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The Minimally Invasive Difference
February 21, 2017
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The Minimally Invasive Difference

St. Luke’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Services is proud to be on the leading edge of minimally invasive techniques that have revolutionized gynecologic procedures.

For many patients opting for gynecologic surgery, the lengthy hospital stays, long recoveries, and considerable risks associated with traditional open surgery are largely issues of the past, thanks to advancements in laparoscopic techniques.

As the first program in Pennsylvania to be designated a Center of Excellence by the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, St. Luke’s is a regional and national leader in laparoscopic gynecologic surgeries.

“I’m very proud of the range of services and minimally invasive procedures we offer in our network,” says Dr. Michael Patriarco. “We’re able to treat any benign or malignant issue a woman could have.”

Easier on Patients

Minimally invasive options at St. Luke’s include hysterectomy, fibroid removal, endometrial ablation, and pelvic organ prolapse correction.

Using tiny incisions, nimble instruments, and a small lighted tube called a laparoscope, minimally invasive procedures promise smaller incisions, less pain, less bleeding, quicker recoveries, and better cosmetic outcomes than open procedures. Many procedures are even offered on an outpatient basis.

At St. Luke’s, 85 percent of hysterectomies are performed with minimally invasive techniques, compared to 50 percent nationwide.

“We believe so strongly in the benefits of minimally invasive techniques that we have a task force that reviews all gynecologic procedures to ensure the best options are being provided to our patients,” says Dr. Patriarco.

Dr. Patriarco adds that the St. Luke’s team helps women evaluate which procedure is best for them by considering factors such as age, severity of symptoms, and desire to maintain future fertility.

“We always begin with a conservative first-line treatment, such as hormone therapy,” he says. “If that fails to bring the desired results, the next step is to discuss procedure options.”

Highly Trained and Experienced

St. Luke’s is so dedicated to the advancement of minimally invasive gynecology procedures that it is home to one of 32 minimally invasive gynecologic surgery fellowship programs in the country.

“Our hope is that our fellows can take their skill sets to areas of the country that don’t yet offer minimally invasive options,” says Dr. Patriarco. “All women should have access to these procedures.

“It’s truly rewarding to offer options that can help a woman get back to her normal life quicker.”

A Grateful Mom’s Story

Jessica had struggled with painful women’s health issues since adolescence. After having children, her symptoms flared. When an endometrial ablation procedure failed to provide relief, Dr. Patriarco recommended a partial laparoscopic hysterectomy.

“I decided I was finally done with the heavy bleeding, clotting, pain, cramping, and breast tenderness,” says Jessica. “I had exhausted all of the pharmaceutical options.”

The procedure was seamless, and Jessica began feeling better within the week. To others considering the procedure, she says, “A laparoscopic hysterectomy by a highly skilled doctor will have you feeling more like yourself again in a short amount of time.”