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May 16th, 2017

A Better Way

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young


A cancer procedure has better outcomes — so why isn't everyone using it?

Sean Dowdy, M.D., is the chair of the Division of Gynecologic Surgery at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn., and the deputy director for Practice in the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery.

Researchers from a national group including Sean C. Dowdy, M.D., discovered the U.S. health care system would have averted 2,300 complications among 32,000 cases if minimally invasive surgery had been used to treat endometrial cancer.

As she sips warm tomato basil soup, Carol Ostby can't believe that 24 hours ago doctors were prepping her for a hysterectomy to combat her shocking diagnosis — endometrial cancer.

Now, Carol is with her daughter enjoying lunch in Rochester, Minnesota. And, with chocolate ice cream cones in hand, the duo continues the journey home.

The key to Carol's quick recovery was the type of surgery her care team at Mayo Clinic used — a minimally invasive hysterectomy. At Mayo Clinic, physicians use laparoscopy or robotics to treat 90 percent of patients like Carol who have early-stage endometrial cancer.

However, there is a significant gap in its use across the country, greatly affecting patient care and cost.

Read the full story online.


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Tags: Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, endometrial cancer, Findings, health disparity, Kern Center, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, minimally invasive surgery, Science of health care delivery, Sean Dowdy, Society for Gynecologic Oncology

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