What is a Cholecystectomy?

A cholecystectomy is a surgery to remove your gallbladder. The gallbladder is a small organ under your liver. It is on the upper right side of your belly (abdomen). The gallbladder stores a digestive juice called bile that is made in the liver.

Dr. Donald Brown, one of Baptist Health Corbin’s general surgeons tell us there are 3 types of surgery to remove the gallbladder. He explains the different types.

  • Open (traditional) method. In this method, 1 cut (incision) about 4 to 6 inches long is made in the upper right-hand side of your belly. The surgeon finds the gallbladder and takes it out through the incision.
  • Laparoscopic method. This method uses 3 to 4 very small incisions. It uses a long, thin tube called a laparoscope. The tube has a tiny video camera and surgical tools. The tube, camera, and tools are put in through the incisions. The surgeon does the surgery while looking at a TV monitor. The gallbladder is removed through 1 of the incisions. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is less invasive. That means it uses very small incisions in your belly. There is less bleeding. And the recovery time is usually shorter than open surgery. In some cases, the laparoscope may show that your gallbladder is very diseased. Or it may show other problems. Then the surgeon may have to use an open surgery method to remove your gallbladder safely.
  • da Vinci® Xi™ Surgical System.   Utilizing a sophisticated robotic platform designed to expand the surgeon’s capabilities and offer a state-of-the-art minimally invasive option for major surgery is another option for qualified candidates.

With the da Vinci® Xi™, small incisions are used to insert miniaturized wristed instruments and a high-definition 3D camera. Seated comfortably at the da Vinci console, your surgeon views a magnified, high-resolution 3D image of the surgical site inside your body.  At the same time, the latest robotic and computer technologies scale, filter and seamlessly translate the surgeon’s hand movements into precise micro-movements of the da Vinci instruments.  Although it is often called a “robot”, the da Vinci® Xi™ System cannot move or operate on its own; your surgeon is 100% in control.

For qualified candidates, da Vinci® surgery offers numerous potential benefits over traditional surgery, including:

•  Shorter hospital stay •  Less blood loss •  Fewer complications •  Less need for narcotic pain medicine •  Smaller incision for minimal scarring •  Faster recovery

Why might I need a cholecystectomy?

A cholecystectomy may be done if your gallbladder:

  • Has lumps of solid material (gallstones)
  • Is red or swollen (inflamed) or infected (cholecystitis)
  • Is cancerous

Gallbladder problems may cause pain which:

  • Is usually on the right side or middle of your upper belly
  • May be constant or may get worse after a heavy meal
  • May sometimes feel more like fullness than pain
  • May be felt in your back and in the tip of your right shoulder blade

Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills. The symptoms of gallbladder problems may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider to be sure. Your healthcare provider may have other reasons to recommend a cholecystectomy.

What are the risks of a cholecystectomy?

Some possible complications of a cholecystectomy may include: 

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Injury to the tube (bile duct) that carries bile from the gallbladder to the small intestine
  • Liver injury
  • Scars and a numb feeling at the incision site
  • A bulging of organ or tissue (hernia) at the incision site

“You may have other risks that are unique to you. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider before the procedure,” stresses Dr. Brown.

For more information about Baptist Health Corbin’s surgical services, click here.

What is a Liver Function Test?

A liver function test is a set of blood tests that are used to assess the health of your liver. They measure the levels of liver enzymes, proteins and bilirubin in your blood. Proper functioning of the liver is important for multiple reasons, as the organ helps with many critical processes in the body. This includes filtering harmful substances out of blood coming from the digestive tract, producing bile to assist with the metabolizing of food and storing vitamins and minerals.

What Is a Liver Function Test Used For?

If your doctor orders this type of assessment, you may wonder, “What is a liver function test used for?”. Also called a liver function panel test, this tool can be helpful both in the diagnosis and monitoring of conditions that affect the liver. Specifically, liver function test purposes include:

  • Diagnosing hepatitis and other liver diseases
  • Determining the effectiveness of liver disease treatment
  • Assessing liver damage from diseases like cirrhosis
  • Monitoring the side effects produced by some medications

Liver function tests measure the levels of certain key proteins and enzymes in your blood. Levels that are higher or lower than normal may point to a liver problem.

