Dr. Steven Vasilev

Endometriosis Specialist

Complex Abdominal-Pelvic Robotic Surgeon
Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Oncologist

Address

Offices in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and San Luis Obispo, California

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Specialties
  • Endometriosis Excision Surgery
  • Pelvic & Abdominal Endometriosis
  • Endometrioma
  • Bladder & Urinary Endometriosis
  • Diaphragmatic Endometriosis
Profile Description

Steven A. Vasilev MD MBA FACOG FACS FACN ABIHM ABOIM

Medical Director, G.O. Institute Los Angeles
Complex Gynecology, Oncology & Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery, Endometriosis Specialist
City: Santa Monica, Beverly Hills & San Luis Obispo, CA, USA.

Dr. Steve Vasilev is a renowned minimally invasive pelvic and abdominal surgeon who pioneered complex laparoscopic and robotic surgery, with over thirty years of experience treating endometriosis and cancer. Known as the go-to surgeon for advanced disease, he often takes on cases deemed inoperable by others. He is a surgeon supporting other excision surgeons due to his board certification to operate on all abdominal and pelvic organs. Having performed thousands of advanced complex surgeries, he has taught hundreds of residents, fellows, and colleagues these specialized techniques as faculty and professor at UCI, USC, UCLA, City of Hope, and Loma Linda. Dr. Vasilev is the only physician triple board-certified in the United States in Ob-Gyn, Oncology, and Integrative & Holistic Medicine. This background and experience are surgically unsurpassed and support his multidisciplinary holistic approach to endometriosis. Above all, he is well-known among his patients as a down-to-earth, compassionate listener.

Please watch the short informative video in the upper left corner of this profile. 

Philosophy:

In addition to being a doctor and surgeon, I am a clinical researcher and translational scientist. We are studying the molecular behavior of endometriosis in our laboratories. Endometriosis theories suggest multiple causes, and each thesis
contributes to factors likely tied together at the molecular genetic level. Identification of endometriosis molecular and immunomodulatory pathway biomarkers will soon lead to better non-invasive diagnostics, accurate monitoring, and effective therapies beyond the baseline of expert excisional surgery and hormonal manipulation. I focus on this and the uncommon but clear overlap with malignancy in older endo patients or those with a family history.

Surgical excision is a critical cornerstone for endo diagnosis, initial treatment, and re- excision of recurrence or pain-producing fibrosis. My philosophy is to be fully informed and prepared, no matter the findings, through optimal pre-operative imaging and testing. Fortunately, my unique training and board certifications permit surgery on all abdominal or pelvic organs, including small and large bowel, ureters, bladder, liver, and diaphragm. If disease is suspected beyond these organs, such as the chest, we have expert cardiothoracic and neurosurgeons ready to join a multi-disciplinary surgery. Having used both laparoscopy and robotics in thousands of surgeries over three decades, including the hardest of the complicated surgeries, I firmly believe that the far superior 3-D camera optics and articulating or wristed “tiny hands” instruments used in robotics are better than traditional laparoscopy for all but the simplest of cases. When complicated anatomy or scarring from endo and fibrosis is unexpectedly found, which is not uncommon because endo is intensely inflammatory, the ability to see better and use finesse instruments makes all the difference, especially in highly experienced hands.

Medication:

During the perioperative period, we use holistic ERAS-modified care, combined with integrative modalities such as acupuncture and acupressure, to allow faster recovery with lower narcotic use. We individually construct and coordinate a multidisciplinary consulting team of experts to manage pain, intestinal manifestations such as SIBO and pelvic floor dysfunction. We work with referring gynecologists regarding hormonal support but discourage using GnRH-based therapies. My board certification in Integrative Medicine uniquely injects additional options involving holistic care. An example is proactive estrobolome management to lower systemic estrogen levels naturally.

Approach to Persistent Pain:

Both pre- and post-operatively, I strongly encourage pelvic floor therapy and pain specialist consultation and follow-up. The genesis of endo-induced pain can be due to endometriosis implants and peripheral visceral and parietal peritoneal nociception, fibrosis, direct nerve impingement, pelvic floor dysesthesia, or central sensitization. A very individual approach is vital to the best management plan. In primary and persistent pain situations, each of these “medicalese” terms is discussed in detail to craft the best possible personalized plan. Finally, as noted above, I am a board-certified integrative medicine practitioner and thus apply Eastern thought such as acupuncture, mind-body strategies, and personal nutritional counseling and interventions.

Dr. Steve’s articles:

How to Tell The Difference Between Endometriosis and Ovarian Cancer

Sciatic Nerve Endometriosis: Uncommon or Not?

Breaking the Cycle: Understanding Endometrioma Recurrence After Surgery

Endometriosis And Menopause: Everything You Need To Know

Dr. Steve’s books:

  • Ovarian Cyst Treatment
  • Cancer Cureology: The Ultimate Survivor’s Holistic Guide: Integrative Natural Anti-Cancer Answers: The Science and Truth
Additional Info
Gender:

Male

Hospital Affiliations:

- Providence Saint John’s, Santa Monica, CA
- Cedars-Sinai, Marina del Rey, Beverly Hills, CA
- Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, San Luis Obispo, CA

Insurance:

Many insurances via out-of-network advocacy team

Waiting Time:

Variable

In Practice Since Year:

1990

Fellowship & Certificates:

- Fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology, University of Southern California, 1988-1990
- National Proctor Robotic Surgery, Intuitive Surgical

Residency:

Residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women's Hospital, LAC/USC Medical Center, 1985-1988

School:

University of Southern California School of Medicine, 1980-1984

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What patients say:
Reviews:
5 4 votes
Knowledge of endometriosis
5 4 votes
Bedside manner
5 4 votes
Pre procedure explanation
5 4 votes
Follow up care
5 4 votes
Achieving your desired outcome
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I am blessed to have Dr. Steven Vasilev. He is a compassionate medical professional who surrounds himself with a great team. I had robotic surgery and my healing is going very well. He continues to direct my ongoing after surgery treatment program and for that I am immensely grateful.

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Knowledge of endometriosis :
     
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Look no further–only wish i had known of him sooner! Excellent in everyway.

Ashlyn Bans Fernandez
Knowledge of endometriosis :
     
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Pre procedure explanation :
     
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Achieving your desired outcome :
     

Dr Vasilev, is the best surgeon I had stage 4 endometriosis, chocolate cyst, block tube and one other thing. He was able to do it all.His Endometriosis savy! Lastly his PA Lisa and RN Lisa is amazing also front desk Alicia. They are great team.Thank you so much!

Anonymous
Knowledge of endometriosis :
     
Bedside manner :
     
Pre procedure explanation :
     
Follow up care :
     
Achieving your desired outcome :
     

I did it!!! I survived a pretty intense 6 hour operation, thanks to Dr. Steven Vasilev. Dr. Vasilev was kind, compassionate and very thorough in answering all of my questions.
My symptoms have been building for 20 years! I am so grateful to have connected with such a skilled and compassionate surgeon, who made me feel like I was NOT a hypochondriac.
I ended up having a partial hysterectomy, appendectomy, bartholin’s gland excision from my vaginal wall, endometriosis excised from multiple places, but most notably the areas I was feeling pain! It was around my rectum, peritoneum near my bladder and near my left ovary. I am in so much pain right now, but I feel SO validated!!! Now to heal and enjoy a more peaceful, pain free life.