I first heard of Dr. Leyland through the online endometriosis community.
Prior to immersing myself in the community I was completely unaware that endometriosis surgeons/specialist existed.
To go 15 years in dealing with a disease and yet no one told me or referred me to a endometriosis surgeon seemed baffling, then when my thoracic symptoms started and I dove in deep is when I found out about all of the endo surgeons we have here in Ontario as well as others around the world.
My gynaecologist is located in Hamilton which is the same city that Dr Leyland’s office resides out of so proximity to my gynaecologist and also all of my previous surgeries had been at McMaster hospital so the familiarity was reassuring when choosing to be referred to him.
I also felt reassured that he has been an endometriosis surgeon for a significant amount of time and runs a fellowship program.
I first walked into Dr Leyland’s office Oct 16 2018 (it was my husbands birthday)
I spent the next 7 months going back and fourth between him and my thoracic surgeon and organizing a collaborative surgery.
I found Dr Leyland to be very informational and educational on all aspect of endo and management, he was very black and white and had direct answers to my direct questions. I never left the office feeling confused or leaving with more questions that I came in with.
His team of fellows were kind, compassionate and humorous on surgery day Oct 10 2019, a day that he helped change my life.
I will forever think fondly of him as he is a huge part in my journey and helping me get to the other side of this disease.
Dr Nicholas Leyland
Dr. Leyland is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in gynecological surgery and the comprehensive management of endometriosis. He has contributed academically to the advancement of women’s health in the development and the provision of the least invasive surgical options for a variety of surgical conditions.
He sits on the Gynecology Clinical Practice Committee of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada as past Chair. This committee develops guidelines to set standards for the profession. He is Past President of the Canadian Society For Gynecologic Excellence. The majority of his academic career has been at the University of Toronto where he developed one of Canada’s first comprehensive fellowships in minimally invasive gynecological surgery.
Dr. Leyland took the time to complete a Masters Degree from Harvard University while working full time to develop leadership skills in medicine to advance the care for women.
He is currently The F.L. Johnson Chair and Professor of the Department of OB/GYN at McMaster University and is head of the Endometriosis Clinic based out of McMaster University Medical Centre in Hamilton, Ontario.
I had the chance to ask him a few important questions of his thoughts and expertise around situations within endo;
What made you choose to create a career around endometriosis?
During my training and my early career it was apparent that women suffering from endometriosis were not well managed medically or surgically. In the 1990’s I travelled to work with experts around the world to develop the knowledge, skills and abilities to provide better care to women with this disease.
What is your favourite part when dealing with endometriosis, in clinic or in surgery?
When patients who has been suffering for a long period of time respond to our interventions and have improvement in their quality of life! This is very gratifying.
What is something that you wish patients knew?
Endometriosis can be effectively managed using multi-modal therapy. This includes medical, surgical and other modalities. The later may include physiotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness training. This disorder requires careful assessment and the development of a lifelong plan that varies depending on the goals of the individual patient. Be this fertility, pain management or pelvic floor dysfunction.
What is something that you enjoy to do outside of surgery and the clinic?
Cycling, travel, reading. I have five children who all provide the greatest joy to me and my wife.
There hasn’t been much change in treatment, awareness, funding and education around endometriosis over the last 20 years, why do you think that is and what do you feel needs to change in order to see a larger scale of changes?
I believe that women in our society have a long way to go to achieve equality in many areas including health care. Women need to advocate for themselves and work with their care providers to achieve greater funding in research and centres of excellence for the provision of this type of care.
Over the last few years endometriosis patients seem to have taken to social media to access resources, information, community and belonging.
Have you seen a change in patient knowledge and how does that change the dynamic in clinic appointments?
Women have been able to access information via many channels. Unfortunately there is good and bad in this. Some information on line is inaccurate and misleading. However, the more educated women are when coming to clinical sessions the better.
I want to thank Dr Leyland for taking the time to do a short interview as well as all of his work in research, studies and advancements within endometriosis care.