Understanding Hysterectomies

woman with doctor 486487591 (1)A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing a woman’s uterus.   It is a common operation, in fact, the CDC reports that an estimated 11.7 percent of women between the ages of 40-44 have had a hysterectomy and approximately 600,000 procedures are performed annually.

Hysterectomies are used to treat several health conditions, some of which include:

  • Uterine fibroids
  • Gynecologic cancer
  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine prolapse
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Adenomyosis

Hysterectomies can be performed utilizing several techniques.  Based on the course of treatment that is best for you, your surgeon may recommend one of the following options:

  • Abdominal hysterectomy
  • Laparoscopic-assisted abdominal hysterectomy
  • Vaginal hysterectomy
  • Laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy
  • Robotic- assisted hysterectomy

Procedures may require the complete or partial removal of the uterus.  If a complete removal is required, a total hysterectomy may be performed. In the case where the uterus and surrounding structures such as the fallopian tubes and ovaries need to be removed, a radical hysterectomy is often recommended. Treatment involving the partial removal of the uterus may include a supracervical hysterectomy.

As with all surgical procedures there are risks to consider.  However some techniques can offer patients a reduced risk of complications such as pain and bleeding. Laparoscopic and robotic assisted hysterectomies may result in less pain, minimal bleeding, a lower risk in infection and shorter hospital stays.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology has a full program to provide total health care to women. Our highly trained specialists utilize the latest techniques and equipment, such as ultrasonography, color Doppler, laser, laparoscopic and robotic surgery, in the diagnoses and treatment of female disorders. Robotic surgeons at Flushing Hospital are board certified or board approved and have performed countless procedures resulting in high rates of success.

 

 

Gynecological procedures performed robotically by Flushing Hospital’s team of surgeons include hysterectomy, ovarian cystectomy, salpingo-oophorectomy, sacrocolpopexy, tubal reanastomosis, dermoid cystectomy and more.

For more information or to make an appointment please call, 718-670-8994

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Dark Chocolate and Other Home Remedies for Colds

chocolate-99508567Having a coughing fit?  A piece of dark chocolate may calm your cough. In research conducted by London’s Imperial College, it was found that theobromine, an alkaloid found in cocoa, suppresses coughs. According to WebMD, “Researchers say theobromine appears to calm coughs by suppressing the vagal nerve activity.” In other words, the ingredient helps to protect the nerve endings in your throat which triggers your urge to cough.

In addition to eating dark chocolate in moderation, here are a few more home remedies that can help to quiet your cough:

It is recommended that you speak with your doctor before trying these remedies, as each person’s case and medical condition is unique.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Thumb Sucking

Tsucking thumbhumb sucking is a habit that children may develop as a means to pacify or entertain themselves.  It is estimated that three-quarters of children will suck their thumb before reaching the age of one.  According to experts this behavior during infancy or preschool age is rarely something to be concerned about.  “Thumb-sucking in children younger than 4 is usually not a problem.” (WebMD)

If thumb sucking continues as children mature to school age, parents are advised to intervene as it may cause social or physical problems.  A child’s peers may tease or isolate them for sucking their thumb.  Children’s permanent teeth typically come in around age five and thumb sucking can cause dental problems such as overbites to develop.  Thumb sucking can also lead to complications in speech such as lisping or thrusting of the tongue.

There are several things parents can do help their child overcome this habit:

  • Talk to your child; explain to them how thumb sucking can affect them.
  • Offer motivation by creating a reward system, such as a sticker chart.
  • Build self-awareness, children are often unaware of thumb sucking.
  • Speak to your dentist who can offer a special mouth guard or dental appliance to deter sucking.

To speak with a pediatric dentist at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-670-5521.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Understanding Menopause in Six Simple Facts

womens health -472504192The life stages of women’s reproductive health begin with puberty (menstruation) and end with menopause. Menopause marks the time when a woman stops having her period and is no longer able to reproduce.  While this stage is a normal part of life it has its challenges as women may experience several, physical and emotional changes.  Here are six simple facts to educate and help prepare you for potential changes ahead.

  1. What is menopause?

Menopause is medically defined as the time in a woman’s life when she has not had her period for 12 months after her last menstrual cycle.  Her ovaries will cease to further produce eggs.

  1. When does it happen?

The average age for women living in the United States to experience menopause is 51 years old. However, in some cases, it can occur as early as a woman’s 30’s or as late has her 60’s. Symptoms can begin to present a few years earlier before the actual onset of menopause. This stage of your reproductive health is referred to as perimenopause.

  1. What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of menopause may vary from person to person; they may include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • A slowed metabolism and weight gain
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Thinning hair
  • Incontinence
  1. How to treat or cope with symptoms?

