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Category: Dr. Haley’s Blog

May 18, 2016

By James Haley, MD, FACOG, FPMRS

Vaginal rejuvenation can help improve a woman's pelvic health.It’s never too late for vaginal rejuvenation. Women should not have to feel insecure about the appearance and feel of their vagina. Yet, many women suffer in silence with embarrassing symptoms such as vaginal looseness because they accept it as part of the natural aging process. In addition to vaginal laxity, decreased sexual sensation with sexual intercourse can put undue strain on a woman’s self-confidence with intimacy. The causes of these uncomfortable symptoms result from damage sustained during childbirth, alongside the effects of aging. Through vaginal rejuvenation surgery, women can regain a positive self-image and a better sense of intimacy.

What is Vaginal Rejuvenation?
Cherokee Women’s Health serves the Atlanta Metro and offers two types of Vaginal Rejuvenation surgeries. Vaginoplasty and labiaplasty are two genital rejuvenation procedures that can improve vulvar tone, vaginal laxity, and vaginal looseness. Both Vaginoplasty and Labiaplasty can be performed in an hour and have full recovery times between 6-8 weeks. Women may choose to have both procedures performed together, or choose the surgery that will offer them the benefits they are seeking.

Vaginoplasty – This procedure is a tightening and rejuvenation of the vagina. The purpose is to reduce the opening of the vagina and tighten the vaginal canal that may have widened after childbirth. Benefits of the procedure can lead to a more satisying sex life. A 60 minute surgery, vaginoplasty can be performed with general or local anesthetic in a hospital setting, or in the office.

Labiaplasty – This genital rejuvenation procedure reduces the size of, or reshapes the labia minora, or labia majora. This process can help decrease the pain and discomfort of enlarged labia, or correct an irregularity of the labia. It improves the aesthetics and appearance of the external tissues and produces optimal vulvar tone. Labiaplasty also takes approximately 60 minutes to perform. Sedative options include general or local anesthesia.

Dr. Haley photo

Vaginal Rejuvenation Surgeons in Atlanta
Because vaginoplasty and labiaplasty require precise skill in the highly specialized field of vaginal surgery, it is important to seek out a surgeon with experience in this area. At Cherokee Women’s Health, board certified doctors who specialize in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery understand a woman’s needs when it comes to entrusting a doctor with her vaginal health and appearance. They offer expertise in the field of pelvic medicine because they have years of practice in the understanding vaginal anatomy and routinely perform these surgeries. More than a cosmetic procedure, our doctors consider all facets of pelvic medicine when performing surgery, leading to optimal results and satisfied patients.

With offices located in Canton and Woodstock, Cherokee Women’s Health is ready to answer all your questions about vaginal rejuvenation. Take the next step and call to make an appointment to discuss surgical options. Restore feeling, function, appearance, and find yourself more confident about your body with vaginal rejuvenation.

April 27, 2016

Dr. Haley pic

What Sets FPMRS Apart and What is ALCAT Testing?
– An Interview with Dr. Haley

How has being a FPMRS (Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery) specialist changed how you practice medicine?
In order to become board certified, and have that distinction, you have to do a tremendous amount of studying. In a sense, the certification forces you to become an expert. Generally speaking, OB-GYNs are trained in pelvic floor complications, but not nearly to the extent that’s required for FPMRS certification. Going through the sub-specialty training makes you realize what you didn’t know. It really advances not just your knowledge, but also makes you a much better surgeon in regards to your approach and your ability to take care of even the most difficult situations.

Having three of us as FPMRS specialists distinguishes us as the go-to for women who need pelvic surgery.

When you offer patients pelvic repair procedures such as Vaginal Rejuvenation, how does that compare to ThermiVa, which is a less invasive?
ThermiVa is a non-surgical procedure for vaginal tightening, performed in the office. I think of ThermiVa as an option for women that may have issues with vaginal dryness or sexual dysfunction, some leakage, or some loss of support. However, when comparing the ThermiVa procedure to some aspects of vaginal reconstruction, they are not the same. If a patient’s issues aren’t too bad, ThermiVa can be a good option. The worse the problem, however, the more extensive surgical reconstruction the patient may require.

