Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center
Sunrise Hospital and Sunrise Children’s Hospital are committed to providing a healthier environment for members of our community, employees, physicians, patients, families, and visitors.

Make Thanksgiving a healthier holiday for your family

For most American families, Thanksgiving is all about the food. Even if you have diabetes, heart disease or obesity, you can still eat, drink and be merry—in moderation. It’s hard to make major changes to a traditional menu, but there are some small changes you can make to improve its nutritional value for the whole family. If you’d like to consult a diabetes educator or a registered dietitian, the experts at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center are always available to provide personalized, patient-centered guidance.

Start the day with healthy choices

Some people like to skip breakfast and lunch so they can fill up on the Thanksgiving dinner. This isn’t healthy, especially for diabetics.

Instead, eat a small, fiber-rich breakfast like oatmeal flavored with a little nut butter for protein. Choose a salad for lunch, topped with tuna.

Ask your family members to join you in some pre-feast exercise. Go for a family bicycle ride or take a stroll along a parade route, if your area is hosting one. Some areas, including Las Vegas, routinely host Turkey Trot fun runs.

Ditch the cheese platter

Cheese platters may be traditional for many families, but they also make it too easy to load up on fat-laden cheese and crackers. Instead, serve an array of fresh veggies with a bowl of hummus.

Serve a healthier Thanksgiving feast

In recent years, the deep-fried turkey trend has gained traction. Do your heart a favor and roast your bird instead. Remember to use an internal thermometer to ensure that it is fully cooked.

Serve healthier starting courses for Thanksgiving, like curried butternut squash soup. Cook sweet potato dishes with pineapple and spices, instead of brown sugar and butter. Other healthy choices are:

  • Sautéed green beans with garlic

  • Roasted Brussels sprouts with red onion wedges

  • Mushroom and barley stuffing

Enjoy sensible desserts

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without pie. Consider making crustless pumpkin pie with artificial sweeteners. Or, serve ginger pumpkin mousse in individual ramekins to aid with portion control.

As an HCA-affiliated hospital, Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center is committed to healthcare excellence. From our emergency care doctors to our diabetes educators , we offer the specialized medical services Las Vegas families need to live well. Contact a registered nurse at our hospital at (702) 233-5300.

4 steps to take toward lung cancer prevention

In the U.S., more men and women die from lung cancer than from any other type of cancer. One of the reasons why lung cancer is so deadly is because it’s often not diagnosed until it’s already in the later stages. At Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, we’re working to change that by connecting patients to the health education and resources they need, including lung cancer screenings. Not every risk factor is changeable—like past exposure to Agent Orange—but many of them are. Your physician can help you learn about preventive steps to take.

Ask your doctor about getting screened
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that some adults have lung cancer screenings. This is done with low-dose computed tomography technology. Your doctor can determine whether lung cancer screening is appropriate for you.

Annual screening is usually recommended for adults who meet all of the following criteria:

  • Aged 55 to 80 years
  • Current smokers or have quit within the past 15 years
  • People with a 30 pack-year history of smoking

One pack-year is the equivalent of smoking one pack per day for one year. This means it’s possible to accrue 30 pack-years in just 15 actual years, if you habitually smoke two packs per day.

Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke
If you haven’t already, quit smoking now. Each cigarette you smoke reduces your life expectancy a little bit more. It’s never easy to overcome an addiction, but it’s far easier to quit than to endure lung cancer and its treatments.

Your doctor can help you put together a smoking cessation action plan, which might include:

  • Nicotine replacement products
  • Medications
  • Mental health counseling
  • Support groups

If you don’t smoke, don’t start, and avoid secondhand and thirdhand smoke. Don’t allow anyone to smoke in or near your home or car.

Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits
A good diet isn’t a substitute for quitting smoking, but eating lots of vegetables and fruits may offer some protection. Getting vitamins and minerals from food sources is preferable to taking supplements, especially for smokers. There is some evidence to suggest that taking large doses of vitamins in pill form may actually increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers.

Test your home for radon
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that you can’t detect with your eyes or nose. Your home could have high levels of radon, which increases the risk of lung cancer. You can purchase a home testing kit to find out if your family is at risk.

You’ll find the advanced medical services you need with the compassionate care you deserve at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. We connect Las Vegas-area residents to cutting-edge cancer care and diagnostic imaging tests. You can request a referral to a physician by calling (702) 233-5300.

Which medical conditions increase your risk of Alzheimer's?

The rates of Alzheimer’s disease are nearing epidemic proportions. It’s no overstatement to say that Alzheimer’s is devastating for families, especially for family caregivers who find themselves trapped between caring for aging parents and young children. If you’re one of those family caregivers, you should know that a strong family history of Alzheimer’s disease can increase your own risk. If you’re concerned about your future health, the physicians at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center are here to help.

Head trauma
Head injuries are caused by falls, car accidents, sports collisions and acts of violence. They can cause severe short-term problems, like loss of consciousness, confusion and dizziness. Long-term health problems are also possible, especially if the brain injury is severe.

One of those long-term effects could be an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. The research is ongoing, and there is no conclusive evidence yet.

However, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, people who have sustained moderate brain injuries have a 2.3 times greater risk of Alzheimer’s than people who haven’t had any traumatic brain injuries. The same study suggests that people who have had severe brain injuries have a 4.5 times greater risk of Alzheimer’s.

