House Call Spring 2010
Bringing Beaumont expertise into your home.
House C CaaLL BRINGING BEAUMONT EXPERTISE INTO YOUR HOME • SPRING 2010 THE HIDDEN PAIN Millions of women struggle in silence with urological conditions, thinking it is just a part of a being a woman. It’s not. HOME-GROWN MEDICINE NON-PROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE PAID CLEVELAND, OH PERMIT NO. 1702 Backyard gardens are a source of low-cost produce, exercise and family bonding. A HEALTHFUL BOUNTY The ingredients for a perfect summer meal are simple. [PLUS+] Keep your child safe this summer Radiation safety In These Pages VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 Features: 4 Departments: Home-Grown Medicine 3 Backyard gardens are growing in popularity as a source of low-cost produce, exercise and family bonding 6 A Healthful Bounty 8 The Hidden Pain The ingredients for a perfect summer meal are simple: A warm summer day and a garden bursting with the freshest produce. Join avid organic gardener and Beaumont Executive Chef Gordon Bowman in preparing a meal your family will love. Millions of women struggle in silence with urological conditions, thinking it is just a part of a being a woman. It’s not. Trends: Top 10 tips for keeping your child safe this summer 10 Health Shorts and Second Opinion 11 Innovations: The ABC’s of Imaging HouseCaLL BRINGING BEAUMONT EXPERTISE INTO YOUR HOME SPRING 2010 e-mail your thoughts about this newsletter to House.Call@beaumonthospitals.com UPDATE: Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine to open in fall 2011 The Liaison Committee on Medical Education recently awarded preliminary accreditation to the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, taking the school a step closer to its goal of opening for instruction in August 2011. Along with providing new medical education opportunities for students, the school will help to create jobs and infuse the region’s economy with millions of dollars. It will also enhance medical care throughout the region by ensuring a future supply of physicians, advancing medical research and attracting top-level medical leaders and students from around the country. Supplements not always wise choice for prostate cancer patients About half of all prostate cancer patients choose to take herbal or dietary supplements to improve or increase sexual potency and alleviate symptoms associated with poor prostate health. But is it a good idea? Probably not, say researchers at Beaumont Hospital. In a recent study published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, the supplements made normal cells in the prostate more susceptible to radiation, leading to treatment complications. Patients in the study reported using one of three widely used prostate-specific supplements. The authors found that cell growth and sensitivity to radiation for the cancer cells were not affected by the supplements, but two of the supplements inhibited the growth rate of the normal prostate cell lines while a third supplement also increased the radiation sensitivity of some normal cell lines. “Cancer patients turn to supplements to aid in their treatments for a variety of reasons, but this study proves that what some patients believe is helping them may actually be harming them,” says Brian Marples, Ph.D., senior author of the study and a radiobiologist at Beaumont Hospital. “It is very important for all patients to discuss any supplement they may be taking with their physician and especially important for prostate cancer patients receiving radiation therapy, as this study shows.” For more information on Beaumont’s efforts to reduce patients’ exposure to radiation, including a downloadable walet card to track your exposure, go to www.beaumonthospitals.com/quality/radiation-safety. HOUSE CALL [ PA G E 2 ] Finding Health Information Now it’s easier to find health information from a trusted source, thanks to several new features on the Beaumont Hospitals Web sites. • Prepare your child for a surgical stay at the hospital with the Surgical Squad, an animated tour featuring the Beaumont Children’s Hospital mascot, Beau the Bear. You can find a link to the tour on the home page of www.beaumontchildrenshospital.com. • Schedule your tests at your convenience with the Click to Call feature. Just enter your phone number and the best time to reach you and a representative will call you to schedule your appointment. And with the Find a Test locator, you can find where tests are available at more than a dozen Beaumont locations in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties. Both features can be launched from the www.beaumonthospitals. com home page. • Search for a clinical trial in your area through Beaumont’s clinical trials database. With more than 900 clinical trials involving more than 96,000 patients, Beaumont offers many opportunities for patients to participate in research to improve treatments or find cures. Start your search at www.beaumonthospitals.com/clinical-trials-search. • The Find a Doctor feature is updated and provides instant access to information about Beaumont doctors in your area. SPRING 2010 1 10 [ TRENDS ] Tips to keep your child safe this summer Summer should be fun, but keeping your child safe can be a challenge. Get the most out of the seemingly briefest – and best – season in Michigan by using the following advice. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Summer is the most common time for accidental injuries in children. Be prepared by knowing where to seek treatment. After the pediatrician’s office closes, head to Beaumont’s After Hours Clinic at the Royal Oak and Troy hospitals. The clinics are open weekday evenings and offer weekend and holiday hours as well. For more information, call: Royal Oak – 248-551-0222 Troy – 248-964-2888 9 10 HOUSE CALL THREE WORDS: SUPERVISE, SUPERVISE, SUPERVISE When school is in session, children have adult supervision almost constantly; this isn’t always the case in summer. Whether it is a trip to the playground or a family picnic, be on the look out for potential dangers. Children are less likely to practice risky behavior like jumping off a swing at its highest point if you are standing right there. “Good supervision is the best injury prevention,” says Donna Bucciarelli, trauma prevention coordinator at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak and program manager of Safety City, U.S.A., a community–based injury prevention and safety education center. BE ESPECIALLY VIGILANT AROUND WATER Is a great way to beat the heat. But make sure your child is safe. “Sign your child up for swimming lessons, make sure pool and spa areas are secured with fences and alarms, and never leave your child unattended,” says Edward Walton, M.D., director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Beaumont Children’s Hospital in Royal Oak. “Drowning is the fourth leading cause of accidental death in children, which is a tragedy since it is highly preventable.” CREATE A “NO ZONE” To prevent burns, use a jump rope or chalk to delineate a safe zone around a grill or campfire. Explain to children that they should not enter the zone. CHOOSE THE RIGHT SHOES FOR THE RIGHT ACTIVITIES Flip flops are great for walking on a beach, but not so great for playing basketball. And nothing says “no fun” like a summer cast. To prevent injuries, make sure your child is wearing the appropriate footwear for the activity. KEEP FOODS SAFE Spare your kids a wicked case of food poisoning by avoiding mayonnaise or cream-based foods and ensuring there is plenty of ice to keep cold foods cold. For the meats, look for juices to run clear before serving them to children. LEAVE THE FIREWORKS TO THE PROFESSIONALS “Most parents would never dream of handing their child a lit match but don’t think twice about handing a sparkler to a three year old,” says Dr. Walton. He recommends bypassing the backyard display in favor of community-sponsored fireworks where professionals stage the show over a homemade display in the backyard. Visit michiganfireworks.com for a list of shows through November. BE MINDFUL OF SAFETY WHEN MOWING A perfectly manicured lawn is a great thing – but your child’s safety should be first. Always be aware of where young children are when mowing the lawn; accidents have occurred from flying debris as well as from parents accidentally running their children over. Never let a child ride on a riding lawn mower. MAKE SAFETY GEAR A NECESSITY, NOT AN OPTION It’s a fact: helmets save lives. If your child kicks up a fuss over wearing a helmet while wheeling around, be prepared to play the tough. Donna suggests showing your child a photo of an professional bicyclist wearing a helmet and telling them that even the best in the field have accidents and want to protect their noggins. “We can fix a bone if you break it, but we can’t fix your brain or your spine if you injure them,” she says. “And those injuries last a lifetime.” AVOID THE BURN If it’s the last day of school, it’s usually the first day of the year that Dr. Walton will see blistering sunburns in the Emergency Center. That’s because most parents are out of practice with coating their children with sunblock. At least 30 minutes before heading outdoors, coat your child in a lotion with a sun