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For generations, the differences between men and women were always defined from a social aspect. Historically speaking, men were considered superior over women, and it was this ideology that managed to rule the co-existences of the two sexes for hundreds of years. As the goal of equality has continued to become a reality in modern societies, many of the differences between men and women have evened out to an equal playing field. When it comes to the physical gap, however, there will never really be equality.
Men and women will always differ in shape, weight, height, and anatomy. Both will experience their own range of physical, emotional and health problems as they relate to the specific sex. They have different problems, with different needs.
It’s why at some point in time, men will look towards finding a qualified urologist or male specific physician they can trust, and why women look towards finding a resourceful women’s health center or gynecologist (doctor for a female who specializes in the health needs of women) so that the problems and needs specific to the male or female body can be addressed.
While heart disease, cancer, weight management, the risk for diabetes, and many other ailments are common concerns for both men and women, there are specific conditions related to the female anatomy that a man will never experience. It’s the reason why annual visits to a gynecologist are so crucial to the long-term health of a woman.
According to the Women’s Specialists of Plano, a women’s health center in Plano, TX, there are a handful of common problems that women will experience that a man never will. These conditions and reasons to visit a doctor for a female, specifically, are why millions of young women begin seeing a gynecologist at a relatively early age.
When a woman is on her menstrual cycle, PMS can kick in and for some, it is bad enough that all normal activities will come to a halt. The symptoms of PMS can range from mild to severe and will include (for most women) cramping, bloating, mood swings, headaches and fatigue. Experts believe that hormones play the biggest factor in the severity of symptoms associated with PMS. Once a woman is under the routine care of a gynecologist, these symptoms can often be treated and managed each month.
Endometriosis is somewhat common among women. It is a female health disorder that occurs when the cells that typically reside in the lining of the uterus, grow in other parts of the body. The most common symptoms are very heavy bleeding and cramping, irregular periods, long-lasting menstrual cycles, and problems getting pregnant (infertility). Many gynecologists offer specialized treatment for endometriosis such as endometrial ablation, hysterectomy, and other minimally invasive techniques.
- Ovarian Cysts
Ovarian cysts are very common among the female population. These are small, fluid-like sacs that develop and grow in the uterus. Many women may have these benign growths and not experience any symptoms, while other women may have problems associated with ovarian cysts such as bleeding, cramping, and rupture. Gynecologists treat ovarian cysts as a routine procedure and today, many progressive treatments are an option including laparoscopic surgery, and robotic surgery for hysterectomy.
- HPV Virus
Genital human papillomavirus is notably the most common sexually transmitted infection among young women. There are varying types of HPV that can lead to a myriad of symptoms including pelvic pain, genital warts, and other conditions that can lead to larger problems such as cervical cancer. HPV can be prevented and it is a topic of discussion among gynecologists and their female patients. These conversations generally involve the discussion of prevention and treatment.
- Vaginal Infections
Bacteria and fungi are the culprits that lead to vaginal infections among women. It is one of the most common reasons why a woman will visit her gynecologist outside of her annual visit. Discharge, itching, vaginal burning and irritation are the symptoms associated with a vaginal infection. Antibiotics can usually cure most vaginal infections effectively. A gynecologist will be able to discuss prevention techniques to help keep future infections at bay.
- Pregnancy Prevention
Something that will surely differentiate a man and a woman until the end of time is pregnancy. Millions of women in the United States visit their gynecologist each and every year to discuss pregnancy prevention, birth control, and pre-natal care for if and when a pregnancy occurs. It is a topic of discussion at most OBGYN visits until a woman has had all of her children and begins the next phase of life (menopause). A gynecologist is the best resource to discuss pregnancy and pregnancy prevention with a woman.
Thousands of women will undergo a hysterectomy in a given year. A gynecologist may recommend a hysterectomy for many reasons, including for the treatment of fibroid tumors, PID, ovarian cysts, and endometriosis. Today’s technology has allowed skilled gynecologists to do hysterectomies robotically which leads to quicker recovery and a decrease in unwanted side effects. Robotic hysterectomies are not yet offered by all gynecologists as it takes extensive training and time to be able to master the technology; it is becoming more popular and a preferred choice among women.
