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Southern Ohio Medical Center announced that Aquablation therapy for the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) – also known as an enlarged prostate – is now available.
BPH is a non-cancerous condition where the prostate has grown to be larger than normal. 1 in 2 men ages 51 to 60 have BPH, and the incidence increases every decade of life. If left untreated, BPH can cause significant health problems, including irreversible bladder or kidney damage, bladder stones, and incontinence.
Aquablation therapy is a different type of treatment for BPH. It’s an advanced, minimally invasive treatment that uses the power of water delivered with robotic precision to provide best-in-class and long-lasting symptom relief with low rates of irreversible complications, regardless of prostate size or shape.2,3
“We are proud to offer men with BPH a solution that provides relief without compromise,” said Stephen Woolums, MD, SOMC Urologist. “Aquablation therapy is the next step to furthering our commitment to enhancing men’s health services at SOMC.”
Aquablation therapy is performed by the AquaBeam Robotic System, the first FDA-cleared, surgical robot utilizing automated tissue resection or the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms due to BPH. It combines real-time, multi-dimensional imaging, automated robotic technology, and heat-free waterjet ablation technology for targeted, controlled, and immediate removal of prostate tissue. Aquablation therapy offers predictable and reproducible outcomes, independent of prostate anatomy, prostate size, or surgeon experience.
Aquablation therapy has proven results. In clinical studies, Aquablation therapy has shown to provide both best-in- class and durable symptom relief with low rates of irreversible complications.
A study within the Journal of Sexual Medicine, which surveyed 300 men living with BPH, revealed 92% of respondents expressed an interest in learning more about Aquablation therapy. This data demonstrates the need within the patient population to find relief without the trade off between symptoms and relief side effects.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call SOMC Urology Associates at 740-356-4URO.
There was no reason for Andy Glockner to know there was any issue with his lungs. No pain. No trouble breathing. No symptoms at all. But after having a CT Scan as part of a physical, his doctor saw something that shouldn’t have been there.
“He noticed a nodule on the lower left lobe of my left lung,” Glockner said. At first, neither party thought much of it, but it was later recommended that Glockner have a needle biopsy just to be sure.
“They said, ‘Your lungs are in great shape. Your in great shape. All your bloodwork and everything looks great. We’re 98% it’ll be benign but would you care if we did a needle biopsy?’”
It turned out the nodule was malignant, meaning it was cancerous.
“That’s when I was sent over to Dr. Jeremiah Martin,” Glockner said.
Glockner was lucky. He found the issue early enough that it was still small, and that afforded him options for the treatment. He says Dr. Martin told him they could try to burn the place off his lung, or they could be more aggressive and remove the whole lower left lobe. If they did that, his right lung would be able to compensate for whatever he lost in the left lung. He was also told that, because they caught it so early, radiation and chemotherapy probably wouldn’t be necessary.
“That was a godsend,” Glockner said. “I was one of the lucky ones.”
Glockner opted to handle the problem aggressively and had the lower left lobe of his left lung removed. The results have been great. “I just went last week for a checkup,” Glockner said. “Everything’s clean. He said if it hadn’t come back by now, it probably never will.”
Glockner, who turned 70 earlier this year, said he couldn’t feel better. He also couldn’t be happier with his experience at SOMC.
“Jeremiah’s salt-of-the-Earth. True professional. Dr. Saab, Jeff Ramey, the whole staff… they’re just first-class people. You couldn’t ask for a more professional, down-to-Earth, friendly team. I highly recommend them.”
While Glockner is thrilled with the care he received, he also knows that he benefited greatly from just doing routine checkups so that issues like his could be caught early. Without that, his story might have gone differently, which is something he hopes others can take away from his experience.
“Especially as we age, as we get older, our body starts wearing down,” he said. “I would recommend to everybody that they not put off basic physicals. Do your checkups and listen to your professionals.”
