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GYN-OB Advanced Robotics Surgery Fellowship Underway

Published August 1, 2013

The University at Buffalo’s Department of Gynecology-Obstetrics is now offering Western New York’s first fellowship in advanced gynecologic robotics surgery, in partnership with Kaleida Health.

“The fellowship stresses the importance of clinical education and research as a key to training surgeons in the latest technology for patients.”
Pankaj K. Singhal, MD, clinical associate professor of gynecology-obstetrics

Teaching, Research and Clinical Training

Through the program, fellows receive extensive robotic surgery training under the supervision of fellowship director Pankaj K. Singhal, MD, and other faculty in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

The fellowship stresses the “importance of clinical education and research as a key to training surgeons in the latest technology for patients,” says Singhal, clinical associate professor of gynecology-obstetrics and director of gynecologic oncology.

The ideal robotics fellow, he says, comes with a well-rounded gynecology background and a strong interest in robotics surgery, both from a clinical and a research perspective.

During the post-graduate program, the fellow teaches medical residents, serving as a junior faculty member. He or she may work closely with community gynecologists who perform laparoscopic surgery. In addition, the fellow can develop individual research interests, working alongside UB faculty from various departments.

New Techniques Surpass Laparoscopic Surgery

Minimally invasive, advanced gynecologic robotics surgery may be the most effective option for many women, with benefits surpassing laparoscopic surgery, says Singhal.

The small instruments used in this technique offer surgeons a human wrist-like motion, but with a full 360-degree rotation. This means surgeons can finely dissect anatomical structures and perform more complex procedures than before, Singhal explains.

The precision and delicacy of robotics benefits gynecological patients undergoing numerous procedures, including hysterectomy, removal of ovaries, lymph node dissection for cancer staging, surgery to repair uterine prolapse and myomectomy (removal of fibroid tumors) with minimal damage to preserve fertility, he adds. In addition “with less invasive procedures, we can look forward to less blood loss, less pain and quicker recovery."

Inaugural Fellow Chosen for 2012-2013

Following an extremely competitive application process, Sahar Chitgar, MD, was selected as the inaugural fellow; she will complete this specialized year-long learning experience in June 2013.

Chitgar completed her training at the John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County and Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago before joining the robotics surgery team at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital in Amherst, N.Y.