Author Archive

20,000 Documented Eye Floater Laser Sessions

South Florida Eye Clinic staff are the experts with a worldwide patient base.

Scott L. Geller, MD

Patients often ask Scott Geller, MD, “why can’t my local doctor laser eye floaters.”

“Because this is a niche area of interest, and most ophthalmologists will not take the time to really get into it,” Dr. Geller states. “It’s a bit like plastic surgery. Any intern can make an incision and stitch skin, but it takes years of experience to size up a patient, know exactly how to modify a technique, and get the absolute best result possible.”

Dr. Geller has that experience. He has performed more than 20,000 eye floater laser procedures across his career. He also has given an impressive number of lectures all over the world on his research and technique.

“Florida has some great Ophthalmic Centers, including the schools in Tampa, Gainesville and the Bascom-Palmer Eye Institute in Miami,” says Dr. Geller. “But their interests lie elsewhere. So, all the advances have been done here, outside academia, by private clinics.”

Understanding the Patient

Many ophthalmologists don’t understand what a patient with eye floaters is experiencing, Dr. Geller says. As a matter of routine, he adds, they measure the patient’s best vision, which is typically normal, check for a retinal tear or detachment and, barring anything unusual, tell the patient he or she will be fine, because the retina looks fine and the floater will either fade or the patient will get used to it.

To which the patient responds, but doctor, I can’t see.”

“It is true that, for the majority of patients, floaters do seem to fade, or the patient does get used to them,” Dr. Geller notes. “But that’s not always the case. That’s why ophthalmologists need to listen to the patient’s problem and thoroughly examine the vitreous gel, where eye floaters are formed.

“If the ophthalmologist measures only the patient’s best vision on an eye chart, they may not correctly diagnose the problem and might dismiss the patient out of hand, telling them that nothing needs to be done, which may leave the patient bewildered and frustrated.

“This is one of the areas of ophthalmology that is routinely ignored by many ophthalmologists, and the reason for this is simple: They don’t take the patient’s visual acuity with the floater in the visual axis.

“We have seen patients reporting improvement of overall vision even with macular degeneration and Lazy Eye [amblyopia] where the floater causes interfering noise with the good eye.

“At South Florida Eye Clinic, we always measure the patient’s worst vision on the eye chart to see exactly how bad the vision gets with the floater obstructing it.”

Laser Treatment

Scott L. Geller, MD

Dr. Geller has performed more than 20,000 documented eye floater lasers sessions across more than 30 years of service to patients from all over the world.

“We have a worldwide patient following and have helped people from Japan, the People’s Republic of China, Russia and almost every European country,” the doctor notes.

Recently, Dr. Geller was a featured lecturer for the fourth year in a row at an International Ophthalmology Meeting in Taormina, Sicily, Italy. Other experts from Holland and Italy presented papers on their experiences treating eye floaters with the laser as well as traditional surgery. Patients from other areas of Italy came to Sicily to be examined and treated by Dr. Geller.

“I have quite a reputation in Europe and have treated patients in Italy with the Ellex Laser, but in the USA I find the Swiss made LASAG laser to be the best,” states Dr. Geller. “And we are the only facility using it in the USA.”

“My first scientific presentation was at the 1989 International Congress of Ophthalmology in Singapore,” he adds. “It was followed by lectures at several conferences in China, including the prestigious Shanghai Eye and Ear Institute.

“Other major meetings included the 1997 European Congress of Cataract and Refractive Surgery in Prague; the 1999 Florida Society of Ophthalmology; the 2001 European Congress of Ophthalmology in Istanbul; the 2010 World Congress of Ophthalmology in Berlin and the 2010 American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery in Boston. There was also a peer-reviewed presentation at the American Academy of Ophthalmology in Chicago in 2012.”

Dr. Geller’s latest presentations were at the prestigious Florida Society of Ophthalmology and the Orione Ophthalmic Congress in Italy, where he performed eye floater laser sessions on selected patients.

“Many doctors tell their patients, live with it, nothing can be done or get vitrectomy surgery,” Dr. Geller notes. “But the problem with vitrectomy surgery, which is the surgical removal of the entire vitreous gel [where floaters begin] is that it is not without its own problems.

“Most patients over the age of forty will develop an early cataract and will need another operation as early as six months to a year later. This is due to the physiology of the eye, not the skill of the surgeon.

“In my hands, with my years of experience, complications are rare,” assures Dr. Geller, who presented his results at the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 2012, and other meetings worldwide.