This risk, along with the other complications of traumatic brain injuries, highlights the importance of protecting the delicate brain. The following precautions are recommended:

  • Always wear a seatbelt
  • Reduce tripping hazards in the home
  • Avoid alcohol intoxication
  • Wear appropriate sports protective equipment

Cardiovascular conditions
If you’re a patient at a heart hospital, then you may have already heard that the lifestyle choices that are good for your heart are also good for your brain. Blood vessels nourish the brain with a steady supply of oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood. But damage to the blood vessels and other cardiovascular problems might increase the risk of brain health problems, including Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

Beware of the following risk factors that may be linked to Alzheimer’s:

  • High cholesterol
  • Atherosclerosis
  • High blood pressure
  • Overweight and obesity

Down syndrome
Down syndrome occurs when a person has an extra copy of chromosome 21. This chromosome contains the APP gene, which manufactures amyloid precursor protein. Excessively high levels of this protein can contribute to beta-amyloid plaques in the brain.

This is why nearly all people with Down syndrome have beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles by the time they reach age 40. It isn’t inevitable that these individuals will have Alzheimer’s, but their risk is elevated significantly.

Nevada Neurosciences Institute at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center is widely known for being a pioneer in brain injury and disease research. We are also a world-class heart hospital, with compassionate and comprehensive patient support services. Residents of Las Vegas can contact a registered nurse at (702) 233-5300 to request a physician referral.

Exploring innovations in neurosurgery

Medical innovators are constantly looking for new and improved ways of helping patients heal, and neurosurgeons are no exception. Today, patients who need neurosurgery can already benefit from considerable leaps forward in medical technology, and there are new innovations on the horizon. Here at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas, our neurosurgeons are leading experts in their field who are committed to giving our patients the benefit of sophisticated techniques and technology.

Shift toward minimally invasive neurosurgery
As you’ll learn when you watch the accompanying video, one of the exciting developments in neurosurgery is the increasing application of minimally invasive techniques to complex spine and intracranial surgeries. The neurosurgeon featured here, who treats patients at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, explains that minimally invasive techniques have become substantially more accessible to patients during the past 10 years. At his hospital, neurosurgeons now have access to a minimally invasive system for intracranial surgery.

Minimally invasive procedures help give patients the best possible outcome. There is reduced disturbance of the surrounding tissues, and the smaller incisions heal more quickly than a single, large incision. This means patients can get treated and get back to their everyday lives faster.

Differentiation of tumor tissue and brain tissue
Another exciting innovation is still in development. It’s the stimulated Raman scattering microscope, which has shown great promise in early clinical trials. The SRS microscope addresses one crucial problem that neurosurgeons encounter: How to determine where the tumor tissue ends and the brain tissue begins.

The SRS microscope allows for rapid, accurate detection of tumor tissue. This new technology only needs a few seconds to complete the task, whereas the old technique required about 30 to 45 minutes. For patients, this may mean better preservation of the healthy brain tissue, and the more precise removal of the tumor.

The neurosurgeons who care for patients at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center are committed to nothing less than healthcare excellence. Our modern medical center in Las Vegas continually invests in the latest, cutting-edge technologies, so that our patients can have the best possible outcome. To request a physician referral, call a registered nurse at (702) 233-5300.

How to make Halloween healthier for your heart

Halloween is a fun holiday for kids, and it’s no secret that plenty of adults like to indulge in Halloween candy, too. Although sugar-laden treats abound on this holiday, there are a few simple changes you can make to support heart health in your whole family. From our family to yours, the heart care team at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center wishes you a safe and healthy Halloween!

Understanding the heart health risks of sugar
It’s common knowledge that a high intake of saturated fats and sodium can contribute to heart health problems. On the other hand, the health risks of sugar can be overlooked. The research is ongoing, but it’s thought that a diet high in sugar can stress the heart, and contribute to heart disease diagnoses.

Limiting Halloween candy
If you have young kids or you live on a densely populated street, it probably isn’t practical to avoid candy entirely. However, you can limit the amount your family eats.

Before taking the kids trick-or-treating, you can serve a healthy dinner with lean protein and complex carbohydrates. This helps the whole family avoid over-indulging. Give your kids small containers for collecting candy, rather than empty pillowcases.

Enjoying heart-healthy treats
Make the holiday friendlier to your family’s cardiovascular health by serving nutritious treats. Use non-toxic ink to make Jack-O-Lantern faces on tangerines. Or, turn to the old-fashioned tradition of bobbing for apples.

Purchase candy alternatives to hand out to trick-or-treaters and party guests. Some suggestions are:

  • Snack-size packages of unsalted nuts or raisins
  • Sugar-free chewing gum
  • Glow sticks
  • Stickers
  • Crayons

Getting physically active
Halloween is one of the few holidays that encourages physical activity, compared to typically sedentary days like Thanksgiving. Look for ways of incorporating fitness challenges into the evening.

For example, each parent or caregiver can team up with a kid or two. The two teams can compete to see how many houses they can walk to in a set period of time.

Heart Center at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center treats more cardiac patients than any other Las Vegas hospital. Our dedicated team of cardiology specialists works around the clock to coordinate with emergency responders and deliver life-saving interventions. Please call 911 if you have a medical emergency, or call (702) 233-5300 to speak with a registered nurse about non-emergent issues.

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