Monday, November 4, 2013

November is Prematurity Awareness Month

Healthy babies begin with healthy mothers....


By Amanda Reed, MD
Obstetrician/Gynecologist

Pregnancy is one of the most exciting and vulnerable times of a woman's life. Most of us have thought about pregnancy and how our pregnancy would go long before we were actually pregnant. Most of the time, everything goes just right. However, almost one in eight women deliver preterm (defined as less than 37 weeks).
                                                           
If a woman believes she is in preterm labor, she should call her doctor immediately and be evaluated.

Why do women give birth early?
Half of preterm deliveries are because of preterm labor, while the other half has a medical indication for early delivery such as preeclampsia or their bag of water may have broken early.

Who is at increased risk?
There are some risk factors for preterm delivery. They include women with a history of preterm delivery, short cervical length noted on ultrasound, a history of cervical surgeries such as a D&C, and smoking (another reason to quit ladies). If a woman is found to have a short cervical length, there are medical management options. Women with a history of preterm delivery are treated with medications in later pregnancies.


The providers of Women’s Care believe having a healthy pregnancy starts before a woman is pregnant. Healthy babies begin with healthy mothers. We promote a well-balanced lifestyle to our patients, which means preconception care, proper nutrition, routine exercise, a healthy, safe environment, as well as a daily prenatal vitamin with folic acid. With good guidance, avoidable conditions that may have everlasting consequences may be prevented. We would love the privilege to take care of you and answer any questions you might have about pregnancy care or preterm deliveries.

About Women’s Care of Wisconsin The providers at Women’s Care of Wisconsin are devoted to you and your health. That means having the most advanced techniques, up-to-date educational information and a compassionate, caring staff. Our providers offer a well-rounded approach to your OB/GYN care, one that meets both your physical and emotional needs throughout every phase of your life. We call it our Circle of Care. From adolescence through menopause and beyond, you can depend on us. Meet our providers and learn more about gynecology, pregnancy care, midwifery, infertility, procedures and surgery, incontinence, osteoporosis, menopause and more at www.womenscareofwi.com or call 920.729.7105 for any questions or concerns. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Dr. Koellermeier is featured above with her
photo from the 2014 "Faces of Survival" calendar.


October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps of preventative care, which helps detect the disease in its early stages, and therefore, fail to encourage others to do the same. Although a lot of progress has been made, there is still a long way to go – and we need your help! Here are a few ways you can support breast cancer research and awareness in the Fox Valley area:

·      Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. This event is an incredible and inspiring opportunity to unite as a community to honor breast cancer survivors, raise awareness about what we can do to reduce our breast cancer risk, and raise money to help the American Cancer Society. Just a few hours of your time, at this 3 mile fundraising event, will help bring a lifetime of change for people facing breast cancer. For more information and to register, visit Making Strides Against Breast Cancer for more information. 

Saturday, October 12
Memorial Park in Neenah
Registration opens @ 7:30 am
Open Ceremony @ 9:00 am & walk to follow


4th Annual Pink Party Gala. Join the Pink Party Breast Cancer Foundation on Saturday, October 12th at Hollander’s Pub in Little Chute, WI. You can participate in the Pink Laces – 5K walk for a cure, Pink Aces Cribbage Tournament, silent auction and even enjoy food and live music. 1 out of 8 women in the the US develop invasive breast cancer, so come out and help raise money and awareness for breast cancer research and treatment.

For more information visit www.pinkparty1.com

Bras Across the Fox. On October 25, 2013, join Doug and Mary- along with 95.9 KISSFM, KZ 104.3 FM - as they host the 3rd annual Bras Across the Fox. Bras will be strung across bridges in Appleton, Green Bay, and new this year, Oshkosh. Women's Care is a pround sponsor of the event, which raises money for breast cancer research and awareness.  

Anyone who cannot attend the even, but who still wants to get involved, can drop off a bra donation at our Neenah, Appleton, Oshkosh and Waupaca Women's Care of Wisconsin locations. Help us raise awareness of the importance of breast cancer screenings and annual mammograms!

Bring a bra...Hang is up...Send a message of hope. 

