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MD, Mercer University School Of Medicine, Internal Medicine, 1989 - 1993
Northwestern University, Urogynecology, 1997 - 1999
- Internship & Residency
Greenville Hospital System, Obstetrics & Gynecology, 1993 - 1997
- Board Certifications
American Board Of Obstetrics And Gynecology - Certified, 2001
Subspecialty Board Of Female Pelvic Medicine - Certified, 2013
Get to Know Me
My favorite hobby is going to see live music shows and enjoy doing so with my family. Outside of my practice I spend my time with my family cycling and traveling. I am grateful to have the ability to practice what I love, as my favorite thing to do is see patients and take care of them.
What are some of the specific conditions you treat?
Pelvic floor disorders such as urinary or fecal incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse (bulging out or “dropping” of the vagina, bladder rectum, and/or the uterus. Pelvic floor dysfunction is very common, yet also a topic that many patients are not comfortable discussing. Between 10 and 20 percent of women face pelvic floor dysfunction under the age of 65. It is important to note that not all pelvic floor dysfunction requires surgery and I work with my patients to find the right solution to their problem, tailoring my plan of care to their personal needs and desired management.
What techniques or procedures do you use in your practice?
Cycstoscopy/urethroscopy, ultrasound, urodynamic testing, electrodiagnostic testing (EMG) of the pelvic floor, anal manometry. In addition to these tests, I offer management of pelvic floor disorders including surgical and non-surgical options for the treatment of urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, constipation and fecal incontinence.
What would you like patients to know about your approach to care?
My philosophy is centered on patient education and personalized treatment paths. I provide my patients with an objective assessment of their options and help them understand how to make the best choice for themselves. I listen to my patients, hear what they are actually bothered by (which may not be in line with what is happening within their body) and help them decide if they want a surgical option if one exists, offer non-surgical options, or a hybrid treatment. Minimally invasive surgery is my specialty, however, I understand that surgery it is not the answer for everyone. In some cases, I work with patients on non-surgical management for a while, until they are ready to have a procedure. Many patients decide to go with non-surgical management as their long-term plan. I tailor treatment to the individual. While I loved my academic career, I’ve always enjoyed and cared most about simply treating patients. That’s why I decided to simplify my life by coming the Valley Medical Group to work with Dr. Cristina Saiz. She and I have the same approach to patient care, and I feel lucky to have joined what she started here at Valley.
I established Board-approved fellowship programs at The University of Louisville, Atlantic Health and most recently Weill Cornell Medical College. I’ve published over 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts regarding my original research focused on ways to improve and/or teach minimally invasive surgical techniques for the correction of prolapse and incontinence. I developed a patient education tool that features animations of the anatomy and the effects of the problems patients face, and this tool (called the POP-Q Program) is used by urogynecologists around the world. It has been well received by patients who like it because they can visualize what is actually happening inside their bodies and illustrates how I can help them. Additionally, I invented StitchKit®, a unique patented device that facilitates suture management during robotic surgical procedures and was designed to improve surgical efficiency, autonomy and safety.
- Clinical Professor of Urology (Courtesy), Urology , Weill Cornell Medical College 2020
- Professor of Urology and Gynecology, Weill Cornell Medical College Dept of Urology 2016
- Director of Urogynecology and the FPMRS Fellowship Program, Weill Cornell Medical College 2016 - 2020
Publications & Research
Culligan PJ, Murphy M, Blackwell L, Hammons G, Graham C, Heit MH. Long-term success of abdominal sacral colpopexy using synthetic mesh. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2002;187(6):1473-82. PubMed PMID: 12501049
- Established the validity of reporting prolapse surgery trial results at 12 months
Culligan PJ, Myers JA, Goldberg RP, Blackwell L, Gohmann SF, Abell TD. Elective Cesarean Section to Prevent Anal Incontinence and Brachial Plexus Injuries Associated with Macrosomia – A Decision Analysis. Int J Urogyn 2005;16:19-28 PubMed PMID: 15647962
- Found elective C-section for macrosomia to be an effective strategy
Culligan PJ, Blackwell L, Murphy M, Ziegler C, Heit MH. A randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled trial of postpartum extracorporeal magnetic innervation to restore pelvic muscle strength in primiparous patients. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2004;192:15781582 PubMed PMID: 15902161
- Proved that this device did not improve pelvic floor strength after childbirth
Culligan PJ, Blackwell L, Goldsmith LJ, Graham CA, Rogers A, Heit MH. A randomized controlled trial comparing fascia lata and synthetic mesh for sacral colpopexy. Obstet Gynecol 2005;106(1):29-37 PubMed PMID: 15994614
- Established the superiority of polypropylene mesh over cadaveric fascia lata for prolapse repair
Culligan PJ, Kubik K, Blackwell L, Murphy M, Snyder J. A randomized trial that compared povidone iodine and chlorhexidine as antiseptics for vaginal hysterectomy. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2005;192:422-425 PubMed PMID: 15695981
- Established chlorhexidine as superior to Betadine for surgical prep of the vagina
Culligan PJ, Scherer J, Dyer K, Priestley JL, Guingon-White G, Delvecchio D, Vangeli M. A randomized clinical trial comparing pelvic floor muscle training to a Pilates exercise program for improving pelvic muscle strength. Int J Urogyn 2010;21(4):401-408 PubMed PMID: 20094704
- Established Pilates as being just as good as traditional Kegel exercises for restoring pelvic muscle strength after childbirth
Culligan PJ, Salamon C, Priestley JL, Shariati A. Porcine dermis compared with polypropylene mesh for laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy. A randomized controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol 2013;121(1):143-151PubMed PMID: 23262939
- Established cross-linked porcine dermis as an effective graft material for prolapse repair
Culligan PJ, Gurshumov E, Lewis C, Priestley JL, Komar J, Salamon C. Predictive validity of a training protocol utilizing a robotic surgery simulator. Female Pelvic Med & Recon Surg 2014;20(1):48-51PubMed PMID: 24368489.
- Demonstrated that robotic novices could acquire expert-level robotic surgical skills from completion of a rigorous simulation protocol
St. Louis S, Scott R, Lewis C, Salamon C, Pagnillo J, Tref N, Taylor D, Culligan PJ. Genetic mutation that may contribute to failure of prolapse surgery in Caucasian women: A case-control study. J Min Invasive Gyn 2016;23(5):726-730 PubMed PMID: 26944198
- Discovered a genetic mutation that may explain prolapse surgery failure
Culligan PJ, Lewis C, Priestley JL, Mushonga N. Long-term outcomes of robotic-assisted laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy using lightweight Y-mesh. FPMRS 2019: ePub ahead of print. PMID 31688526
- Largest study with > 5 year follow-up of patients who underwent the “modern version” of sacrocolpopexy
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