• What Women Need to Know About Uterine Fibroids

    Uterine fibroids are benign growths that develop in the wall of the uterus. These noncancerous tumors are not uncommon, especially among women in their 40s and 50s. Women in who have concerns about their reproductive health can consult a physician at a local hospital about their risks and symptoms. The physicians at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center welcome Las Vegas-area residents who wish to learn more about their health.

    Diagnosing Uterine Fibroids

    The first video featured here provides an explanation of the symptoms that might prompt some women to visit a hospital and how the physician might diagnose uterine fibroids. An OB/GYN at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center explains that some uterine fibroids can cause symptoms related to menstruation, including bleeding between periods, painful periods, and heavy bleeding. A physician might suspect the presence of one or more uterine fibroids during a routine pelvic examination. If so, he or she may recommend an ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis.

    Considering Whether to Undergo Treatment

    Not all uterine fibroids require treatment , as women will learn by viewing the second video. In fact, many uterine fibroids are asymptomatic. Women may wish to consider their treatment options if their fibroids do cause troublesome or severe symptoms, or if the benign growths cause complications such as infertility. Generally, the uterine fibroids that grow into the uterine cavity are most likely to cause menstrual and fertility problems.

    Evaluating Treatment Options

    Sometimes, the symptoms of uterine fibroids may be managed with noninvasive treatment options, such as medications. However, some women may require surgical intervention. Before undergoing any medical treatment, it’s highly advisable that patients learn about every aspect of the treatment, such as its potential risks and benefits, and the steps involved. For example, women who are considering having a hysterectomy could ask their physicians about the potential risks associated with power morcellators, which have been linked to the metastasis of cancerous cells.

    Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center provides state-of-the-art diagnostic tests and treatment options for women with uterine fibroids. The physicians at our community hospital are dedicated to providing compassionate patient care, ensuring that each patient fully understands the potential risks and benefits of medical treatments. Residents of the Las Vegas area can call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (702) 880-2100 or visit our website to explore our service lines, including emergency care, stroke care, and maternity services.

  • Robotic Surgery and Colorectal Cancer Treatment

    Although it can be difficult to come to terms with a diagnosis of colorectal cancer, patients may find that they regain a sense of control as they explore their treatment options. At Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center, one of those treatment options includes robot-assisted surgery with our sophisticated da Vinci Surgical System. To find out if robotic surgery might be appropriate for them, colorectal cancer patients can consult a physician at our hospital and watch the video featured here.

    Robotic Technology

    Robot-assisted surgeries may be used for minimally invasive procedures, which may benefit patients by accelerating the recovery time and reducing the risk of complications. The use of robot-assisted surgeries has been increasing in recent years, yet the technology was actually developed in 1985, when the U.S. military was exploring ways of allowing surgeons to remotely operate on injured soldiers. The way the technology is currently used; however, is vastly different. The surgeon does not operate from a remote location. He or she is in the same operating suite with the patient throughout the procedure. As the surgeon in this video describes, the robotic system allows the surgeon to operate with very precise movements through the use of wristed instruments. It also provides better visualization than a traditional surgery would, since the system is equipped with high definition magnification and 3D visualization.

    Colorectal Cancer Surgery

    With the da Vinci Surgical System, surgeons can perform minimally invasive colectomies, which are colon resection surgeries. This surgery involves the removal of part or all of the colon, or large intestine. If the colorectal cancer is still in its early stages, only a small part of the colon may need to be removed. For advanced cancers, it’s likely that more of the large intestine will be removed. Another procedure that may be performed with robotic technology is a proctectomy, or rectum resection surgery. The rectum is the last six inches of the large intestine. The surgery involves removing the rectum and possibly the anal opening.

    At Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center , we combine a compassionate, personalized approach to cancer care with the most advanced technology available. The highly trained surgeons at our community hospital in Las Vegas can perform a range of robot-assisted surgeries, including colectomy and proctectomy. To request a referral to a surgeon or other specialist, Las Vegas residents can reach our hospital at (702) 880-2100.