Finding Dr. Geller

Dr. Geller confides that patients often find him in a roundabout way.

“Recently, a man in West Palm Beach went to the satellite clinic of a world-famous Miami eye institute,” the doctor reports. “They told him they couldn’t do anything for him except vitrectomy, but they also told him, there’s an ophthalmologist on the West Coast of Florida who can treat your eye with a laser.

“It wasn’t a direct referral, but the patient managed to find me and was ecstatic with his results. Subsequently, I uploaded a video of his procedure to YouTube.com and Vimeo.com, which can be found among dozens of videos I’ve posted.”

Dr. Geller cautions that not all patients can be helped with his laser procedure, though he is pleased to report that, partially due to his meticulous patient selection process, his patient results are excellent.

Laser Selection

While treating patients in Sardinia, Dr. Geller used the Ellex Laser when performing his eye laser floater procedures.

“As I said previously, I find the Swiss-made LASAG Microruptor YAG laser to be the best,” he states. “This laser was specifically designed by renowned Professor Franz Fankhauser of the University Eye Clinic, Bern, Switzerland, to safely cut membranes deep in
the eye’s interior.

“I have tried other lasers, and if they were superior, I would purchase one immediately. But I use the Swiss-made LASAG laser. It is definitely superior to the others out there in my experience. And I have two of them.”

Dr. Geller always welcomes colleagues to observe or just call if they need to refine their own technique.

“Laser treatment of eye floaters is fascinating,” Dr. Geller says. “I look forward to doing this every day.”

Dr. Geller says that, while his greatest satisfaction comes from helping patients who have been told by their own ophthalmologists that nothing can be done, he actually welcomes the opportunity to share his technique with others in his field.

“Other ophthalmologists need only call me, or ask one of my patients about their results,” he says. “I’m proud of our track record and of the patients we’ve helped.”

Article submitted by Scott L. Geller, MD.

Goodbye Leg Pain

Laser energy repairs damaged veins.

Washington, DC native Albert* owned construction businesses in Maryland and New Hampshire, but he wound up retiring from AT&T in 1989. Seven years later, he moved to Florida, where his spinal discs began to collapse and place pressure on his spinal cord and nerves.

To ease the resulting pain, Albert tried a number of treatments, including physical therapy and surgery. The pain, however, outlasted all attempts to relieve it.

“I had several treatments on my back, including two surgeries by a spine surgeon, and still had pain,” Albert confirms. “I was going to my family doctor, and he referred me to a specialist who began treating me for the pain in my back.”

The specialist Albert’s doctor referred him to is Kai McGreevy, MD, a board-certified neurologist and pain management specialist at McGreevy NeuroHealth in St. Augustine. Dr. McGreevy uses a variety of techniques to relieve his patients’ pain.

During their initial consultation, Dr. McGreevy learned from Albert that in addition to his back pain, he was also experiencing heaviness in his legs, an issue that can be the result of problems with the spine. Upon further inspection, however, Dr. McGreevy found that Albert’s legs were also discolored and that he’d been experiencing swelling, fatigue
and cramping.

“When Dr. McGreevy first noticed my legs, he said, “They don’t look good,” Albert recalls. “He mentioned the discoloration and told me, That’s not a tan. It’s a circulation problem. Your legs are holding blood. He told me I had varicose veins, which surprised me because I didn’t have any bulging veins on my legs at all.

“My ankles swelled, particularly in the morning when I woke up and started walking, but as the day went on, I really didn’t notice it as much. I guess with activity, my blood started circulating in my legs. But when I would lie down in bed at night, the swelling would build up. I also had cramps in my legs, but it wasn’t a continuous problem.”

As part of the body’s circulatory system, leg veins have the job of pumping blood upward, against gravity, toward the heart. They get help from the power of leg muscle contractions. To further assist with this task, there are a series of one-way valves in leg veins that keep the blood from flowing in reverse, or refluxing.

“With age, heredity or long hours of sitting or standing, these valves can weaken, and blood can flow backward and collect in the legs and ankles, causing symptoms,” Dr. McGreevy describes. “This condition is called venous insufficiency.”

To diagnose venous insufficiency, Dr. McGreevy performs a Doppler venous ultrasound examination that allows him to see the flow of blood from the legs toward the heart. In Albert’s case, the simple, noninvasive exam revealed significant venous insufficiency in both legs.

