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Healthcare information on your phone or computer
Robotic surgery: is it right for you? Although the term “robotic surgery” can conjure up images of space-age operating rooms, the robotic surgery of today is anything but scary. The minimally-invasive procedures allow patients to recover quicker, with less pain, bleeding and complications.
iTriage: instant access to reliable health information
St. Luke’s has partnered with iTriage, a smartphone application that allows consumers to search symptoms, find the nearest medical facilities, access ER wait times and more, right from their smartphone.
7 quick health checks
attack, stroke or other medical emergency they should go to the nearest emergency room immediately and iTriage can give you turn-by-turn directions to the closest ER,” said Dr. Pruitt.
“We’re excited to bring iTriage to Cedar Rapids to increase the accessibility of accurate medical information for residents throughout the region,” said Dr. Joshua Pruitt, St. Luke’s Emergency Department. “At St. Luke’s, we firmly believe in educating patients about the care they receive so they become active participants in their treatment. By giving patients on-the-go access to health information, they are better prepared to seek care when time is of the essence and locate a provider qualified to treat their needs.” iTriage harnesses the power of mobility and the Internet to improve access to healthcare information. By bringing the tool to Cedar Rapids, St. Luke’s offers immediate access to details about St. Luke’s Physicians & Clinics, contact information, wait times, hours of operation, directional maps and more. “iTriage is a great tool but it is certainly not meant as a substitute for emergency care – if individuals think they are having a heart
Did you know your body has built-in “alarms” to let you know when things aren’t quite right? Should you be concerned about bleeding gums, stiff muscles or a stuffy nose? Attend this event to hear about seven quick health checks you should know about. Tuesday, August 23 • 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. St. Luke’s Hospital, 3rd Floor Nassif Heart Center Classrooms
In an instant
How to get iTriage: iPhone®, iPod touch®, iPadTM: download at iTunes® AndroidTM: download at the Android Market BlackBerry®, Palm and others: use your phone’s browser to visit iTriageHealth.com At home: visit stlukescr.org/itriage-app on your desktop or laptop
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Lee Woodruff’s life was changed forever when her husband, ABC News Anchor Bob Woodruff, sustained a brain injury while covering the war in Iraq. Join Lee for the candid and inspiring story of her family’s heartache, perseverance, healing and triumph. Tuesday, September 6 • 7 p.m. Cedar Rapids Marriott, 1200 Collins Road NE To register for any of these free events, go to stlukescr.org or call 319/369-8068.
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What is robotic surgery?
The da Vinci® robotic surgical system is a technological breakthrough that offers a minimally invasive option for procedures that were once considered major surgery. A magnified, high-resolution 3D image of the surgical site allows the surgeon to make the smallest of incisions - about the diameter of a pencil. A computer translates the surgeon’s hand movements into precise micro-movements. This creates less injury to the surgical site, resulting in less scarring and bleeding and a faster recovery. It’s important to know a robot is not at the controls. The surgeon controls every aspect of the surgery.
St. Luke’s: Iowa’s robotic surgery leader
As the first hospital in the area to offer robotic surgery, St. Luke’s has set the bar as a leader. No other hospital in the state performs more robotic surgeries than St. Luke’s. In fact, surgeons from across the country come to St. Luke’s to train with our experienced robotic surgery team.
What are the benefits of robotic surgery?
• Significantly less pain following surgery • Less risk of infection • Less use of anesthesia • Less scarring • Less blood loss • Shorter hospital stay • Faster recovery • Quicker return to normal daily activities
Learn more! Is robotic surgery for you? Join us for our free Live Well event
“Is robotic surgery in your future?” Tuesday, August 9 • 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. St. Luke’s Hospital 3rd Floor Nassif Heart Center Classrooms To register visit stlukescr.org or call 319/369-8086.
Urinary incontinence: no laughing matter If laughing, exercising, coughing, sneezing or other sudden movements cause you to leak urine, you may have a form of urinary incontinence called stress incontinence. It’s common in women and is usually caused by the physical changes of pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and surgery. These events can injure the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments that support your bladder, gradually pushing it downward. The weakened muscles can no longer force the urethra shut, which allows urine to leak during physical movement or activity that puts pressure on your bladder and lower stomach muscles.
