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Less Invasive Treatment Now Available For Barrett’s Esophagus

Often dismissed as a little acid reflux or heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) affects 44 percent of adults in the United States. For some of those, their GERD can be resolved by antacids, changes in diet and a healthier lifestyle. But, for others GERD can lead to Barrett’s Esophagus, a condition which significantly raises the patient’s risk of esophageal cancer. Suddenly, GERD doesn’t seem so harmless.

While only a small percentage of patients with GERD will develop Barrett’s, but when a patient is diagnosed with it, doctors keep a close watch out for the emergence of cancer. Traditionally, Barrett’s has been treated by removing tumors of the esophagus with combinations of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and photo dynamic therapy (PDT ). But now there is an alternative approach that is less invasive and has fewer side effects. With radiofrequency ablation (RFA), doctors guide a balloon-type device to the affected site and trigger a radio frequency signal to slough off the malignant or precancerous cells.

“RF Ablation is so well tolerated now that we can safely offer it to a great many patients with Barrett’s Esophagus,” said the Director of Endoscopy at Emory Healthcare, Field Willingham, MD, MPH.

Major surgery is still not uncommon among late stage esophageal cancer patients. But when the cancer is caught early it can now often be successfully removed using radiofrequency ablation.

Both Field F Willingham, MD, MPH, and Kevin Woods, MD, MPH offer RFA for patients with Barrett’s Esophagus at Emory Healthcare.

Watch the video below:

Breast Augmentation, What are Your Options? Have Your Questions Answered.

breast augmentationChoosing breast augmentation surgery is a big decision, and we know it’s important for you to understand your surgical options, the implants, and what you can expect after the surgery. Join Emory Aesthetic Center’s plastic surgeon, Felmont Eaves, MD, on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 as he helps walk you through the journey. Dr. Eaves will answer all of your questions to ensure you are confidently ready to take the next step. He will be available to answer questions such as:

  • Is breast augmentation right for me?
  • What is the breast augmentation procedure?
  • Are there other options available to me?
  • What can I expect after surgery?
  • What types of breast implants are available and which one(s) are best?
  • What kind of an outcome can I expect?

Just 15 Seconds Can Help Prevent the Spread

Every year, here at Emory Healthcare, we celebrate Hand Washing Awareness week.

The goal of National Hand Washing Awareness Week is to decrease the spread of infectious diseases by empowering individuals through education on the importance of hand washing to help protect their loved ones and communities. By working together we can make a difference!

At each of our facilities, all of our team members practice hand hygiene and we are reminded at almost every turn, via signage and educational information just how important hand hygiene is for the health and wellness of our staff, patients, families and visitors.

By definition, hand hygiene is the cleaning of the hands using either soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. Hand “washing” refers to hand cleaning using soap and water. Hands can become contaminated with bacteria during routine daily activities such as eating, coughing, changing diapers, caring for an ill loved one, or taking out the trash. Hand hygiene doesn’t get rid of all bacteria on the hands, but it can reduce the number of bacteria on the hands and prevent spread of bacteria from one person to another, or prevent the contamination of additional surfaces.

The 6 Rules of Hand Washing:

  • Always wash your hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers, cleaning up after your pets, or handling money.
  • Wash your hands when they’re dirty.
  • Always wash your hands before eating.
  • Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands.
  • Refrain from putting your fingers in your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Avoid touching people and surfaces with unclean hands.

Proper Hand Washing Technique:

  1. Wet hands with warm water, then use soap (preferably anti-bacterial).
  2. Rub your hands together, making sure to scrub all areas.
    • Be sure to rub for a minimum of 15 seconds, or sing “Happy Birthday” to make hand washing most effective.
  3. Rinse thoroughly, then dry hands on a clean towel.
  4. Finally, be sure and turn faucet off with the towel, not your hands, to prevent re-contamination.

Do you have other tips that help you practice good hand hygiene? If so, share them with us and our readers using the comments field below!

 

Join Us for Ladies Night Out

ladies night out flyerEmory Johns Creek Hospital is hosting a Ladies’ Night Out Thursday, October 18, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Physicians’ Plaza. Join us for free health screenings, casual conversations with physicians over dessert and coffee, and a chance to win door prizes. In celebration and recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’ll be hosting a special breast cancer awareness and prevention panel with physicians at 7pm.

