Bucks County Healthy Living 2022

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Healthy Living 2022

HealthWatch WHAT IS CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME? Dr. Eon K. Shin, M. D., Orthopaedic Hand Surgeon, Philadelphia Hand to Shoulder Center

What is carpal tunnel syndrome? • Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and arm. The condition occurs when one of the major nerves to the hand—the median nerve—is squeezed or compressed as it travels through the wrist. • In addition to numbness and tingling, carpal tunnel syndrome can cause swelling, weakness, and nighttime pain. Patients sometimes describe dropping things unexpectedly and may have difficulty with buttoning shirts, tying shoelaces, or handling loose change. What causes carpal tunnel syndrome? • Carpal tunnel syndrome is frequently seen in individuals who develop swelling or inflammation in their hands. People who smoke, as well as those with connective tissue diseases, diabetes mellitus, and hypothyroidism, may be at greater risk. Repetitive work activities can also cause carpal tunnel syndrome. • The median nerve acts as an electrical wire between the spinal cord and the hand. The nerve passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist along with nine tendons that bend the fingers. When the tendons in the wrist become swollen and inflamed, the median nerve can become compressed by the transverse carpal ligament (see figure), leading to carpal tunnel symptoms. • Early on, symptoms commonly occur during sleeping hours. In more advanced cases, the symptoms can become problematic during waking hours. Many sufferers describe symptoms with benign activities, like reading the newspaper or driving a car. What can a hand surgeon do to help? • A hand surgeon can order special nerve tests to verify the extent of the problem. Custom wrist splints are helpful for early stages of carpal tunnel syndrome. These splints are worn at nighttime to relieve pressure on the median nerve and to prevent the wrists from bending during sleep. • Cortisone injections often provide excellent relief from symptoms. Unfortunately, symptomatic relief is only temporary, and

most people experience a recurrence of symptoms after 3-4 months. • For chronic or more advanced cases, carpal tunnel surgery is often recommended as the best course of treatment. What can I expect from surgery? • Surgery provides more space for the median nerve and relieves pressure on the median nerve and tendons. This procedure is typically done under light sedation and local anesthesia and usually takes only minutes to complete. • While there are several different approaches to performing carpal tunnel surgery, I prefer to make a 1/2 inch incision near the wrist and use a camera to release the tunnel under direct visualization. This minimally invasive approach minimizes discomfort following surgery and allows patients to return to activities more quickly. Over 95 percent of patients improve dramatically following surgical intervention, with most returning to daily activities within days. Many patients can resume heavier job-related activities after 2-4 weeks. Eon K. Shin, M.D., is a board-certified, fellowship-trained hand surgeon with the renowned Philadelphia Hand to Shoulder Center, located at 1203 Langhorne-Newtown Road, Suite #335, Langhorne, PA 19047. Dr. Shin completed his medical education at some of the most prestigious institutions in the United States including: a Bachelor of Arts at Harvard University, a Doctor of Medicine at Yale University, and an Orthopaedic Residency at UCLA Medical Center. He concluded his medical education with fellowship training in Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery at the prestigious Harvard Combined Hand Fellowship at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Shin is a member of the Medical Staff of St. Mary Medical Center and Jefferson Bucks Hospital and is an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Shin, call 1-800385-PHSC or visit www.hand2shouldercenter.com.

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Dr. Joyce Varughese opewell recently earned accreditation as Mercer County’s first Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology from the Surgical Review Corporation (SRC) for providing the highest quality of care and patient safety. This accreditation means that Capital Health Medical Center— Hopewell has met internationally recognized standards and completed a rigorous inspection process. In addition to the hospital accreditation, Dr. Joyce Varughese (Capital Health Surgical Group – Gynecologic Oncology) and Dr. Daniel Small (Capital Health OB/GYN – Lawrenceville) received designation from SRC as Surgeons of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology. Both surgeons are part of Capital Health Medical Group, a network of more than 500 physicians and other clinicians who offer primary and specialty care and hospital-based services to patients throughout Central New Jersey and Lower Bucks County in Pennsylvania. “Capital Health is known as a regional leader in women’s health, and this designation continues to validate our reputation, as well as our ongoing investments in talent and technology,” said Dr. Joshua Eisenberg, Chief Medical Officer of Capital Health Medical Group. “Women who need the services of experienced surgeons like Dr.Varughese and Dr. Small can feel confident that they are getting the highest quality care and access to the latest surgical techniques that help ensure better outcomes.” Minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, including robotic-assisted surgery with the da Vinci surgical system, is an alternative to traditional surgery at Capital Health for appropriate patients. Under the guidance of specially trained surgeons like Dr.Varug-




