Women can expect safe surgery options with COEMIG

Blair TolarAre you a woman living with pelvic pain or bleeding because you don’t want to face the long recovery time and pain typically associated with surgery?

There is no need to delay treatment when you can receive world-class care at Baptist Health Paducah’s Center of Excellence Minimally Invasive Gynecology (COEMIG). Baptist is one of 170 hospitals worldwide to receive the prestigious designation by the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists™ and the Surgical Review Corp.

Baptist offers several minimally invasive gynecology surgery options, ranging from pelvic organ prolapse repair to hysterectomy. The COEMIG seal assures women that we are committed to excellence in minimally invasive gynecologic surgical care, including:

  • Safest, highest-quality surgical care.
  • Faster recovery time and less scarring.

See your doctor

The first step is to make an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause of your pain.

It is estimated 10 to 20 percent of reproductive-age women in the U.S. suffer from endometriosis, when the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. A gynecologist can determine if your chronic pelvic pain is caused by endometriosis.

Other conditions, ranging from incontinence to cancer, may require surgical treatment; but many gynecological procedures no longer require a large abdominal incision or long hospital stays.

Prolapse repair

Pelvic organ prolapse, the drooping of pelvic organs, happens to about one-third of all women. Common causes include pregnancy and childbirth, obesity, respiratory problems with a chronic cough and hysterectomy.

Robotic surgery can repair pelvic organ prolapse, using soft synthetic mesh to support pelvic organs that have slipped out of their normal positions. The minimally invasive surgery generally takes only one to two hours.

Incontinence repair

Women experience incontinence – the accidental release of urine – twice as often as men. It can be caused by childbirth, weight gain or other conditions that stretch the pelvic muscles, and can occur from sneezing, laughing and coughing. Surgery is often the best treatment.

Outpatient procedures for incontinence include a “sling” procedure with small incisions to lift the urethra back into a normal position.


Hysterectomy, the removal of the uterus, may be necessary to treat a variety of conditions, including non-cancerous and cancerous tumors.

Baptist Health Paducah became the first hospital in the region to implement the da Vinci Surgical System for hysterectomies, ovarian cysts and other abdominal problems. It allows women to go back to work much quicker than the traditional abdominal hysterectomy – often in two weeks, compared to six weeks.

Talk to our nurses

If you have a question about different surgical options at our Center of Excellence Minimally Invasive Gynecology, ask our nurses at Baptist Health Line 24 hours a day at 270.575.2918.

– Blair Tolar, MD, obstetrician/gynecologist

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Surgery can offer immediate relief for back fractures

Dr. GruberDo you have a back pain? If so, you are not alone. Back pain is one of the most common health complaints, whether you have lower back pain or hurt all over.

The back can be injured in many ways, including muscle strains, sports injuries, arthritis or degenerative disc disease. Symptoms can sometimes be relieved with pain medication or physical therapy. Sometimes more serious injuries require surgery.

Osteoporosis, tumors and injuries can cause spine fractures. If left untreated, spine fractures can cause the spine to shorten and lean forward, resulting in a hunched back and making it difficult to walk. If you have been diagnosed with a spine fracture by your primary physician, then you could be a candidate for kyphoplasty, a minimally invasive procedure that can offer immediate pain relief for some patients.

What is kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty stabilizes the fracture and restores the lost body height caused by the fracture. During surgery, the surgeon places a narrow tube through a small incision in the back. A balloon is inserted through the tube and into the vertebrae, where it is inflated to elevate the fracture. The cavity created by the balloon is then filled with a cement-like material that hardens quickly, stabilizing the bone.


Hospital stays are usually one day or less. Pain relief is immediate for some patients, while others get relief within two days. Patients can return almost immediately to their normal daily activities without the need for physical therapy or bracing.

Our services

Theodore Davies, MD, and I offer a full range of brain and spine procedures, including lumbar, thoracic and cervical fusions and laminectomy at Paducah Neurosurgical Center. Your primary care physician can make a referral if you need one of these procedures after a diagnosis.

If you have any health question, talk to a nurse 24/7 at Baptist Health Line: 270.575.2918.

  • Neurosurgeon Thomas Gruber, MD
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Do you know the warning signs of cancer?

ModiCancer does not discriminate. I have lived around the world and seen it affect people of all ages and nationalities.

As a new resident of Paducah, I am excited to join Charles Winkler, MD, at Baptist Health Cancer Care & Blood Disorders on Kiana Court. My goal is to provide the same compassion and quality care Dr. Winkler has provided his patients for many years.

The nationally-accredited cancer program at Baptist Health Paducah cares for more than 900 new cancer patients each year. Lung, breast and prostate cancers have been the most common types treated at Baptist Health since 2008, although melanoma has increased each year.