  • Preserving Fertility in Endometriosis Treatment

    During a menstrual period, the lining of the uterus breaks down and is expelled through the vagina. In women who have endometriosis, this tissue is present outside the uterus, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. However, it still responds during the monthly cycle by breaking down, bleeding, and causing an inflammatory reaction. This can cause symptoms such as severe pelvic pain and complications such as infertility. Sometimes, treating endometriosis can also cause infertility, such as when a woman undergoes a hysterectomy. However, there are treatment options available that can preserve fertility. A physician at a community hospital can help patients become informed of their treatment options.

    Hormonal Treatments

    Women with endometriosis who wish to become pregnant, but not right away, may decide that hormonal treatment is right for them. Oral contraceptives can help manage the menstrual symptoms of endometriosis . They may also relieve pelvic pain. However, once oral contraceptives are discontinued, the symptoms may return. Progestin-based birth control can manage endometriosis by reducing menstruation or completely eliminating it. Two examples are the birth control injection and intrauterine device (IUD). Women should be advised that if they choose the injection, it may take at least a few months for menstruation and fertility to return after discontinuing the drug.

    Surgical Intervention

    If hormonal options are not appropriate or the patient does not wish to delay pregnancy, surgical options may be considered. A surgeon may perform a procedure to remove the endometrial lesions and scar tissue, which can relieve endometriosis symptoms and support fertility. The OB/GYN in the video featured here explains that surgery may be particularly appropriate for women who also have uterine fibroids since the surgical removal of the fibroids may help preserve fertility.

    If you have been diagnosed with endometriosis and you are concerned about your fertility, there are options available to you. The physicians at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center of Las Vegas are here to help. Call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (702) 880-2100 or explore our healthcare services online, including maternity services, geriatric psychiatry, emergency care, and stroke care.

  • Getting to Know the Biggest Health Risks of Summer

    The team at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center wishes Las Vegas-area residents a safe and enjoyable summer. It is common knowledge that summer is associated with numerous health concerns, such as drowning, sunburns, and diseases transmitted by insect bites. While it certainly is advisable to take precautions by applying sunscreen regularly and practicing safe swimming habits, there are some other health risks you may not be aware of. In the event that your family encounters a medical problem, the emergency care department at our hospital is always available.

    Foodborne Illnesses

    Millions of Americans contract foodborne illnesses each year. Usually, food poisoning is a relatively minor ailment that resolves itself. However, in severe cases, hospitalization is necessary and death is possible. Foodborne illnesses are a particular problem during the summer months because bacteria thrive in very hot temperatures. To reduce your risk, avoid cross-contamination, check the internal temperature of meats, and keep perishable food chilled.

    Grilled Foods

    Barbeques practically epitomize summer, but they may pose a health hazard. Some research suggests that grilled, smoked, and barbecued meats may increase the risk of cancer because grilling meats may lead to the formation of heterocyclic amine (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These substances are possible carcinogens; however, clinical studies have not yet proved this. To reduce your exposure to potentially cancer-causing substances, you could trim the fat from the meat, marinate it, partially precook it in the microwave, and remove charred parts before eating. Additionally, consider grilling fruits and vegetables, which do not produce HCAs.

    Fireworks Injuries

    One way to stay out of the emergency care department this summer is to practice fireworks safety. Fireworks inflict thousands of injuries each year on both spectators and fireworks handlers. Many experts strongly advise against using fireworks at home, including sparklers and firecrackers. If you plan to attend a fireworks display, check that it’s an authorized display and be sure to stay behind the barriers.

    If you or a loved one does sustain an injury or illness this summer, the emergency care team at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center is here to help. Our emergency care services are available 24/7 and we pride ourselves on our rapid evaluation of each patient in our ER. If you’re having a medical emergency in the Las Vegas area, please call 911; otherwise, you can contact our community hospital at (702) 880-2100.

  • Essential Screening Exams for Women

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    Screening exams are an important part of taking control of your own health. By keeping up with your doctor’s recommendation for screening exams, you can catch health problems in their early stages, when they are the most treatable. Your doctor will work closely with you to determine which types of screenings are necessary for you depending on your personal health history, but here is a look at common tests most women need to protect their health.

    Blood Pressure

    Your blood pressure numbers are among the most significant indicators of your overall health. Your doctor will test your blood pressure at every appointment for this reason. Good blood pressure is below 120/80. If your blood pressure falls between 120/80 and 139/89, your doctor may want to monitor you more closely. If your numbers are higher than that, your doctor may want you to consider blood pressure medication and lifestyle changes, such as reducing your sodium intake.