Dr. Daniel Small hese and Dr. Small, complex surgical procedures can now be performed through small incisions using precise tools, cameras, and lights. Minimally invasive surgery is known for its many benefits, including less pain, lower risk of infection, shorter hospital stays, and faster recoveries. “We’re proud to recognize Capital Health Medical Center Hopewell for its commitment to advancing and providing quality care for all patients,” said Gary M. Pratt, CEO of SRC. “This accreditation signals that this facility is among the best in this specialty and is dedicated to delivering the highest level of care possible.” Dr. Small was the first in the region to perform advanced minimally invasive gynecologic surgery and has been instrumental in developing that program over the years. He is currently the director of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery at Capital Health. He is able to offer non-surgical, minimally invasive, robotic, and traditional surgical options for women with abnormal bleeding, fibroid tumors, pelvic pain, cervical pre-cancer, and ovarian masses. To make an appointment with Dr. Small, call 609-5377200 or visit www.capitalhealthobgyn.org. Dr.Varughese and her team provide treatment for all gynecologic cancers as well as precancerous diseases of the cervix, vagina, vulva, and uterus. In addition to her clinical experience, Dr. Varughese is a clinical assistant professor at Robert Wood Johnson-Rutgers Medical School in New Brunswick, New Jersey and Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford, New Jersey. To make an appointment with Dr.Varughese, call 609.567.6000 or visit www.capitalhealth.org/gynonc.

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ost people think about visiting their primary care provider if they aren’t feeling well. But making the time to go to an annual exam and talk to your provider about your overall health is very beneficial. At your annual exam, your primary care provider can recommend the screenings that are right for you based on your age, gender, family history and other factors. These tests help your provider to recognize patterns in your health and to detect potential health conditions earlier. Many conditions are easier to treat if they’re caught early. Scheduling your annul exam has never been more convenient.




With St. Mary Medical Center’s online scheduling capability, you can choose a provider in your neighborhood, select the time that best fits your schedule, and schedule your appointment in just a few minutes. From simple screenings to complex procedures, your primary care physician can connect you with specialists as needed. Our care is provided right in Bucks County, so you don’t need to drive into Philadelphia for the care that you need. To find a provider to visit www.trinityhealthma.inquicker.com.


he team from Doylestown Health’s Woodall Center for Heart and Vascular Care recently completed the 600th Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure at Doylestown Hospital.TAVR is an advanced treatment option for patients with aortic stenosis. Doylestown Hospital physicians were among the first in the region to perform the innovative procedure to replace diseased heart valves in patients without open-heart surgery when they completed their first TAVR in late 2013. Calling the procedure “transformative” for the care of aortic stenosis patients, interventional cardiologist David Boland, MD has been with the team since the beginning of Doylestown Hospital’s TAVR program. “As the volumes for this procedure continue to grow, it has become the wave of the future,” says Dr. Boland. Doylestown Hospital uses a team approach to identifying and treating these patients.The team combines the expertise of cardiologists, interventional cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, anesthesiologists and a valve clinic coordinator, all working together to evaluate patients and develop personal treatment plans. “There is definitely a team commitment,” says Structural Heart Coordinator Jennifer Harrar, DNP, CRNP-BC. “Each individual is evaluated very thoroughly, and the patients are very closely followed.” During the TAVR procedure, the physician uses a catheter to thread the small collapsible heart valve through the femoral artery in the groin in most cases; if unable to use femoral access, the team




