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Women Can Now Learn About Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Treatments at AAGL.org
Date:4/3/2008

Newly updated Web site heralds AAGL commitment to patient education

CYPRESS, Calif., April 3, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- AAGL, the professional organization of gynecologists interested in endoscopy and minimally invasive gynecology, has retooled its Web site, http://www.aagl.org, and added a comprehensive patient education section on common gynecologic conditions and the minimally invasive options available to treat them. The site continues to provide physician members with the information and resources they need to elevate their practice of gynecology.

Minimally invasive procedures have many advantages for women including reduced risk of infection, minimized scarring, less blood loss, decreased post-operative pain, and generally quicker recovery time than traditional surgery. Yet, women are not routinely offered less invasive alternatives.

While endoscopic techniques are transforming the practice of surgery, its rate of adoption rate in gynecology has been slow. Laparoscopic surgery for gall bladder removal reached an 80% adoption rate in just ten years, while laparoscopic hysterectomy, which was introduced 10 years ago, is still used for less than 15% of the 600,000 hysterectomies annually performed in the United States. In addition, the total number of hysterectomies performed could be greatly reduced with more adoption of newer, less invasive treatments that are available.

"AAGL wants to raise the bar in women's health care. Far too many women are unnecessarily suffering because they are only offered painful, invasive surgical options," said Dr. Charles Miller, president of AAGL. "As an organization, we are committed to ensuring that more women learn about minimally invasive gynecologic options and ask their doctor about them before committing to any procedure. We believe our new Web site content for patients is a key step towards achieving this mission."

The AAGL patient education pages are designed to provide patients with information about state-of-the-art medical care for fibroids, abnormal bleeding, ovarian cysts and many other topics of importance to women. The site includes extensive educational materials, such as detailed information on a wide range of common gynecologic conditions, links explaining diagnostic tests and an array of treatment approaches, all in easy-to-understand language. A glossary provides further information about technical and anatomical terms.

Included in descriptions of various minimally invasive gynecologic treatments are guides to questions women may want to ask their doctor when confronted with a diagnosis of a condition requiring surgery. These guides are intended to help open a dialogue that will create more informed and better prepared patients.

"As women become more educated they can influence their healthcare by asking doctors about all treatment choices, including less invasive options. If their doctor doesn't offer alternatives to hysterectomy or minimally invasive options, they're empowered to find another doctor who does," added Dr. Miller.

This site is designed to provide women with names of physicians in their area who are members of AAGL and who have shown interest in minimally invasive treatment. The Physician Finder gives women access to doctors listed by city and by their name.

The AAGL Web site also helps to connect close to 4,000 physicians from 69 countries who have interests in minimally invasive treatment for women's health problems. The Web site provides members with a comprehensive repository to learn about the latest techniques, to improve their clinical practice and to connect with other endoscopic gynecologic surgeons.

The new site includes an online education center for physicians - EndoUpdate(TM) - that provides physicians with continuing medical education programs from expert practitioners of minimally invasive gynecology. Physicians can also review upcoming AAGL course programs and curricula to decide which meetings will best help them expand their surgical skills. Physicians can see the latest issue of the AAGL journal, The Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology, as well as search through the archives for past articles of interest. Copies of AAGL's newsletter, NewsScope, are also available on-line. The latest books on laparoscopy or hysteroscopy are available at AAGL's Bookstore.

AAGL's MedPage allows physicians to create their own Web page listing, giving patients and other doctors the quick facts with this simple, yet powerful tool. The AAGL Research Registries provide physicians an opportunity to learn from each other's experiences, specifically from unusual conditions, occurrences, and undesired outcomes. AAGL's members can search for a new job through Career Scope. Residents can search for Fellowship opportunities to acquire additional skills in advanced endoscopy and reproductive surgery. Physicians also can learn about scholarships, teaching grants, and financial support for research through the Foundation of the AAGL, which is dedicated to funding the development and application of emerging technologies to the benefit of health care for women.

About AAGL: Advancing Minimally Invasive Gynecology Worldwide

The AAGL is the first and largest organization in the world dedicated to gynecologic endoscopic surgery. Founded in 1971, AAGL works to advance the safest and most efficacious diagnostic and therapeutic techniques that afford less invasive treatments for gynecologic conditions through the integration of clinical practice, research, innovation, and dialogue. For the past 37 years, the organization has educated the world's finest surgeons while improving the lives of women everywhere. This global commitment to women's health care is embodied in their continuing medical education of physicians and professionals to further promote the well-documented high standards of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery. For more information visit http://www.aagl.org.


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SOURCE AAGL: Advancing Minimally Invasive Gynecology Worldwide
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