Registration is encouraged but not required. Call 678.474.8200 to register. This event is presented in partnership with the Junior League of Gwinnett & North Fulton Counties.

Also, be sure to check out some of our upcoming informational seminars and the awareness events being offered by our family at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.

Bariatric Surgery
October 16 and November 7, 8, 14 and 20, from 7 to 9 p.m. Suite 109.

Childbirth Preparation Class

Classes are held as a four-week series on Thursdays or one full-day class on Sunday, October 14, Saturday, November 10, and Sunday, December 2. The next four-week series begins October 25. Meeting Room 3.

Breast-feeding Class
Classes are held every three weeks on a Saturday. Fall classes will be held October 20, November 17 and December 8, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meeting Room 3.

Related Resources

Our Commitment to Transparent Health Care

High quality health care provided in a safe, patient- and family-centered environment is the foundation of Emory Healthcare’s mission. At Emory Healthcare, we’re committed to transparency in communications with our patients, recognizing your right to be informed about all aspects of your care, treatment and service.

With that said, we want to inform our community of a recent situation that may impact some of our patients. Emory Healthcare has determined that 10 backup discs containing information on surgical patients treated between September 1990 and April 2007 are missing from a storage location at Emory University Hospital.

Upon discovery that the discs were missing, an extensive search and investigation was initiated and is continuing. It is important to note that there was no actual or attempted breach or “hacking in” of Emory’s electronic medical records or other systems.

Our investigation into the matter has determined that the discs were removed between February 7, 2012, and February 20, 2012. The information contained on the missing discs is related to approximately 315,000 surgical patients treated at Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown (formerly Emory Crawford Long Hospital) and The Emory Clinic Ambulatory Surgery Center. The information did not relate to patients at other Emory Healthcare facilities or to patients treated after April 2007. Approximately 228,000 of the records on the discs included Social Security numbers; another approximately 87,000 records did not include Social Security numbers.

“We sincerely regret this incident and want to assure our patients that we are committed to safeguarding their personal information,” said John T. Fox, president and CEO of Emory Healthcare. “While we have no evidence at this time that any personal information has been misused as a result of this incident, we want to take all precautions to ensure our patients’ information is safe. We are moving forward expeditiously with providing all affected patients, at our cost, access to identity protection services, including credit monitoring.” Our patients are being informed through personal letters mailed to their homes, which provides details on the occurrence, actions taken to locate the discs and steps patients can take now to protect themselves against possible identity theft. Emory Healthcare is recommending that individuals regularly review their credit reports for anything they do not recognize, and to consider using the other services being provided by Emory, as specified in the letter. For more information on steps patients can take to avoid potential problems, view Emory Healthcare’s “Notice to Our Patients” at www.emoryhealthcare.org/protection.

Our Emory Healthcare culture supports open organizational dialogue. We are grateful for all of our team members who support our culture by raising their hands when they find an opportunity for us to learn from teachable moments such as this one.

Emory Healthcare has launched an institution-wide initiative to reinforce and clarify existing policies and procedures for safeguarding the security and privacy of sensitive information. In addition, Emory is conducting a comprehensive inventory of all physical spaces across the system to ensure data are properly secured.

A toll-free Emory Healthcare Support Center hotline (1-855-205-6950) providing information on the incident has been established to address patient questions and is available 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time).

For more information, patients may also visit: www.emoryhealthcare.org/protection.

Related Resources:

Can Topical Creams and Serums Erase Wrinkles?

Jilleen Hoffman, Emory Facial Center

Jilleen Hoffman, Emory Facial Center

I’m often asked whether topical creams and serums can erase wrinkles. My answer? It depends on the type of wrinkle. Before you choose a treatment, you need to know your options.

We offer a variety of treatments at the Emory Facial Center and work with our patients to create a plan that’s right for them. Some types of wrinkles can be minimized with topical treatments. In other cases, injectables or surgery may be your best bet. Often, a combination of treatments is needed to see optimum results. However, correcting the tone, texture, and health of your skin with good skin care products will certainly enhance the results from any treatment. Wrinkles can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

Dry skin: A dry environment can cause dry skin, as can cleaning your face with hot water and harsh cleansers, which can strip your skin of its natural moisturizing properties and disrupt the pH balance. If your skin texture is rough and dry, with fine lines and increased sensitivity, a non-abrasive exfoliant, such as AHA glycoloic acid, and a moisturizer designed for your skin type may give you excellent results. You can help prevent wrinkles from forming by keeping your skin in a healthy, balanced state with a gentle cleanser and a good moisturizer.

