Oz Harmanli, MD, an expert in disorders that affect the muscles, ligaments and connective tissue of the pelvic floor, takes great pride in making positive changes in women’s lives. “Here at Yale Medicine, we do that on a daily basis,” says Dr. Harmanli, who is chief of Urogynecology & Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery. “Nothing is better than a happy patient. It keeps me going.”
Dr. Harmanli treats urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, which is the projection of pelvic organs (bladder, uterus, vagina or rectum) into the vagina or outside the vaginal opening. He was drawn to the urogynecology field by influential surgical mentors. “I knew that focusing on this alone would make me better at my job,” he says. “Pelvic floor medicine, compared to other subspecialties in obstetrics and gynecology, is in its infancy in terms of scientific advancements and innovations. So much is taking place right now and being in the midst of it is exciting.”
In fact, Dr. Harmanli is in the final stages of working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to bring a new medical device to market for women who suffer from prolapse. Pessaries are plastic devices that are placed inside the vagina to treat this condition. They typically require office visits every few weeks for removal and insertion by a healthcare provider. The pessary model Dr. Harmanli is developing is easier for women to do this themselves, among other benefits, he says.
Dr. Harmanli is also a professor of obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine.