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Category: Health

January 9, 2018

As women approach mid-life and start to experience menopause, many often wonder if hormone therapy is the right choice for them. Hormone Therapy is an important consideration for women, and for many, the choice as to which type to use, can be quite confusing. There are basically two types of hormone therapy: traditional, or the more natural approach, which is called bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).

Traditional hormone therapy, sometimes referred to as “synthetic,” are FDA approved medications that have been most commonly prescribed for hormone replacement. Bioidentical hormone therapy, or sometimes referred to as “natural”, are compounded at special pharmacies. With natural bioidentical hormones, there is good evidence that women can find relief from symptoms of hormonal imbalance without the risks that come along with synthetic hormones.

What are Bioidentical Hormones? 

Bioidentical hormones are derived from naturally occurring sources, such as soy or yams, and are designed to replicate the same chemical structure as the hormones that are produced naturally by our bodies. Based on your hormone levels, a compounding pharmacy can individually tailor a bioidentical hormone regimen specifically designed for you by your physician. BHRT allows for the greatest ability to create custom therapy best suited for you as an individual. Typical cost should be $40-$45 per month.

Are Bioidentical Hormones Safer, More Effective than Synthetic Hormones?

Bioidentical hormones are more suitable to most when dealing with menopause because they are derived naturally and our bodies can metabolize them properly. Another advantage of using bioidentical hormones is that they are specifically designed to match your individual hormonal needs – unlike synthetic hormones, which often uses a one-size-fits-all approach to symptom relief.

There is much supportive literature that suggests bioidentical hormone therapy is safer and more effective than synthetic hormone replacement. However, it’s important to remember that no drug or supplement is completely safe – that is where the expertise of a women’s specialist is needed to decide the best approach for you and your specific medical needs. At Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists, our physicians are board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and are experts in menopausal management.

What are the Benefits of Bioidentical Hormone Therapy? 

Some of the day-to-day benefits are as follows:

  • Stops hot flashes
  • Diminishes night sweats
  • Increases energy
  • Helps control anxiety and irritability
  • Decreases brain fog
  • Controls loss of hair, brittle nails and dry skin
  • Helps lift mood or depression symptoms
  • Helps manage weight
  • Increases libido
  • Reduces vaginal dryness

Hormone therapy also has long-term benefits that significantly impact life:

  • Protection of your heart (#1 killer for women)
  • Protection for your bones
  • Decreases risk of colon cancer
  • Good evidence suggests it decreases the risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia

How Do I Know What Hormones and What Amounts are Right for me?

Based on your age, history, symptoms, whether you’ve had a hysterectomy, and other factors, one or more hormones will be suggested. On occasion, a blood test will be performed to check the hormone levels. Again, it is very important that you choose an OB/GYN that is an expert in menopause management and is up-to-date on the latest medical information.

What is the Best Way to take Bioidentical Hormones and How Long?

Usually the best route to take bioidenticals is through the skin, such as a roll-on gel or cream. Occasionally, oral medication or pills will be given. We know that menopause accelerates the aging process and causes challenging daily symptoms. Additionally, there are known health benefits of being on hormone therapy, so for most, it is recommended to be on HRT for the rest of your life.

Why Should You Choose Cherokee Women’s Health to Manage Bioidenticals?

Our method of managing your hormone therapy has your best interest in mind. We limit visits and lab tests to only what’s needed, using symptoms to monitor most of your progress. In an office visit and possibly a basic blood test, you can be given a prescription for bioidentical hormone therapy and be on your way to feeling your best. If your symptoms remain, we can tweak the dosage until your are at your optimal health.

At Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists, our goal is to help women live the best life possible. When you give your body the attention and support it needs, you’ll look better and feel better because of it.

With bioidentical hormones and the help of our highly trained physicians, you can be on your way to feeling your best in no time.

Call our office at (770) 720-7733 for an appointment with one of our menopause management expert physicians.

November 22, 2017

Cervical cerclage is only done in a small percentage of pregnancies.

It is the placement of stitches in the cervix to hold the area closed to prevent preterm labor or pregnancy loss for women who have a weak or incompetent cervix.

Cervical cerclage can be done as early as 12-weeks as a preventative measure for women who have had miscarriages due to a weak cervix. It can also be done as an emergency measure after the cervix has dilated. Typically, this procedure is not done after the 24-week mark.

When is Cervical Cerclage Recommended?

This procedure is recommended for women to prevent pregnancy loss or premature birth. Stitches are used to close the cervix around the second-trimester and typically removed no later than week 37.

Your doctor may suggest cervical cerclage if you qualify as a high-risk pregnancy.

During pregnancy, your cervix gradually softens, decreases in length, and begins to dilate in preparation for your baby. However, in rare cases, your cervix may open too soon putting you at risk for premature labor.

