June is Fireworks Safety Month. Flushing Hospital Wants You To Be Safe This July 4th.

June is Fireworks Safety Month and with July 4th holiday approaching, Flushing Hospital Medical Center wants everyone to know the potential dangers associated with these explosives that we so closely associate with Independence Day.

Fireworks are ILLEGAL in New York State, and are extremely dangerous when they are not being used by a professional. They burn at extremely high temperatures and can rapidly burn through clothing and skin.  Items such as sparklers are mistakenly thought to be safe, but they are actually quite dangerous.

In states where it is legal to purchase and operate fireworks, please be sure to follow the following safety tips:

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Older children should use them only under the close supervision of an adult
  • Never light fireworks indoors
  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Soak unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks in case of fire

This year, have a safe Fourth of July and leave the firework displays to the trained professionals. If you have questions about fireworks displays and safety, you can visit The National Council on Firework Safety webpage at http://www.fireworksafety.org.  Take the test and learn just how much you know about fireworks safety.

 

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.

The History of Robotic Surgery

Robotic surgery has been becoming more and more common as the technology offers many benefits including being less scary and quicker recovery time. . Procedures that were once only able to be performed through large incisions and with large instruments are now being done with microscopic precision with the aid of much smaller incisions and much tinier instruments..

Before robotic surgery, laparoscopic surgery was performed using smaller instrumentation and smaller incisions It also incorporated the use of miniature cameras to view the operating field.  Robotic surgery expanded on this technique through the addition of robotic arms that could mimic the dexterity of a surgeon’s hands but in a smaller operating area.

The first surgical robot was called the Arthrobot and was used for the first time in 1983 by Canadian physicians.  After that, other robots were used to perform eye surgery and later on prostate surgeries. These developments came slowly at first during the 1980’s Initially surgeries were being performed by surgeons with precision and with the patient in the same room as the robot. However, modern technology now makes it possible for surgeons to operate on patients far away. This has proven helpful to doctors who can operate on soldiers injured on battlefields in foreign countries.

Currently one of the most advanced robots in use today is the da Vinci Surgical System.  It is an extremely precise tool that has been in use for over ten years. The advantages of surgeries performed using this technology are often shorter recovery times and less discomfort for the patient.

Surgeons at Flushing Hospital Medical Center are highly trained in operating the da Vinci robot. Some of the procedures that are commonly performed are prostatectomies, hysterectomies, and bariatric weight loss.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a surgeon at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5486.

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.

Employee Spotlight – Lois Pettis, LPN, Office Manager Wound Care Center

This month’s Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s (FHMC) Employee Spotlight shines on Lois Pettis, LPN and Office Manager of the Wound Care Program.

Lois has one daughter, Maya Pettis .  Being widowed at a young age and having to raise  Maya on her own, Lois had to really focus on becoming the sole provider, caretaker and role model for her daughter.  She achieved those goals through her deep faith, positive attitude and strong work ethic.  Lois believes in leading by example and lead she does! That is why she is quick to beam with pride about the fact that Maya will soon be a graduate of Fordham University.

Originally from North Carolina, Lois and Maya have made their home in Rosedale, Queens where they are deeply involved with their church.  In fact, Lois is part of the Nurses Board at the church.

Lois Pettis feels that when you are in the medical profession, your calling is not only to be used when you are at your workplace. “I try to make everyone feel important.   That is very important to me- everyone deserves to be made to feel special,” stated Lois.  The “personal touch” is what she strives for her patients to feel, in addition to getting excellent health care.

Lois Pettis is a beloved member of the Wound Care Team.  A “normal” day for Lois Pettis is never completely normal.  Most of her day is spent scheduling patients, meeting with patients, speaking with insurance providers, family members and working on staffing issues.

“Lois is best known for her welcoming smile and gentle nature with our staff and patients.  She is an asset to our department and a large part of why our wound care center is so successful” said Fran Pugliese, Director of the Wound Care Center.

When asked what motivates her to do her job so well, Lois answers with a wide smile, “The patients! You have to understand that our patients sometimes come in for treatment multiple times a week.  You get to know them, their story and their family members.  They become family to us.”

