Rhett Women’s Center (RWC) provides full service gynecological care. Our primary goal is to meet the patient’s needs—which can range from providing annual preventive exams to management of a wide range of gynecological problems. We offer on-site lab and ultrasound services to provide the most thorough assessment of a patient’s problem to save her time and money. RWC strives to provide the most complete gynecological care while always making a woman’s needs and comfort as a priority.
Our providers at RWC care about you and your health, making a yearly exam is one of the most important things a woman can do to ensure good overall health and wellness. This is a time she can discuss specific concerns as well as review important topics with her provider, including breast health, sexual health, contraception, menstrual cycle and associated symptoms, perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms, bone health, and diet and exercise. This visit will also be a time for a full physical exam as well as appropriate screening tests including cervical cancer screening (a PAP smear which may include an HPV test), STD screening, and lab tests—all done in house. At an annual exam, you may also receive an order for a screening mammogram, bone density scan, or colonoscopy depending on your age and/or symptoms.
Many gynecological disorders, including ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, or malignant tumors, can be easily detected with the help of ultrasound. RWC offers in house ultrasound imaging done by diagnostic sonographer, Michelle Polhamus. An ultrasound, which provides a picture of internal organs, tissue, and fluid in the body, may be recommended for symptoms including painful periods, menstrual irregularities, pelvic pain, or postmenopausal bleeding. Most often a gynecological ultrasound is done transvaginally. This means that a small ultrasound transducer, covered with a protective sheath, is inserted part way into the vagina. This is the most effective way ultrasound can help detect changes in the size, shape, and overall condition of your uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and bladder. Information gained from ultrasound imaging helps our providers develop the most appropriate plan of care for each patient.
Phlebotomy (Lab Services)
RWC is proud to offer convenient in-house lab services. If your visit includes blood work, it can be done on the same day. In addition, you can schedule the necessary follow-up appointment to discuss your results before you leave. Our trained nurses and phlebotomists will draw your blood quickly with results back to our providers usually within a week. Our in house lab is just one more way RWC strives to make your life easier.
Abnormal Pap Smear
At RWC we understand that not all abnormal PAP tests are cause for immediate concern. Depending on a woman’s age, her sexual history, and her previous PAP history, our providers may encourage a woman to closely monitor an abnormal PAP smear with a plan to repeat the test which may include a test for HPV. Another option that is considered for managing an abnormal PAP test is a colposcopy. This procedure is a method of more closely and thoroughly examining the cervix, vagina, and vulva to look for concerning abnormalities. Using a colposcope to magnify this tissue, Drs. Rhett and Smith are able to identify the presence of abnormal tissue and will biopsy it, if necessary.
Hair thinning and loss is common in aging. This is known as ALOPECIA and can often be corrected with the correct hormone therapy.
There are so many options for birth control available to women. At RWC we feel it is extremely important to explore any and all options for each patient. A woman’s individual preferences, her age, sexual history, past medical conditions, and desire for a future pregnancy are just some of the factors we consider when discussing contraceptive options. We want to ensure that each woman knows what her options are and the most efficient and cost-effective way to give her the protection she needs. These options may include barrier methods (condoms/spermicide), oral contraceptives (birth control pills), the Depo-Provera injection, a sub-dermal arm implant (Nexplanon), an IUD (Mirena and Paraguard), or permanent options (Bilateral tubal ligation).
Many women complain of low libido. They feel like the “spice” is gone from their sex life. They are frustrated because they are “never in the mood”, and/or their relationship is suffering because of their disinterest in sex. Many factors such as hormonal changes, stress, pressure at work or from family, and struggle with body image can all contribute to a decrease in the frequency and quality of sexual relations with your partner. We encourage all patients to share with their provider any and all concerns related to sex. All providers at RWC determine the best course of treatment by carefully considering stress management techniques, communication with your partner, regular exercise, medication, and relationship therapy. In addition, our practitioners use hormonal testing and Bioidentical Hormone Optimization as another method to ensure that each woman’s sexual problems are treated effectively. You do not have to give up a normal healthy sex life as you age!
RWC provides comprehensive gynecological care including indicated gynecological surgeries. Our providers will assist each patient in reviewing all treatment options and discussing any alternatives to surgery. If after a thorough evaluation surgery is determined to be the best option, RWC will take care of you. Drs. Rhett and Smith both have privileges at East Cooper Regional Medical Center and Roper Hospital Systems. If your condition requires, they can provide the continuity of care necessary when facing major surgery. A pre-op visit will be scheduled at RWC to review all the risks and benefits of your operation, obtain any necessary lab work, as well as give you any needed prescriptions. You will be given ample time to get all your questions answered. Scheduling will be taken care of by RWC.
An incision is made at the top of the vagina, blood vessels are disconnected and the uterus is removed through the vagina. * Abdominal hysterectomies in which a small incision is made in the abdomen, and the uterus is removed are done with an enlarged uterus or suspected scar tissue This is due to higher risk of infection and longer recovery time.
A laproscope is a thin lighted tool with a camera, is inserted through a small incision around the navel, allowing the doctor to see the pelvic organs on a screen. This can be done for diagnosis as well as treatment. For example, scar tissue and ovarian cysts can be removed.
Entering adolescence is a time of tremendous change and development in a young girl’s life. She experiences changes in the way she thinks, the way she feels, and the way she looks. Gene Blake, CNM has a special interest in caring for young girls during this stage of life. She communicates with both mother and daughter to address the uncertainty that often accompanies menstrual irregularities, painful and/or heavy periods, PMS symptoms and related issues. If appropriate, Gene can also discuss healthy sexuality (including the decision to have intercourse, choosing a caring and respectful partner, contraceptive options, and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases). She will create an open dialogue with each patient, taking into consideration her age and maturity level, while providing both parent and daughter with a healthy forum for discussion.