Flushing Hospital and NYSS Offer Patients a New, Groundbreaking Weight Loss Treatment

Flushing Hospital Medical Center and the New York Surgical Specialists (NYSS) physician group is proud to announce that we offer a safe and effective, non-surgical alternative for individuals who struggle with obesity and have unsuccessfully tried to lose weight through conventional diet and exercise.

Weight loss specialists, Sanjeev Rajpal MD, Darshak Shah MD and Noman Khan MD are all excited that Flushing is one of the only hospitals in the area to offer our patients the revolutionary, Obalon weight loss system. Obalon is the first and only non-surgical, and completely non-invasive weight loss treatment option approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Patients who participate in the Obalon treatment swallow a small, coated capsule connected to a thin tube. Once the capsule is digested, it naturally dissolves and a small, lightweight gastric balloon unfolds. This balloon is then filled with medical gases via the tube before it is removed. This process is repeated two more times over a six month period. Each procedure only takes 10 minutes, requires no sedation and can be performed in our New York Surgical Specialists office.

Once expanded, each to the size of a small orange, the three balloons work to facilitate weight loss by taking up space within the stomach, enabling patients to become fuller while eating less.

After six months the balloons are removed endoscopically while the patient is under light, conscious sedation.

Throughout the entire three-stage, six month process, patients will receive nutritional and exercise support from our weight loss team.

The Obalon Weight Loss System offers many benefits to those patients, who do not qualify for, or are seeking an alternative to bariatric surgery, including:

  • Obalon is clinically proven to be twice as effective as diet and exercise alone
  • There are minimal risks or side effects
  • No sedation is required and the entire procedure only takes 10 minutes
  • Obalon is affordable as compared to other surgical weight loss options, but it is not currently covered by most insurance providers
  • Patients can resume their normal daily lifestyle immediately
  • The procedure is completely reversible

Not everyone is a candidate for the Obalon weight loss system. To qualify, patients must be:

  • At least 22 years old
  • Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30-40
  • Have not had any form of weight loss surgery
  • Are actively attempting to lose weight through diet and exercise
  • Are committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle during and after treatment

To learn more information about the Obalon weight loss system, or to make an appointment with one of our highly qualified physicians, please call Flushing Hospital at 718-670-8908 or our New York Surgical Specialists offices at 718-408-6977.

 

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 Acai Berry

The acai berry is a grapelike fruit that comes from the rainforests of South America. It contains fiber, antioxidants and heart-healthy fats, and is known as a superfood because of all the health benefits it possesses.

Some of the health benefits that are thought to be attributed to the acai berry are that it:

  • Promotes healthy skin
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Helps digestion
  • Is good for weight loss
  • Increases energy level
  • Increases immune system response to infection

The acai berry can usually be found in several health food stores or gourmet food shops. It can be eaten raw, but it also comes in tablet form, and as an additive in some juices, energy drinks, ice cream and jelly. It is usually safe to consume but as with all foods, should be eaten in moderation.

If you are concerned about the effects the acai berry may have on medications that you might be taking, consult with your physician first.

.

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.

Can Hand Sanitizer Prevent the Flu?

During the flu season and throughout the year, protecting against bacteria is a battle fought nationally. There may be varying medical opinions, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is clear on their opinion

According to the CDC, if soap and water is not available, it is recommended that you use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

The CDC cautions that when using a hand sanitizer, you should make sure that all organics (i.e. dirt, food) should be removed from hands prior to applying the hand sanitizer.

After removing the surface substance, it is recommended that you apply a dime sized amount of waterless hand sanitizer to the palm of your hand, rub your hands together making sure to cover all surfaces of the hands and fingers and rub until the hand sanitizer is absorbed.

Some benefits of using a waterless hand sanitizer are:

  • Requires less time than hand washing with soap and water
  • Dries quickly on hands
  • Is more accessible than sinks
  • Reduces the bacterial count on hands
  • Can be less irritating to skin than soap and water

Although medical professionals may have different opinions on how to most effectively protect against bacteria, they all agree that hand washing with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs in most instances.

 

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.

Chronic Kidney Disease

Approximately 30 million adults in the United States are living with chronic kidney disease (CKD).  This condition causes damages to kidneys and leads to a loss of function over time.  If your kidneys are unable to function properly, complications such as hypertension, nerve damage, weakened bones and anemia can develop. CKD also increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

While high blood pressure can result from chronic kidney disease, it can also be the cause of it.  Other conditions and diseases that can cause CKD include diabetes, recurrent kidney infections, prolonged obstruction of the urinary tract and vesicoureteral reflux.