Your healthcare provider will assess your risk level based on the following circumstances.

  • If you’ve had one or more 2nd-trimester pregnancy losses related to dilation.
  • If you have had cervical cerclage during previous pregnancies.
  • If you have been diagnosed with painless cervical dilation during your second-trimester.

Generally, cervical cerclage is done through the vagina (transvaginal cervical cerclage). But, in some cases, it can be done through the abdomen (transabdominal cervical cerclage). Ask your doctor what is better for you and your baby.

Cervical cerclage and high-risk pregnancyIs Cervical Cerclage Right for You?

Your doctor may discourage cervical cerclage for any number of reasons. You may want to reconsider this procedure if you have vaginal bleeding, preterm labor, an intra-uterine infection, a rupture in the amniotic sac, or are carrying multiple babies.

Risks Associated with Cervical Cerclage

There are many side effects associated with cervical cerclage. Having the procedure doesn’t always prevent premature birth.

Women who experience premature dilation of the cervix during the second-trimester may have one or a number of these problems whether they opt for cervical cerclage or not.

Here are a few side effects that are occasionally associated with a cervical cerclage procedure. Consult your doctor about your risk factor based on previous pregnancies and what you can do to minimize side effects.

  • Infection
  • Vaginal Bleeding
  • Tear in the Cervix
  • Leakage of Amniotic Sac (Prior to week 37)
  • Miscarriage
  • Preterm Labor or Birth

If you experience bleeding or leakage after your cerclage procedure, seek medical attention immediately. In such cases, your OB-GYN may recommend the removal of stitches early.

Closing Thoughts

Cervical cerclage is not for everyone. Talk to your healthcare provider to learn more about the options available to you. Ultimately, it’s up to you to make the right decision about what’s right for you and your baby.

Whether you’d like a second opinion about your cervical cerclage recommendation or have other pregnancy-related questions, don’t hesitate to contact us today. Here at Cherokee Women’s Health, we offer a full range of services to help you along the way.

Many people are afraid to ask important questions when it comes to their sexual health. But it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Separate fact from fiction when it comes to STDs and STIs.

Today, we’ll walk you through how STDs are spread so you can learn the best ways to treat and prevent them. Ask your doctor to clarify facts on any questions you might have regarding STDs and STIs.

Who Can Get STDs?

Anyone who is sexually active can get an STD or an STI. You are considered sexually active if you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

More young people have an STD than older adults. Nearly half of everyone under the age of 25 has an STD or STI. This is especially alarming considering this age bracket only makes up for one-quarter of people having sex.

Many STDs and STIs do not have any symptoms. Talk with your partner and get tested together before becoming sexually active.

How to Prevent STD/STIs?

The only way to 100% prevent STDs and STIs is to abstain from sexual activity.

However, you can reduce the risk of contracting a sexual disease by using a condom.

Even if you are on birth control, you should consider STD protection. While birth control can prevent you from becoming pregnant, it will not aid in the prevention of STDs.

How Are STDs and STIs Diagnosed? 

If you think you might have been exposed to an STD, get tested right away. The only way to know for sure is to get tested.

Remember, STD and HIV testing is not always a part of your regular doctor visit. If you’re sexually active, don’t assume you are STD-free without getting tested.

Testing for STDs is confidential, quick, and easy. For example, you can get tested for HIV with a simple oral cotton swab and know your results in as little as 20-minutes. Other STDs can be tested by a urine test, vaginal swab, or a quick blood test.

What if I have an STD?

Having an STD isn’t the end of the world. All STDs including HIV are treatable. Most are even curable.

It’s important to be open with your sexual partner. Having an honest conversation before sex (whether it be vaginal, anal, or oral) can help stop the spread of STDs.

While these conversations may seem hard, it’s better to have a responsible talk sooner than later. This way, you can both be vigilant in protecting against STD transfer to an uninfected partner.

Concerns About Sexual Health

When it comes to sexual health, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you think you may have been exposed to an STD or STI, see your doctor right away.

Untreated, STDs can lead to serious health problems down the road. Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about symptoms you may be having.

Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us with concerns regarding your symptoms. A member of our trained staff can answer questions about your sexual health or schedule a confidential appointment.

Self-breast exams are important for adult women. Approximately 1-in-8 US women will develop invasive breast cancer during her lifetime. Regular breast exams can help familiarize yourself with your body and provide early detection for breast cancer in many women.

How Often to Do a Self-Breast Exam

Feel free to do a self-breast exam as often as you like. The more familiar you are with your breasts, the easier it is to recognize noticeable changes. Typically, adult women should complete a self-exam at least once a month.

