Women's Health

    From mammograms and advanced screenings, to sports injuries and maintaining healthy, active bodies, women face their own unique health care challenges. Finding just the right doctors, programs and services can be tricky, but New Orleanians are lucky to live in a region that is so invested in health care. From top-ranked medical centers to advanced academic research facilities, to good old-fashioned bedside manner and individual care, women have a terrific range of options for health care that’s specialized and programs that are tailored to their specific needs.

Health Care Programs and Centers
    This year, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana celebrates 75 years of health care leadership and commitment to better health. While their commitment to health and well-being extends to all Louisianians, they realize that women are often the main health care decision-makers in their families. They encourage women to check out some of the many programs and services they offer that can improve their own health and that of their loved ones.
    One of these programs is the Louisiana 2 Step – a free wellness education and motivation program that was developed to fight the obesity epidemic by inspiring Louisianians to eat right and move more. The fun, interactive Web site at www.Louisiana2Step.com offers tips and tools to help women make small positive changes in those two key areas of their daily routines. The kid-friendly companion site at www.2Step4Kids.com makes it fun for children to “Do the 2” and offers resources for parents as well. These are just two of more than 40 wellness-related programs, services and online tools that Blue Cross offers their members.
    Obesity, one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing epidemics, has a significant effect on women’s health. More than half of adult U.S. women are overweight. More than one-third are obese, placing them at a much higher risk for developing serious diseases and health conditions such as breast cancer, endometrial cancer, cardiovascular disease, gallbladder disease, infertility, obstetric and gynecological complications and urinary stress incontinence.
    For more information about Blue Cross, visit www.bcbsla.com.
    The No. 1 killer of American women is heart disease, and two-thirds of women who have a heart attack fail to make a full recovery (American Heart Association). This is why prevention is important. Ask your doctor today if you should visit a cardiologist.
    Cardiovascular Institute of the South is one of the most respected groups of cardiologists, representing nearly every specialty in heart and circulatory medicine. With more than 30 physicians and nearly 500 dedicated team members, CIS serves communities throughout the state, as well as national and international patients, at its 10 centers. CIS consistently positions itself at the forefront of technology by providing the most up-to-date technology coupled with compassionate care. This mission has guided CIS for more than 25 years of service to south Louisiana.
    CIS offers a comprehensive heart and vascular program that includes specialized medical professionals trained in nuclear cardiology, electrophysiology, prevention services, lipid management and interventional cardiovascular procedures. CIS has not only earned an international reputation for providing state-of-the-art heart and vascular care, but has also received international acclaim as a leader of research and development in the field by participating in a growing number of research trials. CIS physicians serve as clinical investigators for many new and innovative medical devices, and often share their knowledge by lecturing around the country about the latest methods of treating both cardiac and peripheral arterial disease.
    For more information about CIS, visit www.cardio.com or call (800) 445-9676.
    Frank J. DellaCroce M.D., FACS and Scott K. Sullivan M.D., FACS, founders and principal surgeons of the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery in New Orleans, are proud to announce the opening of
St. Charles Surgical Hospital. St. Charles Surgical Hospital is the first and only hospital in the world dedicated to breast reconstruction for women facing breast cancer, specializing in the most advanced methods and procedures.
    The 17-bed hospital offers the full spectrum of breast reconstruction, including a groundbreaking nipple sparing procedure, Bilateral Simultaneous Gap Reconstruction, and the “Stacked Flap” Reconstruction, which were pioneered by Drs. DellaCroce and Sullivan. Drs. DellaCroce and Sullivan are two of the most experienced reconstructive plastic surgeons in the world, and have performed more than 3,000 breast reconstruction procedures. Women from every corner of the U.S. and abroad come to New Orleans seeking their expertise.
    The beautifully developed facilities are designed with patients’ complete care and comfort in mind. Not only equipped with the most advanced technology, the Center provides sunlit atriums and spacious rooms as well, with amenities such as spa services and Murphy beds so that family and caregivers can remain close by. The Center is located at 1717 St. Charles Ave., and more information can be found at www.breastcenter.com or by calling (888) 899-2288.
