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On-site reporting from the Society of Gynecologic Surgeons (SGS) 41st Meeting

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SGS Fellow reports for OBG Management. Tune in for days 1, 2, and 3 coverage.



3/24/15, Day 3 at SGS

Many topics, many learning opportunities

The morning’s focus topics at SGS were divided up in small-group academic roundtables, with 15 experts in the field providing authoritative know-how and guidance to attendees. Topics ranged from tips for in-bag tissue extraction, endometriosis surgery, surviving health care transformation, cost-effectiveness, and single-site surgery to innovative treatments for fecal incontinence.

In the main hall, the fourth scientific session included oral presentations and videos that focused on anatomic landmarks and variations and included data presentation from an interesting prospective randomized trial in which the authors found bladder support is reduced by pregnancy, regardless of delivery method.

The highlight of the morning was certainly the debate over "power" morcellation. Dr. Cheryl Iglesia moderated in her charming and comical manner. Dr. Andrew Sokol and Dr. Jubilee Brown argued that power morcellation still should be available to a select group of appropriately chosen, low-risk women, and backed their arguments up with solid data. Dr. Eric Sokol, Andrew’s twin (and better looking, per him) brother, and Dr. Carl Zimmerman argued against the use of power morcellation, instead urging everyone in the audience to perform more vaginal hysterectomies. Though spirited and based largely on sound medical evidence, the debate did not have a clear winner. The overall consensus seemed to be that this controversial topic needed further evaluation and more data to support either claim.

"Sesame street graduates” and andragogy

We were then honored to have Vice President for Education, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Dr. Sandra Carson as the esteemed TeLinde Lecturer. Her talk, “Teaching Medicine and Surgery to Sesame Street Graduates,” outlined the challenges in teaching surgery to a new generation of ObGyn residents as well as identified opportunities for improvement. She restated what seems to be the running theme at SGS this year: young faculty and residents are losing the skill for vaginal hysterectomy.

Dr. Carson introduced members of the audience to the adult theory of learning called andragogy. Adults like active learning, which is problem centered, rather than content oriented; linking new concepts to prior experience; and learning what is relevant to them, she noted. Then she shared ACOG’s strategies for applying these learning principles in resident education. She discussed ACOG’s recently formed Vaginal Hysterectomy Teaching Taskforce, which has put together a simulation consortium online toolkit and a surgical skills module to help educate residents on vaginal hysterectomy techniques. This toolkit and module can be accessed by doing a quick search after signing into the ACOG Web site.

Dr. Carson, a reproductive endocrinologist formerly at Brown University, is also now an honorary member of SGS.

Wise words from a wise physician

In his presidential address Dr. Stephen Metz acknowledged that all physicians are subject to even subtle “conflicts of interest,” reminding us to treat our patients as people not as a disease or a procedure.

“What does my patient really want from me? She wants me to get to know her to develop the right recommendations for her,” he said. His career has spanned multiple decades, and his service to the field of gynecology is outstanding. He received a well-deserved standing ovation at the end of his address.

Sport and socialization a necessity in sunny Florida!

The afternoon adjourned after the business meeting, and members were able to play golf, tennis, paddleboard in Winter Park, or just relax at the resort. Congratulations to the winners of the golf tournament (Drs. Hopkins, Rasmussen, Hurd, and Flora) and the tennis tournament (Dr. Ted Lee)!

Everyone convened at the outside terrace for the evening “Mojito Night in the Caribbean” reception, sharing good times, cocktails, and hors d’oeuvres. Proceeds from each ticket sold helped support Surgeons Helping Advance Research and Education (SHARE).

Tomorrow looks to be an excellent conclusion to a well-planned and very well-executed meeting. Kudos, and large thanks, to the SGS leadership.

3/23/15, Day 2 at SGS

Surgeons from 17 countries converge

The first day of the SGS scientific sessions was another energetic and interactive day. Sixteen new SGS members were recognized and welcomed in the main conference hall. Dr. Charles Rardin presented a brief overview and some basic statistics related to this year’s meeting—the largest ever in the history of SGS. A total of 401 attendees representing 17 countries are here in Orlando for SGS 2015!

In the first scientific session, oral presentations touched on the subjects of preoperative dexamethasone use, vaginal packing, surgical site infections, and a new treatment modality for fecal incontinence. An excellent technique video on laparoscopic ureterolysis by Dr. Cara King then followed, in which she demonstrated excellent surgical skills with amazingly clear anatomy. Her video was recognized later in the day with a well-deserved award—congratulations!


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UnitedHealthcare requires prior authorization for many hysterectomies

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