Frequently Asked Questions
I live outside the Chicago area. Do I need to visit your office for a second opinion or initial discussion, or can we connect by phone?
We perform electronic visits (e-visits) with patients on a regular basis, arranged either by phone or video. This is a great way to connect, see if we’re a good fit, and then schedule an in-person evaluation if you wish to proceed. Contact us to start that conversation.
Do I need any special preparation, or time off work, to have testing at your office?
The majority of our office tests, including those used for both bladder and bowel issues, take less than 30 minutes and involve no pre-test preparation. If you’re having bladder testing, it’s a good idea to arrive at the office with a partially full bladder, just in case we need to obtain a urine specimen. After your tests, most patients resume their work, home and even exercise activities as desired for the remainder of the day.
Are all of the physicians at your center fellowship trained?
Yes, all of our physicians are subspecialty trained and board certified in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) which requires an additional three years of dedicated training (beyond their four years of residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology) in the diagnosis and treatment of female pelvic floor conditions.
Wherever you decide to seek care, we feel strongly about the value of receiving care from a board-certified subspecialist in this area of women’s health, to ensure your surgeon has the training and experience to recognize and manage both routine and complex cases.
I’m not sure I want surgery. Will there be other options?
Absolutely, yes! We treat many situations with non-surgical strategies.
We work closely with female pelvic floor physical therapists, we educate patients on dietary and behavioral changes that can make a huge difference, and routinely assist with pessary and other non-surgical devices.
These days, many bladder issues can be treated with acupuncture-based nerve stimulation, Botox and bulking injections for the bladder, and we are currently involved in clinical trials on next generation options including implantable nerve stimulation technologies. Surgical procedures are an effective and important part of our treatment toolbox, but only a part of what we offer patients on a daily basis.
Can I go to any of your 5 office locations?
Yes, but there are some differences between sites. Advanced bladder and bowel testing (e.g. cystoscopy, urodynamics, cystometry, ultrasound) and also some of our in-office therapies (e.g. Botox, PTNS, bladder installations) occur only at our Skokie and Highland Park sites.
The Glenbrook, Vernon Hills and Gurnee locations are equipped only for simper visit types—such as those involving a meeting and/or physical examination with the doctor or nurse practitioner or a urine culture, but not advanced diagnostic testing.
I live outside of the Chicago area, and am planning to visit your center for surgery. Will I need to stay in town afterwards?
The recommended timing of your stay depends on the exact procedure performed. Although many surgeries may involve no hospital stay, we usually recommend staying in the area for a minimum of 3-4 days, and sometimes for 1-2 weeks, before traveling back home.
Rather than rushing home, consider making it a brief “staycation” in the great city of Chicago! Once you’re back home, we connect through e-visits for your routine check-ins, and most often schedule an in-person follow up visit after 6-12 months.
Do you accept most insurance?
NorthShore HealthSystem accepts a relatively wide range of insurance. When scheduling a visit, our staff will verify your insurance information and can let you know whether your plan is covered within our system.
I see that NorthShore is a 4-hospital system. Which hospitals do you use for surgery?
We recently consolidated our surgical practice to two locations: Evanston Hospital and Highland Park Hospital.
Do most surgeries require general anesthesia?
Actually, no. A significant percentage of surgeries can be performed with light sedation (“twilight”) or spinal anesthesia, and those having general anesthesia can usually avoid an endotracheal tube. In most cases, we use an LMA, also known as laryngeal mask.
What is the best way to communicate with the office, once I’m a patient?
For routine, non-emergency communication, if you’re an established patient at NorthShore then the preferred way to communicate is through our institution’s online, secure patient portal. Aside from communication, the system allows you to schedule appointments, and check labs and results.
Let’s get you feeling like yourself again.
From scheduling a telemedicine consultation to helping you arrange travel before and after your treatment, we are here to support you at every step. Reach out with questions or to get started.