Helpful Information about the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Hoag Gynecologic Oncology (HGO) continues to monitor the situation around the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Our top priority is the health and safety of our patients, staff, and physicians. At the present time we are continuing to care for our patients both in the office and in the hospital. We continue to perform scheduled surgeries, including elective surgeries. If you are sick with respiratory symptoms please call to check if you should keep your planned appointment or surgery or reschedule.

The recommendations regarding the COVID-19 situation are rapidly developing and changing in response to new information. Please keep yourself informed with reliable sources, we are using the CDC’s information page and recommend this to our patients. More information about symptoms, prevention and updates can be found on the CDC website.

What We Know

Coronaviruses are a family of common viruses that can cause respiratory illness. The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and range from mild to severe. These may include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Respiratory failure
    • Symptoms have been most severe in patients with chronic underlying health conditions, people over age 60, and those who are immunosuppressed, such as our patients receiving chemotherapy.

What You Can Do

You can protect yourself from COVID-19 infection the same ways you protect against the common cold or seasonal flu.

  • Sanitize your hands often for at least 20 seconds each time. Alcohol gel works well in most situations (like after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose), but hand-washing with soap and water should be performed after going to the bathroom, before eating, or when your hands are visibly soiled.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. (Putting a tissue on a table contaminates the surface of the table with germs.)
  • Avoid air travel and cruises.
  • Do not travel to areas with known outbreak; check the CDC for updates.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Limit close contact (within 6 feet) with in public and avoid large gatherings.
  • Do not visit hospital patients if you are ill in order to protect patients, visitors and staff. Visitation may be limited at the discretion of the medical providers and hospital staff at any time.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Routinely disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, using a cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Avoid travel to high-risk countries. Non-essential travel to or through any of the countries for which the CDC has issued a level 2 or 3 travel health notice is discouraged.

Stop – Call Your Doctor and Do Not Come Into the Clinic

  1. Have you OR someone you have close contact with traveled from China, Iran, Japan, South Korea, or Italy in the last 30 days?

  2. Have you had close contact with a suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 individual in the last 30 days?

  3. Have you had fever or signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) in the last 14 days?

Stay informed

The CDC has the most current information about the virus, including everything you need to know about how the virus spreads, how it’s treated, how to protect yourself, and what to do if you get sick. Stay on top of the latest news by visiting the following websites, which are being updated frequently.

We’re excited to offer a new electronic system with patient portal access coming soon.  Please check back for updates.

When it comes to treatment options, GOA realizes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Because of this, your surgical team will work with you to design a customized treatment plan that works best for you. To provide you with the highest quality care, GOA offers a variety of treatment options. To find the best option or combination of options that is right for you, book a consultation with GOA today!

Surgery:

Surgery is one treatment option offered by GOA. We offer advanced robotic minimally-invasive cancer surgery and radical cancer surgery. To learn more about your surgical options, visit our surgical pages or book a consultation.

Chemotherapy:

Chemotherapy is a common treatment for advanced GYN cancers such as ovarian and endometrial, and may also be used in the treatment of cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancers. GOA has our own infusion center and can offer patients outpatient chemotherapy treatment in the comfort of our office. This allows you to have familiar, certified nurses monitoring and taking care of you, as well as a GOA physician down the hall at all times.

Immunotherapy:

Immunotherapy is a new and exciting realm of treatment for GYN cancer. While the benefits of immunotherapy have been known for other cancers, its application to GYN cancers is still currently being explored. So far, recent studies have shown that immunotherapy can be especially beneficial in the treatment of uterine and cervical cancers. Immunotherapy can work in a variety of ways including blocking the cancer, stimulating the immune system, and turning one’s own cancer into a vaccine to fight their cancer.

Biological Therapies:

Biological therapies target genetic weakness in cancer. In the case of ovarian cancer, they can help target blood supply to the cancer or cell repair pathways that allow cancer cells to keep growing. These treatment options are divers and their use in individualized to achieve the best outcome for each woman we see. To find out if this type of therapy, alone or in combination with chemotherapy, could be right for you, book a consultation today!

