What is a Hysterectomy?

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 has 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.

Cold or Spring Allergies?

The transition from winter to spring can be challenging to your health. The change in seasons often results in an overlap of symptoms that could be either the remnants of a winter cold or the first signs of spring allergies.

While many of the symptoms of colds and allergies are similar, the causes of each are very different.

Colds are contagious and they are contracted when a person is exposed to an individual infected with a cold virus.  Our body’s immune system will launch a counter attack against the virus. This response usually brings on the classic symptoms, such as a runny nose or cough.

An allergic reaction is caused by an overactive immune system that mistakes harmless things, such as pollen, and attacks them. To combat what it thinks are germs, your body releases chemicals called histamines as a defense. The release of these histamines can cause a swelling of the nasal passages and result in coughing and sneezing. Allergies are not contagious.

While many of the symptoms are similar, the easiest way to determine if you have a cold or are suffering from allergies is the duration of your condition. While most colds last from three to 14 days, allergies can last for months as long as the person is in contact with the allergen. Other differences are:

  • An allergic reaction will begin immediately after exposure to an allergen while cold symptoms usually take approximately three days to appear after exposure
  • Colds can sometimes cause fever and body aches while allergies never do
  • An allergic reaction can often result in itchy, watery eyes, which a cold rarely produces this type of reaction

Once a determination between cold or allergy is made, the appropriate treatment can be applied.

There is no cure for a cold, but there are medications that can help alleviate the symptoms. Cough syrups, pain relievers, decongestant sprays, or multi-symptom cold relief medicines can all be used to help, but should only be taken after consulting your doctor, especially if you are taking other medications or if you have other underlying health conditions. Drinking plenty of liquids also speeds up the recovery process.

To treat allergies, your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter antihistamine to block the reaction to the allergens. There are many forms of antihistamines and some may cause drowsiness so be sure to look for the non-drowsy formula or only take them at night. Decongestants may also be suggested to relieve nasal congestion and avoid an infection.

If you are not sure if you have a cold or allergies, please speak with your doctor. If you do not have a doctor, Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center can help. To make an appointment, please call 718-670-8939.

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.

Why Am I So Tired?

Daylight Saving Time began at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 11th.  Lots of notifications were disseminated to remind you to set your clocks forward and try to get to bed a little earlier to compensate for that lost hour.

What they didn’t tell you is that your circadian rhythm or internal clock may have been interrupted by this change in time. In order to reset your internal clock, the food you eat might be the key to providing you a smoother transition.

Studies show that certain foods tend to produce a more restful night’s sleep. Foods that are likely to give you a deeper sleep are:

  • Milk
  •  Turkey
  • Honey
  • Nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, etc.)
  • Kale
  • Rice (or other forms of carbohydrates)

The secret to these foods are the vitamins they contain, as well as the hormones they help the brain to produce. Calcium is a natural sleep inducer, especially when consumed with magnesium. Calcium and magnesium both naturally produce melatonin, so consuming dairy products, wheat, and beans can all lead to a more restful sleep.

Melatonin is a hormone the brain produces naturally that also greatly contributes to a good night’s sleep.

Additionally, some proteins, such as lean meats, produce tryptophan, an amino acid that causes sleepiness. Carbohydrates, such as starches and fibers, can also cause fatigue, this occurs when the body breaks them down and they become sugar. Some healthy carbohydrates can be found in whole grain, cereal, and vegetables.

While some foods can help you get a better night’s sleep, other foods and eating habits can reduce your amount of sleep. Some of these include:

  • Eating too much or too little
  • Caffeine (after lunchtime)
  • Fatty foods (fast food, junk food, etc.)
  • Eating late at night • Alcohol (in large doses)

Try to avoid these bad eating habits and replace them with healthy foods that are high in calcium, magnesium, healthy carbohydrates, and protein.

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.

Endometriosis Awareness Month

Endometriosis Awareness takes the spotlight during the month of March with a mission to raise awareness about the disease which currently affects an estimated 176 million women around the globe.

Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus- grows outside the uterus. This abnormal growth of tissue can commonly be found on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, ligaments that support the uterus, as well as areas between the rectum and vagina.  Areas where endometriosis is less commonly found are the lungs, thighs, arms and other areas beyond the reproductive organs or lower abdomen.

Endometrial tissue develops into growths or clumps called implants.  These clusters of tissue respond to the menstrual cycle the same as they would inside the uterus.  Meaning, each month the tissue builds up, breaks down then sheds.  Unlike the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus; endometrial tissue cannot be discharged from the body through vaginal bleeding.  This results in inflammation, swelling, the formation of scar tissue or internal bleeding.

The symptoms of endometriosis typically present themselves during reproductive years- on average between the ages of 12 to 60 years old.  Symptoms include:

  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Pain during pelvic examinations
  • Severe pain during menstruation
  • Pain during urination or a bowel movement
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infertility

The cause of endometriosis is unknown but several factors such as genetics, retrograde period flow, immune system disorders and hormones are being researched.

Most cases are diagnosed in women between the ages of 25 to 35 years of age; however, some women with endometriosis remain undiagnosed because they do not have symptoms and the disorder is sometimes mistaken for other conditions.

Women who do experience symptoms should speak with their doctor about receiving tests such as pelvic examinations, laparoscopy and imaging tests, to find out if they  have endometriosis.

Although there is no cure for endometriosis, effective treatments including medication, surgery and alternative therapies are available.

If you are experiencing the symptoms it is recommended that you make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible. If you would like to make an appointment with a gynecologist, 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.

Mood Music

Music has been known to make us smile, excite us, make us dance or bring us to tears.  It can bring back a memory so vividly that we actually feel we are there.

Music can stabilize or have an enhancing effect on our mood, but how does it have this profound power over a person’s emotions?

Maybe because it is a common phenomenon that crosses all boarders of nationality, race and culture.  Music is often used as a tool for arousing feelings and can be far more impactful than language.

Did you know that when we listen to a musical rhythm, our heart can actually begin to synch with it?  Studies have shown that a “major key” will signify cheerful communication to our brain, while a “minor key” can bring on sighs and lamentations. All of this has an effect on the brain, which directs our psyche to feel what’s being communicated to us.

In many instances, music is utilized for treating depressed or anxious patients since the meter, timber, rhythm and pitch of musical arrangements are managed in areas of the brain that deal with emotions and mood.

Although the overall phenomenon still has its certain level of mystery, many people turn to music for a general sense of well-being.

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.

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.

Winter Weather Exercising Tips

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.

Winter Pregnancy Tips

Winter presents several factors that can make being pregnant challenging.  Extremely cold temperatures and other severe weather conditions can put expectant mothers at risk for injuries. The cold-weather season is also the peak time of year for illnesses such as the flu to develop.

It is very important for pregnant women to follow proper safety and preventative measures to remain healthy and reduce the chances of an accident.  Here are a few:

  1. Dress appropriately– Pregnant women have an altered center of gravity. Wearing heels or other impractical footwear is not recommended, especially in icy or slippery conditions. Consider shoes that are flat and are designed with safety features such as rubber and slip-resistant bottoms. It is also important to wear warm clothing, dress in layers if necessary.
  2. Take measures to prevent the flu– According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza (flu) activity increases during October and November and peaks between December and February. During these months, the CDC recommends that moms-to-be receive the flu shot and practice preventative actions such as washing their hands to keep the flu at bay.
  3. Exercise safely- When temperatures are frigid and there is snow or ice on the ground, exercising indoors is best. Activities such as mall walking or joining a class at the gym are both suggested options for those experiencing cabin fever.
  4. Stay hydrated- Dry temperatures indoors and outdoors causes our bodies to lose water and moisture in the winter. Expectant moms should be mindful of their water intake and try to stay hydrated, as severe dehydration can lead to preterm labor.
  5. Eat a healthy diet- It is important to eat balanced meals. Eating fresh fruit and vegetables each day can help to boost the immune system.

Following these tips can help pregnant women to stay safe and healthy during the winter season. However, it is recommended that expectant mothers speak to their doctors to learn about all the ways they can reduce their risk of injuries and prevent winter-related illnesses from developing. To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-670-8992.

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.