Posts for category: OBGYN
Is minimally invasive surgery (MIS) the right option for you? The surgery, offered by your San Dimas, CA, OB/GYN, Dr. Richard Williams of Williams OB/GYN & Associates, provides several important benefits.
What is MIS?
Unlike traditional surgery, MIS doesn't require large incisions. For example, during laparoscopic surgery, your San Dimas doctor makes a half-inch-long incision in your belly button in order to insert a tiny device called a laparoscope. This laparoscope contains a tiny camera that transmits images to a digital monitor. Your OB/GYN passes small instruments through several additional small incisions made in your abdomen to perform the surgery.
Hysteroscopy, another minimally invasive option, involves inserting a thin tube that contains a fiber optic camera into your vagina. The scope is passed through your cervix and into your uterus. After diagnosing abnormal bleeding, fibroids, or other issues, your OB/GYN inserts tiny instruments to treat the problem.
When is MIS recommended?
MIS can be used to:
- Diagnose and/or treat adhesions, scar tissue, fibroids, polyps, and certain uterine and vaginal malformations or structural issues
- Perform hysterectomies
- Treat endometriosis
- Perform surgery to treat uterine, ovarian, and cervical cancer
- Remove ovarian cysts
- Improve the position of a tipped uterus
- Support the bladder to relieve stress incontinence
- Treat heavy bleeding and ectopic pregnancy
What are the benefits of MIS?
Smaller incisions mean less pain after surgery and reduced reliance on pain medications. Furthermore, while scars are unavoidable after any surgery, they will be much smaller and less noticeable if you have MIS.
Downtime is also greatly reduced with MIS. Depending on the type of surgery you have, you may be able to return to work just a few days after your procedure.
MIS may also improve surgical accuracy. The miniaturized camera provides your doctor with an up-close, real-time view of organs and structures, which can make it easier to spot and treat problems.
MIS offers an excellent surgical option for many women. If you're interested in learning if MIS would be an appropriate treatment for you, call your San Dimas, CA, OB/GYN, Dr. Richard Williams of Williams OB/GYN & Associates, at (909) 599-8677 to schedule an appointment.
You're more likely to experience a birth control failure if you select a method that's not comfortable or convenient for you. Fortunately, there are plenty of effective birth control options available if you're not happy with your current method. Your OBGYN can help you evaluate the pros and cons of each option and make an informed choice.
Types of birth control available
Birth control options include:
- Barrier Methods: Barrier types of birth control physically prevent ejaculated semen from entering your cervix. Condoms are the most well-known type of barrier birth control. Other options include cervical caps, diaphragms and contraceptive sponges. Condoms also help protect you from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
- Spermicide: Spermicide is a cream, foam, gel or film placed inside your vagina to kill sperm. It's most effective when combined with other birth control methods, such as diaphragms, condoms or cervical caps.
- Intrauterine Devices (IUDs): IUDs are T-shaped devices inserted in your uterus at your OBGYN's office. The devices protect you from pregnancy for several years and provide reversible protection against pregnancy. Some IUDs release a hormone that thickens the cervical mucus and makes it difficult for eggs to attach to the uterine lining. Others secrete small amounts of copper to prevent sperm from moving.
- Hormonal Methods: Hormonal birth control thickens your cervical mucus and prevents you from ovulating, a process that occurs when you release eggs into the Fallopian tubes. Birth control pills are taken every day, while implants, patches, rings and shots can provide protection from three months up to three years, depending on the method.
- Natural Family Planning (NFP): If you choose NFP, you'll chart your monthly menstrual cycle and avoid sex during fertile periods. NFP doesn't work as well as other methods because ovulation doesn't always occur at the same time every month.
Factors that will affect your choice
Before you select a birth control option, you'll need to consider the method's effectiveness and ease of use. Will you remember to take a daily pill or use a condom every time you have sex? If not, a long-term birth control method may be a better choice.
Your health is an important consideration when selecting a birth control option, particularly if you're interested in hormonal methods. Although hormonal birth control is a good choice for many women, it may not be recommended if you smoke and are over age 35, or have a history of breast cancer, stroke, blood clots, migraine with aura, or other conditions.
Do you need a little help selecting a birth control method? Contact your OBGYN to schedule an appointment to discuss your options.
A Pap smear is one of the most effective tools an OBGYN has to be able to detect the early signs of cervical cancer. During this quick procedure, your doctor will collect cells from the cervix, which will then be tested to check for any abnormal changes in the cells. Most women begin getting Pap smears by the time they reach 21 years old. If your Pap smear results came back abnormal, relax. We know you may be concerned but there are several reasons your test results may have come back abnormal.
What can cause abnormal Pap smear results?
While there are many causes, you might be surprised to learn the something as simple as a cervical or vaginal infection could cause enough changes to the cervical cells to produce an abnormal Pap. In this case we may either monitor the infection to see if it goes away on its own or we may decide to provide you with medication. Other causes of an abnormal Pap smear include:
- Herpes (HSV-2)
- Recent sexual activity
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Dysplasia (abnormal cells; can be pre-cancerous)
It’s important to specifically address HPV, which is an STD that has over 100 different strains. The body will clear some strains of HPV over time while others may cause genital warts or eventually lead to cervical cancer. If we find unusual-looking cells during your test then we may recommend undergoing an HPV test.
How is an abnormal Pap smear treated?
