You have Questions. We have Answers.
The Frequently Asked Questions About Women’s Pelvic Health
Is Treatment Covered by Insurance?
Treatments have not been medically coded and therefore can not be submitted to health insurance companies. However, treatment may be covered by your FSA or HSA, Health Savings Plans. There are also many medical financing options available including interest deferred payments with monthly payments as little as $45.
How much do the vaginal treatments cost?
After your consultation, Dr. Hettiarachchi will recommend a treatment plan specifically for you. Cost is dependent on your personalized recommendations. Female Pelvic Treatment plans start at $1,200 with monthly payments as low as $45.
What can I expect at the Consult?
Upon arrival, you will be welcomed and introduced to our team. The doctor will meet with you to address your issues and concerns, review your medical history and answer questions. Then, he will go through a detailed explanation of different treatments. You will also have the opportunity to discuss the treatments with female team members to get their perspective. Some team members have personally experienced treatments and will freely discuss them with you. Our team is also available to help you with financing questions or applications. After you have a full understanding of treatments available, the doctor will examine you, evaluate and provide a treatment plan. You may have the option to start treatment that day if indicated.
What is the downtime?
Typically, Monalisa Touch treatments require refraining from intercourse 3-7 days and you may experience some itching and a little discomfort during that time frame. The Viveve Treatment requires refraining from intercourse about 5 days but patients have reported no other downtime nor discomfort. The ThermiVa and O-shot do not have any downtime.
How long is the treatment?
Plan on a 60-minute consultation in our office. The treatments’ times are as follows: 10 minutes for numbing, 5-10 minutes for internal and external Monalisa Touch therapy (3 treatments 6 weeks apart). 35-55 minutes for internal and external ThermiVa therapy 3 treatments on month apart , 30 minutes for Viveve one-time treatment, 25 minutes for numbing and blood prep plus 5 minutes for injecting O-Shot one treatment or multiple treatments may be required. These are estimates and may vary from patient to patient.
Can I bring my partner to the consult and treatment?
Yes, absolutely! We encourage partner involvement and support. We believe it is key for your partner to have a thorough understanding of your treatment plan. They may also be present in the treatment room during the treatments with the patients approval, of course. We are also happy to schedule treatments for siblings, mother/daughters as well as friends around the same time. We want you to feel comfortable and supported!
Does it hurt?
There have been no reports of any discomfort with the Viveve nor the ThermiVa treatments. Some patients have reported feeling a cool or a warm sensation during Viveve treatment. Some women have said that ThermiVa feels like a warm stone message. For both the O-shot and the Monalisa treatment, we provide numbing externally using a very effective agent specially compounded by a pharmacist. For the O-Shot, women have reported either no sensation of being injected at all or a slight pinch during the procedure and slight “full” sensation in the area treated right after the procedure. For the MonaLisa treatment, 95% of women report a slight buzzing, humming or vibration during the internal portion of the treatment and may feel an itchy or prickly sensation during the external treatment. If any patient does feel discomfort during the treatment, Dr. Hettiarachchi immediately adjusts the laser settings to provide better comfort.
How long does it last?
Most treatments studied show lasting results of 12 months and longer and suggest one touch-up treatment annually as needed. The O-shot may vary per patient requiring more touch-ups over time.
My Gynocologist told me not to get the treatment. Isn’t she the expert in the field?
Your Gynocolgist may be an expert in her field. However, her field is typically limited to the medical practice dealing with the health of the female reproductive systems (vagina, uterus, and ovaries) and the breasts. The treatments offered at Charlotte Center for Pelvic Health require a different type of specialized knowledge. Your gynecologist is not likely trained in managing clinical problems associated with dysfunction of the pelvic floor and bladder. That would require additional multiple years of surgical and medical training (training that Dr. Hettiarachchi has). Pelvic floor disorders affect the bladder, reproductive organs, and bowels. Urogynecologists and Female Urologist with additional Board Certification in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) are responsible for the care of women who have experienced trauma to the perineum during childbirth, urinary incontinence, female genital prolapse, Lichen sclerosus, painful intercourse, dyperunia and pelvic organ prolapse to name a few. A FPMRS has the expertise in this field to perform procedures, surgery or non-invasive treatments.
Is there an age limit for THERMIVA?
There is not an age limit for THERMIVA. This treatment is virtually painless. Most patients do see and feel a difference with the first treatment. This treatment helps to produce new collagen which can help with many post menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness, tightening and with urinary incontinence issues. It is important to contact a specialist in the field to achieve the best results. At any age, this treatment can be a success.
I have never been able to have an orgasm from sex. Can the Mona Lisa Touch fix this?
The MonaLisa Touch may not be your best option unless you have undergone early menopause leading to vulvovaginal atrophy( thin dry vaginal skin). This may also happen after removal of the ovaries or chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer. The MLT will help restore healthy vaginal tissue and collagen to promote better lubrication and reduce any painful intercourse. While orgasms are a complex set of chemical, nervous, and muscle reactions. Women can have orgasms via vaginal or clitoral stimulation. The O shot maybe a better option for you. It is obtained by spinning a small amount of your own blood and concentrating the platelet rich plasma. This concentration includes growth factors, stem cells and platelets. It is then injected into the clitoris and G spot. Over time sensation in these areas increase and may help you achieve an orgasm with sex.
is it still possible to receive the O-Shot while menstruating?
During the menstrual cycle as long as they are not heavy or especially sensitivity the O shot can be administered. It should be avoided if there is a vaginal or bladder infection.
Is the Exilis treatment without fat loss actually possible?
