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.

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.

How Can Wearing Gloves Get You Sick?

We wear gloves during this time of year to protect ourselves from the cold, wintery elements. These accessories are meant to serve as a layer of defense, but could they actually contribute to getting us sick during cold and flu season?

While outer garments like gloves serve a very important function in keeping us warm, they can also be the potential transmitter of harmful germs if they are not washed regularly. When you think about it, we use our gloves when we open doors, hold escalator rails, and ride the train, all of which are breeding grounds for viruses. After touching these things, we might use our glove covered hands to scratch our noses and cover our mouths. In a pinch, we might even use our gloves to wipe our nose when a tissue isn’t available.  These actions can take place every day for the duration of the winter, but ask yourself when was the last time you washed your gloves? The fact is gloves pick up everything bare hands do and very few people wash their gloves frequently enough.

It is estimated that certain viruses such as the flu can live on your gloves for two to three days, while stomach viruses, such as the rotavirus and norovirus can remain active for up to a month.

To avoid getting sick from your gloves, follow these simple tips:

  • Wash them at least once a week. Cotton products are easiest to clean by using a washing machine while wool products need to be hand washed. Leather gloves will require dry cleaning
  • Never use your mouth to pull off your gloves. The best way to remove your gloves is from back to front, similar to healthcare workers
  • If you are wearing your gloves in snowy or wet conditions, allow them to air dry rather than shoving them into your pockets or into the sleeve of your coat.
  • Avoid touching ATMs, elevator buttons, railings, or shopping carts with a gloved hand. It is much easier to sanitize your bare hand than it is to clean your gloves
  • Always wash your hands after removing your gloves to avoid contamination

Following these steps can reduce the chances of getting sick this winter.

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.

How Can Your Job Negatively Affect Your Health?

Many of our life can affect our health in. What food we eat, how often we exercise and how much sleep we get are all things we pay attention to when trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, one aspect of our daily lives that can affect our physical and mental health more than we think might not get the attention it deserves.

We spend most of our waking hours at one place more than any other – work. Many studies have linked our work environment to our overall level of health and the results are very telling. Research has indicated that there are many factors shown to affect the relationship between our chosen profession and our overall well-being, including:

  • Work Overload – Statistics indicate that Americans work longer hours, retire later and take fewer vacations than most other counties. These traits can lead to a variety of physical and mental health problems including heart disease and depression.
  • Lack of Physical Activity – For those who work in an office setting, lack of physical activity can also lead to many health issues. Those who have sedentary jobs experience a greater incidence of diabetes, muscle-related pain and fatigue. Those who stare at a computer all day also report higher rates of issues with their eyes.
  • Lack of Break Time – Whether it’s due to being overworked or guilt over momentarily stepping away from our responsibilities, the formal “break time” has become a thing of the past. Failure to take time-out from our work can lead to increased level of stress and decreased personal happiness.
  • Staying at a Job You Hate – Consider yourself blessed if you love what you do for a living. The fact is many people work to pay the bills, but hate what they do. Research has indicated that those who continue to continue to work in an environment where they are unhappy are more likely to suffer from exhaustion and stress.
  • Long Commute – Our workday doesn’t begin and end when we punch in and out. Hours of frustration can be added to our day during our commute. Studies have indicated that those living in large cities, where the commute is typically longer, are less happy in the workplace and burnout quicker.
  • Interpersonal Relationships at Work – While there is no rule that states you have to love your co-workers, having a solid relationship with them is generally considered better for your health. Those who hate who they work with tend to have higher rates of physical and mental health issues.

Finding a healthy work environment can sometimes be easier said than done, but it’s important to recognize the negative impact a bad workplace atmosphere can have on your health. If you are experiencing any physical or mental health conditions that you feel are related to your current profession, you should carefully consider choosing another career option that is more suitable for you.

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 Robotic Surgery Team Completes 1000th Procedure

The Department of Surgery at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, with the help of a robot named da Vinci, recently reached a major milestone. In late 2017, surgeons at Flushing Hospital completed their 1000th robotic surgical procedure.

