Saturday, October 29, 2011

Finding Time: The Balancing Act of Healthy Boundaries

As women, we take on the world.  We have so many roles we love and enjoy:  mother, daughter, wife, aunt, professional roles, and the list goes on.  Our schedules are filled to the brim, and then some.  We love our lives, yet having too much to do can take a serious toll on our bodies if we do not occasionally say “no”.  Saying “no” or “not now” can also be a liberating experience, especially if you suffer from “people pleaser disease”.  We need to honor and love ourselves enough to draw healthy boundaries, create balance, and know that the world will go on if there is one or two events we don’t volunteer for, a meeting we can’t make, or the dishes wait a few more hours to be put away.

Part of creating healthy boundaries is in taking charge of your health.  Regular gynecological exams are crucial for any woman’s wellbeing, yet I see it time and time again how these appointments are canceled, put off, or in some cases, ignored altogether.  There are so many reasons for not making and keeping your doctor’s appointment, but no real excuse for not taking good care of your health.  How can we as women take care of so many others if we are not taking proper care of ourselves?

Many times, people who rely on us as caregivers or as support may not realize the burden they place on us, because we never complain.  If we never draw healthy boundaries, we will forever be asked to do more, give more, and work more, even to the breaking point.  It’s not that we don’t want to give, but there is always a limit to creating and sustaining a healthy life.

I think it’s important to remember that a gynecological exam is an hour or so either once a year, or if you are a patient with higher risk factors, perhaps every 4-6 months.  It’s not much to ask that people respect your need to have regular medical care.  If you have children, you make sure they always see their pediatrician on time.  Why should it be any less important for you?

On the day of your appointment, don’t try to cram a whole bunch of to do’s either before or after your appointment.  Give yourself the needed time to get to our office at a leisurely pace, and do not rush.  While we try to respect everyone’s time and get our patients in and out as quickly as possible, we will not skimp on any patient’s care to make things run faster.  

I want my focus as a gynecological physician to be on my patients’ care more than their schedules.  I am also a busy mom, wife, employer, and member of the community.  Yet when I am here in the office, I am a physician first.  As much as I dislike charging cancellation fees for missed appointments, I have to somehow minimize the effect of them on my practice as a whole.

So, please take the time to honor yourself by honoring your body.  Take the time to take care of it.  The emails, phone calls, texts, soccer games and meetings will all be there when you are done with your appointment, back in the game and ready to participate.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Boo! Taking the “Scary!” Out of Outpatient Office Procedures

Halloween is just around the corner, with many people enjoying the reminders of the season – little ones picking out their costumes, putting up decorations, and carving pumpkins.  It’s all in fun, and most of us enjoy a light-hearted scare at this time of year.  However, some women are truly frightened of in office gynecological procedures that could vastly improve their quality of life.  In reality, I believe it’s more fear of the unknown than the actual procedure.

Medicine has progressed leaps and bounds in the last 10 years, even from the time I was in medical school.  This is why I am so passionate about continuing education, and through a love of teaching, imparting my knowledge on advanced gynecological medicine to other physicians all over the country.  New technologies, treatments, and discoveries happen every day, and I want to make sure I know about the ones that can help all my patients live longer, healthier, more vibrant lives.

Because of the progress in gynecological treatments in the last decade, procedures that used to require a hospital stay are now done in a medical office setting.  As a busy mother and wife, I understand that my patients have lives to lead, soccer practice to get to, business meetings to attend, and dance recitals to watch their kids perform.  Sometimes, our own health as women gets pushed to the back burner as we see to everyone else’s needs but our own.  Still, there may be more than just the pull of family and work obligations preventing women from seeking and scheduling a procedure that could improve the quality of their lives.  The fear of pain, recovery time, and complications lead some to just “live with” symptoms that disrupt and inconvenience their lives, like dealing with the hassle of a monthly birth control pill when a family is complete, and constant, heavy bleeding.

Here I hope to demystify a couple of common procedures and take away needless fear regarding them:

Essure Permanent Birth Control

Essure is a permanent sterilization procedure that offers no incisions, no scarring, or hormonal therapy.  There is no need for any anesthetic or actual surgery, and any discomfort (some women report none at all) is very minimal. With Essure, small micro-inserts are placed inside the fallopian tubes by way of the vagina and cervix pathways.  After the procedure, the body’s natural healing process takes over, allowing tissue in the fallopian tubes to heal over the micro-inserts, forming a barrier between sperm and egg.  After 3 months, a special x-ray test will confirm that the procedure was successful and the tubes are blocked.

For more questions and information on Essure, please visit our website:

Thermachoice Endometrial Ablation

One of the most common complaints I hear from my patients is episodes of heavy bleeding.  This potentially embarrassing condition inconveniences every aspect of a woman’s life and inhibits social interaction, an active lifestyle, and even intimacy with a partner.  With Thermachoice, there is no surgery, no downtime, and no scarring.  This very quick procedure is done in the office (average time in only 8 minutes) and no anesthetic or incisions is involved.  First, a mild sedative is given to relax the patient, and a numbing agent is applied to the uterus.  A slender, hand-held catheter is inserted into the uterus through the cervix, and applies controlled heat to destroy the lining of the uterus.  This ends the hassle of monthly periods and any need for feminine protection products.  Child bearing must be complete to consider this procedure.

For more information on Thermachoice, please click on the link below:

I hope everyone enjoys Halloween, taking their little ghouls and goblins trick-or-treating.  When it comes to your health, the only thing to be scared of is not seeking the available help you need to enhance your health and give you a happier, more balanced life.

Happy Halloween!

~Dr. Brenner & Staff

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Embracing My Passion for Teaching Patients, Not Just Doctors

One of my areas of expertise as a physician is teaching.  I travel quite a bit to teach other OBGYN doctors the latest innovations in minimally invasive outpatient surgeries.  I enjoy contributing to the well being of women everywhere by sharing my knowledge with their physicians, ensuring they are well equipped to provide their patients the very best care.

In the spirit of that philosophy, I invested in our Patient Education System, available to all my patients to get more information about their concerns in the privacy of the exam room.  

What is a Patient Education System (PES) and how does it work?

Our PES consists of a large screen TV located within our exam rooms, with a corresponding remote.  As you get ready for your appointment, you can access this easy to use system to look up any kind of information regarding women’s health, symptoms, treatments, and prevention right there at your fingertips.  While I always encourage my patients to formulate questions prior to an appointment, the PES may spark additional questions or topics of conversation, to make the most of the time we have together during your exam.

As your physician, I want you to be informed as a patient, as we partner together to reach your goals of vibrant health and balance. 

Here are some pictures of the PES at work:

As with all my patients who have used it, I know you are going to love it!

Our PES is just one way we strive to demonstrate our commitment to the latest technology and tools to make the lives of you, our patients, easier and healthier through education and empowerment.

To your health and well-being,

-Dr. Brenner & Staff