Posts in Category: Our Office

I Have Always Loved Back-to-School Time…Am I Crazy?

It’s that time again. Time to say goodbye to the lazy days of summer and hello to the structure and routine of a new school year. As a lifelong student, I have always loved back-to-school time, even though it means summer is over. A new school year is a fresh beginning and an introduction to new challenges to conquer.

As I send my own children back to the classroom, my hope for them is that they greet the new school year with open minds, and commit to doing their best work. This will be a challenge for my 10th grade son and 8th grade daughter, but it is also an exciting time in their school journeys.

I’d like to share with you my own school journey, because it was such a strong influence on the woman I have become. And, it’s the reason I have the honor and privilege of being a physician.

I have always wanted to be a doctor. Ever since the age of 3 (with the exception of some brief moments I dreamed of being a veterinarian or a traveling mathematician), I knew what I wanted to do. My husband often reminds me what a blessing it is to have a clear calling on your life…to know what you were designed to do. Throughout my education, I had that goal in mind.

In elementary school, I was tested and placed in the gifted and talented program, where I was able to study topics in depth and be challenged. One assignment I remember fondly was a project on sloths. There wasn’t much information in the local library about sloths, but I wanted to study something different and unique. It was a welcomed challenge!

When I got to middle school, I began to fall in love with math and science. I had some great teachers who inspired and pushed me as I advanced through my academic journey. Algebra was actually really fun for me, and I also enjoyed tinkering with my Radio Shack electrical kit and chemistry set.

High school was the really great stuff… Biology, Chemistry, Anatomy, Calculus, Geometry, Trig.  I made aspirin in Chemistry class, and I thought that was so cool. My teachers were great and my Walton High School in Marietta, Georgia is still exemplary to this day. I’m so glad my parents made it possible for me to go there.

My regret is that I didn’t apply myself more in high school History class when I had the opportunity. As a teen, I just couldn’t appreciate it like I do now. But it’s never too late to learn, and I am currently reading the Hamilton biography. History is so important and this book is so fascinating. I was inspired to read it after I saw the musical about Hamilton, which I loved.

When it was time for college, I applied to Georgia Tech basically because my boyfriend was going there. Sad but true. We broke up even before we graduated high school, but it worked out great because I was awarded a full Presidential academic scholarship to Tech. I decided to study Chemical Engineering/Pre-med because I loved chemistry and calculus and thought it would be a fun challenge. I also figured that if medicine didn’t work out, I would have a good fallback career option.

College was great. I had a great group of friends in my sorority, and Georgia Tech was in a golden age of sports. Back to school meant those glorious football Saturdays and brand new books, mechanical pencils, and engineering paper. I enjoyed Chemical Engineering but it was super challenging, especially toward the end, after I had already been accepted to medical school. There were some really great classes, and I did the chemical engineering lab coursework in London, but my heart just wasn’t in it anymore. I really had to grin and bear it at the end, and I was so glad to “get out” of Tech, as we like to say. I graduated with honors and moved on to my dream: medical school.

I was in heaven when I got to medical school! You may not know much about the University of Alabama School of Medicine, but it is an excellent medical school. The editor of the most widely used internal medicine textbook was from my school, and the surgery program was tops in the nation. During my time in medical school, I would sit for hours learning every intricacy of the human anatomy, and I delighted in learning all the mysteries of the body. It is so fascinating.

When I wasn’t studying, I made money by transcribing lectures for my classmates if they missed a class. I also did basic research, trying to find a new cure for cancer, and I won a competitive and prestigious Howard Hughes one -year fellowship grant to focus on my research. It was fun, but I realized I really love interacting with patients more than research.

Finally, the last mountain in my educational journey was residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. This was the very best urology training program. The professors were outstanding, and the breadth of experience was unmatched: I learned trauma at Ben Taub, general urology at the VA, pediatric urology at Texas Children’s Hospital, microsurgery at St. Luke’s and cancer surgery at Methodist. I also spent one year on cancer research, and I received the research award that year. During my last two years, I studied under two of the preeminent urologists who specialize in female urology, and learned a tremendous amount from them. It was an incredible 6 years.

I continue to learn as much as I can about my field by reading journals and going to seminars. It is essential to stay on top of all the medical knowledge, especially as a specialist, and I love to find the latest research and information for my patients. Learning never ends.

If you are a teacher or have children going back to school, I hope you have a great school year!

