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Farnaz Jahangiri, M.D. Answers Questions On Women's Health

Farnaz Jahangiri, M.D. Answers Questions On: Women's Health

Which patients benefit most from robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery?

We often choose gynecologic robotic surgery if there’s a risk of infection, as is sometimes the case with patients who have diabetes, are older, or have other chronic conditions. Patients who are morbidly obese have less risk of wound issues with robotic surgery because the incisions are so much smaller. Minimally invasive surgery is also good for someone who maybe has a small child and wants to be able to get back to physical activity a little bit sooner than with an open incision.

You see women of all ages. What do you wish they knew about their health?

I'm always surprised how little women know about normal anatomy. It’s sort of taboo, and nobody talks about it. They’ll see a bump or something, and they’ll think it’s abnormal when really it’s just very normal anatomy – they just have never asked. I get a mirror and teach them, and a lot of times that alone alleviates their anxiety.

During pregnancy, we see a lot of women gaining too much weight. They eat for two, as they hear they’re supposed to, and then gain 50 pounds. Of course, that’s very unhealthy, and diabetic and hypertensive problems start coming up. You need only 300 extra calories a day when you're pregnant. Pregnant women just need to eat healthy. We suggest that they avoid eating out.

What symptoms are normal during menopause, and what advice do you have for women going through it?

Normal symptoms include mood changes, hot flashes, sleep disturbances, quick aggravation, vaginal dryness, decreased libido, and menstrual changes. Periods can change in any direction: shorter, longer, heavier, lighter, more painful, less painful. Now, the severity of menopausal symptoms is different for different women. Some just barely notice it, but for others it's just a miserable experience for a few years. It gets better with time, but in the meantime, if it gets bad enough, we can treat your symptoms – you don’t have to just live with them.