It’s estimated 13 million Americans suffer from stress incontinence. The good news is it is treatable and isn’t something you have to live with. Four areas of treatment include: behavioral changes such as urinating more frequently, avoiding alcohol and caffeine and losing weight if you are overweight; pelvic floor muscle training such as Kegel exercises, electrical stimulation and biofeedback; medication, which may be used alone or in combination; and surgery. Most healthcare providers suggest their patients try non-surgical treatements before opting for surgery.
St. Luke’s Midlife Care for Women provides incontinence consultation with urologists from Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa, P.C., urodynamic testing and physical therapy - all in the privacy of a women’sonly clinic. In addition to providing services for urinary incontinence, St. Luke’s Midlife Care for Women also offers assistance with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and adrenal fatigue. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 319/368-5950. A doctor’s referral is not necessary.
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Living Longer. Living Well.
Oh my aching knees! As we get older, bone density and muscle strength decrease. While it’s a gradual process, for hard-working joints like our knees, the combination can lead to debilitating conditions such as osteoarthritis. Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are several treatment options to manage pain and help you stay active.
additional swelling. In severe cases, the cartilage wears away completely, causing the bones to rub against each other and wear away.
“Joint replacement has advanced dramatically in recent years,” says Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa, P.C. Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Sandeep Munjal. “A combination of patient education, surgical techniques and Two ways doctors diagnose osteoarthritis personally-tailored pain regimens get paof the knee are symptoms reported by the tients home sooner. The shorter length of patient and X-ray screenings. stay means patients have fewer complications, less infections and better outcomes,” According to the American Academy of For the middle-aged, the earlier it is disaid Dr. Munjal. In addition to total knee Orthopaedic Surgeons, osteoarthritis of the agnosed by a doctor, the more likely con- replacement, a partial knee replacement is knee is one of the five leading causes of servative treatments may help. Moderate also an option for some patients. disability among elderly men and women. physical activity can lessen joint pain and improve flexibility, so low-impact St. Luke’s has not only kept pace with new It begins when the smooth cartilage that activities such as stretching, swimming, advances in joint replacements, it is the acts as a cushion between the bones in water aerobics, cycling, walking and golf area’s leader. More than 700 joint replacethe knee begins to thin and deteriorate. are often recommended. In addition to ment surgeries are performed every year at The surrounding bones react by becomlow-impact activities, anti-inflammatory St. Luke’s. ing thicker. They start to grow outward medications and injections can also temTo watch a total knee replacement surand form spurs. The tissue that helps porarily relieve pain and swelling. gery video, visit stlukescr.org. For more nourish the cartilage also becomes information, call St. Luke’s Orthopedics inflamed and may produce fluid (known If conservative treatments are not successat 319/369-7333. as “water on the knee”) that causes ful, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Ask the expert: Should I be screened for osteoporosis? Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become weak and can break more easily. It literally means “porous bone.” According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), about 10 million Americans have the disease and approximately 34 million more are at risk. Unfortunately, osteoporosis is a silent disease. “You can’t feel your bones becoming weak so osteoporosis can progress without pain or symptoms,” says Dr. Ann Metzger, St. Luke’s Marion Family Medicine. “Breaking a bone is often the first sign you have osteoporosis.” Breaking a bone is serious, but even more so when you are older. Fractures associated with osteoporosis typically occur in the spine, hip and wrist, which cause prolonged pain, take longer to heal and limit mobility. According to Dr. Metzger, osteoporosis is not curable but it is treatable. “With proper diet and exercise, you may be able to slow or prevent the onset of osteoporosis,” said Dr. Metzger. “A medical evaluation, including a bone density test, is the first step in determining if you have osteoporosis and what steps you can take to manage it.” A dual energy X-ray
absorptiometry (DEXA) machine is used to test bone density. It can determine how quickly you are losing bone mass, as well as your risk of a future fracture. NOF recommends you have a bone density test if: • You are a woman age 65 or older • You are a man age 70 or older • You break a bone after age 50 • You have risk factors such as a family history of osteoporosis; regularly take certain medications such as steroids; have certain autoimmune, endrocrine, digestive, hematologic or neurological disorders • Height loss of ½ inch or more within one year • Total height loss of 1½ inches from your original height
choose weight-bearing exercises such as brisk walking, dancing, tennis and weight lifting. Choosing foods with calcium and vitamin D is also important no matter what your age. “You’re never too young or too old to improve the health of your bones,” says Dr. Metzger. For more information about bone density testing, call St. Luke’s Breast and Bone Health at 319/369-7216.