Flushing Hospital added the da Vinci robotic surgical platforms to the Department of Surgery a little over two years ago – and the response to the system has been overwhelming. Using da Vinci’s advanced technology surgeons at Flushing Hospital now perform minimally invasive procedures with much better outcomes.

The da Vinci Surgical Robotic Platform serves as an extension of the hospital’s highly trained and esteemed surgeons.  It consists of a console located in the operating room where the surgeon sits and controls the movements of the robot’s arms during surgery.

The extremely precise tool has proven to be a safer option for patients and it affords them many advantages, including:

  • Minimal scarring
  • Less pain and blood loss
  • Faster recovery time
  • Reduced risk of infection
  • Shorter hospital stay

Many of Flushing Hospital’s surgeons across many specialties have been trained on the da Vinci system over the past two years and they have used it to benefit their patients requiring general, bariatric (weight loss), gynecology, urology, GI, and hernia procedures, just to name a few. The wide variety of uses combined with the numerous benefits has made the da Vinci a popular choice for Flushing Hospital doctors and patients.

The hospital is very proud to have performed over 1000 cases in such a short period of time. This achievement confirms that Flushing Hospital is now a leader in robotic surgical technology and a preferred destination for some many opting for this highly advanced technology.

For more information about the da Vinci surgical system at Flushing Hospital, 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.

Is Your New Year’s Resolution To Lose Weight?

The most popular time of year to start a diet is when the calendar turns over to a new year. If your 2018 New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight, Flushing Hospital’s Bariatric Center offers the following tips:

  • Set a Goal – You can’t set out on a mission to lose weight without knowing how you are going to do it. Create a detailed weight-loss plan and set a goal that is specific, measurable and realistic.
  • Be Patient! – In most cases if you make modest adjustments in your lifestyle, you can lose the weight gradually, but steadily. Dietary changes are typically easier to follow when you take slow, small steps.
  • Drink Plenty of Water – Water is free of calories, inexpensive and provides your body with a quenching boost. Recommendations are to drink eights cups of water every day, but if that is unrealistic, try slowly increasing your intake by drinking a few ounces more than you did the previous day.
  • Avoid the Munchies – It is very easy to lose track of how much we eat when we are constantly nibbling on snacks. To avoid constant munching, try chewing gum or drinking water.  If you must snack, try choosing healthy alternatives.
  • Make a Deal to Indulge – Definitely remove your dietary weakness from your home, but totally banning your favorite foods is bound to backfire. Instead of totally eliminating temptations from your life, allow yourself to modestly indulge once a week.
  • Begin a Manageable Workout Program – Forking over money on an annual gym membership can be helpful, but simply signing up isn’t enough. Instead of setting unrealistic workout goals, create a convenient and realistic workout routine at home.
  • Have a Friend Help You – Starting a diet can be more effective if you have someone to hold you accountable. Teaming up with a weight-loss companion can assist you reach your goal by helping you stick to your diet and accompany you with your workout routine.

Hopefully, these tips will help you reach your weight loss goals in 2018. If however, you need professional assistance, Flushing Hospital’s Bariatric Center can help. They offer a variety of non-invasive, medically managed surgical weight loss options for those who qualify.

To make an appointment, 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.

How Can You Save Someone From Choking? Learn How to Perform the Heimlich Maneuver

The holidays offer us with many opportunities to surround ourselves with friends and family.  While these gatherings with loved ones are meant to be happy times, there are opportunities for a tragedy to occur. Whether it is a loved one choking on food at a Christmas party or a young child having a small toy stuck in their throat, there is always the potential for a bad outcome. By learning how to administer the Heimlich maneuver, you can avoid a catastrophe by saving a choking victim.

Choking occurs when a foreign object gets lodged in the throat or windpipe, blocking the flow of air. In adults, a piece of food is often the culprit. Young children often swallow small objects. Because choking cuts off oxygen to the brain, give first aid as quickly as possible.

