Eighty percent of women who have a hysterectomy have a traditional one, in which a surgeon must make an extensive incision that runs from the navel to the top of the pubic bone. If only these women's gynecologists had been trained in minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery techniques, many of them could have had hysterectomies involving just a few small, keyhole incisions. Also, their recovery time would have also been reduced drastically, permitting them to resume their normal lives much faster.
Minimally invasive surgery, or MIS, involves using laparoscopic tools to view interior organs so that doctors can perform surgery through dramatically smaller incisions. MIS is widespread for many kinds of general surgery - for example, over 90 percent of bariatric surgeries are performed that way. However, the utilization of minimally invasive techniques is still relatively uncommon among gynecological surgeons.
David L. Zisow, M.D., associate chief of Minimally Invasive Surgery at Northwest Hospital in Randallstown, Md., is seeking to change that. Zisow recently started a fellowship program at Northwest in which he trains his fellow gynecologists in these techniques free of charge. Called the STAT Program, Zisow and his colleague, W. Peter Geis, M.D., one of the founders of laparoscopic surgery in the United States, invite OB/GYNs to perform their surgery cases at Northwest Hospital, where Zisow or Geis offer them on-the-job training to learn MIS techniques.
"I've created this fellowship program because I care about women, and it's about time that they have the best options available when it comes to GYN surgery," says Zisow. "It's becoming more and more evident that patient recovery time is dependent upon the size of the external incisions rather than what is actually done internally to the body. We can perform major surgeries internally, and as long as we make only keyhole-sized incisions, recovery time - and chance of infection - is reduced."
Zisow is an expert in complex laparoscopic surgery and other minimally invasive gynecologic procedures. Zisow graduated from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He trained at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore in a straight residency in obstetrics and gynecology, and was chief resident from 1976 to 1977.
In 1980, Zisow was board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and a member of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, the Maryland Obstetrics and Gynecology Society, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Baltimore County Medical Society.
Addressing the Global Congress of Minimally Invasive Gynecology, 37th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, Zisow recently gave a video presentation on "Laparscopic Hysterectomy of the Very Large Uterus."