Is there a trend in GYN Surgery?
Over the next few years, it looks like reconstructive pelvic surgeries will no longer be performed by general OB-GYNs, either because they don’t want to or because they won’t be qualified. Instead, they’ll refer their patients to a specialist who has earned this board distinction. This trend has already happened in a number of fields, with the sub-specialty of FPMRS being one of the most recent ones.

Additionally, as the population ages, we’re seeing pelvic floor problems more and more. The number one reason for issues with prolapse is delivering babies vaginally and having them come out through the birth canal. These aren’t necessarily births that have complications, but it’s just fallout from regular deliveries where babies come through and stretch–and often damage–the muscles and tissue.

In addition to childbirth, there are other things that contribute to loss of pelvic floor support, including jobs that involve lots of lifting and/or heavy straining. Other people who have experienced the loss of pelvic floor support include long-term smokers, people who are overweight and even athletes who compete extensively in high-performance activities.

Recently, you have gotten interested in ALCAT [food sensitivity] testing. What is it, and what drew you to learning more about ALCAT?
The ALCAT test (antigen leukocyte antibody test) measures negative reactions to the food we put in our bodies. I got interested because I was seeing patients having health issues, and no amount of regular testing was showing any kind of helpful results. Becoming a subspecialist in Female Pelvic Medicine has factually pushed me to a new level of knowledge for my patients –surgically, and in other areas as well.

Is there a correlation between food sensitivity picked up from an ALCAT test and gynecological issues?
A lot of “hormonal” issues can actually be related to food sensitivities.

I hear patients discuss things like hormone imbalances, weight gain and depression all the time. Sometimes there’s a gynecological cause. But sometimes, there’s an interplay of other things. And what I’ve come to realize is it’s often the combination of underlying issues that’s the source of the problem.

Dr. Haley with patient picAs an OB-GYN, I see women every day who tell me the problems they’re experiencing, and yet sometimes there hasn’t been this simple, easy resolution. This is especially the case with patients who use their OB-GYN as their primary care provider and don’t see an additional doctor. A woman will come in for her yearly exam and mention she’s just not able to lose weight, or that nothing she’s tried is working. If we check standard things and find nothing is working, what’s missing? Then I know it’s time to move onto something else.

An ALCAT test is the only reliable test that can discover these types of things in the blood. They are used worldwide, and a lot of athletes use ALCAT tests to try to give themselves an edge in performance.

What exactly is a food sensitivity?
Here’s a little backstory:
Our bodies react when they come in contact with toxins in our food, such as chemicals, dyes, or pesticides. When you talk about our immune system, there are two parts: one is when our bodies come into contact with a particular food; there can be an immediate allergic reaction that many people are familiar with. (For example, peanuts, shellfish, etc.) But the second part, called the Innate Immune System, is when we come into contact with foods that create a delayed response. This response can occur within a day, several days, or even a week. We don’t realize the connection, and sometimes we don’t even notice.

So, if we’re putting things into our body, and the body recognizes it as an “intruder,” our bodies send out an “attack” response to this particular type of food or substance. Food responses are responsible for numerous related health issues.

Some of the biggest health issues have been linked to these types of responses, including heart disease, diabetes, complications with weight and obesity, chronic fatigue, bowel issues, depression, ADHD, and it just goes on and on. The commonality behind a lot of those diseases is inflammation. The body mounts an inflammatory response when it comes into contact with something it doesn’t recognize, and over time, that causes issues in the body.

Years ago, we thought our bowel was responsible for only 20 percent of the immune function. Now they realize 80 percent of our immune system is related to the bowel. So now, the bowel is the primary immune function. Given that change in percentage, a lot of problems can be connected to that.

