What do you like best about the gynecological surgeries you specialize in?
“First and foremost I like it because it provides treatment for female patients who need surgery in a manner that minimizes post-operative discomfort, maximizes the speed of recovery, and minimizes the scaring which I think are all important to women.”
What do you tell patients who come to you uncertain or afraid of their diagnosis or treatment?
“It’s a journey – the whole process – I’d like my patients to feel this is journey that we’re all on together from when they come in and talk about concerns and symptoms and we give them a management and treatment. It’s important that she make it with her provider as opposed to be dictated to what needs to be done.”
You celebrated your 20th anniversary on October 11, to Dr. Gregory Raff, also and OB/GYN. You have two children, Taylor, 16, and Gavin, 14. What’s it like being married to someone in the same profession?
“It’s both good and bad – mostly good. When I have late night in OR, he gets it. He’s been there. If you have complications, or heaven forbid, lose a patient, it’s nice to go home to someone who is sympathetic and empathetic.”
How do you unwind?
“My daughter runs cross country and track and my son plays soccer and lacrosse. We do a lot as a family. We like to hike, ski, SCUBA dive and spend time walking our three dogs.”
You are a fan of yoga and became an instructor. Tell us about that.
“When our kids were young, I had sort of given up hobbies. But as they began sleeping through the night, I found a yoga class I could take after they were in bed. It was perfect because it was after bedtime and it still gave me the exercise and stress relief I needed. I became hooked. I did one teacher training and went back for a second one. I was doing some weight training and injured my back and ended up with a ruptured disc. After surgery, yoga was instrumental helping me heal.”
Any reflections on women’s healthcare in general?
“I really enjoy treating women with fibroids. In part because for women – either due to a lack of time or denial of symptoms – they don’t always address enlarging masses that can cause pain, or bleeding. It’s always invariably a patient who has been told she has to have it removed with a large incision or hysterectomy who learns that we can do minimally invasive surgery and preserve her uterus. I just had a young patient come in recently who had a procedure that preserved her uterus and she can still have a chance to have a family.”
Advice for women about caring for their health:
“Unfortunately, a lot of the ailments that occur in women especially in gynecological health – have no symptoms or only subtle symptoms. You can feel wonderful and not know anything is going on. Getting it early is the key. Give yourself time to see a healthcare provider that can do an assessment. That’s one of the best ways to assure good health.”
–By T.J. Banes, Associate Senior Journalist at IU Health. Reach Banes via email at
T.J. Banes or on Twitter @tjbanes.