Lois Pettis is a success in both her personal and professional life.  She is registered LPN, registrar, billing and coding expert, and will soon start a Master’s program in Hospital Administration.

 

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.

Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery

A person who is obese has far more weight than what is considered healthy for their body type. Obesity is a serious and at times life-threatening condition that can contribute to health problems such as diabetes, stroke, some cancers and heart disease.

In some cases losing weight can reduce the risk of developing these chronic health conditions.  According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, “losing even 5 to 10 percent of your weight can delay or prevent some of these diseases.”

Maintaining a proper diet and exercising regularly are lifestyle modifications that can help combat obesity; however, not everyone who applies these practices is able to lose weight on their own. If diet or exercise does not yield sufficient results and a patient’s weight continues to pose a risk for developing complications, their doctor may suggest weight loss surgery.

One of the procedures a physician may recommend is a sleeve gastrectomy.  This operation is often utilized for patients who are too heavy to safely undergo other types of weight loss surgery.

A sleeve gastrectomy requires the surgical removal of part of the stomach. This permanently reduces its size by approximately 25% (about the size of a banana).  The surgeon then creates a new tube-shaped stomach or “gastric sleeve.” With a smaller stomach, food intake is restricted and the patient will feel fuller more quickly. This procedure is irreversible and usually performed laparoscopically.

Most patients experience several health benefits after receiving a sleeve gastrectomy, some of which may include:

  • Significant weight loss
  • Controlled type 2 diabetes
  • Improved cholesterol
  • Lowered blood pressure

Each case is unique to the individual and it is important to keep in mind that all surgical procedures have their risks.  Please speak with your doctor about which weight loss surgeries may be best for you.

Overcoming obesity can be difficult. You may have tried several weight loss treatments or methods to lose weight, but were unsuccessful. Fortunately, bariatric surgery is an option that often yields results and success stories. Flushing Hospital Medical Center offers a unique and multidisciplinary program that involves a complete mind, body and wellness approach to weight loss surgery. For more information about the Bariatric Surgery Services at Flushing Hospital or procedures performed by our doctors, please call 718-670-8908.

 

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.

Smoking Cessation – Helping You Quit

Smoking cigarettes is one of the leading causes of multiple diseases and premature deaths in the United States today.   According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 16 million Americans are living with smoking-related diseases and an estimated 480,000 deaths will occur each year as a result of smoking.

Smoking cigarettes affects many aspects of health. Direct association has been established between smoking and cancers of the lung, mouth, nose, throat, larynx, esophagus, colon and rectum, stomach, pancreas, cervix, bladder, kidney and blood.

Many lung conditions are either caused or aggravated by cigarette smoke. It irritates bronchial airways and stimulates mucous production leading to decreased elasticity and functional failure. Patients suffering from COPD, asthma, chronic bronchitis or emphysema have a much higher risk of dying when repeatedly exposed to smoke.

Smokers are also at greater risk for cardiovascular disease. Smoking damages blood vessels, making them stiff and narrow. This can obstruct blood flow which may result in elevated blood pressure, heart attacks or strokes.

Smoking tobacco is an addiction similar to heroin and cocaine. It can be successfully treated, however, majority of cases require three and more attempts.

Studies have shown that these five, common sense steps, provide the best chance for quitting smoking for good:

1. Get ready: set a quit date and throw out all cigarettes and ashtrays from your home.

2. Get support: tell your family, friends and doctor about quitting plans; search the internet for advice.

3.  Learn new behaviors: distract yourself from the urge to smoke; exercise or go for a walk.

4. Get medication: combining medication like nicotine patches with behavioral adaptation and family support quadruples your chances of success.

5. Be prepared for relapse and difficult situations- most people try to quit a few times before succeeding.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center provides extensive assistance for people willing to quit smoking.  We offer a free smoking cessation support group every Wednesday. The hospital also offers one-on-one sessions, both in person or by phone.  For more information please call, 718-206-8494.

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.

