Archive | May, 2014

Hold it! How to Stop Urinary Incontinence

By John Moore, MD of Vista Women’s Healthcare

Can you imagine getting up to deliver a talk to your PTA or employees and having to worry about leaking urine if you happen to cough, sneeze or laugh? Do you know where every bathroom is at your favorite store? These are daily worries for millions of women. Urinary incontinence—the involuntary leakage of urine—is treatable in the majority of cases and should be discussed with your physician any time that it is a concern for you. Your primary care physician will either initiate treatment or make an appropriate referral, usually to a gynecologist or urologist, if necessary.
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The two most common types of incontinence are stress incontinence and urge incontinence. Stress incontinence occurs with sneezing, laughing, coughing or exercising. It is usually caused by a weakening of the tissues that support the bladder or the muscles of the urethra. This weakening can be caused by pregnancy, childbirth or even just normal wear and tear from aging. Urge incontinence occurs when there is a strong, sudden urge to urinate and there is leakage before you can get to the restroom. It is also called overactive bladder and occurs when the muscles in the wall of the bladder contract too easily. The two types also frequently occur together, a situation referred to as mixed urinary incontinence. Incontinence may be associated with other symptoms such as frequent strong urges to urinate even if the bladder is not full, urinating much more frequently than normal and bed-wetting.

Identifying the cause of incontinence is essential to enable your physician to prescribe appropriate treatment for you. A thorough history and physical exam may identify treatable causes of incontinence such as bladder infections or medication side effects. A pelvic exam is necessary to detect loss of support of the bladder and urethra. In cases where the cause is not certain, your physician may ask you to keep track of how often and how much you urinate over several days. You may also be asked to undergo bladder, or urodynamic, testing to more adequately evaluate bladder function. Cystoscopy, where a thin lighted tube with a camera on it is inserted into the bladder is sometimes needed as well. These tests allow a very accurate diagnosis and help your physician determine what treatments will work for your incontinence and, maybe more importantly, which ones won’t!

Dr. John Moore of Vista Women's Healthcare

Dr. John Moore of Vista Women’s Healthcare

There are many options for treating urinary incontinence. Lifestyle changes such as weight loss, smoking cessation, reducing caffeine intake and treating a chronic cough may help. Bladder training by voiding on a more frequent “timed” schedule, whether you need to go or not, may reduce urge incontinence. Kegel exercises tone the muscles around the urethra and vaginal opening and often reduce both urge and stress incontinence symptoms. Physical therapy and biofeedback are sometimes used to help you learn which muscles to contract. Medications in pill, patch or gel form are often prescribed for urge incontinence and can help immensely. They may, however, have side effects such as dry mouth and constipation which are bothersome. Surgical therapy is usually reserved for stress incontinence and takes several forms. A bulking agent may be injected into the tissue around your urethra to help it stay closed, a procedure that is usually performed in the office. More invasive surgery to support the bladder and urethra is performed in the hospital and requires incisions in the vagina or abdomen. These surgeries include placing slings underneath the urethra or supporting the bladder neck and urethra with sutures placed lateral to them and tied to higher tissue to give support.

Finally, in cases where surgery is not an option, a pessary may be prescribed. This device is placed in the vagina to provide bladder support.

Incontinence can be an embarrassing problem but definitely a treatable one. Plan a visit with your physician today to discuss your concerns and regain your control!

Lexington Medical Center Opens New Sleep Lab in Northeast Columbia

Having trouble getting a good night’s sleep or staying awake during the day? Lexington Sleep Solutions may have a remedy for you that’s close to home. The Lexington Medical Center physician practice has just opened a third sleep lab in Northeast Columbia. The new sleep lab is located within the Palmetto Family Medicine building at 109 Barton Creek Court, Suite A in Columbia. Lexington Sleep Solutions now has locations in West Columbia, Irmo and Northeast Columbia.

sleepingWith a sleep study, Lexington Sleep Solutions clinicians can diagnose conditions including hypersomnia, insomnia, narcolepsy, periodic limb movement disorder, restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea and snoring.

