This Q and A is with Dr. Sherry Thomas, urogynecologist and surgeon specializing in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery.

Q: When was your practice founded? How many locations do you have? How many people do you employ? A: Dr. Sherry Thomas, PC, was founded in 1989. I currently have one location in Agoura Hills with a staff of five, as well as medical students from various universities.

Q: What inspired you to start the practice? A: When I started my medical career, research and clinical trials in women’s health were limited. What the medical field “knew” about women’s health was extrapolated from research in men’s health, including cardiovascular and arthritis diseases. In short, we knew nothing about women’s health care. Additionally, there was no research specifically related to women’s health care issues, such as menopause, pregnancy complications and mental health.

Q: Most people have heard of urology and gynecology, but not necessarily urogynecology. Can you explain the difference? A: A urogynecologist is a specialist who treats pelvic floor disorders focusing on the evaluation and treatment of non-cancerous conditions of female pelvic organs and performs pelvic reconstructive surgery; whereas a gynecologist specializes in female reproductive health and has no formal training in complex pelvic surgery.

Q: What separates your practice from others like it? A: My practice is unique in that I not only see patients, but I am actively engaged in research and the development of innovative technology that I believe will revolutionize women’s health.

Q: What would surprise your patients about you and/or your practice? A: My patients might be surprised that I have been traveling to various countries in Africa since the 1990s to educate health care practitioners and surgeons mostly for fistula repair. As far as my practice goes, my employees have been with me for most of career, and as a result my patients and staff know each other—this sense of familiarity is a rarity in today’s health care.

Q: What are some of the latest trends in your specific field? A: I am glad you asked! I just returned from the American Society of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine where I presented my latest research using CO2 lasers and matrix radiofrequency to treat women’s urogynecologic symptoms. Also, the use of autologous stem cells for urinary incontinence, while not commercially available at this time, is particularly exciting because it will reduce reliance on surgery in favor of more minimally invasive treatment.

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