Meet Dr Kurinji Kannan, Obs & Gynae Specialist and Urogynaecologist
Dr Kurinji Kannan is an Obstetrician, Gynaecologist and RANZCOG certified Urogynaecologist. Dr Kannan is experienced in minimally invasive surgical methods and routinely performs complex laparoscopic and robotic surgeries in Townsville.
Dr Kurinji Kannan has many firsts to her credit. She is the first Indian woman to get trained from New Zealand in the RANZCOG's fellowship program in obstetrics and gynaecology. Subsequently, she became the first Indian woman to become a urogynaecologist in Australia and New Zealand. In 2021, Dr Kannan became the first female doctor across any discipline to perform surgeries using Townsville's newly installed Da Vinci robot.
Dr Kannan completed her fellowship training by working in large tertiary and teaching hospitals such as the King Edward Memorial Hospital, Perth, Western Australia, Middlemore Hospital (8000 births per year), and National Women's Hospital (6000 deliveries a year), both in New Zealand. Dr Kannan's core obstetrics and gynaecology skills come from her experience at these institutions.
As a specialist in O&G, Dr Kannan became increasingly aware of the impact of urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse in women. One in three Australian women are affected by urinary incontinence (AIHW, 2006), and less than half sought help from qualified professionals (Byles & Chiarelli, 2003).
Women often waited for years before seeking medical help. They are also confronted with scenarios that involve relationships, intimacy and sex, social life, work, and travel and suffer emotional and physical consequences. A feeling of shame, embarrassment, anxiety, and a loss of desire for intimacy can happen to women due to the conditions.
Dr Kannan found the motivation she needed to extend her long years of training further to complete a sub-specialty program in Urogynaecology in 2011. Dr Kannan worked at the urogynaecology, urology and colorectal units at Townsville Hospital and with Dr Malcolm Frazer in Gold Coast, Queensland. Dr Kannan's supervisors were well-known Urogynaecologists Prof Ajay Rane and A/Prof Malcolm Frazer. Dr Kannan also completed elective, cross-functional training under Prof Yik Hong Ho, a well-respected colorectal
Surgeon, and Dr Rajan Narula, Urologist, both from Townsville.
Dr Kannan completed several training programs in minimally invasive surgery. She completed a master class in pelvic reconstructive surgery by training under A/Prof Alan Lam, one of Australia's best-known laparoscopic surgeons from Sydney, New South Wales. Dr Kannan travelled to Kazan, Russia, to complete a 2-week intensive laparoscopic program under Prof Fedorov in 2006.
In 2010, Dr Kannan won the prestigious Dr Kohlenberg medal for original research by young O & G fellows in Queensland and New South Wales. During the same year, Dr Kannan completed a 3-week residential program at Harvard Macy Institute in Boston to pursue her interests as a health educator. Dr Kannan is also certified as Urodynamicist by Bristol Urological Institute in the UK.
In 2011, Dr Kannan was awarded the UGSA/AMS travelling fellowship from the Urogynaecological Society of Australasia (UGSA) and American Medical Systems to visit leading pelvic surgeons in the United States. Dr Kannan participated in cadaveric workshops conducted by Professor Mickey Karram, MD, and Professor Mark Walters at the international academy of pelvic surgery (IAPS) in Cincinnati, Ohio. She also visited Atlanta, Georgia, to observe Dr John Miklos and Dr Robert Moore, well-acknowledged master surgeons at Atlanta Center for Laparoscopic Urogynaecology.
In 2019, Dr Kannan became the first Obstetrician & Gynaecologist in Australasia to be awarded a Master of Surgical Education degree from the University of Melbourne with First Class Honours.
In 2019, Dr Kannan joined a small group of Australian Urogynaecologists led by Prof. Judith Goh, who routinely perform free urogynaecology surgeries on women in Burma during the weeks of Christmas and New Year.
Dr Kannan has a private practice at Lister House, Mater Hospital, in Hyde Park. She provides North Queensland women in Townsville, Mackay and Cairns with a complete range of women's health services, including pregnancy, gynaecology and urogynaecology-related care. Dr Kannan routinely performs gynaecological, pelvic reconstructive, laparoscopic and robotic surgeries at Townsville Mater Hospital.