Sun-damaged skin: Both exposure to the sun and tanning booths can damage your support layer of skin, or dermis, which in turn causes a loss of support tissue (collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid). This loss of support results in loose skin that doesn’t “bounce back” when stretched. A retinoid, such as retinol or retinoic acid (Retin-ATM), can help stimulate the production of support tissue and revitalize your skin. Optimum results with retinol take longer than with retinoic acid, but many people find this milder retinoid easier to use, as retinoic acid can cause irritation and dermatitis if not used carefully. Filler injections will also benefit skin that has damage to the dermis support layer. “Plumping up” the volume of lost support tissue is very effective in treating these types of wrinkles. Chemical peels and certain lasers are also used to treat skin with these types of wrinkles.

Loose skin Both massive weight loss and natural aging can cause loose skin and folds that are difficult to treat with any topical product. The loss of muscle mass and bone density that comes with aging also contributes to loose skin and folds. Filler injections can help, but surgery provides the best results for eliminating loose skin and folds.
Muscle movement suscle relaxers, such as BotoxTM, will help reduce wrinkles associated with muscle movement, such as crow’s feet and frown lines between the eyebrows.

Not sure what treatment is best for you? Schedule a consultation with one of our skin care experts today at 404.303.0101.

If you’ve had success in treating fine lines and wrinkles, we’d love to hear from you. Please share your questions or thoughts in the comments section below.

Related Resources:

The Functional & Comestic Ins & Outs of a Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty - cosmetic, functional nose jobRhinoplasty (also known as a “nose job”) is one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed today and can make a dramatic difference in your appearance.  If you’ve always wanted to change the shape of your nose, rhinoplasty is a great option. What you may not know is that same procedure can  also correct birth defects, injuries caused by an accident, or some breathing problems that cause chronic stuffiness, post-nasal drip and even snoring.

In decades past, surgeons performed rhinoplasties mostly for appearance, with a secondary goal of preserving or restoring function. Today surgeons have come to realize the best results occur when we take form and function into consideration as one. Using the same approaches and incisions, I am able to straighten the septum, improve breathing, reduce a “bump” on the bridge and narrow the tip all at once! Not everyone needs all these corrections, of course, so I always have a very detailed discussion with my patients before delving into any surgery. Together, we develop a treatment plan to make sure your goals and desires are met and addressed.

I find rhinoplasty, both cosmetic and functional, to be one of the most rewarding and technically demanding surgeries I do. More than other type of facial plastic surgery, rhinoplasty requires not only an understanding of underlying anatomy, but a certain artistry. That’s why it’s one of my favorite cases!  Gone are the days of a “ski-slope” nose, the one-size-fits-all approach and narrowed airway. My priority is not only to make your nose fit the rest of your face, but to make it work even better than it did before.

If you have questions or concerns about a rhinoplasty procedure, I would love to meet with you and discuss your needs. To schedule an appointment, call the Emory Facial Center at 404 303-0101 or visit ww.emoryfacialcenter.org.

About Dr. Anita Sethna
Anita Sethna, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery within the Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. She holds clinic at the Emory Facial Center located in Perimeter. Dr. Sethna’s professional goals are to provide her patients with the highest level of care for facial reconstructive as well as cosmetic procedures, maintaining natural and subtle results using surgical and non-surgical interventions. She joined Emory Healthcare in 2010.

Top 5 Tips to Beat Pollen Sensitivity This Spring

pollen allergy season

*Update*: On March 19, 2012, the pollen count in Atlanta was 8,164, breaking the old record of 6,013 set in 1999.

With today’s pollen count at a startling 2258, we thought it a good idea to share with you some tips for beating sensitivity to pollen as best you can this Spring. Over 35 million Americans are sensitive to pollen, if you’re one of them, this list should help:

Know the Pollen Count

Here’s a great website for residents of the Atlanta, GA area to check the pollen count, which changes daily – http://www.atlantaallergy.com/pollenCount.aspx Staying on top of the pollen count makes it easier to take proactive steps to avoid sensitivity before it starts. As a general guide, here are the ranges for pollen count levels:

  • Low: 0-14
  • Moderate: 15-89
  • High: 90-1499
  • Extremely High: 1500+

Exercise in the Evening

Pollen counts are highest in the morning, but because pollen travels freely on warm, dry and breezy days, pollen levels can often peak midday. If you exercise outdoors, plan on doing so in the evening, after 5 p.m. during days with high pollen counts. For your safety, please be sure to exercise with a partner.