There are several treatments and lifestyle changes you can apply to help relieve symptoms, some of which are:

  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Strengthening pelvic floor muscles by doing Kegel exercises
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Taking calcium and Vitamin D supplements, as recommended
  • Exercising regularly
  • Taking low-dose anti-depressants as prescribed
  1. Can menopause lead to further complications?

Your risk for developing certain health conditions may increase after menopause. Examples of these include osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease

  1. When should I speak to my doctor about menopause?

If you are experiencing unusual pain, other extreme physical or emotional symptoms which affect your quality of life, it is advised that you speak with your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor may explore treatment options or suggest lifestyle changes.  It is also recommended that you begin the conversation about menopause during perimenopause (early menopause symptoms).  Your doctor can offer guidance on what to expect.

Flushing Hospital also offers a full range of OB/GYN ambulatory care services in its Women’s Health Center. To make an appointment, please call 718 670-8994.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

What Is In Breast Milk?

breastfeeding-467946812Breast milk is one of the best and most highly recommended sources of nutrition for babies.

What makes mother’s milk so special? It is made up of over 200 known elements that positively contribute to the health of infants.

One of the most commonly known components found in breast milk is colostrum. This is the milk that is first produced after giving birth. Colostrum contains high levels of antibodies and is often referred to as a baby’s first immunization. It also has higher levels of the many nutrients found in mature milk.

Mature milk is produced two to four days after the birth of a baby. Some of the substances that make up mature milk are:
• Fats- needed to help babies gain weight and essential for brain development
• White blood cells-help build immunity and fight infections
• Protein- aids digestion and inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut
• Vitamins and minerals- vitamins and minerals found in breast milk such as A, D, E and K are important to babies’ health and development
• Amino acids – aid with infant growth and development
• Carbohydrates – help to decrease the formation of bad bacteria in the stomach
• Antibacterial enzymes- kill bacteria and protects babies from germs
• Fatty acids-support eye health and optimizes cognitive function
Many of these components cannot be synthesized and can only be received by consuming mother’s milk. Due to the uniqueness of breast milk, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively for six months because doing so reduces the chances that babies will get infectious diseases.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Autism Awareness Month

Autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder characterized by a range of conditions that can significantly impair behavioral, communication and social skills.

Autism -624530410There are three different types of autism spectrum disorders; they include Classic Autism, Asperger Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Each condition differs by the severity of symptoms.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) children or adults with ASD may display the following symptoms:

 

  • Having delays in speech and language skills
  • Not responding to their name by 12 months
  • Avoiding eye contact or wanting to be alone
  • Having difficulty understanding the feelings of others
  • Displaying unusual reactions to the way things look, feel, sound or smell
  • Repeating actions over and over
  • Not looking at objects when other people point to them
  • Repeating words or phrases in place of normal language
  • Preferring not to be cuddled or cuddling only when desired
  • Having trouble adapting to changes in daily activities
  • Displaying behaviors such as flapping hands, spinning in circles or rocking the body

The most obvious symptoms of ASD typically emerge between two to three years of age. However, in some cases, they can be identified earlier.

There are no definitive causes of ASD but it has been discovered that there are several factors that can make a child more likely to have the disorder.  The CDC asserts the following findings:

  • Most scientists agree that genes are one of the risk factors that can make a person more likely to develop ASD.
  • Children who have a sibling with ASD are at a higher risk of also having ASD.
  • ASD tends to occur more often in people who have certain genetic or chromosomal conditions, such as fragile X syndrome or tuberous sclerosis.
  • When taken during pregnancy, the prescription drugs valproic acid and thalidomide have been linked with a higher risk of ASD.
  • There is some evidence that the critical period for developing ASD occurs before, during, and immediately after birth.
  • Children born to older parents are at greater risk for having ASD.

Diagnosing ASD can be difficult as assessments are primarily based on behavior and development. There are two stages of diagnosis, the developmental screening and the comprehensive diagnostic evaluation.

Currently, there is no cure for ASD but research shows that early intervention services and treatment can improve development in children.

April is National Autism Awareness Month, during this time; Flushing Hospital Medical Center promotes autism awareness through education.  The hospital proudly supports the nationwide goal of building a greater understanding and acceptance of ASD.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Who Should Be Screened for Lung Cancer?

Doctor and senior patient pointing on computerMany people who have smoked tobacco for an extended period of time often wonder if they should get screened for lung cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, if you fall under the category of a “high-risk patient,” it is recommended that you speak to your doctor about receiving lung cancer screening.

