Urogynecologist talks about how women can stay happy and healthy in 2020
Dr. Arielle Allen always wanted to be a surgeon. She graduated from the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her residency in obstetrics/gynecology at the University of Oklahoma -Tulsa and completed her fellowship in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at the University of Oklahoma. She also earned a Masters Degree in Clinical & Translational Sciences.
“I then moved my practice to Oklahoma City Gynecology & Obstetrics at Lakeside Women’s Hospital. I’ve been there ever since,” Dr. Allen said.
We talked with Dr. Allen about health, happiness and exciting new advances in medicine.
Q: How did you come to be at Lakeside and what is your role there?
I joined the Lakeside Group (Oklahoma City Gynecology & Obstetrics) in 2015. For my specialty, urogynecology, it is truly the perfect fit. I only take care of female patients and Lakeside is a Women’s Hospital. They had never had a urogynecologist in the 20 years they’ve been open, so bringing in my expertise was a perfect addition to all of the other women’s services they provide. The “formal” name of my specialty is female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery. With such a long name, you’ll most commonly hear “urogynecology” used to describe my specialty. A urogynecologist takes care of a variety of pelvic disorders a woman can have throughout her lifetime, from recurrent urinary tract infections to pelvic organ prolapse and more.
Q: What are the most important health concerns facing women in Oklahoma City today?
The most important health concerns in Oklahoma City are obesity and heart disease. Oklahoma is in the top 10 most obese states in the country. With obesity comes heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol to name a few. Obesity is definitely a nation-wide epidemic and it is a hard issue to overcome.
Q: What are the top things women can do right now to improve their health for 2020?
The top things women can do right now to improve their health include: a) eat healthily b) move and c) remain positive. Eating healthy can be as easy as switching your regular afternoon snack from a vending machine bite to a piece of fruit and a handful of almonds. Make these dietary changes small and easy at first so it’s not as overwhelming and seemingly impossible. Besides a healthy diet, movement is the key to health.
I prefer the word ‘movement’ over the word exercise. Any form of physical movement is beneficial. Start walking around the block after dinner in the evenings, or join a class at a local YMCA or gym.
Q: What are some health advances that you were excited about? In other words, what new treatments or research is making waves in the medical world?
Two of the latest and greatest medical advances in my specialty that I’m super excited about are the vaginal laser and robotic surgery. The diva vaginal laser is a hybrid fractional laser technology that is FDA approved for ablation and coagulation of the soft tissue in the vagina. What this means is the restructuring of the walls in the vagina to improve vaginal function and health. I have the only one of these lasers in the state of Oklahoma!
Robotic surgery is the most technologically advanced form of minimally invasive surgery, meaning small incisions are all that is needed in order to perform technically difficult surgical procedures that previously would have been done only through large incisions. This translates to less pain, shorter hospital stays and speedier recovery! Robotic surgery can be utilized for many of the pelvic floor disorders women can suffer from.
WHAT DOES WELLNESS MEAN TO YOU
The last, but not least, thing a woman can do for their health is to be positive. This may sound odd at first, but there is a real connection between one’s physical health and mental well-being. There are many different methods by which one can improve their outlook on life: keeping a gratitude journal, meditation/breathing, regular daily movement/exercise, daily affirmations (verbally or on paper), surrounding yourself with people that make you smile. The more positive one’s outlook is on life, the less stress they will have and the better their mental well-being.