A whole-person approach to chronic pain and complex conditions
Jackie Wong, M.D., M.S.C.R., sums up the approach at the Minimally-Invasive Gynecologic Surgery clinic as “holistic management of care around surgery.” As an OB/GYN with advanced training in gynecological surgery, Dr. Wong often sees women who have experienced painful, sometimes long-term conditions, such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts, fibroids and complex vulvar and pelvic pain disorders. Her patients often require a combination of surgery, chronic pain management and other specialized services.
Dr. Wong says patients may come to her after discovering something of concern on imaging or receiving a challenging diagnosis. They may have seen multiple providers in a search for answers. It is possible they had a procedure that didn’t help improve their symptoms, or a surgery that didn’t answer all of their questions about the causes of their pain. These patients may still be experiencing pain, bleeding, or other gynecologic symptoms that still require ongoing evaluation and care.
“What we do best,” says Dr. Wong, “Is that we see our patients who are at the point of seeking surgical or pain management as whole people, and we ask some larger questions.” What would allow for the quickest recovery? What are each of our patient’s individual goals? Does the patient want a fertility-sparing procedure?
By taking this approach, Dr. Wong and her colleagues serve as the medical home for the specialized care that these patients need, while also referring out to a connected team of additional providers, such as physical therapists, dieticians, or gastroenterologists. “We aim to find and help treat the underlying causes of pelvic pain,” says Dr. Wong. “We’re able to offer many options for pain management including advanced options such as injections of the pelvic floor.” Additionally, the team takes patient care one step further by providing access to meditation, yoga, and other wellness services that can serve this unique population.
“A lot of patients we see may have had years of delay in their diagnosis and care, and they can often feel dismissed by the medical system,” says Dr. Wong, “It can be really powerful to find a provider who sees them through their full course of symptoms and treatment.”