Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center
Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center is committed to providing the highest quality of care while serving the communities of southwest Las Vegas.

When Is Spine Surgery the Best Route of Care?

In the majority of cases, spine surgery is not performed on an emergency basis. While patients with severe back pain may seek pain relief at an emergency care department, they typically have time to consult a surgeon to determine if spine surgery is really the best choice. If you’re considering visiting your local hospital to consult an orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon about spine surgery, you can watch this video for more information. It features Dr. Yevgeniy Khavkin of Southern Hills Hospital in Las Vegas.

Is There a Neurologic Deficit?

Back pain by itself may not necessarily indicate a need for spine surgery. Dr. Khavkin explains that he assesses whether patients have a neurologic deficit in addition to back pain. Neurologic symptoms may include muscle weakness or numbness. These symptoms may affect a leg or an arm. Neurologic deficits may be caused by the compression of a nerve by problems such as spinal stenosis.

Do You Have Continuous Pain?

In many cases, back pain is a temporary problem. Patients can often find relief of their symptoms with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs or pain relievers. You could also try cold and heat therapy, physical therapy, and chiropractic care. Another option is to visit your local hospital to discuss whether steroid injections might be appropriate for you. However, if you’ve tried multiple non-surgical treatment options and your pain still persists, you might consider spine surgery. Good candidates for spine surgery generally have severe pain that persists for at least six to 12 months.

Do You Fully Understand the Risks of Surgery?

Every surgery has inherent risks, such as complications from the anesthesia, post-operative infections, excessive bleeding, blood clots, and the formation of scar tissue. It’s important that you are fully informed of the potential risks of the surgery and that you understand what’s involved with the procedure. You should also be advised as to what to expect from the recovery process and the outcome of the procedure.

If you’re ready to explore whether spine surgery might be right for you, you can consult a physician at Southern Hills Hospital. Request a referral to an orthopedic surgeon or a neurosurgeon by contacting our Consult-A-Nurse line at (702) 880-2700. Our community hospital in Las Vegas is pleased to provide a comprehensive line of medical services, including stroke care, emergency care, and maternity services.

A Surgeon's Perspective on Robotic Surgery

The use of robotic surgery has increased significantly in recent years, because robotic surgery can have a number of advantages for patients. Surgeons also benefit from the use of robotic surgery systems, which allow for optimal control and precision in a wide range of different procedures. Keep reading to learn more about robotic surgery from the doctor’s point of view.

Surgeries fit for robotics

While robotic surgery does have a number of advantages, it is not right for every procedure. Some surgeries are already simple and straightforward, so they do not require the sophistication of the da Vinci Surgical System to facilitate successful outcomes. Exploratory surgeries are also not ideal for robotic techniques, because the robotic system is not able to move throughout the body once it is in place for a given procedure.

Surgical control

Robotic surgery uses robotic tools, but it is still 100% in control of the surgeon. As Southern Hills Hospital surgeon, Kevin Rayls, MD, discusses in this video, robotic surgical controls are the next logical step in laparoscopic surgery, which already involves the movement of tools from outside of the surgical site. With robotic surgery, there is the added benefit of complete precision and steadiness, which would be unachievable by even the most skilled hands on their own.

Treatment outcomes

When robotic surgery is an appropriate treatment option, it will likely be recommended over other surgical options. That’s because robotic surgery has more favorable outcomes over a number of surgical procedures, and it is usually more cost-effective thanks to fewer complications and shorter hospital stays.

Southern Hills Hospital is proud to maintain a Robotic Surgery Program with the da Vinci Surgical System, which provides treatment over several different specialties, including general surgery, gynecology, and cancer care. To learn more about the advanced technologies utilized in our Las Vegas facilities, visit our website or call us at (702) 880-2700.

Immunizations Every College Student Should Look Into

While most people associate immunizations with pediatric care, there are several vaccines that are important for teens and young adults too. As the start of the new school year approaches and students head off to college, it may be beneficial to schedule an appointment with the doctor to get these valuable vaccines that will promote health and safety in the college environment.

Meningococcal conjugate vaccine

Bacterial meningitis is an often severe illness with the potential for serious complications, including brain damage and fatalities. First-year college students living in residence halls are at the highest risk for this disease, so vaccination is an essential step before moving into a dorm. Non-first-year students can safely receive the vaccine as well, though their risk is typically no higher than the general population.

Seasonal flu vaccine

In the close quarters of dorms and crowded lecture halls, the seasonal flu virus can easily spread among students. The added protection of a flu shot early in the fall will help reduce the spread of the flu and help students stay sharp throughout the semester.

