Gynecologists specializing in routine to complex women’s health matters
Helping women achieve total health through all stages of life.
Find Your Well
Get complete well-woman care with maintenance exams, screenings and counseling. Our gynecology care team at UW Medical Center is recognized nationally by U.S. News & World Report for patient care and outcomes.
Timing Is Everything
Receive expert counseling about family planning and birth control, whether you’re trying to get pregnant now, avoiding pregnancy or planning for the future.
Some of our common services:
Uterine biopsies may be indicated for various forms of irregular bleeding or ultrasound abnormalities of the uterus. This is an office procedure requiring no anesthesia. Biopsies of the vulvar or vaginal areas can be done under local anesthesia if indicated.
Our care includes a full range of family planning services, including a growing variety of birth control options, pre-pregnancy planning, infertility evaluations, treatment for miscarriage, termination of pregnancy and counseling.
We offer several hormonal contraceptive options including birth control pills and shots. We also perform IUD insertion and removal. We offer both the copper IUD and the progesterone-containing IUDs. You may also ask your provider about permanent birth control options.
In the case of an abnormal Pap smear, we often need to perform a colposcopy. This is a more in-depth exam of the cervix during which we may take biopsies of abnormal areas on the cervix. This can be performed in any of our locations and does not require anesthesia. Some Pap smear abnormalities can be followed by serial Pap smears.
In some cases, however, a LEEP procedure may be required to remove high grade or persistently abnormal cells on the cervix. This is done in the office under local anesthetic. It can also be done in the operating room under general anesthesia.
At UW Medicine, you will find specialists in the field of complex gynecology who are available for initial consultations or second opinions for:
- Dysplasia and HPV disease, including those requiring colposcopy (or LEEP)
- Family planning for routine birth control and family planning services for medically complex patients
- Gynecologic surgery consultation, including robotic and minimally invasive surgery
- Pediatric and adolescent gynecology services
If you have gynecologic cancer, you’ll be in good hands with one of our gynecologic oncologists. Our cancer experts specialize in the assessment and treatment of cancers and pre-invasive disease in a woman’s reproductive system.
Any cancer that begins in a woman's reproductive system is gynecologic cancer. The most common types are cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulvar. Regardless of the type you have, you can count on our team of gynecologic cancer experts to find the best treatment approach for you.
Each patient is different and needs a treatment program designed to treat their unique situation. Our multidisciplinary team of gynecologic cancer experts will develop a personalized treatment plan based on the type and stage of your cancer, as well as your genetics, life circumstances and other factors unique to you.
Preparing for surgery
There are certain things you will need to do before surgery. These preparations depend on the type of surgery and the type of anesthesia you will receive. Your doctor or surgeon will discuss these preparations with you before the procedure.
On the day of surgery, you will check in and be taken to the pre-surgical area. Afterward you will be taken into the operating room. You will be given an IV line for providing medications or general anesthesia, if necessary, and the anesthesiologist will review your medical history with you.
Many patients feel fatigued after surgery. Recovery takes time, so make sure to get plenty of rest and listen to your body. The type of surgery you had dictates the amount of time you’ll need to resume your normal activities. It’s important to follow post-operative instructions to aid your recovery.
We have the most advanced da Vinci robotic systems in the Puget Sound area. Compared to open abdominal surgery, the benefits of robotic-assisted surgery include:
- Shorter operative time and hospital stay
- Less bleeding
- Less postoperative pain
- Fewer wound complications, such as infection
- Improved cosmetic results
- Faster return to normal activities
The gynecologic oncologists at UW Medicine and SCCA specialize in treating women’s cancers with surgery, radiation and cancer-fighting medications. Our cancer care physicians are experts in all treatment modalities including hormonal therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and targeted biologic treatments. If chemotherapy is part of your treatment plan, the type and delivery of medication will depend on the type and stage of cancer being treated. It may be delivered orally or by infusion directly into your bloodstream or abdomen.
UW Medicine has comfortable, specially designed infusion suites staffed with expert chemotherapy-certified nurses and gynecologic oncologists.
Gynecologic surgery can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including abnormal uterine bleeding, endometriosis, pelvic pain, ovarian cysts and fibroids. Surgery can be performed by employing several different methods, including vaginal, laparoscopy and robot-assisted. Most of these are minimally invasive and involve small to no incisions.
