Tuesday, March 29, 2011

DaVinci Robot for Bariatric Surgery

Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville announced this week that it's the first hospital in the region to offer weight loss surgery with the daVinci robotic surgical system. Presbyterian and other area hospitals are already using the robot for prostate cancer surgery and other operations. A report in the journal Medical Care recently concluded that hospitals with daVinci robots for prostate cancer perform more radical prostatectomies as a result while those without the robots did fewer surgeries to remove prostate glands. Read more at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview blog: http://www.healthnewsreview.org/blog/2011/03/if-you-build-it-they-will-come-buy-robots-the-surgery-will-be-done.html The daVinci technology allows for minimally invasive surgery. Patients who qualify may experience less pain and scarring, reduced risk of surgical complications, and a shorter recovery time. But the lead author in that Medical Care report said: "Patients should be aware that if they seek care at a hospital with a new piece of surgical technology, they may be more likely to have surgery and should inquire about its risks as well as its benefits." Drs. Donald Balder and David Voellinger of Southeast Bariatrics are offering robot-assisted weight loss surgery at Presbyterian Huntersville. For more information, call 704-347-4144 or register online at http://www.southeastbariatrics.com/.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Kickstart A New Diet

Dr. Neal Barnard, a nutrition researcher at George Washington University School of Medicine, will talk about his book, "21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart: Boost Metabolism, Lower Cholesterol, and Dramatically Improve Your Health," Apr. 25 at a free seminar at 7 p.m. at Barnes and Noble, 4020 Sharon Road.

Barnard is challenging Charlotte residents to change their dietary ways and aims to help them do it. "We’ve found that the best way to lose weight is to jump into a completely healthy diet for three weeks," Dr. Barnard explains. "That means skipping meat and greasy foods, and focusing on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans for three weeks. During this test drive, people start to slim down, and they also see their cholesterol and blood pressure levels plummet. If they have diabetes, it often improves dramatically. Migraines and other pains often vanish."

Barnard recommends foods that help tame the appetite and boost metabolism. His program does not require calorie counting or even exercise. He provides three weeks of recipes, nutrition information, and cooking tips.

Barnard is president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and the author of 14 previous books on diet and health. For more information, contact Jill Eckart at 202-527-7337 or jeckart@pcrm.org.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Health care is just a CLiC away

There’s a new place to go for health care in Charlotte.

It’s called CLiC, and it stands for “convenient, local, individualized care.”

CaroMont Health, the system that operates Gaston Memorial Hospital, opened its first CLiCÖ center recently in Charlotte, near Mountain Island Lake. The address is 3605 Mount Holly-Huntersville Road.

It’s like an urgent care center, but it also helps people stay well. After treating a patient’s immediate needs, doctors and nurses will connect them with resources that could help with stress management, fitness and nutrition.

It’s like a drug store, but in addition to over-the-counter medicines and supplements, it also offers private rooms where customers can watch videos on a variety of health topics.

CLiC employs a medical doctor trained in integrative medicine, which is the blending of Western medical care with alternative therapies, such as acupuncture.

When people come to CLiC with an acute health problem, they can plan on getting information that can help prevent future problems. Patients may get help with weight management, high blood pressure and sleep problems that were not the initial reasons for their visit.

“It’s a place where people can come over and over again,” said Mary Hassett, a strategic planning consultant who assisted CaroMont in planning for CLiC. “The coffee shop is right next door. The setting is a well-trafficked area. It’s very easy and appealing to come in.

Hassett modeled the CLiC center on other urgent care/wellness/retail programs developed for other clients, such as Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania, Henry Ford Health System in Michigan and Intermountain Healthcare in Utah.

“The common thread is to begin integrating health and wellness into what has formerly been a sick-care environment,” she said.

Hours for the CLiC medical practice are 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., seven days a week. No appointments are needed. Hours for the retail store are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.