Clinical Focus


  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Academic Appointments


  • Professor - Med Center Line, Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Member, Child Health Research Institute

Administrative Appointments


  • Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Stanford University (2017 - Present)

Honors & Awards


  • Distinction in Mentoring Award Nominee, UCSF Academic Senate (2015, 2016)
  • Outstanding Faculty Award in Medical Student Teaching, UCSF Department of OBGYN&RS (2010, 2011, 2013, 2014)
  • Women's Health Foundation Medical Activist Award, Women's Health Foundation (2009)
  • Mid-Career Investigator Award in Patient Oriented Research (K24) and renewal, NIH/NIDDK (2008, 2015)
  • Honoree, UCSF Chancellor's Committee on the Status of Women, UCSF, Chancellor (2002)
  • UCSF Women’s Reproductive Health Research Career Development Scholar (WRHR K12), UCSF, NIH/NICHD (2000)
  • Rolex Achievement Award for outstanding career achievements and contribution to society, College Golf Foundation (1996)
  • Outstanding Resident Consultant, UCSF Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Science (1994)
  • Julius R. Krevans Award for Clinical Excellence, UCSF (1991)
  • Green Key Honor Society, Dartmouth College (1982)

Professional Education


  • Board Certified, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Diplomate) (1997)
  • Fellowship, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center (SFVAMC), Epidemiolgy & Clinical Research (1997)
  • Fellowship, UCSF and SFVAMC, Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery (1997)
  • Board Certification: Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (1997)
  • Certificate, UCSF, Advanced Training in Clinical Research (1996)
  • Fellowship:San Francisco VA Medical Center (1997) CA
  • Residency, University of California, San Francisco, Obstetrics & Gynecology (1995)
  • Residency:UCSF Dept of Obstetrics and Gynecology and REI (1995) CA
  • MD, Stanford University School of Medicine, Medicine (1991)
  • Medical Education:Stanford University School of Medicine Registrar (1991) CA
  • BA, Dartmouth College, Earth Sciences, Economics (1983)

All Publications


  • Pelvic organ prolapse surgery in the United States, 1997 AMERICAN JOURNAL OF OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY Brown, J. S., Waetjen, L. E., Subak, L. L., Thom, D. H., Van den Eeden, S., Vittinghoff, E. 2002; 186 (4): 712-716

    Abstract

    Our purpose was to describe the prevalence, regional rates and demographic characteristics, morbidity, and mortality of pelvic organ prolapse surgeries in the United States.We used data from the 1997 National Hospital Discharge Survey and the 1997 National Census to calculate rates of pelvic organ prolapse surgeries by age, race, and regional trends.In 1997, 225,964 women underwent surgery for prolapse (22.7 per 10,000 women). The mean age of these women was 54.6 years (+/-15.2). The South had the highest rate of surgery (29.3 per 10,000) and the Northeast had the lowest (16.1 per 10,000). The surgery rate for whites (19.6 per 10,000) was 3 times greater than that for African Americans (6.4 per 10,000). Although 16% of surgeries had complications, mortality was rare (0.03%).Pelvic organ prolapse surgery is common. Regional and racial differences in rates of surgery may reflect physician practice, patient preferences, and gynecologic care utilization.

    View details for DOI 10.1067/mob.2002.121897

    View details for Web of Science ID 000175545300018

    View details for PubMedID 11967496

  • Does weight loss improve incontinence in moderately obese women? INTERNATIONAL UROGYNECOLOGY JOURNAL Subak, L. L., Johnson, C., Whitcomb, E., Boban, D., Saxton, J., Brown, J. S. 2002; 13 (1): 40-43

    Abstract

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of weight reduction on urinary incontinence in moderately obese women. This prospective cohort study enrolled moderately obese women experiencing four or more incontinence episodes per week. BMI and a 7-day urinary diary were collected at baseline and on the completion of weight reduction. The study included 10 women with a mean (+/-SD) baseline BMI of 38.3 (+/-10.1) kg/m2 and 13 (+/-10) incontinent episodes per week. Participants had a mean BMI reduction of 5.3 (+/-6.2) kg/ m2 (P < 0.03). Among women achieving a weight loss of > or = 5%, 6/6 had > or = 50% reduction in incontinence frequency compared to 1 in 4 women with < 5% weight loss (P < 0.03). Incontinence episodes decreased to 8 (+/-10) per week following weight reduction (P < 0.07). The study demonstrated an association between weight reduction and improved urinary incontinence. Weight reduction should be considered for moderately obese women as part of non-surgical therapy for incontinence.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000174940100009

