Woman of the Week - Dr. Natalya Danilyants
A recent study conducted by the NIH stated that between 80% and 90% of African American women and 70% of white women will, at some point in their life, develop a fibroid. While the majority of these cases will remain undetected due to no additional symptoms, for many the pain can be unbearable. In 2000 there were over a quarter of a million women who were admitted to the hospital due to fibroid related issues, and of those cases, over 200,000 hysterectomies were performed. This women’s health issue is gaining further understanding and improving treatment, and that work is being pioneered by our Woman of the Week.
Dr. Natalya Danilyants, MD has been working towards better surgical options, solutions, and outcomes for over a decade. Dr. Danilyants and Dr. Paul MacKoul, MD co-founded The Center for Innovative GYN Care, commonly referred to as the CIGC, as a way to offer safer, less invasive, and more effective treatment of fibroids, as well as more advanced methods of uterine surgery. Dr. Danilyants began her mission for creating safer uterine fibroid surgery, with less pain after witnessing the long recovery times and potentially life threatening complications that can arise from open or robotic types of surgery. Dr. Danilyants became concerned over the physical intrusiveness, and long term effects of open surgery as a means to remove fibroids, and set out to unearth another means that produced better results, less risk of harm, and less recovery time.
The methods and approach developed by Dr. Danilyants and Dr. MacKoul accomplish exactly that: Women who undergo fibroid treatment with Dr. Danilyants experience a less invasive procedure, reduced pain, reduced likelihood of complications, and amazingly at a significantly reduced cost. The technique pioneered by Dr. Danilyants is known as the Laparoscopic Assisted Abdominal Myomectomy, known more commonly as the LAAM procedure. This groundbreaking procedure is able to remove fibroids of any size from any location in the uterus using just 2 small incisions: one tiny ½ inch incision at the belly button, and one small 1 inch and a half incision at the bikini line. LAAM is also able to remove multiple fibroids (because blood loss is controlled), unlike robotic or laparoscopic surgery. The efforts of Dr. Danilyants have been groundbreaking both in the operating room and in the billing office. In addition to the reduced cost of the procedure itself, the long term cost benefits of Dr. Danilyants’ procedure go beyond the initial treatment. The reduced recovery time and reduced risk of complications means her less invasive fibroid treatment is less likely to result in additional hospital stays or interventions due to infection, internal bleeding, or other complications.
Dr. Danilyants also tackled one of the more heartbreaking aspects of fibroid treatment that often goes undiscussed. While the societal mental image of fibroid sufferers tend to be older women, the reality is that the majority of sufferers are women of childbearing age. As previously mentioned, of the fibroid related hospital stays in the United States in 2000, 80% resulted in hysterectomies. Dr. Danilyants’ method of fibroid treatment reduces the need for a full hysterectomy, thereby increasing the number of women of childbearing age who remain able to become pregnant.
Dr. Danilyants focuses her efforts on dispelling and eliminating the common ‘watch and wait’ policy with regards to fibroids. Common practice has been to wait and see if fibroids become a problem, leaving potentially dangerous fibroids in the body simply because the patient does not yet exhibit negative symptoms related to it. With a procedure so simple, low risk, and cost efficient, Dr. Danilyants argues that allowing fibroids to remain within the patient can open them up to considerable risk later in life such as infertility, bleeding, uterine distortion, and extreme pain. With a treatment so accessible and readily available to women, Dr. Danilyants feels the risks of waiting are too many, and unnecessary to take.
With the vast majority of women likely to experience fibroids in their lifetimes, Dr. Danilyants’ work is both groundbreaking and potentially lifegiving. Her work in the field of medicine and women’s issues are not only an inspiration to women in healthcare, but women around the world. Learn more about Dr. Danilyants, LAAM and other minimally invasive GYN procedures at The Center for Innovative GYN Care at innovativegyn.com or give them a call at 888-787-4379.