This Spring, NYSS and Flushing Hospital Offer the Safe and Effective Obalon Non-Surgical Weight Loss Procedure for Those Looking to Shed Their Winter Weight

Spring is here and with it comes the promise of warmer weather. For many, this time of year also brings with it renewed attempts to shed the extra pounds they put on over the winter. If you have tried repeatedly to lose weight through conventional diet and exercise , but have been unsuccessful and bariatric surgery is not for you, doctors at Flushing Hospital may have a safe and effective weight-loss option for you.

Doctors Sanjeev Rajpal, Darshak Shah and Noman Khan of New York Surgical Specialists (NYSS) are all excited that they are some of the only physicians in the area to offer their 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 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 remotely filled with medical gases via the tube before it is removed. The balloon, once fully inflated, is only the size of a small orange.

This procedure is repeated two more times over a six month period. Once expanded, the three balloons work to facilitate weight loss by taking up space within the stomach, enabling patients to become fuller while eating less.

Each procedure only takes 10 minutes, requires no sedation and can be performed in the NYSS office. 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 Flushing Hospital’s 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 clinical 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 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.

Employee Spotlight – Alex Regoso

Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s (FHMC) Employee Spotlight for March shines on Alex Regoso.

Alex is the Lead Operator for the hospital’s switchboard for the past 12 years, often times being the first voice our patients and visitors hear. He is responsible for maintaining the hospital’s phone system, pagers and pager systems but that isn’t all he does.  It’s safe to say that Alex Regoso is the “go to techie” for anyone who needs help with their audio visual presentation

He and his wife Michelle have two children, Aiden (12) and Zoe (9).  When asked what he likes to do when he  isn’t at FHMC, Alex responded that he can be found “Cooking, (Alex has a BA in Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts) eating, traveling, being involved in this children’s lives and activities, as well as practicing Filipino Martial Arts (FMA).  “

“Flushing Hospital has always been a part of my life.  I was born here, my mom provided for her family by working here and now I provide for my family by working at FHMC.  A bit of history that Alex shared is, his mom Rose worked in the NICU from 1970 – 2006. Flushing Hospital Medical Center is a big family and I am happy to help anyone who enters its doors.”

Admitting that some days can be more stressful than others, Alex stated, “I leave work stress behind at the exit doors and never take it home with me.

When you ask his co-workers what is most notable about Alex, they are quick to respond that he always has a positive attitude, is always willing to help and does so with a smile.

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 Often Should You Have Your Vision Checked ?

March is Save Your Vision Month
How often should you have your vison checked?
A) Every year
B) Every two years
C) Every three years
D) Only when something is wrong
According to the American Optometric Association a healthy person should have a regular eye exam once a year. People who have any conditions that may affect their eyesight, for example diabetes, glaucoma, macula-degeneration, should be examined more frequently.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with an eye 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.

Diabetes Alert Day

March 27 is Diabetes Alert Day. The observance created by the American Diabetes Association, is held the last Tuesday in March each year to help raise awareness about the seriousness of diabetes when it is left undiagnosed or untreated.

Diabetes affects approximately 30 million people living in the United States and nearly 1 in 4 is unaware that they have the disease.

Undiagnosed or untreated diabetes can develop into more complicated health conditions that can include kidney damage, heart disease, nerve damage or stroke.

Learning if you are at risk and taking the necessary steps to prevent or treat diabetes can lower your chances of developing serious illnesses that result from the disease.

Some people are more at risk than others. You may be at risk if you:

  • Are overweight or obese
  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Are African American, Asian American, Hispanic, American Indian or Pacific Islander
  • Are physically inactive
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels

The American Diabetes Association also encourages you to take the Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test http://www.diabetes.org/are-you-at-risk/diabetes-risk-test/?loc=alertday.

There are several lifestyle changes you can adopt to lower your risk or take control of your diabetes, they include:

  • Getting adequate amounts of fiber in your diet
  • Becoming more physically active
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Maintaining a well-balanced diet
  • Managing blood pressure levels
  • Keeping your cholesterol at a normal level
  • Taking medications as prescribed

According to the American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Alert Day serves as a one- day “wakeup call”.  Use this day as a reminder to speak with your physician about your risk factors and steps you can take to stay healthy.

To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Flushing Hospital Medical 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.

Today is World TB Day – Learn the Facts About Tuberculosis

March 24th has been designated TBglobally as “World TB Day”. The event began in 1982 is sponsored by the World Health Organization and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease and is intended to raise awareness that anyone can contract TB to make health professionals aware of the importance of testing people for the disease.

This date was chosen to celebrate  the discovery by Dr. Robert Koch of the Mycobacterium tuberculoisis (the bacteria that causes tuberculosis) in 1882. This important discovery was the beginning of the steps being taken to control and hopefully one day eradicate the disease. Unfortunately, TB is still one of the leading causes of death around the world.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious bacterial disease that affects mainly the lungs but can also affect the kidneys, brain and the spine.  Signs and symptoms may include:
• Coughing up blood
• Fatigue
• Fever
• Chills
• Night sweats
• Loss of appetite
• Pain with breathing

TB is spread by coming into contact with the airborne droplets  of the bacteria from an infected person. People most susceptible are those who have compromised immune systems and  include people undergoing chemotherapy, have diabetes, are very young or very old, and have HIV/AIDS. There are antibiotics that given to fight the disease but depending on the strain and their resistance to treatment, may require months or years of treatment.