Cheers to a healthy you!
-Dr. Christi

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Celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas with Houston Female Urology

Celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas with Houston Female Urology
We have a special gift for YOU!

From now through Christmas, we are offering 2 groundbreaking, non-surgical treatments at discounted prices:

25% off EMSella
for mild to moderate urinary incontinence

15% off Exilis Ultra Femme 360
for vaginal restoration and feminine wellness

Call our office today, at 281-717-4003, to schedule your procedure during the 12 Days of Christmas and receive special prices!

What is EMSella?
It’s a non-invasive treatment for leaky bladders. Basically, it’s a chair you sit on and it simulates more than 10,000 Kegel exercises in a single treatment. It’s fast, it’s painless, and perhaps best of all…you stay fully clothed during the entire treatment. Sounds crazy, but it works. 95% of patients report significant improvement in urinary incontinence.

During the 12 Days of Christmas, a complete treatment package is only $2,000 (regular price $2,700).  Click here to learn more about EMSella.

What is Exilis Ultra Femme 360?
It’s a non-surgical treatment for vaginal rejuvenation. This simple procedure uses radiofrequency energy to gently heat vaginal tissue and rejuvenate collagen, improving both function and appearance. The treatment is painless and has no downtime or recovery period. During the 12 Days of Christmas, a complete treatment package is only $3,000 (regular price $3,500).

Cheers to a healthy you!
-Dr. P

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Thanking God for the privilege

It has been a long time since I wrote in my blog.  The holiday season is very busy for surgeons (having met their deductible, many people try to have surgery before the end of the year), and then the time just got away from me.   I started this entry right before Thanksgiving.

As a Christian, my life is dedicated to trying to bring glory to God in any little way that I can.  Now, I often fail, but it’s a striving and a focus that informs my day to day living.  I don’t think that we have a “spiritual life” and a separate “secular life”.   I think it is all integrated.   As such, when I come into an exam room or the operating room, I am thinking “What is God doing here?  How can I join in with His work?”  Sometimes it is as simple as giving her an antibiotic, other times it is praying about a struggle in her life, or praying that the surgery and recovery go well, and using my surgical skills to help her.

I used to pray with every patient before surgery and take a spiritual history on every patient, but that began to seem a little too rote and forced.  Now I follow the leading of the Spirit.  When I feel that I need to pray or ask probing questions, I do it.  It is amazing how God answers, often in ways I didn’t expect.   Just the other day, I prayed with a patient who had just found out she had rectal cancer.  I could see that she needed the comfort of knowing that God will be with her in her fight.

Patients are often surprised to have their doctor pray with and for them. Sometimes I feel a little silly praying for a what is for me a simple routine bladder lift; I mean, it’s not brain surgery or heart surgery. But then again, for the patient, there is nothing simple or routine about it.  I typically pray for the surgery to go well, for the entire OR team, for the patient to be healed and to recover well, and for her to have peace as she goes into surgery.   Most patients are very grateful for the prayer.  Occasionally I can see that someone feels uncomfortable, so I try to be sensitive to that before I pray.

I have some examples that show how God has answered prayers in my practice and in my life.  One day the robot at the hospital broke down before my case.  That was just one of many things that had happened that day.   There were odd delays and unexpected events that occurred. Everyone did great and no one was harmed by any of the issues.   But it was really stressful on me, because things weren’t going smoothly.   I just continued to lean on the Lord and pray for my patients and for our whole surgical team.   One of my patients told me that she was shocked when I prayed for her, but she told me that a sense of peace filled her heart and any nervousness that she had was gone.  Her surgical procedure was changed at the last minute due to the equipment malfunction so there was a lot of anxiety for her.  But the Lord gave her amazing peace.  She is now several weeks postop and doing great.

Another example was a stone case. I had been covering this patient in prayer for a few days prior to the surgery date due to her underlying health issues and the size of her stone.  This case went from a simple laser case to an open bladder case because the stone was bigger and harder than anticipated.    I was also concerned because I thought the bladder had partially ruptured when I was using the laser.  When I realized that I had to open her up, I called my office to let them know that I would be running late for my other patients due to the change in the plan.  I didn’t know it at the time, but my staff then all took a moment to join hands and pray for our patient.   Well, the open surgery went about 500% better than I had expected:  there was no rupture, the bladder was not as malformed as I thought it might be given her underlying disease, and the stone popped right out (it was about a 4 inch stone).  Another answered prayer!  She recovered beautifully and is doing better than ever.

