Hospital Buzz

TOURO INFIRMARY
   
Touro Infirmary’s Crescent City Cardiovascular Associates and NOLA Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons are now offering the latest non-surgical treatment alternative for varicose veins. Touro is the only hospital in Orleans Parish offering the endovenous laser therapy, a cutting-edge, minimally invasive procedure that leaves minimal scarring and is performed under local anesthesia in the physician’s office in less than one hour.
   
“This procedure has proven clinically safe and effective for the treatment of varicose veins,” says Dr. Eugene Kukuy, Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon with NOLA CVT. Patients typically experience a short, relatively pain-free recovery – walking immediately after the procedure and returning to their normal daily activities right away.”
   
Varicose veins are enlarged, rope-like veins that can be found in the legs of both men and women. Over 40 million people in the U.S. alone suffer with them – about 25 percent of women and 15 percent of men. Varicose veins typically take years to develop and, although they’re often inherited, anyone can get them. People who have had certain types of leg injuries or deep-vein blood clots are more susceptible to developing varicose veins, as are people whose job requires standing or sitting for long periods of time. Other risk factors include gender, age, obesity, hormones and pregnancy.
  
Although varicose veins aren’t generally associated with more severe health problems, it’s important to consult your physician if you experience any of the following symptoms: pain in the legs with tiredness and heaviness in the lower legs, swelling of the ankle and lower leg, discolored skin near the ankle and/or a rash or skin ulceration on the ankle or lower leg. Severe irregular circulation can lead to problems such as blood clots. Early diagnosis and treatment are key when it comes to varicose veins.
   
To get more information about this minimally invasive endovenous laser therapy or to find out if you’re a good candidate for this alternative treatment, call Touro Infirmary at 897-8255 or visit www.touro.com.

EAST JEFFERSON GENERAL HOSPITAL
   
East Jefferson General Hospital recently announced its affiliation with M.D. Anderson Physicians Network®. Affiliate status means EJGH will have access to the evidence-based treatment protocols, credentialing guidelines and treatment processes, developed by The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the nation’s leader in cancer care.
   
With more than 100 detailed regimens for the diagnosis and treatment of almost every type and stage of cancer, affiliation with Physicians Network gives EJGH the tools necessary to provide a broad range of cancer services. Most patients will no longer have to travel to Houston for treatment, but will have access to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, when appropriate.
   
To EJGH credentialed physicians, affiliation means access to M.D. Anderson expertise via regularly scheduled video-conferencing with colleagues in Houston. This process means EJGH cancer patients benefit from having their cases reviewed by a multidisciplinary team that may include physicians at M.D. Anderson.
   
Affiliated host hospitals are JCAHO and ACOS accredited and have an organized cancer program including medical oncology, radiation oncology and surgical oncology. as well as appropriate diagnostic specialty capabilities. The process of adopting programmatic best practices and quality management includes in-depth due diligence of a host’s cancer capability and practices, credentialing of qualified oncology physicians to participate in M.D. Anderson Physicians Network and agreements by physicians and hospitals to both utilize the M.D. Anderson clinical guidelines for cancer care; they must also participate in a robust data-driven quality management process.
   
“M.D. Anderson Physicians Network is very pleased to join with East Jefferson Hospital in a program to offer comprehensive and integrated cancer care in the New Orleans area,” says David G. Tubergen, M.D. and medical director of M.D. Anderson Physicians Network. “East Jefferson General Hospital and its medical staff are committed to providing excellence in the care of cancer patients and we are excited by the opportunity to assist them in these efforts in a major metropolitan center.”
   
For more information about East Jefferson Hospital, call 454-4000 or visit www.eastjeffhospital.org.

SLIDELL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
   
M.D. Imaging (M.D.I), a facility of Slidell Memorial Hospital, has added a new tool in its arsenal of diagnostic capabilities through the introduction of PET/CT (Positron Emission Tomography combined with Computed Tomography) cancer imaging services. M.D.I is now offering the procedures performed on a mobile PET/CT GE Discovery ST8, located on the M.D.I. campus.
   
PET scanners take advantage of the fact that cancer cells burn glucose at unusually high rates. Patients are given an injection of radioactive glucose analogue and the particles given off by that glucose, called positrons, are then tracked by the scanner. By calculating precisely where the source of the positrons is located, PET can locate where in the body cancer cells are burning glucose at unusually high levels. It is especially useful in detecting certain kinds of common cancers such as those of the lung, breast, colon, ovary, head/neck and melanomas.
   
“A PET scan provides useful information not provided by other types of imaging,” says radiologist Dr. Kishore Kamath. “It provides unique information about the activity in the cancer cells and enables the detection of cancer before it is detected by other means.”
   
A CT scan is a computerized X-ray procedure that produces cross-sectional images of the body layer by layer. CT scan is used to define normal and abnormal structures in the body and/or assist in procedures by helping to accurately guide the placement of instruments or treatments.
   
