Choosing the treatment option that is right for you will be based on a number of factors, including your diagnosis, overall health and lifestyle. Women who need surgery for conditions of the reproductive organs can expect the highest level of care at Penn State Health St. Joseph. Each of our gynecological surgeons is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and works closely with other specialists to determine the best treatment plan for you. You are the most important member of our care team, and we include you in discussions from diagnosis to surgery to recovery.

Conditions and Treatments

Surgery can be effective in relieving gynecological conditions such as:

  • Abnormal or excessive uterine bleeding
  • Cancer of the cervix, uterus, ovaries or other pelvic organs
  • Cysts
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibroid tumors
  • Incontinence
  • Pelvic floor disorders
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Some problems that occur during pregnancy

Gynecological surgeons use a number of surgeries to treat these conditions. For example, a procedure called myomectomy is used to remove fibroid tumors. Gynecological surgeries also include hysterectomy, endometriosis resection and others.

Robotic-Assisted Surgery

Robotic-assisted surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery during which doctors use very small surgical instruments that fit into a patient’s body through a series of tiny incisions. These instruments are mounted on three robotic arms, allowing a surgeon maximum range of motion and precision as he or she performs the procedure. A fourth arm holds a high-definition, three-dimensional camera that enhances visualization for the surgeon.

At Penn State Health St. Joseph, robotic-assisted procedures are performed in a specially equipped operating room using our state-of-the-art da Vinci® Xi surgical system.

Traditional Laparoscopic and Open Surgery

Traditional Laparoscopic Surgery is a minimally invasion option that uses technology to allow a surgeon to perform surgery without the large incision required by an open procedure. Like Robotic-Assisted Surgery, it involves using several small incisions to perform the procedure, but without the use of a robotic surgical system.


Robotic-assisted surgery offers many benefits to patients compared to open surgery, including:

  • Less pain, blood loss, and scarring
  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Faster recovery
  • Earlier return to normal daily activities

You may not be a good candidate for robotic-assisted surgery if:

  • You are not a good candidate for laparoscopic surgery, which is in many ways similar to robotic surgery
  • You can’t go under general anesthesia
  • You have scar tissue or other blockages that prevent the cameras from seeing the surgical area well enough
  • You have cirrhosis (advanced liver disease)
  • You have bleeding problems that could make any surgery risky

As with all medical conditions, it is important to talk with your provider to determine what the best treatment option may be for you and your condition.


Together, Penn State Health St. Joseph and Penn State Health Hershey Medical Center are expanding access to the most advanced surgical technology and expertise in the region to the residents of Berks County.

Dr. Lesley Sweeney

Lesley Sweeney, MD, is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist who earned her medical degree at Penn State College of Medicine and completed her residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Dr. Sweeney welcomes women in all phases of life, from young adults to women preparing for a family to pre- and postmenopausal women. When and if medical issues arise, Dr. Sweeney will blend the latest advances in gynecological science to create treatment options that meet her patients’ unique needs. Her range of clinical skills includes in-office treatment and minimally invasive hospital surgery. She is a member of the Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Group.

In 19 seconds, Dr. Sweeney explains how robotic-assisted surgery benefits women.

Dr. Jessika Kissling

Jessika M. Kissling, MD, is board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She earned her undergraduate degree at The George Washington University and her medical degree from Drexel University College of Medicine.

Dr. Kissling joins Penn State Health St. Joseph from the Lancaster Physicians for Women medical group. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Reading Hospital and Medical Center. She also is a Fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a member of the Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Group.

Dr. Tim Grube

Tim Grube, DO, of Grube Gynecology in Schuylkill County, Pa., is a board certified obstetrician and gynecologist who has been in practice for almost 16 years and has utilized robotic-assisted surgery in his practice for years.

Dr. Grube obtained a bachelor of science degree at Juniata College. He earned his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he also completed both his internship and residency.

In 36 seconds, Dr. Grube shares what women are saying about their experience with robotic-assisted hysterectomies

Jamie Gretsky PA-C

Jamie Gretsky is a board-certified Physician Assistant (PA). He received his undergraduate degree in biology at Penn State University and master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies from DeSales University.

Dr. Gretsky possesses 15 years of experience as a PA, first assisting in surgery with a focus on robotics and minimally invasive surgery. He previously worked on a robotic-assisted surgery team in Schuylkill County.

Dr. Christie Ganas

Christie Ganas, MD is a graduate of Pittsburgh University and Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia. She completed her residency in Obstetrics / Gynecology at Reading Hospital and Medical Center. Dr. Ganas is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her medical practice specializes in Gynecology, minimally invasive surgery, and other Women’s Services.

Dr. Andrew Shoemaker

Dr. Andrew Shoemaker completed his medical residency at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and attended medical school at Drexel University in Philadelphia. He specializes in obstetrics and gynecology, minimally invasive and robotic-assisted surgery.

Dr. Vincent Zhang

Dr. Vincent Zhang (pronounced Jang) was raised in central New Jersey and attended Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He received his medical degree at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, which is currently known as Rutgers Medical School. Dr. Zhang completed his medical residency in obstetrics and gynecology at The Reading Hospital. His clinical interests include metabolic disorders during preconception and pregnancy and minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, including robotic-assisted surgery.

Dr. Karen Gurski

Dr. Gurski is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University and the Penn State College of Medicine, at Hershey. She completed her internship and residency in Obstetrics / Gynecology at Strong Memorial Hospital at the University of Rochester, New York and completed a year of research and fellowship at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC. Dr. Gurski is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She specializes in Gynecology, minimally invasive surgery, female sexual dysfunction and other Women’s Services.

Dr. Jaime Long

Female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery specialist and Berks County native Dr. Jaime Long is now seeing patients at Penn State Health St. Joseph OB/GYN Associates. She specializes in incontinence, prolapsed bladder and overactive bladder, and is accepting new patients. She is a member of the American Urogynecologic Society, the Society of Gynecologic Surgeons and the American Osteopathic Association. Dr. Long also has conducted research related to preemptive analgesia and urinary tract infections.