Breast cancer cannot be prevented but it can be detected early and caught before it spreads. If you discover changes in your breasts, seek medical attention as soon as possible for a professional evaluation.

What to Look for During a Self-Exam Breast exams are an important part of a woman's health and wellness.

Breast cancer can look different for many women. However, some of the things you should be looking for when doing a self-exam are the following;

  • A lump or hardened knot
  • Thickening or discoloration of the skin
  • Redness, soreness, or swelling
  • Changes in the contour of the breast
  • Changes in nipple color or inverted nipple
  • Unusual discharge from nipple

Keep in mind, not all symptoms of breast cancer are the same. If you suspect anything out of the norm when completing a breast exam, schedule a consult and mammogram with your physician immediately.

Self-Breast Exam Techniques

Some women prefer to do a circular motion using the pads of their fingers. Start at the center of your breast using a medium-firm pressure. Be sure to cover the entire area of the breast from armpit to cleavage.

Another way to evaluate your breasts is using a top to bottom method. Again, use a medium-firm pressure to run your fingers up and down your entire breast region. Start at your collarbone and glide your fingers down to your abdomen.

Where to Complete a Self-Breast Exam

An accurate self-breast exam will require three simple steps in 2-3 positions. When done correctly a self-exam shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes of your time.

In of the Mirror

Standing in front of a mirror allows you to visually inspect your breasts. Start with your arms at your sides and look at your breasts from the left, right, and frontal positions. After you’ve completed this portion of your exam, repeat the process with your arms high above your head.

Lying Down

For the second portion of your breast exam, you’ll need to be in a lying position. Lying down is advantageous because your breast tissue is flat against your chest cavity making it easier to spot something unusual.

Once you’re lying on your back, place a pillow under your right shoulder (or whichever side you’d like to examine first). Then, fold the same arm behind your head. Take the opposite hand and begin to use your preferred examination technique.

After you’ve covered the entire breast area, repeat the process with your other side.

In the Shower

During the final step of your exam, you’ll need to be standing upright. Many women find it easier to complete this stage of the self-examination in the shower where the skin is wet and slippery. Once again, use a medium-firm pressure to feel for anything out of the norm on both breasts.

At this time, lightly squeeze your nipple feeling for lumps and looking for any time of discharge.

Final Thoughts

Don’t hesitate to give us a call for further guidance regarding your self-breast exam. If you’ve discovered something unusual that you want a professional to evaluate, call to schedule a consultation immediately.

November 21, 2017

Your diet impacts every aspect of your body. And, yes, that includes your vagina as well. Making healthier choices can boost your sexual health, reproductive health and even help women navigate menopause with less severe symptoms.

A healthy vagina has naturally healthy acidic pH levels. A vagina that’s in good health has a host of healthy bacteria known as probiotics. These good bacteria ward off infections and keep your reproductive system working smoothly.

Today, we’ll take a look at several simple dietary adjustments you can make to maintain optimal vaginal and sexual health.

Alleviate Painful Cramps

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help ease your period pain. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce period symptoms such as cramps. Some omega-3 rich foods to add to your diet include:

  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Avocado
  • walnuts

If you’re craving something on the sweet side, try fresh fruit like strawberries or raspberries.

If you’re experiencing cramps related to your period, you may want to avoid these foods; fatty foods, alcohol, caffeine, and salt.

Ward Off Yeast Infections

Probiotic-rich foods have been shown to promote a good pH balance within the vagina. The good bacteria Lactobacillus improves overall vaginal health and can help prevent yeast infections.

The best probiotic-rich foods to try for the prevention of yeast infections are:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kefir

While you’ve probably heard about the benefits of cranberry juice in the treatment of yeast infections, it’s also packed with unhealthy amounts of sugar.

Put an End to UTIs

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can cause annoyingly frequent bathroom breaks and a painful burning sensation. About half the women in the US have (or will have) a UTI at some point in their life.

Keeping your body hydrated by drinking lots of water is a great way to flush bad bacteria from your kidneys, bladder, and uterus. Another great way to keep UTIs at bay is to consume plenty of antimicrobial-rich foods such as green tea and ginger.

Avoid acidic foods such as tomatoes, oranges, limes, and lemons.

Counteract Menopause Symptoms

There are even foods that can help you navigate menopause with less severe symptoms. Vaginal dryness, for example, is caused by reduced estrogen levels. Phytoestrogens (a natural plant-based estrogen replacement) can help reduce irritating vaginal dryness.

Some good phytoestrogen-rich foods include soy products such as:

  • Edamame
  • Tofu
  • Miso
  • Tempeh

These soy-based products are also hydrophilic, or natural lubricants, that attract moisture to your tissue.

