What are Venous Ulcers?

A venous ulcer is a wound that takes a longer time to heal than normal due to issues with blood flow to the heart from your extremities. This causes blood to pool in the legs and damages surrounding skin tissue; as a result, venous ulcers form, most often occurring on your legs near your ankles.

Venous ulcers may be identified based on their appearance, smell, and the sensations associated with them. Typically, these ulcers are shallow and irregularly shaped, and the skin around them may be hard and discolored. They also tend to ache and are typically itchy, foul-smelling, swollen, and oozing pus or other fluids.

The blood flow problems in your legs that cause venous ulcers to develop can occur due to a variety of factors, such as:

  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Paralysis
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Surgery
  • Prior injuries

You may also be more likely to develop venous ulcers due to conditions that affect the flow of blood from your legs, such as deep vein thrombosis, chronic venous insufficiency, high blood pressure, venous obstruction, and venous reflux. Additionally, your risk may be higher if any of these conditions have affected members of your family.

Venous ulcers can cause permanent damage to surrounding tissues without treatment. Your doctor may recommend a variety of treatment approaches, depending on the underlying medical problems that may have caused the ulcer to develop. Treatment may also involve several elements focused on the ulcer itself to relieve pain and prevent further tissue damage. Some of these elements may include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Bandages or stockings to improve blood flow and/or cover the wound
  • Protective topical ointments
  • Pain relief medication
  • Debridement
  • Daily cleaning of the wound

If you have developed a venous ulcer, you can receive high-quality treatment from the vascular surgeons at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. To receive more information or to schedule 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.

What are Statins?

Cholesterol is an important part of many of your body’s functions. However, too much of it can cause your arteries to become narrowed or blocked, increasing your risk for cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks or strokes. This problem is particularly linked to LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, often referred to as “bad” cholesterol. For adults, an optimal level of LDL cholesterol is less than 100 mg/dL; a near-optimal level is 100 to 129 mg/dL.

Statins are prescription medications that disrupt cholesterol production in your liver, reduce LDL cholesterol levels, and increase the amount of HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol in your blood; HDL, or “good” cholesterol, absorbs cholesterol from your blood and transports it back to your liver. Statins are available in brand-name or generic versions and are typically taken as tablets or capsules once per day.

Statins are typically prescribed to people who cannot reduce their cholesterol levels through diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes such as quitting tobacco products, as well as:

  • People who have experienced serious cardiovascular problems such as a stroke, heart attack, or peripheral artery disease
  • People over the age of 40 with an LDL above 70 mg/dL who have diabetes or are at high risk of heart disease

Statins are also often taken for the rest of a patient’s life to keep their cholesterol levels low, as these levels tend to increase with age before gradually decreasing later in life.

While most patients should not have much trouble tolerating statins, they may cause some side effects. These commonly include headaches, nausea, and aching in the muscles and joints. Rarely, however, statins may lead to more serious side effects, such as increased blood sugar, muscle cell damage, liver damage, or memory problems.

A cardiologist can help you weigh the benefits and risks of statins to determine whether they’re the right treatment approach for you. To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Cardiology Department, please call (718) 206-7100.

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.

Jamaica Hospital First In Queens To Successfully Complete DVT Procedure Using Protrieve™ and ClotTriever BOLD™

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is the first hospital in Queens to use Protrieve™ and ClotTriever BOLD™ for the treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

DVT occurs when blood clots develop within a vein located deep inside the body, usually in the legs, but can form in other places such as the pelvis and the arms. These clots block or slow the flow of blood to the rest of the body.

Deep vein thrombosis can happen as a result of injury to the veins, certain medical conditions that affect how blood clots, or being sedentary for an extended period (for example sitting for a long time on a flight without moving).

Symptoms of DVT include lower extremity swelling, red or discolored skin, pain, or a warm feeling in the affected area. In more severe cases, clots may detach and travel to the lungs resulting in a pulmonary embolism, which is potentially life-threatening.

There are several options available to treat DVT. The most common is anticoagulation or the use of blood thinners to prevent new clots from forming. However, anticoagulants do not break down existing clots. An effective treatment for this issue is the use of thrombolytics or “clot-busting” drugs to help dissolve clots in patients with moderate to severe DVT. Although thrombolytic therapy is effective, it is associated with a higher risk of major and fatal bleeding and requires a stay in the ICU.

The Protrieve™ and ClotTriever BOLD™ are important new options for the treatment of moderate or severe DVT. Both are FDA-cleared, clinically proven, and minimally invasive devices, specially designed for the removal of large volumes of clots from the deep vein. DVT removal is completed in a single-session treatment that avoids the use of thrombolytics and an ICU stay. The procedure also offers a lower risk of bleeding, immediate symptom improvement, and faster recovery times.

Jamaica Hospital utilizes cutting-edge surgical technology to treat a wide variety of conditions, including those that are prevalent in its community. As the closest hospital to John F. Kennedy International Airport, where many travelers flying long distances are at risk for DVT and one that serves a population with a high incidence of vascular conditions, having sophisticated tools such as the Protrieve™ and ClotTriever BOLD™ is advantageous in ensuring the best possible outcomes for patients.

