Mind, Body and Spirit
The Center for Women’s Health in Langhorne strives to improve the health and well-being of local women at every stage of their lives
by Phil Gianficaro

For many women, talking about their daily battle with incontinence is as uncomfortable as running in tight shoes.

And so these tortured women keep their silence and deal with the condition as best they can: rushing to the bathroom countless times a day; hoping to avoid the embarrassment of being spotted by a neighbor while purchasing protective pads, disposable undergarments or other palliative remedies at a neighborhood store; and becoming a shut-in for fear of not finding a restroom in time when out socially.
At the Center for Women’s Health in Langhorne, the expert physicians and caring staff bring that silence to an end.

“All of the doctors here try to be proactive by making the women feel comfortable about discussing their condition,” says Mark Kuhn, M.D., at the center since its inception in 1995 and one of seven board-certified OB-GYN physicians at the practice. “We sit down with the women and stimulate discussion. By taking that approach, we hope a woman may think, Hey, if the doctor is already talking about it, I can talk about it. Let’s face it: No one, male or female, likes to go to the doctor’s office. We try to make it as least intimidating as possible.”

Robert Berk, M.D., who has been at the center since 2002, emphasizes the importance of informing patients they can be helped in a number of ways, not only surgically.

“There are support procedures, robotic procedures, grafts and even exercises and dietary changes that can help women with incontinence issues,” he says. “Stress incontinence is a nationwide epidemic; one in three women suffers from it. What’s important is that when women come to see us, we let them know they can be helped.”

Since its founding 17 years ago, the Center for Women’s Health has utilized a holistic approach to address women’s health issues, including incontinence, pregnancy and delivery, pre-natal nutrition, gynecological surgery (some with the da Vinci Si HD surgical system), OB ultrasounds, routine and problem exams, urogynecology (including pelvic-floor reconstruction), acupuncture, nutritional counseling and weight management, facials and skin care and treatment.

The Center for Women’s Health is committed to the complete care and daily well-being and support of women at every stage of their lives in mind, body and spirit.
What started as an OB-GYN center has grown into the array of health and wellness services available today. In addition to the seven physicians, the staff consists of two certified nurse midwives and four certified registered nurse practitioners.

“For many women, we’re the only doctors they see,” Dr. Kuhn says. “We see women from a wide range of life—young professionals, married without kids, married with kids. We’re looking to help and serve all facets of a woman’s life, not just medical care but also lifestyle issues, health-living issues—all of which are going to serve the health of women on a global holistic scale. Yes, we’ve always been a traditional OB-GYN practice. But that would now be looking at it from a narrow point of view.”

The Center for Women’s Health offers the latest and most advanced technology, including the da Vinci robotic system that reduces recovery time following surgery.
“We’ve been using the da Vinci robot for almost two years,” Dr. Berk says. “It is transformative in many aspects of gynecological care. Women who have a hysterectomy without the robot would have an incision and a longer hospital stay. Now with da Vinci, there is a pinhole incision. That saves them recovery time and less time in the hospital. The robot also allows us to more easily treat fibroids.”

The Center for Women’s Health is also performing InterStim Therapy for incontinence. Food and Drug Administration-approved since 1997, InterStim is a neuromodulation therapy that targets the communication problem between the brain and the nerves that control the bladder. The sacral nerves, located near the tailbone, are modulated with mild electrical impulses. This helps the brain and nerves communicate so the bladder and related muscles function properly.

All aspects of the services the Center for Women’s Health provides its patients are extremely satisfying, according to Dr. Kuhn. But perhaps his most satisfying moments occur when the doctors are able to help the elderly.

“Some of the happiest times for me are when we help older patients who’ve pushed off coming to see us for years,” he says. “They might have been dealing with incontinence issues for many years, and they might have been uncomfortable talking about it, so they suffered. It’s important for all women to know that even the simplest procedure can improve their lives.”

According to Dr. Berk, communication and education are as vital to a woman’s health as any procedure or device.

“We ask the women who come to us, regardless of age, to get the word out that others can be helped,” he says. “Hopefully, that will lead other women to come in and ask questions about their condition. We’re trying to spread the word that women don’t have to suffer with incontinence. They can be helped.”

Center for Women’s Health
540 N. Woodbourne Road
Langhorne, PA 19047
Phone: 215-750-6611
Fax: 215-750-6960
Website: www.ctrforwomenshealth.com

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Thursday: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Phil Gianficaro is an award-winning writer based in Doylestown.
Alison Dunlap is a freelance photographer from South Jersey.