Not only do I pray for my patients, but my staff does, too.   We all get to participate in what God is doing.  He cares about every part of our lives, even our urological health!

I have always been so thankful for the privilege of being a doctor and specifically a female urologist.  I hope that God is honored in my service to my patients.   I am humbled for the opportunity.

One Year in Practice!

Houston Female Urology team

“Tomorrow morning at 8:00 we will have the ribbon-cutting and then start the actual business of seeing patients, ready or not! At this point, I can only pray that God will bless this practice, as I use the gifts, talents and passion that He has given me to bless the people that walk through our door.  Tomorrow starts the next chapter of my life!”

This excerpt is from my first blog entry. I wrote this the day before I prepared to open the doors and welcome patients into my brand new practice. I was feeling so many emotions! Excitement, stress, peace, fatigue, joy.

I took a big leap of faith, and looking back on the past year in private practice, I see God’s blessings in every area of my personal and professional life.

This month marks a huge milestone for me. I’ve successfully made it through one year in this new chapter of my life. It is important for me to stop and reflect on my influencers and supporters and share my thankfulness to so many people who have made this year possible:

I’ve built such a wonderful, thoughtful and knowledgeable team of women around me! They have supported me every step of the way and have truly caught the vision for what we are doing here. Patients truly see a difference when they come to the office. I get comments from patients almost daily that they have never been to such a great doctor’s office where everyone is helpful and cares about them.  I’m so proud of each one of them.

I am so thankful every day for the valuable relationships I’ve fostered throughout the years with Houston-area doctors. These colleagues have supported my practice and believed in my team to provide quality urological care as they refer their own patients for us to take care of.  We do not take it for granted and strive to provide great service at all times.

I have learned so much from other physicians who are further down the path than I am.  They have been so generous to share their wisdom and insight.  There are many pieces that have to fit together when you start a new practice, and my mentors have been great to help me put it all together.

I owe so much to my loyal patients. These women have trusted me and my team to provide solutions for their urological needs, and I am always blessed by their kind words, success stories and commitment to Houston Female Urology.  You are the reason I am here, and I hope to continue to earn your trust and loyalty for many more years to come.

Most importantly, my family has stood beside me through thick and thin. They have shared in my successes and encouraged my spirit. None of this would be possible without my amazing husband and two children! They have been great cheerleaders while I have embarked on this endeavor.

This journey is only beginning…I have so much to look forward to throughout the coming years! I can’t wait to continue to develop and grow Houston Female Urology as we seek to provide expert medical advice, life-changing procedures and uncompromised personal care to every woman who walks through my door.

From the bottom of my heart – thank you.

Dr. P

One month!! Thankful!!

It is 8/8/14. We opened our doors 7/7/14, so that means we have one month under our belt!!  Woohoo!  We did it/are doing it!  Things are coming along very well.   We have helped almost three hundred ladies with their urological issues so far and have registered almost 400 into our system for appointments.  We’ve started doing surgery through the new practice: some bladder repairs and a few stones. And our pelvic floor program is in full swing.  We have been busy!

I truly feel blessed.   This is the realization of a dream that I have had for many years: to have a urology clinic for women and to have my own practice.  It is so fulfilling.  Everything is the way that I have envisioned it:  a beautiful, calm, clean office where patients can feel assured that they will be treated gently and professionally.  My staff is amazing.  They have put their heart and soul into this start-up and they truly see this as a mission to help women and not just another job.   I am so proud of them.  And, we have a lot of fun together!

There are of course, moments of doubt.  These are brief moments, but a frustration will occur and I will think, “what have I done?!?”  Gulp.  But in those times, I stop and think, “Christi, remember who is in ultimately in control here.   Who has orchestrated everything to make this happen?  Who has paved the way, given you the desire to be a doctor since you were three years old, opened up and closed the right doors along the way?  God has got you, and He has your practice, too.  The whole thing is squarely in His strong hands.  Rest.  Don’t worry.  This is His practice.”  He gives me a strong peace and courage to continue forward.  It’s all going to be good.

So, I am incredibly blessed and thankful and peaceful about this adventure.  Life is too short not to make big moves and walk by faith!  If I weren’t a Christian, I would be a wreck, I think.   But knowing that God has already paved the way and having His peace, I can relax.  I can just lean on Him and go step by step.   He has placed me here at this time, and my job is to trust Him and share the love of Christ through urology!