    View details for PubMedID 11999205

  • Cost of pelvic organ prolapse surgery in the United States OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY Subak, L. L., Waetjen, L. E., Van den Eeden, S., Thom, D. H., Vittinghoff, E., Brown, J. S. 2001; 98 (4): 646-651

    Abstract

    To estimate the annual direct cost to society of pelvic organ prolapse operations in the United States.We multiplied the number of pelvic organ prolapse operations identified in the 1997 National Hospital Discharge Survey by national average Medicare reimbursement for physician services and hospitalizations. Although this reimbursement does not estimate the actual cost, it is a proxy for cost, which estimates what society pays for the procedures.In 1997, direct costs of pelvic organ prolapse surgery were 1012 million dollars (95% confidence interval [CI] 775 dollars, 1251 million), including 494 dollars million (49%) for vaginal hysterectomy, 279 million dollars (28%) for cystocele and rectocele repair, and 135 million dollars (13%) for abdominal hysterectomy. Physician services accounted for 29% (298 million dollars) of total costs, and hospitalization accounted for 71% (714 million dollars). Twenty-one percent of pelvic organ prolapse operations included urinary incontinence procedures (218 million dollars). If all operations were reimbursed by non-Medicare sources, the annual estimated cost would increase by 52% to 1543 million dollars.The annual direct costs of operations for pelvic organ prolapse are substantial.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000171374400021

    View details for PubMedID 11576582

  • THERAPEUTIC DONOR INSEMINATION - A PROSPECTIVE RANDOMIZED TRIAL OF FRESH VERSUS FROZEN SPERM 58TH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE PACIFIC COAST OBSTETRICAL AND GYNECOLOGICAL SOC Subak, L. L., Adamson, G. D., BOLTZ, N. L. MOSBY-YEAR BOOK INC. 1992: 1597–1606

    Abstract

    We evaluated the efficacy of fresh versus frozen sperm in therapeutic donor insemination.Fifty-seven women underwent 72 courses of treatment (a maximum of six therapeutic donor insemination cycles--three fresh and three frozen) totaling 198 cycles. Each woman served as her own control and was prospectively randomized to receive a single, timed insemination of either fresh or frozen sperm.Fecundity was 20.6% for fresh sperm cycles and 9.4% for frozen (p less than 0.03, by chi 2 analysis). Fresh cervical cap insemination fecundity was 20.3%; frozen was 7.8% (p less than 0.03, by chi 2 analysis). Fresh intrauterine insemination fecundity was 21.2%; frozen was 15.8% (p = 0.63, by chi 2 analysis). Fresh 3-month life-table pregnancy rates were 48% +/- 10%; frozen rates were 22% +/- 8% (p = 0.05 by Breslow analysis). Survival analysis with fixed covariates showed a positive association with the use of fresh sperm (p = 0.04).Cycle fecundity was significantly greater with fresh sperm in women undergoing cervical cap insemination or intrauterine insemination and in women undergoing only cervical cap insemination. These results have important implications for contemporary management of patients undergoing therapeutic donor insemination with frozen sperm.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1992JA20600002

    View details for PubMedID 1615966

  • COMPARISON OF CO2-LASER LAPAROSCOPY WITH LAPAROTOMY FOR TREATMENT OF ENDOMETRIOMATA FERTILITY AND STERILITY Adamson, G. D., Subak, L. L., Pasta, D. J., HURD, S. J., VONFRANQUE, O., Rodriguez, B. D. 1992; 57 (5): 965-973

    Abstract

    To assess the effectiveness of laparoscopy versus laparotomy in the treatment of endometriomata.Controlled study using data prospectively tabulated.Treatment performed by senior author in a referral reproductive endocrinology and surgery private practice.One hundred infertile women were diagnosed with endometriomata.Forty-eight women were treated with CO2 laser laparoscopy (laparoscopy group) and 52 women were treated with CO2 laser or nonlaser laparotomy (laparotomy group).The hypothesis that laparoscopy group pregnancy rates (PRs) would be equal to or greater than laparotomy group was formulated before data analysis but after data tabulation.The 1 and 3-year life table estimated cumulative PRs +/- SE were 0.30 +/- 0.07 and 0.52 +/- 0.09 for laparoscopy group and 0.23 +/- 0.06 and 0.46 +/- 0.09 for laparotomy group (Breslow P = 0.48). Monthly fecundity over 3 years was 2.4% for laparoscopy group and 2.0% for laparotomy group.Laparoscopy with CO2 laser can be a safe and effective modality for treating endometriomata.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1992HR34300003