Tdap vaccine

The Tdap vaccine is a tetanus booster that also protects against diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). This shot may be given regardless of when the last Td vaccine was administered, though college students who had a Tdap booster at middle school age may not need this vaccine before beginning school.

HPV vaccine

HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, and certain strains of this virus are known to be the primary cause of most cervical and anal cancers. The HPV vaccine offers protection against these strains, and it may be given to women any time before the age of 27. Men may also receive the HPV vaccine, but they need to have the shot by the age of 22.

For the preventive care and resources you need to manage your health at any age, connect with Southern Hills Hospital in Las Vegas by calling our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (702) 880-2700. Our hospital provides a complete continuum of care with women’s health services, primary care, and emergency care with consistently low wait times.

Exploring the Causes and Treatment Options for Gallstones

The gallbladder is a tiny but hardworking organ, which stores bile produced by the liver to help the body digest fat. While you can live without your gallbladder, it does play an important role in your digestive system. Additionally, your gallbladder can become a big nuisance if gallstones develop inside of this organ, causing serious pain and other symptoms. Below, you can learn all about gallstones to get an idea of how they are diagnosed and treated when symptoms become a disruption in your life.

Causes of gallstones

As general surgeon, Dr. Rayls, explains in this video, gallstones are caused by the makeup of a person’s bile, so lifestyle factors are not generally associated with gallstones. Gallstones form when the chemical balance of bile is thrown off, causing cholesterol to crystalize in the gallbladder. This is not the same type of cholesterol that is linked with cardiovascular disease, so your cholesterol levels will not influence your risk for gallstones. There are, however, certain populations who are more likely to have gallstones. These groups include older adults, Hispanic and Native Americans, and women. Gallstones also tend to be common after bariatric surgery, since they can occur when a person is losing weight quickly.

Common symptoms

Sometimes gallstones will cause no symptoms at all, so they may never be diagnosed and treated. For other patients, gallstones can lead to gallbladder attacks, which are most common after eating. These attacks can cause flare ups of nausea, pain, pressure, vomiting.

Surgical treatment

When symptoms are present, they will typically persist and may even worsen until the gallbladder is removed. Surgical gallbladder removal can take place through minimally invasive robotic surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System, which significantly shortens healing times and reduces surgical complications.

If gallbladder symptoms are affecting you, call Southern Hills Hospital at (702) 880-2700 for a physician referral in Las Vegas. Our nurses are available to answer your call 24/7 with answers to your health questions, details about our service lines, and physician referrals.

4 Common Illnesses to Avoid in the Back-to-School Season

You might notice that children tend to get sick far less often in the summertime, and right as school starts in the fall, cold symptoms or stomach aches flare up. This is no coincidence, as illnesses are spread very easily through the classroom, where children are in close contact with one another all day long. This article will take a look at the illnesses you are most likely to see in your child this fall along with a few helpful tips for prevention.


Gastroenteritis is more commonly known as the stomach flu, and it could have your child feeling very uncomfortable with symptoms like dehydration caused by diarrhea and vomiting. The stomach flu is passed along by germs in the stool, so proper handwashing is an essential skill for kids to master. Providing hand sanitizer to your child’s classroom may also be helpful, since there is not always time for every student to wash his or her hands between various activities.

Head lice

Younger kids in kindergarten or preschool are most susceptible to head lice, which are not harmful but will require treatment with special shampoo. Head lice are not a sign of poor hygiene, and they generally spread by crawling from one head to another, making the playground a prime breeding ground for these tiny insects. One potential harm in head lice is dangerous home remedies, which often recommend the use of hazardous substances like gasoline.

Colds and sinus infections

Before flu season gets into full swing, you may have a child suffering from the sniffles due to a cold or sinus infection. Properly diagnosing a sinus infection may actually be difficult, since symptoms are often very similar to those of the common cold. The primary difference is that sinusitis symptoms will last longer, and it needs to be treated with antibiotics, which should be prescribed with caution, since using antibiotics to treat a cold can lead to antibiotic resistance in your child.

Strep throat

Strep throat presents a similar problem to sinusitis, in that the symptoms of viral infections may be confused for strep throat. While strep throat is a bacterial infection that will respond to antibiotics, most sore throats are caused by viruses that will clear up on their own. That’s why it’s important to carefully monitor your child’s symptoms and visit a pediatrician who is familiar with your child’s health history.

Whether your child needs preventive care or a trip to the ER, you can rely on Southern Hills Hospital for your family’s care in Las Vegas. To stay connected with us, call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (702) 880-2700 and speak with a registered nurse anytime, 24/7.

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