Globe Trotting GYN Surgeon
Thomas L. Lyons, MD,
Donates Time As Laparoscopic Surgery Mentor
pioneer Thomas L. Lyons MD, trainer of thousands of surgeons
internationally over the past 16 years, is more in-demand as a mentor
From Lisbon, Portugal, to St. Louis,
Missouri; from Moscow to the Mayo Clinic; from Buenos Aires to Costa
Rica, Dr. Lyons is respected—and requested as an expert presenter and
And that’s just a fraction of his traveling
surgery schedule for 2006.
Improved Outcomes for Women
The gynecologic surgeon is known for
developing two laparoscopic procedures, which have demonstrated vastly
improved outcomes for women.
The LSH, or laparoscopic supracervical
hysterectomy developed in 1989, leaves the woman’s cervix intact as a
keystone support for the anatomy. It has also been shown in studies to
help improve sexual function post-surgery. Reasons for this include the
fact that the vagina hasn’t been scarred or pulled down as may occur in
a laparoscopically-assisted vaginal hysterectomy.
In addition, Dr. Lyons has always practiced
vaginal restoration as standard operating procedure for LSH and pelvic
floor repair, toning and strengthening the area for more satisfying
incisions are so tiny (unlike procedures performed using laparotomy or
bikini incision), fewer nerves are damaged, pain is lessened, and
recovery is quicker.
Dr. Lyons also developed the Laparoscopic
Burch Procedure for stress urinary incontinence. It is among a variety
of options for leakage and pelvic floor defects that he teaches eager
trainees around the world.
In traveling to these destinations, he
donates his time on ten to fifteen demonstration cases during a week
while he mentors surgeons learning the minimally invasive techniques he
Evolution of a
Dr. Lyons began teaching surgeons from
around the world in the late 1980s as he trained others on laparoscopic
gallbladder removal. From there he began exploration and training on
tubal pregnancies, ovarian cysts, fibroids, hysterectomy and
endometriosis. At the present time, even certain cancers can be removed
In the early 1990s, tele-surgery
revolutionized the field and Dr. Lyons began performing procedures in
his customary operating environment while surgeons in Europe or Asia
watched, asked questions and learned remotely.
“Doctors like to see and learn how to
perform a procedure live,” said Lyons.
He is now licensed to practice in the
U.K., Belgium, Russia, Portugal, Spain, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore,
Australia and Korea. Perhaps his most challenging international case
involved the wife of the head rabbi in Israel, who required pelvic floor
repair. “She had given birth to 18 children, and this was a redo of
someone else’s work,” said Lyons. The restorative procedure was a
What Your Doctor Doesn’t
Dr. Lyons has trained thousands of surgeons on the LSH technique he
developed, most doctors don't perform it.
surgeons refuse to perform laparoscopic procedures on a large uterus,
and say it can’t be done. Left out in that explanation is, “because I
can’t do it.” The size of the uterus is not an issue or a problem for
especially important that patients choose a surgeon who is experienced
in working with lasers and laparoscopy. LSH requires more skill than
open abdominal hysterectomy. It's easier on the patient, but more
challenging for the surgeon," explained Dr. Lyons.
the most important factors in helping people choose appropriate medical
care is a comprehensive understanding of the reasons for treatment, the
risks, and the potential benefits. This especially applies to
hysterectomy. If hysterectomy has been suggested as an option, women
should carefully weigh the pros and cons, the alternative treatments,
the potential benefits and risks, and the physician's track record.
Many surgeons will attempt a
laparoscopic procedure and feel it necessary to convert to an open
surgery with a long incision during the procedure. Make sure to ask
your surgeon about his or her conversion ratio. Dr. Lyons' conversion
ratio is less than one percent.
Email the Center for Women's Care
Center for Women's Care &
Reproductive Surgery© 2006
1140 Hammond Drive, Suite
Atlanta, Georgia 30328.
Toll Free 1 (888) 545-0400
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