Fellowship in Advanced Laparoscopy & Pelvic Pain

Over the past 20 years, the Division has gained regional and national recognition for its efforts to provide the best of advanced laparoscopic surgery for women and pelvic pain management. As part of a major academic medical center, the Division excels in training, research and clinical programs. Our dual purpose is to train those who will provide top quality patient care and be the academic leaders in gynecologic laparoscopy and pelvic pain management, who in turn will train many physicians for practice in communities across the country. This emphasis makes our fellowship one of the most unique programs in the United States. 

The Division offers a two-year Fellowship in Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery and Pelvic Pain, designed to begin after completion of the standard four-year United States residency in obstetrics and gynecology. The fellowship began in 1998, and joined the AAGL/SRS Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery  in 2008.  Our purpose is to train academic physicians who will become leaders in the teaching, research, and practice of operative gynecologic laparoscopy and the management of chronic pelvic pain problems.

Clinical Training

As a division within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, we perform over 600 major surgeries per year, the vast majority of which are laparoscopic, both conventional (“straight stick”) and robotic. More than 1,000 new patients are seen annually, along with over 3600 return visits. Patients are referred from gynecologists and primary care physicians in North Carolina and from throughout the southeast United States. A growing number of patients are self-referring after learning of our experience with laparoscopic surgery from physicians, friends, or the internet. As a result, residents and fellows in training in obstetrics and gynecology at UNC receive a level of laparoscopic training far above the average university medical center in the United States.  Eighty precent of all hysterectomies (including cancer cases) at UNC are performed with minimally invasive techniques. In our division, all hysterectomies are booked with laparoscopy, 99.5% completed in that manner.  Laparoscopic surgery for large fibroids is commonplace in our practice, including those in the 1-3kg range.  Our largest hysterectomy specimen weighed 4750 grams and our largest myomectomy 2200 grams (eight fibroids).  We also perform laparoscopic conservative and extirpative surgery for advanced / deeply infiltrating / stage IV endometriosis.  We routinely perform ureterolysis, extensive enterolysis, and removal of intestinal endometriosis.  When bowel resection is needed, we coordinate surgery with our minimally invasive colorectal or gynecologic oncology colleagues.

Our fellows achieve competence in all of these procedures during their two years, gradually moving toward greater independence, including functioning as a junior faculty attending for their own cases and those from the resident service.

Pain management is taught in closely mentored clinical settings, and is influenced by relationships with the pain management programs in other departments at the University of North Carolina.

Research Training

The fellows also enroll in the Masters of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) program, administered in conjunction with the UNC Gillings School of Public Health, one of the top schools in the country. This program provides core courses in epidemiology, biostatistics, research design and academic writing. The final course is the masters paper, which has consistently resulted in presentation at the AAGL Global Congress on Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery and publication in a peer-reviewed journal. 

The ultimate aims of the fellowship are to add to the group of physicians who play a major role in teaching advanced gynecologic laparoscopy in the United States, and to build a network of researchers who will advance both the practice of laparoscopy and our understanding of chronic pelvic pain.

1999

Arnold Advincula, MD

Columbia University  - New York, NY

2001 

Denniz Zolnoun, MD, MPH

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, NC

2003

Georgine Lamvu, MD, MPH

Florida Hospital - Orlando FL 

2004

Frank Tu, MD, MPH

University of Chicago Northshore - Chicago, IL

2005

Susie As-Sanie, MD, MPH

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI

2006

Mary Ellen Wechter, MD, MPH 

North Florida OB-GYN - Jacksonville, FL

2007

Jacqueline Rohl, MD, MPH

The Ohio State University - Columbus, OH

2008 

Kinnari Desai, MD, MPH 

Manatee Gynecology - Bradenton, FL

2010 

Amanda Yunker, DO, MSCR

Vanderbilt University - Nashville, TN

2011 

Matthew Siedhoff, MD, MSCR

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, NC

2012 

Erin Carey, MD,  MSCR

University of Kansas - Kansas City, KS

2013

Austin Findley, MD, MSCR

Wright Patterson Air Force Base - Dayton, OH

2014

Kumari Hobbs, MD, MSCR

NY Pelvic Pain & MIGS/Cornell University - New York, NY

Current fellows: Janelle Moulder, MD (2013-2016) & Tarek Toubia, MD (2014-2016)