Every city and state has a women’s health center that can offer a doctor for a female’s medical needs. Sometimes referred to as a women’s health physician, gynecologist, or OBGYN, they all meet the same challenge—keeping a female healthy both physically and in some case, emotionally. It’s important to see your doctor annually and sometimes more often if problems or an untreated condition persists.
The gynecologists from the Women’s Specialist of Plano (OBGYN in North Dallas) contributed to this feature.
Coming of Age: The Importance of Women’s Health and Finding a Compassionate, Trusting OBGYN for Years to Come
Expert interviews conducted with the Women’s Specialists of Plano (OBGYN in Plano, TX)
By the time a female turns 21, her body has already experienced a myriad of emotional and physical changes. With the onset of cyclic hormone production from the ovaries, secondary sexual characteristics such as breast development and pubic hair growth begins.
Approximately 18 months after this, and at about 100 pounds, the menstrual cycle begins. Frequently, these developmental milestones create individual issues that require a specialist’s input. The adolescent time (pre-teen to age 21) may also require consultation regarding infection, vaginal discharge, and contraception. As women age, the body continues to change, making gynecological “well-woman” visits and a trusted resource regarding healthcare for women even more important. This article discusses the importance of healthcare for women, and more importantly, finding a trusted, skilled practitioner who is in practice solely for the health of a woman, and understands the issues, conditions, and underlying factors that ultimately affect the health and well-being of the female body.
According to the Women’s Specialists of Plano, a group of gynecologists in Plano, Texas who provide women’s healthcare throughout North Texas, new guidelines in the area of Pap smears have evolved over the past several years. However, many of the other guidelines surrounding well visits and women’s physical health remain the same.
The new guidelines in the area of gynecological care state that a woman should have her first Pap smear around the age of 21. During a routine Pap smear, a gynecologist will insert a small instrument called a speculum into the vagina to visualize the cervix and collect a sample of cells to be checked under a microscope. If a Pap smear appears abnormal once it is analyzed, additional tests will be needed to diagnose the underlying cause of the abnormality.
Most women will continue to have a Pap smear every year following the first, but after the age of 30, it may not be required as often and many will begin having one every other year, or at the advice of their physician. One known fact is that Pap smears are crucial to a woman’s health. Medical professionals state that the occurrence of cervical cancer is higher in patients in whom a Pap smear was not performed, with the majority of diagnosed cases being in patients who have not had a Pap smear test in five or more years.
Even though the first Pap smear may not take place until around age 21, it is recommended that teenage girls begin seeing a gynecologist around the age of 15 for problems related to the female organs and puberty. By this time, they have most likely started their menstrual cycle and it is a good time to begin establishing a relationship with a trusted resource and talk about questions regarding contraceptives, gynecological issues such as menstrual cramps, abnormal bleeding, and hormonally-related mood swings, as well as STD’s.
In time, before the first Pap smear, a routine pelvic exam will be performed. During a pelvic exam, a gynecologist will look and feel the external and internal reproductive organs. This exam helps to make sure that these organs are healthy and that no underlying condition exists. Many medical professionals recommend a woman have their first pelvic exam if they have not started their menstrual cycle by age 16, by the time they have become sexually active, or have reached the age of 18. If a woman is a virgin it is still important to have this exam. Problems with bleeding, cramping, pain, or discharge, can be diagnosed and treated with this exam will help determine if there is a medical problem.
Women’s Healthcare—What Next?
After the age of 21, a woman should visit her gynecologist every year. Topics surrounding healthcare for women will become very important in the years that follow as additional body changes occur, and the topic of pregnancy and childbirth become more relevant. Routine Pap smears, pelvic exams, breast exams, weight, blood pressure and nutritional health will be at the forefront of these visits. Some gynecological conditions, such as Endometriosis, are often detected in women who are in their 20s. Endometriosis is a condition in which uterine endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus on the fallopian tubes and ovaries leading to abnormal bleeding and cramping, and in some cases, infertility. Vaginal infections such as yeast infections are also more prevalent in this age group.
By age 30, the body will continue to change. The transition into menopause can last more than 10 years, but the average age for perimenopause can start as early as 35. During a woman’s 30’s, estrogen begins to naturally decrease within the body. In addition, between the ages of 30 and 40, a good percentage of American women will develop fibroids—small, benign growths that develop inside the uterine wall. If a woman has given birth and had difficult deliveries, issues such as incontinence or pelvic floor dysfunction may also arise. The American Cancer Society recommends that women have their first baseline mammogram between the ages of 35-40. After the age of 40, a mammogram needs to be an annual, consistent test so that if breast cancer is detected, the chances for a cure can be higher.
