AAGL 41st Global Congress Advances Expertise in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery for Women

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Surgeons who practice high-tech, cost-saving, minimally invasive gynecologic surgery to convene at the AAGL Global Congress in November 2012 to advance their surgical skills and knowledge.

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I am not aware of another meeting which provides a more comprehensive repertoire of surgical instruction, from robotics to laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, and vaginal surgery for benign and malignant conditions,

In an era when the nation’s health care tab is a hot button for debate, thousands of surgeons who work every day with cost-saving procedures and technologies will convene to advance their knowledge and skills at the 41st Global Congress sponsored by the AAGL, the world’s premiere professional society dedicated to minimally invasive gynecology.

These men and women are techno-doctors who operate through tiny “keyhole” incisions -- or even no incisions -- watching their precise surgical skills on video screens, cutting and suturing with futuristic instruments the size of a pencil.

The minimally invasive gynecologic procedures they perform can preserve reproductive capability, minimize pain and scarring, and speed recovery for millions of women diagnosed with common gynecological problems such as fibroids, endometriosis, stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Although minimally invasive procedures are now available to treat nearly all pelvic health disorders, including cancers in the reproductive organs, only a fraction of women receive such state-of-the-art health care.

For example, of more than 500,000 hysterectomies performed in the U.S. in 2011, nearly two-thirds were performed the conventional way using open abdominal techniques. Recovery time from an open hysterectomy is at least six weeks, which translated to a loss of about 80 million work hours in 2011. By comparison, recovery time from a minimally invasive hysterectomy is two to three weeks.

In addition to quicker recovery and less pain and scarring, minimally invasive surgery often reduces risk of complications such as infection and bleeding. Because patients spend less time in the hospital, minimally invasive surgery is often more cost-effective than open surgical procedures.    

One important factor slowing the widespread adoption of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery (“MIGS”) is its difficulty. MIGS requires specialized technologies and advanced surgical education and experience, beyond what many doctors learned in medical school. The AAGL helps doctors acquire the higher learning and specialized skills they need through ongoing educational activities, of which the Global Congress is the most extensive.

The 41st AAGL Global Congress scientific program covers all important subjects and provides new information on recent developments, instrumentation and surgical techniques. Topics run the gamut from the most common problems – hysterectomies, myomectomies (removal of fibroids) and endometriosis – to rare conditions and complications. There are also abundant opportunities for surgeons to practice essential skills such as laparoscopic suturing and robotic manipulation.

A highlight of the meeting each year is live telesurgery, where actual procedures are streamed in and the operating surgeon instructs the audience as he or she demonstrates each step. This year three live telesurgeries will be streamed in from surgical centers in California, Nevada and Florida covering laparoscopic hysterectomy, robotic radical hysterectomy, robotic simple hysterectomy, and robotic removal of pelvic lymph nodes. All three telesurgeries take place on Friday, November 9th.

“I am not aware of another meeting which provides a more comprehensive repertoire of surgical instruction, from robotics to laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, and vaginal surgery for benign and malignant conditions,” commented Javier Magrina, MD, the Scientific Program Chair for the 41st Congress. “In addition, all the industry leaders will be showcasing their new devices, materials and technologies in our exhibit hall, and many of them offer hands-on learning as well.”

The 41st AAGL Global Congress on Minimally Invasive Gynecology will take place November 5-9 in Las Vegas, NV.

About AAGL
The AAGL is the first and largest organization in the world dedicated to minimally invasive gynecology. Founded in 1971, AAGL works to fulfill its vision of serving women’s health care needs by advancing the safest and most efficacious diagnostic and therapeutic techniques that afford less invasive treatments for gynecologic conditions. It does so by fostering the integration of clinical practice, research, innovation and dialogue. The global commitment of the AAGL to women’s health care is embodied in its continuing medical education of physicians about the latest and best practices in minimally invasive gynecology. For the past 41 years, the organization has educated the world’s finest surgeons so as to improve the lives of women everywhere. For more information, visit http://www.aagl.org.

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Barbara Hodgson
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