Petitioning ACOG to Change the Standards of Care for Endometriosis Patients

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is being challenged by members of the endometriosis community, both patients and excision surgeons alike, in a new petition this week written by Casey Berna, a social worker, and patient advocate. Delays in diagnosis, ineffectual and impartial treatments of the disease, and a failure to update coding to include excision techniques, create unnecessary suffering for patients. In his March 2017 article, ACOG’s Tom Gellhaus, MD shared that up to “63 percent of general practitioners feel uncomfortable diagnosing and treating patients with endometriosis, and as many as half are unfamiliar with the three main symptoms of the disease.” This is a systemic problem.

Dr. Tamer Seckin has been an outspoken advocate for patients when it comes to changing the standards of care for endometriosis. He feels that part of the issue is that “ACOG is financed by drug companies.” ACOG admits on their website that “Developers and manufacturers of pharmaceutical agents and medical devices assist physicians in the pursuit of their educational goals and objectives through financial support of various medical, research, and educational programs.” They go on to say that “Physicians have a primary responsibility to act as protectors of the interests of their patients.” As many practitioners push palliative hormone treatments over excision surgery, the complete removal of endometriosis lesions, the question that must be answered is why? Do pharmaceutical interests outweigh the best interest of endometriosis patients?

ACOG very much focuses on obstetrics. They focus much less on preparing practitioners to do minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, never mind supporting the extensive training needed to perform endometriosis excision surgery. It is important to focus on training doctors to provide early diagnosis and advocating complete excision of the disease that is then sent to pathology to be verified.”
-Dr. Seckin
Co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America

Dr. Seckin feels strongly that, “ACOG very much focuses on obstetrics. They focus much less on preparing practitioners to do minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, never mind supporting the extensive training needed to perform endometriosis excision surgery.” He goes on to say that “it is important to focus on training doctors to provide early diagnosis and advocating complete excision of the disease that is then sent to pathology to be verified.”

If patients, advocates, and surgical experts are calling for change, it is hoped that ACOG can make further improvements to ensure that patients suffering from endometriosis can better receive the minimally invasive treatment that they both need and deserve. Dr. Seckin remembers a time when laparoscopic surgery was considered too experimental by leaders in ACOG. While that has since changed, it wasn’t easy. In an article dating back to 2008, former SLS President William Kelley Jr., MD, wrote, “Authoritative institutions must be convinced of the safety and efficacy of the changes relative to the comfortable status quo. Momentum always favors inertia. Fears must be overcome: fear of making mistakes, fear of failure, fear of established procedures becoming obsolete, and fear of established authorities losing control. Successful change requires timing and a force more powerful than the status quo.” [Kelley, William E. (2008) The Evolution of Laparoscopy and the Revolution in Surgery in the Decade of the 1990s JSLS. 2008 Oct-Dec; 12(4): 351–357].

Be the force. Break the status quo.

Click here to sign the petition.

 

 

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  • Rachel Grobman

    Dr.Seckin is so much more than a surgeon. His passion for helping endometriosis sufferers and determination to improve the quality of life in all of his patients is undeniable. I remember when my gynecologist first told me I needed a laparoscopy. Her exact words were "I can do the surgery, but if you were MY daughter- I'd send you to…

  • Esin Kocabiyik

    I was there for hysterectomy but then I found out that I also had endometriosis.My both surgeries went excellent and I feel great!.I am so thankful to Dr.Seckin and all his team for making my journey smooth!

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    I am a physician who suffered from deep infiltrative endometriosis. I needed laparoscopic surgery, so I went to see my former gynaecologist and he performed the procedure (a surgery which he supposedly does hundreds of times a year) last November. I had severe pain again when I had my period in January and was advised to go on taking a…

  • Grace Larsen

    After years of excessively painful periods, a serious loss of quality of life, and a series of uninformed and uninterested doctors, Dr. Seckin and Dr. Goldstein turned my life around. I was told I woke up from my surgery almost a year ago with a smile on my face, and I haven't stopped since. Before I heard of Dr. Seckin,…

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    Dr Seckin and his team gave me back my life! Tomorrow will be 1 month since my surgery and I feel great. Dr. Seckin, Dr Liu, and Dr Goldstein are not only beyond words talented and amazing Doctors, but they are also genuinely wonderful and caring people. I cannot say enough great things about Holly, Asiye and Kim as well.…

  • Anna Lu

    Dr. Seckin and his staff spared me from years and years of heavy periods and unbearable endometriosis pain. After having surgery with him (my first) I can now function like a regular human. No more eating NSAIDs like candy and calling out sick from work. Thank you, Dr. Seckin!