For many women with severe prolapse or incontinence, surgery will be the only effective option. There is however a difference between 'effective' and 'curative'. Incontinence can often (not always) be cured. I contend that prolapse can not. Not so far as the underlying defects and injuries are concerned. The analogy I often use is that of a bad back. Surgery can make it better, but it will never be a normal back...ever again. As a result, it is often better to try safer, less invasive treatments before going to surgery directly. These treatment include physiotherapy, pessaries, and laser. Physiotherapy, laser and PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) treatment in combination is probably the best all around combined conservative treatment combination available. We offer all of these individually or in combination and our results are as good or better than anywhere in the world.
Elective surgery has been done again in Calgary since June and I have been back to my normal operating schedule since about July. I had one OR cancelled recently because of a hospital outbreak but things have settled again and unless this 'second wave' gets much worse, we are likely going to be able to continue more or less normally. Unfortunately things can change almost overnight and there is no way to predict what the immediate future will look like, until such time as a large percentage of the population is vaccinated. At least that is the bright light at the end of a dark tunnel. Many specialties have had long wait lists for elective surgery before Covid, and now it is just so much worse, in spite of what AHS might say in the media. Personally however my waitlist is under control.
As far as my office practice is concerned I have made some changes that will help with the overall atmosphere at the office, the efficiency of the practice and the services offered. We have a new office manager (Ronel Murphy - yes Ronel has been there forever, but has now taken on the role of chief cook and bottle washer...) and we welcomed a new medical office assistant, Janica Bosman. Your first contact with our office is likely to be with Janica, who will make you feel immediately at home with her upbeat personality. Our physiotherapist, Alana Deflin ('the privates investigator' on instagram) has increased her hours and we are also expanding the laser treatments we offer, both medical as well as cosmetic. Dana Currie, our cosmetic laser esthetician, is ready with new and exciting offerings.
Although purely cosmetic laser services are generally completely out of pocket, we will work with you to help with getting some or all of the services that have a medical component covered, either with private insurance if you have any, or if you have a Health Spending Account through work. Many of my patients get most, or all, of the treatments covered this way. The balance, or in case of no health spending account - the entire cost, is tax deductible as a medical expence (you should work with your own tax adviser on this though). As a result I urge you not to discard the option of laser treatments before having thought it through. Going directly to surgery sometimes appears to be the 'easier', or 'cheaper' option, but this might not be the case at all when the risks, downtime, decreased productivity and cost of rehabilitation is considered.
The latest laser offering is an office based fibre-optic NDYag laser treatment of internal and external hemorrhoids. Using the fibre to penetrate the hemorrhoid allows for the complete destruction of the feeding bloodvessels and for the hemorrhoid to shrink away. This is a treatment that although done as an outpatient, office procedure, does require some days off of work and physical activity, so plan accordingly. We use local freezing so the treatment itself is well tolerated, but the recovery does take some time. Please contact my office for detail. For the time being I am only accepting female patients for this treatment.
Our laser and PRP treatment for incontinence, atrophy (vaginal dryness), painful intercourse because of atrophy and vaginal laxity and mild to moderate prolapse is yielding very satisfying results and we now have a large cohort of women who come yearly for their follow up treatment. These satisfied patients are walking testimonies for the efficacy and ease of the treatments. We also have more and more patients coming with a variety of problems like lack of sensation (bladder or sexual sensation), pain issues, lichen sclerosus (inflammatory disease of the vulva) to name a few. With a combination of PRP and laser many of these patients improve. I generally don't subscribe to some of the marketing hype and promoting of the 'vaginal looseness' idea, since I do believe this may stigmatize many normal women into believing they are not normal. However, there is absolutely no doubt (NONE) that vaginal childbirth changes things. For many women these changes DO lead to problems that although these may not rise to the level of accepted medical conditions or diagnoses, still lead to dissatisfaction and distress. This might include a feeling of looseness, air going in and out of the vagina (sometimes getting pressurized during movement or exercise and escaping with distressing audible results), or lack of - or decreased, sexual enjoyment for the individual and/or her partner. The flipside of the criticizm against stigmatizing women who complain of looseness or doctors promoting treatment for this, is equally valid. This IS a problem for many, and denigrating or denying their concerns is also patronizing, and 'choice' denying. Please know that at my office we don't judge. I am open to discuss your concerns in a friendly and safe atmosphere. Believe me, there is almost nothing you can tell me I have not heard many times before; thus no need to be shy or embarrassed.
Lastly, I will note that we do many pessary fittings. I have a large inventory and a lot of experience to find the correct type and size pessary if that is what a patient wants. Other places in Calgary and Edmonton have up to a two year waiting list for this. I will not get into the politics of why this is so; but there are defined reasons which doesn't have to be the case. Our wait list is much shorter.
If you are interested in any of the treatments we offer that is outside of the usual Medicare system (Physiotherapy, laser or PRP), please call our office directly and my staff will help you with all the information you require to either do further research, or make a decision. You do NOT need a referral for this.