Symptoms that can indicate a liver function test is necessary include:

  • Jaundice, which produces a yellowing of the eyes and skin
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Light-colored stool
  • Dark urine
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea

Which Blood Tests Show Liver Function?

Blood tests are used for diagnosing and monitoring many medical conditions. Which blood test shows liver function? Some of the most commonly used liver function tests include the alanine transaminase (ALT) test, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) test, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) test, albumin test, and bilirubin test. Using the results of these liver function tests, your doctor can determine whether additional testing is needed or the type of treatment to prescribe.

Liver Function Testing from Baptist Health

Learn more about imaging and diagnostic procedures with Baptist Health. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with our doctors, please contact the Baptist Health Imaging & Diagnostics team.

Tips for Recovery After a Hysterectomy

A hysterectomy is a surgery to remove a woman’s uterus. Also known as the womb, the uterus is where a baby develops when a woman is pregnant. According to Dr. Barbara Michna, Surgeon at Baptist Health Corbin, “A hysterectomy may be necessary for a number of reasons.” These may include:

  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • A prolapsed uterus or other pelvic support problems
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Gynecologic cancer

Hysterectomy Types and Surgical Techniques

There are different types of hysterectomies performed based on the patient’s medical needs:

  • Supracervical or subtotal hysterectomy. The surgeon removes the upper part of the uterus, leaving the cervix in place.
  • Total hysterectomy. The entire uterus and the cervix are removed.
  • Radical hysterectomy. The surgeon removes the entire uterus, tissue on the sides of the uterus, the cervix and the top part of the vagina. This procedure is generally only required if cancer is present.

“There are two primary approaches to hysterectomy: traditional, or open, surgery and surgery performed using a minimally invasive procedure (MIP). In open surgery, a 5-7 inch incision is made on the patient’s belly and the uterus and

potentially other parts of the reproductive system are removed through the incision,” states Dr. Michna.  “The procedure used is determined on the patient’s medical needs.”

MIPs include laparoscopic hysterectomy and vaginal hysterectomy. In a laparoscopic procedure, a small light, camera, and surgical tools are inserted through small incisions on the belly, and the surgeon performs a hysterectomy while watching the movements on a monitor. In a vaginal hysterectomy, the surgeon makes a cut in the vagina and removes the uterus through the incision.

Hysterectomy Recovery

Your doctor will give you medication to manage the pain you can expect to have for a few days following a hysterectomy. You will have bleeding and discharge from your vagina for several weeks. Constipation is common following a hysterectomy, and some women have short-term difficulty with emptying their bladder.

You will need to plan on taking time off from work, school or home responsibilities following your surgery. Most women are told to abstain from sex and to avoid lifting heavy objects for six weeks after a hysterectomy. Your doctor can help you determine how much time you will need for recovery based on your planned procedure.

It is important to note that every woman’s recovery from a hysterectomy will be different. Factors such as age, general health, the medical condition prompting the surgery, the type of procedure, the surgical approach and others will affect how long recovery takes and how much pain and discomfort is experienced during recovery.

Why Choose Baptist Health?

The Baptist Health team is unified in providing compassionate care. When you choose one of our Baptist Health locations for services, you will benefit from our: expertise, enhanced facilities, and expansive preventive services.

For more information about Baptist Health Corbin’s surgical services, click here.

 

Fasting for Blood Work

If your doctor has prescribed blood work for you, you’ll need to know what blood test preparation is required. In some cases, you’ll have to do fasting for blood work. This article explains the fasting blood work rules and how to ensure your test results are accurate.

Why Am I Fasting Before a Blood Test?

Fasting before blood work isn’t always required. However, when your doctor says that it’s necessary, it’s important that you refrain from consuming anything other than water for the period specified. Eating or drinking can skew the results of your test, which can subsequently affect your diagnosis and/or treatment, if any. The two most common types of tests where fasting for blood work is required are glucose tests (which measure blood sugar) and lipid tests (which measure the amount of triglycerides and cholesterol in your blood).