evaluates alternative access.The physician puts the valve and its metal scaffolding precisely into place and the new valve functions like a healthy valve. The team performed the 600th TAVR procedure on February 3, 2022 for an 84-year-old female with aortic stenosis. She went home the next day, as is typical of most TAVR cases. “Patients typically feel better pretty quick – immediately after the procedure,” says Dr. Boland. Doylestown Hospital physicians have continued to perform an increasing number of TAVR procedures each year. In 2015, the team completed 34 procedures; in 2021, that number grew to 145.The 30day mortality rate is 0.7%, well below the national rate of 1.7%. “I think that speaks volumes to the way the program was initially set up and the quality controls that were instituted from the beginning,” Dr. Boland says. “With a collaborative approach of each team member working hand in glove with the others, the program has worked very well.” In addition to TAVR, the Structural Heart team offers MitraClip™, a catheter-based procedure for mitral valve repair; pacemaker lead extraction, and the Watchman implanted device, which provides patients with Atrial Fibrillation an alternative to blood thinners to help reduce the risk of stroke. Doylestown Health’s Woodall Center for Heart and Vascular Care is located at Doylestown Hospital, First Floor, 595 West State Street, Doylestown, PA. For more information visit www.doylestownhealth.org/service-lines/heart-and-vascular.


our body depends on water for almost everything it does. In fact, it is made up of about 60 percent water. When your body’s supply of fluids begins to run low, it activates sensors in the brain which stimulate your thirst center located in the hypothalamus.You feel thirsty and you reach for a refreshing drink. In a healthy young adult, this system works very well to keep you hydrated. But things can become much more complicated as you get older because of many factors.Your body may need more fluid if your blood sugar is too high, or if you have a high fever or an illness that causes vomiting or diarrhea. Certain medications such as diuretics (water pills) may cause you to lose more water in your urine. If you have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, you may forget to drink throughout the day or not even recognize that you are thirsty. If you have arthritis, it may be harder to get up and get yourself a drink as often as you should, or you might not want to drink a lot for fear of having to get up and go to the bathroom if you have bladder control problems. It is also harder to tell when you are dehydrated as you get older because you may not feel thirsty or have other symptoms.You may only feel tired. But if the dehydration becomes worse, you may Dr. Melinda Ratini become confused, your urine may become dark and less frequent, or you may become dizzy or constipated. Get emergency medical help if you or your




loved one has any of these signs of dehydration. The key to staying healthy is to prevent dehydration from happening. But first, check with your doctor to see how much fluids you should be getting each day. • Make a schedule of when and how much you should be sipping throughout the day • Use a timer or set reminders on your phone • Keep a water bottle handy • Limit water intake after dinner if night time accidents are a worry • Eat foods that are high in water—like fruits, vegetables, soups, yogurt, Jell-O • Watch your caffeine intake and avoid alcohol • Dress up your water with a slice of citrus or a sprig of mint Try to stay cool in the summer by staying in air conditioning during the hottest hours of the day. Take your walk or do your gardening early in the morning or after the sun has started to go down. Remember to take a water bottle with you outdoors. With a little planning, you can stay as hydrated and cool as a cucumber this summer. Melinda Ratini, DO, MS specializes in geriatric medicine and is board-certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Family Practitioners in Family Practice with a Certificate of Added Qualification in Geriatrics. She earned her medical degree from West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and completed a residency at the Delaware Valley Medical Center (Jefferson-Bucks). Dr. Melinda Ratini is accepting new patients at 501 Bath Road, Suite 209A, Bristol, PA, 19007. Call to schedule an appointment for yourself or a loved one at 215-785-9830.


