2014

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Seattle rain? You can still play inside!

December 19, 2014
In the last few years, I’ve taken note of various national campaigns encouraging improved health and wellness in children. Some aim to inspire at least an hour of play daily. Others focus on movement in conjunction with eating nutritious food to help fight childhood obesity. All of these campaigns share a common important message: regular physical activity improves a child’s overall health.

With the winter months upon us, my patients and families are concerned how to maintain activity levels when it’s cold, rainy, and gets dark outside too early. Even in the warmest months, there may be reasons a child might be inside more than out – including safety concerns. Fortunately, there are many fun ways children CAN stay active indoors when playgrounds are cold, ball fields are icy, yards are soggy, or the sun goes down too early.

Here are some ways kids can play inside while also working on strength, balance, flexibility, or coordination:

When is Eyelid Surgery Medically Necessary?

December 19, 2014
Eyelid surgery (frequently referred to as blepharoplasty) is a very common procedure performed for drooping upper eyelids. While the surgery is often performed in order to restore a more youthful appearance, there are many situations in which eyelid surgery is medically necessary to improve vision or function.

December Pet of the Month

December 18, 2014

Pup: Katie
Age: 14
Owner: Carlo
Breed: Australian Cattle Dog
Favorite toy: Hedgehog Baby
Unique fact: Katie has three legs

What makes your pet special?

I am her focus.  She is my shadow.  We have been together for over 10 years.  We went across country on an antique wheelchair trying to raise money and awareness for MS.  We started the nonprofit, "The Spirit of Hope Foundation."  The U.S. government asked Katie and I to attend one of their events in Washington D.C.  It was a  ...

Frequently asked questions about pelvic health

December 18, 2014

I recently participated in a live chat with Swedish to answer questions that women had on urine leakage, bladder control treatments, pelvic floor disorders, and other pelvic health topics.

Click here to read through the archive of the chat. I also wanted to answer a few other questions I get asked, but didn't come up in the chat:

A year of personal medicine as a physician

December 17, 2014
I’m fortunate enough to have lived most of my life with hardly a worry in the world when it came to personal health issues. However, this year changed my outlook. Firmly into the fourth decade of my life, it became necessary to schedule some basic preventative health care screens for the first time. This then led me down to what seemed like a never-ending path of scheduling and completing test after test, followed by even more appointments. As the year progressed, I also became involved in a serious health care issue affecting a very close family member which led to learning how to navigate the maze of international health care!

As 2014 finally rolls to an end, I reflect on some valuable lessons learned, having experienced medicine from the perspective of a consumer rather than a provider.

Having a healthy road to pregnancy

December 17, 2014

If you’ve been thinking about getting pregnant, here are some steps to take before your pregnancy to ensure a healthy and successful journey to becoming a mom.

  1. Start taking prenatal vitamins at least a month before conceiving. The folic acid in these vitamins (usually between 400 and 800 micrograms) will help decrease risk of a neural tube defect, like spina bifida. The spinal cord forms and closes by four weeks gestation, before many women even know that they are pregnant, so it’s important to get on this early.

  2. Starting pregnancy at a healthy weight decreases your risk of complications of pregnancy like high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. Good control of chronic medical problems will also help a future pregnancy go much more smoothly.

  3. Consider  ...

Swedish Edmonds names interim chief executive officer

December 15, 2014

Swedish Ballard chief executive officer Jennifer Graves to join Swedish Edmonds on Jan. 1, 2015, with the retirement of David Jaffe

SEATTLE – Dec. 15, 2014 – Swedish Health Services announced today it has appointed Jennifer Graves, chief executive officer (CEO) of Swedish Ballard, as the interim CEO of Swedish Edmonds. Graves will begin work in her new role on Jan. 1, 2015, with the retirement of current CEO David Jaffe.

Importance of swallow exercises during throat cancer treatment

December 15, 2014
In the past decade, there has been a significant increase of “throat” cancers (tonsil and base of tongue squamous cell carcinoma) in younger patients, especially in non-smoking, Caucasian males. This type of cancer is caused by the high-risk HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) and tends to have a better cancer survival than conventional tobacco-related throat cancers. This improved survival is aided by precision targeted radiation and transoral robotic surgery (DaVinci Robotic System). However, some of the side effects of these treatments can cause ...

"Boy" Bullied - Do You Really Believe We are All Created Equal?

December 14, 2014
I was surprised to find out that one of my female patients was actually a male. Not exactly. She had Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS). She was severely bullied, which is a common theme amongst my patients. Here is story.

Circumcision: Yes or No?

December 13, 2014

On December 2, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a draft of its proposed recommendation that doctors should counsel all males (including parents of all male children) on the benefits and risks of circumcision.  This comes after a policy statement was published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in 2012, stating that the benefits of infant circumcision outweigh the risks. 

The federal regulation has sparked a national debate, which I thought would be a good time to remind families about the pros and cons of the procedure.