By age 40 and 50, a woman will begin to slowly transition into menopause. Other factors such as diet and exercise, bone density, osteoporosis, hormone therapy, and other important issues in women’s health may become a more prominent topic of discussion.
A Healthy Future
Women’s healthcare will always be an important topic. While there are known facts that are able to help guide a woman through the stages of her life, as well as knowing the conditions and diseases that may occur, the most important aspect is education. Every woman should educate herself and understand the various transitions and common gynecological conditions so that each phase of life is healthy, productive, and happy.
For more information about finding the right OBGYN doctor in Plano to serve your specific needs, please contact the Women’s Specialist of Plano for a list of services and locations.
Photo Credit: Creative Commons, Mike Baird
Patients Across North Texas Choosing Robotic Surgery to Treat Common Gynecological Problems and Disorders
Plano, Texas Gynecologist Group Pioneers in Performing the da Vinci Robotic Surgery
The Women’s Specialists of Plano offer the robotic hysterectomy and robotic myomectomy as treatment for uterine fibroids and many other gynecological conditions
Every woman will experience a gynecological problem at one time or another in her life. Two of the most common gynecologic symptoms that women experience include pelvic pain and excessive or irregular menstrual bleeding. While it is common for women to have pelvic pain and menstrual bleeding during their normal menstrual cycle, it is not common to have pain and bleeding so severe that it disrupts normal activities of life.
According to the Women’s Specialists of Plano, a group of gynecologists in North Dallas, while it is common for women to have bleeding and pain associated with the normal period, more acute symptoms such as ongoing pelvic pressure, severe cramps, abdominal tenderness, pain during urination or intercourse, and heavy, ongoing bleeding, usually signals an underlying problem
The symptoms listed above can occur alone, or in combination with each other. Most often, these symptoms may indicate:
- Uterine Fibroids
- Uterine Cysts
- Uterine Prolapse
- Cervical Cancer
When a woman has been diagnosed with a gynecological condition, medication and conservative treatment (for uterine fibroids as an example) are usually recommended first. When medication and non-invasive procedures are unable to relieve symptoms, surgery is often the next step and has proven to be effective in eliminating a range of gynecologic conditions.
Traditionally, open surgery using a large incision has been the standard approach to many gynecological procedures. Open gynecological surgery often leads to a longer recovery process and it is common for women to have increased pain and larger scars. Today, many surgeons are turning to a minimally invasive gynecology surgery by choosing the da Vinci Surgical System. Robotic surgery has been effective in the treatment for uterine fibroids, uterine cysts, and other conditions. Many women are choosing this new approach when faced with a myomectomy (the removal of uterine fibroids) and hysterectomy (the full or partial removal of the uterus).
For complex hysterectomies and other gynecologic procedures such as the myomectomy, robot-assisted surgery using the da Vinci robotic surgery system has proven to be effective. The technology uses very tiny incisions allowing surgeons to use miniature instruments and with a 3D camera and microscope, operate with precise control and movement. The approach leaves minimal scarring and reduces the loss of blood, pain, and overall trauma that historically accompanies a hysterectomy. Robotic surgery is growing in popularity and continues to result in excellent clinical outcomes.
Treatment for uterine fibroids and other gynecological conditions is made easier using the robotic surgery system. If you are considering having a hysterectomy, discuss all of the options with your doctor. A robotic hysterectomy might be a viable choice to treat your condition.
Not all gynecological practices have adopted the da Vinci robotic surgery and robotic hysterectomy approach. Despite the revolutionary advancement, it is a big investment with a large learning curve. The Women’s Specialists of Plano are pioneers using the system. According to the physicians that make up this practice, “It will only be a matter of time until the robotic way is the only way. We have seen the difference it has made in hundreds of patients that walk through the doors of our Plano, Texas practice. It is revolutionary to say the least.”
The Women’s Specialists of Plano (Texas) a group of gynecologists servicing the greater North Dallas and Collin County areas, participated in this feature on permanent birth control for women.