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t. Luke’s University Health Network has opened a new 37,500-square-foot Pediatric Specialty Center, the region’s first and only free-standing facility dedicated entirely to kids. The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new center at 5425 Lanark Road in Center Valley, took place on May 4th. Many of St. Luke’s Pediatrics growing team of pediatric specialists will now be located under one roof at the three-story building. Conveniently located at 5425 Lanark Road off Route 309 near I-78, the Center has ample parking and is designed with children and families in mind. Each floor has a unique theme—Underwater, Animals of the World and Outer Space—to make kids comfortable. The Center, the new home to St. Luke’s Coopersburg Pediatrics, will house multiple pediatric specialties, including: Behavioral Health, Speech Therapy, Nephrology, Gastroenterology, Cardiology, Pulmonology, Developmental, Neurology, Endocrinology, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Pediatric Primary Care and Pediatric Nutrition. At the ribbon-cutting ceremony Tecile Andolino, MD, Pediatric Nephrologist and Medical Director of Pediatric Specialty Care, said, “I am overjoyed to now have so many specialties that we fill




an entire building. This center allows our team to work even more collaboratively but, most importantly, parents will enjoy the convenience of having most of their child’s specialists in one location.” St. Luke’s has invested in growing its pediatrics and pediatric specialty program through the addition of experienced, compassionate providers and convenient locations. In 2020, St. Luke’s opened its eight-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at St. Luke’s University Hospital in Fountain Hill, providing advanced care to critically ill children close to home. The Network also recently announced its membership to the Children’s Hospital Association, a national organization of hospitals and health systems committed to pediatric health care. “We have made a promise to this community to bring quality, pediatric care close to home, and today we are again fulfilling that promise,” said Jennifer Janco, MD, Chief of Pediatrics, St. Luke’s University Health Network. “With our hospital services, outpatient services and family-centered services, families can expect to stay local to get quality care for their children.” For more information, visit www.slhn.org/pediatrics.

HealthWatch IN-OFFICE VEIN CARE re you experiencing daily tired, aching legs? Legs that are swollen and feel heavy? Enlarging varicose veins that throb and prevent you from enjoying your usual activities? Spider veins keeping you in pants all year? At Precision Vein Care, we can help. Located in Lansdale and easily accessible throughout Bucks and Montgomery Counties, we offer one stop with on-site diagnostic ultrasound, fully equipped exam and procedure rooms, to provide high level vein care right in our office. At Precision Vein Care, there is no need for trips to the hospital for imaging or procedures using conventional hospital operating rooms, general anesthesia, and long treatment times.We provide the latest minimally invasive treatments with minimal discomfort, minimal downtime, and maximum results. We are led by James Guzzo, MD FACS, a Johns Hopkins fellowship trained vascular surgeon. He has been practicing vascular surgery for fifteen years, performed thousands of endovascular procedures and conventional open operations, and recently created a practice dedicated exclusively to venous disease. We offer cosmetic sclerotherapy, the full spectrum of endovenous ablation procedures (ClosureFast radiofrequency,Varithena chemical, and VenaSeal adhesive), microphlebectomy, and venous ulcer wound care. Precision Vein Care has a staff able to provide unparalleled attention to each patient, in a comfortable, friendly, and professional environment. Precision Vein Care is located at 1000 Walnut Suite #116, Lansdale, PA. Call (267) 627-1500 to discuss an evaluation, visit us on Facebook, Instagram, or visit our website at www.precisionveindoc.com, and allow us to help you love your legs again.





See why Pine Run Retirement Community has been an integral part of the Bucks County senior living landscape for decades, and download a brochure to learn more. Ready to find out why Pine Run Retirement Community is right for you? Call one of our friendly team members at 800-9928992 to schedule your visit today.



renews the energy calisthetics depletes

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the Bode Body Works

helps the heart by calming tensions

YOGA . . . ine Run Retirement Community is a vibrant senior living and continuing care residential community nestled in the heart of Central Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, an hour north of Philadelphia, our beautiful 43-acre campus encompasses historic farmhouses, walking paths, a pond, and nearby Pine Run Creek. Choose from a variety of pet-friendly living options, including one- and two-bedroom apartments, and studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and even three-bedroom cottages. Should you ever need focused care, it is easy to transition to our on-site personal care, memory care or rehabilitation programs. Learn more about our residential options. At Pine Run Retirement Community, activities abound, from movie night in the auditorium, to bridge and billiards in the game room, pottery classes in the Craft Barn, and more. In 2019, a $13 million construction project concluded with the grand opening of the Pine Run Community Center, which offers residents dynamic dining options, fitness and aquatics amenities, and enriching educational opportunities. We know you have many choices when it comes to retirement living arrangements. We think Pine Run Retirement Community stands out from the others, though, with care shaped by our dedicated service philosophy and delivered within the Doylestown Health network, which has served the Bucks County community for nearly 100 years. Our experienced leadership team is focused on and passionate about seniors. Ensuring that Pine Run Retirement Community exceeds the expectations of its residents and their families is their overriding mission, every day.