Final Thoughts

Healthy foods equal a happy, healthy vagina. But keep in mind, the foods you eat only affect your body for 2-3 days after consuming them. It’s important to maintain a healthy diet for optimal sexual and vaginal health.

To learn more about your sexual health, give us a call. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have or schedule a nutritional consultation.

November 16, 2017

proteinWe all need it but can too much protein in your diet be deadly? Almost all of us grew up hearing that you can have too much of a good thing. As children, we probably learned that the hard way by drinking too much soda, or by stuffing ourselves with extra Halloween candy. The result was never pleasant. Though overdoing sensible portions may not always be dangerous, it can certainly have disagreeable repercussions. This applies to most over indulgences, including food the body may need such as fats, carbohydrates — even proteins.

What are Proteins and Why Do We Need Them?

To imagine what a protein looks like, picture an open charm bracelet lying on a table from a distance. Each charm is visible but indistinguishable from the one next to it. As you get closer, those charms begin to have distinct shapes and sizes, each with their own meaning.

Under a microscope, proteins resemble that bracelet. They are long strands linking together their own ‘charms’ called amino acids, and each one has its own unique formation and ‘memory’ to perform its purpose.

There are twenty different amino acids essential to the human body, and each protein can have all or only some of the ones you need to remain healthy. All twenty of those amino acids linked to proteins are vital to overall health and body function. Some proteins have the complete twenty, while others have only a few. This explains the different sizes of strands attached to each protein. Any or all amino acids can also appear on the same strand hundreds to thousands of times in varying sequences.

These amino acids literally keep you alive, creating enzymes, hormones, and multiple body chemicals. They build and repair tissue, blood, muscles, cartilage, and bones. Protein provides energy and even reproduces more protein such as your hair, skin, and nails.

Where Do We Get Protein?

Mother Nature, in her wisdom, has provided this planet with everything we need to sustain human life, and that includes numerous sources of protein. Though the body produces many of the twenty vital amino acids, you still need roughly half from various foods. There are only a few complete food sources, and these are:

  • Poultry
  • Seafood
  • Red meat
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Quinoa
  • Soy

Other foods rich in protein include beans, pulses, nuts, seeds, and legumes. The following are only a fraction of foods that fall into these categories:

  • Hummus
  • Lentils
  • Kidney beans
  • Alfalfa
  • Clover
  • Fresh peas
  • Chickpeas
  • Edible Beans
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pistachios
  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Cashews
  • Flax seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Sesame seeds

Yet another excellent source is protein powder.

How Much Protein Do I Need?

The recommended daily protein guideline is 1.6 grams per kilogram of weight. This means that a woman weighing 50 kg or 110 lbs. would require 80 grams or 2.8 ounces. This amount is not carved in stone. Many factors, such as lifestyle, activity level and individual health come into play. You may need more if you are very athletic, or possibly less if you lead a more sedentary life.

What Happens if I Don’t Get Enough Protein?

Not enough protein intake can cause the body to work less efficiently, especially if the composition of those proteins does not meet your basic physical needs with the necessary amount of amino acids. Though they may be high in protein, nibbling on handfuls of walnuts all day, may make you deficient in the other amino acids it lacks. By doing this, you may find yourself experiencing such negative effects as:

  • Sluggishness
  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating
  • Trouble learning or absorbing new information
  • Fatigue or listlessness
  • Lack of energy
  • Lowered metabolism
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty healing
  • Joint, muscle, and bone pain
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Changes in blood sugar with a danger of developing diabetes
  • Difficulty losing weight or gaining muscle mass.

Can Too Much Protein be Deadly?

Though ingesting too much protein may have undesirable effects, there are no reported cases of excessive amounts of protein resulting in death. In rare instances, when massive protein consumption was reported to be fatal, it was later learned that there was an underlying disorder or disease that contributed to the event.

The body is unable to store protein for later use. Any surplus you don’t need is first turned into energy and then to fat. That, in turn, is stored away, causing weight gain. Overloading on protein rather than eating a balanced diet can also run the risk of you not getting other nutrients you need in the form of fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals vital to good health.

Too much protein won’t kill you. You may, however, have some unpleasant reactions such as:

  • Irritability
  • Brain fog
  • Constipation
  • Thirst
  • Bad breath (Halitosis)
  • Dehydration

Copious amounts of protein are only usually dangerous if you have a genetic, hereditary, or pre-existing problem. Excessive protein intake may accelerate further problems if you already suffer from weakened or compromised kidneys, liver, pancreas, or heart. Tainted or diseased food containing protein can be lethal in small or large amounts depending on the severity of the toxin. In short, too much protein can contribute to complications, but simply eating too much of it does not have deadly consequences.

If you have nutritional questions, call us at 770.720.7733.