Anyone at any age can develop chronic kidney disease; however, some people are more at risk than others. You may have an increased risk for CKD if you:

  • Have a family history of kidney  failure
  • Have diabetes
  • Have hypertension
  • Are obese
  • Have cardiovascular disease
  • Are a smoker
  • Are of African American, Native American, Pacific Islander or Asian American descent
  • Are an older adult

Signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease can vary by individual and may appear over time as the disease progresses. They can include:

  • Muscle cramps and twitches
  • Swelling of feet and ankles
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Itchy skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • High blood pressure
  • Vomiting

There are several things you can do to prevent CKD and keep your kidneys healthy.  Maintaining a healthy diet and cutting back on food rich in sugar and salt is beneficial for your kidneys, as well as monitoring cholesterol levels, keeping hydrated, quitting smoking and drinking in moderation.

If you are living with chronic kidney disease, it is strongly advised that you keep blood pressure and blood sugar levels under control, moderate protein consumption, reduce salt intake, avoid NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and get the flu shot each year.

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’s Hernia Center Offers Expert Care to Those in Need

Flushing Hospital Medical Center now offers a comprehensive center to diagnose and treat a variety of forms of hernias.

A hernia occurs when an organ or fatty tissue pushes through a weak spot or an opening in the muscle or tissue that is supposed to hold it in place.  There are many different types of hernias, including inguinal, hiatal, umbilical, and incisional.

 

  • An inguinal hernia occurs when the intestines push through the lower abdominal wall, often in the inguinal canal located in the groin. . This is the most common type of hernia and it is more common in man than women.
  • A hiatal hernia develops when part of the stomach protrudes up through the diaphragm into the chest cavity. This type of hernia almost always results in gastroesophageal reflux. Hiatal hernias are most common in adults 50 years or older.
  • Umbilical hernias present in children and babies under six months old. They occur when the child’s intestines bulge through their abdominal wall, near the belly button.  An umbilical hernia is the only type that can go away on its own as the babies muscles get stronger.
  • An incisional hernia can take place after abdominal surgery. During this time, the tissues and muscles are typically weak and the intestines may push through an incision scar.

Hernias can develop quickly or slowly build over a long period of time. There are many factors that can contribute to the onset of a hernia. One of the most common reasons is straining a muscle while lifting heavy weight. Other factors include: being pregnant, being constipated, sudden weight gain, or persistent coughing or sneezing.

The most common symptom of a hernia is a bulge in the affected area. They are most identifiable through touch, especially when standing up, bending over, coughing, or crying (in babies). Other symptoms include pain in the affected area, weakness, or a burning sensation. Hiatal hernias will often result in acid reflux, chest pain, and possibly difficulty swallowing.

Your doctor can diagnose a hernia through a physical examination. Sometimes an x-ray or endoscopy is necessary. Treatment options for your hernia depend on the size and severity and can include lifestyle changes, medication or surgery.

Lifestyle changes can include altering your diet, exercising to increase muscle strength, avoiding lifting heavy objects and maintaining good posture.  Medications may be helpful in the treatment of a hiatal hernia. In most cases however, surgery may be required.

Hernia procedures can be done using open or laparoscopic techniques and Flushing Hospital’s new Hernia Center offers a wide variety of options for both methods. Our expert staff has a great deal of experience in this field with excellent outcomes. Many of the procedures can be performed with minimally invasive techniques, including the utilization of our da Vinci Robotic Surgery System.

For more information about Flushing Hospital’s Hernia Center, please call 718-670-3135.

 

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.

February is American Heart Month

Over 50 years ago President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed the month of February to be American Heart Month in order to bring attention to one of the leading causes of death in the United States. This tradition has been carried on by every President since.
Each year over 800,000 lives are taken as a result of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.  Every 84 seconds someone in the United States dies from the disease and each year approximately 750,000 people experience a heart attack and of those, about 115,000 will not survive.
The American Heart Association recommends the following behavioral modifications to prevent heart disease:
• Avoid smoking
• Engage in some form of daily physical activity
• Follow a healthy diet
• Maintain a healthy body weight
• Control cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels
The death rate from heart disease has been improving slowly over the last decade due to advances in medications, better diagnostic capabilities, and better access to health care, but the statistics are still pretty alarming. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist at Jamaica 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.

Benefits of Eating Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate has received a great deal of attention because it’s believed to help protect your cardiovascular system. The reason being is that the cocoa bean is rich in a class of plant nutrients called flavonoids.

Higher grades of dark chocolate are where you will find an abundance of flavonoids.

Some benefits to adding a moderate amount of dark chocolate to your diet are:

  • Nutrition – If the dark chocolate you are eating has a high cocoa content it will also have a sufficient amount of soluble fiber and will be rich with minerals.
  • Antioxidants – Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants, such as polyphenols, flavanols and catechins to name a few.
  • Blood Flow and Hypertension – The bioactive compounds in cocoa have been known to improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but significant decrease in blood pressure.
  • Heart Disease – Eating dark chocolate has shown to be beneficial in improving several important risk factors for heart disease, reducing insulin resistance, increase high density lipoprotein (HDL or “good” cholesterol) and decreasing low density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad” cholesterol). These reductions could show decrease in cardiovascular disease.

