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Cancer
Gamma Knife, Not a Knife At All
Jul 6, 2015 By Shannon Kahn, MD

Gamma Knife Surgery Emory Saint Joseph's

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery is performed at Winship at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital.

What is Gamma Knife radiosurgery?

Despite its name, Gamma Knife is not a knife or scalpel. With a Gamma Knife procedure, there is no incision, no blood and virtually no pain. Gamma Knife refers to the name of the machine that is used to treat benign or malignant tumors and functional disorders like Trigeminal Neuralgia or Parkinson’s disease. The Gamma Knife machine uses 201 targeted beams of radiation to destroy disease with unmatched precision. Healthy tissue surrounding tumors is spared. The procedure is so accurate that it is considered to be as good as surgery, or better.

Who is a good candidate for Gamma Knife radiosurgery?

Gamma Knife is used largely to treat malignant brain tumors (most commonly metastases to the brain), or benign brain tumors related to hearing and balance. The procedure offers an alternative for patients with tumors too difficult to remove surgically, who aren’t well enough to undergo traditional surgery, or who just prefer a less invasive treatment. The goal of Gamma Knife therapy is to damage the cells of the tumor and prevent them from multiplying, [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Takeaways from Dr. Mason’s Chat on How to Train and Prepare for Summer Running Races
Jul 3, 2015 By Emory Sports Medicine

Running Live ChatThank you for attending the live chat on How to Train and Prepare for Summer Running Races on Tuesday, June 9 with Emory Sports Medicine physician Amadeus Mason, MD. We had a great discussion, so thank you to all who participated and asked questions. From tips for preventing shin splints to advice on how to train for a 5K, we were thrilled with the number of people who were able to register and participate in the chat. (You can check out the transcript here). The response was so great that we had a few questions we were not able to answer during the chat so we will answer them below for your reference. Question: I have inflammation behind my knee. What can I do? Amadeus Mason, MDDr. Mason: Inflammation behind the knee can be due to a number of knee conditions. Baker’s cyst are common and can be caused by injury to the knee, arthritis, damage to the cartilage of the knee, and other problems. Sprains (caused by overstretching and tearing of the stabilizing ligaments) can lead to swelling of the knee area as well. Seek immediate medical attention if you are in serious pain, or are experiencing symptoms such as: paralysis, loss of sensation, absent pulses in the feet, the inability [...]

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Highlights
Partial Hospitalization Program - What is It?”
Jul 2, 2015 By Jenny Barwick, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor, Transitions Senior Program, Emory Healthcare at Wesley Woods

Partial Hospitalization ProgramI have been a part of the Emory family for 6 years. Over the past 6 years, I have worked in the Transitions Seniors Program, better known as PHP. When attending different community events, a question I hear all too often is, “PHP? What’s that?” PHP is short for Partial Hospitalization Program. I hope this blog can answer the question, “PHP? What’s that?”

What is Partial Hospitalization Program?

Partial hospitalization is defined by the American Association of Partial Hospitalizations as: A distinct and organized intensive psychiatric outpatient treatment that closely resembles short-term inpatient program. The Medicare psychiatric partial hospitalization benefits were established to provide patients with an acute mental illness, services in lieu of inpatient psychiatric care (Block & Lefkovitz, 2009). The PHP patient care is an individualized treatment plan developed by the physician and a multidisciplinary team with input from the patient.

Who is part of the multidisciplinary PHP team?

Our team includes a physician, a program director, four licensed therapists, a registered nurse, and an advanced practice nurse. All team members are very experienced in the [...]

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Heart & Vascular
Takeaways from Dr. Lundberg's Hypertension Chat
Jul 1, 2015 By Emory Healthcare

Hypertension Live ChatThanks to everyone who joined us Tuesday, June 23, for our live online chat on “Things You Never Knew About Your Blood Pressure” hosted by Dr. Gina Lundberg of the Emory Women's Heart Center! To prevent hypertensive heart disease, it’s important that you consistently keep your blood pressure nice and low. Dr. Lundberg noted that the good news is that 80% of all cardiovascular deaths could be prevented with better lifestyle – healthy eating and exercise - and better blood pressure monitoring, and discussed ways to help you achieve this goal. If you missed this chat, be sure to check out the full list of questions and answers on the hypertension chat transcript. Here are just a few highlights from the chat: Question: Are there any foods I should incorporate into my diet to control high blood pressure? Gina Lundberg, MDDr. Lundberg: There is no one food you can eat to lower your blood pressure. The best thing you can do is to make a change to your diet as a whole. I'd recommend following the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet. This diet is very high in fruits and veggies (potassium and magnesium). Potassium correlates to lower blood pressure. You can [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Is it a Sprain? Or is it a Strain?
Jun 30, 2015 By Oluseun Olufade, M.D.

sprain vs strainA common question we field from patients with injuries is, “Is it a sprain? Or is it a strain?” While they both result in similar pain and symptoms, sprains and strains are actually different injuries that involve completely different parts of the body. A sprain is an injury that affects the ligaments, which are a type of connective tissue that connects bones to other bones. When a sprain occurs, the ligaments are either stretched or torn and depending on the severity of the stretching and tearing, can be very painful. Sprains most commonly affect the ankles, in particular the lateral (outside) portion of the ankle, which can occur from a variety of activities. Strains, on the other hand, affect the tendons, the fibrous connective tissue that connects muscles to bones, or the muscles themselves. Strains involve the stretching and/or tearing of these tendons or muscles.

Symptoms of Sprains and Strains

The hallmark symptoms associated with sprains and strains are similar
  • Pain
  • Redness and/or bruising
  • Swelling and inflammation at the site of the injury
  • Stiffness in the affected area

Causes of Sprains and Strains

Sprains typically happen suddenly and can [...]