Our providers will perform a thorough evaluation of your problem to determine the best, and safest, course of treatment to meet your specific needs.
A minimally invasive procedure that typically takes less than an hour to complete. A hysteroscopy involves inserting a small, tube-enclosed camera into the uterus to view the uterine cavity and cervical canal. Thin instruments can be passed through the tube allowing the physician to diagnose and treat conditions of the uterus.
A surgical approach in which a doctor inserts a thin, tube-enclosed camera through a series of small, thin incisions to view and manipulate a patient’s internal organs. Laparoscopy is a low risk treatment that offers a quick recovery.
The da Vinci Surgical System provides surgeons with an advanced set of instruments to use in performing robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery.
The term "robotic" can be confusing, but it's important to note that robots do not perform surgery. Instead, the da Vinci system translates a surgeon’s hand movements via an instrument console in real time, enabling surgeons to operate in great detail through one or a few small incisions.
Contrasted with other forms of surgery, the da Vinci system reduces operation time and hospital stay; shortens postoperative recovery times; lessens the likelihood of complications and infections; provides improved cosmetic results; and allows for a faster return to normal activities.
We offer the following in-office procedures:
This procedure removes tissue from the cervix to test for precancerous or cancerous cells. A cervical biopsy may be done when abnormalities are found during a pelvic exam, when abnormal cells are found during a Pap test or when a test is positive for human papillomavirus (HPV).
During this procedure, a small tissue sample is taken from the uterus (endometrium) to look for abnormal cells. A uterine or endometrial biopsy is typically done when there is abnormal bleeding before or after menopause. The biopsy can show cell changes related to hormone levels or unusual tissue such as fibroids or polyps that can lead to abnormal bleeding.
After an abnormal Pap smear result, a colposcopy is often performed to detect signs of disease. Performed in the clinic, this procedure allows close evaluation of the vagina and cervix to help determine whether any areas appear abnormal and should be biopsied for further study.
Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is used to diagnose and treat abnormal or cancerous conditions in a woman’s lower genital tract, including the cervix and vagina. LEEP removes cells and tissue for testing, and the removal of abnormal cells allows for growth of healthy tissue. A LEEP may be done in the office or at the hospital, depending on your condition and your provider’s preferences.
A visit to the gynecologist can be an opportunity to educate girls about puberty, female development, women’s health, reproductive health and sexuality. The Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology Program, available only at UW Medicine and Seattle Children's, provides comprehensive evaluation and specialized treatment for gynecologic issues in infants, children and adolescents.
Medical innovation and discovery improve patient care, advance scientific knowledge, and prevent and treat diseases. If you’re a gynecology or gynecologic cancer patient at UW Medicine, we invite you to participate in research and clinical trials, which may allow you access to new and promising therapies.
Our UW Medicine providers are experts in gynecological health issues for women of all ages, including women needing midlife and menopausal care. We are trained to identify and treat the following health concerns:
- Urinary and vaginal infections
- Heavy, irregular or painful periods
- Severe PMS symptoms
- Pelvic pain
- Abnormal bleeding at any age
- Hormonal issues
- Urinary incontinence
Many kinds of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be successfully treated when diagnosed early. STDs are diagnosed through physical examination, blood tests or swabbed cultures. Some STDs can be cured with antibiotic, antifungal or antiviral medication; others have no cure but can be managed with medication. In the case of genital warts, cryotherapy — or the freezing of warts with liquid nitrogen — may be a treatment option.
We're committed to providing thorough and timely follow-up on all lab tests and diagnostic imaging. While it can take up to two weeks for results to be returned, typically we’re able to get them back to you faster. You will receive your test results during an in-person appointment, via a phone call or through the online MyChart portal (if you are signed up).
Women should have yearly exams to prevent health problems from starting or to identify them early so they can be treated. With basic wellness exams and screenings, our women’s health team is dedicated to overseeing your health needs as a woman to enhance your everyday well-being. We recommend and provide the following preventive services:
- Annual physical exams
- Pap tests (pap smears) for cervical cancer screening
- Breast exams
- Cholesterol screening
- HPV vaccination