What Is A Urogynecologist?

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Dr. Goldstein CMYKBy: Dr. Howard Goldstein, Dr. Babak Vakili and Dr. Emily Saks

As Urogynecologists, we frequently hear this question. Many women have never heard of this specialty that focuses on very common problems of the pelvic floor, which involve different organ systems.

The medical term “pelvic floor” refers to the organs and systems in a woman’s pelvis. These structures include the bladder, uterus, vagina and rectum as well as the surrounding muscles, tissues, and nerves.  Because many of these organs are connected and are located in a very close area, problems with one organ or system often create problems with others.

Dr. Saks

A urogynecologist is a physician who completes an obstetrics and gynecology residency and then completes a fellowship in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery.  The fellowship consists of three years of additional training focusing on advanced treatment options including both surgical and non-surgical therapies used to treat problems with the pelvic floor.  During this three-year training, we spend a substantial amount of time training with urogynecologists, urologists, and colorectal specialists, among other specialties. This comprehensive training allows a urogynecologist to be well-versed in caring for women with a broad range of problems, including but not limited to urinary incontinence (leakage when you cough, exercise, have sex, move around, etc.) and pelvic organ prolapse (dropping of the bladder, bowels or uterus through the vagina).

Having a baby is one of the most common reasons women become incontinent or have other problems with organs in the pelvic area.  Training in obstetrics provides our physicians with tremendous insight and understanding about how the body changes after child birth.  Combining this understanding with our comprehensive fellowship training affords us the unique ability to treat problems that may affect – even years after having a baby – the systems and organs within the pelvic floor.

Dr. Vakili CMYK

Some of the most common problems women have include pelvic organ prolapse, the need to go to the bathroom often (overactive bladder) or leakage of urine (urinary incontinence).  Urogynecologists also treat patients with fecal incontinence (which is when a person cannot control her bowel movements), urinary tract infections and some types of pelvic pain.  Although most of these disorders are not life threatening or dangerous, they happen to women of all ages and can interfere with normal activities.  A urogynecologist can offer a variety of non-surgical treatment options such as medications, physical therapy and/or changes in diet, daily activities or the drugs you take. Some women also benefit from surgery. Surgical options can include same-day minimally-invasive procedures that can be done with little or no “down time” for recovery or major surgery that requires a brief hospital stay.

At the Christiana Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Surgery, you will meet three highly skilled physicians; the only fellowship-trained urogynecologists in the state of Delaware.  We are all board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology, have completed board-approved fellowships in urogynecology and female reconstructive surgery, and are actively researching management options and novel treatments for pelvic floor disorders. We bring advanced treatments and technologies and advanced surgical procedures to our patients—getting you back to feeling yourself and living your life to the fullest!

Howard B. Goldstein, D.O., MPH, is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He completed a fellowship in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, N.J. He currently serves as the Director of Research and Education for the Division of Urogynecology.

Emily K. Saks, M.D., MSCE, is a urogynecologist with the Christiana Care Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Surgery.  Dr. Saks completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia and has completed a fellowship in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery at the Hospital of the University of
Pennsylvania.

Babak Vakili, M.D. is the director of the Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Surgery.  Dr. Vakili is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  He completed a fellowship in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery at the Louisiana State University Health Science Center in New Orleans, LA.

The Christiana Care Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Surgery is located in Suite 1208 of Medical Arts Pavilion 2, on the campus of Christiana Hospital in Newark.  Appointments are also available at the Christiana Care Center for Women’s Health, 3706 Kennett Pike in Greenville.  To schedule an appointment, call 302-623-4055.

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