General Gynecologic Care
Dr. Griffin sees her role as one of providing information and education, while allowing patients to choose their own path and take responsibility for their health care. No concern expressed by a patient is taken lightly and every effort is made to tailor the treatment for you. With that philosophy in mind, we offer the following services:
A thorough medical history will be taken and a physical examination, including breast evaluation and complete pelvic examination will be done, including Pap smear when indicated. Sexually transmitted infection screening can be done as well as in-office HIV screening with results in 20 minutes.
When appropriate, discussion will include smoking cessation, weight control, cholesterol management, breast cancer screening options including mammogram, ultrasound or MRI, sexually transmitted disease evaluation, osteoporosis screening, ordering and interpretation of laboratory blood tests.
Important components include a thorough history of symptoms, assessment of indications for hormone replacement with a dialogue-type discussion of the risks and benefits, screening for depression and low thyroid conditions, cholesterol measurement, Calcium and Vitamin D requirements, osteoporosis screening, maintenance of vaginal and sexual health. Dr. Griffin is Santa Barbara County's only Certified Menopause Clinician, certified by the North American Menopause Society.
Counseling for determining the best fit of contraceptive method for each patient, as well as education regarding the risks, benefits and effectiveness.
Dr. Griffin has been performing vaginal ultrasound for over 25 years, for assessment of early pregnancy, ovarian cysts and heavy periods, to name just a few indications. She is also skilled in performing saline ultrasound (also called sonohysterography), which is an efficient way to diagnose the cause of irregular or heavy bleeding and sometimes helps to avoid having to do a painful uterine biopsy.
Dr. Griffin has lectured on osteoporosis and is able to offer a comprehensive assessment and evaluation to include explanation of DEXA findings, interpretation of Vitamin D levels, calculating a FRAX score and sorting through the maze of treatment options including lifestyle changes, supplements and medications.
Abnormal Pap Smear Evaluation or Colposcopy
Dr. Griffin is a skilled colposcopist (examining the cervix with magnifying equipment) and has been a member of the American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) for many years. She believes in following their guidelines whenever possible and is able to make colposcopy a nearly painless procedure. She is also able to perform treatment, either cryosurgery or LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure) in the office.
First Pelvic Examination
Having worked at Planned Parenthood in the past, Dr. Griffin has honed her skill as one able to make the very first pelvic examination a pleasant experience. Although a teenager that is not sexually active no longer needs a Pap smear according to current guidelines, Dr. Griffin feels that it is important to have one's first exam under controlled conditions when everything can be gently and slowly explained, rather than say, in an emergency room. Your memory of that first experience stays with you for a long time!
Dr. Griffin has over 20 years of experience in evaluation and treatment of depression. Treatment options include lifestyle changes, herbs, supplements, medical foods such as methylfolate, and anti-depressant and mood stabilizing medications. Dr. Griffin is also able to make referrals to reputable therapists when needed, and able to help patients decide when seeing a psychiatrist is useful.
Dr. Griffin maintains an interest in treating an underserved population that has multiple low thyroid symptoms, but "normal" thyroid blood test results. Her experience tells her that sometimes taking even a small amount of thyroid supplement and raising one's level from the low end of normal to the middle range of normal can result in a major positive benefit in one's overall well-being, described by some patients as "a small miracle." She is also an advocate of adding T3 to one's regimen or utilizing so called "natural thyroid," or Armour thyroid, when symptoms are not relieved by more typical thyroid replacement.
Dr. Griffin feels adept in offering comprehensive evaluation and treatment of PMS, as well as PMDD (Pre-menstrual Dysphoric Disorder), using lifestyle changes, nutrition, supplements, herbs, and medications. As depression and low thyroid often coexist, Dr. Griffin is able to treat those as well.