protection factor of 30 to 45; reapply if the child swims or sweats. Keep babies under 6 months of age out of the sun or use lotion on their face and hands only to prevent overheating them. BE AWARE OF THE WEATHER Unpredictable storms are as much a part of summer in Michigan as the Detroit Tigers. Teach your child what to do and where to go in the event of a severe storm. [ PA G E 3 ] WWW.BEAUMONTHOSPITALS.COM Home-Grown Medicine Backyard gardens are growing in popularity as a source of low-cost produce, exercise and family bonding F or Jen Green, planting a garden seemed like a logical thing to do. While she craved low-cost, organic vegetables ripening outside her door, her main motivation was simple: her children. Jen, a naturopathic doctor in Integrative Medicine at Beaumont Hospitals, saw the garden as an outdoor classroom. “I wanted to teach my children about where their food comes from and the importance of taking care of the earth,” she says. “I also wanted them to have an interest in what they are eating and how it makes them grow.” She’s not alone. According to a National Gardening Association survey conducted last year, 43 million American households tended to vegetable gardens, an increase of 7 million households over 2008 figures. While the reason for the growth has a lot to do with the economy, home growers said they garden to spend time with their families, for the physical activity and to ensure better tasting and better quality food. Work up a sweat A major benefit of gardening comes from the physical work required to work the soil and maintain the plants as they grow. In the same survey, participants said they gardened for nearly five hours per week on plots of land that averaged 96 square feet. Turning compost, tilling a row, planting seeds and pulling weeds help gardeners of all ages burn calories. In fact, the work put into a garden is equivalent to circuit resistance training. “There’s a fair amount of moving and resistance that goes into gardening,” says Tom Spring, an exercise physiologist at Beaumont. And just as soil is prepared for planting, the body should be pre- house call pared for exercise from gardening, says Tom. With all of the twisting, turning, bending and reaching, it’s important to warm up and stretch, maintain good posture and take breaks. “For someone who is very active, gardening is a lower activity workout,” he says. “But for those who aren’t active, there is more risk for injury.” Dig the nutrition One of the biggest benefits that home gardens provide is the nutritional power that comes to the table at harvest. Having a garden can boost the consumption of fruits and vegetables, which has been shown to lower the risk of developing most cancers and reduce the incidence or intensity of other diseases, like heart disease and diabetes. “Generally, you can take your pick of any disease, and a plant-based diet can help you avoid developing it,” says Dr. Green. Aside from an abundance of vitamins, fruits and vegetables positively affect human health through phytonutrients, chemical compounds that occur in plants. For example, beta-carotene, a phytochemical, is found in yellow and orange fruits and has been shown to have anti-cancer properties. While phytochemicals have been noted for their importance in reducing the incidence of common diseases, researchers have not been able to determine whether phytochemicals act on their own or use other compounds in the fruits and vegetables to promote healthy effects. And there are other benefits from eating from the garden. “I’m sure it would make a whole lot easier if we could just take a pill,” says Silvia Veri, a registered dietitian with the Beaumont Weight Control Center. “But it would only solve the part about the nutrients. Fruits and vegetables also provide us with water and dietary fiber.” And it is this fiber and water that help to fill up stomachs at mealtime. According to Silvia, a healthful diet limits portions of starches and proteins during meals, leaving [ PA G E 4 ] SPRING 2010 plenty of room for low-calorie produce. By consuming larger portions of the fruits and vegetables, people feel full sooner, leading to less overall calorie consumption and less weight. As an added benefit, people who consume more plant fiber and water tend to experience less constipation and have a lower incidence of colon cancer. Lessons in health children to fresh fruit and vegetables for the first time. “There are some children in this area who have never seen a cucumber before, much less tasted one,” she says. “If children are a part of the process of growing, picking or preparing vegetables, they are more likely to