Whether or not to have a baby is a choice that most women are free to make. There are times in a woman’s life when she will desire to be sexually active, but not become pregnant. When a woman is not ready to have children, or if she is unsure whether or not she would like to have children in the future, a temporary (reversible) contraception method is recommended. These types of contraception methods include birth control pills, intrauterine contraception devices (such as an IUD), a diaphragm, contraceptive foam, gels, condoms, etc.
When a woman is sure that she does not want to have children in the future a surgical procedure is usually recommended. In a traditional family, a discussion of a vasectomy or a tubal ligation ensues. These recommended procedures are considered “permanent birth control”.
Tubal ligation surgery is a procedure in which a woman’s fallopian tubes are cut, tied, or blocked to prevent future fertilization and implantation during sexual intercourse. According to the Women’s Specialists of Plano, there are many approaches to this surgery, which is considered female sterilization, and only your doctor will know which procedure is most suitable for your body and lifestyle. A few of the tubal ligation approaches are:
- Laparoscopic Tubal Ligation: During this procedure your gynecologist will insert a small camera and surgical instruments through a very small incision made in the abdomen. The tubal ligation will take place via this method which is considered a more minimally invasive approach.
- Mini-Laparotomy: During this procedure your gynecologist will perform the surgery by making an incision in the abdomen about 2 inches in length.
- Post-Partum Tubal Ligation: This procedure is very similar to the mini-lap, except that the incision will be made just below the belly button because the fallopian tubes are higher in body after childbirth.
- Open Tubal Ligation: This procedure is performed when a woman desires a tubal after delivering via caesarean section, because the abdomen is already open. This procedure is also performed when a woman has pelvic inflammatory disease, or is already receiving a surgery which requires the opening of the abdomen.
- Trans-Uterine Tubal Occlusion: This procedure is performed with anesthesia. The cervix is dilated and a hysterscope is placed in the uterine cavity. The opening of the tube into the uterus is identified and a “plug” is placed into the fallopian tube as it passes through the uterine wall.
A lot of women choose to receive a post-partum tubal ligation while they are pregnant with their last child. This procedure is popular because it eliminates the issue of having two recoveries periods. Most women have recovered from their tubal ligation long before they recover from childbirth. This procedure is especially productive when a woman receives a C-Section, though a vaginal birth does not make the procedure impossible.
If you change your mind after receiving a tubal ligation surgery and decide that you may want to have children in the future, there is a reversal procedure. But the reversal procedure is not 100% effective; hence the reason a tubal ligation is considered permanent birth control for women.
The recovery period after most tubal ligations is about a week though you will most likely leave the hospital within a few hours after surgery. Because the procedure is immediately effective, you can maintain sexual activity as soon as you feel well enough. You will be permitted to shower (not bathe) 24 hours after the surgery, though scrubbing of the incision is not permitted.
As with every surgical procedure, a tubal ligation surgery has both pros and cons:
- Female sterilization that is effective immediately
- It can be done at the same time as other surgeries like C-section or the removal of ovarian cysts
- It is a very reliable form of permanent birth control
- Requires no daily attention
- More cost effective in the long run then a daily procedure
- Allows for sexual spontaneity
- It is a surgery
- Every surgery has associated risks
- Is not 100% reversible in the event of regret
- Does not protect against STD’s (only the proper use of condoms can do this)
- Is more expensive than the male form of permanent contraception (vasectomy)
If you are researching permanent birth control for women, it is suggested that you do proper research and reflection to be sure that you will not regret the decision in the future. If you are sure about your decision to receive permanent birth control (female sterilization), join your doctor so that the two of you can discuss which procedure will be most fitting to your life.
(Resources: Women’s Specialists of Plano, Texas)
When to go to the gynecologist for the first time is a question that women have been asking for years. Once upon a time the answer to this question was around 21. But because women are becoming sexually active at progressively younger ages this question does not have a definitive answer. According to the gynecologists that make up the Plano, Texas based Women’s Specialists of Plano, “The most important concept to remember is that once you become sexually active, at whatever age, it is important to begin receiving regular pap smears. A pap smear test is the only way to be sure that you are free of STDs, ovarian, cervical or uterine cancer, or any other issues or underlying conditions that may occur with the reproductive organs.”
