On June 16, the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery’s Kelly Currie, MD, and McKenna Buchheit (Roberts), PA, participated in Christian Hosptial’s women’s health seminar. Hosted by community advocate and social influencer Queen Mocha Latte, the seminar went over a variety of topics, such as breast cancer, skin cancer and plastic surgery options.
The panel also included family medicine physician Tiffany Adams-Holmes, MD, and breast health nurse navigator Helen Blair, BSN, RN. Together, Currie, Buchheit, Adams-Holmes and Blair answered common questions about conditions that affect women and encouraged viewers to take control of their health.
To begin the seminar, Adams-Holmes discussed the importance of having a primary care provider. She explained that each woman should have one because they not only help to diagnose acute and chronic conditions, but they also can provide preventative care and referrals.
“We can always make sure you’re staying on top of everything regarding preventative health care,” she said. “So having a primary care doctor is very important.”
Adams-Holmes also emphasized critical health screenings and at what age a woman should typically have them done, such as pap smears for cervical cancer, colonoscopies for colorectal cancer and mammograms for breast cancer.
The panel placed a special emphasis on the accessibility of mammograms, specifically because breast cancer is often discovered in the later stages of women in North County. This could be because of a lack of awareness around breast cancer screening or hesitation around making an appointment, they explained. Adams-Holmes pointed out that BJC HealthCare and Washington University Physicians address this issue by offering walk-in appointments at many locations, including Christian Hospital.
They also highlighted that Missouri women can receive free breast and cervical cancer screenings if they meet certain age, income and insurance guidelines through Show Me Healthy Women Program.
In addition to breast and cervical cancer screenings, this seminar also focused on how skin cancer is diagnosed and treated. Buchheit went over the steps she would take if a patient came in with a suspicious skin lesion.
“If it’s something that looks suspicious to me, we take a biopsy of that,” she explained. She then went over the several types of skin biopsies and treatment options if a lesion comes back as something that needs further intervention.
Currie then discussed breast reduction surgeries, carpal tunnel syndrome and the safety of plastic surgery.
Breast reduction surgery is a procedure Currie performs for patients dealing with issues related to having large breasts.
“Large breasts can cause a lot of physical symptoms but also psychological symptoms,” she said. “And undergoing a surgery like a breast reduction can significantly improve the patient’s quality of life.”
She went over the surgical planning process for breast reduction, steps of the procedure, and what recovery typically looks like. She then explained how these surgeries can be covered by insurance.
Currie also discussed carpal tunnel syndrome, a common condition she treats. She gave advice on how to prevent this condition, including taking breaks at the computer, wearing a wrist brace at night and performing therapy exercises
Finally, Currie touched on the safety of plastic surgery.
“Overall plastic surgery is very safe,” she stated. “Every surgery does have risks and complications, but the procedures that we do are very safe.”
“If you are thinking about plastic surgery the most important thing is finding a surgeon who is board certified,” she explained. “And definitely avoid medical tourism, which is going to another country because it’s cheaper. With that, you really don’t know what you’re going to get.”
To end the seminar, the panel answered questions from viewers on topics such as menopause, high blood pressure and lifestyle changes women can make to become healthier.
Watch full seminar here: Christian Hospital’s Women’s Health Seminar
This event was a part of a three-part series focused on women’s health. The next events in this series will be August 25 and November 17. Learn more and register for future events on their website.