Dr. McGreevy responded by recommending that Albert wear compression stockings for about four weeks to help eliminate the swelling and heaviness in his legs. The stockings had little effect, however. At that point, Dr. McGreevy knew a new course of action was necessary.

“I sat down with Albert and discussed his entire scenario with him,” the doctor notes. “We developed a game plan for his leg veins.”

Symptom Reliever

The treatment plan for Albert’s legs included a procedure called endovenous laser ablation, or EVLA, during which the doctor introduces a sterile laser fiber into the problematic vein via a tiny puncture in the leg.

“My right leg cleared up miraculously. It was very clear and had lightened up considerably compared to the leg Dr. McGreevy hadn’t treated yet.” – Albert

During EVLA, laser energy is delivered through this fiber, gently collapsing and sealing the vein. Blood flow from the sealed vein then reroutes through other, healthy veins in the leg, which reduces the impact of venous insufficiency on the patient.

“EVLA relieves the symptoms, including pain, swelling, fatigue, itching and weakness,” Dr. McGreevy informs. “It also improves the aesthetics of the legs, reducing any discoloration and breakdown of the skin, as well as the appearance of varicose and spider veins.”

Albert describes the procedure as painless.

“After rubbing my skin with a solution to deaden the pain, a technologist put needles in my leg,” he explains. “He had a scope that traced the vein Dr. McGreevy wanted to block off, then he injected it with numbing medicine.

“After that, Dr. McGreevy came in and performed the laser treatment. There was a little bit of a burning sensation, but it was bearable. Afterward, they wrapped my leg in ACE Bandages. I had the treatment on a Thursday and had to keep the ACE Bandages on with compression until Sunday, then I could take the bandages off.”

Dr. McGreevy performed EVLA on the greater saphenous veins in both of Albert’s legs. The result, the doctor says, was an almost immediate and quite significant improvement in the condition of Albert’s legs.

“Sometimes when we perform EVLA, it takes a little while for the results to be fully realized by patients,” Dr. McGreevy says. “In Albert’s case, however, he had a very quick response. Within a week of performing EVLA on his right greater saphenous vein, he indicated he already started to feel a difference in his right leg. He was pretty amazed by that and eventually had reduced discomfort in his legs with less fatigue, swelling and cramping.”

Prevalent Problem

Venous insufficiency is a very common condition. It is estimated that more than 30 million Americans suffer with symptomatic venous insufficiency. Venous vascular disease is five times as prevalent as peripheral arterial disease, or PAD, and more than two times as prevalent as coronary artery disease.

Symptoms of venous insufficiency include pain, aching, swelling, heaviness, nighttime cramps, restless legs, discoloration and, in later stages, skin ulceration, but it’s “hugely underdiagnosed,” according to Dr. McGreevy, who notes that symptoms are often attributed to other disorders.

“Symptoms of venous insufficiency, the things that can be felt by the patient, can result in sensory changes such as numbness, tingling, weakness and fatigue,” he states. “These are all things patients describe to me every day when I examine them and perform nerve conduction studies.

“These symptoms may appear to be neurological at first glance, but there’s no perfect box they fit into, so I don’t make assumptions that they’re caused by nerve injury. If I test and discover these symptoms are not nerve related, they can be generated from multiple sources.

“If these symptoms are accompanied by visible signs such as swelling in the legs, I look at other possible sources. I have to rule out a cardiac condition such as heart failure, as well as a liver condition, protein imbalance and other disorders that can lead to leg swelling.”

In the absence of those sources, Dr. McGreevy continues, there’s a high index of suspicion for venous insufficiency, the treatments for which are generally covered by insurance. They’re covered not just for pain relief, but also for prevention because there are complications that can occur later in life that are very expensive to treat.

Double Trouble

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native Robert Vamos spent years working in the supply end of the automotive industry in Michigan before relocating to Florida, where he started a second career in real estate in 2012.

It wasn’t long, though, before showing properties became uncomfortable for Robert, who soon after making the move to Florida began to experience an ever-increasing degree of numbness and aching in his feet and legs.

“I contracted a disease from Type 2 diabetes called Charcot foot syndrome, which is a type of neuropathy, or loss of sensation, in my legs and feet,” Robert explains. “As a result, I lost the arch in my right foot. And for some reason, my legs always ached terribly after that.

