Imaging and Reproductive Surgery SIG

Imaging plays a vital role in the investigation and treatment of patients seeking assistance with fertility. The CFAS established a “special interest group” (SIG) to address issues related to reproductive imaging and the ever-increasing role that imaging plays in the fields of fertility and andrology.

The establishment of an Imaging and Reproductive Surgery SIG created additional awareness of the CFAS among a sector of the healthcare community that has heretofore not been involved in the organization. Many reproductive imaging practitioners benefit from participation in the CFAS and from deliberations with colleagues in related fields of endeavour.

The mandate of the Imaging and Reproductive Surgery SIG is to promote awareness of the CFAS and to sponsor educational initiatives relating to the staggering advances in reproductive imaging over the past two decades. Educational instruction is usually affected through clinical lectures at CFAS annual meetings and through poster sessions. In the future, this lecture format will be supplemented with presentations on both clinical and laboratory research matters.

Response to the establishment of the Imaging and Reproductive Surgery SIG was overwhelming. Attendance at the scheduled lectures was substantially greater than had been anticipated. Also, audience participation at these events and at the poster sessions displayed both a level of interest and knowledge that was unexpected.

We have been fortunate to have had national and international experts participate in our educational activities. Attendees at the SIG meetings have been treated to lively discussions concerning many commonly seen, controversial and/or complicated cases involving reproductive imaging. Lectures on the latest trends in reproductive imaging have been highlighted, as well as practical “how to” talks on various topics. We have also encouraged open discussions on the future trends in ultrasound.

Topics that have been discussed have been varied and controversial. We have discussed included follicular monitoring, 3D ultrasound, sonohysterography, tubal patency analysis, PCOS, adenomyosis, first trimester ultrasound, fibroids, abnormal bleeding and ovarian reserves.

Canada is already at the forefront in reproductive imaging research. With so many fertility patients being investigated and treated in Canada, it was appropriate that the great number of research posters presented at CFAS conferences have highlighted the prominence of “Made in Canada” clinical research. We should congratulate those who participate in reproductive imaging research. Thanks also to those who viewed the posters and have learned from them.

Interest was shown by many clinicians, researchers and technologists to participate in the Imaging and Reproductive Surgery SIG. We will be organizing a recruiting drive to increase both membership and prominence of the Imaging and Reproductive Surgery SIG. Plans are already underway to further promote the group’s presence at the CFAS. It is our intention to attract additional sponsors and attract more world-class speakers.

Michael Hartman, MD - Chair

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Dr. Michael Hartman has been a loyal and active member of the CFAS. He has presented original research on ultrasound nearly every year at the CFAS Annual Meeting since 2008! He also received the CFAS resident award at the 2011 Annual Meeting.

Dr. Hartman received his MD degree from McMaster University, and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Obstetrics and Gynecology following his residency at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He completed his fellowship in Gynecologic Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at McGill University, which at the time was the busiest IVF clinic and largest university-based reproductive clinic in Canada.

Some of his recognitions throughout his training include the Governor General’s Academic Medal, the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation/Canadian Institute for Health Research Resident Research Award, and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s Resident Research Award at Memorial University of Newfoundland on two separate occasions. He was the recipient of the CFAS Resident Award in 2011 for his achievements. He was selected to be the Chief Fellow at the McGill University Reproductive Centre, and at the end of his fellowship he was singled out for the Excellence in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Award. Dr. Hartman was also the recipient of the Good Samaritan Award for his work with the Reena Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting individuals with developmental disabilities.

Dr. Hartman has a number of publications in peer-reviewed journals, and has presented his research at the CFAS, American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) annual meetings.

His research interests include ultrasound, saline infusion sonohysterography, congenital uterine anomalies, endometrial polyps and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

Beth Gunn, MD - Vice-Chair

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Dr. Gunn is a graduate of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Alberta.  Following her residency in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, she went on to complete a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of Toronto.  Dr. Gunn is currently on staff as a reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist TRIO Fertility in Toronto.

Dr. Gunn enjoys medical education and takes part in training both residents and fellows.  Her current areas of clinical focus and research include; PCOS, reproductive imaging, sonohysterography, as well as improving clinical outcomes in ART.  She has presented at various national and international conferences on topics relating to both infertility and reproductive imaging.

Given her passion for reproductive imaging, Dr. Gunn looks forward to the opportunity of  working with the CFAS to further expand and enrich the Imaging Special Interest Group.

Alex Hartman, MD - Secretary/Treasurer

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For the past 28 years, I have been primarily involved in Women’s Imaging, with a focus on ultrasound as applied to obstetrics, gynecology and infertility. As the medical director of True North Imaging, the organization has become Canada’s largest provider of reproductive imaging procedures, serving 8 fertility clinics, as well as numerous individual practitioners. We have also become one of the major centres of reproductive medical imaging research and teaching.

Formerly on staff at McGill University, I now train fertility Fellows and all obstetrics and gynecology residents at the University of Toronto, as well as trainees from across North America. I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to lecture extensively locally, nationally and internationally. I have served as the founding Chair of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society Imaging SIG and formerly held the same position for the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

As the leader of True North Imaging’s research division, we have become one of the largest ultrasound research centres in North America. In the past few years, the research has focused on: infertility imaging, abnormal uterine bleeding, pelvic pain, sonohysterography, 3D imaging, polycystic ovaries, congenital uterine malformations, polyps, fibroids, adenomyosis and ultrasound tubal patency.

I have also been an advisor to numerous government committees and task forces on imaging. I have been a strong advocate for increased funding for health care and improving access for patients in Canada to advanced treatments and investigations.