Your first OB appt and first Pap smear test is a common fear for every young woman. Oftentimes, the fear and anxiety can be so great that young women will purposely put off making that very first appointment. Most women are anxious about exposing their most intimate parts to a stranger and are also afraid that there may be an amount of pain associated with the checkup. Both of these fears are normal thoughts.
Drs. Murray Fox, Daryl Greebon, Jules Monier, Dennis Eisenberg and Jennifer Newton (Plano, Texas gynecologists) answered several questions for this Q and A designed to help you decide when the best time is to visit an OBGYN for the first time.
Q. First OB appt: When should I go to the gynecologist for the first time?
A. You should see your gynecologist for the first time upon becoming sexually active. Other reasons to visits the gynecologist would be:
- Abnormal bleeding outside of your normal menstrual cycle
- Menstrual periods become longer
- Menstrual periods become heavier and more painful
- An overall change or disruption in your menstrual period
- Severe pelvic cramps outside of your normal menstrual cycle
- Infections such as a bacterial infection or yeast infection that would cause itching, redness, burning or unusual discharge
Q. At what age should I have my first pap smear test?
A. The recommended age for a woman to receive her first pap smear is at age 21. Keep in mind that this age applies to a woman who is not sexually active, and has had regular, similar periods since the beginning of her menstruation.
Q. Why is it important to get annual pap smears?
A. It is important to return to your gynecologist annually because there are complications that arise without symptoms. This means that something could be wrong with your reproductive organs though you have no symptoms and no reason to believe so. The early stages of ovarian and cervical cancer will cause your pap smear to test abnormally; through a routine pelvic exam which is usually also included in these annual appointments, such abnormalities as tumors and cysts can also be diagnosed. Annual pap smears and pelvic exams allow your doctor to catch specific conditions at early stages so that proper treatment can be implemented and fertility can remain healthy. In addition, your gynecologist will check your breasts for any abnormal lumps during each annual visit. This is important because most women do not begin receiving regular mammograms until they are in their forties. Your gynecologist may be able to help you detect breast cancer in its early stages at your annual.
Q. Does it hurt to have a pap smear?
A. No, pap smears do not hurt. There will be a mild discomfort during the exam and for most women the first check-up will be uncomfortable. However, the majority of the discomfort is the result of the unknown. There should be no pain associated with your pap smear and all future visits will become easier each and every time.
Q. What does the gynecologist do during a pap smear?
A. Before the check-up a nurse will bring you a sheet and ask you to undress waist down. As your doctor comes into the room you will be asked to lie down and place your feet in stirrups which will keep your feet in place during the exam. Your doctor will then use a lubricated speculum to gently open your vagina. It is important to relax and take deep breaths during this part. The more relaxed you are the less uncomfortable you are likely to be. Your doctor will then use a long q-tip to swab the inside of your vagina. This swab is what is tested to determine if the cells are healthy, or abnormal. After your doctor swabs you using the speculum, the tool is removed and the exam will be finished.
Most women find that their anxiety about their first pap smear test disappears just as quickly as the actually procedure. But for some the anxiety returns every year when they go back for their annual. It is important to remember that your health should be rated much higher than your fear.
It is important to receive your checkup annually. But it is important to call your gynecologist sooner if:
- Your periods become irregular or cease
- Your periods become heavy
- You experience odor and/or discomfort
- If intercourse becomes painful
- If you think you may be pregnant
When the examination portion of your appointment is complete, your gynecologist will most likely meet with you and discuss a health follow-up with you and answer any questions you may have about such topics as birth control, etc. Finding the right OBGYN is just as important as going every year. Some women see the same doctor through their twenties, the birth of their children and into their mid-life years. If the time is now for you to find and visit an OBGYN, ask around to friends and family for a solid recommendation and make the appointment sooner than later.
Treatment for Menorrhagia | Abnormal Menstrual Bleeding | Endometrial Ablation | Novasure Procedure | Plano, Texas
The gynecologists that make up the Women’s Specialists of Plano in Plano, Texas (http://obgynplano.com) were interviewed for this article.
If you are a typical female between the age of 12 and 50, having your period each month probably passes like a leaf in the wind. For many women, having a period may cause a few symptoms that can easily be managed by taking a simple ibuprofen and using some feminine protection—and then just like that, it’s gone. For others, this monthly visit from mother nature is a dreaded and life altering time that sends some women into hiding.