For your information:
While cancer strikes people of all ages, the chance of getting the disease increases as we age. The good news is the number of cancer cases is decreasing. And thanks to earlier diagnoses and technological advances in treatment, the number of deaths from cancer is also decreasing. Today, the chances of surviving cancer is better than it has ever been.
Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) is relatively new and consumers and advocates are gradually becoming familiar with the rules that apply to this benefit. “One of the areas of confusion with Part D is when individuals can enroll in and disenroll from the plans,” says Kris Gross from the State of Iowa’s Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP).
Unfortunately, most cancers are not suspected until symptoms become obvious. But if cancer is diagnosed early treatments are more likely to be successful. Early treatment can shrink or destroy a tumor completely and keep it from growing and spreading. Regular checkups and knowing the signs of cancer are the most important things you can do. Symptoms to be aware of include: • A thickening or lump in the breast or any other part of the body • A new mole or a change in an existing mole • A sore that does not heal • Hoarseness or a cough that does not go away • Changes in bowel or bladder habits • Discomfort after eating • Difficulty swallowing • Weight gain or loss with no known reason • Unusual bleeding or discharge • Feeling weak or very tired Keep in mind most often these symptoms are not cancer-related. However, seeing your doctor if one arises is the most important step you can take to detect cancer. While your chances of getting cancer does increase with age, there are things you can do to help prevent it. It’s been
“Having low bone density does not necessarily mean you will get osteoporosis, however you may have a greater chance of developing it in the future,” said Dr. Metzger. Prevention is key when it comes to osteoporosis: focus on building and keeping as much bone as you can. This includes regular exercise. Bones are strengthened by having muscles pull on them, so
Cancer: signs & symptoms as we age estimated about two-thirds of all cancers may be linked to things we can control, such as exercising and eating a healthy diet. Lower your risk for cancer by: Not using tobacco products. Smoking tobacco, using smokeless tobacco, and second-hand smoke cause one-third of all cancer deaths in the United States each year. Wearing sunblock. Too much ultraviolet radiation from the sun and other sources such as tanning booths damages your skin and can cause skin cancer. Eating a healthy diet. Have at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Also cut down on fatty foods and eat plenty of fiber. Keeping your weight down. People who are very overweight are more likely to get cancers of the prostate, pancreas, uterus, colon and ovary. Older women who are overweight are more likely to develop breast cancer. Staying active. Studies show exercise can help lower your chance of getting breast and colon cancer and perhaps other cancers too. Drinking alcohol only in moderation. Drinking large amounts raises the risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus and larynx. For more information about a Cancer Risk Assessment, visit stlukescr.org or call St. Luke’s at 319/369-7816. Source: National Institute on Aging
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Free Activation Call today! 319/369-7065 Dr. Ann Metzger, St. Luke’s Marion Family Medicine
Medicare Part D
The Initial Enrollment Period is your first opportunity to get a Part D plan. This period occurs when someone first becomes eligible for Medicare, including those under age 65. You can join a Part D plan the month your Part A or Part B is effective, the three months before and the three months after. The earliest your coverage can start is the first day of the month your Medicare Part A or B begins. Most individuals choose a Part D plan and must keep that plan for the entire calendar year. Medicare gives everyone an annual enrollment period when they can choose a new plan for the next calendar year. You can join, switch or drop Part D plans during the annual enrollment period. Starting in 2011 the annual enrollment period will be October 15 to December 7. This is a change from the past when this period ran from November 15 to December 31. The plan you choose during this time will be effective January 1, 2012. If you have questions about your right to join, switch or drop a Part D plan, contact the St. Luke’s SHIIP Office at 319/369-7475.
Only one medical alert pendant can call for help even when you can’t. Peace of mind with St. Luke’s Lifeline • Continued independent living • Provides fast access to help 24 hours a day • Costs about the same per day as a cup of coffee • Reassures you and your family