Breast masses smaller than 1cm are very difficult to find with clinical (visual or palpatory) exams alone, especially if they lie deeply in the breast or the breasts are large. Therefore, diagnostic methods including breast ultrasound are important tools allowing early detection of breast masses.
Changes in pelvic organs are first palpable when they are several centimeters in size. With the help of pelvic ultrasound, small, non-palpable lesions can be detected earlier. Ultrasound also helps us examine the function of the ovaries and the endometrial lining of the uterus.
HPV (human papilloma virus) can infect both women and men, and is found in approximately 80% of women under 30 and 10% of women over 30. If this viral infection persists in the genital tract, it can over many years lead to cancer of the cervix, vulva and vagina. Testing for HPV helps identify an increased risk for such cancers and increase vigilance in screening.
Thin-Prep Pap Smear
This Pap smear method, in which cells swabbed from the cervix during a well-woman exam are placed in a solution rather than directly on a slide, improves the quality of the Pap smear and the ability to examine the cells.
If a Pap smear or HPV test is abnormal, a closer look at the cervix with a magnifying lens (colposcopy) can help identify abnormal areas which may need to be examined further. We have experience with dysplasia (precursors of genital tract cancer) and can perform such testing in the office.
A dropping or “low-lying” uterus and a weakened pelvic floor can have many causes. Besides a genetic predisposition to weak connective tissue, increased pressure to the pelvic floor from strenuous activities, pregnancies and deliveries can stretch the pelvic ligaments over time. Urinary incontinence, a problem for many women as they get older, also has many causes which we can discuss and evaluate, thus aiming for an individual plan to improve your symptoms.
A pessary (ring or cube usually made of silicone) fitted to the vagina can help effectively, comfortably and non-surgically with pelvic prolapse symptoms. Women are shown how to place and remove these pessaries in the office. Pelvic floor exercises and physical therapy can also be helpful.
If conservative therapy does not improve symptoms sufficiently, referral for urodynamic testing- a special test of bladder function- and / or operative therapy may be necessary. We work closely with the Pelvic Organ Prolapse Center in St. Josefs Hospital to find a competent specialist for you.