February 2017

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68 going on 17

February 29, 2012

Ruth Ballweg will turn 68 this year, but because of her leap day birthday, she is really turning 17! Ruth provides some insight into her life growing up as a leap year baby.

Dr. Dorcas McLennan, director of the Swedish Ballard OB/GYN unit in Seattle, WA., also provides expectant or planning parents with some basic tips for their pregnancy, especially around the leap year holiday.

PCA3 - New help in diagnosing prostate cancer

February 29, 2012

This month the FDA approved the use of the PCA3 assay to aid in the diagnosis of prostate cancer. This is good news for patients with an elevated PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test who are concerned about their risk of having prostate cancer. The PCA3 test is used on urine samples from men after a prostate exam has been performed. It measures the number of copies of a prostate cancer related gene, and compares it to the number of copies of the gene for PSA. Studies have shown that the use of this assay can help sort out who is at higher risk for prostate cancer. This can help patients and urologists decide who would likely benefit from a prostate biopsy.

The FDA specifically approved the PCA3 assay for men who ...

Swedish introduces new specialty dental clinic

February 27, 2012

(Ed. note: A version of this will appear in the Spring/Summer issue of Impact.)

Access to specialty dental care for the uninsured and underinsured in our community took a significant step forward with the recent opening of the Swedish Community Specialty Clinic dental program, the first of its kind in the Puget Sound area.

Oral health services have become less available to low-income individuals since the state funding of adult Medicaid dental programs was cut in January, 2011. The funding cuts have also affected dental-care access for developmentally disabled and elderly populations. These reductions have led to an increase in hospital visits, as severe dental pain is among the top five reasons underserved patients utilize the emergency room.

In response to this critical need, Swedish began brainstorming new ways to address t...

Announcing New Swedish Cerebrovascular Support Group

February 27, 2012

It is with great pleasure that I announce the beginning of the Swedish Cerebrovascular Support Group. Over the last several months, the care team here at Swedish has had many patients reach out and ask if a service like this was available. I am so glad that the answer is now yes!

Receiving a diagnosis like a cerebral aneurysm is for many a scary and stressful situation. Support groups are a fantastic way for people to alleviate fear and anxiety through discussion and education. These meetings will be a place to connect patients, family members, and caregivers together to share their experiences and advise with one another. The group is open to patients and family members of patients that have been diagnosed with or treated for a cerebral aneurysm or arteriovenous malformation (AVM).

Energizing Quinoa Breakfast

February 23, 2012
A healthy start to your day, full of fiber to keep you powered for hours without weighing you down!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ cup berries (blueberry, raspberry, blackberry or strawberry)
  • 1 tablespoon hempseeds

Directions:

 

Patient Appreciation Day Today at Swedish/Issaquah

February 23, 2012

Today's the day! Or at least one of the many days that fun things are happening at Swedish.

Today is one of our Patient Appreciation days from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Swedish/Issaquah.

If you live or work on the Eastside, we hope you'll have a chance to stop by. Our friends at Coho Cafe will be providing free samples of a heart-healthy dish and two Swedish dieticians will be on-hand to provide heart-healthy eating advice. (But even if you can't come in person, you'll find over 100 tasty heart healthy recipes that are dietitian approved here. If you try one out, come back & share in the comments if you liked it!)

We’re also offering 200 free blood pressure screenings on a first-come-first-serve basis. Free stress-relieving massages will also be given throughout the event.

Speaking of stress, if you're stressed that you can't stop by, you can s...

Traditional and New Technology in Treating Vascular Disease

February 22, 2012

On a daily basis, we see patients who are seeking treatment for hardening of the arteries, typically in the legs or neck (PAD-peripheral arterial disease); weakening of the main artery in the abdomen (AAA-abdominal aortic aneurysm); and varicose veins. In each case, there are traditional ways of being treated (what we call “Open” Vascular Surgery) as well as innovative alternatives (what we call “Endovascular” Surgery).

How do we arrive at our recommenda...

Diagnosing Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

February 20, 2012

(Ed. note - As it is heart month, we asked Dr. Rocco Ciocca, Chief of Vascular Surgery, to explain a little more about heart attacks and peripheral artery disease.)

In the last blog we defined a condition known as PAD, which is a constellation of problems related to narrowing of the arteries outside the heart.

PAD, If left untreated, can lead to having a stroke, worsening high blood pressure, difficulty walking, non-healing sores on the legs and feet and in extreme cases gangrene necessitating amputation of the involved body part.

I briefly mentioned how it can be diagnosed and would like to describe that in more detail here.

The great news is that doctors do not need order a bunch of painful or expensive tests to diagnosis PAD. The best and most cost-effective test is a thorough history and physical exam. During that, ...

Sweet Dreams?

February 17, 2012

Sleep is just as important to child development as a healthy diet and exercise, although it is one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of a child’s life.

As adults, most of us can mutter through on little sleep for a day or so before we get unbearably grumpy, but with kids, their bodies are growing and connecting neurons in the brain all the time. Sleep is absolutely critical for healthy development.

While they sleep their brains are processing and sorting everything they learned that day, and that’s not just the stuff they learned at school; their bodies are honing their fine motor skills and processing the social interactions of the day.

To make sure your child is getting the proper amount of quality sleep, here are some tips:

Sugar - Healthier Alternatives that Still Satisfy A Sweet Tooth

February 15, 2012

 We laugh at the scene in Elf when Buddy douses his spaghetti with maple syrup, but this probably isn’t too much of an exaggeration of how much sugar Americans are consuming (the USDA estimates roughly 32 teaspoons of sugar daily, nearly 100 pounds annually). Like Buddy demonstrates, this is way too much. Rather than remind you (and myself) of the horrendous health effects that excess consumption of processed sugar can have, let’s instead dissect the refined sweet stuff stashed in your cupboard, and then examine the alternatives that have a bit more to offer our taste buds and overall health.

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