Jamaica Hospital is recognized as one of the nation’s leading hospitals for surgery. The hospital is ranked number two in New York for surgical care by Healthgrades. It is also the top-ranked hospital in Queens, New York, and is among the top 5% in the nation for this area of expertise.

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.

Meet Dr. Mina Guerges

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center would like to introduce vascular surgeon Dr. Mina Guerges to our community.

Vascular surgeons are physicians who specialize in treating diseases of the vascular system, also known as the circulatory system.  Diseases of the vascular system include atherosclerosis, carotid artery disease, and peripheral artery disease.

Dr. Guerges is highly trained and skilled in performing minimally invasive endovascular and open-ended procedures.  He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida and his medical degree from the Ross University School of Medicine.  Dr. Guerges completed his general surgery residency at the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital and his vascular surgery fellowship at Staten Island University Hospital/Northwell.  He serves as a military surgeon in the United States Navy Reserves and is an active New York Police Department trooper surgeon.  Dr. Guerges is RPVI certified and is an active member of the American Board of Surgery as well as the Society of Vascular Surgeons.

Dr. Guerges’ specialties include treating lower extremity peripheral artery disease, carotid stenosis, abdominal aortic aneurysms, and other conditions that affect the vascular system.  He takes great pride in building relationships and helping patients beyond surgery by applying a holistic approach to treatment.  This involves identifying risk factors that can lead to vascular diseases such as diabetes and hypertension and working with patients to develop a lifestyle plan that addresses these issues and ensures long-term success.

“Vascular disease is prevalent in our community. Therefore, it is important that I educate patients about their risk for developing preventable diseases,” shares Dr. Guerges. He also believes that it is important to collaborate with physicians of other specialties such as podiatrists and neurologists to lower the risk for disease and avoid serious problems such as stroke or leg amputation.  “By working together we can create the best plan of treatment to achieve optimal results for our patients.”

Dr. Guerges is extremely happy to join the vascular surgery team at Jamaica Hospital.  He treats patients at 134-20 Jamaica Avenue as well as the hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center. To schedule an appointment, please call 718-206-8755 or 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.

Signs and Symptoms Of A Blood Clot

Signs and Symptoms of a blood clot-vascular doctor in Queens

According to the American Society of Hematology, “Blood clotting is an important process that prevents, excessive bleeding when a blood vessel is injured.” Typically,  once injuries have healed,  our bodies naturally dissolve clots- allowing blood vessels to function normally when transporting blood.

However, there are instances in which blood clots do not form as a result of injury and do not dissolve on their own.  Blood clots may also form as a result of complications caused by obesity, pregnancy, prolonged sitting, smoking, certain medications or diseases.  When clots do not dissolve they can lead to serious health issues such as stroke or heart attack.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of a blood clot can help you to recognize a potential threat to your health and seek treatment in a timely manner. Signs and symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Change in color in arms or legs
  • Pain in chest, arms or legs
  • Lower leg cramps
  • A warm spot on the leg
  • Trouble breathing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • High blood pressure
  • Blood in urine
  • Fever
  • Light-headedness
  • Headache
  • Speech or vision difficulties

If you are experiencing these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.  This may save your life or reduce the severity of certain complications. Treatment is determined by the location of the blood clot and may include surgery or medication (anticoagulants or thrombolytics).

To schedule a visit with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, 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.

Travel and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Deep Vein ThrombosisMemorial Day weekend includes some of the busiest days for travel. Millions will travel great distances by car, rail or plane to their desired vacation destinations. Despite the mode of transportation, people often spend an extensive amount of time sitting while in transit.  This prolonged period of inactivity can lead to the formation of blood clots or complications such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Deep vein thrombosis, dubbed “Economy Class Syndrome” or “Traveler’s Thrombosis,” occurs when a blood clot forms in the veins of the leg, obstructing the flow of blood to the heart. Clots are more likely to develop when legs are hanging down, causing blood to flow slowly and collect. Anyone flying or driving for four hours or more without mobilization are at risk for developing them.

Symptoms of DVT can be mild and may include swelling of the calf or long-term discomfort. However, symptoms can also be fatal as deep vein thrombosis can develop into a more severe, sometimes fatal condition known as pulmonary embolism.

Pulmonary embolisms form when blood clots travel from the veins in the legs and eventually becomes lodged in the blood vessels going to the lungs.  Symptoms include chest pains, difficulty breathing, feeling lightheaded or fainting, coughing up blood, anxiety or irregular heartbeat. If these symptoms present themselves, medical attention should be sought immediately.

Some people are more prone to developing deep vein thrombosis- related conditions than others.  Those with an increased risk include people who are obese, over the age of 40, have varicose veins, a family history of blood clots, are using contraceptives such as birth control containing estrogen, have had recent surgery, hormone replacement therapy, recent severe illnesses such as pneumonia, recent cancer treatment and have limited mobility due to a leg cast.

