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University of Missouri Health Care News Releases
New center offers comprehensive care, streamlined appointment process

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Columbia Regional Hospital will celebrate the opening of the Missouri Center for Female Continence and Advanced Pelvic Surgery with an open house from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, in Suite 306 of the Keene Medical Building, at 500 N. Keene St., Columbia, Mo.

The clinic is a brand-new facility offering comprehensive care for the management of pelvic complaints. Both surgical and non-surgical treatment is available, and care is structured so that the need for repeat appointments is minimized.

“We have developed our center with the patient’s convenience in mind,” said Raymond Foster, M.D., director of the Missouri Center for Female Continence and Advanced Pelvic Surgery. “Traditionally, patients will have to make three or four clinic visits during the diagnostic phase of their care before they receive treatment for what are usually very common complaints, such as urinary incontinence or poor support of their pelvic organs. In most cases, we offer necessary testing on a patient’s initial appointment to avoid repetitive trips to the clinic before treatment begins. This not only benefits our patients, but also family members or friends who may have to take time off work and drive the patient to the clinic.”

Although pelvic complaints such as urinary incontinence and loss of pelvic organ support affect millions of women, they are not a normal part of aging or an inevitable consequence of childbirth. They are medical conditions with many possible causes, and in most cases, the conditions are very treatable.

Urinary incontinence is more common in women than in men, and it affects about 25 percent of women 65 and younger and approximately 30 percent of women 65 and older. Urge incontinence caused by an overactive bladder is the most common form. Stress incontinence is caused by weakened tissue that supports the urethra and bladder and results in loss of urine during activities such as laughing, sneezing, coughing or exercising. When the bladder does not completely empty during urination due to underactive bladder muscles, the condition is known as overflow incontinence.

Conditions involving poor support of pelvic organs such as the uterus, urethra, bladder, small intestine and vagina can cause feelings of pelvic heaviness or fullness, a pulling or aching feeling in the lower abdomen or pelvis, and incontinence. Symptoms are usually more noticeable after an individual has been standing for extended periods.

“Many women delay seeking medical care until their symptoms are so severe that they need surgery,” said Foster. “Surgery may be the best therapy in some cases, while others can be treated through medications and behavioral modifications. We just want women to know that we’re here, and we will do everything we can to not only offer treatment that will greatly increase their quality of life, we can do so with their convenience in mind.”

For more information on urinary incontinence and loss of pelvic organ support or to make an appointment with a physician at the Missouri Center for Female Continence and Advanced Pelvic Surgery, call (573) 817-3165.

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