How Long to Fast Before a Blood Test

How long should you fast before a blood test? That varies based on the type of test. Your doctor will let you know how many hours to fast before a blood test; typically, 8-12 hours. Fasting blood tests are generally scheduled early in the morning, which means that much of your caloric restriction occurs while you’re sleeping. In most cases, you can eat as soon as the testing is over. Consequently, you may want to bring food with you to your appointment if you anticipate being extremely hungry following the test.

What Can I Eat & Drink While Fasting Before a Blood Test?

A common question from patients is, “Can you drink coffee before a blood test?”. The answer—unless your doctor specifically tells you otherwise—is “no.” Some will also ask, “Can you drink water before a fasting blood test?”. Here, the answer generally is “yes.”

Other activities your doctor will likely have you refrain from include chewing gum, smoking and exercising. All can accelerate your digestion, which can adversely affect your results.

Important note: You should continue to take your prescribed medication while fasting unless your doctor specifically directs you not to.

Learn More About Fasting & Blood Work from Baptist Health

Learn more about fasting for blood work and the different types of blood tests with Baptist Health. If you feel you need blood work done, please schedule an appointment with Baptist Health today.

Headed for a Hernia

Hernias affect more than five million people. They can occur in both men and women of all ages, as well as in children. A hernia occurs when part of an internal organ bulges through a weak area of muscle.

“You can’t always prevent the muscle weakness that allows a hernia to occur. However, you can reduce the amount of strain you place on your body,” stated Dr. Aaron House, Surgeon, Baptist Health Corbin. The following tips can help you avoid a hernia or keep an existing hernia from getting worse:

  • Stop smoking. If you smoke, quit. Chronic coughing from smoking increases your risk of developing a hernia. It can also cause one to recur.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can raise your risk of developing a hernia. If you are overweight, try to lose some weight to ease the pressure on your abdominal muscles. Do regular, gentle exercises to tone and strengthen your abdominal muscles. Take a Free Health Assessment.
  • Avoid constipation and straining during bowel movements and urination. Straining causes increased pressure inside your abdomen giving you a greater risk of a hernia occurring or recurring.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Constipation can significantly increase your risk of hernia. A diet high in fiber will help your bowel movements. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains – and make sure to drink plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects. If you can’t avoid this, use good body mechanics when lifting heavy objects. Lift with your legs, not with your back – and do not bend at your waist (which puts excessive pressure on your abdomen). Make sure your body weight is centered over your feet when you start your lift.

“Hernias don’t go away and can become life-threatening,” added Dr. House.  “If you notice a bulge or swelling in your groin, abdomen, scrotum or thigh, see your doctor as soon as possible.”  If you are worried you may have a hernia, speak with a medical provider.  Only a doctor can properly diagnose and develop a treatment plan for hernias.

For more information about Baptist Health Corbin’s surgical services, click here.

Panic Attack vs. Heart Attack: What’s The Difference?

Panic or anxiety attacks and heart attacks share many symptoms. Consequently, it can be challenging to tell the difference between an anxiety attack and a heart attack. That’s why it’s important to learn to assess panic attack vs. heart attack signs, especially if you or a loved one have an elevated risk or history of either of these conditions.

Panic Attack vs. Heart Attack Symptoms

When talking about panic attack vs. heart attack symptoms, it’s critical to note that the conditions manifest differently in different people. It’s also important to be aware that panic attacks and heart attacks have a number of symptoms in common, including:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating

However, each condition has unique symptoms as well. For example, a panic attack may cause tingling in the hands and shaking. A heart attack can produce nausea and vomiting.

There are also certain differences in the shared symptoms, most notably in chest pain. The pain in a panic attack tends to be a sharp, stabbing pain in the center of the chest. Heart attack chest pain sometimes starts in the center of the chest, but often radiates to the arm, shoulder blades or jaw.

Additional Differences Between Heart Attacks and Anxiety Disorders

For people seeking clarification on anxiety vs. heart attack pain, doctors will suggest onset and duration as additional ways to determine which condition you’re experiencing. Both can come on suddenly, but pain that develops as a result of physical exertion is more likely due to a heart attack.

