Piedmont Triad Living October 2016 - Page 18

In 2013,after years spent developing criteriafor assessing quality care, the American Boardof Obstetrics andGynecology and the AmericanBoard of Urology granted its first Board Certification in the specialty of Female PelvicMedicineand Reconstructive Surgery to qualified Urogynecologists.

Urogynecologists utilize a comprehensive approach to managing female pelvic disorders that previously would require women to see multiple specialists. The question a womanoften struggles with is, “Who do I see for this problem?” Bladderleakageor difficulty withurination might bereferred to a urologist,uterine problems or menstrual issuesmight bereferredto a gynecologist and a colon andrectal specialist might deal with bowel functionissues such as stool leakage or constipation.While these specialists often have some experience with the issues unique tothe femalepelvis, a Urogynecologist is preparedto assessand treat allof them. Theseorgans share thesame connective tissue, the same nerves, andthe same blood supply. Theawareness of thisunique relationship leads tothe development ofthe subspecialty of Urogynecology topromoteaspecific expertise that masters the entire female pelvis.

WHAT ARE THE SUB-SPECIALITIES OF OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY?

The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology recognizes several subspecialties.They are MaternalFetal Medicine which providesspecialized care for high-risk pregnancies, Gyecologic Oncology whichprovidesspecializedcare for female cancers, Redproductive Endocrinology and Infertility providesspecializedcare of infertility issues, andFemale Pelvic Medicineand Reconstructive Surger (Urogynecology)providesspecialized carefor dysfunction specific to the bladder, vaginaand rectum such as incontinence andprolapse. The American Board of Medical Specialties(ABMS)first approved specialty certificationfor Female Pelvic Medicine and ReconstructiveSuregeryin 2012 to “verify appropriate training, knowledge and credentials in the field.” Physicians are required to meet strict criteriato be permitted totake the board certificationexam. Dr. Carol Moore wasamong the firstclass to qualify, pass the exam and receive Board Certification in Female Pelvic Surgeryand Reconstructive Surgeryin 2013.She isone of the few board certified specialistsinprivate practice inthe Triad.

UROGYNECOLOGY SPECIALISTS HAVE MORE EXPERIENCE ANDEXPERTISE IN PELVIC FLOOR SURGERY

Why should women care about board certification? Notall physicians are boardcertifiedin specialty. The certification reflectsthe vigorous training and performance requiredto achieve a high level of expertise. The ABMScites numerous studies demonstrating thatphysicians who are board certified “deliverahigher quality careand have better patient careoutcomes than physicians who are not boardcertified.”

A woman’s lifetime risk for developing pelvicorgan prolapse issues is 16% assuming she livesto be 80. Her lifetime risk of surgery for pelvicorgan prolapse is 7%. The risk of re-operation is 29% andthe lifetime risk for a singlesurgery is11%. Thesymptoms of pelvic organ prolapse include asense of vaginal bulging, pelvic pressure,low backpain, urinary or fecal leakage, difficultywith sexual intercourse, frequencyurinationor the feeling of incompletebladder emptying, constipation andothers. US Censuspopulation data shows thatthere are approximately 150,000 adult womenin Forsythcountyalone. This meansthat 50,000 women will likelyseek treatment for at leastone typeof pelvicdisorder.Data from the American UrogynecologicSocietyshowsthatastheBabyBoomergenerationhasaged,thenumberof surgicalproceduresforfemalepelvicdisordersoverthepastdecadehasdoubled. BoardcertifiedUrogynecologistsevaluateandtreatfemalepelvicdisorderswithgreater frequencythannon-specialistswhichresultsinahigherlevelofexpertiseandthehighest chanceoflong-termtreatmentsuccess.Therecurrenceratefollowingastandard,suturerepair forbladderprolapsecarriesa30%chanceoffailureovertime.Itisimportanttoaskyour surgeonwhattheirplanwouldbeshouldthishappentoyou.Specialistshavemanyoptionsfor treatmentandareequippedtohandlerecurrencesandcomplications,whilerare,shouldthey occur.Complexfemalepelvicconditionscallforaboardcertifiedsurgeon. DON’TSUFFERINSILENCEWHENMOSTISSUESCANBECORRECTED Manywomenaren’tawarethatthereareeffectivetreatmentsavailableforfemalepelvic problems.Theythinkthattheirissuesareanaturalpartoftheagingprocess.Urinaryleakage, andvaginalbulgingarenotnormalanddonothavetobeendured.However,womenaresavvy atcopingwiththeirprivateissues.Theseproblemsoftendevelopgraduallyovertimeandare dealtwithinwaysthatmightseemintuitivebutoftencreateadditionalproblems.Often womenwholeakurine,figurethatiftheyvoidmoreoftenandstayempty,theywon’tleak.It doesn’tworkandcreatesanewurinaryfrequencyissuethatuntilconfidenceisgained followingsuccessfultreatmentthatleakagewillnolongeroccur,continues. Dr.CarolE.MooreisaurogynecologistboardcertifiedinFemalePelvicMedicineand ReconstructiveMedicineengageinalifetimerelationshipwithpatients.Hertreatmentis tailoredtoeachindividualwomenandtheuniquequalityoflifeissuesthatimpactherdailylife. Dr.Mooreispreparedtoevaluateandreadilytreatnewonsetsymptomsasherpatientmoves forwardinlife.Womenwhotakeanactiveroleintheirpelvichealthwillfindthattheissues theyarestrugglingwitharecommon.AconsultationwithDr.Mooreprovidesavarietyof options-bothsurgicalandnon-surgical-forrestoringpelvichealthandcontributestoanoverall senseofwellbeing.

What Is A Urogynecologist?

By Dr. Carol E. Moore