try it.” Silvia finds one of the best parts of having a vegetable garden comes not in the food and the exercise but the lessons learned by the people tending to them, especially if those people are children. In her classes at the Beaumont Weight Control Center, she often exposes overweight h le litt h d t wi an f ss r A o e o r en ins risk ac d s r m re a a in en e g , vit ion be su n’t rd a h t t g m of ssiu duc d so es do in e n e a t r i t w to r ke ro vo in po the coo oma . g a f t n to er les . ta is a rich ked whe ut if ow tab be ision o p e e t B n r l d i h a v g l . a t h a s e te s m wi arp ranc to toe been ntra onth rition dv g h n e n ns a e m ce th ma ut fat sti its ur intai oww, t. 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In of oc gg ve k ch s – e m vita ngan shes soil on e i r a in av bu dic rno rr da be ries h Rich m, m the aci afte e d u ck: u er ds. an an ssi • Bl lueb foo ota wba om for b er ls p ra ro rm h ot nera jor d ts of k fa c mi e ma y, lo U-Pi t a i n r o tu to ma ily fam c un p n io iga ch Mi t ri t u n a k c a sp d r e up S he dt n na house call o fo [ PA G E 5 ] w w w . b e a u m o n t h o s pi t a l s . c o m [ FOOD ] A Healthful Bounty The ingredients for a perfect summer meal are simple: A warm summer day and a garden bursting with the freshest produce. Join avid organic gardener and Beaumont Executive Chef Gordon Bowman in preparing a meal your family will love. Chicken Fattoush chicken Fattoush Salad is a great way to celebrate the garden season in late august when the garden harvest begins to reap the plentiful fruits of your labor. This is a great salad if you love a variety of garden vegetables. Gordon bowman, executive chef at 4 1 2 1 1 1 1 chicken breasts, approximately 4 oz. each head Romaine lettuce, outer leaves removed Roma tomatoes, diced to ½ inch cucumber peeled, seeded and sliced in ½-inch crescents red pepper, julienned green pepper, julienned yellow pepper, julienned 1 cup finely chopped parsley leaves ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil ¾ cup fresh lemon juice ½ tsp. salt ½ tsp. pepper 1 tsp. sumac spice (available at specialty food stores) beaumont hospital, Royal oak, has made it his mission to surprise and delight people who expect boring hospital food. he’s been at beaumont for 20 years, overseeing preparation: • brush chicken breasts with a small amount of olive oil. Grill until the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees. • Remove chicken from grill and keep warm. • cut lettuce crosswise into one-inch pieces, wash and drain well and place in a bowl. • Toss the remainder of the salad ingredients together and portion onto plates or bowls. • Slice the warm chicken breast and place on top of the salads. more than 10,000 delicious entrees each day. houSe call [ PA G E 6 ] SpRInG 2010 Nutritional Information Yeilds four entrée-size salads 353 calories 18 g Total fat 3.1 g Saturated fat 96 mg cholesterol 389 mg Sodium 11.3 g Total carbohydrates 2.7 g Dietary fiber 5.1 g Sugars 37 g protein Chinese-style Long Green Bean Salad This low-fat dish uses chicken stock to reduce the amount of oil used. If you are vegetarian, use a vegetable stock as a substitute. Salad ingredients 8 oz. whole green beans; trimmed haricot vert beans are best but whole green beans work well 4 oranges 1 small red onion, sliced 3 oz. sunflower seeds ½ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. ground black pepper Sherry Mustard Vinaigrette 1 tsp. cornstarch ½ cup low-sodium chicken stock 3 T extra virgin olive oil 2 T sherry vinegar 2 T orange juice 1 T dijon mustard 1 T light brown sugar 2 tsp. shallots, minced 1 clove garlic, minced ½ tsp. kosher salt ¼ tsp. ground black pepper Nutritional Information Yeilds eight servings 176 Calories 10.8 g Total fat 1.2 g Saturated fat 0 g Trans fat 0 mg Cholesterol 18.7 g Total carbohydrates 4.4 g Dietary fiber 11.4 g Sugars 4 g Protein Preparation • Bring a quart of water to a boil; add ¼ teaspoon of salt. Blanch beans for one or two minutes until they are barely tender. Drain the beans and immediately plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking process. • Trim the peels off the oranges, making sure to remove all of the white pith. • Working over a bowl, section the oranges, allowing the juice to be caught in the bowl. Save the juice for the dressing. Remove any seeds. • To make the vinaigrette, combine the cornstarch with one teaspoon of water to form a slurry or thick mixture. • Bring stock to a boil and add the slurry and stir until the stock has thickened and turns clear. This should take about two minutes. Cool to room temperature and whisk in the remaining vinaigrette ingredients until blended. • Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl, toss with the vinaigrette and place in your favorite bowl or on a large plate. Chakachouka This Spanish tapas recipe is served regularly in the Mackinac Dining Room at Beaumont, Royal Oak – and is a huge hit. This is a delightful way to enjoy homegrown tomatoes when they are in season. 