Be careful about the type of dark chocolate you choose: chewy caramel-marshmallow-nut-covered dark chocolate is by no means a heart-healthy food option. Watch out for those extra ingredients that can add lots of extra fat and calories.

There is currently no established serving size of dark chocolate to help you reap the cardiovascular benefits it may offer, and more research is needed in this area. So, for now, it is recommended that a moderate portion of chocolate (e.g., 1 ounce) a few times per week is sufficient while eating other flavonoid-rich foods (lettuce, almonds, strawberries, celery oranges, etc.).

Even though there is evidence that eating dark chocolate can provide health benefits, it doesn’t mean you should over indulge.  It is still loaded with calories and easy to overeat.

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.

Pregnancy And The Flu

Due to changes that occur in the immune system during pregnancy, women are at a high risk for developing serious health complications caused by the flu.

A weakened immune system can leave many moms-to-be vulnerable to severe flu-related illnesses such as pneumonia which could lead to hospitalization.

Not only can the flu compromise a mother’s health but it can also negatively affect the health of an unborn baby. Pregnant women with the virus are more likely than others to deliver low-birth-weight babies. High fever resulting from the flu may also affect the development of the baby during the first trimester.

Doctors advise that women who become sick and display flu symptoms such as difficulty breathing, a high fever, persistent vomiting or sudden dizziness seek immediate medical attention.

It is highly recommended that expecting mothers receive the flu vaccination to prevent transmission of the virus and to reduce the severity of its complications.

For moms who may be concerned about the safety of the vaccination, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states, “Flu shots have been given to millions of pregnant women over many years with a good safety record. There is a lot of evidence that flu vaccines can be given safely during pregnancy.”

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.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a condition thought to be caused by an increase in the way the brain processes pain sensation throughout the musculoskeletal system of the body. The result is a chronic sensation of pain that is often debilitating and life changing. Women tend to be affected by fibromyalgia more than men but the reason for that is unclear. In some people, fibromyalgia appears after a trauma, a surgical procedure, an infection, or after a stressful event. There also may be some correlation to it running in families.
Scientists believe that there may be an overstimulation of the pain receptors that causes the symptoms.  Symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
• Pain all over the body
• Fatigue
• Difficulty focusing
• Migraine headaches
• Anxiety
• Depression
Fibromyalgia is diagnosed through a physical exam and blood tests that examines thyroid function, red and white blood cell count, rheumatoid arthritis factor and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate. If a person has pain for three months and no obvious medical reason for it, it might be reason to rule out fibromyalgia.
There is no one method of treating fibromyalgia that is completely effective.
• Treatment options include:
• Physical therapy
• Pain relievers
• Anti-depressants
• Getting adequate rest
• Acupuncture
• Regular exercise
If you have symptoms of fibromyalgia and 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.

Safety Tips For Shoveling Snow This Winter

Winter and snow go hand in hand and we are never more likely to get a heavy snowfall than in February, which is typically the snowiest month,. Anticipating the potential for a snowstorm this month, Flushing Hospital would like to provide you with some heart health tips before you go out to shovel snow.

By now, we have all heard about the risk of shoveling snow and suffering a heart attack, but is this true? The fact is shoveling snow (or to a less extent, even pushing a heavy snow blower) is considered a more strenuous activity than running full speed on a treadmill.  But why should pushing around some white flakes be more dangerous than any other form of exercise?

The biggest reason why heart attacks are so common while snow shoveling has as much to do with the weather as it does with the activity.  The cold temperature is a key contributor to the onset of a heart attack. Frozen temperatures can boost blood pressure, interrupt blood flow to the heart, and make blood more likely to clot.

Another factor to consider is who is doing the shoveling.  If you are a healthy and physically fit individual there is much less of a risk to suffer a heart attack, but unfortunately not everyone who attempts to shovel snow fits into that category. For those who do not exercise as frequently, (especially during the winter when we tend to be less active) or have a history of hypertension or heart disease need to follow the following tips before going out to shovel:

  • Avoid shoveling as soon as you wake up as this is when most heart attacks occur
  • Do not drink coffee, eat a heavy meal or smoke cigarettes immediately before or while shoveling
  • Warm up your muscles before you begin
  • Shovel many light loads instead of fewer heavy ones
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration

Know the early signs and symptoms of a heart attack. If you experience a squeezing pain in your chest, shortness of breath, racing heartbeat, pain radiating from your left shoulder and down your left arm, cold sweats, accompanied by fatigue and nausea, stop shoveling, go inside and call 911 immediately.
If you are at a high risk of suffering a heart attack, avoid shoveling snow completely. Try asking a family member, friend or neighborhood teen to help you out.

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.