You can act fast if you know what signs to look for. The universal sign for choking is hands clutched to the throat. If the person doesn’t give the signal, look for these indications:

  • Inability to talk
  • Difficulty breathing or noisy breathing
  • Squeaky sounds when trying to breathe
  • Cough, which may either be weak or forceful
  • Skin, lips and nails turning blue or dusky
  • Skin that is flushed, then turns pale or bluish in color
  • Loss of consciousness

If the person is able to cough forcefully, the person should keep coughing. If the person is choking and can’t talk, cry or laugh forcefully, The American Heart Association advises administering the Heimlich maneuver immediately.

How to perform the Heimlich Maneuver on someone else:

  • Stand behind the person.Place one foot slightly in front of the other for balance. Wrap your arms around the waist. Tip the person forward slightly. If a child is choking, kneel down behind the child.
  • Make a fist with one hand.Position it slightly above the person’s navel.
  • Grasp the fist with the other hand.Press hard into the abdomen with a quick, upward thrust — as if trying to lift the person up.
  • Perform between six and 10 abdominal thrustsuntil the blockage is dislodged.

If you’re the only rescuer, continue to perform these measures before calling 911. If another person is available, have that person call for help while you perform first aid.

Measures to save a choking child differ from those administered on an adult. Follow these tips if the victim is under age 1:

  • Assume a seated position and hold the infant face down on your forearm, which is resting on your thigh. Support the infant’s head and neck with your hand, and place the head lower than the trunk.
  • Thump the infant gently but firmlyfive times on the middle of the back using the heel of your hand. The combination of gravity and the back blows should release the blocking object. Keep your fingers pointed up to avoid hitting the infant in the back of the head.
  • Turn the infant face up on your forearm,resting on your thigh with the head lower than the trunk if the infant still isn’t breathing. Using two fingers placed at the center of the infant’s breastbone, give five quick chest compressions. Press down about 1 1/2 inches, and let the chest rise again in between each compression.
  • Repeat the back blows and chest thrustsif breathing doesn’t resume. Call for emergency medical help.
  • Begin infant CPRif one of these techniques opens the airway but the infant doesn’t resume breathing.

If the child is older than age 1 and conscious, give abdominal thrusts only. Be careful not to use too much force to avoid damaging ribs or internal organs.

To prepare yourself for these situations, learn the Heimlich maneuver and CPR in a certified first-aid training course.

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 Pulmonologist, David Wisa Provides Information on COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a common lung disease that is prevalent in our community. COPD can also be described as chronic bronchitis or emphysema.

COPD may cause shortness of breath, coughing, sputum production and wheezing. These symptoms result from damage and narrowing of the airways. COPD may also put patients at risk for pneumonia which is an infection of the lung

According to Dr David M. Wisa, Associate Director of Pulmonary Medicine at Flushing Hospital, “The most common cause of COPD is damage to the lung from smoking cigarettes, although not all smokers develop COPD.  The use of indoor wood burning stoves may cause similar lung damage leading to COPD. People who are found to have COPD at a young age may warrant further evaluation for possible predisposing genetic conditions.”

COPD can be a serious disease and symptoms may worsen over time without proper evaluation and treatment. The most important treatment methods are ones that patients can do on their own. First, quitting smoking will help reduce symptoms and reduce further damage to the lung. Lung function in all patients decline due to normal aging, in smokers with COPD that decline is significantly accelerated.  Second, patients should receive their flu shot annually and the pneumonia vaccine at the proper time as recommended by their doctor.

Further therapies for COPD can be prescribed by your primary care doctor or a lung specialist called a Pulmonologist who can prescribe medications that can help reduce symptoms and improve lung function.  They may include a variety of inhalers that can be taken daily or when symptoms arise. There are also some oral medications that are indicated in specific situations. Other therapies include home oxygen, an exercise program called rehabilitation and rarely surgery.

If you are having symptoms consistent with COPD see your doctor. If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr Wusa, or any the Pulmonologists at Flushing Hopsital, 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 Cold Weather Outdoor Exercise

Winter weather doesn’t mean the end of your outdoor exercise routine. If you plan to continue to run or bike after the mercury drops, consider following these tips so you can stay safe and warm while exercising in the cold.

