“Female pelvic floor disorders inevitably are going to affect most women sometime in their life. The key is educating the physicians so that patients can be more comfortable talking about it.” – Dr. Mickey Karram
Pelvic floor dysfunction encompasses a variety of quality-of-life symptoms, many of which are difficult for a woman to talk about, including bowel and bladder control, difficulty with intimacy, and female sexual dysfunction. Those topics are not your typical bridge club discussion. But, these symptoms are extremely prevalent, and the largest segment of our population in this country is the female above the age of 60. Female pelvic floor disorders inevitably are going to affect most women sometime in their life. These disorders are very prevalent, but many women unfortunately still think that it’s just part of aging and so they live and suffer in silence. Fortunately, I think we’re starting to see these issues talked more about in the mainstream. The key is educating physicians so that patients can be more comfortable talking about it.
My wife and I started a foundation called The Foundation for Female Health Awareness. It’s a not-for-profit 501(c)3. The objectives of the foundation are two-fold: first, to educate women on a variety of different gender-specific health issues, including pelvic floor dysfunction; and secondly, to support much-needed, unbiased research in gender-specific medicine. We’ve been very fortunate in that we’ve had a lot of support from many institutions and research arms. You can find out more about it if you want to go to www.femalehealthawareness.org.
The first book I published with Elsevier was Urogynocology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery, in conjunction with Dr. Mark Walters, a urogynecologist at the Cleveland Clinic. That book is now in its third edition, and we’re starting to plan a fourth edition. It’s dedicated to the subspecialty of female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery. The second book was the Atlas of Pelvic Anatomy and Gynecologic Surgery, in its third edition, which I edited with Dr. Michael Baggish, and which addresses all aspects of pelvic anatomy and gynecologic surgery, including vaginal surgery, abdominal surgery, laparoscopic surgery, cystoscopic surgery, and hysteroscopic surgery.
Finally, and most recently, I’m the editor of a series of books entitled Female Pelvic Video Surgery Atlas Series, which is a series of eight books. This project has been very exciting because, in contrast to traditional textbooks, we’ve tried to supplement the text and illustrations with video clips, some of which are of live patient surgeries. We utilize cadaveric dissections and many of the videos are anatomically-based. I think videos are the next level of education for the surgeon. Textbooks are somewhat static in regards to reading about a procedure, visualizing illustrations or pictures. Today we have the ability to show how the procedure is done. This eight book series covers all aspects of female pelvic surgery. I think it’s going to appeal to the gynecologist, the urologist, the colorectal surgeon. It doesn’t go into a lot of data analysis. It’s more about technical aspects of pelvic surgery with a lot of demonstrations.
Mickey Karram, MD, an internationally renowned urogynecologist and pelvic surgeon, is Director of Urogynecology at the Christ Hospital in Cincinnati and Volunteer Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine. He is past-chairman of the board of the American Urogynecology Society Foundation, past-president of the American Urogynecology Society, and co-founder and president of the Foundation for Female Health Awareness.
Dr. Karram has authored more than 200 scientific articles and book chapters and co-authored numerous medical books, including the third edition of the Atlas of Pelvic Anatomy and Gynecologic Surgery and the third edition of Urogynocology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery. He is also series editor of the Female Pelvic Surgery Video Atlas series.
Dr. Karram has been designated by Good Housekeeping Magazine as one of the “Best Doctors in America for Women.”