June is Cataract Awareness Month

Did you know that cataracts are the leading cause of blindness globally? Cataracts are very common in older adults- in fact; it is estimated that more than 75% of people over the age of 65 will develop cataracts.  Although less common, people can develop this medical condition in their forties and fifties as well.

As you age, proteins in the eye begin to break down, causing clouding in the lens and the formation of cataracts. Many who are affected are unaware that this process is occurring because cataracts grow very slowly and does not impede vision during its early stages.   There are symptoms that can indicate the development of cataracts. Here are some that you can look out for:

  • Colors appear faded
  • Clarity in vision decreases and cannot be corrected with eyeglasses
  • An increase in sensitivity to light and glare
  • Halos appearing around lights
  • Poor night vision
  • Frequent changes in prescription eyewear
  • Double vision

Some people are more at risk of developing cataracts than others. These factors increase your risks:

  • Diabetes
  • Exposure to prolonged durations of sunlight
  • Heavy drinking
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Family history
  • Advanced age
  • High blood pressure
  • Previous eye injury or surgery

June is Cataract Awareness Month. During this time, Flushing Hospital Medical Center wants you to know, there are several things you can do to be proactive and slow the progression of cataracts.  Eating healthy is a good start. A balanced diet rich in vitamin C has shown to be effective.  Wear sunglasses to shield your eyes from the Sun’s UV rays.  If you are a smoker- stop smoking and drink in moderation.  Early detection can save your eyesight therefore, scheduling routine eye exams is very important.

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.

June is Men’s Health Month

The month of June has been recognized as Men’s Health Month. The reason for this designation is to bring awareness of preventable health issues and to encourage early detection and treatment of diseases prevalent in men.
The leading causes of death among men are:
• Heart Disease
• Cancer
• Diabetes
• Lung Disease
• Injuries
• Stroke
• HIV/AIDS
Some of the reasons that men tend to have more serious chronic illnesses is because more men than women don’t have health insurance, men tend to have more physically demanding jobs with greater safety risks. Additionally  more men smoke than women and they also tend to  take greater risks with unsafe behavior.
Women tend to live five years longer than men and one of the reasons for this is that women usually take better care of their health. Men are often guilty of waiting until a disease has progressed to a more serious level before they seek help. There is an old adage that if a man is in a doctor’s waiting room, most likely a woman brought him there for an exam.
During the month of June, organizations across the country hold health awareness campaigns to educate men about various health issues that they may be at risk for and to encourage them to see a doctor regularly. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a doctor at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5486.

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.

Flushing Hospital is Honored for Services Offered to the Asian Community

The Chinese American Independent Practice Association (CAIPA) held their annual Asian Heritage Night awards ceremony this year at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The event was held to acknowledge and thank the efforts of health care organizations that are committed to improving health in the Asian American community, including Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

This year, Flushing Hospital was recognized for their dedication and commitment to creating a culturally sensitive environment where members of the Asian community can receive the highest quality care. During the ceremony, CAIPA officials presented Flushing Hospital Medical Center with a plaque that stated “In appreciation for your outstanding and culturally sensitive services to the Asian American community.”

Flushing Hospital Medical Center understands the importance of providing quality care for our Asian community, which comprises roughly 35 percent of our patient population.  As a result, the hospital has taken many steps to meet the population’s needs, including hiring an ethnically diverse staff to help understand and meet the specific needs of those we serve, (over 200 members of Flushing’s staff are bi-lingual in either Chinese or Korean).

While Flushing Hospital Medical Center provides many services, two specific programs were highlighted

  1. Flushing Hospital’s dedicated Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program for Asian patients allows an otherwise private and cautious portion of our population an opportunity to share their feelings and experiences with Asian mental health professionals who can better understand the issues facing those in the Asian communities. This service designed specifically for the Asian community provides a forum to break down cultural barriers and address subjects that might not be addressed.
  2. Flushing Hospital’s Asian Hospitalists Program provides our Chinese and Korean speaking patients the opportunity to have dedicated Asian hospital-based physicians to oversee their care and address all of their needs in the language they are most comfortable communicating. This program allows for better outcomes as our Asian patients can more effectively share their medical issues directly with a physician who speaks their language, allowing our staff to provide the most appropriate care.

