September-October 2014 | ENHANCING WOMEN'S LIVES




Written By: Nick Brandi | Photographer: Grant L. Gursky

These days, catching up with Jackie Keyes isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do. Not only does the 47-year-old businesswoman keep plenty busy with her Salisbury-based hair salon, she’d just returned from a road trip to Cape Hatteras before immediately heading out again, this time to the Jersey Shore, for more fun and sun on the beach. When we finally did track her down, she was on her way home to Salisbury from Cambridge, where she’d had a lunch date with her husband.

“This level of activity would have been unthinkable to me a few years ago, before I went for treatment at the Center for Women’s Health,” Jackie declared. “Now I feel as if I have a whole new life!”

Jackie had been suffering with menorrhagia, a chronic condition afflicting premenopausal women in which they experience a menstrual flow so abnormally heavy, it disrupts or even prevents normal daily activity.

“When my cycle was due, I had to strategize about everywhere I went,” Jackie confessed. “I not only needed feminine products in abundance, I had to keep spare changes of clothing at work, in my car and in my carry bag whenever I wasn’t home. Something like driving a couple of hours to a friend’s or relative’s wedding was a major issue, and you can just forget going to the beach. The mere thought of wearing white pants would send chills down my spine. I was in my early 40s yet facing being a virtual shut-in for about a third of every month.”

But Jackie had the good fortune of having Kerri Ellinger as a client. Kerri is a physician assistant at the Center for Women’s Health in Salisbury, and she explained while sitting in Jackie’s salon chair one day that there was a new procedure called NovaSure Endometrial Ablation, which could give her back her life and independence.

From massage chairs and a coffee station in the lobby to soothing and elegantly decorated rooms with a private changing area complete with cotton robes, personal hygiene products, flat-screen TVs and even chocolate, the Center for Women’s Health is all about women. Founded in 2007, the center specializes in routine and advanced gynecological care for women of all ages, whether its adolescents learning about their periods for the first time, pregnant women in their first trimester or adult women suffering from such things as urinary incontinence or excessive bleeding. Services include routine and adolescent gynecology, birth-control plans, endo-metriosis treatment, breast health, cancer screening, fertility issues, STD screening and treatment, surgical procedures and much, much more.
“We will go to any length to ensure that the care administered by the staff and providers at our facilities is the best a patient can possibly receive on the Eastern Shore,” assured Dr. Vincent Killeen, FACOG, who is the center’s medical director in addition to being an elite surgeon and OB/GYN. “We are constantly looking for ways to improve and enhance the quality of our services, efficiency and personal care provided by our staff.”

Kerri explained to Jackie that menorrhagia was actually rather common but that people didn’t realize it because women were naturally reluctant to talk about it. Jackie had already heard that many women decide to get hormone therapy and even hysterectomies, the latter of which she had been contemplating prior to learning about NovaSure.

The way NovaSure works is ingeniously simple. A doctor inserts a slender wand into the uterus and extends a triangular mesh device into it; the mesh gently expands, conforming to the size and shape of the organ. Then, precisely measured radio-frequency energy is delivered through the mesh for about 90 seconds. Afterward, the mesh device is pulled back into the wand, and both are removed from the uterus.

And that’s all there is to it… and Jackie got her life back.

“Oh my God, is NovaSure the most amazing procedure!” Jackie beamed. “The whole thing took maybe 10 minutes, in their office, and it only required twilight anesthesia, so I was right out of the chair and back home.
I was able to go to work the very next day and stay on my feet for about nine straight hours, and I felt fine. Meanwhile, there’s no more bleeding at all, no pain, and I find I have more energy now than I’ve had in at least 10 years. It really was almost like being reborn.”

Salisbury resident and fellow menorrhagia sufferer Hope Davis wholeheartedly agrees.

“I’d gone through so many procedures to stop this, and none of them worked – some even made the symptoms worse!” Hope said. “But NovaSure ended my condition once and for all. And I must tell you, I found the entire staff at the Center for Women’s Health completely delightful, from the woman who first greeted me to Kerri Ellinger to Dr. Killeen. What a group of professionals, as nice and compassionate as they are talented.”

As of this writing, the Center for Women’s Health is the only medical facility on the Eastern Shore that is authorized to offer NovaSure in the comfort and privacy of their office.


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