Amy is a normal, active mother of three in her mid-thirties with a hectic life. Her schedule was very busy between work, working out, ballet for her girls, soccer for her little boy, PTA, and maintaining a happy marriage. Amy didn’t have time to be slowed down by her period, yet for a few days every month she felt incapable of maintaining her schedule because her periods were so heavy, and so painful. So heavy in fact, that she found herself in the bathroom every hour to deal with the side effects of her period. She knew that her cycles hadn’t always been this heavy, or this painful, but thought the abnormal menstrual bleeding was just the result of the birth of her three children, and her active lifestyle.
After Amy’s last period she felt fatigued, and light-headed. Soon after, she met up with her girlfriends for lunch. Exhausted by her life altering periods and abnormal menstrual bleeding she decided to bring it up with her friends. “At lunch, I explained to my friends just how heavy and painful my periods had been all these years, and I was surprised that none of them had similar experiences,” said Amy. “In fact, they all were very concerned and advise me to see my doctor. So the next week I visited my OBGYN and was ecstatic to learn that my condition actually had a name.”
Amy’s doctor diagnosed her with Menorrhagia.
Menorrhagia is defined as an excessively heavy period, but can also cause extreme discomfort. Periods are different for every woman. Some are short and painless, and some are long and painful. But it is not at all normal for a woman’s period to affect her everyday life or keep her from performing her normal activities. Reasons to see an OBGYN with the suspicion of Menorrhagia are things such as:
- Periods that last longer than 5 days
- Painful periods with severe pelvic pain
- Periods that require double sanitary protection (tampon and pad)
- Bleeding through a tampon or pad in an hour or less for several hours in a row
- The passing of large blood clots
- Fatigue, pain, headaches, nausea
Though depression and social anxiety are not symptoms that point towards menorrhagia, they often are results of the problem. Women such as Amy, who normally have a very active and busy life, begin to invert, afraid of excessive and abnormal menstrual bleeding while in public or the inability to get to the restroom before leaking.
Thankfully, Amy found out that there are multiple options to cure this condition. After considering the number of years she had been suffering from heavy blood loss, and that she had three beautiful children and did not wish for anymore, Amy’s OBGYN explained to her that she was a great candidate for an endometrial ablation. With this procedure, the entire lining of the uterus is removed with the intent of preventing any future menstruation. The NovaSure procedure is one such approved endometrial ablation treatments for menorrhagia.
According to the gynecologists at the Women’s Specialist of Plano, “The NovaSure procedure uses radio frequency energy to permanently remove the lining and is always effective in slowing the bleeding, and at times prevents it completely. 95% of women who receive the ablation are very happy with the outcome. The only down side to the procedure is that it can prevent future pregnancies. We recommend the NovaSure endometrial ablation procedure when we can because it is a more conservative treatment option than procedures such as a hysterectomy.
Amy moved forward with the surgery. It was minimally invasive, almost painless, and had an extremely fast recovery. Amy was back to her busy schedule and fast pace life, but this time, without fear of leakage, and days spent at home due to pain and fear.
If you are a woman who is experiencing heavy periods that are interrupting your life, there is help. It is very important to track your period and be aware of changes in consistency, duration, and pain level. Don’t wait as long as Amy did, if changes arise consult your OBGYN today.
There are many reasons why a woman may choose to have, or need a hysterectomy. A hysterectomy is the removal, or partial removal of the uterus. The uterus is the large, hollow, female organ that resides in the female pelvis between the bladder and the rectum. It is where a fetus grows once an egg has been fertilized.
Hysterectomy statistics include:
- 10% of Hysterectomies are performed because of (due to) cancer
- 30% of Hysterectomies are performed because of (due to) Fibroid Tumors
- 20% of Hysterectomies are performed to eliminate pain caused by Endometriosis
- 16% of Hysterectomies are performed to repair a prolapsed Uterus.
- The remaining 24% of Hysterectomies are performed for reasons such as recurrence of pain and heavy bleeding, severe infection, and post delivery trauma.
Regardless of the reason a woman might be receiving a hysterectomy it is still a big decision, which accompanies an understandable amount of stress. Today, the complications following a hysterectomy can be lessened with new tools, techniques and medical technologies. The gynecologists at the Women’s Specialists of Plano use a system called the da Vinci robotic surgery which makes the entire surgery and recovery process a lot simpler than it once was.