    Conveniently located along the I-12 corridor in Lacombe, the North Institute offers a multidisciplinary approach to diseases and injuries of the muscles, bones, joints and spine, as well as conditions of the brain. The state-of-the-art facility offers patients a full range of treatment options, including physical therapy, all under one roof.
    The board-certified neuro and orthopedic surgeons and physiatrists work together as a team to provide the latest in surgical and nonsurgical options to their patients. The most advanced and minimally invasive surgical techniques are utilized at the North Institute so that patients are able to get back to a satisfactory lifestyle as quickly as possible. The goal is always patient satisfaction and return to normalcy with the least amount of risk.
    At North Institute, They Give Back Life.
    For further information including appointments, please call (985) 871-4114, or visit the Web site at www.northinstitute.com.
    Omega Hospital in Metairie is a remarkable health care facility, comprised of more than 50 physicians, representing 19 medical and surgical specialties. The associates are all Board Certified, in one or more fields, and work as a team to ensure patients a complete, accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for each individual problem.
    Within Omega, and under the direction of Dr. Robert J. Allen, the NOLA Group for the Advancement of Breast Reconstruction has created a single location where patients can access the medical skills of some of the nation’s leading breast reconstructive surgeons. Nine nationally recognized breast reconstructive surgeons have teamed together with a top-flight cancer surgeon to provide a sanctuary for women who desire breast reconstruction following a mastectomy.
    Highly qualified professionals with decades of experience are a devoted resource for men and women seeking the most advanced methods and leading-edge surgical techniques, with a commitment to each patient’s comfort during recovery. Hospital facilities include guest suites, outpatient recovery suites, outpatient surgery suites, operating room suites, Omega specialty laboratories and operating room facilities.
    For further information visit www.omegahospital.com or call (800) 535-4177.
    In addition, Omega Hospital and the NOLA Group for the Advancement of Breast Reconstruction are pleased to announce that they are the first in the U.S. to offer microsurgical lymph node transfer for women with a history of upper and lower extremity lymphedema. Dr. Maria M. LoTempio, who performs the advanced procedure, trained under Corinne Becker, the doctor who pioneered the lymph node microsurgical transfer, in Paris. This procedure entails creating a free flap from the groin consisting of fat and lymph nodes, along with its blood supply, and transferring it to the axilla. Once in the axilla, a pocket is created and the lymph node free flap is connected to the blood supply.
    Dr. LoTempio is a graduate of Georgetown University and of State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine. She trained in Head and Neck Surgery at UCLA, and completed residency at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is a member of the NOLA Group for the Advancement of Breast Reconstruction at Omega Hospital in Metairie, and of the Center for Microsurgical Breast Reconstruction in New York.
    For more information or to contact Dr. LoTempio, visit www.omegahospital.com/breast_center.asp or call (800) 535-4177
    The doctors at Southern Brain and Spine focus on degenerative diseases of the entire spine and brain surgery. They specialize in brain microsurgery and cutting-edge, minimally invasive spinal procedures, says Dr. Najeeb Thomas. Dr. Thomas works with three other neurosurgeons, Dr. Richard Corales, Dr. Rand Voorhies and Dr. Lucien Miranne; and with Dr. Justin Lundgren, who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation in non-operative treatments of the spine. The doctors treat all spine and brain-related problems, and are dedicated to providing personalized state-of-the-art care to the greater New Orleans area.
     The doctors are actively involved in research relating to treatment of spinal disorders as well. At Southern Brain and Spine, minimally invasive decompressions and percutaneous fusions are performed after nonsurgical options have been explored. Multiple nonsurgical treatment options are available to patients.
     In addition, the Physicians of Southern Brain & Spine now offer their patients Novalis TX, the new standard in radiosurgery. The procedure is noninvasive, with advanced technologies that deliver highly precise, fast treatment to brain and spine cancerous and noncancerous conditions. Treatment is performed on an outpatient basis and lasts just minutes, so you can get back to life.
    The office is located at 4228 Houma Blvd., Suite 510, Metairie. For more information, visit www.sbsdoc.net. For appointments call (504) 454-0141.
