By Camille Sperrazza
It seems that the “to do” list of every woman grows longer each year. Yet, while we’re busy taking care of everyone else, we should not neglect our own health and well-being. Doctors recommend that every woman visit the gynecologist at least once a year. Fortunately, we have two female gynecologists in the area who just opened a brand new practice on November 1. Advanced Gynecology & Surgery (1517 Voorhies Avenue, 718-332-6525) is a beautiful, modern practice, with all the state-of-the-art equipment. The practice is run by Dr. Faina Akselrod and Dr. Genia Bekker, two experts in the field. Dr. Bekker is the Associate Director of Gynecology at Nassau University Medical Center and Dr. Akselrod is Director of Family Planning and Colposcopy at the same center. They are also educators who train other physicians on how to perform gynecological surgeries. In addition, both hold academic positions at the State University of Stony Brook and are Associate Professors at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. They are published in their fields. Dr. Bekker has written extensively about uterine fibroids. Dr. Akselrod has published articles on urinary incontinence and other gynecologic topics. They are Board-Certified physicians who graduated from Downstate Medical School. Both Dr. Akselrod and Dr. Bekker perform many gynecological procedures, so patients can be assured that they are in good hands. What’s especially appealing about visiting them is that they spend the time to talk with women, and to listen to what they have to say. Because the office is equipped with all the latest equipment, many procedures can be performed right at the office. For example, tubal ligations and endometrial ablations (a procedure to stop abnormal bleeding) may now be performed without making a trip to the hospital. Both doctors are certified in Colposcopy, a field of expertise that deals with women who have abnormal pap smears. This procedure allows the doctors to perform a thorough examination to determine the reasons why a pap smear may be abnormal. The human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine is administered at the practice. This vaccine is recommended for females, age 9 – 26, says Dr. Bekker. “It is the first vaccine on the market for prevention of cervical cancer and genital warts,” she says. “This is the virus that may lead to cancer.” She notes that it’s important that all women to, “come in for a pap smear at least once at year.” It is this test that “can detect the virus before it causes problems.” Other issues the doctors can address include treating women who suffer with breast pain. “Sometimes it can be hormonal,” says Dr. Bekker. For example, it is common for women to have tender breast right before they have their periods, she says. Sometimes it may be a matter of dietary changes, she says. Medication may also help alleviate symptoms. Female urinary incontinence is another common problem, says the doctor, and the special computerized equipment available at the office can determine its cause. There are women who suffer so severely from this problem, that they need to wear diapers, she says. Others may lose urine when they sneeze or cough. Still, other women have to get up to use the bathroom all night long. There are alternatives to these scenarios, says the doctor. Exercise may help as will medication. Sometimes surgery may be needed. No matter what you wish to discuss, the doctors are here to offer advice and guidance. They deal with matters that involve sexual dysfunction and cosmetic gynecology. They can assist with contraception, including patches, vaginal rings, and the morning after pill. In addition, the doctors can help with issues such as infertility, and they can perform intra uterine insemination right at the office. Dr. Bekker notes that, “A lot of people get pregnant” this way, which is certainly encouraging for those who have had to deal with this issue. The doctors are available when you need them, with flexible office hours, including Saturdays, evenings, and on some Sundays. It is recommended that women call for an appointment and for further information.