BMR Rate CalculatorStatistics say that the average weight gain over the holidays is 15 pounds but understanding your BMR may help you boost weight loss over the holidays. You may have stumbled across the words, ’Basal Metabolic Rate’, more commonly referred to as BMR, in one of your many quests for a permanent weight loss program. The explanation regarding BMR probably seemed a little too scientific or complicated to completely understand, so you went on to look for something less confusing. If, instead, you researched and tried a few fad diets, lost weight and then gained it back with more, it might be time to take another look at that BMR information.

With the holidays quickly approaching, your caloric intake is probably on your mind —along with the fear of caving once you get to that food-laden table. Grandma or Mom will start circling your favorite pie under your nose, using their other hand to wave that delectable scent to your nostrils; someone will insist you be the judge of the best of three stuffings – and, oh my goodness, did Aunt Carol say she was bringing her famous candied yams?

What is BMR?

Very simply put, your body needs a certain amount of energy in order to function. Even while you’re sitting perfectly still or sleeping, calories are needed for all your organs to operate correctly – for your heart to beat, blood to circulate, kidneys to filter and flush waste. Even breathing requires energy. Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the minimal amount of calories necessary to perform these functions when your body is in a state of complete rest and inactivity.

Why is This Important Regarding Weight Loss?

We’ve been taught that in order to maintain our ideal weight, women need to consume about 1,200 calories a day and that anything above and beyond that is excessive and leads to extra weight. This is not the case at all. The truth is that you may need more than that merely to keep your body running. Those factors include:

  • Your Gender – Women typically have more fat and less muscle than men, so their BMR will be a lower number.
  • Your Height
  • Your Present Weight
  • Your Age – As you age, activity levels typically drop, leading to more fat than muscle and a decline in metabolic rate.

Your Body is a Well-Oiled Machine

The human body doesn’t think. It’s a machine and its main function is to survive. It needs fuel (food and drink) to run properly. To do that, it needs a certain number of calories to do its job adequately. If you feed it more than it needs, it converts the excess into fat and stores it, much like a squirrel hiding nuts for the winter.

If you begin dieting before knowing the minimal calories you need just to keep everything working, your body feels deprived and begins to deplete its stashed hoard until it runs out of fuel. Once that reserve is gone, it starts to work less effectively. It doesn’t know you are eating less because you want to lose weight. All it knows is that, suddenly, its accustomed level of mandatory nutrients has decreased and it doesn’t have enough ‘fuel’ to keep things running smoothly.

By knowing your BMR, you have a starting point to begin a healthy lifestyle of diet and exercise with a greater potential for permanent results. Weight gain is usually a slow process. It stands to reason that weight loss will be equally slow. However, as you start to eat sensibly, cut back on calories safely, and work out a little, your BMR level will drop accordingly until you reach a desirable number and can maintain your weight.

Are BMI and BMR the Same Thing?

No, BMI stands for body mass index. The number calculated from the body mass index formula is used by physicians to measure the amount of muscle, fat and bone in an individual. It determines if a person is obese, overweight, underweight or right on target. BMI numbers alert doctors to identify if their patient is at risk for potential problems such as diabetes, heart disease, anorexia or other disorders. BMI, along with BMR, is also helpful for nutritionists and dieticians in helping you plan a healthy weight loss program.

How is BMR Calculated?

Many BMR calculators are available online, but if you prefer to figure it out manually, this is the formula based on a woman who weighs 140 pounds, is 5’4”’ tall (64”), and is 35 years old.

Step 1) Multiply weight in pounds by 4.35.  (4.35 x 140=609.)

Step 2) Add 655 to the total.  (609 + 655 =1264) write down this total

Step 3) Multiply height in inches by 4.7. (4.7 x 64=300.8)

Step 4) Add this total to the amount in step #2 (1264 + 300.8=1564.8) Write this total down.

Step 5) Multiply age by 4.7. (4.7 x 35=164.5)

Step 6) Subtract the total in step #5 from your total in step #4. (1564.8 – 164.5=1400.3).

In short, based on this random woman’s gender, weight, height and age, this would be her formula to follow: 655+ (4.35 x 140) + (4.7 x 64) – (4.7 x 35) = 1400.3. The total of 1,400.3 is the basic number of calories she would need simply to maintain body function at complete rest. To determine your BMI number, you only need to substitute your own information.

Your daily activity level is equally important in calculating this result, and once you have your BMR number, you need to multiply it by the following numbers based on your personal lifestyle:

  • Very Inactive – If you work at a desk job with very little movement throughout the day, multiply BMR by 1.2.
  • Mild – If you do minimal exercise or participate in light sports once or twice a week, multiply BMR by 1.375.
  • Average Activity – If your exercise regimen or sports participation is moderate 3-5 days a week, multiply BMR by 1.55.
  • Heavy – If you exercise daily or participate in sports 6-7 days a week, multiply BMR by 1.725.
  • Extreme – If you exercise very heavily, have a physical occupation, body train, or practice extreme sports, multiply BMR activity by 1.9.