During the event, Flushing Hospital’s efforts were highlighted as part of a ten minute video that featured members of the hospital team including Bruce J. Flanz, President and CEO, Dr. Daniel Chen, Assistant Chairman of Mental Health and Dr. Yueting Shang, Coordinator of the Hospitalist Program, who all shared the hospital’s commitment to patient care.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center is proud of their relationship with the Asian American community and will continue to work to meet their healthcare needs and improve the overall wellness of those who depend on us.

 

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.

Dr. Tips from Yan-Qun Sun, MD

Yan-Qun Sun, MD is an orthopedic surgeon affiliated with Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

Dr. Sun specializes in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of injuries and disorders involving the musculoskeletal system, such as hip replacements, arthroscopic surgery, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, ankle and knee and congenital disorders.

With the summer at hand, it is more likely that you will participate in activities enjoyed in the great outdoors such as running, power walking and hiking. There is a risk of obtaining injuries while being physically active. One of the most common injuries that people achieve are ankle sprains.  Dr. Sun would like to give you a few tips on how to identify and treat a mildly sprained ankle.

As Dr. Sun described, “An ankle sprain occurs when you have stretched or torn the ligaments in your ankle. This is often caused by making too quick of a movement, which forces the joint out of its normal position.”

Ankle sprains can range from mild to severe, depending on how much damage has been done to the ligaments.  Typically symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Stiffness or restricted range of motion
  • Redness or warmth in the area

If your symptoms are mild you can treat your injury by:

  • Applying ice- This will help in reducing swelling and pain.
  • Resting the ankle- This can be done by using crutches and keeping the affected leg elevated.
  • Taking over the counter (OTC) painkillers- OTC painkillers such as ibuprofen are effective in managing pain and swelling.
  • Applying compressions- Wrapping your ankle with adhesive bandages or wearing a brace will help reduce swelling and provide protection.

Typically mild sprains tend to last seven to ten days; however, if you are experiencing intense pain, abnormal swelling and are unable to place weight on your ankle, it is likely that your case is severe and needs immediate medical attention.

If  left untreated severe ankle sprains can lead to chronic ankle instability, chronic pain and early onset arthritis.  To reduce the risk of furthering your injury, schedule an appointment with your doctor if symptoms continue past 10 days.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Sun at Flushing Hospital Medical Center call 718-521-4206.

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.

Breast Cancer Surgery

Surgery is a common and effective treatment used to fight breast cancer. Depending on the stage of the disease as well as other factors such as the location or size of the tumor, a doctor may recommend undergoing breast- conserving surgery or a mastectomy.

Breast-conserving surgery (also known as a lumpectomy) is the least invasive and is performed only when the cancer and a portion or margin of surrounding tissue need to be removed.

Mastectomies, which are more invasive, often require the removal of the entire breast. There are several types of mastectomies, however, the most commonly used procedures include:

  • Total or simple mastectomy- This procedure requires the removal of the entire breast with the exception of muscle tissue and underarm lymph nodes beneath the breast.
  • Skin-sparing and nipple-sparing mastectomy- Removes all of the breast tissue but saves as much of the skin of the breast, nipple or areola as possible.
  • Modified radical mastectomy- The removal of the entire breast, overlying skin and underarm lymph nodes is required. This procedure is a modification of the more extensive radical mastectomy of which the entire breast, lymph nodes, nipples and chest wall muscle is removed. According to the American Cancer Society, this surgery is rarely done now because the modified technique has proven to be just as effective with fewer side effects.  Radical mastectomies may still be performed to remove large tumors that grow into the pectoral muscles.

If the option is available after breast cancer removal surgery, a woman can choose to undergo breast reconstruction surgery.  This operation is performed to rebuild the shape and appearance of the breast.

Some women may need to receive additional treatments such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy or targeted therapy after surgery.   The course of treatment required varies from person to person.

 

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.