A routine physical usually includes a TB skin test. If you would like to schedule a physical exam and a TB test with one of our physicians, 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.

Bladder Stones

Bladder stones are tiny accumulations of mineral crystals that can form stones over time when the bladder isn’t completely emptied. Sometimes these stones go unnoticed and are eventually passed out of the body, but at other times they may be too large or blocked from leaving the bladder and can cause symptoms.
Symptoms of bladder stones include:
• Painful urination
• Blood in the urine
• Lower abdominal pain
• Incomplete urination
• Dark or cloudy urine
Bladder stones are diagnosed by taking a thorough history from the patient and performing a urine exam to check for blood and the presence of minerals. Additionally it may be necessary to perform a cystoscope which is the insertion of a tiny camera through the urethra to examine the bladder, and a CT scan or ultrasound exam which determine if  stones if they are present in the bladder.
While some bladder stones may pass on their own, they usually require some sort of intervention to aid the process. One procedure is called a cystolitholapaxy which involves the use of a cystoscope inserted through the urethra into the bladder and then breaking the stones apart with ultrasound, laser, or by mechanical means. If the stones are very large, surgical intervention may be necessary.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with a urologist 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.

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.

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

Flushing Hospital Medical Center in conjunction with the New York Surgical Specialists (NYSS) group are proud to announce that they now 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 the doctor’s 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 Flushing Hospital’s 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 718-408-6977 to schedule an appointment.

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.

Are There Dangers Associated With Excessive Gum Chewing?

Everyone chews gum! Last year alone, 1.74 trillion sticks of chewing gum were made and it is estimated that the average American chews nearly 300 pieces of gum every year.

There are many benefits for those who chew gum. It freshens up our breath and helps remove food particles that get stuck between our teeth. It helps reduce stress for some and helps fight off hunger cravings for others. Chewing gum also stimulates saliva production, which helps fight off nasty plaque and certain gums containing the sweetener xylitol have actually been reported to fight cavities. With all these benefits associated with chewing gum, is there any reason not to do it?

Actually, there can be. When we chew gum, we exercise our jaw muscles – and similar to any other muscle group in the body that gets overworked, constant and aggressive gum chewing can tire these muscles and cause painful spasms in our jaw, neck and head, which can lead to the development of a condition called temporomandibular dysfunction (or TMD).

TMD occurs when the temporomandibular joints, which are located on either side of our head, become misaligned due to physical stress or degeneration of cartilage in the jaw, which act as shock absorbers for us when we chew. Chewing gum is one of the most common ways to cause this type of damage.

TMD affects over ten million Americans. Those who develop TMD experience many painful symptoms such as discomfort while chewing, difficulty opening and closing their jaw, and popping or clicking sounds when they open their mouths. Earaches and headaches are also typically associated with the disorder.

In addition to contributing to the development of TMD, chronic gum chewing can tighten facial muscles, leading to long lasting headaches. In fact, a recent study concluded that gum chewing was linked to chronic migraines in young children and teens.

So, what do you do? Most dentists agree that moderate gum chewing isn’t a problem, but they do recommend taking a break from the habit if you are experiencing head, neck or jaw pain and allow your muscles to relax. Other ways to relieve pain include taking anti-inflammatory medications, applying a warm compress to the area in pain, and switching to a diet of softer foods. If pain persists, contact your dentist immediately.

If you are experiencing jaw pain that may be caused by TMD, see your dentist. If you do not have one, you can call Flushing Hospital’s Dental Center at 718-670-5521.

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

Bleeding Disorders Awareness Month-Hemophilia

March is recognized as Bleeding Disorders Awareness Month. This observance raises awareness for bleeding disorders such as hemophilia.

Hemophilia is a genetic disorder which slows the blood clotting process. It is estimated that hemophilia occurs in 1 in every 5,000 male births in the United States.  The disorder very rarely develops in girls.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Hemophilia is caused by a mutation or change, in one of the genes, that provides instructions for making the clotting factor proteins needed to form a blood clot. This change or mutation can prevent the clotting protein from working properly or to be missing altogether.”

Because people with hemophilia lack sufficient blood clotting proteins, this causes them to bleed longer than they normally should.  Bleeding can occur spontaneously or following an injury. Other common signs and symptoms that they may experience include:

  • Bleeding into the joints which can lead to swelling, tightness or pain (This most commonly affects the ankles, knees and elbows)
  • Bleeding from the mouth and gums
  • Bleeding after receiving vaccinations or injections
  • Blood in the urine or stool
  • Frequent and hard to stop nosebleeds
  • Bleeding into the skin (bruises)
  • Bleeding into soft tissue and muscle (hematomas)

A diagnosis of hemophilia is determined after blood has been tested to reveal a clotting-factor deficiency.  If it is found that the blood is not clotting as it should, tests known as factor assays are required to explore the cause.  In severe cases, the disorder can be diagnosed within the first year of a child’s life. People with a family history of hemophilia are encouraged to have their baby boys tested soon after birth.

One of the most common approaches for treating hemophilia is to replace the missing blood clotting factor. This treatment is administered through a tube placed in the vein. Other forms of treatment can include taking clot preserving medications, injecting the hormone Desmopressin (DDAVP), applying fibrin sealants and participating in physical therapy.

There are several measures that a person living with hemophilia can take to reduce the chances of injury or excessive bleeding.  The following are recommended: avoid taking blood-thinning medications, exercise regularly (contact sports should be avoided), practice good dental hygiene and avoid certain pain medications that can aggravate bleeding such as aspirin.

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.