Friday, October 25 | 6am - 6pm
College Avenue Bridge, Appleton
Walnut Street Bridge, Green Bay
Wisconsin Street Bridge, Oshkosh

About Women’s Care of Wisconsin The providers at Women’s Care of Wisconsin are devoted to you and your health. That means having the most advanced techniques, up-to-date educational information and a compassionate, caring staff. Our providers offer a well-rounded approach to your OB/GYN care, one that meets both your physical and emotional needs throughout every phase of your life. We call it our Circle of Care. From adolescence through menopause and beyond, you can depend on us. Meet our providers and learn more about gynecology, pregnancy care, midwifery, infertility, procedures and surgery, incontinence, osteoporosis, menopause and more at www.womenscareofwi.com or call 920.729.7105 for any questions or concerns. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month


 

Your body is made up of living cells that normally grow, divide into new cells, and die in an orderly way.  Cancer is a disease in which the cells in the body grow out of control.  When cancer starts in the ovaries, it’s called ovarian cancer.  About 20,000 women each year get ovarian cancer in the United States, with 90% of women being 40 years and older and the greatest number of cases occurring over the age of 60.

There are multiple risk factors, or something that can affects a person’s chance of getting a disease, for ovarian cancer.  They include—
·         Increased age
·         Obesity
·         Use of male hormone (Androgens)
·         Having close family members (such as your mother, sister, aunt, or grandmother) on either your mother's or your father's side, who have had ovarian cancer
·         Having a genetic mutation (abnormality) called BRCA1 or BRCA2
·         Have never given birth
·         Some studies have shown that women using estrogens after change of life (menopause) may INCREASE risk

There is no way to prevent ovarian cancer; however, a few things may lower your chance of getting the disease--
·         Using birth control pills for 5 years or more
·         Having given birth
·         History of tubal ligation (“tubes tied”)

Symptoms of ovarian cancer can often be vague and most of the time people notice no symptoms at all. However, if symptoms are experienced they may include swelling or abdominal bloating, abdomen pain, trouble eating, or having to urinate often or feeling like you have to go right away.  Most of these symptoms, however, can be caused by problems other than cancer. Other symptoms may also include tiredness, upset stomach, back pain, pelvic pressure, pain during intercourse, constipation, menstrual changes, and weight loss.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, especially in combination with any risk factor, it is very important to make an appointment with your health care provider to be evaluated.  Your health care provider will perform a pelvic exam to check for the size and shape of the ovaries and possibly a rectovaginal exam. They may also recommend diagnostic tests such as an ultrasound, CT scan, or a CA-125 blood test. Detecting disease early can lead to more effective treatment.  If ovarian cancer is found, referral to a specialist is warranted in which the proper treatment would be determined. It could include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. Again, if you have symptoms similar to those of ovarian cancer described above and they cannot be explained by other more common conditions, report them to your health care professional right away.

The best screening tool for ovarian cancer in a woman with no signs or symptoms is to attend annual physical exams and to discuss your risk factors with your health care provider.  Determining each individual’s risk of ovarian cancer and the necessary screening regimen is important and necessary.

National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month provides an opportunity to raise awareness of risk factors, prevention, and treatment of this deadly disease. Now is the time to educate, so encourage the women in your life to schedule an annual checkup today!


Angela Darnick is a Nurse Practitioner at the Neenah location of Women's Care of Wisconsin. Contact her at 920.729.7105 or meet her here

About Women’s Care of Wisconsin The providers at Women’s Care of Wisconsin are devoted to you and your health. That means having the most advanced techniques, up-to-date educational information and a compassionate, caring staff. Our providers offer a well-rounded approach to your OB/GYN care, one that meets both your physical and emotional needs throughout every phase of your life. We call it our Circle of Care. From adolescence through menopause and beyond, you can depend on us. Meet our providers and learn more about gynecology, pregnancy care, midwifery, infertility, procedures and surgery, incontinence, osteoporosis, menopause and more at www.womenscareofwi.com or call 920.729.7105 for any questions or concerns. 


Monday, July 29, 2013

August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month

Lactation Counselors at Women's Care of Wisconsin
From left to right: Stephanie, Tanya, Heather and Kristy

