Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Fellowship

The overall goal of the Fellowship is for the graduate to serve as an independent specialist and consultant in the surgical management using minimally invasive technique for benign gynecologic conditions surpassing competence expected at the end of a categorical residency. Graduates will provide top quality patient care and education, and be leaders and innovators in gynecologic minimally invasive surgery and in the treatment of advanced gynecologic disorders such as uterine fibroid, pelvic pain, endometriosis, pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, and menopausal care. They will have a broad understanding of advanced gynecologic disorders, especially ones that often end in a surgical intervention. In addition, they will have gained extensive surgical and clinical expertise that focuses not only on laparoscopic surgery; but also on advanced abdominal and vaginal surgery. They will have gained an excellent understanding of research methodology and evidence based practice principles.

The progress of the MIS fellowship is monitored during the entire 2-year period, and the graduating fellow is expected to become fully proficient in the following areas: management of complex benign and preinvasive gynecologic disease requiring surgical intervention; advanced knowledge of surgical techniques and equipment, pelvic anatomy and statistics. The fellowship will also focus on gaining expertise in robotic and traditional laparoscopic and hysteroscopic techniques. In addition, each fellow is expected to perform research which results in a thesis acceptable for board certification.

The training consists of a minimum of two years of continuous education following completion of an obstetrics and gynecology residency and includes formal rotations on MIGS services. A portion of the program will be devoted to clinical and/or laboratory research and fellows must conduct at least one research project under the guidance of a faculty who can mentor them in clinical research relevant to minimally invasive gynecology. The faculty consists of board certified and fellowship trained specialists in the following areas: Minimally Invasive Surgery, Gynecologic Oncology, Reproductive Endocrinology, Urogynecology and Colorectal Surgery.

During each rotation, fellows will have approximately two days each week dedicated to operative experience. They will obtain sufficient breadth and depth of gynecologic cases to encompass a wide array of pathology, operative techniques and clinical competencies. Fellows will also obtain experience in teaching residents and students appropriate surgical skills based on the level and experience of the fellow.

A substantial portion of laparoscopic hysterectomies, myomectomies, and lysis of adhesions/endometriosis surgeries are performed robotically. Fellows will be able to participate in nearly all cases.

Our surgeons are skilled and experienced in using advanced technology to perform minimally invasive procedures. For robotic surgery, we use the latest, most advanced robotic technology available, the da Vinci surgical system. We are committed to innovation, equipping our surgeons with sophisticated technology so they can offer innovative surgical procedures here in our community.

Danbury Hospital has a comprehensive, quality simulation center geared toward surgical training of fellows. The Center includes computerized laparoscopic simulators and a high-fidelity robotic stimulator. These tools are open to our fellows 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Additionally, the Center includes equipment for a clinical case simulation. The Horblit Health Sciences Library & Multimedia Services Department is staffed by three Masters level librarians and a multimedia coordinator. In addition to a robust clinical program, the MIGS fellows will devote six months to research and have many opportunities to present at local and national meetings as well as publish original research.

The Department of OBGYN has an abundance of resources and is well-versed in conducting clinical studies. The Department is also supported by resources in the form of mentorship by a number of faculty members, intellectual guidance by the fellowship director and associate fellowship director who are well-published in clinical studies and resources for translational research available at the Rudy L. Ruggles Biomedical Research Institute (RRBRI) at WCHN. Founded in 2009, RRBRI is a 17,000 -square-facility houses state-of -the-art equipment for basic and translational research and complements ongoing clinical research, including clinical trials and epidemiologic studies, being conducted at our three partner hospitals at Danbury, Norwalk and New Milford. RRBRI encourages an environment of collaborative research where scientists with expertise in a myriad of fields, share resources and knowledge across institutional and disciplinary lines.