A nationally-renowned women’s health specialist opened the doors of her new Grosse Pointe Woods medical practice Monday, making state-of-the art technology and cutting edge procedures available to area women.
Dr. Catherine Sonaglia returned to Grosse Pointe in January after helping advance the field of gynecological medicine in Fort Lauderdale for the past 15 years. She was named one of America’s top OB/GYNs in 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2011 by the Consumers’ Research Council of America.
Sonaglia feted her new practice, Alternative Gynecology at 19557 Mack Ave., with a ribbon cutting on June 22.
A native of Marquette, MI, Sonaglia lived in Grosse Pointe while she studied medicine at Wayne State University and completed her residency at Sinai Hospital in Detroit. Soon after she established her practice in Florida, where she studied and modified the use of lasers in her work and became expert in complete in-office procedures for vaginal repairs sustained from trauma such as pregnancy, delivery, exercise, chronic cough, or the aging process.
Her international reputation with innovative, state-of-the-art technologies prompted royal families in Saudi Arabia and China to seek her care, she said.
“When I started out in the field of gynecology, doctors were so far behind,” Sonaglia said. “We were still practicing medicine for stay-at-home moms who had a life expectancy of 50 or 60. When I worked in Fort Lauderdale, I had very well educated patients, particularly from the Northeast of the United States, who knew a lot about alternative methods and about practices overseas. I became familiar with these in order to offer my patients the best care available.”
Despite her numerous specialties, Sonaglia, who returned to Michigan to be close to family, provides comprehensive general gynecological services including annual exams, PMS treatment plans, urinary leakage treatment plans or procedures, breast disease awareness education, diagnosis and treatment plans, irregular uterine bleeding treatments, thyroid disease, and office ultrasound. She says she is particularly concerned with “easing tension in first-time young patients” and educating young women.
Among her specialties:
- vaginal rejuvenation
- in-office bladder repair
- prolapse and rectocele repair
- facial laser for wrinkles, resurfacing, and blemishes
Menapause and perimenopause, which causes hormonal imbalances during the seven to 10 years before menopause, are a particular specialty of Sonaglia. She treats perimenopause, during which women are afflicted with a dramatic decrease in hormones as well as anxiety, weight gain and irregular menses, with alternative or traditional treatments. She believes adequate hormones are key to preventing disease and making symptoms subside. Because Sonaglia’s practice in Fort Lauderdale was primarily in a retirement community, she has worked her entire career in this area. She treats women with alternative estrogen therapies and has studied the outcomes of these treatments.
Sonaglia says her work restores women’s ability to sleep, work and be happy with themselves and their home life, and is particularly beneficial considering the positive physical gains such as increased bone mineral density, decreased risk of colon and breast cancer, and maintenance of cognitive and memory brain functions.
Sonaglia also practices a variety of vaginal rejuvenation procedures to address the natural relaxation of the ligaments, tissues and the structures that support a woman’s pelvic floor and vaginal walls during the process of aging or as a result of childbirth, genetic predisposition, exercise, extra weight, and chronic constipation or cough. She says one of the greatest rewards of her practice is seeing women’s self image renewed and their relationships enhanced as a result of this repair.
“Women are very into looking good on the outside, but you never achieve a point where you feel happy until you feel very good on the inside,” Sonaglia said. “I’m trying to make it easy for women to feel good on the inside, so beauty comes from the inside out and they have the same stamina and ability to do the things they could in their thirties and forties.”