Advanced robotic minimally invasive gynecology surgery is an alternative to traditional open surgery and has been important in gynecological surgery for both benign and cancerous conditions. Robotic surgery has become the preferred method for treating many women’s cancers. Through the use of the da Vinci surgical systems, doctors are able to complete complex surgeries in a minimally invasive and safe manner. Using the surgeon’s console, the surgeon’s movements are translated onto one of four arms and replicated by the robot through tiny incisions. This allows surgeons to make smaller incisions, decreasing her postoperative discomfort, and shortening the recovery period after surgery.

Did you know…

Advanced robotic minimally invasive gynecology surgery at GOA is generally performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning our patients are often able to go home the same day as the surgery instead of having to remain at the hospital overnight.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of Advanced Robotic Minimally Invasive Gynecology Surgery?

Advanced robotic minimally invasive gynecology surgery has been found to be easier to perform with improved visualization for the surgeon, and benefits patients in many ways including: less postoperative pain, decreased blood loss, a lower risk of infection, and a shorter time spent recovering in the hospital and overall. In addition, it gives the option of a minimally invasive surgical technique to women who were previously unable to receive vaginal or traditional laparoscopic surgery due to a lack of eligibility.

Am I a Candidate for Advanced Robotic Minimally Invasive Gynecology Surgery?

You may be a candidate for advanced robotic minimally invasive gynecology surgery if you have any of the conditions listed below, or if you are at a high risk for traditional open surgery. To find out if you are an ideal candidate for advanced robotic minimally invasive gynecology surgery, book a consultation with Gynecologic Oncology Associates today!

What Conditions Can Benefit from Robotic Minimally Invasive Gynecology Surgery?

There are many conditions that can benefit from Minimally Invasive Gynecology Surgery. Here are just a few that we manage at GOA:

Radical cancer surgery is the name given to describe a surgical procedure in which surgeons remove all tumor and a margin of normal tissue. In some cases nearby lymph nodes, and other tissues at risk for harboring cancer, may also be removed. Due to the nature of radical cancer surgery, having the right approach is paramount to operative success.

At GOA, our physicians have all undergone extensive, specialized training in radical cancer surgical procedures including: ovarian cancer debulking, bowel surgery, urinary tract surgery, radical hysterectomy, and the radical excision of vulvar and vaginal cancers. At GOA we also apply a multi- disciplinary approach to radical cancer surgery. We believe by working with our colleagues in plastic surgery, anesthesia, and occasionally other specialists such as palliative care physicians and physical therapists, we can help our patients achieve their best outcomes, maintain sexual function, and preserve their quality of life.

GOA surgeons also utilize the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) pathway. The ERAS pathway is centered around understanding our patient’s biology to improve their experience and reduce their recovery time and pain after major surgery. By empowering our patients to be an active participant in their recovery with ERAS, after surgery GOA patients require fewer narcotics, suffer from less constipation, are able to return to eating normally sooner, and have a recovery period that is, on average, two days faster. There are four main stages of the ERAS pathway:

  1. Planning and Preparing Before Surgery
  2. Reducing the Physical Stress of the Surgery
  3. A Pain Relief Plan
  4. Early Feeding and Movement After Surgery

Did You Know….

Studies have shown that women with cancer who have their radical surgery with a gynecological oncologist are more likely to have an optimal debulking procedure (complete removal of all visible cancer)? This impacts patients’ survival.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will I be able to get up, walk, and eat after my surgery?

For most patients, you will start doing these normal things as part of an enhanced recovery the same day as your surgery. Some patients may begin this recovery the next morning. Either way, we work with our nursing teams to make sure our patients are feeling encouraged and are on a fast path to a quick recovery as soon as possible.

What types of cancers require advanced radical cancer surgery?

Ovarian cancer, advanced uterine cancer, early cervical cancer, some vulvar, and vaginal cancers may all require radical surgery. To find out if you may need such a procedure or are a candidate for a more minimally invasive procedure, make an appointment for a consultation today!

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