It’s time to empower, motivate, coach and cheer on women to commit to breastfeeding for as long as they desire. This month, and every month, Women’s Care of Wisconsin strives to focus not just on reasons why it's important to breastfeed, but also on how to make breastfeeding work for you and your baby.
Women’s Care of Wisconsin has four certified lactation counselorsall of whom are pleased to support mothers during their pregnancy and after the birth of their child. Breastfeeding can be one of the most natural and intimate of all human interactions... but please remember, just because it's natural doesn't mean it's easy—especially in those first few weeks with your newborn. Breastfeeding takes knowledge, patience and lots of practice.
Breastfeeding has been found to be of great health benefit for the baby as well as the mother. Our lactation counselors at Women’s Care can work with you, prior to the birth of your baby, in order to better prepare you. Once your baby has arrived, we always recommend skin on skin contact to help increase milk supply as well as learn your baby’s cues for feeding. Mothers may feel very overwhelmed with the arrival of their newborn, so being properly prepared can make a great difference in your success with breastfeeding.
Women’s Care offers physical appointments as well as phone conversations for any breastfeeding concerns. Our lactation counselors are here to support you and any problems that may arise. If your baby is having a hard time latching or even if you just need reassurance, no issue is too small. Babies are all individual and sometimes it takes a little longer for you and your baby to get comfortable with breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding may be more difficult than you expect and the right help can make all the difference. Our counselors are a great resource for you when it comes to all things breastfeeding. If you have any questions about how milk is produced, correct latch, feeding cues, positioning, milk supply, sore nipples, engorgement, pumping, returning to work… give us a call! Breast feeding is the best choice for both you and your baby, and we would love to help make it a rewarding experience for you!
About Women’s Care of Wisconsin The providers at Women’s Care of Wisconsin are devoted to you and your health. That means having the most advanced techniques, up-to-date educational information and a compassionate, caring staff. Our providers offer a well-rounded approach to your OB/GYN care, one that meets both your physical and emotional needs throughout every phase of your life. We call it our Circle of Care. From adolescence through menopause and beyond, you can depend on us. Meet our providers and learn more about gynecology, pregnancy care, midwifery, infertility, procedures and surgery, incontinence, osteoporosis, menopause and more at www.womenscareofwi.com or call 920.729.7105 for any questions or concerns. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Meet Dr. Maria Vandenberg!


By Maria Vandenberg, MD
Obstetrician/Gynecologist

First things first, I am not a writer. I haven’t written since Creative Writing in college, but I am going to try.

My name is Maria Vandenberg and I will be joining Women’s Care of Wisconsin as an OB/GYN in one short month.  I have just completed the busiest 4 years of my life, residency. I have to say, it feels great, but I am so sad to leave Indianapolis. Indianapolis was our home, where we raised our babies, where we made some of the best friends imaginable. Where my co-residents are, where the teachers and faculty that have taught me everything are.   Wisconsin is our new home. Where our family is, where our oldest (not in age!) and best friends are. Where I will build my career and practice. Where I will send my kiddos to school and learn to live a more “normal” life.  I am excited to see where this journey takes us.  Here we go.

I have learned so much over the last 12 years. Here are a few of my most important life lessons:


  1.   Pregnancy and parenting is complicated. It is an emotional, exciting and scary ride. Suddenly, there is a new being (or 2) that makes all your prior worries disappear.  I mean, I had no idea the things that I’d soon be worrying about.  I was a medical student with a stay-at-home husband when we had our twin girls. At first I was worried about organic baby food, reading 3 books every night and washing the pacifier after each fall. Then residency happened and their first trip to the dentist wasn’t until age 4 (I know, not ideal, but no cavities!).  As our family grew our third fit right in. He is crazy wild and super fun. He went to the dentist when he was 1 (victory)! 
  2.  Treat people well, build them up, be encouraging.  I have been reflecting on some of my most memorable patients from residency. Many of the women I grew very attached to after seeing them throughout long hospitalizations.  I asked about and knew their families and they knew mine. It was so nice, after a 24 hour shift, to check-in on a patient who cared about me, too. I have to thank each of them for teaching me about not only their illnesses, but about humanity and humility.
  3.  Always have goals. Here are a few of mine: Build a well rounded practice and find a niche that can bring women together to make this fantastic community better than it already is. Enjoy more family time. Oh yeah, did I forget, exercise and eat better?
  4. Don’t sweat the small stuff. This is hard, and I am still working on it.
  5. Thank God often. For my husband and children, family and friends. For my co-residents, faculty, teachers and new co-workers. For the patients who taught me so much. That I was given the opportunity to have this job.  For everything.
Hope to meet you soonJ

Ok, first blog entry done, I have to go study, OB/GYN written boards in 5 days!  I don’t know if I’ll do this again, but it has been funJ

