Saturday, October 25, 2008

Women's Health Options

The US News & World reported that, out of the one in four women who receive hysterectomies, approximately 85% are still treated with traditional open abdominal surgical methods, despite the perfection of a decades old laparoscopic procedure that leaves the ovaries and cervix in place.

Mom Central and AAGL urge women to know their options when it comes to their healthcare. As women, and especially women who have had kids, many of us may find ourselves in a position where our OBGYN recommends hysterectomy to solve a variety of issues around heavy periods. The frightening prospect of surgery leaves us relying on our doctors to advise the best course of action. In such a situation, however, we need to know as much information as possible to ensure we sign up for the best treatment option, and it may not be the first one your doctor recommends.

Mom Central and AAGL are speading the word about an important women's health alert, informing women about their options regarding minimally invasive treatments for heavy bleeding as well as a number of other common pelvic health conditions - fibroids, stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. In fact, they are so common that one-third of women will experience one or more of these conditions in their lifetime due to a variety of factors - most commonly pregnancy and childbirth.

We are happy to spread the good news that there are treatment options for these conditions that do not require the traditional surgery, which frequently comes with a higher risk of complications and a longer healing process. Minimally invasive procedures, done quickly and relatively easily, usually require much less time to heal and there's a lot less pain, too. Yet many of us do not even know they exist, as we rely on information from our doctors who may suggest the outdated approaches because they lack the skill to perform the newer, less invasive ones or even because new endoscopic procedures bring less income to the doctor or hospital.

As women we need to take control of our health care decisions so they can make informed choices. If a doctor proves unwilling or unable to perform minimally invasive procedures, you should feel empowered to seek out a second opinion from a gynecologist who offers less invasive options. Please check out the professional association of doctors who perform minimally invasive treatments called AAGL by logging onto, to get more information and to find endoscopic surgeons in their area.
Who is the AAGL?
The AAGL is the leading association promoting minimally invasive gynecologic surgery among surgeons worldwide. When established in 1971 by Jordan M. Phillips, M.D., AAGL was known as the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists. Growing alongside the field of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, its membership quickly expanded around the globe and the AAGL came to encompass more than laparoscopy alone. Although the organization had outgrown, its name, “American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists” in the field of minimally invasive surgery, its name and acronym were both highly recognized worldwide. To best portray its expanding mission and international constituency, while still preserving its heritage and brand recognition, the organization eventually dropped its full name, “American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists” and became known simply as the AAGL along with the phrase “Advancing Minimally Invasive Gynecology Worldwide.”
Today with a membership extending to 31 countries, the AAGL is an internationally recognized authority in minimally invasive gynecology. With over 3800, members worldwide, the association is proud to count amongst it membership the foremost authorities in gynecology and pioneers in technique and procedures.
The AAGL educates by organizing and sponsoring its annual Global Congress of Minimally Invasive Gynecology, as well as other regional and international continuing education courses and workshops throughout the United States. The organization fosters communication between physicians by publishing The Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology (JMIG) and its quarterly newsletter, NewsScope. The goal of the AAGL is to assist physicians in providing the safest, most therapeutic, and economical surgical care possible for women.
The AAGL vision is to serve women by advancing the safest and most efficacious diagnostic and therapeutic techniques that provide less invasive treatments for gynecologic conditions through integration of clinical practice, research, innovation, and dialogue.
Thanks to Mom Central and AAGL for letting us know about these important issues.


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