‘There is no greater honor’ than helping women in need
Do you need to see a urologist or a gynecologist? The answer is probably Dr. Lauren Siff, a urogynecologist with training in both women’s medical specialties. With uncommon passion, bursting enthusiasm, and a uniquely compassionate approach, Dr. Siff treats all women from those with straightforward issues to those living with complex, chronic urologic or gynecologic issues and those women who have tried almost everything – medications, devices, surgeries – to no avail.
“At our first appointment, I spend time really listening to your symptoms and how they impact your life,” says Dr. Siff, a board-certified OB/GYN who completed subspecialty training in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. She specializes in pelvic health problems including trouble with bladder and bowel control and pelvic floor prolapse (dropped bladder, vagina, rectum or uterus). “Many of these issues may feel personal, embarrassing or you think they are a normal part of aging,” she says. “While they are common, if they bother you, they are not something you have to live with.”
For that, Dr. Siff and the Women’s Health team offer an array of therapies to treat sensitive female conditions, including physical therapy, exercises, medicines, devices, and minimally invasive surgeries. She works with a multidisciplinary team of OB/GYNs, urologists, gastroenterologists, colorectal surgeons, and physical therapists who come together daily and meet monthly to review the most challenging cases.
A chemistry major, Dr. Siff was drawn to women’s health during medical school at VCU, building an appreciation for “fixing things with my hands” during surgery. “I came alive in the operating room alongside mentors who were bringing a new quality of life to women with pelvic floor disorders,” she says. “Being a patient with women’s health concerns can be a very vulnerable state, and being able to connect with every woman in any circumstance, and understand the science behind disease, allows me to take the best care of them,” she says. “There is no greater honor than serving women who need our help.”
The Women’s Health team’s goal is to treat every individual woman while, as part of an academic medical center, advancing the science of women’s health. Dr. Siff’s own research, on both a local and national level, focuses on improving surgical success for prolapse surgery; sexual function and depression in urinary incontinence; and diagnosing and managing intraoperative complications. She is also researching the use of technology in surgical education, such as holographic interactive curriculum and augmented reality.
“Whether in the office during a follow-up visit, or we bump into one another in public, seeing a patient after treatment who is back to doing the things she always loved –exercising, playing with her children or grandchildren, going on trips, sleeping through the night or just going to the grocery store without having to look for a bathroom – is the reason why I do what I do,” she says. “So many women have told me, ‘This was the best thing I’ve done, and can’t believe I waited so long to do it.’ It is incredibly rewarding to know I and our team have played a role in improving a woman’s quality of life.”
As to her own quality of life, Dr. Siff and her husband have two young children and can always find a way, as she says, “to make a celebration out of anything.”