There are many steps one can take to reduce risks.   While traveling during a long journey, it is recommended to wear comfortable and loose clothing, take breaks and walk around whenever you can, drink water, purchase flight socks, do not drink excessive amounts of alcohol or take sleeping pills. It also highly advised to take a walk after a long trip to get your circulation going.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Jamaica Hospital Offers Effective, Non-Surgical Treatment for Varicose Veins

Jamaica Hospital now offers the VenaCure EVLT therapy to treat a condition that affects over 25 million Americans – varicose veins.

Varicose veins are bulging, bluish cords that run beneath the surface of your skin and are most prevalent on the legs and feet. They are sometimes surrounded by patches of flooded capillaries known as spider veins.   While varicose veins are usually harmless, in some cases they can become painful and tender to the touch. They can also lead to swollen ankles and hinder circulation in the limbs.

Up until recently, the most common way to treat varicose veins is through the use of compression stockings designed to help leg muscles push blood upward, or taking over-the-counter medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen to alleviate swelling. In more serious cases, doctors can perform a variety of interventions, including the use of heat with radiofrequency to close the veins, injecting chemicals into the vein, or even some surgical options that either strip or remove the vein entirely.

Now, Jamaica Hospital is offering a new and more effective way of treating varicose veins.  The VenaCure EVLT system is the number one physician choice in laser vein treatment and brings remarkable results and significant advantages to remedying superficial vein reflux.  During this laser vein treatment, a thin fiber is inserted into the damaged vein. A laser light is emitted through a fiber, delivering just the right amount of energy, causing these superficial veins to close and reroute blood flow to other veins.

This minimally invasive and clinically proven treatment option boasts a 98 percent success rate with minimal to-no scarring, offers less discomfort and a quicker recovery period than other forms of therapy for varicose veins.  The VenaCure EVLT procedure is also easy to perform, results in less complications, is done in your doctor’s office, and can get you back on your feet in less than an hour.

For more information about VenaCure EVLT treatment, or to schedule an appointment with one of Jamaica Hospital’s vascular surgeons, please call 718-206-7110.

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.

March is National Kidney Month

 

 

 

 

 

 

March is National Kidney Month and the National Kidney Foundation is urging all Americans to give their kidneys a well-deserved checkup.

The kidneys are two, fist-sized organs in your lower back. They maintain overall health by serving following functions:

  • Filtering waste out of 200 liters of blood each day
  • Regulating of the body’s salt, potassium and acid content
  • Removing toxins from the body.
  • Balancing the body’s fluids
  • Releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure
  • Producing an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones
  • Controlling the production of red blood cells

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control, some quick facts on Kidney Disease are:

  • Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the country.
  • More than 26 million Americans have kidney disease, and most don’t know it.
  • There are over 95,000 people waiting for kidney transplants.
  • Currently, more than 590,000 people have kidney failure in the U.S. today.

Often times, kidney failure can be prevented or delayed through early detection and proper treatment of underlying disease such as diabetes and high blood pressure which can slow additional damage to the kidneys.

If you are 18 years or older with diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or a family history of kidney disease, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor and ask that you be screened for kidney disease.

If you would like to make an appointment to have your Kidney’s checked, you can call Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001 for 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.

Information About Varicose Veins

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately half of Americans age 50 and older have varicose veins. These veins are most commonly located in the legs, appear to bulge from the skin and are dark purple or blue in color.

ThinkstockPhotos-483873488The veins in a person’s legs carry blood back up to the heart and should only allow blood to flow in one direction. However, when the valves in a person’s veins become weak and allow blood to flow away from the heart, blood pools and the veins in that area become stretched or enlarged, thereby, creating a varicose vein.

While varicose veins are very common among both men and women, there are several factors that can increase a person’s risk of being affected. These include:
 Heredity
 Hormonal changes, such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause
 Increasing age
 Obesity
 Sun exposure

Not only can varicose veins cause discomfort and embarrassment for the men and women who have them, but they can also sometimes lead to more serious health conditions. If left untreated, varicose veins can lead to:

 Blood Clots- These are extremely dangerous, as they may dislodge from the vein and travel to the lungs or heart, preventing either from functioning properly.
 Sores and Ulcers- Varicose veins may lead to sores and ulcers of the skin because of long-term buildup of fluid.

Varicose veins may also cause ongoing swelling, rashes, and pain, and can increase a person’s chances of infection.

Varicose veins may signal a higher risk for circulatory problems. If you have varicose veins that cause pain, swelling, itching, tiredness, or numbness in the legs, you should seek medical attention. Jamaica Hospital Department of Vascular Surgery offers a variety of options to treat varicose veins.
Treatment options available include:

 Sclerotherapy: A solution is injected to seal off the area in which blood is pooling.
 Laser treatment: Without the use of needles or incisions, strong bursts of light are delivered precisely onto varicose veins to make them fade and eventually disappear.
 Endovenous Radiofrequency: A catheter is inserted into the vein and radiofrequency or laser energy seals the vein wall. This approach is used in treating deeper varicose veins.
 Surgical litigation and stripping: Varicose veins are removed entirely.

If you have varicose veins and would like to schedule a consultation with a vascular surgeon at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-7108.

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.