How We Can Help You

We offer individual medical weight loss packages and counseling and customize each program based on your specific needs. We assess your eating habits, modifying any vitamin, mineral or protein deficiencies with appropriate supplements. If stronger intervention is required, FDA-approved and natural appetite suppressants, fat-fighting injections, and HCG therapy are also available. We recognize that your needs are as unique as you are, and we treat you accordingly.

Call today to schedule your free weight loss consultation at 770.720.7723.

 

 

November 3, 2017

liposuction candidate photoIs liposuction right for you? Certain requirements must be met in order to ascertain whether this surgery will be a potentially successful one for you. An appointment for a preliminary consultation with your physician should always be made so that you fully understand the benefits, risks, and exactly what the procedure entails. It is necessary to be completely honest and open with regards to the expectations you may have and the results you expect.

Many women assume that this procedure is the answer to all their prayers – that it will magically give them the firm, svelte body they’ve always dreamed of having. This is not the case.

Liposuction is not a quick fix for weight loss. Nor does it miraculously get rid of excessive cellulite or stretch marks. The purpose of liposuction is to remove resistant bundles of fat that stubbornly refuse to respond to regular diet and exercise, especially after you have reached and maintained a healthy weight. If you are in good enough physical condition to undergo this surgery, only strong determination, good eating habits and regular exercise will keep the weight from returning. Liposuction cannot do that for you. Its results are only permanent if your weight remains stable.

It needs to be mentioned that liposuction only removes what is referred to as ‘adipose tissue’. This is fatty connective tissue that consists of those lingering fat cells you want to banish from your body. That is liposuction’s sole purpose. It does not remove excess skin nor does it tighten or repair anything internally or externally the way a tummy tuck or breast lift might, though it is on occasion, used to extricate small, leftover fat deposits during a tummy tuck procedure. Generally, it simply removes bulges, lumps, and bumps via suction to give the trouble spots in question a more sculpted, smoother appearance. Liposuction is, however, often performed simultaneously with other cosmetic procedures like the ones mentioned.

Additionally, positive change will not show overnight. It can take up to three months to see the benefits, and to see optimum results, all precautionary instructions you are instructed to follow regarding your aftercare must be adhered to. This includes wearing a pressure garment for the specified amount of time. Some discomfort and swelling should be expected, along with leakage at the incision site for several days. The extra effort on your part should, in time, bring about a more pleasing appearance.

Who is an Ideal Candidate for Liposuction?

• Women who are within 15% to 30% of their ideal body weight according to body mass index (BMI) calculations.

• Women who have fat deposits confined in their necks, thighs, abdomens, arms, back and other areas that have proven to be unresponsive or genetically resistant to diet and exercise.

• Women in good physical health who have no critical illness or chronic condition that may hamper healing.

• Non-smokers.

• Women who no longer plan to get pregnant.

• Women with a positive mental and emotional outlook.

• Women with a strong determination to maintain their current health and weight long term.

• Women of any age who presently have strong, firm skin elasticity.

Are There Ever any Medical Reasons to Perform Liposuction?

Yes. Liposuction is usually considered an elective surgery, but there are exceptions where it is warranted for medical reasons. These include:

• Profuse armpit perspiration (axillary hyperhidrosis)

• Fatty benign tumors (lipomas)

• Fat metabolism problems (lipodystrophy)

• Enlargement of the dorsoscervical pads (buffalo hump) which can be caused by adrenal disease or certain medications such as anti-HIV drugs or steroids.

What Conditions or Issues Might Disqualify a Woman From Receiving Liposuction?

Since liposuction is a surgical procedure, certain medical or physical conditions may prove dangerous or even fatal depending on their severity. Sometimes general anesthesia is used, usually when the operation is coupled with another cosmetic procedure. These problems, depending on their severity, could prevent patients from withstanding the procedure safely. Therefore, the following disadvantages may preclude them from being prime subjects:

• Women who suffer from depression: Depression can be a possible after-effect of any surgery, including liposuction. Any pre-operative depression can worsen the condition. Furthermore, certain antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications can be extremely dangerous when combined with anesthesia.

• Significantly overweight or obese women: Typically, skin elasticity is lost with the stretching that occurs with considerable weight loss, making it less likely that the surgery will give the smooth, firm, desired appearance.

• Women who have been diagnosed with scarring/collagen or connective skin diseases such as collagen vascular disease, etc.

• Women with extreme stretch marks.

