Learn the Facts About Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a common, but potentially serious infection of the skin and the soft tissues underneath that occurs when bacteria enters the body through a crack or break in the skin. Cellulitis can also develop as a result of an infection typically after surgery or having untreated injuries such as a puncture would, cut, scrape or burn can also lead to the development of cellulitis.

Cellulitis most frequently occurs on the legs, but it can present on other parts of the body, including the arms or face. Cellulitis usually develops on one side of the body.

The skin of those with cellulitis is often skin swollen and red and is typically painful and warm to the touch. Other symptoms of cellulitis can include:

  • Red spots
  • Red streaking
  • Blisters
  • Skin dimpling
  • Fever
  • Infected area tends to expand
  • Leaking of yellow, clear fluid or pus

There are several factors that place someone at an increased risk of developing cellulitis, such as diabetes, obesity, liver disease, circulatory issues, or having a weakened immune system. Certain skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, athlete’s foot or shingles can provide an entry point for bacteria to enter the body.

If left untreated, an infection can spread to a person’s lymph nodes and bloodstream and rapidly become life-threatening.  It is important to see your doctor immediately or seek emergency care if you experience any signs of cellulitis to prevent the condition spreading throughout your body.

Your doctor can recommend a care plan that may include pain relievers to treat the symptoms and possibly either oral or intramuscular antibiotics, depending on the severity of the condition, to treat the infection. In rare cases, surgery may be required.  Other tips to treat cellulitis include resting and elevating the infected area.

The best advice to prevent cellulitis includes taking proper safety precautions, including:

  • Washing your wound daily with soap and water
  • Applying a protective cream or ointment to surface wounds
  • Covering your wound with a bandage.
  • Moisturizing your skin regularly
  • Watching for signs of infection

If you believe you have cellulitis, make an appointment with your doctor immediately. If you do not have a doctor, you can make an appointment with a qualified physician at Flushing Hospital Medical Center by calling 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.

Is Bariatric Surgery Right For You?

Obesity is a growing public health issue in our region.  According to NYC.gov, more than half of New Yorkers are overweight, and nearly a quarter qualify as obese.  The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, reports that an estimated 23% of the population living in Queens is obese.

These rates are concerning  because people who are obese are at an increased risk for developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, stroke, hypertension, heart disease and some cancers.  However, the good news is the risks associated with many of these conditions can be significantly reduced by losing weight.

Diet and exercise are highly recommended methods of weight loss but they may not be enough to yield significant results for those who are obese.   Bariatric surgery offers an extremely effective weight loss solution for people who have tried and failed to lose weight by way of diet and exercise. Additionally, it has been shown to help improve several obesity-related health conditions.

The two most popular bariatric surgeries are the sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass procedures. In the sleeve gastrectomy operation a large portion of the stomach is removed and a smaller, new stomach in the shape of a tube or “sleeve” is created.  During bypass surgery, a new small stomach pouch is created, and a section of the small bowel is bypassed. These surgeries are usually done through small incisions either laparoscopically or using the da Vinci surgical robot, ensuring a minimally invasive approach. Both surgeries offer excellent long term results and positive outcomes in most patients.

With this is in mind, it is important to understand that bariatric surgery is a major operation, no matter which procedure is chosen.  Bariatric surgery is not an easy way out. It is an important decision to be made under strict physician supervision and with the support of loved ones.  The process is immersive and takes approximately 4-5 months of supervised dieting and being seen by multiple specialties for approval.

Although bariatric surgery is considered safe, it is very important that patients understand the risks of surgery. As with most major surgical procedures, the risks can include bleeding or other complications.

For those who would like to explore non-surgical weight loss procedures, there are options such as the FDA-approved Obalon Balloon System. This involves three air filled balloons inserted via a swallowed capsule. The patient is given no anesthesia and most people return to work the same day. The balloons stay in for six months after which they are removed via endoscopy. The procedure is generally very well tolerated with some side effects such as nausea and cramping. Studies have shown weight loss to continue beyond removal and many patients lose significant amount of weight.

When deciding which procedure is best for you, it is recommended that you receive an expert consultation with a surgeon. Your physician can assess your health which can lead to the decision on which surgery is suitable for your needs.

To ensure the highest quality care and maximize your chances of a successful weight loss procedure, it is recommended that you receive treatment at a “Bariatric Center of Excellence”, such as Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

Flushing Hospital is the only Center of Excellence in Queens. The process to reach this designation is arduous and ensures that the center and the surgeons are of the highest quality and preparedness. Surgical outcomes are measured very strictly and the capability of both the surgeons and the center must be of the highest caliber when compared nationally.

To make an appointment, 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.

Why is it Important to Have a Psychological Evaluation Prior to Weight-Loss Surgery?

