Dr Kent Kuswanto is a specialist gynaecologist practising at the Women’s Health Hub in Werribee.
Dr Kuswanto has extensive experience in treating women with a full range of gynaecological problems including abnormal heavy or irregular periods, ovarian cysts, fibroids, adenomyosis and endometriosis, abnormal pap smears to name a few.
Who is a Gynaecologist
A gynaecologist is a specialist doctor who cares for women and specialises in preventing, diagnosing and treating diseases of women’s reproductive organs – such as problems with periods, contraception, abnormal pap test, menopause, infections and cancers of reproductive organs among others.
Following completion of medical degree in the university (typically 6 years), junior doctors rotate through different specialties in the hospital system for a few years before embarking on a specialist or GP training. Obstetrics and Gynaecology is one of these specialties. The training takes a further 6 full-time years with examinations through the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) in Australia.
Most gynaecologists are generalists who can deal with most gynaecological problems. Some gynaecologists have further training in fertility, some in prolapse and urinary incontinence, some in cancer of reproductive organs, others in minimally invasive gynaecology surgery. Obviously gynaecologists with specialist interest in certain area of the specialisation have higher volume of work and experience in that particular area.
When should I see a gynaecologist
You may be referred to see a gynaecologist by your local GP for a number of reasons. These include abnormal menstrual bleeding, fibroids, endometriosis, pelvic pain, abnormal pap test results, family planning, difficulty falling pregnant, prolapse, menopausal symptoms or concerns about malignancies.
Conditions a Gynaecologist can treat
Some of the most common conditions treated by gynaecologists include:
- Heavy Periods: Heavy Menstrual Bleeding (HMB) is a common problem, affecting almost 1 in 3 women. It is one of the commonest reasons why a woman would visit their GP or gynaecologist. While it is almost never life threatening, it can cause a lot of problem to a woman – physically, emotionally, and socially.
- Ovarian Cysts: Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled (or occasionally solid) growth within the ovary. Most ovarian cysts are benign (non-cancerous).
- Fibroids: Fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) growth of the muscle of the uterus (womb). It is a very common finding in women, with up to 40% of women having fibroids within their wombs. Most of these are small and cause no problem at all.
- Adenomyosis: Adenomyosis occurs when the tissue from the internal lining of the uterus grows into the muscle layer of the uterus. This can lead to an enlarged or bulky uterus, and usually causes heavy periods.
- Endometriosis: Endometriosis is a condition when cells from the inside lining of the uterus are found outside the uterus. It is a very common condition affecting up to 1 in 10 women of reproductive age. There is usually a delay in the diagnosis of endometriosis, averaging up to 10 years.
- Uterine Polyps: Uterine polyps (also called endometrial polyps) are growth from the internal (endometrial) lining of the uterus. Most are benign (non-cancerous).
- Abnormal Pap Smears: A detailed examination of the cervix and vagina using a magnification camera (colposcopy) is usually recommended to further assess abnormal pap tests.
What should I expect at a gynaecology appointment?
What happens during your gynaecological appointment will depend on your reason for visiting and your individual conditions. During your first appointment, you may just talk with your doctor, find out what to expect in the future, and get some general health information. During your initial appointment the gynaecologist will involve an assessment of your presenting problem through history taking, physical examination and arranging further tests. Tailored treatment options will then be discussed based on these assessments.
Do I need a referral to see a gynaecologist?
You need a referral from your GP to see a specialist gynaecologist in order to receive a Medicare rebate from the consultation and treatment fee. This is also good practice as the specialist can communicate and liaise with your GP for a treatment plan and follow up. To obtain a second opinion, you can ask your GP for a referral to another specialist.
Dr Kent Kuswanto is an expert in a wide range of gynaecological surgeries, and can perform the following operations:
- Laparoscopy: Also known as minimally invasive surgery or ‘keyhole’ surgery – is a procedure where slender tube (laparoscope) is inserted into the patient’s abdomen, usually through a small cut (5-10mm) in the belly button.
- Hysteroscopy: Hysteroscopy is a procedure where a thin telescope (hysteroscope) is passed through the cervix and into the uterus.
- Hysterectomy: Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the womb (uterus). Most, even those for large uterus, can be performed in minimally invasive way such as laparoscopically.
- Myomectomy: Myomectomy is the surgical removal of fibroid from the uterus. It is recommended when the fibroid is causing significant symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding, reduced fertility or pressure symptoms such as bladder pressure, urinary frequency, bowel pressure, and bloating.
- Hysteroscopic resection of polyp: A built-in wire loop that carries an electrical current passes through a hysteroscope and cut the polyp from the uterine wall for removal. A ‘newer’ instrument called Myosure is an alternative to remove the polyp without using electrical current.
- Ovarian Cystectomy: Ovarian cystectomy refers to the removal of an ovarian cyst while preserving the ovary. Most of these can be performed laparoscopically.
- Laparoscopic treatment of endometriosis: Laparoscopy is the only way of diagnosing endometriosis. Endometriosis can be excised (surgically removed) at the same time if present.
- Endometrial Ablation: Endometrial ablation is one of several non-hormonal treatment options of heavy periods.
- Colposcopy and Laser Ablation to Cervix: Laser ablation of cervix and LLETZ are performed to treat pre-cancerous cells in the cervix.