How does the ALCAT test work?
A patient can choose by picking up a number of panels what they want to be tested for. The panel gets sent off and they get a very detailed result indicating what foods are okay to eat, what foods are triggering a mild reaction, and what foods are triggering a severe response and should be avoided. The company that administers the ALCAT test will also help the patient with a rotation diet to help their body recover from the inflammatory-triggering foods.

Are there any references you recommend to patients if they’re interested in learning more about it?
Patients can visit the ALCAT website. It’s pretty helpful. I actually created my own brochure about ALCAT testing so that when patients ask about it, they can read the information and get a much better understanding of what the test involves and what might be a result of what they’re experiencing. If a patient shows interest in the test, I’m happy to sit down with them and send them home with additional information.

“Down Time”
You’re a big participant in marathons, and even a few triathlons. What else do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I like traveling and spending time with my family. I also enjoy golfing and hiking.

 

 

October 14, 2015

Dr. Haley's photo

Dr. Jim Haley has just finished a morning performing surgeries in the O.R., and is headed into a full afternoon schedule of patients. Chatting as the interview begins, he mentions that when the weekend comes, he’ll be participating in his first Obstacle Race – a run in which he will face mud pits, barb wire, and ice baths.

“I guess I’ve always been drawn to action,” Dr. Haley smiles, “life and death drama. From the time I was 13 or 14, it seemed to me I was supposed to be a doctor. I figured maybe surgery or E.R. medicine. But when I got to medical school and delivered my first baby, I knew right then I wanted to be an obstetrician.

“I don’t remember this, but after that first delivery, my wife Lisa tells the story of me coming home just laughing off and on all night – because it was SO COOL. I’d never experienced anything like that before!

“I’m drawn to challenges. There’s a lot of challenges to being an obstetrician – the training, being on call, the long hours, and dealing with such an important part of peoples’ lives. But it seems like the challenges drive me in life – physical challenges, too.

Dr. Haley's photo“Over the years I’ve been in 7 marathons, 1 ultra marathon, 15 triathlons, and 1 Iron Man. (An Iron Man is a Triathlon in which the participant swims 2.4 miles, runs 26, and bikes 112.)

Recently, Dr. Haley also became one of the select number of Georgia OB/GYN’s to be board-certified in the subspecialty of FPMRS, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. He says simply, “I like to go after things that are hard to do.”Dr. Haley's photo

What experiences have shaped you as a doctor?
“One great memory about being an OB was getting to deliver my two children. And it made me laugh, too. I’d delivered lots of babies and watched them being taken to the nursery afterward. But I noticed that this delivery was different: they weren’t taking this one away. They were leaving him in the room. And I had to laugh when I realized that was because he was mine.

Dr. Haley's family photo“But something that had a big impact on me was that Lisa and I had two miscarriages – I think this was God’s way of helping me be empathetic about the pain my patients feel when they lose a baby.”

Do you have a philosophy about practicing medicine?
Dr. Haley mentions his faith directly and without self-consciousness. “I think of being a doctor as my calling. I love the Lord, I love my family, I love my wife Lisa. As a Christian, we are called to serve and help others – this is the calling God has designated for me, and how I can do that.”Dr. Haley's photo

Click here to learn more about Dr. Haley, and to watch his interview.

FUN FACTS about Dr. Haley

Top Doctor
Dr. Haley was named “Patient’s Pick Top Doctor” for favorite Gynecologist in Cobb County by Atlanta Magazine in 2012.

Iron Man
Dr. Haley’s done 7 marathons, 1 ultra marathon, 15 triathlons, and 1 Iron Man. (Swim 2.4 miles, run 26 miles, bike 112 miles.)

2New Orleans Boy
Dr. Haley lived in New Orleans for 22 years before becoming a Georgian, with two brothers still there. During Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Haley’s mother, age 91, came to live in Rome, Georgia – and is still there!

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