Annual check up
The annual health assessment or wellness exam is a fundamental part of a woman’s medical care because of the holistic approach to her health at her visit to the gynecologist.
During the annual checkup visit, we focus on gynecological prevention and screening practices like the Pap smear, gynecologic examination or breast examination but it is also a great opportunity for the patient to be counseled about general health issues like vaccinations, general health risk prevention strategies and age stratified issues that need to be discussed. We should understand that in many circumstances the gynecologist will be the only doctor that a woman will visit on a regular basis, and it is our responsibility to broaden our focus to general health issues.
A way of looking at the cervix and the vagina trough a special magnifying device called colposcope. Special stains are used to highlight any abnormal areas.
If a suspicious area is identified then a small sample of tissue (biopsy) may be removed in order to confirm the diagnosis and quantify the extent of the problem. Then you can plan the appropriate therapy if needed.
Colposcopy is done usually after an abnormal pap test in order to identify a lesion of HPV infection or cervicitis or a polyp.
STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) evaluation
Depending on the age, symptoms and risk group of the patient a panel of sexually transmitted diseases can be screened with either vaginal cultures or blood work.
We can test for chlamydia, gonococcus, syphilis, hepatitis B and C, HIV and genital herpes and some more rare diseases.
HPV screening is done with the Pap smear and inspection of the external genitalia.
Also counseling for the prevention of these diseases is done, especially in the higher risk younger population.
It is an ultrasound imaging test where we use a vaginal probe to perform it. The major advantage over the abdominal ultrasound is the quality of the images acquired because of the closed proximity to the pelvic organs.
We use it to evaluate the uterus, cervix, endometrial lining, the ovaries and other pelvic organs. We also use it in obstetrics, in early pregnancy, up to 10 weeks because of the superior images that we get.
Although not a mandatory part of the annual wellness exam of a woman, it is offered by most modern gynecological offices because you can place a diagnosis for several problems like:
- Cancer of the reproductive organs
- Endometrial polyps
- Uterine malformations
- Pelvic masses
- Ovarian cysts
- Endometriotic cysts
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Placenta Previa
- Fetal malformations
Sono hysterography or SIS (Saline Infusion Sonography)
It is a special type of transvaginal sonogram that we have been practicing in our office since the early 90’s. Water (saline) is infused in the uterus with a special soft catheter in order to better visualize the endometrial cavity.
It is used in order to clarify or diagnose endometrial polyps, protruding growths in the endometrial lining, an abnormally shaped uterus or scar tissue in the uterus.
It is a simple and painless procedure without any radiation that can help us determine if an operative hysteroscopy is needed.
Hysteroscopy is a procedure where you visualize the cervical canal and the uterine cavity with its lining. This is achieved with an endoscope (a camera) and a distention fluid in order to expand the cavity of the uterus.
You can have a hysteroscopy for diagnostic reasons or operative reasons, in order to remove a polyp or a fibroid.
Usually hysteroscopy is done in the operating room under anesthesia.
Nowadays diagnostic hysteroscopy can be performed in the office set up, with a flexible hysteroscope which is usually a painless procedure not requiring anesthesia.
It is a simple office procedure that lasts a few minutes and can give us valuable information. It is much cheaper and less time consuming since it requires no admission to the hospital or anesthesia.
Office hysteroscopy is offered in Athens Reproduction offices in order to help our patients avoid expensive and time consuming diagnostic hysteroscopies in a hospital setting.
Patients in perimenopause or menopause get counseling on how to ameliorate menopausal symptoms, information about Hormonal Replacement Therapy (HRT) and if it is right for them and ways to avoid or postpone long-term effects of menopause like osteoporosis etc.