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Saint Agnes Hospital Named Maryland's First Center of Excellence of Women's Health

Nancy Hammond, M.D., chair of the department of OB/GYN at Saint Agnes, accepts the center of excellence award.
Nancy Hammond, M.D., chair of the department of OB/GYN at Saint Agnes, accepts the center of excellence award.
Hospital Successfully Modernizes the Surgery Experience for Patients, Using Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques for Hysterectomies on More Than 90% of Patients

Baltimore, Md. -- The American Institute of Minimally Invasive Surgery (AIMIS) has named Saint Agnes Hospital the state of Maryland's first-ever center of excellence (COE) in women's health due to the hospital’s record performing minimally invasive surgeries. Saint Agnes is now one of only 42 affiliated COEs across 17 states. 

Despite the many benefits of minimally invasive surgery (MIS), the method is being adopted slowly in the U.S. Out of the 600,000 hysterectomies performed annually, fewer than 20 percent are performed laparoscopically (i.e. using minimally invasive methods). Saint Agnes’ Bunting Institute for Women’s & Children’s Health however, is at the forefront of MIS performing over 90 percent of its hysterectomies laparoscopically and being one of the few hospitals utilizing the da Vinci surgical system for minimally invasive hysterectomies and gynecological oncology surgeries.

Patients who undergo MIS procedures experience significant benefits including a hospital stay of less than 24 hours (versus a minimum two-night stay for open surgery patients), less pain and blood loss due to smaller surgical incisions, fewer overall complications and a faster recovery time of between 10-14 days – getting them healed and back to their regular lives quicker than patients that undergo traditional open surgeries and are often out of work for 6 weeks after surgery. 

Liz DellaRatta, a former Saint Agnes patient, had suffered from unbearable menstrual pain since she was a teenager due to adenomyosis, a common but extremely painful disease of the uterus. After undergoing a minimally invasive hysterectomy at Saint Agnes, DellaRatta was sightseeing in New York less than a week later. Today she has no scarring and enjoys an active, pain-free life.

According to AIMIS, one-third of women have a hysterectomy procedure by the time they turn 60 years old. As leaders in the field of minimally invasive hysterectomies, Saint Agnes hopes to educate doctors and patients alike about the value of the modern procedure.

“As part of our commitment to providing exceptional OBGYN MIS services, we provide our doctors with surgical technique workshops and access to the latest tools and technologies,” said Nancy Hammond, M.D., chair, department of OBGYN. “We’re pleased to be recognized as a Center of Excellence and we remain passionate about continually improving healthcare for women by using advanced surgical technologies and methods to achieve greater results.”

Saint Agnes Hospital offers MIS procedures not just through its OB/GYN Group, but also through nearly all of its specialties including cancer, bariatrics, cardiovascular, plastic & reconstructive, and spine.

About Saint Agnes
Founded by the Daughters of Charity in 1862, Saint Agnes Hospital is a 296-bed hospital recently completed a $200 million-plus expansion emphasizing patient safety in a high quality healthcare environment. Saint Agnes is the oldest Catholic hospital in Baltimore, Maryland and is a full-service teaching hospital with residency programs in medicine and surgery. The hospital’s key institutes include the: Cancer Institute; Cardiovascular Institute; Maryland Metabolic Institute; Orthopedic & Spine Institute; Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery; and The Bunting Health Institute for Women & Children. Saint Agnes opened the first Chest Pain ED in the world more than 30 years ago, and continues to expand and grow its Emergency Services. www.stagnes.org 

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