The robotics hysterectomy da Vinci system is a highly technical system of small, precise, electronic tools that robotically assist a physician in surgically removing the reproductive organs without causing major incisions or long recovery periods. The list of pros for a robotics hysterectomy includes:
- Less pain
- Fewer complications
- Less blood loss
- Shorter hospital stay
- Low risk of wound infection
- Quicker recovery and return to normal activities
What is robotic surgery? It’s a fairly simple process. The da Vinci robotic surgery allows doctors to see the organs through a microscope via a 3d screen without the need to make large incisions. The robotic arms of the da Vinci allows precise movement and act as the surgeon’s hands eliminating unsteadiness. The surgery leaves the patient with just a couple of very tiny incisions that usually do not require sutures.
OBGYN’s are constantly asked “What is robotic surgery and how will it benefit me?” from patients. Two Women’s Specialists of Plano recipients of robotics hysterectomy recently provided the following feedback regarding their recent procedures:
According to Patricia, “After battling breast cancer and going through numerous surgeries, the last thing I wanted to do was go under the knife again. But when my OBGYN found a benign tumor on my ovary, he recommended a hysterectomy. The first thing that came to my mind was that I would be left in a considerable amount of pain because of a huge incision and out of work for six to eight weeks. After looking at my specific situation, we decided on the robotic hysterectomy method. The surgery was fast and I was in recovery within a very short period of time. I barely had to take any painkillers and I had no complications whatsoever. My scars are barely visible. Even after one week, I felt good enough to go back to work, but still stayed home because of my doctor’s advice. I would recommend the robotic hysterectomy to anyone considering a hysterectomy.”
Sharon, another patient who underwent a hysterectomy via da Vinci robotic surgery, shares a similar experience.
“After several years of experiencing inconsistent, crampy, long periods—coupled with abnormal and inconclusive pap smears, I was ready for a hysterectomy. My doctor recommended the robotic hysterectomy technique and after doing my own research on the technology, I knew it was for me. Not only was the surgery a breeze, but the post-op recovery was trouble-free and brought with it minimal pain and scarring. Technology is a beautiful thing and it has allowed this surgery to become easier and the result as if it has never happened.”
The benefits of the robotic hysterectomy have been documented by thousands of patients and doctors. Because the procedure is highly technical, it requires a skilled, trained surgeon. While not all patients are candidates for this procedure, more and more are and are turning towards the method because of the benefits it brings.
According to the doctors that make up the Women’s Specialists of Plano, “The skillfulness of the robotic tools and the dexterity of the 3D technology allows for the effectiveness of traditional open hysterectomy surgery and brings it to the minimally-invasive setting.”
Any woman considering or being faced with a hysterectomy, should discuss all of the options with their OBGYN. The robotic hysterectomy is one such consideration to be discussed.
January 4, 2011 (http://obgynplano.com)–It is the New Year. Do you know when your next mammogram screening will be? The skilled OBGYN physicians that make up the Women’s Specialists of Plano (972.379.2416) offer the following information for those who are new to the mammogram process as well as for those who have general questions and/or concerns.
What are the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Recommendations for Screening Mammograms?
According to the National Cancer Institute, “Women age 40 and older should have mammograms every 1 to 2 years. Women who are at higher than average risk of breast cancer should talk with their health care providers about whether to have mammograms before age 40 and how often to have them.”
What is a Mammogram?
A mammogram is used to check for breast cancer in the breast. It is an x-ray image and will show if there is any sign (such as a tumor, mass, lump in the breast, etc.) of cancer as well as if the breast tissue appears normal. A mammogram can be done digitally or via film. This common mammogram procedure is also referred to as a screening mammogram where several images are taken of each breast. The x-ray images help physicians screen for breast cancer when lumps cannot be felt externally.
When a mammogram is ordered because a woman has felt a specific lump in the breast during a routine breast examination, or because she has another symptom, then it is referred to as a diagnostic mammogram. This mammogram is helpful in order to rule out cancer; oftentimes these lumps are benign cysts or tiny deposits of calcium. A diagnostic mammogram takes longer to perform than a screening test because more images and x-rays are needed and they are typically taken at a variety of angles. Diagnostic mammograms are also used on women where screening becomes more challenging; such as in the instance where breast implants are in place.
What are the Benefits of Screening Mammograms?
