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.

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Uterine Fibroids: New Research May Lead to Screening and Treatment

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital December 5, 2012

Dr. Morton's research team has discovered a genetic risk for developing uterine fibroids.

If you’re living with uterine fibroids, you’re not alone. The good news: research from BWH will lead to improved screening strategies and better treatments.

Uterine fibroids, the most common type of pelvic tumors in women, can contribute to fertility challenges and are the leading cause of hysterectomy in the United States. Found in 75 percent of women of reproductive age, they are benign and also can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain, and pregnancy complications.

The new research from BWH shows the discovery of a genetic risk allele (an alternative form of a gene) for uterine fibroids in white women. The research team analyzed genetic data from over 7,000 white women because none of the study groups contained  enough black women to provide meaningful scientific results in this population. This finding will pave the way for new screening strategies and treatments for uterine fibroids.

“Our discovery foretells a path to personalized medicine for women who have a genetic basis for development of uterine fibroids,” said Cynthia Morton, PhD, Director of the Center for Uterine Fibroids and the senior study author. “Identification of genetic risk factors may provide valuable insight into medical management.”