“My podiatrist referred me to Dr. McGreevy. He ran a bunch of tests on me and determined that the nerves in my lower back, at my L4 and L5 lumbar vertebrae, were pinched. I wasn’t having any pain in my back, just a little stiffness maybe, but Dr. McGreevy said the pinched nerves were contributing to the aching pain in my legs.”

In treating Robert, Dr. McGreevy recommended a nonsurgical procedure called radiofrequency ablation, which uses radio waves to produce heat that is delivered through a probe to the target spinal nerves.

In Robert’s case, the target was the nerves exiting the spinal cord near the vertebrae of his lower back. The heat from the probe creates a spot on the nerves that impedes the transmission of pain signals to the brain. This reduces discomfort from the affected area of the spine.

“Dr. McGreevy said he hoped to avoid surgery for me, and he wanted to try the radiofrequency procedure to put the pinched nerves to sleep,” Robert confirms. “He said the pain relief would last from six months to two years. For me, it lasted a year and a half. Just recently, my legs started hurting again, and he gave me a second radiofrequency treatment.

“This time, however, he noticed a varicose bump on my right leg and didn’t like the way it looked. He said, I’ve done artery studies and nerve studies, so let’s do a vein study. He did and found that the veins in both of my legs weren’t working properly. He also detected swelling in my ankles, which he said would have been worse if I wasn’t swimming a mile every day.”

Diagnosis and Treatment

After seeing some of the visible signs of venous insufficiency in Robert and learning that he was also experiencing aching and heaviness in his legs, Dr. McGreevy performed a Doppler venous ultrasound examination that allowed him to see the flow of blood from Robert’s legs toward his heart.

“I feel great right now. I no longer have any of that aching pain in my legs.”
– Robert

That simple, noninvasive exam revealed what Dr. McGreevy described as “significant reflux” in Robert’s legs. As he did with John, he then suggested correcting the problem by performing EVLA.

Robert says he has a very strong will, and as a result, he refused to let any of the symptoms caused by his venous insufficiency alter his active lifestyle. As soon as the EVLA treatment was completed, however, he realized how easy it was to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with the venous disease.

“Dr. McGreevy did the procedure right in his office, and there was very little discomfort associated with it,” Robert verifies. “I could have walked right out of his office and gone to the golf course. I didn’t need to take any pain medication or anything like that. Afterward, I had to wear compression stockings for a couple of weeks, but that was it.”

Miraculously Successful

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

Free of leg pain, Robert can walk Layla again

Robert and Albert were already seeing Dr. McGreevy for pain management when their venous insufficiency was detected. The aching pain in Robert’s legs had two contributing factors – his varicose veins and the pinched nerves in his back. Dr. McGreevy treated both factors, and Robert responded positively. His pain was alleviated, and the swelling in his legs dissipated.

“I feel great right now,” Robert enthuses. “I no longer have any of that aching pain in my legs. I achieved really good results. But, I had both the radiofrequency ablation and my veins treated at the same time, so if you ask me which treatment helped me more, I couldn’t tell you.

“I just know the combination of the two really helped. Dr. McGreevy told me the radiofrequency ablation can be repeated if necessary, but the results of the vein treatment will last forever.”

Albert’s right leg didn’t look much better the Sunday after he had the first EVLA treatment, but it did by the following week, when he returned to McGreevy NeuroHealth to have the treatment on his left leg.

“My right leg cleared up miraculously,” Albert raves. “It was very clear and had lightened up considerably compared to the leg Dr. McGreevy hadn’t treated yet. When I first went into the office, the receptionist said, Look what happened here. I walked into the little staff area, and everybody looked at my right leg and said, Wow!

“I looked at my leg and said, Gee, I really did have a problem. I didn’t know the problem with heaviness in my legs was that bad, but since I had the procedures on my varicose veins, my legs are a lot lighter and I can walk much better. I must have gotten used to the heaviness. I don’t have the swelling anymore, either.

“And all this time, Dr. McGreevy is still treating my back pain.”

Robert and Albert are impressed with Dr. McGreevy and his staff at McGreevy NeuroHealth. They find the neurologist to be knowledgeable, kind, understanding and worthy of their trust.

“Dr. McGreevy is a wonderful doctor,” Robert states. “He’s very gentle, and he explains everything he’s doing as he goes along. He’s a pain specialist, and as people get older, a lot of us get different kinds of pain in our bodies that Dr. McGreevy can treat. I recommend him to anybody, and I already have to numerous people.”