    Thibodaux Regional Medical Center is a 185-bed, non-profit acute care hospital that offers highly specialized services. These services include a leading edge, accredited Cancer Center, which provides specialized breast cancer care; state-of-the-art diagnostic technology such as Digital Mammography; Advanced MRI Breast Imaging; and PET/CT, which allow for the most accurate exams and diagnoses. The advanced Trilogy System performs precise and effective targeted radiation treatment, producing better outcomes. In addition, chemotherapy and surgical services are provided, as well as a Breast Health Navigation Program, which provides women a professional advocate who assists throughout the detection and treatment of breast cancer.
    Thibodaux Regional consistently ranks in the top 1 percent in the nation for patient satisfaction, and has been nationally recognized for its high quality care and patient satisfaction. In addition, Thibodaux Regional has been recognized as a Distinguished Hospital by J.D. Power and Associates for providing “An Outstanding Patient Experience,” and is a two-time recipient of the prestigious Summit Award for sustaining highest level of patient satisfaction for three or more consecutive years.
    For more information, visit www.thibodaux.com or call (800) 822-8442.
    Touro’s Women’s Imaging Center was designed to meet a higher standard of care – yours. They understand a woman’s many unique imaging needs at every stage of life and offer the latest in diagnostic services in a comfortable, spa-like setting. Special features, such as the unique compression system of Touro’s Full-Field Digital Mammogram, make for a faster, more accurate and more comfortable experience than a conventional film mammogram. Touro’s High Detective Quantum Efficiency allows them to see deep inside the breast so they can spot even the smallest abnormality, even before a patient notices any symptoms.
    While the Women’s Imaging Center offers the latest technology for breast cancer detection, Touro also offers a multi-disciplinary team of professionals and physicians to help women battling breast cancer. Touro’s Cancer Center is committed to providing patients with quality cancer care – from diagnosis and treatment, to recovery and support. For breast cancer patients who undergo mastectomies, Touro now has a Breast Reconstructive Surgeon, Dr. Ali Sadeghi, who specializes in the latest microsurgical techniques for breast reconstruction, helping post-mastectomy patients restore their bodies and sense of wholeness. Touro’s Supportive Cancer Care Center staff works closely with the surgeons and oncologists to assist patients and their families as they go through this experience. Counseling, support groups and spiritual guidance are among the supportive services offered.
    From prevention to treatment, Touro is committed to improving the health of its patients through effective, efficient and compassionate health care services.
    For more information, visit www.touro.com.
    Dr. Alexis Waguespack is a fellowship-trained spine specialist, providing treatment of cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine disorders and trauma, including herniated discs, spinal stenosis (pinched nerve), tumors and infection. She also treats adult scoliosis and osteoporotic fractures. “I do whatever is necessary,” says Dr. Waguespack, “to return our patients to the lifestyle and activity level they are accustomed to. I identify the problem and plan out a course for recovery. This course can range from nonsurgical treatment to major reconstruction of spine.”
    Dr. Waguespack uses kyphoplasty for osteoporotic fractures, where cement is injected into the bone to restore height and provide immediate pain relief, allowing patients to stand and walk again. Dr. Waguespack and Spinecare Medical Group offer orthopedic services and pain management services. She is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and a member of the North American Spine Society, Cervical Spine Research Society and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. She maintains two offices in the metropolitan New Orleans area to serve the needs of her patients. Her east bank office is on Interstate 10, Service Road North, at the corner of Lake Villa Drive. Her West Bank office is located in the Meadowcrest Professional Building next to Ochsner Medical Center on the West Bank.
    For more information call (504) 887-7207.

Special Services
    Anyone looking for compassionate and dignified care for their terminally ill loved ones should take a look at the services offered by Canon Hospice. Serving Baton Rouge, Northshore, Greater New Orleans and the Mississippi Coast, the caring team at Canon is dedicated to a hospice ministry that helps patients and families accept terminal illness positively and resourcefully. Their stated goal is to “allow our patients to live each day to the fullest and enjoy their time with family and friends.”
    With special expertise in pain management and symptom control, Canon Hospice designs individualized plans of care for each patient based on their unique needs. Home Based Services provide doctors, nurses, specialists, pastoral care and volunteers who tailor their services according to patients’ diagnoses and home situations.
    For patients with more intensive symptom management needs, Canon has an Inpatient Hospice Unit. This unit provides 24-hour care in a home-like environment where patients are permitted to receive visits at any hour.
