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Women Can Now Learn About Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Treatments at AAGL.org

Friday, April 4, 2008 General News J E 4
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CYPRESS, Calif., April 3, 2008 AAGL, the professionalorganization of gynecologists interested in endoscopy and minimally invasivegynecology, has retooled its Web site, www.aagl.org, and added a comprehensivepatient education section on common gynecologic conditions and the minimallyinvasive options available to treat them. The site continues to providephysician members with the information and resources they need to elevatetheir practice of gynecology.

Minimally invasive procedures have many advantages for women includingreduced risk of infection, minimized scarring, less blood loss, decreasedpost-operative pain, and generally quicker recovery time than traditionalsurgery. Yet, women are not routinely offered less invasive alternatives.

While endoscopic techniques are transforming the practice of surgery, itsrate of adoption rate in gynecology has been slow. Laparoscopic surgery forgall bladder removal reached an 80% adoption rate in just ten years, whilelaparoscopic hysterectomy, which was introduced 10 years ago, is still usedfor less than 15% of the 600,000 hysterectomies annually performed in theUnited States. In addition, the total number of hysterectomies performedcould be greatly reduced with more adoption of newer, less invasive treatmentsthat are available.

"AAGL wants to raise the bar in women's health care. Far too many womenare unnecessarily suffering because they are only offered painful, invasivesurgical options," said Dr. Charles Miller, president of AAGL. "As anorganization, we are committed to ensuring that more women learn aboutminimally invasive gynecologic options and ask their doctor about them beforecommitting to any procedure. We believe our new Web site content for patientsis a key step towards achieving this mission."

The AAGL patient education pages are designed to provide patients withinformation about state-of-the-art medical care for fibroids, abnormalbleeding, ovarian cysts and many other topics of importance to women. The siteincludes extensive educational materials, such as detailed information on awide range of common gynecologic conditions, links explaining diagnostic testsand an array of treatment approaches, all in easy-to-understand language. Aglossary provides further information about technical and anatomical terms.

Included in descriptions of various minimally invasive gynecologictreatments are guides to questions women may want to ask their doctor whenconfronted with a diagnosis of a condition requiring surgery. These guidesare intended to help open a dialogue that will create more informed and betterprepared patients.

"As women become more educated they can influence their healthcare byasking doctors about all treatment choices, including less invasive options.If their doctor doesn't offer alternatives to hysterectomy or minimallyinvasive options, they're empowered to find another doctor who does," added Dr.Miller.

This site is designed to provide women with names of physicians in theirarea who are members of AAGL and who have shown interest in minimally invasivetreatment. The Physician Finder gives women access to doctors listed by cityand by their name.

The AAGL Web site also helps to connect close to 4,000 physicians from 69countries who have interests in minimally invasive treatment for women'shealth problems. The Web site provides members with a comprehensiverepository to learn about the latest techniques, to improve their clinicalpractice and to connect with other endoscopic gynecologic surgeons.

The new site includes an online education center for physicians -EndoUpdate(TM) - that provides physicians with continuing medical educationprograms from expert practitioners of minimally invasive gynecology.Physicians can also review upcoming AAGL course programs and curricula todecide which meetings will best help them expand their surgical
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