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Dr. Sanjay Gandhi Takes the Mystery Out of Urogynecology

First Lake County-based physician to specialize in field affecting women of all ages

For many women, lower urinary tract and pelvic floor disorders can be frustrating, painful and debilitating to their quality of life. Years of therapies and exercises often provide little or no relief, and the area of medicine known as urogynecology has until very recently been sadly underserved. As a result, far too many women have been misdiagnosed and suffer unnecessarily for years.

“This is why I chose to focus my efforts in the field of urogynecology,” said Dr. Sanjay Gandhi, who launched North Shore Urogynecology in 2004 following completion of his residency and subsequent three-year fellowship in urogynecology at Evanston Continence Center of Northwestern University Medical School. He is on staff at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital.

“Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital offers exceptional quality of care and caliber of nursing,” explains Dr. Gandhi, “which complements the holistic approach to health that urinary tract and pelvic floor disorders require."

“Many women mistakenly assume that surgery is the only treatment option for most urinary tract and pelvic floor problems, or that they have to live with their symptoms,” said Dr. Gandhi. “This is not true. At least 70 percent of the more than 600 new patients we see annually select and benefit greatly from non-surgical treatment plans.”

Women who seek out urogynecologists experience a wide range of medical issues, including:

  • Urinary and fecal incontinence
  • Pelvic prolapse or pressure
  • Pelvic pain
  • Overactive bladder
  • Constipation/irritable bowel syndrome
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Painful intercourse
  • Difficulty emptying their bladder or bowels

Dr. Gandhi has seen patients as young as 13 and as senior as 98.

“The main reason we’re getting smarter about how to treat women with these disorders is that we now know how to diagnose the problem correctly,” said Dr. Gandhi. “Advanced diagnostics in urogynecology didn’t exist until recently. Now we work closely with radiologists and other diagnosticians, using the most advanced technology available, to get it right the first time and set a multidisciplinary course of treatment that may involve relevant experts in physical therapy, nutrition, gynecology, urology, psychology and gastroenterology.”

If a urogynecology patient does require surgery, there are now less invasive options through vaginal access that tend to ease recovery over traditional abdominal surgery.

Added Dr. Gandhi, “Increasingly, we are providing more post-pregnancy care for women, many of whom have experienced some pelvic damage from the strain of pregnancy and childbirth and can benefit greatly in feeling and function from our multidisciplinary approach to better health. My hope is that we can soon develop an integrated program with Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.”

The bottom line: There is definitely hope for women of all ages who are dealing with urinary tract and pelvic floor issues. Seek out a trained urogynecologist as a first step to putting your life back on track.

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