What are the signs and symptoms of cancer?

Different types of cancer can cause almost any sign or symptom. While sometimes the symptoms don’t appear until the cancer is in an advanced state, it is still important to pay attention to warning signs because treatment works best when cancer is found early and before it spreads to other parts of the body.

According to the American Cancer Society, there are several general signs and symptoms of cancer. Having any of these does not mean you have cancer, but you should see a doctor if they persist or get worse.

  • Unexplained weight loss of more than 10 pounds or more.
  • Fever.
  • Fatigue.
  • Pain.
  • Skin changes, such as darker looking skin, reddened skin, yellowish skin and eyes, itching and excessive hair loss.

The symptoms below sometimes indicate certain cancers. They can suggest other health problems as well, so it is best to see a doctor if they worsen.

  • Change in bowel habits or bladder function.
  • Sores that do not heal.
  • White patches in the mouth or on the tongue.
  • Unusual bleeding or discharge.
  • Indigestion or trouble swallowing.
  • Thickening or lump in the breast or other parts of the body.
  • Recent change in a wart or mole.
  • Nagging cough or hoarseness.

Baptist Health Line available 24/7

If you have questions about any signs or symptoms, phone Baptist Health Line at 270.575.2918. Nurses will answer your questions 24 hours a day.

Vote Sept. 9-23 for Baptist Pink Glove video

Baptist Health Paducah recently made its annual Pink Glove Dance video for breast cancer awareness. The hospital’s video has placed in the nation’s Top 8 each of the past three years. The top winners earn cash prizes for breast cancer charities, so Baptist asks for your votes to support the Kentucky Cancer Program’s Horses and Hope breast cancer education program. Vote once daily Sept. 9-23 at PinkGloveDance.com.

  • Oncologist Yashpal Modi, MD
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Do you know how most heart attacks begin?

Trish EdwardsHeart attacks have to start somewhere. More than 50 percent of patients have early warning signs, which can be treated before any damage occurs. However, 50 percent of cardiac deaths occur outside of a hospital, which suggests many people are ignoring the signs.

Early Heart Attack Care

As the region’s only Certified Cardiovascular Care Coordinator by The Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, I have made it my mission to teach early heart attack signs and symptoms at health fairs, ballgames, the mall – almost anywhere we can reach you. In fact, Baptist Health Paducah – the region’s first nationally-accredited chest pain center – “deputizes” people who know the symptoms, so they can share the information with others.

Our mission extends throughout the region as we work with hospitals in the region to improve cardiac care.

Did you know 85 percent of heart damage occurs within the first two hours of a heart attack? It is important to know the subtle signs of a heart attack, so you can act immediately and prevent heart damage before it happens.

Early Symptoms

One early symptom of a heart attack may be mild chest pain, including pressure, burning, aching or tightness. These symptoms may come and go until finally becoming constant and severe. Not every person experiences the same symptoms. Some of the most common are:

  • Chest pressure, squeezing or discomfort
  • Nausea
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Back pain
  • Pain that travels down one or both arms
  • Jaw pain
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call 911 and don’t attempt to drive yourself to the hospital. Remember, “Survive, don’t drive!”

Local chest pain hotline: 1-800-575-1911

For help identifying signs and symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, phone our Chest Pain and Stroke Hotline at 1-800-575-1911 to speak with a local registered nurse.

– Trish Edwards, Chest Pain Center Coordinator, Baptist Health Paducah

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When should a young woman first see a gynecologist?

GHP-0643A gynecologic exam can be stressful at any age, but especially when it is your first appointment.

As a woman and a health care provider for 25 years, I strive to make women of all ages comfortable as they take the steps necessary to be proactive about their health.

Why see a gynecologist?

A gynecologic exam is an important part of health care. Typically, young women first visit the gynecologist at 18, with exams starting at age 21. The gynecologists at Baptist Health Women’s Choice Blair Tolar, MD, and Amber Savells, MD – as well as my myself see girls as young as 13 for issues such as painful menstrual periods or abdominal pain.

The visit usually includes a health screening and a physical examination. We can discuss the benefits of the cervical cancer vaccine and the prevention of sexually transmitted disease and pregnancy.

Preventive care

As women age, they will need to schedule regular preventive health visits with a gynecologist. Conducted during a pelvic examination, a pap smear test to check for cancer is recommended annually, beginning at 21.
We also encourage patients to do regular self-breast exams starting at a young age. Some young women have lumps in their breast, but you need to be aware of your body in case they change or you feel pain.
In addition, we can discuss contraception, fertility and family planning, as well as other health concerns. It is important for you to feel comfortable with discussing every detail of your health with your physicians and their staff.