4 large Roma tomatoes, diced 1 clove of garlic, minced (don’t use a garlic press) ¼ cup finely chopped parsley leaves 2 T extra virgin olive oil ¼ tsp. salt 1 /8 tsp. ground black pepper 1 small chili pepper, chopped Preparation: • Fold all the ingredients together in a bowl. • Serve at room temperature immediately to enjoy the fresh tomato flavor; however, you can also refrigerate until it is ready to serve. Nutritional Information Yeilds eight servings 36 Calories 3.5 g Total fat 0 mg Cholesterol 77 mg Sodium 1.8 g Total Carbohydrates 0.5 g Dietary fiber 1 g Sugars .4 g Protein house call [ PA G E 7 ] w w w . b e a u m o n t h o s p it a l s . c o m The PAIN Hidden Millions of women struggle in silence with urological conditions, thinking it is just a part of a being a woman. It’s not. Anne Brancaleone went from being in near constant pain to being pain free with the help of a team of urology specialists at Beaumont. Kenneth Peters, M.D., chairman of Urology at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak A nne Brancaleone knew something was wrong. Having grown up with frequent urinary tract infections, the Royal Oak woman was having the same symptoms– plenty of bathroom trips and a sense of urgency. But appointment after appointment with her doctor turned up nothing as her urine cultures sent for analysis showed no infection. So she put up with her symptoms, assuming that this was just something she would have to get used to. But then the pain started and grew in intensity. “It’s a burning pain,” she says. “It’s constant. It hurts so badly that it makes you clench your muscles in response.” When she began missing work and house call [ PA G E 8 ] avoiding social situations, she realized she couldn’t ignore it anymore. Anne went back to her doctor and then to a urologist. She underwent a cystoscopy, a procedure that involves threading a thin fiberoptic scope through her urethra and into her bladder. After ruling out other potential causes for her pain, including bladder cancer, Anne’s doctor told her that she had interstitial cystitis, a chronic condition that causes pain, urinary urgency and frequent urination. The condition affects more than a million Americans, mostly women; in severe cases, patients with IC urinate up to 60 times a day. The social impact is far reaching as some IC patients file for disability or become socially isolated as participating in daily or family activities becomes nearly impossible. For Anne, however, hearing the diagnosis SPRING 2010 Common signs and symptoms of female urological conditions Seek help from a specialist if you have the following symptoms: • • • • • • • • recurrent bladder infections frequent urge to urinate with minimal output pain during urination pain during intercourse urinary leakage when sneezing, coughing or otherwise straining incontinence or urine leaking frequent nighttime urination pain in the pelvic or genital area For more information, call the Women’s Urology Center at Beaumont at 248-898-0898. was a relief. “I was just happy to finally have an answer,” she says. A common occurrence In that moment, Anne joined the growing number of women with urological conditions. These conditions – including overactive bladder, pelvic floor dysfunction and stress and urge incontinence – affect one-third of all women, according to a 2008 study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology. Statistics from the National Institutes of Health indicate one in six women experience pelvic pain. While urologic conditions are common, women face many barriers when they seek help, says Kenneth Peters, M.D., chairman of Urology at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak. Some health care providers aren’t familiar with leading edge diagnostic methods and treatments for these conditions. When women return time after time with what is thought to be a urinary tract infection but tests prove otherwise, they often have their symptoms dismissed as being psychosomatic. “By the time that some women have been referred to the center, they have seen four to six health care providers on average and have not had relief of their symptoms,” says Dr. Peters. “They are often told that what they are experiencing is all in their head. It’s