CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Marines have several elective services and procedures they may not know are offered on base, like sleep apnea studies to smoking cessation and LASIK eye surgery to laser hair removal.
Marines know every year they have to do the periodic health assessment and audiogram, but what they may not know is many medical departments and clinics on base offers a variety of elective services that
require no more than a referral from his or her primary care provider.
The Holistic Health Center is a division of the Treatment
Programs Department. They offer
alternatives to traditional healing and pain relief.
The program focuses on identifying and treating factors that
influence health: physical, biochemical, environmental, and emotional. The
purpose of the program, is
to restore maximum health, functional independence, and productivity to
patients with various mental health and physical disabilities, according to the Holistic Health Program brochure.
Some of the services available at the Holistic Health Center
are acupuncture, massage therapy, healing touch, yoga and Qi Gong.
Holistic health is the only program that requires a referral
from a mental health provider instead of from a primary care provider.
Pregnancy can be difficult, especially if it the first
one. The Centering Program is designed
to give pregnant women, both military and dependent, the opportunity to learn, interact and discuss all aspects of pregnancy
and what to expect. Partners are also encouraged to attend.
Each centering group is led by a midwife and meets 9-10
times for two hours each throughout the woman’s pregnancy and postpartum period.
It is designed to take the place of the individual appointments with the
midwife or doctor, while receiving the same information they would have
received in those 15 minute appointments.
In the classes the women and their partners receive classes
on nutrition, physical therapy, breathing techniques, stages of labor and even
a class from a lactation specialist among others, said Seaman Martha Jimenez, a
hospital corpsman with the obstetrics and gynecology department, Naval Hospital Camp
The centering groups are made up of pregnant women who are
due around the same time. The last group session is a reunion after all the
women have delivered. It is an
opportunity to further those bonds and friendships made with the women in the
group throughout their pregnancy.
LASER HAIR REMOVAL
A condition that affects some Marines is
called psuedofolliculitis barbae, which is an inflammatory reaction surrounding
ingrown facial hair that results from shaving.
Laser hair removal is a cosmetic surgery offered to active duty personnel
who have this condition.
To be eligible for laser hair removal, the service member
must first seek treatment through their PCM.
If they have a failed treatment through their PCM, they can then be
referred to the dermatology department for further treatment.
Laser hair removal is typically done in six to eight
sessions, with six weeks between sessions, said Petty Officer Third Class Marciella
Coronado, a hospital corpsman with the Dermatology Department, Naval Hospital Camp
Pendleton. The effects of the hair removal are permanent and result in fewer
ingrown hairs and bumps in the treated area.
IN HOME SLEEP STUDY
The in-home sleep apnea study is a new program that has only
been available at the Naval Hospital since mid-August.
This program replaces the inpatient sleep study that was
administered overnight in the hospital. Even in the short amount of time the
program has been in place, the results have been positive with the patients
sleeping better in a familiar environment, said Navy Lt. Marie Hood, division
officer of Internal Medicine, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton.
The patient goes to the hospital in the afternoon, the
sensors are put in place and the patient is sent home with instructions for
This procedure is often recommended for patients who snore
or wake intermittently throughout the night, said Hood.
Currently this study is only available for active duty
There are several other elective procedures and services available,
some exclusively for active duty service members, while others may also be
available to dependents and retirees. While
these procedures are considered elective, there typically needs to be a medical
condition in need of correction, meaning these procedures are rarely done for
purely cosmetic reasons.
Patients can speak with their primary care providers to
determine the best options available for their individual healthcare needs.