“Over the years, I had a knee replacement and a broken ankle that was due to my back and loss of balance,” Albert adds. “I went to physical therapy for both of those conditions. Nobody noticed I had a problem with my leg veins except Dr. McGreevy.

“My EVLA procedures were absolutely – in capital letters – successful. I recommend EVLA for varicose veins, and I recommend McGreevy NeuroHealth and Dr. McGreevy.

*The patients name was changed to protect his privacy.

Back Surgery Avoided!

Noninvasive treatment relieves debilitating lower back pain.

In addition to yoga and weight training, Denise Moxon stays fit by engaging in a variety of physical and outdoor activities, not the least of which is the challenging horse-riding discipline called dressage.

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

Denise Moxon

There’s more to dressage, though, than training a horse to perform a prescribed series of movements. For many riders, there are requirements that extend beyond the performance arena.

As Denise can tell you, there is often a barn that has to be looked after, and keeping that barn and the horse clean can be physically demanding. For years, that part of the discipline never fazed Denise, but then came the day she injured her back shoveling dirt.

At first, Denise hoped that rest would alleviate the pain, mostly in her lower back, so she stopped exercising and riding horses. The pain never disappeared. In fact, it eventually spread to her right thigh.

It was then that Denise began looking for remedies with two priorities in mind: She wanted to avoid surgery and narcotic pain medications. For the next few months, she tried physical therapy, massage, steroid injections and acupuncture.

“I did all of these things just trying to get out of pain and thinking time would take care of it, but the pain just kept getting worse and worse until I couldn’t even walk my dog for a short distance,” Denise recalls.

“Physical therapy didn’t help, massage didn’t help. The acupuncture helped a little because it alleviated the pain, but it wasn’t a cure. I’d be pain-free for a while, but then I’d need acupuncture again.
“After six months, I couldn’t tolerate it any longer. I was beginning to believe that surgery was the only thing that could help me.”

Denise consulted a neurosurgeon, who ordered an MRI. The imaging study showed the cause of her pain was two herniated discs in the lower spine, a problem her physician recommended repairing through surgery.

Though hesitant, Denise agreed to the surgery, but due to the busy surgeon’s schedule, she was told she would have to wait three months.

Denise was resolved to suffering until then, but shortly after scheduling the surgery, she learned about Tyler Albrecht, DC, at St. Augustine Spine Center.

Dr. Albrecht uses a therapy to treat herniated and bulging discs called nonsurgical spinal decompression.

In an effort to learn more about the treatment, Denise made an appointment to consult with Dr. Albrecht.

Allowing the Disc to Heal

“When Denise came to us, she was in really bad shape,” states Dr. Albrecht. “She could only walk or stand for about two minutes before the pain would become severe. She couldn’t do any bending or lifting, and the pain was interrupting her sleep.”

Dr. Albrecht determined that Denise’s herniated discs were causing spinal stenosis, a condition that causes narrowing of the space for the spinal cord. This puts pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerves, which in turn causes pain.

Through his examination, Dr. Albrecht verified that Denise was a candidate for nonsurgical spinal decompression. The therapy works to restore herniated or bulging discs to a healthier state, thus relieving the pain.

“It was a long road because I tried so many things, but I’m really pleased with my treatment by Dr. Albrecht. It’s pretty impressive.” – Denise

“What I’ve found is that spinal decompression is usually the best treatment for a herniated disc because it helps to reverse the pressure on the disc, allowing the disc to heal rather than just trying to cover up the pain with injections or medication,” Dr. Albrecht explains.

“Our decompression table does this by gently pulling the two vertebrae on either side of the affected disc, producing a vacuum effect. This allows bulging material and nutrients to be drawn back into the disc over time, healing it naturally. Advanced technology and computerized sensors combine to create a gentle, pain-free treatment that avoids the muscle spasm or guarding reflex that is commonly triggered with rudimentary traction or inversion devices.”

Denise liked how Dr. Albrecht explained the process clearly and comprehensively.

“Dr. Albrecht is very articulate and knowledgeable,’’ she recalls. “He’s informative and factual. The result was that I could make the decision on my own about whether to pursue treatment. He didn’t try to make the decision for me, which I appreciate in a doctor.”

The decision was made to pursue treatment through spinal decompression. Soon after, she began a seven-week regimen with three sessions per week.

She was also treated through a combination of other modalities that are part of St. Augustine Spine Center’s disc rehabilitation program, including manual therapy, chiropractic care, ice, electrical stimulation and laser therapy, which help expedite the healing process.