In terms of how long they last, panic attacks tend to resolve after 20 or 30 minutes. Heart attack symptoms typically last longer and worsen as time goes by. Mild chest pain may become severe over the course of several minutes.

When to See a Doctor for a Panic Attack and a Heart Attack

The first rule when assessing whether you’re having a panic attack or a heart attack is that if you have any doubt, seek immediate medical attention. It’s much better to be reassured that while your symptoms are troubling, they’re associated with a panic attack and will soon resolve rather than determining over time that you’re having a heart attack and suffering additional heart damage while you wait to get treatment. If you know that what you’re experiencing is a panic or anxiety attack, you should talk with a Baptist Health provider about how to prevent or manage future attacks. If you determine that you’re having a heart attack, you should get emergency care.

Do You Know Your Health Risks?

Arm yourself with the knowledge you need to take charge of your health.

Approximately 60% of adults in the U.S. are living with a chronic condition, such as cancer, diabetes or heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While not all diseases can be prevented, knowing your risk factors allows you to make changes that can reduce the likelihood of developing a chronic condition while also providing you with insight that can help you detect the disease earlier, when it is easier to manage or treat.

Risk Factors You Can Control

Of the major risk factors for chronic conditions, many can be managed through simple lifestyle modifications, including:

  • Physical activity. The CDC recommends adults aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week.
  • Appropriate body weight. For adults, a body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight; a BMI of 30 or above is considered obese.
  • Blood pressure at safe levels. Blood pressure is presented as a fraction. High blood pressure is defined by a systolic reading (the upper number) of 130  or more millimeters of Mercury (mm Hg) and/or a diastolic reading (the lower number) of 80 mm Hg or more.
  • Blood pressure levels. An A1C blood test result of 5.7% or more is considered to be above normal.
  • Good cholesterol. Cholesterol levels are considered to be healthy if the total cholesterol reading is less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), the LDL cholesterol reading is less than 100 mg/dL, the triglycerides reading is less than 150 mg/dL and the HDL cholesterol reading is 40 mg/dL or higher for men over the age of 20. For women age 20 and older, the HDL reading should be 50mg/dL or above.
  • Safe consumption of alcohol. This includes binge drinking (drinking too much at one time), heavy drinking (drinking too much throughout the week), drinking while pregnant and/or drinking while younger than age 21.
  • Healthy diet. It is important to consume a balanced, nutritious diet that focuses primarily on fruits, vegetables, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains.
  • Not smoking. The use of tobacco products increases your chances of developing heart disease, multiple types of cancer, Type 2 diabetes and various other health conditions.

Risk Factors You Can’t Control

Your age, sex and family history all affect your risk of developing certain diseases. While you cannot change these variables, it is important to discuss them with your primary care provider (PCP), as he or she may recommend taking certain preventive measures.

A family history of breast cancer, for instance, may indicate you need to undergo mammography screening earlier or be screened more frequently. By disclosing this information and altering your screening schedule, you increase the likelihood of detecting cancer at an earlier stage.

Don’t have a Primary Care Doctor?

Your docotr can help you identify your individual risk factors and work with you to develop a realistic plan of action.

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Why Does My Belly Hurt?

Quick anatomy lesson: When most people say, “My stomach hurts,” they may not technically mean the stomach. Pain in this region can also involve the intestines, gallbladder, pancreas or appendix.

Since nothing can ruin a good day (or week!) like a bellyache, we asked two doctors with the Baptist Health Medical Group to help us figure out what might be causing that tender tummy — and when you should seek medical help.

Here’s what one of our surgeons, Dr. Barbara Michna had to say about some of the most common ailments.

Common Causes of Stomach Pain

Stomach virus (viral gastroenteritis)

If your pain comes with vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and nausea, you may have caught a stomach virus, which can be spread through human contact, sharing food or by touching contaminated objects (so wash, wash, wash those hands). It usually resolves within a week, but call your doctor if you have unrelenting diarrhea for three days straight or become dehydrated. The symptoms of food poisoning are similar but hit more suddenly — usually two to eight hours after eating the tainted item.

