Recent Posts

Heart & Vascular
Congenital Heart Disease: Staying in Specialty Care Saves Lives
Dec 22, 2014 By Wendy Book, MD

Congenital Heart DiseaseCongenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect, affecting approximately 8 per 1000 births in the US. The severity of these defects ranges from mild defects that don't require surgery to critical heart defects that require surgery within the first year of life for the baby to survive. Advances in medical and surgical care have significantly improved survival for all CHDs, even the most complex, severe defects. As a result of these advances, the majority of children born with a heart defect now survive to adulthood, and the number of adults with congenital heart defects exceeds the number of children with CHD. Despite these childhood successes, many adults with congenital heart disease face late complications, hospitalizations, need for medications, future surgeries, and may die at a younger age than their counterparts without a heart defect. The surgeries that permitted childhood survival often are a repair, rather than a "cure." For this reason, those born with congenital heart defects require ongoing regular specialty care across the lifespan. Unfortunately, some patients and their providers have the perception that the heart defect has been [...]

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Cosmetic Medicine
How Can a Droopy Eyelid be Fixed?
Dec 19, 2014 By Brent Hayek, MD

droopy-eyelidBefore this question can be answered, it is important to know what a droopy eyelid means. A "droopy" eyelid, called ptosis, basically involves one of two issues. The first issue may be that there appears to be extra skin or puffiness (typically fat) that is located between the eyebrow and the eyelashes. The second issue may be that the eyelid itself is actually lower. Determining which issue is causing the droopiness can easily be done through an office examination. Most of the time, the problem is associated with age and gravity. Just like other parts of our body, the eyelids can droop as well. With either cause, the droopiness can sometimes lead to vision problems related to the impairment in the amount of light that reaches the back of the eye. It is also important to note, though uncommon, certain medical conditions can create a droopy eyelid. An example of this is myasthenia gravis. Unfortunately, there are no creams or medications available to correct a droopy eyelid. Unless created by a medical condition, treatment most often involves an oculoplastic surgical procedure. This in-office or outpatient procedure involves removing excess skin/tissue, an upper eyelid [...]

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Heart & Vascular
Healthy Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List!
Dec 19, 2014 By Emory Healthcare

Need some help checking everyone off your holiday shopping list? We’ve got a some great ideas to keep you and the people you love healthy this holiday season and in the New Year! Massage – Who doesn’t love a good massage? Man or woman, we can all benefit from a decreased risk of heart disease by reducing our stress levels. Gym bag – For the person in your life that is always at the gym, or for someone who needs new swag to motivate them to get to the gym. Yoga – For the friend that could benefit from flexibility, surprise him or her with a yoga mat or a session at their local yoga studio. Exercise tracker – From the FitBit to the Up Move, tech gadgets make working out more fun than ever. Increasing steps and decreasing calorie intake will lead to a leaner, healthier friend or family member. Blender – Your mom or wife will love you for getting her a fancy new blender! The best part? She’ll be able to whip up some amazing smoothies for breakfast to help curb her appetite throughout the day. Bike – Know someone who might enjoy biking to work or school? A bike is a great way to get the people you love moving. Sneakers – Everyone could [...]

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Cancer
Progress and Thanks for Five Years of Phase I Clinical Trials
Dec 19, 2014 By R. Donald Harvey, PharmD, FCCP BCOP, director of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University’s Phase I Clinical Trials Unit

Phase I AnniversaryPatients. Clinical trials. We cannot have one without the other. The Phase I Clinical Trials Unit at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University opened in 2009, a time when a significant expansion of clinical trial efforts was underway to support the National Cancer Institute cancer center designation. Over this rapid five-year period, a truly collaborative culture has led to a cutting-edge, early drug development program at a nationally recognized, top 25 cancer center. None of this has been possible without patients putting their trust in our physicians, nurses, scientists, and many others, to deliver optimal care while asking critical questions about novel drugs and approaches. When I think about the impact of our Phase I unit on patients and their families, I recall a recent conversation with a seasoned oncologist here at Emory. He said, “Donald, if I saw anyone in the chairs here at a store, I wouldn’t know they had cancer.” A simple statement, but one that conveys a number of key messages about how our phase I trials have evolved over five years. Drugs we now have at hand, as a whole, are much safer and better tolerated than conventional chemotherapy. [...]

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Highlights
5 Weeks to Better Wellness with Community Health Classes
Dec 17, 2014 By Emory Johns Creek Hospital

Wellness ClassesLooking for a way to kick start a healthier lifestyle in the new year? Starting in January 2015, Emory Johns Creek Hospital will launch a five-week course of health and wellness classes taught by community and hospital healthcare providers. The classes focus on providing general education on nutrition and health issues to help participants progress toward developing personalized health plans. Classes meet every other Wednesday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The first class meets Jan. 7, 2015 in Physicians Plaza Suite 109, located at 6335 Hospital Parkway in Johns Creek. The cost for all five sessions is $75. Class topics are:

  • Jan. 7:  Introduction and Initial Health Screening. Taught by Andrew Pugliese, MD, a Disease Prevention Physician at Emory Johns Creek Hospital, will set the foundation with information on how a healthy, active lifestyle can influence personal risk factors for disease. Licensed lab technicians help participants complete a personalized physical health assessment.
  • Jan. 21:  Healthy Eating Habits and Their Effect on Chronic Disease Management. Julie Parish, an Emory Johns Creek registered and licensed dietitian, will provide disease specific diet education
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Heart & Vascular
Takeaways from Dr. Lundberg’s Heart-Healthy Holiday Eating Chat
Dec 16, 2014 By Emory Healthcare

heart health holiday eatingThanks to everyone who joined us Tuesday, December 9, for our live online chat on “Heart-Healthy Holiday Eating,” hosted by the Clinical Director of the Emory Women’s Heart Center, Gina Lundberg, MD. With holiday parties in full swing, many of us are staying busy and eating on the go or overindulging in sweet party treats. Dr. Lundberg discussed heart-healthy tips and recipes, as well as answered your questions on how to make smart food and drink decisions. See all of Dr. Lundberg’s answers by checking out the chat transcript! Here are just a few highlights from the chat: Question: What are some entrée or side substitutions I can make without losing the “holiday” touch? Gina Lundberg, MDDr. Lundberg: Turkey and ham are both lean meat, so entrees aren’t usually the problem The side dishes are usually where we run into trouble. Feel free to have your ham, turkey, and even lean pork and beef, but try to avoid the potato-heavy, cheesy side dishes.   Question: I crave sweets every day. What can I do to satisfy my cravings without reaching for the chocolate? Gina Lundberg, MDDr. Lundberg: The more sugar you eat, the more you crave sugar. If you stick to a diet that is higher in [...]

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Heart & Vascular
How To Get the Most Out of Your Doctor's Visit
Dec 15, 2014 By Dimitri Cassimatis, MD

Doctor VisitsGoing to the doctor takes time, often comes at some expense and can raise your anxiety level - especially if you are worried that something bad could be discovered. Excellent communication between you and your doctor is essential to a meaningful visit. Here are a few brief tips to help you get the most from your visit with an Emory Heart & Vascular Center provider:

  1. Think about your top concerns ahead of time. Jot down your top 3 questions/concerns on a piece of paper and bring them in. Show this to the doctor or nurse when they first come in to the room.
  2. Don't be afraid to ask for something to be repeated if you didn't understand it.
  3. Make sure you leave the office with a clear understanding of what we know already regarding your health concerns, what the next steps are and what the possible outcomes of any testing are.
  4. Make sure you understand how to take any new medicines and why you were prescribed these medicines.
  5. Consider bringing a relative or friend with you who can listen and ask questions on your behalf - they won't be as anxious and can help you remember what is said during the appointment.
I am honored to be one of the doctors at Emory. It is our [...]

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Rehabilitation
Stroke Rehabilitation Clinical Trial a Top International Trial
Dec 12, 2014 By Emory Healthcare

Rehab Clinical TrialAt Emory, clinical trials are at the core of our mission and we are proud to offer them to our patients. Groundbreaking scientific advances and medical treatments available today have been made possible because of volunteer participation in clinical trials and research. In fact, one of the thousands of clinical trials conducted at Emory was just identified as one of the 15 top international clinical trials ever published for physical therapy and rehabilitation. The EXCITE (Extremity Constraint-Induced Therapy Evaluation) trial, led by Emory University’s Steven Wolf, PhD, PT, professor of rehabilitation medicine at Emory University, was created to teach stroke patients to use their stroke-affected arm rather than their "good" arm. Conducted almost a decade ago, the clinical trial was found to have a significant impact in stroke rehabilitation, which set the stage for many future trials. Each year, more than 795,000 people in the United States suffer from a stroke and many stroke survivors experience partial paralysis on one side of the body. The EXCITE trial enrolled 222 patients who had suffered a stroke, predominantly an ischemic stroke, within the previous three [...]

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Cosmetic Medicine
Holiday Glow – Getting Your Skin Ready for the Holidays
Dec 12, 2014 By Erica D. Anderson, MD

Emory Aesthetic Center Winter GlowYou bought the dress, the new shoes and the jewelry. You secured a babysitter. You have an appointment for your hair. But have you thought about your face? Is your skin ready for the holidays? The Emory Aesthetic Center Spa can help get your skin ready for the holiday season. The question is how much time do you have before that special event? Let’s discuss the options available to get your skin glowing. For the Planner – You have everything scheduled weeks in advance. Since the amount of time required for recovery is not an issue for you, you are a candidate for the most effective non-surgical treatments we have available. This means you will have the most significant change to your skin for your upcoming event.

  • Fractional laser resurfacing can be performed to improve fine lines and wrinkles and the overall texture of your skin. The treatment requires premedication and topical numbing cream. The treatment takes about 45minutes to perform. We ask that you have someone available to drive you home. After the procedure you are very red and swollen and this can last for 3-5days. Your skin will be flaky and rough for up to a week after the treatment. Do this well
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Transplant
Changes to the UNOS Kidney Allocation System
Dec 11, 2014 By Emory Transplant Center

Organ Donation Wait TimeThe Emory Transplant Center would like to share with our transplant community some important changes to the kidney allocation system managed by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). As many of you know, UNOS manages the nation’s organ transplant system and helps make the best use of donated organs. More specifically, the UNOS Kidney Committee had been meeting regularly to discuss an improved kidney allocation system which resulted in the UNOS Board of Directors approving a new kidney matching system that took effect on December 4, 2014. Under the previous system, how long a person had undergone dialysis prior to being placed on the wait list did not count. But with this new system, it has changed. “One of the major differences is that now you will be given credit for your dialysis time that will be added on to the time you've been on the waiting list,” says kidney transplant surgeon Dr. Nicole Turgeon of the Emory Kidney Transplant Program. If you began dialysis before you were listed, your wait time will be backdated to the day you began dialysis. Dr. Turgeon says the new guidelines could really help many longtime dialysis patients. Here are some [...]

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