    Breast Cancer Screening

    By getting regular screenings for breast cancer, your doctor can pinpoint any abnormal changes in your breast tissue early so treatment can begin if needed. Mammograms are the gold standard for breast cancer screenings and can usually be performed in the women’s services department of your hospital. Your doctor will determine when you should begin mammograms and how often you should have them based on your breast cancer risk factors.

    Pap Test

    Pap tests are performed to screen for cervical cancer. Because this type of cancer rarely causes symptoms, this screening test is crucial. You should begin getting Pap tests by age 21 or when you become sexually active. Your doctor will determine how often you should have the test after that. Most women have them every one to five years.

    Make the Women’s Services unit at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas your partner in good health. In addition to maternity care, we’re here for all of your women’s health needs. You can learn more about this and all of our hospital services, from geriatric psych and emergency care to orthopedic surgery, by calling (702) 880-2100.

  • Understanding the Process of Visiting the ER

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    Whether you’re visiting the ER for yourself or with someone you love, it’s natural to feel a little anxious about the experience. Understanding how the system works can help put your mind at ease as you or your loved one gets necessary urgent care. Here’s a peek behind the scenes of the ER so you know what to expect at your next visit.

    Triage

    After checking in with an administrative employee, who will take your personal information and information about your insurance, you will see a triage nurse. Triage is the foundation of how emergency rooms function. Triaging patients allows the ER to decide in what order people should be treated. Those patients with life-threatening emergencies get care first, while those with less serious needs may have to wait a little longer. Patients with traumatic injuries or those experiencing symptoms of strokes or heart attacks are usually seen first.

    Diagnosis

    Once you are in a treatment room, you will first see a nurse, who will review your medical information and get you ready to see the doctor. The emergency room physician will examine you, ask questions about your medical history, and order medical tests as needed. All of this information is then used to make a diagnosis of your condition. The emergency room physician may call in specialists as needed to assist in your care.

    Treatment

    Some treatments are provided in the ER itself. For instance, if you need stitches, these will be done in the emergency room. In other cases, the emergency physician may decide to admit you to the hospital for further care or to release you with instructions to follow-up with a specialist. You will also receive a detailed record of your visit to share with your primary care doctor as needed.

    The ER at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center is open 24/7 for all of your urgent healthcare needs. Most visitors to our Las Vegas hospital are seen in 30 minutes for less. You can learn more about our ER, stroke care, geriatric psych, and other hospital services by calling (702) 880-2100.

  • Warning Signs of Mental Illness to Recognize During Mental Health Awareness Month

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    May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so it’s the perfect time to stop and consider the signs and symptoms of these common illnesses. At Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center, we’re pleased to serve individuals over 55 who are suffering from mental illness from our RISE Behavioral Health Unit, providing inpatient treatment to an often-underserved age group. Treatment for mental health problems is possible, so if you recognize these symptoms in yourself or someone you love, seek help right away.

    Social Withdrawal

    When people experience mental illness, social withdrawal is a common symptom. A person may withdrawal socially because he or she feels too depressed to take part in his or her usual activities or because he or she is concerned that others will notice changes in his or her behavior. For instance, someone who is having problems with memory or speech may begin to avoid social situations so that friends and family can’t see these changes. This kind of withdrawal can lead to new problems in relationships and at work and school.

    Exaggerated Beliefs

    With the onset of mental illness, people may display exaggerated beliefs about their abilities to influence or understand events. This exaggerated sense of power may also be coupled with a heightened sense of suspiciousness of others and paranoid thinking patterns.

    Changes in Sleeping and Eating Patterns

    Mental illness can disrupt both sleep and appetite. In some cases, mental illness can trigger insomnia, while in other instances, a person suffering from mental illness may suddenly sleep significantly more than he or she did before. Similarly, those experiencing mental illness may dramatically change their eating habits, leading to weight fluctuations.

    The RISE Behavioral Health Unit at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center offers a 14-bed inpatient unit for those over 55 and an outpatient treatment program for patients 50 and over. If you or someone you love needs behavioral health support, request a referral to our Las Vegas hospital. Additionally, we provide a full range of medical services, including stroke care, maternity care, or orthopedic surgery. You can learn more by calling (702) 880-2100.

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