Maria

About Women’s Care of WisconsinThe providers at Women’s Care of Wisconsin are devoted to you and your health. That means having the most advanced techniques, up-to-date educational information and a compassionate, caring staff. Our providers offer a well-rounded approach to your OB/GYN care, one that meets both your physical and emotional needs throughout every phase of your life. We call it our Circle of Care. From adolescence through menopause and beyond, you can depend on us. Meet our providers and learn more about gynecology, pregnancy care, midwifery, infertility, procedures and surgery, incontinence, osteoporosis, menopause and more atwww.womenscareofwi.com.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

In-Office Procedures

Understanding the benefits of in-office procedures

By: Eric Eberts, MD
Obstetrician/Gynecologist

There has been an interesting transition over the years from a surgery done originally in an inpatient setting, where the patient would stay in the hospital for several days, to an outpatient surgery setting.  We have essentially accomplished this with procedures up to the hysterectomy, which once was a 4-day hospital stay and included 8 weeks of recovery. Oftentimes, it can now be a same-day surgery, going home the same day; or an overnight stay with a return to work in one week, more often in the 3 to 4 week time period. That, of course, is for the big surgeries.  Twenty years ago we were doing operating room procedures for urinary incontinence and bleeding and it again started off as inpatient surgery, migrated to outpatient surgery and in the last 1 to 2 years has become essentially an office procedure.  

Many advantages of in-office procedures have become apparent, and this drive will continue in the future as it offers many excellent outcomes, opportunities and advantages for the patient as well as for the health care system from a delivery standpoint.   First, this transition is based upon the idea that these procedures are becoming less invasive.  When these procedures are done here in the office setting, as opposed to the hospital setting, they also offer more of a personal savings while delivering an equal or better outcome.  These issues in combination with an office setting save the health care system, insurance companies and oftentimes the patient a very significant amount of money. This is because the procedures become less intricate with fewer people involved, faster stays, fewer drugs and less equipment is required. 

Here at Women’s Care of Wisconsin we have transformed many surgeries over the past few years.  Traditionally, these procedures were urinary incontinence and LEEP procedure of the cervix, which have been done in the office setting successfully for 15 years or so.  We have now added several other office procedures that nationally and state-wide continue to be done in hospital settings. We at Women’s Care are now doing office Botox for incontinence of the bladder and frequency and urgency symptoms.  This procedure is very effective when other medication has not been successful.  There’s no incision, it typically takes about 20 minutes, it’s often covered by insurance, very durable and we have again had very excellent outcomes with this in the office-based setting. 

Likewise, hysteroscopy and ablation, which is the destroying of the lining of the uterus, has also migrated to the office setting and is often covered by insurance. This procedure is done to effectively eliminate or at least successfully diminish the amount of pain and bleeding encountered by a woman during her cycle. With this procedure, there are no incisions, it only takes a few minutes of time and offers the ability for the patient to return to work typically the next day.  This procedure is particularly helpful in an office setting as we are able to perform, this procedure, at a much lower cost to the insurance company and that is often reflected in what the patient has to pay. We are effectively delivering this procedure in a fashion that is if anything better, more pleasing to the patient, a fraction of the cost, and has an identical outcome. 

Lastly, about a year ago or so Women’s Care was able to perform the first office-based urinary sling procedure for incontinence.  This is done with anesthesia in the office using a physician anesthesiologist and full capabilities.  It typically takes about 15 minutes or so to perform the procedure, and it only takes 3 stitches.  It’s identical to, and in some ways superior to, what we have been doing in the outpatient or inpatient setting for 15 to 20 years.  Again, the advantage here is that the technology and procedures have gotten better and given the hundreds of cases that we have performed as surgeons at Women’s Care, we are able to deliver this with very minimal bleeding and excellent outcomes in an office setting. This enables the patient to be in and out in a much faster time period. The patient, typically, is able to go back to work within a day or two after the procedure is performed.  Excellent outcomes, well into the 90th percentile cure rate, very few, if any, complications have been encountered so far and overall patients have been extraordinarily pleased with this procedure.

While all of these office procedures have offered significant cost savings to patients, their insurance companies and the government that foots the bill some of the time, the goal has been to offer better service with the same outcomes in a more personal setting.  I think we have achieved this and we have been able to bring the cost down while delivering this perfect triad of advanced care.  By creating an environment where we can have less paperwork, fewer handoffs between strangers and essentially taking this into an office setting where the patient can oftentimes be functioning the next day. At Women’s Care we are continuously improving ourselves as we drive towards a better delivery system in general. In particular, Women’s Care strives to deliver to our patients and our communities a point of excellent care of which we can all be proud. I had an excellent opportunity to share this drive with my peers at Women’s Care of Wisconsin and of course, if you have any questions about this, feel free to contact us and see what services we can provide for you and I’m sure that you will be most pleased with the outcomes that we can deliver.

