“A gynaecologist looks after the overall health of female patients, treating problems and diseases of the female reproductive system,” begins Dr Dharmesh Kothari from Wollongong Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
“To specialise in gynaecology, they go through specialty training for six to eight years, after five to six years of medical training,” he continues.
“Women should see their GP every two years for a Pap smear and for their general health. Then if they have any issues they will need to see a specialist.”
As examples, you should see a gynaecologist when:
- You’re planning pregnancy
- You’ve been unable to fall pregnant
- You are pregnant
- You have pelvic pain
- You have heavy menstrual bleeding
- You have issues of pelvic organ prolapse
- You’re having urinary problems such as incontinence
- You get an abnormal Pap smear result
- You experience sexual dysfunction
- Having sex causes you pain
“Endometriosis is common when women are young, as is pelvic pain and infertility,” Dr Kothari observed.
Endometriosis occurs when the layer of tissue that is normally supposed to only cover the inside of the uterus, has been growing outside it.
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“Many women in their forties need a hysterectomy – removal of the uterus – for different reasons. Some common examples are heavy menstrual bleeding, eliminating fibroids (non-cancerous growths in the uterus) and pelvic pain” Dr Kothari continued.
“At a later age, pelvic organ prolapse is common and is present in up to one in five women. This makes hysterectomy one of the most common procedures done worldwide.”
Fortunately, there have been great advances in the surgical procedures in recent years.
For example, “Laparoscopy is commonly known as key-hole surgery,” Dr Kothari explains.
“It is a procedure where a surgical telescope and camera is passed through a small cut – key-hole – in the abdomen, usually through the belly button.”
This offers many benefits. “The key-hole surgical technique gives patients a number of advantages including a much more rapid recovery, reduced pain, smaller scars, and an earlier discharge to return to normal activities.
“Many of the gynaecological procedures done in the past using traditional techniques can now be done using key-hole, or minimally invasive, techniques.”
Procedures for treatment of endometriosis, hysterectomy, removal of tubes and ovaries and repair of pelvic organ prolapse are now offered locally using advanced laparoscopic techniques.
“Laparoscopy is something we are bringing to the Illawarra,” he added.
Dr Kothari is one of the few surgeons in the area to offer laparoscopy so that you don’t have to travel to Sydney for this less-invasive method of surgery.
For more information about the laparascopy technique, you should visit www.wollongongObGy.com.au.