Lexington Sleep Solutions has accreditation from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. To qualify, the practice had to meet all standards for professional health care as designated by AASM. The accreditation process included a detailed inspection of the center’s facilities and staff, an evaluation of testing procedures, and ongoing assessments of physician training.

The Lexington Sleep Solutions physician office is open Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. All of the sleep lab locations perform scheduled studies at night and provide scheduled day studies, home sleep test set-ups and actigraphy set-ups during business hours.

IMG_2909During an overnight sleep study, each patient stays in a private bedroom that’s equipped to monitor and record breathing, heart rate, oxygen levels and brain wave activity during sleep. A camera observes sleep throughout the night and provides useful diagnostic information. The sleep study results are analyzed and an appointment will be scheduled to review results and determine what treatment is necessary.

Each patient’s care is supervised by a physician who is board certified in sleep medicine. Lexington Sleep Solutions’ physicians are Clarence Coker, III, MD; Sarkis Derderian, DO; Paul Kirschenfeld, MD; Christopher Marshall, MD; Mohamed Soliman MD and Francis Dayrit, MD, FCCP.

The average adult needs eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Signs that you’re not getting enough sleep include irritability, difficulty staying awake while watching TV or reading, difficulty paying attention at work or in school, memory problems and using caffeine to stay awake.

Physician Office
Lexington Medical Park 2
146 North Hospital Drive
Suite 400

West Columbia, SC 29169

Northeast Columbia Sleep Lab
109 Barton Creek Court, Suite A
Columbia, SC 29229

West Columbia Sleep Lab
109 West Hospital Drive
West Columbia, SC 29169

Irmo Sleep Lab
7043 St. Andrews Road
Columbia, SC 29212
(803) 791-2683

For more information on sleep disorders, visit

The Art of Healing

Nine Lexington County high school students have received prizes and awards in the 5th annual “Art of Healing,” a juried art competition for Lexington County high school students sponsored by Lexington Medical Center. The students created projects including paintings, photographs and sculptures that each depict their interpretation of healing.

mixed oil paint with paintbrushArt teachers from Lexington County high schools each chose one student’s artwork per school to enter. All artwork had to incorporate healing or health. Steven Ford, owner of Steven Ford Interiors, Jane Przybysz, executive director of the McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina, and Michael Story, an award-winning fine artist, judged the entries and selected the winners.

“We wanted to give students the opportunity to express their interpretation of ‘healing’ through artwork,” said Barbara Willm, Lexington Medical Center vice president of Community Relations. “Every year, the quality of artwork impresses us more and more. It is a wonderful experience for students to have their artwork displayed at the Columbia Museum of Art for our community to see.”

Many of the students’ entries shared inspirational personal stories of family members’ health challenges and recovery.

Students received their awards at a reception at the Columbia Museum of Art on April 22. The students, their teachers, school administrators, hospital board members and staff, and museum employees attended. Barbara Willm and Columbia Museum of Art Chief Curator Will South presented the awards. The work was on display for a month at the Columbia Museum of Art.

Congratulations to all winners!

1st Prize
Megan Rinehart, Chapin High School

First Prize: Megan Rinehart, Chapin High School

First Prize: Megan Rinehart, Chapin High School

2nd Prize
Dilay Kuebra Gezer, Irmo High School

2nd Prize: Dilay Kuebra Gezer, Irmo High School

2nd Prize: Dilay Kuebra Gezer, Irmo High School

3rd Prize
Savannah Moore, Lexington High School

3rd Prize: Savannah Moore, Lexington High School

3rd Prize: Savannah Moore, Lexington High School

Juror’s Choice
Megan Baker, Dutch Fork High School
Leah Furst, Swansea High School
Blythe Lybrand, Spring Hill High School

Honorable Mention
Alexis Lester, Dutch Fork High School
Holly McDermott, Irmo High School
Reagan Tedder, Spring Hill High School

Here’s a slideshow of each of the entries.

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