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Qualifications of an Endometriosis Specialist

by | Posted on July 29, 2020

Qualifications of an Endometriosis Specialist

Finding the right endometriosis specialist takes research. Specialists will have different backgrounds and experience. They may belong to different organizations or have achieved certain milestones in their careers. But there are some qualifications they must have that should be non-negotiable to you if you are to get the best care possible. This page shares those qualifications to help you find the right path.

There are several qualifications that you want in an endometriosis specialist. This page and the ones titled “Finding the Right Endometriosis Specialist” and “What to Ask an Endometriosis Specialist” should be used together in your search. The following five points are absolute musts. There should be no compromise. Even three or four out of five isn’t enough if you want to be certain that you are receiving the best care possible. You should be able to find this information in online reviews, from other patients, and/or by calling the specialists directly and asking.

  1. Every endometriosis specialist is a gynecologist, but not every gynecologist is an endometriosis specialist.
    A gynecologist specializes in women’s reproductive health, and going to one as a starting point for your pelvic pain or other symptoms is not a bad idea – they may be able to refer you to a specialist if they aren’t one themselves. To be an endometriosis specialist, they should have specific training in endometriosis cases, be it from a residency program, working with doctors who have handled such cases, or by seeking their own special endometriosis training. Many gynecologists do not know about endometriosis.
    Many gynecologists have little, if any, experience in dealing with endometriosis patients. It is not required in medical school, which is something I continue to work on changing.
  2. You want a specialist who has had a large volume of cases in laparoscopy. Laparoscopic surgery is when tiny incisions are made in the abdominal and pelvic region, and a laparoscope is inserted so that the surgeon can visually see the abdomen and pelvic cavity to identify any endometriosis. Endometriosis surgery, as complicated as it is, does not require you to be opened up like heart surgery or have huge scars. It is minimally invasive surgery.
  3. If it is determined that surgery is what you need to remove the endometriosis, your specialist’s method for removal should be deep excision surgery using cold scissors, or using a low-voltage carbon dioxide laser. Both methods can be done laparoscopically. The deep-excision method  with cold scissors is the only one I use and the closest method we have to a cure. The low-voltage carbon dioxide laser is a special kind of instrument that can produce results similar to cold scissors. No other kind of laser surgery should be acceptable; it can do more harm than good, no matter how skilled the surgeon is.
  4. Your specialist should have experience with the bowel area, namely the rectum. Or, your specialist should have a bowel specialist on their surgical team. Endometriosis is a disease of the area between the posterior vagina and anterior rectum. To think that only the vagina or uterus are involved is a fallacy. The rectum is almost always involved. If the specialist is afraid to do anything around the rectum, you need to find another specialist.
  5. In relation to No. 4, the specialist should do a vaginal/rectal exam when you visit them, and that should be the first question you ask before making an appointment: “Do you do a full vaginal/rectal exam?” If they say no, say thank you and find another specialist. Many do only a vaginal exam, but that’s not enough. As I stated, endometriosis is almost always in the bowel area and a source of your pain. A rectal exam helps the doctor feel where the rectum meets the cervix, which is the most common area for endometriosis to be. If your doctor does not do a full vaginal/rectal exam, I don’t know how they could possibly know everything that is going on in your body.

These five points, along with what you will read on the “Finding the Right Endometriosis Specialist” and “What to Ask an Endometriosis Specialist” pages, are vital in finding the right endometriosis specialist.

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Our endometriosis specialists are dedicated to providing patients with expert care. Whether you have been diagnosed or are looking to find a doctor, they are ready to help.

Our office is located on 872 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10065.
You may call us at (646) 960-3080 or have your case reviewed by clicking here.

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