sad to hear women say that they have been dealing with their symptoms for years without relief, because proper care and treatment is available and we are here to help.” Another reason for a delay in treatment is that many feel that the symptoms arise as a “part of being a woman” or a natural effect of aging. Finally, certain symptoms – pain during sex, frequent voiding of the bladder, urinary leakage – are highly personal and not usually shared, even between the best of friends. More than physical pain However, the pain of these conditions often goes beyond just physical symptoms, no matter how severe they are. The effect of not talking about the conditions or not seeking further help frequently leads to emotional stress and social isolation, says Donna Carrico, a nurse practitioner at the new Women’s Urology Center at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. “If you aren’t a woman who lives with a urological condition, it’s difficult to appreciate how difficult it is to live with something that causes pain without relief or requires bathroom access at all times,” she says. “Because of the nature of these conditions, many women don’t talk with others about what they are going through so they end up feeling alone in their struggles.” For example, a recent study found that the quality of life for IC patients compared to women without the condition was decreased due to significant pain, increased sleep dysfunction, depression, anxiety and stress; additionally, the IC patients reported more sexual and social function problems than women who did not have IC. Women with incontinence or urine leakage often have impaired quality of life due to alterations in sexual function, embarrassment house call from leakage or odor or lack of proper treatment. Even when women do seek help, they often must go to several health care professionals – urologists, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, psychologists or integrative medicine practitioners – to obtain treatment. Anne did just that, seeking a general urologist to treat her symptoms, a nurse practitioner in another office to help her with her pain issues and a physical therapist across town to learn how to relax her muscles and control her pain. A dedicated treatment center Anne now seeks her treatment from experts in female urology at the Women’s Urology Center at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, the only integrated multidisciplinary center dedicated to female urology in Michigan.Located in a private corner of the hospital, the center offers a multidisciplinary approach that includes urologists and a nurse practitioner who specialize in women’s urology, chronic pelvic pain and female sexual function. Other members of the team include: • physical therapists who are experts in pelvic floor dysfunction • a psychologist who specializes in women’s health issues • integrative medicine professionals who offer guided imagery, massage, Reiki and more “It’s so nice to have all of my care in one location,” says Anne. In addition to the convenience and privacy the center provides to patients, the staff members see only female patients with urological issues and are thus in tune with this group’s special needs. For example, female patients with urological issues may be sent for physical therapy, says Kristen Miles, a pelvic floor specialist in physical therapy at Beaumont. But to achieve best results, patients should see therapists who are specially trained and certified in pelvic floor therapy and use a facility with specialized equipment to evaluate and treat the condition. “It is a very specific therapy and you have to be specially trained to perform it,” says Kristen. “Most physical therapy businesses don’t have the ability to specialize like we do. We have the largest pelvic floor therapy program in the state.” For now, Anne continues to experience flare ups of her condition, during which times she returns to the center for additional pelvic floor therapy or to see a physician or nurse practitioner. With the help of the center’s staff, she adopted a diet that eliminates foods and beverages that irritate her bladder and uses meditation to help her to relax her body when she is in pain. But she feels better because of the treatment she received. “It’s amazing,” she says. “When you are well, you almost forget just how much pain you were in when you were sick. It comes back now and again, but, for the most part, life is so much better now.” [ PA G E 9 ] Cooper gift creates Women’s Urology Center The Women’s Urology Center at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak was made possible through a