy. As I was doing the therapy I started bleeding which went on for about a month. I went to see a gynecologist.”

Tiffani discovered that she had fibroids, and that the prescribed physical therapy put her in a position that caused extreme pain.

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GYN Surgical Specialists Expand Services Via Telemedicine

January 17, 2017 // Posted in: Featured, In The Press, Medical Travel

WTOP

As telemedicine options expand, consulting experts like GYN surgical specialists can become a more streamlined process.

Telemedicine Improves Access to GYN Surgical Specialists in Virginia

Virtual consultations with highly skilled minimally invasive GYN surgeons break down healthcare access barriers

When facing a gynecological condition that requires specialty care, having access to the right specialist right away can determine whether a necessary procedure is performed as a painful open or robotic procedure, or as an advanced laparoscopic procedure with a faster and less painful recovery. Access to specialty care remains a struggle for patients living in rural areas, but even in Washington, D.C., trying to make and keep doctors appointments is a challenge due to the unpredictable traffic congestion.

When patients have to schedule time for multiple opinions from specialists, it could mean days out of the office and hours in traffic. However, if a patient could schedule a consultation through the video on their mobile device or computer, the focus can be placed on what is most important: Their health.

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