A Full Recovery

The therapy sessions were pleasant experiences, Denise relates.

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

Since undergoing spinal decompression, Denise has resumed her riding regimen and added yoga, weight training and golf to her growing list of activities.

“The atmosphere in Dr. Albrecht’s office is lovely and peaceful,” she says. “And the decompression treatments were very comfortable and easy to do. They’re pain-free. You can watch videos while you’re lying on the decompression table, which I did a lot, and it’s restful.”

Halfway through her treatment program, Denise discovered how much spinal decompression was helping. She went to a boat show with her husband and was stunned to realize that walking didn’t hurt anymore.

“We were walking around, and after about 45 minutes, I stopped and said, Art, I have no pain,” Denise remembers. “Before, I would go places even though it hurt to walk because I’m an active person, and I would walk, hurt, sit; walk, hurt, sit.

“At the boat show, it suddenly dawned on me that I had been walking for 45 minutes and hadn’t needed to sit down because I wasn’t hurting.”

Before her first visit with Dr. Albrecht, Denise says her average pain level was six on a scale of one to 10. By the end of her spinal decompression treatment, that pain level had dropped to zero, she says.

Dr. Albrecht uses another feedback measure, the Low Back Pain and Disability Index, to gauge the results of his treatments. The questionnaire focuses on how much back pain interferes with daily activities.

“When we started out, Denise was at 66 percent on how much the pain was disabling her,” Dr. Albrecht informs. “When we finished, she was down to zero percent, meaning she had experienced a full recovery.”

That recovery allowed Denise to resume her active lifestyle. After a regimen of stretches and exercises to strengthen her core, she is once again riding five days a week and continues to improve her dressage skills.

She’s also back doing yoga and weight training and has added golf to her long list of hobbies. What Denise is most happy about, though, is that she succeeded in finding a treatment that took away her severe back pain without surgery or drugs.

Once she felt certain that spinal decompression would give her the long-lasting relief she was seeking, Denise canceled her surgery date.

“It was a long road because I tried so many things,” Denise relates, “but I’m really pleased with my treatment by Dr. Albrecht. It’s pretty impressive.”

Most Common Car Accident Injuries

December 2nd, 2019

Most Common Car Accident InjuriesThe most recent available data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that in 2016, there were 7,277,000 auto accidents in the U.S. That breaks down to an average of 19,937 accidents each day, which does not include the countless accidents that went unreported. Being involved in an auto accident can be a traumatizing event with many opportunities for disaster. You could be facing property damage, serious injuries, wage losses, hospital fees, emotional damages, and more. The most important asset to take care of after an accident is yourself.

Since injuries are not always immediately apparent and may not be until after your injuries have worsened, it’s imperative to get yourself checked out immediately after you’ve been in an accident. You only have 14 days from the date of the accident to seek medical attention in order to be covered under your auto insurance’s personal injury protection policy. Even if you feel fine, schedule an appointment with your local auto accident doctor to make sure you don’t have any underlying injuries that will need medical attention. Here are some common bodily injuries that we frequently see as the result of an accident.

Soft Tissue InjurySoft Tissue Injury

Soft tissue injuries are those that involve injuries to tendons, muscles, and ligaments. They most commonly seen in those who play sports, but can also be the result of a high impact car wreck. They can include:

  • Bursitis – The painful condition that includes swelling, or irritation of the bursae (the small, fluid-filled sac located by the joints) that usually occurs in the shoulder, knee, elbow, or hip.
  • Contusions – Areas of the skin or underlying tissue where blood capillaries have ruptured. Also called a bruise, these injuries can happen when your body is hit with blunt force by another object, or vice versa.
  • Sprains – The damage or tearing of a ligament or ligaments surrounding a joint. Sprains usually occur when a joint has been taken beyond its normal range of movement.
  • Strains – Injuries to the muscle or tendon caused by overuse, stretching, or force.
  • Tendonitis – Irritation or inflammation of the tendon. In an auto accident injury, this might be caused by sudden or direct force applied to the area of concern.

WhiplashWhiplash

Whiplash is a neck injury that can occur when the neck is forced to move forward and backward in a quick motion, like the cracking of a whip. It usually occurs during rear-end collisions, but can be a result of other types of collisions as well. Symptoms of whiplash include pain and swelling of the neck and shoulders. In some instances, physical therapy or neck injections may be required for persistent pain, so it’s important to get yourself checked out right away.

