Sharp Mary Birch Earns Prominent Designation

Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns Earns Prominent Designation as a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery

SAN DIEGO — Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns has been acknowledged for delivering safe, high-quality care to minimally invasive gynecologic surgery patients by an internationally recognized medical association, the American Academy of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (AAGL).

AAGL, whose membership is made up of approximately 5,500 surgeons in 95 countries, designated Sharp Mary Birch as a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology (COEMIG). No other hospital in San Diego County shares this designation, and only two other California hospitals have been awarded COEMIG status. 

"We have long been dedicated to improving the safety and quality of gynecologic care," said Dr. Craig Saffer, a Sharp-affiliated OBGYN who leads the gynecologic robotic surgery program at Sharp Mary Birch. "This center of excellence designation demonstrates our commitment to advancing minimally invasive gynecologic surgery and delivering outstanding patient care."

For hospitals and physicians to earn COEMIG designation, they must undergo a rigorous process that includes an application, site inspection and evaluation to ensure the safest, highest-quality care is delivered to minimally invasive gynecologic surgery patients. Sharp Mary Birch and a team of five affiliated board-certified OBGYNs received designation after providing information on all aspects of their minimally invasive gynecology program and processes, including data on surgical outcomes. The OBGYN team includes: Dr. Saffer, Dr. David HarariDr. Lisa Ann JohnstonDr. Denis Tarakjian and Dr. Michael Wong.

Sharp Mary Birch offers the latest in minimally invasive women's surgery, including robotic surgery, in a new women's acute care unit (WACU). Procedures include hysterectomies and treatment of gynecologic cancer, uterine fibroids, infertility and female pelvic disorders like uterine prolapse.

"An estimated 40 percent of all women will experience some form of pelvic disorder throughout their lifetime," said Dr. Saffer. "These can include incontinence, chronic pain and many other conditions and are more common among women who have had vaginal childbirths."

Dr. Staffer anticipates that demand for treatment of pelvic floor disorders, which occur due to a weakening of the pelvic muscles, will increase as the population ages and as more women realize there are options like minimally invasive surgery that can improve these conditions.

Find a San Diego OBGYN
To find a Sharp-affiliated doctor, search for a San Diego OBGYN or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.
For More Women's Health Information
To find general information about women's health, visit Women's Health in Adult Health or read the Women's Health News archive.
Last Updated: August 8, 2013