Experts from UCF Health share their tips about the pros and cons to surgery to help you make an informed decision.
When It Comes To Urogyn Issues, Women Need Not Suffer
By John Tramont, M.D., Gynecologist, UCF Health
Women have suffered in silence for years, thinking nothing could be done about their urogyn issues. When discussing prolapse, incontinence and pelvic pain, I make sure my patients understand that there are many treatment modalities. Just because your mother or grandmother had the same troubles does not mean you have to live with it as well.
While many gynecologic surgeries are elective in nature, patient concerns regarding quality of life are the most common reasons for elective gynecologic surgery. Treatment options can include physical and medical therapies as well as surgery. If surgery is the best option, there are no hard rules regarding the best time to have the surgery. The right time is when you are ready.
For example, urinary incontinence is not typically a life-threatening problem but can have a significantly detrimental impact on a patient’s quality of life. Some patients experience loss of bladder control when coughing, sneezing, laughing or even just standing up. The degree to which this impacts a patient is variable between people. Some patients are so debilitated by incontinence that they fear leaving the house or engaging in routine activities. After a consultation with a physician and consideration of alternative therapies, patients may determine that a surgical correction is their best option.
Another example is evaluation of pelvic pain. There are many causes of pelvic pain, most of which don’t point to a dangerous problem. We can often rule out the most concerning causes with noninvasive procedures and diagnostic testing. Surgery can be a good option when testing is inconclusive or definitive therapy is desired. As we can’t objectively measure the amount of discomfort perceived by the patient, the decision to proceed with surgery is largely dictated by patient desire. Finding and addressing the cause of pelvic pain can dramatically improve your quality of life.
What works for one patient may not be the best for all patients. You should discuss alternatives for treatment with your gynecologist and together you can tailor a treatment that is best for you.
Clearing The Fog About Cataract Surgery
By Mehul Patel, M.D., M.Sc., Ophthalmologist, UCF Health
Patients ask me every day, “Do you think it is time for me to have my cataract removed?” I smile and politely tell all of my patients that it is actually you, and not me the eye surgeon, who will tell me when it is time to have the cloudiness in your vision removed.
Cataract surgery is often elective. While the impact may be significant to your vision, having your cataract removed is a personal decision. Surgery is a good option when you are not able to engage in your daily activities as a result of decreased vision or have trouble doing everyday tasks. For example, if you are a book lover who is unable to read the fine print or you stopped going out at night because the glare from lights is too debilitating to your vision and focus. For others, you may have stopped leaving your home all together because you are worried you will miss a step and fall. Whatever the reason may be, I engage with my patients to understand their difficulties. I partner with them to help them see better, often with minimal need for glasses after surgery, too.
In today’s age of technology and excellent surgical techniques, complication rates are very low, the recovery period is relatively short and patient satisfaction is extremely high. Most patients tell me they wish they had done the surgery sooner. Start a conversation with an eye surgeon about how your vision is affecting your daily life. If your vision is not good as it used to be, it’s likely the cataract and you should seek out a surgeon whom you trust to partner with you to regain great vision when you are ready.
Is Joint Replacement Surgery Right For You?
By Obi Adigweme, M.D., Orthopedist, UCF Health
Having joint replacement surgery can have a positive impact on your life, but the decision to do the surgery is always driven by you, not your doctor. I always tell my patients the right time is when you are ready. When joint pain is so bad that it interferes with things you want to do, we should begin to discuss options for relief, both nonsurgical and surgical.
Joint replacement is one of the most successful surgeries performed today to help relieve the symptoms of arthritis. However, some patients can experience great relief with non-surgical treatment methods such as weight loss, physical therapy, medications or injection therapy. Surgery is only recommended once these options have been exhausted and the pain continues to make walking or other activities difficult. Since there are no immediate threats to your health, you can wait weeks, months or years before deciding on surgery. Only you know when it’s time.
Over the years, there have been substantial advancements in the world of joint replacement surgery. Surgery can now be performed through much smaller incisions and with much less trauma to the muscles and soft tissue. This means you will experience less pain, faster recovery and a shorter hospital stay. These advances, along with many others, ultimately lead to greater patient satisfaction with joint surgery.
If you are living with pain, start a discussion with an orthopedist who specializes in the joint you are having trouble with. It’s the first step to getting back to the activities you love, pain-free.