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Highlights
Spotlight: Men's Fitness
Jun 29, 2015 By Emory Healthcare

Men's Health MonthJune is Men's Health Month. It's also the time of year when many men become more active. The warm temperatures and long days make it easier (and more fun) to play on a softball team, tend to the yard, or start a new exercise routine, like biking or swimming. But after months of rest, the sudden explosion of activity can wreak havoc on the body. If you're about to ramp up a new summer workout, keep these injury prevention tips in mind:

1. Get Professional Help

If you are new to exercise, or just haven't been active in a while, see your doctor for a physical to make sure you are healthy enough to take on strenuous activity. Also consider hiring a professional trainer or coach who can teach you proper form and technique.

2. Wear Proper Clothing

Always wear appropriate footwear. Not only will you be more comfortable, but you will also be able to alleviate undue stress to your ankles, knees and hips by providing much needed support. Also choose appropriate clothing that fits well, allows you to move naturally, and doesn't interfere with your safety.

3. Warm Up

Never start a workout in full throttle. Begin slowly and build the pace. This gets the blood flowing to your [...]

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Cosmetic Medicine
Mommy Makeover: Frequently Asked Questions
Jun 26, 2015 By Erica D. Anderson, MD

Mommy Makeover FAQBeing a mother of 3, I know the joys that motherhood brings, but deflated breasts, a protruding abdomen and unsightly fat deposits are not among them. If you are considering a mommy makeover to restore your pre-pregnancy body, let me answer some of my patients’ most frequently asked questions to help you make your decision.

What is a Mommy Makeover?

Typically a mommy makeover is body contouring surgery where both the breasts and abdominal areas are addressed in a single operative procedure. It is designed to restore your body (or enhance, depending on your goals) to its pre-pregnancy state. Your breasts may be deflated and droopy as a result of breastfeeding. They can be corrected with either a breast lift, a breast augmentation or a combination of the two procedures. The abdominal muscles separated to make room for your growing child but may not have recovered fully, therefore leaving you with a gap and laxity of the abdominal wall. This deformity is called diastasis recti and can be corrected with a version of a tummy tuck. You may also simply have pockets of fat in areas that you have not previously had and no amount of crunches or carb–free living has eliminated [...]

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Heart & Vascular
The Latest in Vein Treatment Technology
Jun 26, 2015 By Mark Rheudasil, MD

Varicose Vein TreatmentVein problems are incredibly common. The National Institutes of Health estimates that 60% of all men and women suffer from some form of vein disorder. Specifically, 80 million Americans suffer from varicose veins and/or spider veins. A number of factors contribute to vein problems, including genetics, being overweight, female, pregnant and/or spending a lot of time on your feet. The fact that modern-day treatment is relatively simple is great news to the millions of Americans who suffer from varicose veins. Veins are designed to return blood from the legs back to the heart. When veins become varicose or enlarged, blood will pool in these superficial veins rather than efficiently emptying out of the legs. This excess blood, and the pressure that results, stretches and dilates the veins and often leads to symptoms of aching, heaviness and fatigue. Treatment for vein problems has become much less invasive over the last 10 years. In the past, treatment meant surgery: incisions, anesthesia, pain, and a long recovery. Now, vein issues can be treated using more effective and less invasive procedures. One interesting new treatment for varicose veins is known as [...]

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Transplant
Emory Transplant Center Giving Back
Jun 25, 2015 By Emory Transplant Center

Swing Easy Transplant Charity Check

(From left to right) Kirk Franz, seen here with two of his daughters, Dr. Tom Pearson, Executive Director, Emory Transplant Center and Chris Dimotta, Emory Transplant Center Administrator.

Every year, National Donate Life Month at Emory is a festive time to honor the donors and donor families who make renewed lives through transplantation possible. This past April was no exception as Emory Transplant Center physicians and staff participated in community events to raise money for two worthy causes – the Georgia Transplant Foundation and Donate Life of Georgia. Both organizations play a major role in helping to support transplant recipients in Georgia. The Swing Easy Hit Hard golf tournament, held on April 16th at Windermere Country Club, has become an annual Emory tradition. The event is organized and hosted by Emory liver transplant recipient Kirk Franz. Thankful for his liver transplant, Kirk wanted to give back in some way and create awareness about the importance of organ donation. The annual event raises funds for the Georgia Transplant Foundation and Emory Transplant Center. This year's event raised a total of $14,000 — a stunning increase over the five years [...]

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Heart & Vascular
Congenital Heart Disease – Even Adults Need Special Care - Join Us for a Live Online Chat!
Jun 24, 2015 By Emory Healthcare

congenital heart chatDid you know that congenital heart defects affect approximately 40,000 babies each year? And now, due to advances in medicine, many of these patients are living to adulthood and there are estimated to be more than 1 million adults in the United States with congenital heart defects, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Unfortunately, some patients and their providers have the perception that their heart defect has been “cured.” The gaps in care resulting from this misperception can be harmful. Guidelines recommend that all adults with congenital heart defects stay in regular cardiology care, and those with moderate to complex (more severe defects) should receive care in an Adult Congenital Heart Center. Join me on Tuesday, July 14, at 12:00 p.m. for a live, interactive web chat about “Congenital Heart Disease – Even Adults Need Special Care”. Dr. Maan Jokhadar will be available to answer questions and discuss various topics about Adult Congenital Heart Disease. During this interactive web chat, you’ll be able to ask questions and get real-time answers from our Emory Healthcare professional. Register now for our July 14 chat at [...]

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