generous $5 million gift from Susan E. Cooper of Birmingham, a long-time member of the boards of directors of Beaumont Hospitals and the Beaumont Foundation. “The intent of my gift is to create another important women’s health destination at Beaumont, by expanding the range of Beaumont’s special health services for women that include a Women’s Heart Center and a Comprehensive Breast Care Center,” says Susan. “I am gratified to support the work of Kenneth Peters, M.D., and his associates in providing leading edge urology treatment and research options for women.” Kenneth J. Matzick, president and chief executive officer, Beaumont Hospitals, says, “We are very grateful to Susan Cooper for her wisdom in our boardroom and for her long-term philanthropic support of Beaumont through gifts such as the one creating the Women’s Urology Center.” The 4,200-square-foot, $1.6 million eco-friendly center, opened at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak in March 2010. A portion of Susan’s gift funded construction, equipment and furnishings for the center; the remainder will fund ongoing research to advance women’s urology. “We have created a special, private and comfortable place for women to go where people who care will listen, evaluate their problem and provide treatment that will make a difference in their lives,” says Dr. Peters, chairman of Urology at Royal Oak. w w w . b e a u m o n t h o s pi t a l s . c o m HealthShorts Second Opinion Q. I have had back pain for years, and lately, it seems to get worse when I take my nightly walks. My doctor says I have a slipped disc and says I need surgery. What else can I do? A. There are many causes The ABC’s of Imaging Think that all imaging centers are the same? Think again. Use these tips before scheduling your next test. of low back pain, including muscle strain, disc degeneration, disc herniation, spinal arthritis, osteoporosis-related fractures or instabilities of the spine, which happen when vertebrae slip out of position. When you also have pain in one or both of your legs, it’s a more serious concern as this may mean that the sciatic nerve is compressed. Usually, doctors focus first on encouraging the patient to maintain a healthy body weight and activity level; this helps to build core muscles in the back and abdomen, which in turn help support the lower spine. If the patient still has pain, imaging tests and blood studies are usually ordered. With most low back conditions, the initial treatment often uses physical therapy and medications to ease pain. Your doctor has just handed you an order for a mammogram, a heart CT or a brain MRI. Now what? While the choice of imaging facilities has never been greater or more convenient, it pays to ask a few questions before picking a site. Duane Mezwa, M.D., corporate chief of Diagnostic Radiology at Beaumont Hospitals, offers the following tips to evaluate imaging facilities: Availability of radiologists – Some centers use freelance radiologists who aren’t always on-site – sometimes aren’t even in the same country – to provide consultation on films they read. Look for a center with radiologists who are available on-site, 24/7/365. Board-certified, fellowship trained radiologists – Neither is required to practice in Michigan but both ensure a higher standard of knowledge, especially in subspecialties such as musculoskeletal, pediatrics or neuroradiology. Also look for the credentials of the technologist conducting the exam. Ask if they are registered – meaning they have met certain education and certifying exam requirements – or board-certified in specialty areas such as ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, mammography and pediatric imaging. Center of Excellence/Accreditation – Is the facility accredited by a major accrediting body such as the American College of Radiology? Is the site a Center of Excellence? For example, the Beaumont hospitals in Royal Oak and Troy and the Beaumont Medical Centers in Warren and West Bloomfield are Centers of Excellence for mammography, as designated by the American College of Radiology. Centers that have these accreditations and designations ensure a higher standard of care is followed. Diagnostics on the spot – If something suspicious is detected at a freestanding facility and a biopsy is indicated, you are sent to the hospital for a biopsy. Skip that step by scheduling your tests at a place that can do both. Equipment on the leading edge – Large health systems, especially those that are major academic and referral centers, tend to have the newest equipment such as Flash CT, open MRI and digital mammography. The newer the equipment, the