in the press

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

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

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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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Forget the Scars: Strategic Placement of Laparoscopic Incisions Improves Recovery

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

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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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GYN Surgical Specialists Expand Services Via Telemedicine

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

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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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Adenomyosis: When Period Pain Is More Than It Should Be

December 21, 2016 // Posted in: Featured, In The Press

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If left untreated, some GYN conditions can lead to long-term damage. There are conditions that are not well understood by many physicians, and can be difficult to diagnose. Adenomyosis is a painful and complex gynecological condition that can be difficult to detect. An ultrasound is insufficient to detect the disease in the uterus. In many cases, an MRI can detect adenomyosis, but if it is small and diffuse, it may not appear on any imaging, and can only be diagnosed during surgery. The only cure is a hysterectomy.

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The Invisible Illness: Endometriosis Stigma

November 18, 2016 // Posted in: Advocacy, Featured, In The Press

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The debilitating pain caused by endometriosis can strain relationships. Women with endometriosis are often seen as unreliable. As an invisible condition, it becomes more difficult over time to explain to teachers or bosses why you are unable to attend class for a few days each month or repeatedly need time off of work.

While the disease itself is unpredictable, it is essential for women to have support to minimize the psychological effects and to seek effective surgical treatment. There are organizations that help women with endometriosis with emotional support and provide educational resources. Endometriosis Foundation of America, Endometriosis Research Center, Endo Support and The Endometriosis Network Canada are groups that focus solely on helping women with endometriosis find the right care, offer support networks, and raise funds for research.

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Anemia: The Life-threatening Risks of Blood Loss From Fibroids

October 26, 2016 // Posted in: Advocacy, Featured, Fibroids, In The Press

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Anemia is a common term heard in doctor’s offices, but the risks of anemia are rarely explained in detail. Generally, a patient may feel a little fatigued, or have difficulty focusing on a task for very long. As a society, we are all overworked and overwhelmed by distractions, so it isn’t uncommon to dismiss these symptoms. However, when the fatigue is unrelenting, and a good night’s sleep doesn’t clear the cobwebs, it’s important to know that if you are suffering from anemia, ignoring the symptoms can have serious consequences.

Heavy bleeding from GYN conditions is common, especially for women who have fibroids. Excessive blood loss can lead to iron-deficient anemia, and if the cause of the heavy bleeding is left to worsen, depleted iron reserves in the blood can become life-threatening.

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A Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy Improves Options for Menopause

September 23, 2016 // Posted in: Featured, In The Press

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A new, comprehensive study by scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research in London followed 39,000 women on hormone therapy for 6 years showed that estrogen-only therapy showed no overall increase in breast cancer risk compared with women who had never used HRT. This type of therapy can be safely prescribed to women who no longer have a uterus. However, those using combined HRT, a combination of estrogen and progestogen, had a 2.7 times greater risk than non-users, significantly higher than previously reported. This is the type of hormone therapy that can be prescribed to women who have not had a hysterectomy. Estrogen-only therapy can negatively affect the uterus and requires progesterone to balance out the effects. Estrogen therapy alone can increase the risk of uterine cancer.

The implications for women who have GYN conditions that would benefit from a minimally invasive hysterectomy are now two-fold. In addition to treating a condition like fibroids, or adenomyosis, a hysterectomy opens a woman up to a safer form of HRT when she reaches menopause.

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Delaying Treatment for GYN Conditions Puts Women’s Health at Risk

August 18, 2016 // Posted in: Featured, In The Press, Resources

GYN surgery info findingsThe overall confusion about how the human body works, medical advancements for treatment of gynecological conditions, and lifestyle factors that have many women delaying having children can all lead to complications that can throw a wrench in a woman’s reproductive health. In the August story on WTOP, we review the gaps in women’s knowledge about their GYN health, and shine a spotlight on our advanced surgical methods that make delaying treatment unnecessary.

EXCERPT:

DELAYING TREATMENT FOR COMMON GYN CONDITIONS PUTS WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AT RISK

In the United States, more than half of women are unclear about GYN conditions and the surgical procedures to treat them, leaving many women at the mercy of misinformation, and out-of-date practices that can actually worsen conditions.

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Women With Fibroids Should Think Twice Before Getting UFE

July 12, 2016 // Posted in: Advocacy, Featured, Fibroids, In The Press

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Damage to the uterus is a major concern for women with fibroids who still wish to retain fertility. Many women are seeking out, or are being referred for, uterine fibroid (or artery) embolization (UFE or UAE), but they are not getting all of the facts about both the limitations of the procedure or the long-term effects on fertility.

The uterine lining needs to be preserved in order for an embryo to attach. If the blood flow to the uterus is compromised due to embolization, or the lining itself is compromised, women have a higher risk of not conceiving or miscarrying. Learn more about the best possible fibroid treatment for your body and your future plans.

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The Guise of Choice: The U.S. Female Sterilization Controversy

June 15, 2016 // Posted in: Featured, In The Press, News

Web imageChoosing whether or not to have children is an important and personal decision that both women and men make. When the decision is to not have children, the options for women are complicated, and access is problematic. Across the board for women between mandatory wait times, and layers of requirements based on individual states and insurance policy restrictions, female sterilization has become a controversial topic.

A non-surgical alternative, Essure, was introduced to the market, that allowed in-office placement of nickel-titanium coils into fallopian tubes without the need for incisions. It became the standard of care for sterilization. Organizations like Planned Parenthood that don’t perform surgical procedures widely adopted the device.

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