A year ago, Tammy Craft was on oxygen 24/7 and used a bipap at night. She ran the risk of running out of air just by getting dressed. Now, she works outside with her garden and her flowers. She even has goats who are getting ready to have kids, which should keep her busy into the winter.
So, what changed?
“Dr. Elie Saab recommended I get a zephyr valve,” Tammy said. “I had surgery in March. I came out of surgery, and it was the first time I could take a deep breath. I was so excited I couldn’t sleep for two days.”
Getting to that point was a long process. Tammy says it took around eight months, during which her providers worked to pinpoint her issues. “It’s a long process but I tell everybody, don’t get discouraged,” she said. “They’ve got to check to make sure you’re a good match for it.”
Meanwhile, if Tammy went anywhere, she had to take a portable oxygen tank. Bringing the tank was a hassle by itself, and even then she couldn’t be out for long because the tank would run out. She struggled to do laundry or cook. She often relied on her sister-in-law, who lived with her, to help.
“I couldn’t do anything,” she said. “I was depressed.”
It’s being able to do those little things again that have made the biggest impact on Tammy’s life – which is something that hasn’t gone unnoticed. In fact, she’s become something of a resource for others who are dealing with similar issues.
“I had a guy come here to the house and they had recommended a valve for him,” she said. “He knew I had one and came to talk to me about it. I told him, I would recommend it 100%.”
Not only does she recommend the procedure, she has nothing but praise for the team that performed it.
“Oh my god, they’re awesome,” she said. “I would recommend anybody go to SOMC if they have something pertaining to their lungs or anything.”
Tammy’s experience with Dr. Saab changed her life, to the point that now she says he’s more worried about her arthritis than her emphysema.
“And he’s even treating me for that!” she said.
For more information about lung health services at SOMC, visit somc.org.
Southern Ohio Medical Center is opening a new facility in Ironton, SOMC Ironton Family Practice & Specialty Associates.
Featuring providers Amy Huff, FNP-BC and Dawn Watson, CNP, this new facility will provide:
- Family practice services;
- Same-day appointments, and;
- Outpatient lab
It will also offer services such as diabetes management, women’s health screenings and joint injections. Specialty services of cardiology, general surgery and OB/GYN will be offered.
SOMC Ironton Family Practice & Specialty Associates will be open Sunday through Friday, from 8am until 8pm. It is located at 1041 Ironton Hills Drive, Unit B-1 in Ironton, Ohio. This new facility will operate in addition to the existing SOMC Ironton Family Health Center.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 740-442-7300.
SOMC Urology Associates is now open and accepting patients, with a trio of talented providers: Dr. Stephen Woolums, Certified Nurse Practitioner April Pemberton and Certified Surgical First Assist Haylie Holomb. The office is open Monday through Thursday from 8am until 4:30pm and on Fridays from 8am until 11:30am.
The office offers services for a variety of men’s and women’s health procedures, including:
- Chronic Prostatitis
- Interstitial Cytitis
- Kidney Stone Disease
- Neurogenic Bladder
- Overactive Bladder
- Prostate, Kidney, Bladder and Urological Cancer
- Urinary Incontinence
- Vaginal and Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Men can also be seen for conditions such as benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), erectile dysfunction (ED), Peyronie’s Disease (curvature of the penis) as well as for Testosterone Replacement Therapy.
Some procedures can also be completed in-office, including vasectomy and urolift, bladder and prostate biopsies, cystoscopy/stent removals, as well as intravesical botox for overactive bladders and minimally invasive treatments for benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH).
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 740-356-4URO (4876). SOMC Urology Associates is located on SOMC’s Main Campus at 1735 27th Street in Waller Building Suite 308.
Southern Ohio Medical Center is now accepting patients at the new SOMC Podiatry Associates, located at 1611 27th Street, Portsmouth in Suite 303 of the Fulton Building. Podiatry is a specialty that focuses on problems that affect a patient’s feet or lower legs.