Talk to our nurses

If you have any question about your health, ask our nurses at Baptist Health Line 24 hours a day at 270.575.2918.

– Tammy Carr, APRN, Baptist Health Women’s Choice


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Baptist Health Prime Care: One-stop shop for summer health care

Dr. William ConyerBites, burns or physicals – we can help with all your summer time health needs at Baptist Health Prime Care.

Experienced mid-level providers and family medicine physicians (David Saxon, MD, and I) provide walk-in care without appointments at Baptist Health Prime Care when illnesses and non-life threatening emergencies pop up.

Tick and other insect bites

We’ve treated many people in recent weeks concerned about tick bites and prevention.

The most common are wood or dog ticks — brown or black, some with a white spot — that can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever. See us if a bull’s eye rash and flu-like symptoms or fever develop within two to four weeks; but first you should remove the insect. Apply a cotton ball with dishwashing liquid for several minutes until the tick detaches. If not, pull the tick straight out with tweezers or your fingers. Wash with an antibacterial soap, and apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment one time.

Lyme disease is transmitted by deer ticks, tiny brown ticks that are almost impossible to pick off. Remove these by scraping off with a fingernail or anything with a smooth edge. Mark your calendar, and see us or your doctor if a rash or flu-like symptoms develop within 30 days.

Bees and wasps also can cause problems if they trigger an allergic reaction. A severe reaction may cause hives, rapid pulse, difficulty breathing and swelling of the face, throat or mouth. Severe reactions are not common, but they are serious. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Poison ivy

If you get exposed to poison ivy or oak, wash your skin with soap and water or rubbing alcohol. You have about 10 minutes to wash the oil off your skin to avoid a rash. Also, scrub under your nails to avoid spreading poison ivy to other parts of the body.

Use a cold compress to relieve itching or try calamine lotion, an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream or antihistamine. Call your doctor if the rash is near your eyes or covers a large part of your body.

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke

As temperatures rise, so can the chances for heat exhaustion when people work or exercise in a hot, humid environment. Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, a life-threatening condition that can cause brain damage or damage to internal organs.

Seek medical help for heat exhaustion if the person is confused or unable to keep fluids down. Call 911 immediately if you suspect someone has suffered a heat stroke.

Sports physicals

Baptist Health Prime Care also can provide all physicals for your child’s sports teams or school requirements without appointments.

We’re open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays with designated parking on the main campus of Baptist Health Paducah, 2501 Kentucky Ave. Phone: 270.415.4860.

– William Conyer, MD, family practice physician

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Spokes for Strokes bike ride aims to improve stroke care

Ashburn050As a neurologist, I moved back to Paducah three years ago knowing I could improve stroke care in my hometown. Fortunately, I’ve been able to use my hobby – cycling – to do the same in the annual Spokes for Strokes bike ride hosted by Baptist Health Paducah. Community members can fight stroke, too, whether they’re avid cyclists or haven’t been on a bicycle in years, by registering for the ride.

Spokes for Strokes

The hospital will host its third Spokes for Strokes bike tour this Saturday, June 7, to raise stroke awareness, along with funds for life-saving technologies and expanded stroke care services.

It will begin at 7 a.m. with registration at Baptist Health Imaging on the west end of campus at 2705 Kentucky Ave., followed by the tour at 8 a.m. Registration at active.com is $25 for an individual, $40 for couples and $50 for a family of four.

4 cyclistsThe bike tour offers 10-, 35- or 65-mile rides through southern McCracken, Marshall and Graves counties. The longest ride includes challenging hills and four rest stops. The 35-mile ride is less hilly with four rest stops. The short ride is completely flat and stays in McCracken County. It includes one rest stop. All rides will be followed by support vehicles. Helmets are required.

Stroke education

Why is stroke education so important? Stroke is the one of the nation’s leading killers and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability. Baptist is Kentucky’s only certified stroke center west of Owensboro and a recent recipient of The Get With the Guidelines®–Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for commitment and success in meeting national guidelines for stroke care.

We focus on public education, so people of all ages know to call 9-1-1 immediately if they see anyone experiencing signs of a stroke. Time saved is brain saved, so if they seek immediate treatment, the effects of stroke may be reduced or even reversed.

To determine if symptoms indicate a stroke, keep F.A.S.T. in mind:

F=Face   Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

A=Arm   Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S=Speech   Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange?

T=Time   If you observe any of these signs, phone 9-1-1 because ambulance staff can expedite treatment.

If you have any questions about stroke symptoms, talk to a Baptist nurse any time at the Chest Pain & Stroke Hotline: 1.800.575.1911.

– Neurologist Joseph Ashburn, MD

Medical director of Baptist Health Paducah stroke center

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