THIS SPECIALIST IN GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY BRINGS EXPERTISE IN MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGERY TO STATEN ISLAND UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL

BY JESSICA JONES GORMAN • PHOTOS © AMESSÉ PHOTOGRAPHY

For more than two decades, Dr. Eli Serur has been a leader in his field of gynecologic oncology, dedicated to diagnosing both benign and malignant conditions of the female reproductive system and resolving them using complex surgical techniques. Trained to perform single site robotic hysterectomies, ovarian cystectomies, and laparoscopic treatment of endometriosis, Dr. Serur has built a large patient base, along with a solid reputation as one of Staten Island’s top surgeons. Now he is bringing his expertise to Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH).

“We have been able to treat an increasing amount of cases with minimally invasive techniques over the past 10 years,” noted Serur. “Ovarian cysts and masses, uterine fibroids, cervical and ovarian cancers, even endometriosis and pelvic pain these are all conditions that once required open surgery. Now, by performing procedures laparoscopically, there are so many benefits: smaller incisions and less scarring, less pain, and shorter recovery times. There are many advantages for the patient, who can now return to normal activities in a more rapid fashion.”

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In his new role as chair of obstetrics and gynecology at SIUH, Serur will oversee the day to day activities of the hospital’s OB/GYN subspecialty while still performing his own surgical duties.
“I see this as a wonderful opportunity to explore new horizons,” he said. “But my interest is still providing care, not just administratively but also taking that care directly to the patient, continuing to perform these minimally invasive techniques and complicated surgeries.”
Serur, who attended the New York University School of Medicine, completed his fellowship and residency at the SUNY Health Science Center in Brooklyn. He said that gynecologic oncology was something he happened upon during a second year of medical school.

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“I had done a rotation in pathology, and at that time there was a busy surgeon there working on a lot of malignant gynecological cancer cases,” he recalled. “I found it intriguing and challenging and made a decision to pursue the specialty.”

Gardian Spread

He worked at Brooklyn Hospital for several years before becoming chief of the obstetrics and gynecology division at Staten Island’s Richmond University Medical Center, a position he held until June, when he was hired by Northwell to come to SIUH.

Serur has wide ranging experience in robotic surgery, including the daVinci Surgical System in use at SIUH. In this system, a surgical robot translates a surgeon’s hand movements at the console in real time, bending and rotating the instruments while performing the procedure. The tiny instruments move like a human hand, but with a greater range of motion. Its vision system also delivers highly magnified, 3D, and high definition views of the surgical area. The instrument size makes it possible for surgeons to operate through one or a few small incisions.

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“Our ability to now do what could once only be done through an open abdomen continues to grow,” he said. “We are now able to start out with a scope and assess different areas of the body. If cancer is the case, we view and measure the tumor in real time and see if it may have spread. These minimally invasive techniques are wonderful tools for assessing the disease and processing who is a candidate for robotic removal.”

Serur said these advancements have given surgeons the ability to treat complex pathologies without having to open the belly.

“When appropriate, they can have surgery as an ambulatory patient, leaving the same day as the procedure,” he noted. “There are small incisions, less recovery time, and a decreased chance of infection. They can return to work and their families in a much faster time frame than a traditional open surgery would require,” adding that he believes this minimally invasive surgical platform will become only more advanced in the near future. “The makers of surgical robots have developed new machines that are less bulky and more efficient, further perfecting these robotic surgeries,” Serur said. “As surgeons, we will undergo training on the various modifications, staying updated and bringing the newest modality.”

At SIUH, those modalities will be offered to patients in the new Women and Newborn Center that is currently rising on the hospital’s north campus.

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“It’s our goal to provide patients with the most current care and quickest recovery, of course,” Serur said. “In the next two years, we will be offering that care in a state of the art Women and Newborn Center, which will house all of our women’s healthcare in the very best infrastructure. It’s an exciting time for SIUH and the residents of this borough.”

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