SOMC Podiatry Associates features Dr. Darby Wehrley, a physician specializing in foot surgery and podiatric medicine. Dr. Wehrley received a Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine from Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland. He also completed a Residency in Podiatric Medicine and Surgery at the Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Dayton. He is Board Certified in Foot Surgery and Wound Management.
To schedule an appointment at SOMC Podiatric Associates, please call 740-356-FOOT (3668). Dr. Wehrley is also seeing patients at the SOMC Wound Healing Center. For more information about these services, please contact the Wound Center at 740-356-8775.
Trauma affects everyone differently.
Some people harden themselves to wall off the pain. It can make others more sensitive and empathetic. But for Kameron Shepherd, it’s even more than that – his experiences have informed his whole reason for living.
At just 21-years-old, Kameron is a patient at SOMC Hospice. He’s no stranger to hospitals, having spent more than a year and a half in Columbus Children’s Hospital when he was very young. That’s because, when he was just three, Kameron was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer that affects fewer than 1,000 people a year.
As the cancer grew, it began to wrap around his right lung, causing it to restrict. At the time, there was only one way the doctors knew to treat it.
“They did the best they could, which was heavy amounts of chemotherapy and radiation therapy,” Kameron said. It may have fought the cancer, but on a child so young, the radiation took a toll. “My right arm is smaller than my left. My right side isn’t the same as my left.”
His most serious issue, however, is his lungs. Kameron has been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that occurs when lung tissue is damaged and scarred. The condition causes the tissue to stiffen, making it increasingly difficult to breathe.
“I’m basically on one-tenth of a lung,” he said.
Even just talking can leave him short of breath. He’s determined, however, not to let his condition damage his outlook. He jokingly refers to himself as a “nuclear guy,” in reference to the radiation therapy, and describes his limited lung capacity by saying he’s “running on fumes.”
He didn’t always have such a positive outlook, though. There was a time when he felt like there was nothing left for him in life. He was able to change his perspective by zeroing in on what he was living for: His family.
“I kind of live for my family,” he said. “I made a vow to myself. If it were up to me… It’s kind of dark but because of the pain and what I got through… It’s not real enjoyable, you know, living with one lung. I wake up for them.”
It’s not just his family that Kameron is passionate about, though. He’s made a point to leave a positive impact on as many people as he can. He is a living example of that you can accomplish anything you want if you set your mind to it, and he makes sure that point isn’t lost on those around him.
“I had a friend who was autistic, but kind of on the high-end of the spectrum,” Kameron recalled. “I said, ‘why don’t you move out of the house? Do something different with your life. Don’t just stay with your parents.’ Well, he called one day and told me he was moving out to California and doing his own thing. I was ecstatic for him. I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed that I had an impact on someone.”
Today, Kameron has the opportunity to share that message of hope and perseverance with more people than ever, thanks to his latest project. With the help of the Dream Foundation, Kameron has published a book, Barry’s Wake Through the Forest.
The book follows a fictional monster named Barry, but it is an expression of personal experiences.
“When I was growing up, I didn’t really understand or grasp why I was different from the other kids,” Kameron explained. “As I grew older, I kind of viewed myself more and more as a monster. That’s what Barry represents.”
Throughout the book, Barry deals with those same emotions. The book is available for purchase on Amazon, and Kameron plans to donate the proceeds to the organizations that have helped him the most in his life: SOMC Hospice, as well as Children’s Hospitals in Columbus and Colorado.
His book is one of the many ways Kameron has sought to make a difference, as well as another example of his propensity for defying expectations. His parents were told he wouldn’t make it to five, and here he is a 21-year-old, engaged, published author. It’s an impressive accomplishment, and one he hopes will inspire others.
“You can do anything you want to do,” Kameron said. “Even if you think the whole world is against you, you can do it. And if you don’t think you’ve got it, I’ve got your back. I’m always with anyone who thinks they can’t do it, because I’ll show them that they can.
“I’ve always been told ‘you can’t do it,’ and I think I’ve proven everybody wrong.”
Tom Imm was a big teenager. At least, that’s how his daughter Chloe always saw him.
