Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) June 28, 2012
In another groundbreaking move, laparoscopic pioneer Thomas L. Lyons MD of the Center for Women’s Care & Reproductive Surgery will introduce Virtual Colonoscopy to metro Atlanta this summer to help diagnose endometriosis. This painful, debilitating disease mainly involves female reproductive organs, but can spread throughout the abdomen to other organs. It affects approximately 17-30% of adolescent and adult women in the U.S.
The Virtual Colonoscopy (VC) is used to help detect endometriosis that has spread to the bowel, which is hard to detect using standard methods. Current diagnostic techniques include barium enema, intravenous urogram, CT scans, MRIs, ultrasound scans, as well as invasive optical colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy. The VC is advantageous as a non-invasive and low x-ray-dose single examination, which is important to young female patients who need to avoid overuse of x-rays of their reproductive organs.
Dr. Lyons, medical director of the Center for Women’s Care & Reproductive Surgery, is collaborating with Johan van der Wat, MD, of Johannesburg, South Africa, to introduce the technology to the United States.
“When patients are candidates for endometriosis surgery, they are sent for a colonoscopy, and nothing shows upon exam because endo is on the surface of the bowel, not integral to it,” said Dr. Lyons. “With the VC, we’ll be able to detect it and treat it more readily.”
The VC, which takes less than a minute from start to finish, actually shows the endo and its exact site. This test enables the GYN surgeon to coordinate with the bowel surgeon more concisely. Rather than having a bowel specialist stand by to operate “in case” any endo may have lodged on the bowel, no one’s time is wasted with poor diagnostics.
Dr. Lyons, co-author of What To Do When the Doctor Says It’s Endometriosis, (Fair Winds Press) uses surgical excision to remove the disease completely beneath its root, rather than lasering off the surface only to have it reappear again.
Improved Outcomes for Women
The gynecologic surgeon is also known for developing two laparoscopic procedures, which have demonstrated vastly improved outcomes for women.
The LSH, or laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy developed in 1989, leaves the woman’s cervix intact as a keystone support for the anatomy.
The technique has also been shown in studies to help improve sexual function post-surgery. Reasons for this include the fact that the vagina hasn’t been scarred or pulled down as may occur in a laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy. Dr. Lyons has always practiced vaginal restoration as standard operating procedure for LSH and pelvic floor repair.
Since abdominal incisions are so tiny (unlike procedures performed using laparotomy or bikini incision), fewer nerves are damaged, pain is lessened, and recovery is quicker.
Dr. Lyons also participated in the development of the Laparoscopic Burch Procedure for stress urinary incontinence.
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