You don’t need to face medical decisions alone. Metro Atlanta’s top practitioners answer your pressing questions about life-saving procedures so you don’t have to ask.
I read that doctors have begun performing robot-assisted surgeries in certain cases. Is robotic surgery more successful than traditional surgery?
While the prospect of surgery might seem daunting, pursuing the best course of treatment often leaves a patient with few viable alternatives. The good news is that, due to recent advancements in technology and application, undergoing an operation has never been safer.
Over the last two decades, the nation’s top hospitals and doctors have steadily embraced the innovative technique of robot-assisted surgery. The development allows for greater precision, along with expedited recovery periods, reduced pain, and a diminished risk of complications. Robotic surgery is fast becoming the gold standard in world-class care, with studies continuing to support its efficacy in a wide variety of procedures.
With this technique, the physician sits a few feet away from the patient, operating the arms of the surgical system remotely. A powerful camera allows the physician to navigate the interior of the body more easily, while an increased range of motion results in more focused movements and smaller incisions. Robotic surgery creates a reduction in blood loss, pain, and scarring in comparison with traditional surgery techniques. This means improving the likelihood of a quicker, more successful recovery without complications.
And thankfully, Atlanta-area patients don’t need to travel outside of their immediate vicinity to have access to some of the best robotic surgeons available. At WellStar, you’ll find a team of expert specialty physicians who collectively have performed over 6,000 operations using robot-assisted techniques. Our status as a leader in the field and extensive network of locations means you can breathe easy knowing the most advanced treatment options are only a short drive away.
-Scott Miller, MD | WellStar North Fulton Hospital
What is overactive bladder and what can I do about it?
Men and women’s urinary systems may have their differences, but there are some issues that impact everyone. One such problem is overactive bladder.
Overactive bladder, or OAB, is a much more common condition than people realize, affecting about 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women. It’s categorized by symptoms like frequent urination and getting sudden, strong urges to urinate.
Overactive bladder occurs when there are problems with the nerve signals that tell your brain that your bladder is full, which then tell the muscles around your bladder to contract. Your brain may send the signal before your bladder is getting full, causing you to feel the frequent need to urinate. The muscles around your bladder may also react too strongly to signals, making you feel intense urgency.
When asked about the solutions available for OAB, Dr. Ryan Mullins from Advanced Urology’s Alpharetta clinic offered, “The good news is that there is help available,
and our team at Advanced Urology has brought the most cutting-edge OAB technology to metro Atlanta. Our InterStim treatment is an innovative therapy that helps to regulate the nerve signals between your brain and your bladder.” Dr. Mullins is a Georgia native, having grown up an hour north of Atlanta, and is very passionate about serving the greater Atlanta community to provide innovative, advanced treatment options in the field of urology.
Dr. Mullins and the rest of the award-winning team at Advanced Urology are bringing the most cutting-edge OAB technology to metro Atlanta. Get relief from your OAB symptoms today and make an appointment at one of Advanced Urology’s six convenient locations.
–Ryan Mullins, MD | Advanced Urology
How can I protect my child’s kidneys?
Detecting kidney problems in children can be difficult due to lack of symptoms and a child’s communication challenges. Parents should look for anything suspicious.
Children can have the same kind of kidney problems as adults. Think kidney stones, tumors, and infections. However, many complications begin during prenatal kidney development. Issues, such as an obstruction, can affect the kidney directly. Others manifest elsewhere, including in the bladder with reflux or backflow up the ureter into the kidney. Some problems are unique to boys, such as an obstruction in the urethra. Reflux and other issues are more common in girls.
Thankfully, sonograms can now detect many prenatal kidney problems. Any child who has abnormal prenatal kidneys should have a repeat study after birth, but generally not before one to two weeks of age. Newborns are typically dehydrated at birth, and the actual degree of the problem may be under-estimated if evaluated too soon.
Most kidney problems found in children are either reparable or treatable. However, developmental problems should be addressed quickly for a better long-term outcome. If you suspect your child is suffering from a kidney issue, contact your pediatrician or the experts at Georgia Urology to learn more about your options.
-Hal Scherz, MD | Georgia Urology
What’s the difference between IBS and IBD?
When patients come in with persistent stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or unexplained weight loss, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are the first conditions that come to mind.
As the most common gastrointestinal disorder—affecting nearly 35 million Americans—IBS is the likely culprit behind many digestive issues. However, we’ve continued to see a drastic increase in the number of adults with IBD. In fact, recent statistics show this number has nearly doubled since 1999.
Despite these two conditions having similar names and shared symptoms, IBS and IBD are very different. On the one hand, you have IBS, which is typically caused by abnormal contractions in the large intestine, meaning they are stronger, last longer, or are weaker, all of which impact the way you digest food.
Then there’s IBD, which is an umbrella term for several autoimmune diseases that cause swelling, redness, and damage to the intestines. This prolonged inflammation impacts the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.
Thankfully, we have seen tremendous strides in the types of diagnostic testing available for both IBS and IBD. Analyzing complete medical history and monitoring symptoms, blood tests, stool studies, breath tests, or imaging studies may be used, in addition to evaluating risk factors. If IBD is suspected, we utilize tests that can identify specific antibodies in the blood, as well as colonoscopy and other imaging.
With an accurate diagnosis, we are able to effectively treat both IBS and IBD with a variety of options.
-Barbara Joy Jones, DO | GMC Primary Care – Peachtree Corners
Is there a discreet way to get a facelift?
Since I started my career in plastic surgery, my intention has always been to add the greatest amount of value and positive impact to my patients’ lives as possible. Throughout my first few years of performing traditional cosmetic procedures, patients who were interested in receiving a facelift often voiced their concerns that their results would be too drastic to look natural. This led me to create the Band Aid Mini Facelift, which is designed to answer the need for subtle, natural-looking rejuvenation.
Physical aging is inevitable. However, you’re not powerless against those natural changes. With my customizable Band Aid Mini Facelift, you can rejuvenate and refresh your look with a faster recovery time and lower cost than a traditional facelift. It also allows you to treat specific “problem areas” without getting more of a lift than you need.
When plastic surgery is done correctly, it improves the patient’s appearance without drastically changing their look. For over two decades, the philosophy behind my Band Aid Mini Facelift has been to create a more youthful appearance in my patients without sacrificing subtlety or their ability to be discreet about their procedure.
Even after changing the lives of over 6,000 people with this procedure, it’s still the greatest honor of my profession to witness each moment that it increases a patient’s confidence and self-esteem.
A Band Aid Mini Facelift is a good, subtle option for anyone who wants to look and feel more youthful. If you have any questions about this cosmetic procedure, I would be happy to answer them during a personalized consultation.