Dr. Sprock Connects with her Patients
George White /
FLORIDA TODAY May 30, 2012
Dr. Marja Sprock,
Central Florida Urogynecology
For Dr. Marja Sprock, her
career choice for medicine ó and choice of specialty ó
was something that came to her early in life.
ďI wanted to be a doctor
around age 13 or 14 and for a very short time I wanted
to be a pediatrician,Ē she said. ďBut within a year, I
decided I wanted to do OB/GYN and I never changed my
Some of the reasons are
obvious, some not so much, she said.
ďI think I can support
women and understand them a little bit better just
because of the fact I am a female and I was very
interested in all the endocrinology of how the female
body works. Itís fascinating. Right now I feel that I
try to speak up for women and help them with embarrassing problems. I help with everything that
people have a hard time talking about,íí she said.
Dr. Sprock talks
about her career and how she can improve the quality of
life for many women.
QUESTION: Do your
patients feel like they need to be isolated?
Sprock: Thatís the whole thing. They canít go out
or they cancel every trip because theyíre afraid that
people will see their diapers or theyíll leak through.
Q: Has there been
innovations that have come out during your career?
Sprock: Some things have improved, like a pelvic
floor ultrasound. Itís a very expensive piece of
equipment that really helps in diagnosis. Some people
donít empty completely or their bladders are too
overactive. There are so many problems. Thatís where you
get the danger: it may work great for your neighbor but
you may not have the same thing as your neighbor. What
may be a big deal to one is not a big deal for another.
Q: What has been
another innovation during your career?
Sprock: For people bothered by fecal
incontinence, the Interstim device (surgically implanted
pacemaker-like device) works for the bladder and even
better for the bowel. It just normalizes their function.
Q: What about vaginal
mesh and the controversy around its use?
Sprock: The whole thing about mesh I think is
getting out of hand and getting to the ridiculous level.
Itís about money. Lawyers donít care about patients,
they care about money. The problem is the (Food and Drug
Administration) looks at devices. If you have your
vagina fixed and itís a lousy fix, who are you going to
complain to? Now they have a device (mesh) and the FDA
comes out with a warning that is not really based on
solid literature, and all the lawyers jump on it. Itís a
disservice to a lot of women. Itís very surgeon
dependent. I do four or five a week, but there are some
who just do one a month. Some people need it, some
people do not, so you need to make sure it is
appropriate to the patient.
Q: What are some of the
other conditions that you treat?
Sprock: Vaginal prolapse repair, with or without
mesh. Iíve been certified on robotic surgery since 2006
but I prefer to use the laparoscope.
Q: Are female OB/GYNs
more accepted by patients when it come to these issues.
Sprock: Yes. Women prefer to be seen by a woman.
Itís a big advantage. Itís the same about hormones and
how you feel. Itís easier if youíre a woman.
Q: Is there a stigma
about females being surgeons?
Sprock: Nobody said that to me, but, in general,
I think itís still the case. For a woman to be called a
good surgeon you have to be five times better than the
guys. Thatís just a given. People can say it isnít so,
but itís the truth.
Dr. Marja Sprock, 48,
urogynecologist (female pelvic
medicine and reconstructive
Hometown: The Hague,
City of residence: Satellite
Family: Husband, Martin;
sons, Tristan, 16, Egan, 12 and
Trevor, 12; daughter, Anique, 9
triathlons, tennis, snow skiing
Education: Medical school
at Leiden University in Holland;
residency training in obstetrics
and gynecology and fellowship in
urogynecology at Henry Ford
Hospital in Detroit
Q: How important is
pelvic function to quality of life?
Sprock: Some things are activity dependent. If
youíre 30 and you have problems having sex, it bothers
you more than if you are 80, but that doesnít mean
seniors are not sexually active.
Q: Do they become
Sprock: The problems can be very complicated and
most people donít know anything about it. They need to
know there is help. You can fix people with simple
things like pelvic floor exercises.
Q: Before these
solutions came about, what did these patients do?
Sprock: With the Interstim, the field is
progressing and people are talking about it a lot more.
Itís not this forgotten thing.
Q: You treat people
with the iLipo machine. How does it work?
Sprock: Itís a noninvasive way of getting rid of
unwanted fat. There are no needles or downtime. Itís
almost like a spa treatment where you lose inches. Itís
a laser in pads and you can measure the different. What
it does to a fat cell is that it goes from a grape to a
raisin. It works and people are very pleased with it.
Q: What is your
favorite part of your job?
Sprock: When people are really happy, after
surgery or something simple like learning pelvic floor
exercises. I like it when people are happy.
Q: What is difficult?
Sprock: Most of the physicians try their hardest
and work really hard. Some patients have unrealistic
expectations or they ask me to "fix them" but donít have
to contribute anything.
UroGynecology is in Rockledge Florida.
Call 321-806-3929 for an
appointment or leave a note