• 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.

  • Are you ever too old to get breast cancer?

    Unfortunately, cancer can affect anyone at any age. Senior women—and men—can still be diagnosed with breast cancer. The exception is if the patient has had a double mastectomy, which removes both breasts. At Breast Center at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, our oncology team understands that elderly patients have unique concerns and challenges. We invite patients to turn to our professional breast health nurse navigators for compassionate guidance and workable solutions.

    How age affects breast cancer
    Breast cancer is actually more common among women ages 60 and older, although it can certainly affect younger women. This type of cancer is of particular concern among women who enter menopause after age 55. It’s thought that their risk is elevated because of the greater lifetime exposure to estrogen.

    Once a woman has entered menopause, her body’s primary way of producing estrogen is from body fat. In other words, menopausal women who are overweight or obese have an even greater risk of breast cancer.

    Research suggests that losing weight may offer preventive benefits for older women, although the evidence isn’t conclusive. According to the American Cancer Society, the results from the Nurses’ Health Study reveal a 40 percent lower risk of breast cancer among post-menopausal women who lost weight and kept it off for at least four years.

    Why mammogram recommendations should be individualized
    Although there is no upper age limit for breast cancer to develop, aggressive mammogram screening schedules might not necessarily be right for every woman. Each patient’s risk factors, lifestyle and overall health are unique, and only a doctor can provide dependable medical guidance.

    How cancer treatments may affect older women
    Breast cancer can be successfully treated in elderly patients, but there are often additional complications. Elderly patients are more likely to have poor overall health, and to have other, underlying medical conditions. These issues may mean that it’s more difficult to tolerate the rigors of cancer treatment.

    At any age, women should feel empowered to self-advocate for their own health preferences. A doctor can help patients understand their diagnosis and treatment options, and guide them in making informed healthcare decisions.

    Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center features a technologically advanced Breast Center, staffed by a multidisciplinary team of breast health experts. We emphasize a patients-first approach to care that encourages patients to get actively involved in the treatment planning process. You can request a referral by calling one of our registered nurses in Las Vegas at (702) 233-5300.

  • What happens if you are diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant?

    Cancer is a diagnosis that is always life-changing, although some patients can experience more difficult complications than others. If you’re an expecting mother who has been diagnosed with a breast cancer tumor, you may feel overwhelmed when trying to make treatment decisions. At MountainView Hospital , we provide the advanced cancer treatments you need and the patient-centered, compassionate guidance you deserve.

    Undergoing cancer surgery during pregnancy
    Surgery is often part of a cancer treatment plan and generally safe for the fetus. It is possible for anesthesia drugs to cross the placenta but doesn’t appear to cause birth defects or pregnancy complications.

    Another concern about having surgery during pregnancy is the post-surgical pain management plan. The surgeon and obstetrician can coordinate the treatment plan to minimize the risk to your baby.

    The type of surgery must also be carefully considered. Mastectomies are generally recommended instead of lumpectomies when the cancer is diagnosed in the first trimester. This is because lumpectomies are usually followed by radiation therapy, which needs to be administered after the baby is born.

    Women in their second and third trimesters may still be good candidates for a lumpectomy, as they can delay radiation therapy.

    Cancer treatments to avoid during pregnancy
    It is possible to safely treat breast cancer during pregnancy, but certain treatments need to be avoided until after the baby is born. These include radiation therapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapy.

    In the event that an expecting mother needs aggressive treatment for advanced cancer or inflammatory breast cancer, pregnancy termination can be discussed with a psychologist or other mental health counselor in addition to her oncologist.

    Receiving chemotherapy during pregnancy
    The American Cancer Society advises against having chemotherapy during the first trimester , as this isn’t safe for the baby. It’s thought that chemotherapy is safer later on in the pregnancy.

    When chemo is given during pregnancy, it’s discontinued three weeks prior to the anticipated due date. This gives women some time to recover their strength before labor and delivery.

    At MountainView Hospital, you’ll find sensitive, personalized medical guidance delivered by specialists who genuinely care about you and your baby. Our cancer care experts work tirelessly to give our patients the best possible outcome. Expecting mothers in the Las Vegas area can speak with a registered nurse at (702) 962-5021.

  • How should you prepare for a visit to physical therapy?

    Physical therapists work with patients with a wide spectrum of health concerns—from rheumatoid arthritis to sports injuries to stroke. When you meet your physical therapist, you can expect a thorough evaluation of your health and rehabilitation goals. At Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas, our physical rehab team focuses on patient-centered care that takes a collaborative approach to recovery.

    Gather important medical information and documents
    In order to develop the most effective treatment plan for your needs, your physical therapist needs some information from you. Prepare for your visit by writing down all of your symptoms and physical limitations. Consider whether any of these issues are:

    • Worse or better at certain times
    • Worse or better during rest
    • Affected by certain activities or positions

    Your physical therapist will also need your full medical history, even if some information seems unrelated to your current rehab goals. Call the office ahead of time to ensure they’ve received any imaging scans, medical reports or lab test results you may have had. You should also bring the contact information of your treating physicians and specialists.

    Lastly, bring your day planner. You can expect to schedule additional physical therapy appointments before you leave.

    Bring assistive devices, if needed
    If you currently use any assistive devices, you should bring them to your appointment. These may include:

    • Walker
    • Crutches
    • Cane
    • Braces
    • Knee walker

    Wear comfortable clothes
    You might get started on some stretches and exercises during your first visit. It’s advisable to wear loose, comfortable clothing. Wear athletic shoes with non-skid soles.

    Know how to get the most out of physical therapy
    A successful course of physical therapy depends on the effort of the patient. To get the most out of your treatment, you should carefully follow your schedule of at-home exercises and stretches, and attend each physical therapy appointment. Be sure to give your physical therapist plenty of feedback about your symptoms and challenges, as he or she can adjust your treatment plan as needed.

    Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center features a fully equipped, accredited Rehabilitation Unit for inpatients. Our physical rehab specialists are committed to providing the superior level of care that our patients deserve. Families in Las Vegas can request a referral by calling (702) 233-5300.