For most women, loving ourselves is a complex function of how we feel physically and how we perceive our outward projection of who we are. There’s no denying that looking good and feeling good are inextricably linked in a woman’s mind and can make the difference in how she performs and presents herself in her everyday life.
It was this realization that inspired two area physicians, Dr. Katherine (Kat) Coley and Dr. Tracy Blusewicz, to shift the focus of their medical practice. Advanced Women’s Care of the Lowcountry, established in 2007 as a traditional OB-GYN practice, has transitioned to a gynecology practice with the addition of a full line of medical spa services to help women realize or regain full confidence in themselves, inside and out.
“Our decision to focus on gynecology, infertility, anti-aging, and cosmetic services has translated into a more efficient and less hurried environment for our patients. Patients benefit from having a women’s health provider who has the time to listen and won’t be called away for a delivery. It also provides greater flexibility with appointment scheduling and even allows for same-day appointments,” their website states.
According to Coley, the decision to move away from obstetrics and towards women’s overall health and well-being was based on experiences both she and Blusewicz shared in their personal lives as they approach middle age as well as a clear need they saw in the community for women to be fully supported in the quest for optimal health and beauty.
Vaginas and hormones: a new conversation
An often hush-hush but very common issue among women (vaginal dryness and painful intercourse) is finally being brought to light and addressed medically at Advanced Women’s Care. “The med spa concept came about because of the need for hormone balance and vaginal rejuvenation,” Coley said. “We have a lot of perimenopausal and post-menopausal age women in our practice. We had patients who had reasons for not wanting to take hormones, but they were having issues with painful sex and needed options.”
Still very much in the GYN world, the doctors at Advanced Women’s Care are continuing to do annual exams, ensuring that health is intact before determining that patients are appropriate candidates for vaginal rejuvenation, and hormone replacement is a large part of what they do.
“Women are so much happier with the hormone options we have been able to offer,” Coley said. Advanced Women’s Care offers a full gamut that includes traditional and bio-identical hormone replacement as well as hormone pellet therapy. “We tailor it to what the patient wants and their family and personal health history.
Women have been very happy with hormone pellets. They feel better physically and emotionally, and their relationships are often improved because we’re using testosterone, which helps with libido issues. At the same time, we are open to what fits the person. Our goal is to offer multiple treatment options for patients experiencing hormonal imbalance.”
The machine used for vaginal rejuvenation (Votiva) helps shore up thinning vaginal tissue by stimulating collagen production, while tightening and toning to help restore healthy function and improve bladder control. “It comes with a secondary handpiece called the Morpheus8, which can be used on the face to tighten, tone and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, allowing us to transition into aesthetics,” Coley said.
“Sometimes we have patients who come in for vaginal issues. When we talk to them about the vaginal rejuvenation and we say that we can do this on the face too, they often say, ‘Well, forget the vagina!’ Coley joked. “It’s nice to have other things to offer.”
Body sculpting, facial rejuvenation, hair removal, and more
One of the procedures Coley is most excited about is CoolSculpting® (an FDA-approved procedure for treatment of stubborn fat bulges). Having just turned 47, with three children, in spite of working out and eating right, she began to notice some telltale signs of middle age. “In my mind, I’ve always been a thin person. Looking in the mirror, I was starting to look pudgy—the love handles and the pooch. I was thinking this isn’t my image of who I am,” she said. “It’s not because I particularly care about what other people think of me. It’s because of how I see myself, and the way I want to feel about myself—that it matches the image of myself in my mind.”
Coley started CoolSculpting about a year ago and reports phenomenal results. “My daughter just turned 14, and I wore a bikini this year for the first time in 14 years. I feel great about it. I look like the person I feel I am.”
Other services offered include HydraFacial® (a unique non-invasive facial that addresses multiple skin care needs); Morpehus8 advanced microneedling, a minimally invasive treatment to generate new collagen for smoother, firmer, more toned skin; Forma, a non-invasive treatment using radio-frequency energy to stimulate the formation of new collagen and improve skin elasticity; Lumecca (most often referred to as a photofacial), an intense pulsed light treatment to address vascular lesions, freckles, age spots, and sun damage; Diolaze, an advanced laser hair removal solution, and much more. The doctors are also trained and certified to inject Botox® and Dysport® and Xeomin® to treat fine lines and wrinkles for smoother, younger-looking skin. The medical spa also offers Restylane®, Juvederm®, and Radiesse® family of dermal fillers.
Beyond their medical expertise and years of experience, in addition to the intense training and certification they have undergone in order to offer the array of med spa services they have added to their menu, Coley is proud to say that between Dr. Blusewicz and herself, they have tried all of the procedures and modalities so that they can discuss with their patients which treatments are appropriate for their specific needs and what to expect. Both are forthcoming about their personal experiences—letting women know they are not alone and that there are safe and effective solutions to the problems that matter most to them.
“It’s a happy thing,” Coley said. “While we are still focused on women’s care, I think that women’s care goes far beyond pap smears and breast exams. Emotionally and hormonally, women need more. It’s our job to listen and to understand what is important to our patients so that they feel the best they can about themselves.”
Advanced Women’s Care of the Lowcountry offers services in two locations: 8 Hospital Blvd., Suite 150 on Hilton Head Island, and 29 Plantation Park Dr., Suite 401 in Bluffton. For more information visit www.AspireBluffton.com. For a free med spa consultation, call (843) 341-9715.