Keeping the Flow
Southcoast’s urology specialists improve quality of life for every stage of a woman’s life
Urinary tract problems can affect how a woman feels about herself and often get in the way of her daily activities. Fortunately, for women experiencing bladder problems there are solutions that can help them return to active lifestyles. At Southcoast Health, caring, dedicated professionals provide the latest urological treatments for women of all ages.
“We take care of everything from urinary-tract infections in children to kidney stones, which are very common in younger adults, to renal cancer, bladder cancer and urinary incontinence as people get older, and all of the gray areas in between,” said Michelle Pacheco, MD, a urologist at Southcoast Health who treats both women and men. “We also evaluate women and men for sexual health, including painful intercourse in women. Many women do not realize there are treatments available that can help.”
One of the most common reasons women seek urologic care is urinary incontinence, Dr. Pacheco added. If left untreated, urinary leakage can be both physically and emotionally stressful. To treat incontinence, skilled specialists at Southcoast Health offer a wide array of minimally invasive procedures, including pelvic floor muscle exercises, medications and interventional therapies, such as Botox injections, to reduce muscular contractions in the bladder and neuromodulation. The medical team also offers a sling procedure designed to keep the urethra supported.
For patients experiencing pelvic floor disorders, weakening of the muscles and ligaments supporting the pelvic organs, Southcoast Health provides physical therapy to strengthen the pelvic floor.
“We offer a physical training program for pelvic floor disorders, and we get some really great results,” Dr. Pacheco noted. “A lot of what we see sometimes cannot be treated with surgery, but we can still help women get out and enjoy their lives even if surgery is not right for them.”
When surgical intervention is needed, Dr. Pacheco, who is trained in laparoscopic surgery and the da Vinci robotic system, performs minimally invasive procedures. Many kidney procedures are done laparoscopically. And many bladder and stone procedures are done through the urethra with no incisions made.
Given the extensive and highly specialized care at Southcoast Health, most women — and men — with urological needs can be treated close to home.
“For 99.9 percent of patients, we are able to take care of their issues,” Dr. Pacheco said. “I’ve had a few patients who have gone to get second opinions elsewhere, and most of them end up turning around and coming right back home again because there is not too much more that is offered outside of Southcoast Health. They feel very confident with my team.”