Ulcers

These sores can pop up in the lining of the stomach or small intestine. They’re mostly caused by either overuse of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin, or H. pylori bacteria. “Some people describe a burning sensation in the stomach, which may get better when they eat, although sometimes food makes it worse,” Dr. Woolfolk says. Pain may occur between the breastbone and navel.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS is a common disorder of the large intestine characterized by cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation. Although it doesn’t permanently change the digestive tract or cause a greater risk for cancer, it can impair your quality of life. It can often be managed by altering your diet or reducing stress.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

This term refers to chronic inflammation that can damage the gastrointestinal tract. It encompasses both Crohn’s disease, which can affect the entire digestive tract but usually involves the small intestine, as well as ulcerative colitis, which affects the colon and rectum. The major symptoms for both include diarrhea, abdominal pain, and weight loss. IBD is a risk factor for colorectal cancer, so patients should be monitored carefully.

Celiac disease

If you have bloating, gas, nausea, diarrhea and what Dr. Michna calls “generalized abdominal discomfort,” you may have this autoimmune disorder, which is an allergy to gluten that can damage the small intestine. “Celiac disease looks similar to irritable bowel syndrome and is one of the most underdiagnosed conditions we see,” says Dr. Michna, “noting that occasionally celiac patients will have constipation instead of diarrhea.”

Gallstones

These hardened bile deposits often cause no symptoms but can become lodged in either the bile or pancreatic ducts, which can cause jaundice, infection, and inflammation. Dr. Michna describes gallbladder discomfort as “a kind of squeezing pain in the upper right section of the abdomen.” Nausea and vomiting may also be present, and pain is sometimes felt in the middle abdomen, between the shoulder blades or near the ribs.

Endometriosis

Women with especially painful periods and heavy bleeding, paired with digestive symptoms such as constipation or diarrhea that worsen around menstruation, may have this gynecological disorder. Sometimes mistaken for IBS, endometriosis happens when the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows outside the uterine wall.

Schedule a visit with your doctor if:

  • Your symptoms come and go for at least a month, and don’t improve with over-the-counter remedies.
  • You are experiencing weight loss or decreased appetite for no obvious reason.
  • You are a woman with chronic bloating, lower abdominal discomfort, pressure and constipation, ask your doctor about ovarian cancer testing.

Seek emergency medical treatment if:

  • You have, as Dr. Michna says, “severe, unrelenting abdominal pain where you can’t even get comfortable,” which could indicate appendicitis.
  • You vomit blood — this could be several conditions, including esophageal varices (dilated veins) or a bleeding ulcer.
  • You have black, tarry stools, which could indicate bleeding from the stomach or colon, or any bloody stool that concerns you.
  • You are also having chest pain. Although some GI conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or gallbladder disease may cause discomfort in this area, it’s essential to first rule out a problem with your heart.

You have been previously diagnosed with a hiatal hernia and you are now experiencing severe pain in the chest or abdomen, nausea, vomiting, or the inability to pass gas or

  • These symptoms may indicate a strangulated hernia or obstruction.

Try the Baptist Health free online health assessments to evaluate your health risks today, five years down the road or for a lifetime.

For more information about Baptist Health Corbin’s surgical services, click here.

When Should I Get a Colon Cancer Screening?

Regardless of whether or not you have signs or symptoms, it’s recommended that all adults between the ages of 45 and 75 get a screening for colon cancer. Colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosis and the second leading cause of death from cancer. Screening — and getting early treatment if cancer is found — is an advantage to those who are affected.

What Is Colon Cancer Screening?

A screening test is used to identify potential problems before you start having symptoms, which, for colon cancer, often means the cancer has been growing for some time. Overwhelmingly, colon cancer usually develops from precancerous polyps that grow in the colon or rectum. By screening, your doctor can find and remove precancerous polyps before they become cancerous. Screening also helps catch colon cancer in its early stages, when treatment is most effective.

By screening, your doctor can find and remove precancerous polyps before they become cancerous. Screening also helps catch colon cancer in its early stages, when treatment is most effective.

What Are the Most Common Colon Screening Tests?