• Women with acne who have used Accutane up to 6 months prior to surgery.

• Women suffering from Lupus erythematous, endocrine problems, lung or heart disease, high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, vascular and circulation problems, healing complications, and blood clotting disorders.

Can I Continue to Take My Daily Medications?

It is mandatory that your doctor is aware of every single medication, herb, and supplement you take regularly or even occasionally. This includes all recreational drugs and alcohol. They are not there to judge, only to take every precaution to ensure absolute safety before, during, and after your procedure. Many of the above may have a detrimental effect on you physically and emotionally. You may be required to discontinue some of the products you are taking, and only your specialist knows how to advise you in this matter.

Liposuction has evolved considerably since its introduction into the world of cosmetic surgery. Though it is much less invasive than ever before, it is still surgery and should only be performed by a qualified, board-certified specialist experienced in the procedure.

To schedule a confidential consultation or for more information, please call our private number at 770-721-6060.

liposuction photoLiposuction may be right for you if you’ve been struggling with excess weight in certain areas that just won’t budge, even after trying every exercise and diet known to man.

What is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a procedure that removes fatty deposits from the body using a suction method. The process is quite simple to understand. A thin tube called a cannula is inserted under the skin into a small incision near that troublesome mass you want gone – and just like that vacuum you use at home to inhale the dust bunny from under your couch, that cannula sucks out the fat.

What is the Purpose of Liposuction?

Many women are under the false assumption that liposuction is a quick fix for weight loss and can eliminate cellulite or stretch marks. This is not the case at all, and the procedure is never recommended for these reasons. In fact, even the most intense liposuction procedures only result in a difference of under five pounds, which is hardly enough to warrant undergoing any surgery.

Liposuction is recommended as a final effort to correct, reshape and sculpt those trouble spots that have been resistant to diet or exercise. Stubborn fat deposits tend to become squatters in the abdomen, buttocks, outer thighs, face, neck, hips, legs, upper arms, back, and waist. Liposuction eliminates these clusters, leaving your skin with a smoother, shapelier appearance.

What are the Benefits?

Your self-confidence and mental outlook are just as important as your physical health. Liposuction can offer you the opportunity to walk into a room poised and self-assured, instead of agonizing over whether anyone notices that unwanted bulge you’re trying to conceal with tight, torturous undergarments. Self-esteem rises with positive self-body image, and though beauty is, indeed, only skin deep, it’s your skin and only you can decide when you’re comfortable in it.

Is it Painful?

New techniques have made liposuction much safer, less painful, faster and easier. Depending on the particular process being used, and the amount of fat to be removed, you may only need local anesthesia and a sedative to keep you calm throughout the process. If larger amounts need to be extracted, or if you are undergoing additional surgery such as a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), facelift, breast reduction or other cosmetic surgery, general anesthesia may be required. If necessary, your doctor will prescribe pain medication.

What is the Recovery Time?

Typically, depending on the amount of fat removed, any major discomfort eases within 2 to 4 days and normal activity can be resumed within a few days. Swelling and bruising at the entry site can be expected to last 7 to 10 days and you may be required to wear a compression garment for a specified amount of time. Some fluid drainage is to be expected and an antibiotic might be prescribed before and after to ward off infection. You may not see the complete effects for quite some time, especially if a significant amount of fat was drawn out. You will, of course, be advised about aftercare and what to watch out for, such as swelling, numbness etc., before being discharged, either from the clinic or hospital where your process takes place. In many cases, you will be allowed to leave within a few hours following your procedure.

As with any surgery, there are always risks, and liposuction is indeed surgery. Therefore, it should always be performed by an experienced, board-certified specialist who will brief you thoroughly and take the time to answer any and all questions you may have.

For more information or for a confidential consultation, please call our private number at 770-721-6060.

 

October 12, 2017

 

std signSexually transmitted diseases and infections (STDs/STIs) have accelerated to alarming levels. Disturbing statistics show that, in the United States alone, 20 million cases are reported annually. Half of these are found in millennials, which are younger people between the ages of 15 to24. Syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea are the three top STDs affecting the younger population today. 820,000 cases of sexually transmitted infections are attributed to gonorrhea alone.

What is the Difference Between an STD and an STI?

Though used interchangeably, there is a difference, albeit a slight one.  An STD is a catch-all term for all sexually transmitted diseases. An STI is an infection that has not yet become a disease. Since most STIs can be treated with the proper medications when caught in time, they do not always evolve into a disease. For example, if you are unaware you have the STI, chlamydia, or are staying quiet hoping it will go away, it can blossom into an STD called pelvic inflammatory disease.