“Coupled with a CT scanner, PET pinpoints the precise location of cancer that can be useful for biopsy and targeting therapy,” Dr. Kamath adds. “It also provides information about the response to given treatment, thereby allowing the cancer specialist to utilize the most optimal treatment for a given patient. “
   
JoAnn Forsyth, director of M.D. Imaging, says the diagnostic capability of the combined cancer imaging of PET and CT is another example of how M.D.I and Slidell Memorial continue to be leaders in the identification and treatment of cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. M.D.I recently earned a three-year term of accreditation from the American College of Radiology for its Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) services, which feature the most advanced technology available including the 1.5 Tesla Espree Open Bore Magnet and 1.5 Tesla Symphony Magnet MRI systems. M.D. Imaging’s CT and Direct Digital Mammography Unit also are accredited by the ACR.
   
“We’re excited to have this new advancement available to the community,” Dr. Forsyth says.
   
For more information about Slidell Memorial Hospital, call (985) 643-2200 or visit www.slidellmemorial.org.

OCHSNER MEDICAL CENTER
   
Ochsner Medical Center and Life Recovery Systems ThermoSuit are literally putting cardiac arrest patients “on ice” and significantly improving their neurological and cardiac recovery. Ochsner is the first and only facility in Southeast Louisiana to offer this technology with a multi-disciplinary approach to patient care.
   
“The ThermoSuit System is the most advanced technology to treat cardiac arrest patients today. It cools a patient in minutes, not hours like similar technologies currently available, when time is of the essence,” says Dr. Paul McMullan, Interventional Cardiologist at Ochsner Medical Center. “Since most cardiac arrest patients already have pre-existing coronary disease and require treatment in a catheterization lab, the ThermoSuit System allows us to cool patients before they receive angioplasty and have the time to protect both the patient’s brain and heart.”
   
A 50-year-old Ochsner cardiology patient was pronounced dead after suffering cardiac arrest. He was immediately resuscitated at the scene, suffered an additional heart attack, was brought to the Emergency Department and “cooled” with the ThermoSuit. He has also had dramatic improvement in his heart function, known as “ejection fraction,” or EF, which was at 5 percent after his cardiac arrest and attack, and is now at 35 percent. (Average “EF” is 55 to 60 percent).
   
Ochsner Medical Center is also participating in a clinical trial approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to “cool” heart attack patients investigating the benefit of rapid “cooling” or hypothermia treatment in combination with angioplasty. The study, co-chaired by Dr. Christopher White, Ochsner chairman of Cardiology, and Dr. McMullan, hopes to demonstrate the implementation of “cooling” to achieve a target body temperature within 30 minutes or less and the ease of maintaining this temperature for three hours after removing the ThermoSuit.
  
 Ochsner recently received the American Stroke Association’s Get With The GuidelinesSM Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award for its commitment to a higher standard of stroke care and its nationally-recognized door-to-balloon times. Ochsner’s rapid diagnosis and treatment program is a comprehensive system that provides ER patients with immediate test results by using brain imaging scans, clot-busting medication, and emergency catheter-based reperfusion by on-call, 24/7 Interventional cardiologists.
   
For more information on Ochsner Medical Center, call (800) 231-5257, or visit www.ochsner.org.

THIBODAUX REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
   
Thibodaux Regional Medical Center continues to provide leading edge technology and compassionate quality care in the fight against breast cancer.
   
For women who are at increased risk for breast cancer, Thibodaux Regional’s advanced MRI breast imaging can detect breast lesions that may have been undetectable by mammogram or ultrasound. The hospital’s new High Definition MRI provides faster, more comfortable and most importantly, more accurate MRI scans that can mean earlier detection and more effective diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. “Breast MRIs are important because we can now detect problems earlier than ever with such high-quality imaging techniques,” says Camile Richard, RT, Imaging Director.
  
Additionally, new methods to improve breast cancer care are constantly evaluated by a team of physicians and staff at Thibodaux Regional. The latest innovation is the Breast Health Navigation Program, which gives women an advocate throughout the detection of breast cancer. When a woman undergoes a diagnostic mammogram, she wants answers quickly and support if further testing is required.
   
“Thanks to our efficient and quality imaging services, when a woman has a diagnostic mammogram, she will know before she leaves the hospital if a biopsy is necessary,” says Gretchen Landry, director of the Cancer Center of Thibodaux Regional. “If a biopsy is required, a breast health navigator will step in.”
   
The Breast Health Navigator is a medical professional who assists patients in receiving prompt diagnosis and treatment while answering questions concerning breast cancer as well as insurance matters. The Navigator helps to ensure speedy follow-up appointments with surgeons.
   
For more information about Thibodaux Regional Medical Center, call (985) 447-5500 or visit www.thibodaux.com.

FAIRWAY MEDICAL CENTER
   
The future is now at Fairway Medical Center in Covington. Fairway recently added to its list of cutting edge technology with the most advanced multislice computed tomography (CT) system, the Aquilion™ 64 from Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. Featuring the most sophisticated multislice CT technologies available, the Aquilion 64 can capture precise images of any area of the body in as little as a 10 second breath-hold.
   
The fast scanning capabilities and unmatched image quality offer significant benefits for a quick and accurate diagnosis. For instance, chest exams, which take 20 to 30 minutes with a standard CT scanner, can now be performed in just 19 seconds with images that allow physicians to see internal injuries and disease in greater detail than ever before.
   