When screening for colon cancer, there are six tests that are most commonly used:

  • Colonoscopy. A colonoscopy lets the doctor look inside the entire rectum and colon while the patient is sedated. A flexible, thin tube called a colonoscope is inserted into the rectum, allowing the doctor to identify any abnormal tissue or polyps that may be present. During this procedure, tissue and polyps may be removed for further examination in a biopsy. For a person without a family history of colon cancer or polyps, a colonoscopy is recommended every 10 years after age 45.
  • Stool tests. In this test, a stool sample is sent to a lab and checked for the presence of blood, which can be an indicator of colon cancer or of noncancerous growths that can become colon cancer.
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy. Like a colonoscopy, a thin, flexible tube is inserted into the rectum and lower (sigmoid) colon to search for any abnormalities. This procedure is less invasive than a colonoscopy and can be done without sedation. It also allows the doctor to remove polyps, which can help prevent colon cancer. If polyps or cancer are found during the flexible sigmoidoscopy, a full colonoscopy is recommended to view the entire colon.
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy combined with a stool test. These tests, which are both detailed in this section, are less invasive than other screenings.
  • Multi-targeted stool DNA testing. In addition to checking for the presence of blood, a patient’s stool is tested for DNA mutations that can be an indicator of abnormalities. If abnormalities are found, a colonoscopy will be recommended.
  • CT colonography. This procedure uses x-rays called Computed Tomography to take a series of pictures of the colon. A computer then puts the pictures together to create detailed images that may show abnormalities on the inside surface of the colon.

How Often Should Those Over the Age of 45 Get Screened for Colon Cancer?

If you are 45 years of age and have already had a negative screening for colon cancer, you should be screened every 10 years. After the age of 75, talk with your doctor about how often you need to be screened.

The only way to know for certain if you have colon cancer is to see a doctor. Don’t put off your cancer screening — the earlier you catch colon cancer, the better your prognosis is likely to be. The risk of colon cancer increases dramatically with age.

Don’t let cancer sneak up on you.

Take our colon cancer risk assessment to estimate your personal risk of developing colon and rectal cancer.

Find our your risk

How Hot Weather Affects Diabetics: Tips for Staying Cool

Diabetes is a condition that affects the body in many ways. One that people may not be familiar with is challenges that can arise with diabetes and hot weather. People with diabetes (type 1 or type 2) are affected differently by extreme heat than those without the disease. For example, in some cases diabetes causes damage to nerves and blood vessels. This damage has a negative impact on the functioning of sweat glands that the body uses to stay cool. Hot weather can also lead to dehydration. 

This blog post provides insight on how to manage diabetes in hot weather.

Does Hot Weather Affect Blood Sugar Levels?

People newly diagnosed with diabetes may wonder, “Does hot weather affect blood sugar?”. Yes, it can. Whether you’re staying hydrated, what you’ve eaten and how active you are in extreme heat all factor into how the weather affects you.

If you begin sweating heavily, you can become dehydrated, causing your glucose levels to rise. This can cause you to urinate frequently, which further dehydrates you and raises your glucose levels even more, in a vicious cycle. Plus, dehydration leads to decreased blood flow to the skin, making it harder for injected insulin to be absorbed. So, it’s important for diabetics and their loved ones to understand the hot weather-blood sugar relationship.

Tips for Managing Diabetes in the Heat

While managing diabetes in hot weather can be challenging, there are actions you can take to minimize the effects of heat. Use these tips regarding extreme heat and diabetes:

  • Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water in hot weather is important for everyone, and especially people who have diabetes. Doing so can help prevent the vicious cycle described above.
  • Avoid sunburn. Sunburn can stress your body and elevate your blood sugar. Wear protective clothing and sunscreen, and also protect your eyes from the sun.
  • Test your blood sugar levels more frequently. The more quickly you identify an issue, the easier it is to correct it and keep your levels stable.
  • Adjust your insulin as appropriate. Talk with your doctor or diabetes educator about how to adjust your insulin in advance of extreme heat exposure and/or exercise.
  • Keep a glucagon kit handy. Especially if you’re prone to very low blood sugar, it’s important to have a kit and know how to use it.
  • Have snacks with you. Quick access to food can keep your blood sugar from getting too low.
  • Take proper care of your medication. Insulin must be kept cool and devices like insulin pumps can also be affected by high heat. Be sure to protect them.

