Mountain View, CA - November 17, 2011 - The Women's Hospital at El Camino Hospital has launched a Women's Pelvic Health Program offering a comprehensive range of services at both the Mountain View and Los Gatos El Camino Hospital campuses. The program is the only one-stop resource in the region for a coordinated, multi-disciplinary approach to prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation for patients with pelvic health conditions.
"We are responding to a critical need," said Michele van Zuiden, executive director of the Women’s Hospital at El Camino Hospital. "Nearly a quarter of all women in the United States have one or more pelvic health disorders, and the frequency increases significantly with age, affecting 40% of women age 60-79 and about 50% of women 80 and older. What's troubling is that many will suffer in silence because they don't know where to turn for help - or realize that their condition is treatable. We feel it is essential to our mission to address this growing need for education and services."
Through its partnership with the Spirit of Women, The Women's Hospital is participating in the Pelvic Health Program of Excellence, staffed by specialists in areas such as pelvic health physical therapy, wellness training and education, urologists, gynecology surgeons and gynecology oncologists. Everyone involved has committed to provide a coordinated system of multidisciplinary care based on personalized treatment plans for each patient, and communication and coordination with referring physicians to ensure seamless transfer of information and ongoing therapeutic support. More than 60 El Camino Hospital physicians have signed up to participate on the pelvic health physician panel.
The El Camino Hospital Women's Pelvic Health program offers patients the broadest possible range of choices. Physicians within the program accept every insurance plan, and if minimally invasive surgery is indicated, patients have access to the number one robotic program in Northern California. All nurses, physical therapists and exercise trainers and staff are specially trained in pelvic health issues. Patients can receive confidential counseling and assistance from the program's dedicated nurse navigator.
"Women who have a pelvic health condition face a bewildering array of specialists and potential treatment approaches," said Sari Levine, MD, urologist and Chair of the Women's Hospital Medical Advisory Board "Gastroenterologists, gynecologists, urologists, urogynecologists, radiologists, oncologists, neurologists, physical therapists, pharmacological management, dietary and nutritional support, exercise programs and diabetes management are all potential ways to address specific pelvic health issues. Where does a patient turn first? Our program helps patients navigate all of the options and offers a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment with the appropriate providers."
Among the conditions treated by the program are urinary incontinence, which affects 40% of all women over age 17, pelvic organ prolapse, uterine fibroids, abnormal uterine bleeding, endometriosis, sexual dysfunction, pelvic pain, and abnormal pap smears.
"Although women over 50 have the highest risk for pelvic health issues, women of all ages can be affected, and younger women can benefit from education and prevention," said Dr. Levine. We also hope to educate women between the ages of 35 to 65 to pay attention to pelvic wellness and prevention much as they pay attention to heart and breast health."
"What's unique about this effort is the commitment by all participants to a collaborative approach," said van Zuiden. "The patient really does come first."