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             Spotlight on health 

Go to... Medical Services Listed in Hermanus

 


WHY THE NEED FOR REGULAR CHECK-Ups
by Dr Paul de Flamingh-Gynaecologist

When we buy a new car or even a previously owned one we know that in order to get the best return on our “investment” we need to look after this vehicle.  We even get Motor plans that force us to have the car regularly serviced otherwise we forfeit the guarantee!  So what is the lesson that we should learn from this? 

PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE!

This is the same principle that Discovery Medical aid adopted in order to cut their medical pay-outs.  With incentives like discounts on purchases at certain shops they encourage their members to join fitness clubs and to have regular routine physical check-ups and blood tests, pap smears and urine tests.  Because of this approach they have been able to offer participating doctors better fees for service as they save in the long run.

What then should your REGULAR ANNUAL CHECK-UP entail? 

This will very much depend on your age and your sex.  It is important to get the best value for money especially as many patients now opt for hospital plans i.s.o. full medical cover which would mean that the check-up will come out of own pocket.

In the case of women the yearly check-up should include at least a urine dip-stix (to check for infection, proteins, blood, glucose and bile salts), blood pressure, breasts examination, heartbeat and murmurs and circulation, abdominal examination and pelvic examination.  If a lady has not had a hysterectomy a Pappanicoulou smear is also indicated.  A trans vaginal pelvic ultrasound (sonar) is extremely helpful in order to pick up early signs of pelvic tumours of the ovaries, uterus and gut.  Stool samples for blood is quite often indicated and quite helpful.

Younger ladies that still want to have children should also have a blood test to check for German measles anti-bodies.

Older ladies should have blood tests for cholesterol, full blood count, thyroid function and depending on the urine test also glucose levels.  A Mammogramme is recommended after the age of 50 unless there are extenuating circumstances like a strong family history of breast cancer.  Bonedensity (DEXA) is done after the onset or confirmation of the menopause and repeated on a regular basis depending on the result of the previous DEXA.

One of the most important lessons is that one should assess every patient on her own merit and not treat results of tests but treat the patient on her individuality.  Every lady is special in her own way and should receive special attention always!  Once the basics have been done the doctor will advise on further tests or otherwise indicate when the next check-up is due.

On what men need as part of a yearly general check-up, I am a bit lost.  There is even some debate on the value of yearly PSA (prostate specific antigen) but that I will leave to my colleagues in urology to discuss.  I would just like to remind the gents that erectile dysfuntion (ED) is not only their problem (but in a future article I will pay attention to this) but it is quite often also an indication of other arterial occlusive disease so do not ignore it, get advice!

Hermanus Doctors
On-line

Gynecological
conditions, questions & advice
Ask
Dr Paul de Flamigh
Your Mail will be treated with  utmost respect for privacy

General
conditions, questions & advice
Ask Dr Tilla Muller 
or Dr. Nico Abel
Your Mail will be treated with utmost respect for privacy

THE MIRENA TO THE RESCUE
Dr Paul de Flamigh
In modern times one is almost daily bombarded by new inventions and developments. One of the most elegant and useful inventions in medical practice must be the development of the Mirena, intra-uterine contraceptive device. This device has been around for a couple of years and has been tried and tested by millions of women over the world. It is an intra-uterine contraceptive device with a difference that instead of having copper around the stalk of the device, it has a reservoir consisting of a slow release progesterone. The reason for this is that the progesterone that is slowly released over a period of 5 – 7 years, works by suppressing the growth of the lining of the womb (uterus) and therefore cuts down on the menstrual bleeding and if the patient is fortunate (as most of them are) they will eventually stop having periods all together.

I often get asked if this is detrimental for the patient but as the action is only localized in the uterus and not systemically, it means that there is a limited effect on the particular cells lining the womb and the hormone does not enter the bloodstream in significant quantities to have any systemic effect. The patient therefore has the advantage of being protected against unwanted pregnancies, the comfort of having very little to no periods at all, and still have normal hormonal cycles because the ovaries are not affected by this particular device. Should the patient desire to fall pregnant again, the device is very easily removed in the consulting rooms and within approximately a month she will have a normal period and can therefore attempt further pregnancies with no risk. The safety factor of this device is virtually 100% and considered statis-tically as safe as having a sterilization, provided that the apparatus is properly fitted. It does not need to be fitted in theatre or under anaesthetic and can be done in the consulting rooms in most cases, provided care is taken and it is done gently. One can also use this device in women that have very heavy periods but have possibly been sterilized and where no other pathology is found and therefore avoid surgery like for instance a hysterectomy. Although the device is considered reasonably expensive at approximately R1 500, if one considers the benefits and comfort it provides and divide this costs into 60 – 72 months, you quickly realise that this is actually a bargain.
This is a very liberating device with lots of benefits for women and should any readers want to obtain any more information they can go to the Schering website or phone Sr Dianne Jooste on 086 010 2667.


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Medical Services Listed in Hermanus

Maryke van Rhyn
(Occupational Therapist)

084 678 8844

Antionette van Vuuren
Physiotherapist
7 Myrtle Lane Hermanus
+27 (0)28-3121981

Dr Du Toit & Munnik
14 Paterson St Hermanus
+27 (0)28-3121119

Dr Herman Fourie
Dentist
Hoofweg 9 Hermanus
+27 (0)28-3121066

Dr J.G. Tredoux
(Specialist Physician)
48 Fourie St, Hermanus
+27 (0)28-3130356 (24H)
Hermanus Medi Clinic
Hospital

St Hermanus
+27 (0)28-3130168
L Stander & T Visser
Physiotherapist

4 Mountain Drive Hermanus
+27 (0)28-3122735

Optical Eyes
Gateway Centre Hermanus
+27 (0)28-3131101

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