• Why might your doctor recommend thyroid surgery?

    Thyroid surgery can be performed for a number of reasons, including as part of a treatment plan for thyroid cancer and to treat hyperthyroidism. Usually, this surgery is a minimally invasive procedure and may involve either removing a section of the thyroid or the entire thyroid gland. Here is a closer look at some of the reasons your doctor may refer you for thyroid surgery.

    You have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
    If you have a biopsy of a nodule on your thyroid that has come back as cancerous, your physician may recommend that you have thyroid surgery to remove the cancer. Depending on the size of the cancer, you may need just the affected part of your thyroid removed or your surgeon may opt to remove the entire gland. This kind of thyroid surgery is usually performed as part of a larger cancer treatment plan.

    You may also need thyroid surgery if the results of your biopsy were inconclusive or if your doctor discovers molecular markers that suggest that a thyroid nodule has a risk of becoming cancerous.

    You have a large nodule or goiter.
    Sometimes, thyroid surgery may be necessary if there is no evidence of cancer. If you have a large nodule or goiter, your physician may recommend that it be removed.

    Benign thyroid nodules and goiters are removed if they are compressing your trachea and making it difficult to breathe, if they are interfering with your ability to swallow, or if they are a cosmetic concern.

    You have Graves’ disease.
    Graves’ disease is an autoimmune condition that causes hyperthyroidism. Patients with hyperthyroidism experience an overproduction of thyroid hormone that leads to racing heartbeats, weight loss, sleep disruption, and bulging eyes, among other symptoms.

    In some cases, Graves’ disease can be controlled with medications, but when it is not, surgery is performed to remove the thyroid gland.

    Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center is pleased to offer a number of minimally invasive surgical options to help patients have safer procedures with shorter recovery times. If you’re concerned about your thyroid health or need minimally invasive surgery in Las Vegas, call us at (702) 916-5023 for a referral.

  • What health complications could make a pregnancy risky?

    When you become pregnant, your physician will monitor you throughout your pregnancy to help you and your baby stay as healthy as possible. If you have certain health conditions, you may need to be monitored more closely than other pregnant women to reduce the risk of complications. This additional care is necessary to protect you and your baby and to help you have the healthiest possible labor and delivery . Here is a look at some of the conditions that may require extra monitoring during pregnancy.

    Diabetes
    If you have diabetes , your physician may recommend that you reach a target A1C level before you become pregnant, since high blood sugar levels can be especially dangerous for babies during the first few weeks after conception.

    Throughout your pregnancy, it will be important to keep your blood sugar levels in the recommended target range. High blood sugar can cause birth defects and increase your chances of developing other pregnancy complications.

    High Blood Pressure
    If your high blood pressure is well managed before your pregnancy, the risk of complications for you and your baby is low. However, uncontrolled high blood pressure carries the risk of dangerous complications.

    High blood pressure during pregnancy can be harmful to your kidneys and contribute to low birth weight for your baby. It can also increase your risk of developing preeclampsia and eclampsia, two pregnancy-related high blood pressure conditions.

    Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
    Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, can make it difficult to conceive. If you have PCOS and do become pregnant, the risk of having a miscarriage is higher.

    With PCOS, women are also more likely to develop other pregnancy complications, including gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. PCOS can also lead to premature labor and delivery.

    At Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center, our 24/7 Laborist program means that a qualified OBGYN specialist will always be on hand when it’s time for you to have your baby. This is just one way we’re committed to make the entire experience of having a baby at our hospital in Las Vegas positive for your entire family. Find out how to schedule a tour of our birthing center by calling (702) 916-5023.

  • Will you have cervical cancer if your mother had it?

    There are several risk factors for cervical cancer. By understanding your own risks, you can work more effectively with your women’s health provider to make decisions about screening tests. Family history is one risk factor to consider when it comes to your chances of developing cervical cancer. Here are the answers to some questions you may have about the link between your family medical history and cervical cancer.

    If my mother had cervical cancer, will I get it, too?
    If your mother had cervical cancer , you have a higher chance of getting the disease as well. The same is true if you have a sister who has fought cervical cancer. This does not mean that you will get cervical cancer, but it does mean that you have a higher risk than women who do not have a close relative who has had the disease.

    The reason for this increased risk that runs in families is not clear. Doctors suspect that women in some families may carry a gene that makes them less able to fight off the HPV virus, which is a recognized risk factor for cervical cancer. Women in the same family may also share some other traits that are not genetic that increase the risk of cervical cancer. Some of these other risk factors include:

    • Smoking
    • Obesity
    • Long-term birth control use
    • IUD use
    • 3 or more full-term pregnancies

    What should I do if I have an increased risk of cervical cancer?
    There are several things you can do to mitigate an increased risk of cervical cancer. Work closely with your women’s health specialist to determine how often you should have screening exams. Cervical cancer responds well to early treatment, so finding out you have the disease in its beginning stages can help.

    You can also work with your doctor to manage the risk factors you can control. For example, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and talking to your specialist about the safest birth control for you can help to reduce your chances of getting the disease.

    Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center offers comprehensive women’s health services at our hospital in Las Vegas . Please phone us today at (702) 916-5023 to request a referral to one of our specialists or to get more information about our services.

  • Putting an end to myths about stroke

    Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the US. Emergency care can be lifesaving, but often myths about strokes cause people to delay getting the treatment they need. Don’t let misconceptions about strokes put your health or the health of the people you love at risk. Here are the facts behind some common stroke myths.

    Myth: It’s obvious when someone is having a stroke.
    The classic stroke symptoms of facial drooping, paralysis on one side of the body, and slurred speech are clear indicators that a stroke may be occurring, but other symptoms may be present as well. As mentioned in the video, people often come up with secondary reasons to explain away symptoms that could actually indicate that they are having a stroke.

    Sudden dizziness, tingling, and stiffness in the neck can all be symptoms of a stroke. It is always best to seek stroke care if there is a possibility you need it, since the cost of delaying treatment can be so high.

    Myth: Strokes only happen to older people.
    Strokes are more common in seniors, but about a quarter of all strokes happen to people under the age of 65. A stroke can happen at any age, so it’s always important to react to the symptoms when they occur.

    Strokes in younger people can be even more dangerous than those that happen in older people, because young people tend to ignore the symptoms and wait longer to seek emergency care.

    Myth: Strokes are a man’s problem.
    In reality, women suffer strokes more often than men. However, both men and women should be aware of their stroke risk and understand the symptoms, so they know when to get care.

    Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center is a Certified Primary Stroke Center and home to Nevada Neurosciences Institute , providing lifesaving stroke care in Las Vegas. To get more information about stroke and neurology services, please call (702) 916-5023.