The Exilis Ultra has the advantage of both Radiofrequency and Ultrasound technologies. Sophisticated cooling allows for treatment of various layers of tissue from the dermis to a depth of 25 mm for subcutaneous fat reduction. When less cooling is applied it can target skin tightening without fat loss.
I have severe vaginal itching/burning. It’s not yeast or other vaginitis. Will Mona Lisa Touch help me?
We have treated many women with vaginal and itching on the outside of the vagina with the MonaLisa procedure, including lichen sclerosus, very effectively. We have certain protocols for the laser for those patients. It is important to properly work up the cause of the itching which may include a biopsy or dermatology evaluation. An experienced physician who understands the laser and pathology should help you.
I have a transvaginal mesh implant for a rectocele. Can I still get ThemiVA procedures?
You should seek a physician who is board certified in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Sugery who performs the surgeries you’ve had and also offers the THERMIva( radiofrequency techology) or MonaLisa (CO2 laser). The physician should perform a thorough exam and go over your symptoms. Initial options may be lubricants or intravaginal Estrogen but if the vaginal tissue is healthy without any mesh related issues Therimva may be considered.
I have excess skin and fat above belly button from rapid weight loss. Will Exilis, Thermitight, or Profound RF help?
We offer the Exilis in the office which promotes collagen production which in turn tightens the skin. The Exilis can also be set for additional fat reduction at the same time if that is the results you are looking to achieve.
What would you suggest for stress urinary incontinence in my case – O-shot, FemiLift or other?
Unfortunately your vagina tissue/ pelvic area is probably very thin and damaged from the radiation/ surgery. In your case, the cystocele repair may possibly be repaired vaginally with your own tissue or using augmentation (support) with Cadaveric dermis.
The stress urinary incontinence probably will not improve with another urethral bulking agent. I suggest considering a pubovaginal sling which uses your fascia for support of the mid urethra. I have seen great results with our radiation patients who have had this surgery.
I have also treated complicated radiation patients with the MonaLisa Touch vaginal laser with significant improvement in vaginal lubrication and incontinence. If you are considering laser technology, it is important to find a Physician who has extensive experience in the laser technology so that energy and depth can be titrated to your particular tissue needs. The radiofrequency (THERMva) is another option which may help improve some of your incontinence.
As a urologist with subspecialty certification in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstruction Surgery I recommend finding a physician who has this experience and all the technologies available.
Does the MonaLisa Laser therapy do anything to relieve hot flashes and sleep problems?
Mona Lisa touch laser will restore symptoms of vaginal atrophy such as vaginal dryness and painful intimacy. It can also improve incontinence. It does not specifically relieve hot flashes and sleep problems. However, with a good dose of intimacy and less running to the bathroom in the middle the night, you should get a better nights sleep. Consider hormonal therapy if the hot flashes are intolerable.
Can Thermiva help with urinary frequency?
If you have failed the typical medications for frequency/ overactive bladder. You may have undergone urodynamic testing ( bladder function testing ) and cystoscopy to identify potential bladder pathology. Hopefully, your doctor has reviewed your fluid intake along with a urinary diary. Due to the severity of your symptoms the next line of therapy would be Botox bladder injections or InterStIm sacral neuromodulation. However, I have seen THERMIva be effective for milder frequency/ stress / urge incontinence to help reduce or resolve symptoms.
Is it possible to correct my loose vagina with vaginal rejuvenation?
The best options would be to obtain a consultation with a physician who has subspecialty certification in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. A good initial course of action would be start pelvic floor muscle therapy to strengthen some of the pelvic muscles and tissues around the vagina. There are special devices which give feed back while you exercise the vaginal muscles. The best non-invasive approach with zero downtime would be either the Mona Lisa or ThermiVa. If these two options do not work to your satisfaction you may want to consider surgery. But remember there are a lot of unknowns here. You may lose sensation from the surgery or have excessive scaring that may reduce the quality of your and your partners sexual pleasure.
Does ThermiVa affect your hormones?
No there Is no affect on hormones making this a wonderful treatment for breast cancer survivors since they can’t take hormones for relief of vaginal symptoms such as painful intercourse and dryness. We also have many patients who come to our practice for treatment because the hormonal creams are too expensive and messy.
Does MonaLisa Touch tighten you up? Since I had surgery, I am wide.
The MonaLisa Touch (MLT) is a CO2 fractional vaginal laser. The laser promotes healthy vaginal skin and collagen. Multiple scientific studies prove the MLT treats vaginal atrophy and is a alternative to Estrogen, lubricants or surgery. There are other associated benefits with the MLT including reduction in urinary leaking and improvement in the laxity. This is caused by the build up of collagen along the vaginal canal. The bladder is then better supported and the vaginal canal can return to the youthful appearance with better tighter vaginal folds. Many of our patients and partners describe more sensation during intercourse after the MLT. At our center we take a thorough history and perform pelvic exam that help us guide the best treatment options for our patients. We offer multiple laser and radiofrequency vaginal treatment options including the Viveve which has been shown to have greater build up of collagen to help improve vaginal laxity and sexual function.
Will the MonaLisa Touch affect sensation in the vagina?
In our experience, MonaLisa Touch treatments help to restore the tissue resulting in healthy looking tissue NOT bleached appearance. Immediately following the external treatment, the treated area appears white which subsides in 3-7 days. This is not a bleaching of the tissue. The appearance is due to the micro-injuries of the laser. The therapy treats painful intercourse, mild bladder leaks, vaginal atrophy and lichen sclerosus. If anything, it would enhance sensation. Please research all medical treatments before you proceed and the professional performing the treatments.