Archive | LMC People RSS feed for this section

What To Expect When You’re Not Expecting It

Dr. Nichole McDonald, OB/GYN at Lexington Women’s Care, was a guest on WLTX recently to talk about “What To Expect When You’re Not Expecting It.” The discussion centered around everything you wish you knew, but no one ever told you. Check it out in the link below.

Here are a few notes from Dr. McDonald’s interview:

~Puberty begins in African American girls around age 8 or 9, and in Caucasian girls around age 10. It’s important that parents help walk them through their daughters through those changes.

~A woman should see her gynecologist once each year, beginning when she becomes sexually active or between the ages of 18 and 21.

~We begin screening for cervical cancer at age 21. As long as pap smears are normal, we now screen every 3 to 5 years.

~During pregnancy, nausea and vomiting are typical early in pregnancy. But if it causes more than 10 pounds of weight loss, call your doctor. And, if you feel regular tightening of your abdomen before 34 weeks gestation, you should call your doctor.

~Before menopause begins, women will begin noticing changes in their menstrual cycle – the cycle will become more erratic and irregular. Menopause occurs when a woman goes one year without a menstrual cycle.

~Bone density is a measure of the amount of mineralization of a bone per cubic centimeter. When a woman starts to have thinning of the bones, we start worrying about osteoporosis. We begin screening for that around age 65. Women should get a good amount of calcium throughout their life to prevent osteoporosis. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

The Doctor Is In: Meet Neal Burkhalter, MD

Dr. Neal Burkhalter is a physician with Lexington ENT & Allergy, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. He joined our hospital network recently. We sat down with him to get to know him and ask him some clinical questions related to his specialty.

When did you decide that you wanted to be a doctor?
I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a doctor – probably by age 12 or 13 – and that persisted throughout my education. I also had great educators who encouraged me and gave me confidence to pursue medicine.

Dr. Neal Burkhalter of Lexington ENT & Allergy

Dr. Neal Burkhalter of Lexington ENT & Allergy

Why did you want to be a doctor?

I had an early love for science and I love people. It seemed like a natural fit. I’m very extroverted, and I also love the challenge of thinking through problems and “fixing” things.

Why did you choose ENT as your specialty?
I knew pretty quickly in my medical education that I wanted to do something surgical, but I also struggled with the fact that I wanted longer-term relationships. That usually doesn’t happen with a surgical specialty. ENT provided a good mix of those two things. I love the complex surgical aspects of head and neck surgery, and the relationships I have from treating patients medically over time.

What are your favorite parts of the job?
I love the diversity of ENT. We serve a wide variety of patients – from premature infants to the very elderly. Some are relatively easy problems like runny noses and some are very complex, such as advanced head and neck cancer.

What are some common problems that you see in your practice?
I commonly see kids and adults with recurrent ear infections, chronic sinus infections, tonsil problems, allergies and hoarseness.

What do you want patients to know about how to treat those problems?
Ear infections and sinus infections are common and can be difficult to treat. They both can be treated with medicines, but sometimes surgery is necessary.

Tonsil problems can range from ongoing tonsil infections to large tonsils that can cause sleep apnea and have a wide range of health and life effects.

Allergies are very complex and often require multiple visits to try to find the right combination of medications and allergy testing to help know to what things you are allergic.

There are multiple reasons for hoarseness, but anyone who has been hoarse for six weeks or more should have their voice box examined by an ENT, especially if they have a history of smoking.

Dr. Burkhalter is accepting new patients. For more information, visit the practice’s website.

What To Expect When You’re Not Expecting It

Women go through a lot of changes during their lifetime. Some of them are unexpected and can be scary. In our hospital’s FREE physician lecture this month, Dr. Nichole McDonald will cover everything you wish you knew – but no one told you. Call you mothers, daughters and girlfriends. From puberty to menopause, Dr. McDonald will share a wealth of knowledge for women in all stages of life.

PLS_March_McDonald.pdf-2