He was energetic. He loved being with his friends and family, loved going out and was rarely sick. Then he contracted COVID-19, and everything changed.
“My dad came home one day and was like, ‘I don’t feel good,’” she recalled.
As a student at Ohio University, there is a certain amount of stress already penciled into Chloe’s life. In a normal year, that usually refers to midterms and finals. During a pandemic, there are new factors born from online learning and social distancing.
But Chloe’s circumstances were even more difficult. That’s because, just a matter of weeks after he came home sick, Chloe’s father would be gone.
Although he was generally healthy, Tom’s health deteriorated quickly. The same man that Chloe says would come home to chop wood because he loved sitting by the fire was steadily growing weaker. He had highs and lows, but ultimately needed to be hospitalized. It wasn’t long until he was in an Intensive Care Unit, then transferred to a facility in Lexington and put on double-life support.
His wife, Keri, went to see him every day. Chloe was entering her Finals Week but joined her mother when she could. She emailed professors from hotels and hospitals trying to explain her situation.
“During the actual Finals Week was a rough time for him, so both of my aunts and I went up there so I could see him,” she said. “I had to email my professors and tell them what was going on. They were really, really supportive, which I was thankful for.”
The university’s support and understanding helped, but some things were simply beyond her control. On December 16, Tom lost his battle with COVID. He died just two days after vaccines were first made available to the American public.
Chloe Imm had just seen firsthand the heart-wrenching worst-case scenario of a COVID diagnosis. If things had worked out differently, she admits she may have waited longer for the vaccine. However, after watching COVID take an otherwise healthy man from her life, she decided to get it as soon as she could.
Many of Chloe’s friends reached the same conclusion. In fact, she categorizes most of the people she personally knows as “pro-vaccine.” Her age group plays an important role in ending the pandemic, especially as data suggests younger people are more impacted by new variants of COVID.
Given her personal experiences, it isn’t surprising that Chloe encourages others to receive the vaccine – or that she encourages them not to take their loved ones for granted.
“This happened in the blink of an eye,” she said. “So do what you can to stay healthy. If that means getting your vaccine or wearing a mask, or just eating right, you need to do it.”
Not just for you, but for those you care about, too.
Southern Ohio Medical Center is currently offering COVID-19 vaccines to everyone 16 years or older. These vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective. If you have not yet received your vaccine, call 740-356-CARE to schedule an appointment.
Rachel Davenport is a 17-year-old junior at Wheelersburg High School. She does a lot of things typical for girls her age: She stays active in extracurriculars, is an avid reader and has a love for musicals. She’s also among the first Ohio minors vaccinated against COVID-19.
It’s a shot she was actually excited to get.
“I really wanted to get the COVID vaccine,” she said. “As teenagers, we may not be able to vote but we can still make a difference. We can do our part by getting the vaccine and being an example for our community. Even if people my age aren’t considered ‘at-risk,’ there’s still a lot of people relying on us to get the vaccine.”
For some, the decision of whether to be vaccinated isn’t an easy one. It’s made even harder by the prevalence of conspiracy theories and misinformation. For Rachel, her choice came after countless hours of research and family discussion. For those who are hesitant, she recommends they follow the same process.
“I have a family that encourages debate and critical thinking,” she explained. “We read the articles. We looked at the facts. It became very clear that getting the vaccine was the best option.”
Like most people, the shadow of COVID-19 has touched almost every part of her life. Her sophomore year was interrupted by the pandemic, and she spent most of her junior year attending class online in her bedroom. It was even there when she picked out a dress for prom and started looking for a mask to match.
She’s been supportive of these measures as a temporary necessity, but she’s hopeful that they won’t play as big of a role in her senior year. She knows the only way that will happen is if enough people are vaccinated against COVID-19 – and she is willing to do her part.
“What I look forward to the most is just being able to have a normal senior year,” Rachel said. “High school is only four years and I’ve already had two affected by COVID. I’d love it if enough people were vaccinated that life could start returning to normal.”