Most women will have their first screening mammogram around age 40; at this young age, early detection of breast cancer can often be seen with screening mammography alone. For women who have a history of breast cancer in their family, or who have a history of cysts and benign lumps, and for those who have had breast augmentation, a diagnostic mammogram may be ordered from start.
Is there a Downside to a Screening Mammogram?
A screening mammogram does not necessarily mean that cancer will be found. These mammograms can detect cancerous tumors that often cannot be felt by touch (such as a lump in the breast), but in 20% of the cases, screening mammograms will miss breast cancers that are present.
False-Negative Results vs. False-Positive Results—What Does This Mean?
False-negative mammogram results occur when cancer exists within the breast at the time of screening, but it is not caught during the screening mammogram. False-negative results occur in younger women more so than older women because younger women have higher breast density—which is the primary cause of a false-negative result. On the other hand, older women will have more fatty tissue in the breast. High-density breast tissue, as well as tumors, will show up as white on the x-ray, whereas fatty tissue is dark making it easier to detect a true cancer cell.
False-positive mammogram results occur when a physician or radiologist concludes that a mammogram is abnormal, even though no cancer exists. To conclude a false-positive mammogram, further analysis will need to occur to rule out cancer. This is done usually with a diagnostic mammogram, an ultrasound or a biopsy.
Can the X-Ray Imaging from Mammograms Cause Cancer?
This is a concern for many women. Although repeated exposure to x-rays can be harmful, mammograms require just a very small dose of radiation. Exposure is low and the benefits of receiving a mammogram completely outweigh the risks of this exposure. It is very important that woman alert their health care provider if there is any possibility they are pregnant as this could be dangerous for the unborn fetus.
What is Digital Mammography?
Advances in technology have produced digital mammograms, in which the images taken are computerized and shown on a screen, rather than recorded on film using an x-ray cassette. This allows faster and more accurate stereotactic biopsy, and reduces the patient’s discomfort, requiring her to remain still for a shorter period of time. Digital mammography is still in its infancy, but some studies have shown that women with denser breasts, post-menopausal women, and women under the age of forty may benefit from digital mammograms. Otherwise, the digital images are said to be “comparable” at this stage with traditional film images.
What are the Risks for Developing Breast Cancer?
According to the National Cancer Institute, women who exhibit the following traits are at an increased risk for developing breast cancer:
- Age—as a woman ages, her chances for developing breast cancer increase
- A personal history of breast cancer
- A family history of breast cancer
- Hereditary genes (For example, BRCA1, BRCA2, and others)
- High breast density
- Reproductive and menstrual history—Women who had their first menstrual period before age 12 or who went through menopause after age 55 are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Women who had their first full-term pregnancy after age 30 or who have never had a full-term pregnancy are also at increased risk of breast cancer.
- Long-term use of hormone replacement therapy—(those who have combined estrogen and progestin hormone therapy for more than 5 years).
- Exposure to radiation
- Excessive use of alcohol
- A heavy body weight/obesity
- Lack of exercise
The Women’s Specialists of Plano offers mammogram, sonogram, biopsy and 3D-imaging services in office. Schedule your mammogram today by calling 972-379-2416 or visit our online appointment center.
The associates at Women’s Specialists of Plano, OBGYN, are pleased to launch this new website to assist patients in the North Texas communities of Plano, Frisco, Richardson, Dallas and surrounding areas in finding up to date information on leading-edge services offered in this area. Women’s Specialists of Plano has been a long standing obstetrics and gynecology practice and its physicians are affiliated with Medical Center Plano, Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano, and Baylor Medical Center at Frisco. Murray Fox, MD, Daryl Greebon, MD, Jules Monier, MD, Dennis Eisenberg, MD and Jennifer Newton, MD are all experienced physicians and surgeons who are committed to bringing new and innovative technologies, such as da Vinci robotic surgery, and laparoscopic and hysteroscopic procedures to their patients. By staying current with new developments in the medical industry, these gynocologic surgeons help to save their patients time and money while providing minimally invasive procedures with reduced recovery time and less scarring. They also provide a wide array of obstetric services from genetic and preconception counseling, to fertility to regular and high risk pregnancy. For patient convenience, WSOP provides in-office services including, endometrial ablation, mammogram screening, DEXA bone density scan, 2D / 3D sonograms.