    All donations and fundraising activities at Canon Hospice go to support the non-profit Akula Foundation. The Akula Foundation’s many projects include: indigent patient care, the Canon Hospice Health Hour on WIST 690-AM and Camp Swan, a bereavement camp for children ages 7-12. Akula Foundation’s newest venture is the Grief Resource Center, offering free counseling and services to anyone who has experienced any kind of loss or grief.
    For more information, visit www.canonhospice.com or call (866) 504-5740.
    Magnolia Physical Therapy is a women-owned business, operated entirely by Louisiana licensed therapists who are dedicated to patients’ needs. Their goal is to “provide freedom from pain” and to rehabilitate, treat and educate the Greater New Orleans community on healthy living and wellness. The clinic, with two great locations, offers all the benefits of conventional physical therapy rehabilitation with a special emphasis on women’s health and pregnancy rehabilitation.
    The team aims to get their patients better faster and provide great results, and to that end two therapists are currently achieving specializations in Manual Therapy and Women’s Health. “Our practice goal is happy and well patients,” says Beth Winkler-Schmit, co-owner and licensed Physical Therapist. “We give personal care to every single patient.”
    Magnolia Physical Therapy sets themselves apart by the determined efforts they make for each patient in order to return them to their normal activities as soon as possible – and their efforts have been recognized far and wide. Lisa K. George, PTA, received Distinguished PTA of the Year award from the Louisiana Physical Therapy Association. Beth Winkler-Schmit is the only physical therapist in the state to have Fellowship status in Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy, and Shellie Parchman has achieved her Certificate in Pelvic Physical Therapy.
    Centers in both Harahan and in New Orleans provide excellent access to services. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit www.magnoliatherapyla.com or call Harahan at (504) 733-0254 or the new Faubourg Marigny location at (504) 943-8026.
    For the everyday needs of women who require prescription drugs to manage their health, Patio Drugs is there to help. Since 1958, Patio Drugs has provided free prescription delivery throughout East Jefferson Parish and free delivery for home medical equipment, home care pharmacy, long-term care and hospice pharmacy throughout Southern Louisiana, Monday through Friday.
    Patio Drugs provides medications, supplies and support for patients managing illnesses or other medical conditions, as well as for patients in nursing homes, long-term care facilities and assisted living environments, in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations. Although not a home health agency, Patio Drugs is able to work with the prescribing physician and home care nurse. The store also provides a complete line of enteral supplies and diabetic supplies, including glucose monitors, test strips, lancets, syringes, insulin and much more.
    Patio Drugs also specializes in medical equipment as well, such as crutches, canes and walkers, hospital beds, oxygen and CPAPs. Home medical equipment is delivered and set up in the patient’s home by trained service technicians. Their experienced billing staff can help patients secure their coverage through their health care providers. Patio bills Medicaid, Medicare and most private insurers.
    For more information, visit www.patiodrugs.com or call (504) 889-7070.
    “Women have specific health care needs,” says Sheila Bonds, R.N., co-owner of Total Health Solutions. “Whether you are dealing with a mastectomy, chemotherapy, vascular conditions such as swelling of the feet or hands, or incontinence issues, there are health care products designed specially for women that can help.”
    Total Health Solutions has a huge showroom and a separate Caring for Women Boutique, offering such products as post-surgical garments for mastectomy patients, breast prosthesis, bras and swimsuits, as well as a wide selection of wigs, turbans, hats and scarves to help cope with hair loss. They also offer compression stockings that are available in fashionable styles, as well lymphedema wraps, sleeves and pumps. For women troubled by incontinence, they offer both washable and disposable incontinence briefs and pads, and they are happy to assist with free samples to help you find what works best for you. “Helping women learn about the health care products that will best meet their need is what we specialize in,” Bonds says, “and many of these solutions may be covered by health insurance.”
    Total Health Solutions also offers a complete line of canes, walkers, wheelchairs, scooters, lift-chairs, bath safety, ostomy, wound care and hot/cold therapy products.
    Visit Total Health Solutions at 3211 N Causeway Blvd. in Metairie. For more information, visit www.TotalHealthSolutionsHME.com or call (504) 834-8114.

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