An important component of the pre and post-surgical care for all patients considering having bariatric surgery is speaking with a psychologist.

While some might find this surprising or unnecessary, it is actually a routine part of the surgical process for patients to meet with a psychologist. In fact, psychologists, like dieticians and other specialists are considered a vital part of the bariatric team.

While it is important to identify the reasons why a psychological evaluation is important,  it is equally as important is to dispel any false information as to why one is needed. An evaluation is not performed to determine if a patient has a mental illness. People with obesity are considered as psychologically “normal” as those with lower body mass indexes and they do not fit any specific psychological profile. Therefore, the psychologist’s main purpose is not to search for any underlying problems that might have caused a patient to become affected by obesity.

Instead, the purpose of a psychological evaluation is to put potential patients in the best environment needed to succeed. This can be done by identifying their strengths, such as a strong motivation to exercise as their weight is coming off. Other things a psychologist can learn from a patient include getting a complete understanding of the effects of surgery will have on them as well as if they have a supportive team at home. Conversely, a psychologist can also identify areas where a patient might need additional support after surgery. This may include issues such as depression or mood swings, lack of family support or triggers for past emotional eating.

The psychologist’s purpose is never to “fail” people and exclude them from surgery. In fact, studies have shown that a very small number (perhaps four percent) of individuals are found to be poor candidates based on their psychological evaluation results.
A typical evaluation includes psychological testing, such as personality tests and other questionnaires. This paperwork is often completed before meeting with the psychologist. A patient will also have a face-to-face interview with a psychologist. In some cases, he or she may request a family member accompany a patient to determine the level of support they are receiving at home. Subjects such as past and present eating habits, as well as activity levels are usually discussed during this meeting and patients are encouraged to share what is motivating them to have surgery and share their concerns.

Flushing Hospital’s Bariatric Surgical Center has recently been recognized as a Center of Excellence, which means it provides the highest level of care to our patients, before, during and after surgery. For more information, or to schedule 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.

Summer Weight Loss Tips For Kids

Is your child at risk of gaining weight this summer?

We consider summer to be a time when kids run around, go swimming and generally remain active. With all this physical activity, it is a common belief that children keep weight off or maybe even lose a few pounds in the summer, but that is not the case. There are many reasons why parents are now noticing that their children are actually gaining weight during the summer.

The rate of childhood obesity has tripled in America in recent decades. Now, one out of three children in this country is considered overweight or obese. When are children gaining the most weight?  Recent studies have revealed that during the summer, the rate of weight gain in children is double that of the rest of the year. Why?

One of the biggest contributing factors is that children today live a more sedentary lifestyle. During the school year, children participate in fitness programs, both during recess and in physical education classes. Without a regimented exercise program, children opt to spend their free time playing video games or watching television.

Another factor in summer weight gain is the foods children have access to in their home. In an effort to fight obesity and promote healthy eating habits, many schools provide healthy alternatives for lunches and snacks during the year. During the summer, however, kids have access to whatever snacks are in the home. Kids will often choose unhealthy snacks, such as cookies, chips, and soda, if they are available to them.

In an effort to reverse this trend, Jamaica Hospital offers the following summer healthy living tips for your kids:

• Stock your home with healthy food options like yogurt, carrots, or summer fruits like peaches, berries, or melons.

• Make water the beverage of choice. Juices and sodas are high in calories and low in nutrients. To make water more flavorful, consider adding fruit slices or berries.

• Limit TV and video game usage. It will force kids to become more physically active and prevent them from enticing junk food commercials..

• Walk more. Everyone can do it. Incorporate regular family walks to the park or around the neighborhood.

• Be inventive. Not every child is interested in formal team sports, but every kid loves to run around. Encourage activities like hopscotch, jump rope or a simple game of “tag.”

• Be a role mode. Children often take cues from their parent’s eating habits so if you want your kids to eat healthier, you should eat healthier

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.

Summer Weight Loss Tips For Kids

Is your child at risk of gaining weight this summer?

We consider summer to be a time when kids run around, go swimming and generally remain active. With all this physical activity, it is a common belief that children keep weight off or maybe even lose a few pounds in the summer, but that is not the case. There are many reasons why parents are now noticing that their children are actually gaining weight during the summer.

The rate of childhood obesity has tripled in America in recent decades. Now, one out of three children in this country is considered overweight or obese. When are children gaining the most weight?  Recent studies have revealed that during the summer, the rate of weight gain in children is double that of the rest of the year. Why?

One of the biggest contributing factors is that children today live a more sedentary lifestyle. During the school year, children participate in fitness programs, both during recess and in physical education classes. Without a regimented exercise program, children opt to spend their free time playing video games or watching television.