“Northshore residents now have access to state-of-the-art CT imaging technology at Fairway Medical,” says David Guzan, Fairway Medical CEO. “With the Aquilion 64, our physicians are seeing more anatomical information than previously thought possible, which means we can diagnose problems like blood clots, infections and cancer in greater detail and with more clarity. As a result, we now have the ability to make an accurate diagnosis at earlier stages, and patients can begin receiving treatment sooner for potentially better outcomes. Furthermore, for patients the Aquilion 64 may prove to be lifesaving technology by providing faster, more precise images of bones, organs and internal bleeding.”
   
While maintaining surgical excellence in a hotel-like atmosphere, Fairway Medical Center is seeing an increase in complex surgeries like hysterectomies, spine and joint, and bariatrics. In fact, the American Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS) designated Fairway Medical Center as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence, following a rigorous three-month review of its surgical team and facility. Fairway is one of only a few surgical centers in Louisiana to meet the levels of efficacy, efficiency and safety required for this nationally recognized designation. Because of its demanding standard and record of success, only ASBS Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence or American College of Surgeons Level One Centers of Excellence are facilities where Medicare provides coverage.
   
For more information about Fairway Medical Center, call (985) 809-9888, or visit www.fairwaymedical.com.

TULANE MEDICAL CENTER
   
Tulane Medical Center was awarded full accreditation as a Chest Pain Center by the Society of Chest Pain Centers and is the only accredited Cycle II Chest Pain Center in Louisiana. The goal of the Society of Chest Pain Centers is to significantly reduce the time needed to diagnose and treat a heart attack.
   
Tulane Medical Center’s emergency and cardiac staffs have been working diligently with local EMS to establish procedures that minimize the time required and expedite treatment.
   
Six hundred Americans die of heart disease every year and 5 million visit hospitals with chest pain. Quick diagnosis and treatment is imperative. Patients experiencing heart attacks should receive cardiac catheterization within 90 minutes of arrival at the hospital.
   
Tulane Chest Wall Center provides minimally invasive techniques to correct chest malformations.
   
Tulane Hospital for Children’s newly opened Chest Wall Center offers the most advanced medical techniques for correction of pectus excavatum (concave chest) and pectus carinatum (convex chest) defects, affecting one in 1,000 children. The center includes non-surgical treatment, minimally invasive surgery and post-surgical care. Somewhat visible at birth, chest wall defects become more pronounced during childhood and worsen during the adolescence growth period. For pectus excavatum, a minimally invasive surgery reshapes the chest by inserting a metal bar under the breastbone. Custom-fitted orthotic bracing is used to correct pectus carinatum.
   
Meanwhile, Tulane Medical Center is the only hospital in Louisiana with the state-of-the-art O-ARM Imaging System, a mobile CT scanner that produces 3-D surgical images right in the operating room. Because the O-ARM produces high-resolution, multi-dimensional images, it is particularly useful in complex spine and orthopedic operations where it improves accuracy and reduces time in the operating room.     
   
For more information about Tulane Medical Center, call 988-5800, or visit www.tuhc.com.

WEST JEFFERSON MEDICAL CENTER
   
West Jefferson Medical Center takes pride in meeting the healthcare needs of patients and families, as well as the
business community. Recently the 185th patient was treated using CyberKnife®, a revolutionary tool that was first made available in Louisiana at West Jefferson Medical Center. CyberKnife® targets tumors in otherwise hard to reach or previously inoperable body locations, using stereotactic radiosurgery. This involves a combination of robotics and computer-aided technology to deliver a high-powered dose of radiation to a specific area, while minimizing effect on surrounding tissue.
   
Additional clinical technology investment in the area of cardiovascular medicine and cancer care involves the acquisition of a Philips Gemini TF 64 PET/CT scanner. West Jefferson was the first hospital in Louisiana to offer the Phillips 64 slice PET/CT with open gantry PET Time of Flight technology which reduces PET scan times to eight to 20 minutes, instead of 40-60 minutes with traditional PET imaging methods. The CT scan provides anatomical detail, and the PET scan provides metabolic detail for the diagnosis, staging and restaging of cancer treatments while the open design of the unit minimizes patient anxiety thereby increasing comfort. The CT portion of the scan can be linked to CyberKnife®. West Jefferson’s Cancer Program is the Louisiana recipient of the 2007 Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons Outstanding Achievement Award.
   
The Epilepsy Monitoring Unit located at West Jeff in affiliation with the LSU Epilepsy Center, focuses on identifying specific types of seizures and identifying the source location in the brain.
   
West Jefferson Medical Center’s focus on the business community prompted the development of the Business Advantage program which implemented innovative, cost-effective options to assist area companies take care of their employees. Expedited registration, designated parking and a customized health identification system are just a few of the new occupational health features. In addition, a certified faculty stands ready to teach a roster of health and safety training programs including American Heart Association’s CPR Anytime.
   
For information about West Jefferson MedicalCenter, call 349-1308 or visit www.wjmc.org.

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