Specialized Physical Therapy
Helps McLaren Flint Patient
Overcome Bowel Incontinence
fter having a total
hysterectomy and radiation
therapy, Marilyn Arndt,
age 73, of Waterford
thought the worst was over
regarding her health. She was wrong.
As she was nearing the end of her
radiation treatments in Fall of 2015, she
began having an issue with diarrhea.
After putting up with it for months she
decided to reach out to her gynecologic
oncologist, Gunjal Garg, MD. However,
since Marilyn’s surgery, Dr. Garg had
transitioned her practice from the
Detroit area to the Karmanos Cancer
Institute at McLaren Flint. Marilyn had
to do some digging to reunite with her.
“The Detroit area hospital was
trying to get me to go to one of their
physicians but I really like Dr. Garg, so
it was important for me to find her,”
said Marilyn. “Once I did locate her in
Flint, I scheduled an appointment and
she told me the radiation therapy likely
triggered my bowel issues. She asked
me to make some dietary changes
and try medication, but unfortunately
Marilyn has managed a daycare
for 54 years and has led an active life.
However, her uncontrollable episodes
were becoming a big inconvenience
She was also missing out on her
grandchildren’s travel basketball
games, something she really looked
forward to. This was all because her
condition was coming on without
warning and she was leaving the house
less and less. Marilyn was growing
frustrated and depressed. She followed
up with Dr. Garg for a second time to
see if there were any other options.
She was referred to Lisa Priestap, a
physical therapist who is trained in
pelvic floor treatments.
“Most people still do not know
physical therapy is a treatment for
conditions like Marilyn’s, as well as
those with urinary incontinence and
pelvic pain,” said Lisa. “There is also
a misconception among those who
have heard about pelvic floor therapy
thinking it only involves learning Kegel
exercises. The therapy always includes
education and behavioral changes,
and depending on the person the use
of weights or a biofeedback machine.
The whole philosophy is controlling the
muscles associated with the problem.
I am passionate about helping people
with these very personal issues, it is
amazing to see the positive changes in
their lives by the end of therapy.”
People often struggle to discuss
their issue with a family member, friend
or their own physician. Even when they
are fortunate enough to hear about
therapy, patients can be concerned
because they are unsure of what it will
“The therapy is very personal,”
states Marilyn. “However, Lisa makes
you comfortable, discusses things
thoroughly and is very patient. If
someone is suffering from an issue
like I was, and is ready to do anything
to fix it, my advice is to try the
therapy. I swear by it. I have not had
any accidents since my time spent
with Lisa. It is the best thing that has
happened to me in quite a while. She
has given me my life back!”
Most patients will average nine to
18 visits spread out over the course of
several weeks. Marilyn was successful
after only nine.
For more information, please call
McLaren Physical Therapy and Sports
Medicine at (810) 342-2356.
Pictured left is Marilyn Arndt who
was all smiles on her last day of the
Physical Therapy sessions that helped
her overcome her bowel incontinence.
Her physical therapist, Lisa Priestap,
is specially trained to treat conditions
like Marilyn’s as well as urinary
incontinence and pelvic pain.
G-3239 Beecher Road | Flint, Michigan 48532 | www.mclaren.org/flint