The only thing Pap smear results tell your gynecologist is that there are abnormal cells within the cervix. This is only a test; this is not a diagnosis. What this means is that your gynecologist will need to perform a further evaluation that could include another Pap smear, a colposcopy (a simple procedure that allows your OBGYN to look into the cervix using a microscope) or a biopsy (to remove and test cervical tissue). This is something your doctor will discuss with you beforehand.
An abnormal Pap test is actually fairly common and most of the time it is not serious. If we suspect that infection is the cause we may need to do further testing to diagnose inflammation, a yeast infection, trichomoniasis, or herpes. Some women may require a repeat Pap smear if their results came back “unsatisfactory” due to recent sexual activity or using vaginal douches prior to the test. Women who have an abnormal Pap result will need to come back in a few months for additional testing.
Your annual women’s checkup is an important part of maintaining your health. Is it time for your appointment? Call your gynecologist today.
Menopause is a natural event that will occur in all women at some point as they age. Menopause occurs when menstruation stops and fertility ends. Once a woman has missed her period for one year she is considered menopausal. While the age at which a woman reaches menopause varies, it’s common for this transitional period to occur between the ages of 45 and 55.
For some women, menopause causes little to no symptoms; however, other women may experience:
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Memory problems
- Mood swings
- Night sweats
- Weight gain
- Dry skin
- Decreased libido
Some of these symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats will go away after menopause. To reduce the frequency and severity of their symptoms, it’s important that menopausal women maintain a healthy lifestyle.
When should I see my gynecologist?
No matter your age, you should visit your gynecologist for routine checkups ever year. During these visits it’s important that you ask any questions or address any concerns you might have regarding your health. Your OBGYN is able to address everything from birth control options and fertility treatments to hormone replacement therapy.
The type of symptoms you are experiencing as well as their severity will determine whether it’s worth visiting your gynecologist or your general practitioner to rule out other conditions that could be responsible for these symptoms. As we mentioned earlier, some women go through menopause and don’t experience any issues; however, women who are struggling to get their symptoms under control should talk to their gynecologist.
If you are experiencing symptoms of menopause but you’re under 40 years old you should also schedule a doctor’s appointment to determine what’s causing your symptoms. Hormonal issues and imbalances could be to blame and they should be treated as soon as possible.
What can be done to ease symptoms of menopause?
Once a woman reaches perimenopause (the stage right before menopause) she may start to notice a heavier or irregular menstrual cycle. Sometimes your gynecologist may prescribe birth control pills at this time to treat these issues. Birth control may also alleviate vaginal dryness and hot flashes.
Hormone therapy is the standard treatment when it comes to managing menopause symptoms. For example, estrogen therapy has been know to treat hot flashes and vaginal dryness and can be administered as a cream, patch, or pill.
During menopause your gynecologist may also recommend getting a blood test to check your hormone levels. Hormone therapy isn’t right for every woman. Women who have a high cholesterol, gallbladder, or liver disease, a history of blood clots or breast cancer shouldn’t undergo hormone therapy. In this case, non-hormonal treatment options such as prescription medications like gabapentin may be able to treat mood swings, night sweats and other common symptoms of menopause.
If you are experiencing menopause symptoms it’s important to consult your gynecologist. When you come into our office we can help you determine the best methods for getting your symptoms under control. Call us today to schedule an appointment.
Find out what gynecological procedures can now be performed without invasive surgery.
Has our San Dimas, CA, OBGYN Dr. Richard Williams been discussing surgical treatment options that could improve heavy or excessive menstrual bleeding, ovarian cysts or an infection? If so, you may be wondering what to expect from surgery. Fortunately, many of the procedures we perform can be done using minimally invasive surgical techniques.
What is minimally invasive surgery?
This type of surgery uses a laparoscope, which is a thin tube that can prevent the need for large intra-abdominal incisions. Laparoscopic surgery allows us to go through the belly making only a small incision large enough to insert the laparoscope. Then we will be able to use special instruments to treat everything from adhesions and infections to cysts and fibroids.
Another minimally invasive surgery technique is known as a hysteroscopy, in which a thin tube it placed into the vagina and guided into the cervix and uterus. This is used to both diagnose and treat abnormal vaginal bleeding.
What are the different kinds of minimally invasive gynecological surgeries?
Here are the most common procedures that our San Dimas, CA, gynecologist performs laparoscopically:
Hysteroscopic endometrial ablation: If you are dealing with abnormal bleeding, or excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding that hasn’t responded to other treatment options then you may want to consider an endometrial ablation, which causes the uterine lining to scar to stop future periods.
Operative hysteroscopy: If benign polyps or growths are causing uterine bleeding then this simple procedure can be used to remove these growths and even perform biopsies to make sure that the growth is benign.
Laparoscopic hysterectomy: If you’ve decided to have your uterus removed, our OBGYN team can now perform this procedure laparoscopically, which means that you can return home the same day as your procedure and your recovery time will be much faster than with a traditional hysterectomy.
Operative laparoscopy: This surgical technique can also be used to remove ovarian cysts or to assist in a tubal ligation or hysterectomy. This procedure also allows us to diagnose certain conditions. Again, this outpatient minimally invasive surgery will ensure a faster recovery time and fewer post-surgical side effects.
Tubal ligation via laparoscopy: This permanent contraception involves removing or cauterizing the fallopian tubes to prevent an egg from fertilizing.
Do you have questions about getting minimally invasive surgery? Do you want to discuss treatment options with us? Then call Williams Ob/Gyn & Associates in San Dimas, CA, today.