The term STI is used more often now to counteract the stigma that was once associated with STDs. It’s a gentler and more optimistic acronym, since people associate the word ‘infection’ with ‘cure’, thus implying the condition has a hopeful outcome.

Other than Intercourse, How Does One Get an STI or STD?

Bacterial and viral STIs are typically transmitted sexually via oral, vaginal or anal sex. Exposure to infected blood, skin, mucous membranes, seminal or vaginal fluids, bodily secretions, and open sores place you at high risk for STIs. Unclean shared needles used for tattooing, piercing and drug injection render you highly susceptible as well. Other STIs, such as pubic lice and scabies can be spread via physical personal proximity or infested fabrics.

Who Gets STDs?

From birth to death, no one is immune. There is no racial, economic, age or gender barrier. Sexually transmitted infections are impartial, in that they don’t discriminate.

What are the Symptoms?

Each STD/STI has its own list of multiple symptoms. You may have some or all of them. In many cases, there are no symptoms at all. If you are sexually active, especially with plural partners, or if you indulge in oral sex, pay attention to your body’s signals. Sudden pelvic, abdominal, back, tongue, mouth or throat abnormalities, should always be reported to your physician. Even your dentist can detect oral STI issues.

It is important to insist your partners use protection or provide proof of ‘cleanliness’. Use condoms and/or a dental dam regularly. Have yourself tested on a regular basis. Just as you can get an STI, you can also unknowingly transmit one.

What are the Risks of Untreated STIs?

Repercussions can be severe, even fatal. Untreated STIs can lead to STDs, affecting you physically and mentally, destroying your nervous system, organs, bones, joints, tissues—every part of you. Some may lie dormant for years. If you have an STI and are pregnant, your baby can be born with that same condition, or be stillborn. Even if you firmly believe you are in a completely monogamous relationship and are suddenly afflicted with some of the tell-tale symptom associated with STIs, see a physician. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

What are the Treatments?

Treatments vary based on the individual infection you have. Only your physician can prescribe the correct regimen after proper diagnosis. Antibiotics are usually effective for bacterial, parasitic or yeast STIs. There are however, some resistant strains of gonorrhea emerging that have become immune to antibiotics. Early intervention is important. Viral STDs cannot usually be cured, but they can be managed with antiviral medications. Vaccinations can help prevent hepatitis and some HPV types. Remember, STIs can recur. Even if previous treatment cured your gonorrhea, you can still contract it again from another partner.

Why are so Many Young People Suddenly Getting STDs/STIs?

There are a number of reasons for the astronomical rise:

  • Multiple Partners: Risk rises in non-monogamous relationships.
  • Unprotected Sex: Misplaced trust, inhibitions lowered by drug or alcohol use, and other factors can make women less cautious, leaving them vulnerable to these infections.
  • Oral and Anal Sex: Many females opt for oral or anal sex, either because of homosexual preference, desire to preserve virginity, fear of pregnancy or other reasons. The human mouth is just as ideal a location for STIs as the vagina, and venereal disease plays no geographical favorites. It’s as enthusiastic growing north as it is south. Gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes simplex 1&2, syphilis, human papillomavirus (HPV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can all be transmitted and contracted orally and anally.
  • Casual Sex: One night stands are becoming more frequent and acceptable, increasing the odds of infection.
  • Internet Dating: Wining and dining a woman for weeks, even months to eventually ‘get lucky’ has become less of a seduction ritual. Many social sites are devoted to individuals who aren’t interested in relationships or are too busy to devote time to them. They admittedly seek only physical encounters. The possibility of engaging in sex with one-or even more- sexual partners a week dramatically raises the chances of getting an STI.
  • Less fear of pregnancy and long term physical repercussions: Because there is now access to so many forms of birth control, fewer cautions are being taken. Where women once refrained from sex for fear of getting pregnant, those ‘accidents’ are preventable or easily ‘rectifiable’ now. Likewise, knowing that a few days of taking antibiotics can cure just about any infection has made people less cautious about protection.

I Heard That Mouthwash Can Cure Oral Gonorrhea. Is This True?

In a word, NO! Though research has shown that mouthwash does indeed kill some gonorrheal bacteria in the mouth and a little past the tonsils into the throat, there is no evidence to support that it has any healing qualities beyond that.

Believing a quick gargle will make you spit out all traces of gonorrhea is a dangerous assumption to make. This home remedy is as effective on oral STIs as covering an atomic bomb in bubble wrap to muffle the explosive sound. In fact, using mouthwash as a cure or preventative may actually mask some important symptoms that your physician needs to know about in order to identify and treat you effectively.

Statistic show that one in four Americans will contract an STD in their lifetime. Many won’t even know it. If you think you may have an STI or STD and wish to schedule an appointment for screening, call 770.720.7733.

 

 

 

 

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