better and clearer the images will be. Also, newer generation equipment generally has fine tuned the radiation dosage, meaning less exposure. Fast, easy access to results, prior tests – If you have imaging done at the hospital where you are treated, those images will be available to your physicians anytime they need them, which is especially important in an emergency situation. If not, you have to bring the images with you or arrange to have them sent. Greater choice of locations – With 13 imaging locations in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, Beaumont radiology services are never more than minutes away from patients’ homes. At many Beaumont sites, patients needing a mammogram, general X-ray or CT can obtain the service on a walk-in basis with authorization from their insurance company. Additionally, the Grosse Pointe, Royal Oak and Troy hospitals and some medical centers have extended hours for imaging. To schedule an appointment, call 800-328-8542. house call [ P A G E 10 ] SPRING 2010 Most people respond to these treatments and overcome occasional episodes of discomfort and limitation. In some people with herniated discs, the body is able to repair the disc. However, if the pain continues or involves pain or weakness in the legs that makes walking difficult, it’s important to have your back re-evaluated and surgery may be considered. Don’t be afraid of surgery. There are many less invasive techniques and leading edge procedures we use now that lead to shorter recoveries and ultimately resolve painful conditions so you can get back to your nightly walks more quickly. Harry N. Herkowitz, M.D., is chief of Orthopedic Surgery at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak [ INNOVATIONS ] Radiati n Safety Using research and advanced technology, Beaumont reduces radiation exposure. patients using the flash CT at Beaumont, the only hospital in michigan to offer the radiation-sparing technology, see a stars and galaxies in a relaxing, peaceful setting. W hen it comes to reducing patient exposure to unnecessary radiation, Beaumont is a world leader, making headline news with research on the subject. Last year, Beaumont researchers led a study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which showed that radiation exposure for cardiac CT could be cut by more than half without reducing image quality. As a result, hospitals around the world began implementing new protocols based on the study. Beaumont patients also benefit from technology advances that reduce therapeutic and diagnostic radiation exposure, including: • Flash CT - Beaumont has a Flash CT at each hospital, making them the first hospitals in the state to use the technology. The Flash CT significantly reduces radiation exposure, making it ideal for pediatric, cardiac and trauma patients as well as those patients with chronic conditions who must have repeated CT scans. • Omnibeam - A clinically advanced therapeutic radiation treatment for cancer, Omnibeam combines improved imaging and robotic technology to deliver accurate doses of radiation to cancer patients. Its robotic component tracks a patient’s movements on a real-time basis and adjusts the treatment accordingly, quickly accommodating the movement for optimal treatment and safety. For more information on Beaumont’s efforts to reduce patients’ radiation exposure, including a downloadable wallet card to track exposure, go to www.beaumonthospitals. com/quality/radiation-safety. Kavitha Chinnaiyan, m.d., Aiden Abidov, m.d., ph.d., and gilbert raff, m.d., above, worked on the radiation dose reduction research study that appeared in JAMA. omnibeam, at left, is a faster, more accurate and more precise cancer treatment. HoUse call [ P A G E 11 ] WWW.BeaUMoNTHosPITals.coM Does your child have a Beaumont doctor? When you have a sick child, the next best thing to being at home is being at a hospital close to home. That’s why Beaumont created a state-of-the-art Children’s Hospital. With Beaumont doctors in practically every pediatric specialty and subspecialty, along with the most advanced procedures and technology. Which means, when you have an emergency, help is closer. When it’s time for a yearly physical, a pediatrician is minutes away. And when you have a child in the hospital, it’s easier on your family. You can even spend the night – comfortably – right next to your child. And along with the Beaumont Children’s Hospital in Royal Oak, we offer pediatric services at our Grosse Pointe and Troy hospitals as well as several medical centers in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties. 800.633.7377 beaumontchildrenshospital.com