Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New procedure offers option for permanent birth control

A new breakthrough procedure is now available locally for women seeking permanent birth control.

Brought to southwest Missouri by Dr. John Williams, Ferrell-Duncan Obstetrics and Gynecology, Essure is a sterilization procedure for women that is performed right in the office under local anesthesia. It has a 99.8 percent effectiveness rate and is covered by most major insurance companies. Essure is not reversible and is for women who have completed their families and are sure they do not plan any future pregnancies.

Unlike traditional surgical tubal ligation, which requires a hospital setting and three to four days recovery, Essure requires no cutting into the body. Instead, physicians insert flexible spring-like coils through the vagina, cervix and uterus, and then into each fallopian tube. The procedure generally takes 30 minutes to perform and most women report little or no delay in returning to normal activities. For three months following the procedure the coils work with the body to form a tissue barrier that prevents sperm from reaching the egg. During this time patients need to use another form of birth control. After three months an X-ray is used to confirm that the fallopian tubes are blocked.

“Because Essure provides permanent birth control without incisions, it provides increased safety and convenience at a reduced cost,” says Dr. Williams. “Typically the procedure can be performed on a Saturday morning to eliminate the need to alter work schedules.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 269-7900.

HealthPlans team reaches out to children of Iraq

When Julie Dawson, underwriting manager at Cox HeathPlans, started looking for a way to support her brother who is serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq, she had no idea she’d be starting a company-wide drive.

Dawson’s brother, Lt. Col. Noel Nicolle, had mentioned that soldiers could use toys and stuffed animals for the children they meet daily as they work in Ramadi, about 70 miles west of Baghdad.

Dawson and her co-workers began collecting toys for the children and books and DVDs for the soldiers. In just a few weeks, they had 10 boxes of donations.

The staff also worked with Information Technology to organize a Web-cam teleconference with Lt. Col. Nicolle and several Missouri soldiers on Sept. 13 to thank them for their service.

“We’re extremely grateful,” Lt. Col Nicolle told the HealthPlans staff. “To know that people have donated their time and effort to help us and Iraqis they’ve never met, it speaks well of the generosity of Americans. I thank God I’m an American.”