Home E-Weekly August 19, 2008

Women Unaware of Minimally Invasive Gynecological Procedures

Published: August 18, 2008

Women don't know enough about minimally invasive options for treating pelvic health disorders and want their OB/GYN physicians to fill the information gap, according to survey results released by Advancing Minimally Invasive Gynecology Worldwide, the official organization of gynecological surgeons.

Most of the 526 women polled were not aware of the latest treatment options designed for less post-op pain and faster recoveries. The survey showed less than half of the respondents had heard of endometrial ablation and myomectomy, two procedures that are over 90 percent effective in providing relief from heavy menstrual bleeding. Sling procedures, often performed outpatient with no incisions, solve mild to moderate stress urinary incontinence, but two-thirds of the women surveyed were unaware of the treatment option.

Hysterectomy is the procedure most commonly used to treat pelvic health disorders, but less than 40 percent of the women surveyed realized that total abdominal hysterectomy is a major surgery performed through a four- to six-inch incision which results in extended hospital stays and a long, often painful, recovery. Over half of the respondents were unaware that laparoscopic hysterectomy was an alternative treatment option.

A majority of those polled conceded that they needed to be more proactive when asking about their treatment options and that they would seek a second opinion if their own physician did not offer the newer, minimally invasive procedures. According to the survey, women rely equally on Internet sources and their physician's advice when gathering information about their treatment options.

Daniel Cook

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