In the last year, COVID-19 has resulted in fewer fans at sporting events, in-person competitions being held virtually and some events being canceled altogether. Although she’s eager to put these precautions in the past, she maintains a sense of perspective about the pandemic.
“I think I’ve been lucky that I wasn’t affected more by COVID,” she said. “I still got to go in to school. I got to have a mock trial season, a tennis season, a quiz bowl season… The pandemic made it a little different, but we still got to have it. There’s a lot of people that have had their lives ended by COVID.”
Hopefully, enough people will get vaccinated to put that in the past, too.
Southern Ohio Medical Center is now offering COVID vaccines to everyone 16 years and older. Only Pfizer is currently available for those under the age of 18. To schedule your appointment, call 740-356-CARE.
Dr. Rebecca Adams’ path to becoming a physician wasn’t easy – but having her family at her side made it a little easier.
It started early in her life. Even as an 18-year-old girl working in dietary services, she had a passion for patient care. She loved sitting with the patients and would take extra time to prepare their trays and keep them company. So it’s only logical that, when she returned to school later in life, she decided to get a degree in accounting.
Yes, accounting. It was the first step on a winding journey to becoming the provider she is today.
“I thought, gosh, this isn’t really what I want to do but I love the numbers and maybe it will get me in the medical field somewhere,” Dr. Adams recalled. That opportunity first presented itself in 2002 when she was offered a job working at the former Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital.
She started out working with an OB/GYN named Dr. Shah. She worked her way up from a receptionist to the office manager – and asked plenty of questions along the way. The experience helped solidify her decision to directly pursue her love for patient care.
“I was really inquisitive,” she said. “Dr. Shah would teach me along the way. When she retired in 2008, I decided to go back to school.”
She became a full-time student with a part-time job, who was also raising two pre-teen children alongside a husband with a demanding position at AK Steel. The situation forced her to find study time wherever she could.
“I can remember putting the kids to bed, and sitting in their bed with my books all around me trying to get work done,” she said. “My oldest played basketball, and I would sit in the stands during his games doing schoolwork.”
It wasn’t easy, but she knew it had to be done. She also knew she wasn’t willing to sacrifice time with her kids, so carving out time to juggle both was the only option. After graduating with honors, she moved to Pikeville and started medical school.
“I knew it was a big sacrifice,” Dr. Adams said. “It was a financial burden, then uprooting our kids and things like that… There’s a lot that went into it. I could not have done it without the support of my husband, my kids, my parents and my strong faith in God.”
It was hard, and she admits there were moments when she thought she’d made a mistake. On her first day of anatomy lab, she was confronted with a cadaver and left in tears. “I remember leaving, calling my husband and bawling my eyes out saying, ‘I can’t do this.’”
With the help of a strong support structure, she kept going. Then, because nothing about her path could be easy, the final year of her residency coincided with the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We had to adapt how we were seeing patients,” she said. “Some of us went to the hospice COVID unit. It was very scary. We were hearing of residents who were being sent in and dying in New York, but part of you wanted to be there and soldier through for the patients.”
It was like nothing she’d ever seen before, but – like every other challenge she overcame – it made her a better physician.
“I look at hurdles differently now,” she said. “I’m constantly looking for ways to work around them, or nay way I can improve and be a better physician for my patients.”
Even the financial hardships she endured while returning to school have made her better, as it’s resulted in a more thoughtful approach to patients of limited means. “There were times when we were digging through our car for change so we could buy bread. It has not been an easy journey.”
As hard as it was, though, she is convinced now that she made the right decision. Not only does she love what she does, she loves where she does it. And she loves that she’s been able to do it all while still putting her family first.
“The kids still talk about how proud they are,” she says. “Through it all, I’ve always put my family first. They always come first, regardless.”
Dr. Rebecca Adams practices at the SOMC Family Practice and Specialty Associates located in the Bellefonte Centre in Russell, Kentucky. To schedule an appointment, call 606-324-0098.