What Makes Us Different is Our Approach to Vaginal Surgery
Vaginal surgery expertise comes from years of experience and an approach to each surgery with the eye of an artist. Both Dr. Veronikis and Dr. Wood focus on creating the ultimate surgical experience for each patient maximizing the patient outcome in one vaginal surgery – comprehensive reconstruction. What makes them different is they not only have the unique training in vaginal surgeries; but they perform over 800 major reconstructive surgeries each year. Their reputation for success and surgical expertise speaks for itself.
Dr. Veronikis trained during his fellowship with Dr. David Nichols, a well-respected historical surgeon and figure within pelvic floor reconstructive surgery and specifically vaginal surgery. Following several years of an expanding practice, Dr. Veronikis chose Dr. Wood to train in a fellowship to also surgically care for women utilizing the skills and techniques that he had further refined and developed. At the conclusion of her fellowship, she joined his practice, and together they remain devoted to treating complicated gynecologic surgical conditions.
The surgical modality Dr. Veronikis and Dr. Wood choose for a patient’s condition varies upon the needs of the patient and is guided by the pursuit of the most non-invasive methods. Most commonly, this approach is vaginal, which allows the fastest recovery time and no incisions at all on the abdomen. Unfortunately, vaginal surgery has decreased in training programs across the country because of struggles to create exposure and to visualize the anatomy when operating in the vagina. Dr. Veronikis has created an extensive surgical instrumentation set that allows both he and Dr. Wood to operate with constant stable retraction. Without the need for assistants holding instruments into the sidewalls, they are able to visualize and operate within spaces and structures that other surgeons cannot within the vagina. Additionally, the patients report less pain and discomfort with this retraction system.
Recognized as Leaders in Vaginal Surgery by Their Peers
Dr. Veronikis and Dr. Wood have presented educational training videos on the surgical principles of exposure, instrumentation, retraction, and other methods that facilitate vaginal surgery at several local, regional, and national meetings, including the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Annual Clinical Meeting and the Society for Gynecologic Surgeons (SGS). They are frequently asked to present Grand Rounds and educational seminars on their standardized surgical techniques and successful outcomes to other attending physicians, residents, and medical students.
As more and more data becomes available regarding the disadvantages of robotic hysterectomy, more training programs and institutions have become interested in restablishing their educational opportunities for vaginal hysterectomy and surgery. Although Dr. Veronikis and Dr. Wood are each trained in robotic surgery, and he was the first in the state of Missouri to perform a robotic sacrocolpopexy in 2003, they find no advantage to use of the robot as opposed to the least invasive utilization of vaginal surgery with actually improved outcomes when operating vaginally. This is in agreement with several papers in the literature and with statements from the governing leaders of ACOG that vaginal hysterectomy is the modality to utilize in cases of benign disease. Dr. Veronikis and Dr. Wood advocate for their patient’s best interests to educate them on the data and science and help to explain the marketing and industry influences; this counseling provides patients the most unbiased view.
“Do it once, do it right” – this is the motto that Dr. Veronikis and Dr. Wood embody in their practice. With nearly 50% of their patients presenting with persistent or recurrent symptoms after prior operations, our practice sees the effects that repetitive surgeries have on the vaginal function and structure in addition to the emotional and financial strain on the patient.
From prolapse to mesh complications and fistulas to vaginal agenesis, the most complicated and detailed gynecologic pelvic surgeries are encountered and treated by Dr. Veronikis and Dr. Wood each day. Their training, reputation, and successful outcomes offer patients the opportunity to have the least invasive of pelvic surgery to treat their symptoms. This practice is where surgical art meets science.