Another factor in summer weight gain is the foods children have access to in their home. In an effort to fight obesity and promote healthy eating habits, many schools provide healthy alternatives for lunches and snacks during the year. During the summer, however, kids have access to whatever snacks are in the home. Kids will often choose unhealthy snacks, such as cookies, chips, and soda if they are available to them.

In an effort to reverse this trend, Flushing Hospital offers the following summer healthy living tips for your kids:

• Stock your home with healthy food options like yogurt, carrots, or summer fruits like peaches, berries, or melons.

• Make water the beverage of choice. Juices and sodas are high in calories and low in nutrients. To make water more flavorful, consider adding fruit slices or berries.

• Limit TV and video game usage. It will force kids to become more physically active and prevent them from enticing junk food commercials.

• Walk more. Everyone can do it. Incorporate regular family walks to the park or around the neighborhood.

• Be inventive. Not every child is interested in formal team sports, but every kid loves to run around. Encourage activities like hopscotch, jump rope or a simple game of “tag.”

• Be a role model. Children often take cues from their parent’s eating habits so if you want your kids to eat healthier, you should eat healthier

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.

Keeping The Weight Off With Bariatric Surgery

Man Measuring Stomach Fat

One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, judging by an increase in gym memberships, is to lose weight. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy diet isn’t always the hardest part of the weight loss journey, keeping the weight off is. Bariatric surgery enhances weight loss in obese people who have not achieved long-term success with other weight loss methods.

Bariatric surgery is performed on the stomach or intestines to induce weight loss. The basic principle of the procedure is to restrict your food intake and reduce the absorption of food in the stomach and intestines. As a result of this weight loss procedure you will feel full after eating a small amount of food. That is exactly what bariatric surgery does and why it helps people lose weight.

There are multiple forms of bariatric surgery. Options include:

  • Gastric Bypass
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy
  • Gastric Revision
  • Lap Band Surgery
  • Duodenel Switch

The rate of obesity in America is rising at an alarming rate. Bariatric surgery certainly represents a powerful tool for providing sustained relief for overweight people. There are many health complications associated with being overweight. Weight loss surgery can reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome, pregnancy complications, gallbladder disease and more. Your physician can help determine if you are eligible for surgery and, if so, which option will work best for you.

Bariatric surgery aids in mass weight loss at one time and keeping the weight off. Losing the weight and gaining it back does nothing to alleviate the potential health problems associated with obesity. You must keep the weight off for a minimum of five years to consider the loss successful, resulting in a healthier, happier you.

Flushing Hospital Bariatric Center is comprised of a multi-disciplinary group of health care providers that are compassionate and fully invested in helping you in every step of your weight loss journey. For more information about the Bariatric Surgery Services at Flushing Hospital or procedures performed by our doctors, please call 718-670-8908.

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

Summer Health Risks for the Obese

With the warmer weather upon us, the chances of suffering heat exhaustion or dehydration are high – and for those who are obese, the risks are even greater.

Silhouette of an tired sportsman at sunset

Health officials list obesity as a major risk factor for heat-related illness because fat is a natural insulator that traps core body heat so the extra layers of fat make it more difficult for the body to release heat. The body will attempt to cool itself by circulating blood to dissipate heat through the skin. An overweight or obese person’s heart must pump even harder on a hot day to circulate blood, and when it can’t meet the body’s demands, the person could pass out…or even worse.

Obesity is a serious health risk all year round, but in the summer the condition is especially dangerous. To combat obesity, Flushing Hospital Medical Center offers a Bariatric Weight Loss Program to the community.

Flushing Hospital’s Bariatric Center is comprised of a multi-disciplinary group of health care providers that are compassionate and fully invested in helping you in every step of your weight loss journey. The service is highlighted by our variety of advanced robotic surgery options available to those who qualify. Our surgeons perform procedures with the aid of the da Vinci surgical robot. This method of surgery is minimally invasive; studies report patients experience shorter hospital stays, less scarring, shorter recovery times and less pain. Other services include: physician monitoring, pre and post-surgical evaluations, personalized dietary and nutritional counseling, and ongoing education and support.

To learn more about Flushing Hospital’s Division of Bariatric surgery, please call 718-670- 8908 or visit our website at www.flushinghospital.org

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 Does Obesity Effect Your Circulation?

ThinkstockPhotos-486454344

New York now has the 12th lowest adult obesity rate in the nation, according to The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America. New York’s adult obesity rate is currently 27.0 percent. Although the percentages are slightly decreasing, obesity can be the cause of life-threatening health issues for many. The most common health-related issues caused by obesity are hypertension, diabetes and heart disease but, obesity can also lead to poor circulation which can cause blood clots.