Dr. Eric Eberts is an Obstetrician/Gynecologist at the Appleton and Neenah locations of Women's Care of Wisconsin. Contact Dr. Eberts at 920-729-7105 or meet him here.

About Women’s Care of WisconsinThe providers at Women’s Care of Wisconsin are devoted to you and your health. That means having the most advanced techniques, up-to-date educational information and a compassionate, caring staff. Our providers offer a well-rounded approach to your OB/GYN care, one that meets both your physical and emotional needs throughout every phase of your life. We call it our Circle of Care. From adolescence through menopause and beyond, you can depend on us. Meet our providers and learn more about gynecology, pregnancy care, infertility, procedures and surgery, incontinence, osteoporosis, menopause and more at www.womenscareofwi.com.


Monday, January 7, 2013

The Importance of Folic Acid for Preventing Birth Defects

Folic acid is a critical supplement—for every woman of childbearing age...

By Michelle Koellermeier, MD
Obstetrician/Gynecologist

I have the great privilege of caring for women during their pregnancies and bringing new life into this world. Since January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month, I thought it would be good timing to highlight one thing I stress to all patients I see of childbearing age: make sure you are taking a prenatal supplement that contains folic acid.

Only 50% of pregnancies are planned, so any woman who could become pregnant should make sure she's getting enough folic acid.

This is something I emphasize with these patients because by getting enough folic acid every day, especially before conception and during early pregnancy, a woman can help prevent serious birth defects in her baby.

Folic acid, sometimes called folate, is a B vitamin (B9) found mostly in leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach, orange juice, and enriched grains. It helps the body to produce red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

Repeated studies have shown that women who get 800 micrograms (0.8 milligrams) of folic acid daily prior to conception and during early pregnancy reduce the risk that their baby will be born with a serious neural tube defect (a birth defect involving incomplete development of the brain and spinal cord) by up to 70%.

The most common neural tube defects are:
• Spina bifida (an incomplete closure of the spinal cord and spinal column)
• Anencephaly (severe underdevelopment of the brain)
• Encephalocele (when brain tissue protrudes out to the skin from an abnormal opening in the skull)

All of these defects occur during the first 28 days of pregnancy—usually before a woman even knows she's pregnant.

Research has also found that, when taken before and during pregnancy, folic acid may also protect against other birth defects, including:
• Cleft lip and palate. In one study, women who took multivitamins, got at least 400 mcg of folic acid daily, and ate a healthy diet had the lowest risk of delivering a child with an opening in the lip (cleft lip).
• Pregnancy complications. One report found that women who took folic acid supplements during the second trimester had a reduced risk of pregnancy-induced high blood pressure—a serious condition known as preeclampsia.
• Premature birth. A study found that women who took folic acid for at least a year before getting pregnant cut their chances of delivering early by 50 percent or more.
• Low birth weight.
• Miscarriage.
• Poor growth in the womb.

Folic acid supplements are available at pharmacies and most drug stores. Folic acid is also contained within many vitamins such as One-a-Day Women’s multivitamins. Pay close attention to the dosage in each pill, however, as 800 micrograms (0.8 milligrams) of folic acid per day is recommended for women of childbearing age. It is best to talk to your doctor first about the appropriate dosage of folic acid for you, especially if you are taking other medications.

Dr. Michelle Koellermeier is an Obstetrician/Gynecologist at the Neenah location of Women’s Care of Wisconsin. Contact Dr. Koellermeier at 920-729-7105 or meet her here.

About Women’s Care of WisconsinThe providers at Women’s Care of Wisconsin are devoted to you and your health. That means having the most advanced techniques, up-to-date educational information and a compassionate, caring staff. Our providers offer a well-rounded approach to your OB/GYN care, one that meets both your physical and emotional needs throughout every phase of your life. We call it our Circle of Care. From adolescence through menopause and beyond, you can depend on us. Meet our providers and learn more about gynecology, pregnancy care, midwifery, infertility, procedures and surgery, incontinence, osteoporosis, menopause and more at www.womenscareofwi.com.