stimulates the body’s metabolism

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Staying Fit at Any Age

THE BASEBLOCKS TRAINER by Vicky Paraxismos Waite


hile I was googling something I accidently came across the BaseBlocks Trainer. It popped up to my liking! It’s a full body calisthenics workout. It helps to build muscle strength and endurance. I purchased it and within days it arrived and set up was within seconds. No external fixtures required. The BaseBlocks Trainer is assembled with two clicks. That’s it! And my husband Bill loved it since it came while he was watching the Eagles NFL draft on television, so he didn’t miss a thing. What’s there not to like? I was amazed how well built and sturdy the BaseBlocks Trainer was. And, it has adjustable handstand canes. The BaseBlocks Trainer lets you train like a gymnast and build full-body strength with over 50 body weight exercises for your upper body, lower body, and core. It’s a 3-level training system which helps you progress from beginner to advanced exercises. And it’s important you go through the process and not jump to advanced, so your body gradually adjusts. Made sturdy with wood and chrome plated steel the unit is made to last. I anxiously get right into it. The BaseBlocks Trainer allows me to perform pushing, pulling, core and leg exercises using only my bodyweight. I am performing exercises like sit-ups and push-ups at the lowest height, and rows and dips at the tallest height. There are many workouts you can do on it. Great for those glutes! Let’s face it or in this case let’s butt 114 B U C K S C O U N T Y M A G . C O M

it: you don’t get the butt you want by sitting on it! The design uses multi-directional instability to make the exercise harder. You minimize the movements by firing your stabilizer muscles. Basically, I am, and you will perform workouts that combine strength and stability by scaling the intensity based on your current strength level and you can unlock the advance exercises as you get stronger. I love the instability factor which gets your nervous system going and improves your balance, strength, and control. The BaseBlocks Trainer is great for training functional strength too. Definitely great for promoting posture and core strength. There are just so many ways to use this. Great addition to any full body, bodyweight workout. The slight movement when using it only adds to the challenge of learning body control. This piece of equipment really does the trick in working and engaging a wide variety of muscle groups. You can very well become quite fit and strong by using the BaseBlocks Trainer, especially if you add weights or resistance bands. I mention this for the advanced only. The weights are not necessary. The easy-to-follow workouts use only your body weight to build strength and mobility. It’s patent pending design has adjustable weights allowing you to change the leverage and difficulty based on your fitness level. The BaseBlocks Trainer’s program categorizes exercises as Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3. Everyone starts as a beginner. You hit a target number of repetitions on specific exercises to level

up. This approach of unlocking exercises makes the BaseBlocks Trainer suitable for all fitness levels by making you perform exercises respective to your fitness level. I am a fan of calisthenics, so this is right up my alley. And it’s a great challenge for your endurance balance and a great addition to muscle building. The BaseBlocks Trainer adjusts to nine different heights allowing you to modify the leverage and scale the exercise intensity based on your strength level, and the online workouts provide you with how to progress from basic to advanced exercises as your strength improves. The demo videos online are so well done and made for all fitness levels. You can’t go wrong with this calisthenic workout that you can take along just about anywhere. It nicely folds down and stores away easily. Like I said, what’s there not to like? Just a little something to keep in mind: Excuses don’t kill the fat, exercises do. For more information visit www.baseblockstrainer.com. And as with any other exercise program always consult your physician before beginning. v

Business and Art: A Perfect Alliance The Michener Art Museum Corporate Business Partner program exemplifies a significant collaboration of hundreds of businesses and the art community through unique relationships that endorse the importance of intersecting business with culture. CREDIT: PAUL BOGER

Become a member of this dynamic group to enjoy special access to the Museum, unique events, and networking opportunities with like-minded business professionals, all while supporting one of the region’s most vibrant cultural centers.



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