Program for abdominal and pelvic health offered at Rush University Medical Center


Unique to the Chicago area, the Program for Abdominal and Pelvic Health at Rush University Medical Center offers a multi-specialty approach to diagnosing and treating a wide range of abdominal and pelvic conditions in women as well as men of all ages.

The medical team includes a full complement of specialists trained to accurately diagnose and treat conditions such as incontinence, endometriosis, constipation, organ prolapse and irritable bowel syndrome.

"Many of these disorders cause severe discomfort. Our physicians employ state-of-the-art techniques to relieve the pain of cystitis, urinary infections, postprostatectomy, and other pelvic and rectal disorders." said Dr. Marc Brand, colorectal surgeon.

Surgery is not the only solution for everyone with pelvic and abdominal problems according to physiatrist Dr. Sheila Dugan. In most cases, people with incontinence respond to non-surgical solutions. The team's physical therapist and physiatrist use approaches such as biofeedback to test the pelvic floor muscles or electrostimulation to train weak muscles to work properly. And of course there's always Kegel exercises - an effective way for any woman to build strength for pelvic floor muscles, when done correctly. "

Dugan says other treatment options include oral and injectable medications, nerve blocks, pelvic floor physical therapy, nutrition and diet modifications, psychological support and minimally invasive laproscopic surgery.

"Rush's program focuses on issues beyond the physical - providing education on overall health, as well as access to a psychologist to address the stresses of living with a physical condition that can impact relationships and self-image. Appointments with specialists are typically clustered in one afternoon or morning, with patients' cases reviewed among the whole team to develop an individualized treatment plan," said Dugan.

The team of specialists includes colorectal surgeons Dr. Marc Brand and Dr. Theodore Saclarides; gastroenterologists Dr. Keith Bruninga, Dr. Ali Keshavarzian, Dr. Ece Mutlu and Dr. Carline Quander; urologists Dr. Christopher Cognac, Dr. Le Elterman and Dr. Jerome Hoeksema; gynecologists Dr. Eric Brown; urogynecologist Dr. Bruce Rosenzweig; physiatrist Dr. Sheila Dugan; physical therapist Vonna Karoghlanian; psychologist Dr. Laurie Keefer, and radiologists Dr. Steven Archibald, Dr. Virginia Schreiner and Dr. Claire Smith.

Appointments may be scheduled by calling (312) 942-7274. The program manager will guide patients through the program. Before the first appointment, she will discuss symptoms with the patients and determine which specialists are appropriate for each patient.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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