Wear a Mask When Doing Yard Work

If you’re sensitive or allergic to pollen, it is not ideal to also be responsible for yard work. But if you must, wear a mask. You can pick one up at your local hardware store or pharmacy. Try doing yard work very early in the morning, while there’s still dew out, or in the later afternoon/evening, once pollen levels have subsided.

Proactively Treat Your Allergies

If you are allergic or particularly sensitive to pollen, there are plenty of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines available to help you control your symptoms.

You should consult your allergist for the medication and treatment plan that’s best for you, but getting your symptoms under control before they have the opportunity to get out of hand is wise during pollen season.

Protect Your Home, Your Car & Your Body

Keep doors and windows to your residence and car closed as much as possible when the pollen count is high. Pollen particles are no wider than a single strand of human hair, and they can easily pass through holes in window screens. Also, if particularly sensitive, change clothes and shower after returning home to remove pollen from your person and to avoid spreading it throughout your home.

If you’re interested in sinus, nasal, and allergy treatment at Emory, you can visit our Sinus, Nasal & Allergy website. Have any other ideas for how to limit pollen sensitivity this Spring? Feel free to share and leave them in the comments section below!

Quinoa – Hard to Say, Easy to Cook!

Quinoa

Quinoa. Ever taken a stab at pronouncing it? Don’t worry; its’ a tough one. It is pronounced KEEN-wa. With or without being able to pronounce it, have you ever tried it?

Quinoa is a nutty brown grain that sounds intimidating, but is packed with nutrition and is as easy to cook as rice. Bring it to your next dinner party and impress your friends with your new, exotic (but oh so easy) ingredient.

Quinoa plants are colorful, flowering plants grown primarily in South America. In areas where it’s grown, people eat the leaves as well as the abundant seeds that we are more familiar with.

It is a great source of folate, manganese, B vitamins and zinc; however, the unique part of quinoa is its protein content. Quinoa includes all eight essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. Almost all other complete proteins in our diets are animal products. This makes quinoa a sound protein source for vegetarians and infrequent meat-eaters.

Cooking Quinoa

As previously promised, quinoa is simple to cook. As you make it more, feel free to experiment with adjustments and additions to the recipe. As you will find, quinoa is quite forgiving for even inexperienced cooks.

Basic quinoa recipe:

  1. Rinse Quinoa – If you do not have a colander with small enough holes, lay cheese cloth inside your colander to keep the quinoa seeds from escaping.
  2. Add one part quinoa to two parts liquid to a medium-size pot. (Chicken broth works well as a liquid over water for added flavor.)
  3. Bring to a simmer, and then turn on low. Cover and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes.
  4. Turn off the burner and allow to sit for five to 10 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork and serve.

Serve as a simple side item; add to soups; or serve under stews, curries, or thick and chunky sauces. Refrigerate leftovers and add to your salad for lunch the next day.

Join Us for a Voice Center Open House

Melissa Statham, MDThe Emory Voice Center is pleased to welcome Melissa Statham, MD as the latest addition to the Voice Center’s team of voice specialists!

Melissa Statham, MD, is a laryngologist specializing in pediatric voice disorders and care of the adult professional voice, airway and swallowing conditions.

A graduate of the University of Louisville School of Medicine, Dr. Statham completed her residency in otolaryngology at the University of Cincinnati, and pursued two fellowships following her residency. The first for laryngology and care of the professional voice at the University of Pittsburgh Voice Center, and the second in pediatric otolaryngology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Dr. Statham has expertise in treating pediatric and adult voice conditions and airway disorders. Her research interests focus on pediatric voice disorders, novel laryngeal electromyography techniques and outcomes from pediatric and adult major airway surgery.

Please join us at the Emory Voice Center for an Open House and reception to help welcome Dr. Statham to the Emory Voice Center. You can register for the open house online, or use the phone number below. Event details are listed below:

What: Welcome Reception and Open House for Melissa Statham, MD
When: Thursday, March 24 at 4 – 6 p.m.
Where: Emory Voice Center

(550 Peachtree Street, 9th Floor, Atlanta, GA 30308)

To RSVP: Please Call 404-778-7777 or Register Online