Women's Specialty Services
The N.C. Women’s Hospital clinicians in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology provide a broad range of exemplary women’s specialty services, including:
Comprehensive Cancer Center | Small Incision Surgery | Urinary Incontinence | Infertility | Complicated Pregnancies and Birth Defects l Maternal and Infant Health l Midwifery Program | Women's Primary Health Care l Lactation Program l Child Birth l Doula
Comprehensive Cancer Center
UNC is one of only four comprehensive cancer centers in the Southeast, and UNC specialists in gynecologic oncology routinely offer the newest and most advanced treatments for women’s cancers. In addition, Oncology Services is committed to providing women and their families with a coordinated, comprehensive and convenient program of care that addresses their physical needs as well as social and spiritual adjustments to their diagnosis.
Small Incision Surgery
UNC is a national leader in using laparoscopic techniques for hysterectomy and other gynecologic procedures. UNC is expanding the advantages offered by laparoscopic surgery to other areas important to women’s health such as infertility, incontinence and cancer. In laparoscopic procedures, the surgeon inserts a viewing scope and miniature surgical instruments through very small incisions. This approach provides advantages over large-incision surgery, including a shorter hospital stay, shorter recovery period, less pain and smaller scars.
Ob-Gyn specialists at the N.C. Women’s Hospital also include physicians who ffer expertise in the evaluation and treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction. These specialists help women with problems of urinary incontinence, which impacts the quality of many women’s lives and is an issue that many women are hesitant to discuss. Through the various diagnostic and treatment options, women are able to resume previous activities without the fear of incontinence.
UNC has one of the nation’s leading diagnostic and treatment programs for infertility, offering a full range of assisted reproductive technologies, including ovulation induction, reconstructive microsurgery, laser surgery, artificial insemination and invitro fertilization. UNC faculty is involved in leading-edge research to better understand infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss. Their commitment to helping couples have children attracts patients from throughout the Southeast, the nation and even the world.
Complicated Pregnancies and Birth Defects
Women with complicated pregnancies are referred to UNC from across the state for specialized care and delivery. Physicians throughout the state and the Southeast refer high-risk obstetrical patients to UNC to better define complex fetal conditions and to provide reassurance for patients at high risk of having a child with an abnormality. While most fetal abnormalities are diagnosed by ultrasound examination, specialists in maternal and fetal medicine at UNC also use other technologies, including MRI, amniocentesis and Doppler assessment of fetal blood flow. Surgeons at the adjoining N.C. Children’s Hospital can correct a wide range of birth defects – from relatively minor to life threatening – in infants, toddlers and children. Sometimes surgery is performed the same day the baby is born.
Maternal and Infant Health
UNC’s Center for Maternal and Infant Health is designed to help families whose pregnancies are complicated by birth defects and other prenatal complications. Integrated plans are developed to determine the best diagnostic and treatment options. The Center for Maternal and Infant Health brings together all of the specialists who might be involved in the care of a specific infant. A care coordinator helps parents understand their child’s medical condition, the prognosis and various options for prenatal and post birth care. The Center works to assure that local physicians are fully aware of the plan so that local and Center care are coordinated.
UNC offers one of the few hospital-based full service nurse-midwifery programs in the state, offering an important and exciting alternative for women living in the Triangle who are at low risk for pregnancy conditions. UNC Midwives care for women of all ages, focus on teaching and counseling and are partners with women in their health care. They provide a wide range of services including the first GYN exams, pregnancy care that includes births, contraception services, peri-menopausal management, hormone replacement therapy and women’s prevention health care and pap smears.
Women's Primary Health Care
Helping women achieve and maintain wellness is an important emphasis of care at UNC. From teens to mature women, a wide range of services are offered. Preventive education for maintaining health crosses all age ranges for women and is included in well-woman care even through post-menopausal years. Whether you are having a first GYN exam, seeking contraception or seeking care for a healthy delivery you have choices at the N.C. Women’s Hospital.
The N.C. Women’s Hospital offers a lactation program to serve women with breastfeeding questions or problems. The program is directed by Mary Rose Tully, who is known throughout the state and nation for her work in teaching women about breastfeeding. Three full-time consultants staff the lactation program, and there is a phone line that women can call with breastfeeding questions or problems.
The N.C. Women’s Hospital staff is committed to helping pregnant women have a family-centered birth experience. Even though the N.C. Women’s Hospital is a state-of –the-art facility equipped to provide critically ill newborn care, many women deliver healthy babies who don’t require additional treatment. Approximately 3,000 babies were born at the N.C. Women’s Hospital last year to women who experienced childbirth with the support of a highly trained and caring staff. Patients from the UNC Family Practice Center also deliver babies at the N.C. Women’s Hospital.
The N.C. Women’s Hospital has implemented a volunteer doula program called UNC Birth Partners to provide qualified, caring doula services for women who desire or need one. A doula is a labor assistant who provides continuous emotional, informational and physical support during childbirth. A doula does not provide any clinical services but rather supports the woman throughout her labor.