Lasers, Robots, and a Cast of Thousands

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital January 4, 2013

Dr. Gargiulo demonstrates his robotic technique to an audience of more than 1,000 surgeons.

Dr. Antonio Gargiulo, Medical Director of Robotic Surgery at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), has performed hundreds of computer-assisted laparoscopic surgeries, but the one he performed on October 22, 2012, was very special.

The surgery, a robotic myomectomy to remove a uterine fibroid tumor in a 29-year-old patient, was beamed live from Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital (BWFH) to an audience of more than 1000 fertility surgeons attending the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) meeting in San Diego, California. Over the course of two hours, Dr. Gargiulo narrated the ongoing surgery while answering a steady stream of questions from the audience via three moderators.

Dr. Gargiulo and members of the robotic team at the Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery (CIRS)  were chosen by ASRM to broadcast the procedure based on their innovative work in robotic reproductive surgery, such as performing the first single incision robotic myomectomy in 2012.

Read More »

Urogynecologists: Offering Women Help and Hope

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital December 13, 2012

Urogynecologists can help women with urinary incontinence and other urogynecologic conditions.

As a woman, you might notice it when you laugh, cough or sneeze — a small amount of urine leakage that is more than bothersome, it’s distressing. Urinary incontinence affects 30 to 50 percent of women, yet many are too embarrassed to seek help or believe that nothing can be done. But help is available.

Doctors known as urogynecologists specialize in treating this common yet sensitive condition. They also treat other gynecologic conditions that affect the female pelvic organs and the muscles and tissues supporting these organs. Examples of other conditions they treat include pelvic organ prolapse, frequent and sudden urges to urinate (overactive bladder), recurrent urinary tract infections, and bladder pain (interstitial cystitis).

Pelvic floor conditions can significantly impact a woman’s quality of life, resulting in embarrassment, discomfort, and a disruption to their daily activities. These conditions are experienced often by women who have had children and are in menopause, though they can affect women of all ages. These conditions are also more common than you may realize. The American Urogynecologic Association estimates that one in three women suffers from pelvic floor conditions.

Read More »

Confused about Flu Vaccinations? Get the Flu Facts.

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital December 4, 2012

Flu season begins in October and peaks in February. Even getting the flu vaccine in January or February may provide protection, especially if the flu season peaks late.

Contributor: Dr. Paul Sax is Clinical Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. His clinical interests include infectious diseases, such as influenza, the Zika virus, and HIV/AIDS.


Each fall, you probably see lots of messages urging you to get your annual flu vaccine.  But do you know why you need a flu vaccine every year and when is the best time to get vaccinated?  Read on to get the flu facts.

  • What is the flu? 

Influenza (flu) is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs caused by flu viruses.  Symptoms of the flu include fever, muscle aches, sore throat, and a nonproductive cough. There are three major groups of flu viruses: Types A, B, or C. Within each group there are many different strains of flu viruses and they change frequently. Type A and B flu strains cause the most serious illness.

Seasonal flu is not a specific type of flu virus.  It refers to the group of flu viruses that cause illness each year from late fall to early winter.  These viruses usually reappear each winter in slightly different forms.  Each spring, public health experts from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the World Health Organization (WHO) review scientific information to determine which flu viruses are most likely to cause illness in the upcoming flu season.

According to a study by the CDC, more than 200,000 people in the United States, on average, are hospitalized each year for illnesses associated with seasonal influenza virus infections. The flu also can be deadly. From 1976 to 2006, estimates of annual flu-associated deaths in the United States ranged from 3,000 to nearly 49,000 people.

Read More »