Know the weather conditions before heading outdoors – In addition to the temperature, those heading outside to exercise need to understand how wind and precipitation can affect your health.  These factors, combined with the length of time spent outdoors need to be taken into consideration before beginning an outdoor exercise regime.

Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia –Frostbite is most common on exposed skin, such as your cheeks, nose and ears. It can also occur on hands and feet. Early warning signs include numbness, loss of feeling or a stinging sensation.

Hypothermia is abnormally low body temperature. When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Hypothermia signs and symptoms include intense shivering, slurred speech, loss of coordination and fatigue.

Get out of the cold and seek emergency help right away if you experience symptoms of frostbite or hypothermia.

Dress in layers – Dressing too warmly is a big mistake when exercising in cold weather. Exercise generates a considerable amount of heat — enough to make you feel like it’s much warmer than it really is. The best option is to dress in layers that can be removed as soon as you start to sweat and then put layers back on as needed.

Protect your head, hands, feet and ears – When it’s cold, blood flow is concentrated in your body’s core, leaving your head, hands and feet vulnerable. Ways to protect these parts of your body include wearing a thin pair of glove liners under a pair of heavier gloves, purchasing exercise shoes one size larger to allow for thick thermal socks or an extra pair of regular socks. And don’t forget a hat to protect your head or headband to protect your ears.

Use proper safety gear – If it’s dark when you exercise outside, wear reflective clothing. If you ride a bike, both headlights and taillights are a good idea. Also choose footwear with enough traction to prevent falls, especially if it’s icy or snowy.

It’s as easy to get sunburned in winter as in summer — even more so if you’re exercising in the snow or at high altitudes. Wear a sunscreen and lip balm with sunscreen. Protect your eyes from snow and ice glare with dark glasses or goggles.

Drink plenty of fluids – Don’t forget about hydration, as it’s just as important during cold weather as it is in the heat. Drink water or sports drinks before, during and after your workout, even if you’re not really thirsty.

These tips can help you safely and enjoyably exercise in cold conditions. Closely monitor how your body feels during cold-weather exercise to help prevent injuries. While exercise is safe for almost everyone, even in cold weather, if you do have certain condition such as asthma or heart disease that could limit you ability, you should check with your doctor 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.

What is a Stye and How Can it be Treated?

A stye is a red bump that develops either on the inside or the outside of your eyelid. Styes can be tender and cause minor irritation, but they are usually not serious.

Similar to how you get a pimple on your face is how you can get a stye on your eye; it is simply the result of the gland along your eyelid becoming clogged.

Signs that you have developed a stye include:

  • Redness and tender feeling near your eyelid
  • You develop a bump with a small pus spot in the center
  • You have a sensation  that there’s something in your eye
  • Your eye feels sensitive to bright light
  • There is crust along your eyelid
  • You have a scratchy or itchy feeling around the eye
  • Your eye produces extra tears

Styes typically burst and go away on their own after a few days. But there are a few tips to treat your stye and minimize some of the symptoms.

  • Soak a clean washcloth in warm water and put it over the stye for approximately five to ten minutes and repeat several times per day.
  • Clean your eyelid with a cotton swab soaked in a mild baby shampoo. Avoid using harsh soaps as they can irritate and burn your eye.
  • Resist the urge to squeeze or pop your stye. This will only make the situation worse.
  • Keep your face and eyes very clean, and get rid of any crust you see around your eye.
  • If you are experiencing soreness around the eye, you can take a pain reliever, such as ibuprofen.
  • Avoid wearing eye make-up
  • If you wear contacts, try switching to glasses. After the stye has healed, make sure you clean and disinfect your contacts or replace them with a new pair.

You shouldn’t have to see your doctor for a stye. But it’s a good idea to make an appointment if your stye doesn’t get better after a few days, if you are in a great deal of pain, or if it affects your vision.

To see a doctor at Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center, 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.