The most common symptoms of poor circulation include: tingling, numbness, throbbing or stinging pain in limbs and muscle cramps. Your body’s circulation system is responsible for sending blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout your body. When blood flow to a specific part of your body is reduced, you may experience the symptoms of poor circulation. As a result of poor circulation blood clots will form in your body. Poor circulation is most common in your extremities, such as your legs and arms.

Blood clots can develop for a variety of reasons, and they can be dangerous. If a blood clot in your leg breaks away, it can pass through other parts of your body, including your heart or lungs. When this happens, the results may be serious, even deadly. If discovered early, a blood clot can often be treated successfully.

Discuss symptoms of poor circulation with your doctor. If you’re experiencing uncomfortable symptoms, they may be the sign of an underlying health condition. Other untreated conditions can lead to serious complications. Your doctor will work to determine the cause of your poor circulation and treat the underlying issue.

The journey to improved health begins with an improved diet. Here at Jamaica Hospital, the Nutrition Department offers outpatient services at our Ambulatory Care Center as well as many of our MediSys Family Care Centers, located throughout the communities we serve. To make an appointment, please call 718-206-7001.

 

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.

Obesity and Arthritis: What is the Relationship?

200249480-001When asked what health problems are directly attributed to obesity, the most common answers are hypertension, heart health, and diabetes, but obesity has a large affect on another condition – arthritis.

May is Arthritis Awareness Month, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of five Americans has been diagnosed with arthritis, but that number nearly doubles among those considered obese. Obesity not only raises the risk of getting a certain type of arthritis; but for those who already have arthritis, obesity makes the condition worse.

Here’s a look at what fat does to arthritis, as well as some tips to put you on the road to losing weight.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis, affecting approximately 27 million Americans. It is characterized by the breakdown of cartilage – the flexible but tough connective tissue that covers the ends of bones at joints. Age, injury, heredity and lifestyle factors all affect the risk of OA.

OA has a logical link to obesity: The more weight that’s placed on a joint, the more stressed the joint becomes, and the more likely it will wear down and be damaged.
Every pound of excess weight exerts about 4 pounds of extra pressure on the knees. So a person who is 10 pounds overweight has 40 pounds of extra pressure on his knees. If a person is 100 pounds overweight, that is 400 pounds of extra pressure on the knees, causing those who are overweight to be at greater risk of developing arthritis in the first place. Once a person has arthritis, the additional weight causes even more problems on already damaged joints.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center offers nutritional clinics to help those looking to loose weight and avoid developing osteoarthritis, as well as full range of barriatric surgery options performed by doctors using the minimally invasive da Vinci robotic system. Barriatric surgery performed using the robot allows for faster healing time, less scarring, and shorter hospital stays. For more information call 718-670-8908.

For more health and lifestyle tips, please “like” us on Facebook www.facebook.com/flushinghospital and follow us on twitter @FHMC_NYC

 

 

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.

Obesity and Your Teen’s Self Esteem

Feet on a scale

Obesity among teenagers is a growing problem in the United States. It’s estimated that 30% of teenagers are overweight and another 15% are obese.

Many parents and doctors focus on the physical effects of obesity, but what about the psychological and emotional ramifications? Obesity can lead to heart disease, asthma, diabetes, and hypertension, but its depression, low self esteem, anxiety and poor body image that should be the greater concern for most.

Recent studies have concluded that obese teens have considerably lower self esteem than their non-obese peers. The difference in the two groups is most evident among 14 year olds, which also happens to be a critical time for teens because it is when they develop their sense of self worth. It is also an age where peers can be most cruel. Teasing, taunting, and poor treatment from other kids can also contribute to depression and other psychological issues.

Teens with low self-esteem often feel lonely, nervous, or are generally sad. They are also more inclined to experiment with cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. They often become depressed, which causes them to withdraw from social activities with friends and family and lose interest in activities they once enjoyed.

There are a variety of factors that have contributed to a rise in obesity among teens. While genetics play a role for some, poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle are often the cause for most. Teens today consume too much junk food and sugary drinks and don’t exercise as much as in previous generations. Temptations from television, video games, and computers are often cited as the reasons for a decrease in physical activity.

Professionals suggest that parents of obese teens engage their children in an open dialogue about the issue. Together, parents and teens can work on a plan that is attainable. Efforts to fix the problem should focus on lifestyle issues rather than a calorie count because attempting to impose a strict diet could contribute to the teen’s poor self esteem. Incorporate the assistance of a medical professional, but allow the teen to take charge during visits in an effort to build confidence.  Parents should encourage and participate in improving diet and increasing activity as well.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center has a variety of services to help teens facing this issue, including nutritional counseling and adolescent mental health services. Speak to your child’s pediatrician or make an appointment at the Pediatric Ambulatory Care Center at 718-670-5486 to find the best treatment options for your teen.

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.