Patients who are at a high risk of developing lung cancer are defined as those who:

One of the greatest benefits of screening is it can allow doctors to detect cancer in its early stages, when it is easier to treat and the chance for a cure is greater. In a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, “screening with low-dose computed tomography (CT) resulted in a 20% reduction in lung-cancer mortality,” in high-risk patients (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1301851)

The most recommended and effective tool utilized for lung cancer screening is low-dose computed tomography or low-dose CT scan. It is currently recognized as the only tool that is effective in reducing the risk of lung cancer-related deaths in high-risk patient populations. While effective, there are complications that could result from repeated screenings such as receiving false positive results.

In addition to receiving screenings one of the best things you can do for your lungs’ health as a smoker is to quit smoking.  It is never too late to quit.

If you believe you are a candidate for lung cancer screening, it is important to speak with your doctor about all the risks and benefits. To learn more about lung cancer, please visit www.medisyscares.org or https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer.html.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Potty Training Tips – Is my child ready?

potty training-506287066If you are wondering, “how will I know when my child is ready to begin potty training?”  You should know there are several signs you can look for that can help with gauging your toddler’s readiness.

The first step in determining if your child should begin potty training is making certain they are physically and emotionally ready. Beginning training before your toddler is ready can result in frustration and delay.

Most children show an interest in potty training between 18- 24 months; however, it is important to keep in mind that not all children are ready to begin training around this age.  Some toddlers are ready to train earlier and others later.  Paying attention to the following signs can serve as a better indicator than age:

  • Dry periods (going without urinating) of at least two hours.
  • Regular bowel movements at relatively predictable times.
  • Telling you when their diaper is dirty and wanting to be changed.
  • Understanding and using “potty” language such as “poo” or “pee”.
  • Being able to sit down and get up from the potty.
  • Having the ability to understand and follow basic directions.
  • Being able to pull pants up and down.
  • Being able to tell you that they need to go or have gone.

If you feel that your child is ready and you decide to begin training, you should prepare yourself for the journey ahead by keeping in mind; patience is the key to successful potty training.  This process will take time so do not have unrealistic expectations and timeframes. Prepare your child by talking to them about potty training- reading them storybooks can also be helpful. Teaching them the names of their body parts and how they eliminate waste is essential. This will help your toddler to understand body function and pay attention to cues that signal it’s time to use the potty.

Speaking to your pediatrician about what to expect is a very important part of your preparation.   Your child’s doctor can offer advice and helpful tips to ensure a positive experience for you and your toddler.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Q and A: Medication Expiration Dates

Q: Do over -the-counter and prescription medications have expiration dates? Do they mean anything and is it safe to take them past the expiration date?

A: Over-the-counter and prescription medications are time stamped with expiration dates. Time stamps can be found on the labels or on the actual container. It is important that you pay attention to these dates. The expiration dates indicate a guarantee of full potency and safety within the recommended shelf life.

Person holding vial of pills, pointing at label, Close-up of hands

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – “Don’t be tempted to take expired medications.” The FDA states, using expired medical products is “risky and possibly harmful to your health.” This is because the efficiency of a medication may lessen over time due to changes in its chemical composition or a decrease in its potency.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Colorectal Cancer Risk factors and Prevention

colonoscopy-524701836Colorectal cancer is a disease that causes abnormal cells or tumors to develop in the colon or rectum.  It is the third most commonly diagnosed type of cancer found in men and women in the United States.

Although colorectal cancer causes the deaths of approximately 50,000 people each year; the rate of survival is improving due to education, early detection and treatment.

Learning the risk factors of colorectal cancer is essential as there are risk factors you can control and some you cannot. The risk factors you can control include:

  • Smoking
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Poor diet – a diet rich in red meats and processed meats can increase your risk
  • Heavy alcohol consumption

These factors can be addressed by quitting smoking, exercising, eating a healthy and balanced diet and moderating your consumption of alcoholic beverages.

The factors that you cannot control that may contribute to colorectal cancer are:

  • Age- people over the  age of 50  have a higher risk in developing the disease
  • A family history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps
  • A personal history of colorectal polyps, colorectal cancer or inflammatory bowel disease
  • Having an inherited gene defect  that can cause family cancer syndromes such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), Gardner syndrome, Turcot syndrome or Lynch syndrome
  • Race or ethnicity
  • Having type 2 diabetes

Knowing your risk factors and taking appropriate actions can help you to reduce the probability of developing the disease.

Although it is not completely clear what causes colorectal cancer; it can be prevented by receiving regular screenings. With regular screenings, polyps or colon cancer can be found and treated early before advancing.

There are several testing methods your doctor may use to screen for colorectal cancer. Screening tests may include a colonoscopy or other testing methods such as fecal occult blood test,   flexible sigmoidoscopy, CT colonography or double-contrast barium enema. The American Cancer Society recommends that men and women should receive screenings beginning at the age of 50.

For a complete guide to the American Cancer Society’s recommendations for colorectal cancer early detection, please visit https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/early-detection/acs-recommendations.html

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.