Keep Your Cool

Hot weather doesn’t have to hold you back! The key is understanding how extreme heat affects diabetes and taking action to address the challenges.

Cold weather can also be a challenge for diabetics. Learn more about diabetes management and how to stay warm in cold weather as a diabetic.

Minimally Invasive Surgery Provides Options for Women

Are you a woman living with pelvic pain because you don’t want to face surgery?

The first step is to make an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause of your pain.

It is estimated 10 to 20 percent of reproductive-age women in the U.S. suffer from the condition when the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. A gynecologist can determine if your chronic pelvic pain is caused by endometriosis.

“Other conditions, ranging from incontinence to cancer, may require surgical treatment; but many gynecological procedures no longer require a large abdominal incision or long hospital stays,” said Dr. Aaron House, Surgeon at Baptist Health Corbin.   “We offer several minimally invasive gynecology surgery options, including robotic surgery for procedures, ranging from pelvic organ prolapse repair to hysterectomy.”

Prolapse repair

Pelvic organ prolapse happens to about one-third of all women. It refers to the drooping of pelvic organs, including the bladder, uterus, and vagina. Common causes include pregnancy and childbirth, obesity, respiratory problems with a chronic cough and hysterectomy.

Robotic surgery can repair pelvic organ prolapse, using soft synthetic mesh to support pelvic organs that have slipped out of their normal positions. The minimally invasive surgery generally takes only one to two hours. Another minimally invasive option for pelvic organ prolapse is done vaginally. During this surgery, the top of the vagina is attached to the lower abdominal wall, the lower back or pelvis ligaments.

Incontinence repair

Women experience incontinence – the accidental release of urine – twice as often as men. It can be caused by childbirth, weight gain or other conditions that stretch the pelvic muscles, and can occur from sneezing, laughing and coughing. Surgery is often the best treatment.

Outpatient procedures for incontinence include a “sling” procedure with a small incision in the vagina and two smaller ones in the lower pelvic area. The procedure involves placing a sling around the urethra to lift it back into a normal position.

Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy, the removal of the uterus, may be necessary to treat a variety of conditions, non-cancerous and cancerous tumors.

Baptist Health Corbin including offers the minimally invasive, da Vinci Surgical System for hysterectomies, ovarian cysts, and other abdominal problems.

“Robotic surgery, a type of laparoscopic hysterectomy, offers a smaller incision, less scarring, and quicker recovery. This allows patients to get back to work much quicker than the traditional abdominal hysterectomy. They often return to work in two weeks, while recovery time for a traditional hysterectomy is normally six weeks,” said Dr. House.

For more information about Baptist Health Corbin’s surgical services, click here.

Robot-Assisted Surgery in Corbin, Kentucky

Baptist Health Corbin: Robot-Assisted Surgery

Robotic-assisted surgery allows laparoscopic procedures to be performed with improved visualization and control. Learn more benefits of robot-assisted surgery.

Robot-Assisted Surgery HealthTalks Transcript

Aaron House, MD, General Surgery:
Robotic-assisted surgery allows us to perform traditionally laparoscopic or minimally invasive procedures through multiple small incisions with the assistance of a robot. That allows us improved visualization and control, allowing us to do more complex procedures on patients where we traditionally had limitations that have been lifted by the robot.

Travis Gilbert, DO, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Grace Health:
Some people are concerned that the robot is doing the procedure, and that’s totally not true. With the da Vinci robot, I put the ports in, I attach the robot to the patient, and then I control the robot through a console. The robot doesn’t do any movements of its own. I control every single move that it makes.

Dr. House:
The benefit for the patient is with the increased precision it allows us to maneuver our instruments. There’s less trauma at our incision sites, which decreases the postoperative pain, which will increase the time to normal function and speed up the postoperative recovery for the patient. It’s allowing us to perform procedures with less need for pain medication and shorter stays in the hospital.

Having the robotic platform here in Corbin is a great benefit to the community because it allows patients to stay closer to home. This allows us to provide a high level of care and perform very advanced procedures locally.

Innovative Care That Is Centered on You

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