    View details for PubMedID 1533375

  • ANALGESIA AFTER CESAREAN DELIVERY - PATIENT EVALUATIONS AND COSTS OF 5 OPIOID TECHNIQUES REGIONAL ANESTHESIA Cohen, S. E., Subak, L. L., Brose, W. G., Halpern, J. 1991; 16 (3): 141-149

    Abstract

    The study was designed to compare five opioid analgesic regimens administered after cesarean delivery in a routine hospital setting with respect to patients' perceptions of their pain relief and the impact of analgesic technique on recovery and hospital costs. After cesarean delivery, 684 patients received one of the following: epidural morphine, alone (EM,n = 128), or with fentanyl (EM + F,n = 245); subarachnoid morphine (n = 48); intramuscular meperidine (n = 165), or patient-controlled analgesia using meperidine (PCA, n = 98). On the first three postoperative days (Days 1-3; day of operation is Day 1) patients were surveyed regarding their impressions of their analgesia, the incidence of side effects, times to resume normal activities and satisfaction with their technique. Information regarding drug interventions and costs was obtained from anesthetic records and nursing charts. Patients receiving intramuscular and PCA opioids reported significantly more severe pain during the first 16 hours than those receiving intraspinal opioids (p less than 0.05); differences were minimal for the remainder of Day 1. Among the intraspinal groups, analgesia was best overall with EM; specifically, fentanyl did not decrease early postoperative pain. Analgesia with PCA and intramuscular opioids was similar during the first 16 hours; however, PCA patients felt they had less pain thereafter. Side effects were common in all intraspinal groups and were least frequent with PCA (p less than 0.05 versus all intraspinal groups). Times to sit, walk and drink were similar in all patients except those receiving intramuscular opioids after general anesthesia, who experienced a several-hour delay. Other aspects of recovery did not differ among the groups. Satisfaction parallelled pain relief and was better with intraspinal than with systemic opioids. Costs were greatest with PCA, although differences were small (less than 1%) relative to total hospital charges.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1991FX19600006

    View details for PubMedID 1883771

  • IMPROVED PREDICTION OF POSTOVULATORY DAY USING TEMPERATURE RECORDING, ENDOMETRIAL BIOPSY, AND SERUM PROGESTERONE FERTILITY AND STERILITY PILLET, M. C., Wu, T. F., Adamson, G. D., Subak, L. L., Lamb, E. J. 1990; 53 (4): 614-619

    Abstract

    The use of basal body temperature (BBT) recording and a single progesterone (P) level at the time of the endometrial biopsy in the late luteal phase improved our ability to predict the onset of the next menstrual period (NMP) and determine the postovulatory day (POD) in 124 regularly menstruating infertile women. We determined BBT shift using a microcomputer program, analyzed P levels by radioimmunoassay, and evaluated endometrial biopsies both prospectively (blinded) and retrospectively (with knowledge of the other variables). Serum P levels were within the normal range for the luteal phase and prospective and retrospective histological diagnoses closely agreed (82% within 2 days). The best correlation with the NMP was the BBT shift (r = 0.493) followed by P (r = 0.426) and prospective histologic dating (r = 0.390). Multiple regression analysis confirmed that use of all of the variables markedly improved the ability to estimate the POD (R2 = 0.51).

    View details for Web of Science ID A1990CX65500005

    View details for PubMedID 2318322

  • LAPAROSCOPIC CO2-LASER VAPORIZATION OF ENDOMETRIOSIS COMPARED WITH TRADITIONAL TREATMENTS FERTILITY AND STERILITY Adamson, G. D., Lu, J., Subak, L. L. 1988; 50 (5): 704-710

    Abstract

    This study reports on 108 infertile patients with endometriosis diagnosed at laparoscopy. Sixty-four patients had endometriosis and adhesions vaporized with a CO2 laser (LAS) and were prospectively compared with a control group (CON) of 44 patients who had laparoscopy. The 6- and 12-month estimated cumulative pregnancy rates for LAS were 0.32 +/- 0.07 and 0.55 +/- 0.09 respectively, and for CON 0.17 +/- 0.06 and 0.43 +/- 0.09 (Breslow P = 0.10). Monthly fecundity rates were 6.7% in LAS and 4.5% in CON. Survival analysis with fixed covariates showed that pregnancy rates were increased in patients with adhesions (P = 0.002) and other pelvic disease (P = 0.0001). Pregnancy rates were reduced by age (P = 0.02), previous adhesiolysis (P = 0.0000) and post-laparoscopy medical treatment (P = 0.0002). Our findings indicate that CO2 laser laparoscopy vaporization of endometriosis can be a safe, effective, and possibly improved modality for treating endometriosis.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1988Q917200003

    View details for PubMedID 2972565