Center for Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery
The Newton-Wellesley Hospital Center for Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery (MIGS) uses advanced technology to provide relief for women with non-cancerous gynecologic conditions. Keith Isaacson, MD, Medical Director, Stephanie Morris, MD, Associate Medical Director and their team of specialists offer patients the most technologically advanced, minimally invasive surgical options. Through the use of many new tools, MIGS offers alternatives to procedures that once required invasive surgery, general anesthesia and hospitalization.
Many Needs - One Location
"We are able to provide treatment for many common conditions right in our office with limited anesthesia, which helps our patients quickly return to their normal activities," says Dr. Isaacson. "We see patients with concerns such as post-menopausal bleeding, heavy uterine bleeding, infertility, fibroids, endometriosis and ovarian cysts. When a patient comes to the Center, we are able to meet all of her needs in one convenient location."
The Center provides patients with access to diagnostic procedures including ultrasounds and biopsies to quickly determine the cause of their symptoms. In many cases, patients are able to undergo their procedure in the same visit, which is more convenient and provides faster relief from their symptoms.
"There are many advantages to taking procedures out of the operating room and performing them in the office. Our team offers the complete spectrum of care – from diagnosis to treatment," says Dr. Morris. "We find this helps relieve patients of emotional stress because they are more comfortable in an office setting and are used to seeing their physician in this environment. Our team is committed to reducing anxiety and providing a comforting and quality atmosphere. Procedures in the office are just as effective and safe and allow patients to quickly return to their normal routine."– also located at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. This unique collaboration between three members of the Partners HealthCare System - Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and Newton-Wellesley, offers patients many options. – all in one, convenient location."
Minimally Invasive Techniques
Dr. Isaacson and Dr. Morris use several minimally invasive techniques including laparoscopy, a surgical procedure that uses a very small, thin tube called a laparoscope inserted through a small incision in the abdominal wall to examine the abdominal organs or the female pelvic organs, and hysteroscopy, which utilizes access through the cervix and requires no incision. This can be used to treat polyps, fibroids and scar tissue. Most common gynecologic surgeries such as abdominal hysterectomy and the removal of uterine fibroids are now performed on an outpatient basis using these techniques. This significantly shortens a patient’s post-operative recovery allowing her to return to normal activities in less than one third the time of a traditional open surgery. For women with symptoms like heavy bleeding, the MIGS team is performing endometrial ablation, an alternative to a hysterectomy, in the office.
"Endometrial ablation gives women an alternative to hysterectomy when heavy bleeding occurs despite other treatments," says Dr. Isaacson. "This is a minimally invasive option with a quick recovery and excellent results. Unlike a hysterectomy, women do not have to have any reproductive organs removed. It is a simple office procedure that takes about 30 minutes and requires little or no anesthesia."
Endometrial ablation replaces the uterine lining with scar tissue. When this is done with heat, more pain results than when the procedure is performed with cryotherapy (freezing), which deadens the nerves. Patients are able to leave the office in less than an hour and are able to return to normal activity by the following day.
To help patients overcome infertility, the Center for Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery works with the Partners Reproductive Medicine Center
"Our infertility program offers the full spectrum of minimally invasive surgery options," says Dr. Morris. "We provide patients with a variety of expertise and can offer them many choices based on their personal preferences
Dr. Morris and Dr. Isaacson are able to offer patients a variety of fertility-enhancing procedures to address the conditions that could be causing their infertility such as endometriosis or fibroids.
"We have many minimally invasive treatments and procedures we can offer patients with the goal of fertility in mind. We want our patients to be fully involved in the decision-making process when it comes to their care," says Dr. Morris. "Many patients are comforted by the fact that they can come to MIGS for their fertility-enhancing surgery and then also receive their fertility treatments at Newton-Wellesley through the Reproductive Medicine Center."
Using the latest technology, the MIGS team is also working to research and develop more sophisticated procedures and treatments to provide patients with alternatives to traditional methods.
Dr. Morris has recently received funding from the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT) to research various fertility-preserving therapies in female cancer patients such as ovarian transposition and tissue freezing. Through her research, Dr. Morris’ goal is to learn the techniques to remove ovarian tissue before a patient undergoes cancer therapy, which could leave her infertile. This tissue would then be frozen and saved to re-transplant once the patient is in remission. She will be working with cancer specialists at the Hospital to conduct her research. Newton-Wellesley provides excellent medical care for cancer patients including medical oncology, surgery and chemotherapy. The Hospital is constructing a 25,000 square foot Cancer Center scheduled to open this summer, which will be located on two levels in the main Hospital. The Joan and James Vernon Cancer Center will provide the most comprehensive care with radiation therapy available on the Hospital campus through a collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dr. Isaacson is working on a joint effort with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to create a center to study endometriosis. Endometriosis is a condition that causes the tissue that lines the uterus to also grow outside the uterus, which can cause pain and infertility. The goal of this collaboration with MIT is to work together to find new, innovative ways to treat patients with endometriosis.
"We are always striving to offer our patients the most advanced, high-quality care. We want to give them options and education about the various treatments available," says Dr. Isaacson. "Women need to be aware and know there are other safe and effective methods with shorter recovery time and less discomfort to help them return to their everyday activities. At Newton-Wellesley, we are proud to offer women these choices."
For more information about physicians or services at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, contact CareFinder at 1-866-NWH-DOCS (694-3627) or visit our website at www.nwh.org.
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