Spinal Cord InjurySpinal Cord Injury

The Mayo Clinic reported that car accidents account for nearly 50% of all reported spinal cord injuries. A spinal cord injury results from damage to the spinal cord or to the ligaments, discs, or vertebrae of the spinal column. A car accident can cause a sudden, traumatic blow to the spine that can crush, compress, dislocate, or fracture the vertebrae. Additional injury can occur in the days or weeks following the accident due to inflammation, swelling, fluid accumulation, and bleeding around the spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries can include:

  • Claudication – A common symptom of lumbar spinal stenosis, causing inflammation of the nerves emerging from the spinal cord.
  • Bulging, Degenerating, or Herniated Discs – A condition where the soft center of a spinal disk pushes through a crack in the tougher exterior casing. It can irritate nearby nerves and result in pain, numbness, or weakness in an arm or leg.
  • Sciatica – Pain radiating along the sciatic nerve, which runs down one or both legs from the lower back. It’s primarily caused when a herniated disk or bone spur in the spine presses on the nerve. It usually only affects one side of the body.

Seat Belt SyndromeSeat Belt Syndrome

Wearing your seat belt is one of the most important decisions you can make when getting into a vehicle. It can save your life and prevent further debilitating injuries in the event of an accident. However, that doesn’t mean wearing one will leave you without injury. Medical professionals have coined the term “seat belt syndrome” to include a handful of common injuries that occur in accidents from the seat belt itself. The abdomen, chest, neck, and spine are the areas of the body that are primarily affected by seat belt syndrome.

  • Abdomen – The stomach, small and large intestines, liver, spleen, and pancreas often experience bruising or tearing.
  • Chest – Bruising, lacerations, and rashes from the belt can be clearly visible and painful. The belt can also cause rib and sternum fractures, damage to the lungs and trachea, connective tissue and cartilage tearing, damage to the chest wall, and heart contusions.
  • Spine & Neck – Spinal injuries are the most common since the spine is the shock absorber for the body. Injuries can include fractures, paralysis, damage to facet joints, and damaged discs.

Many injuries can also occur because seat belts are not being worn or faceted correctly. The concept of the belt is to keep the body aligned and sitting up straight so any potential blow or force would be distributed evenly across the body. Always wear your seat belt, and wear it correctly.

Airbag InjuryAirbag Injury

Similar to the primary function of a seat belt, the deployment of an airbag is to ensure the damage during a collision is lessened and your body does not receive the full force of the blow. However, you can still experience additional injuries because of an airbag. Depending on the speed you and the other driver were going at the time of the crash, as well as the trajectory of each vehicle in relation to one another, you may experience:

  • Whiplash from the force of the bag against your head and neck
  • Damage to your eyes if they remained open while the airbag deployed
  • Broken or fractured nose
  • Irritation to eyes and skin from chemicals and dust on the airbag
  • Other injuries due to the airbag’s deployment

Every injury is different. The best way to handle any injuries you’ve sustained is to begin the healing process with the best treatments for each injury. If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s imperative that you seek medical treatment immediately to ensure your body is functioning properly and no injuries go undetected for any period of time.

Preferred Injury Physicians

Travis Utter, DC, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from the University of Central Florida in Orlando and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic. He received additional training in NCV/EMG from the Neurodiagnostics Institute and in whiplash and accident reconstruction from the Spine Research Institute of San Diego. Dr. Utter is certified in whiplash and accident reconstruction.

To Each Her Own

Cardiovascular surgeon relies on experience to create treatment plan.

Following a divorce, stay-at-home mom Mollie* suddenly realized she needed to earn a living to support her family. She went back to school and earned a degree in psychology with the aim of becoming a counselor. But upon graduation, Mollie discovered counselors were plentiful and counseling jobs were scarce, so she went back to the drawing board.

“I went into nursing and got a Bachelor’s degree in nursing,” Mollie relates. “That’s what I did for the rest of my working career, and I did various types of nursing. I was a telephone triage nurse, and I worked in nursing homes. I worked in hospital settings and ended my nursing career in home care.

“I retired from nursing when I was seventy years old. Now, at seventy-three, I’ve taken up painting, and I can’t put it down. I haven’t taken any classes, but I just love it. If I see something I want to paint, I just do it.”

Nursing may have paid the bills and painting may occupy her retirement hours, but Mollie has always been a dancer at heart. For ten years, she owned a dance studio where she taught ballet and classical jazz.

She performed on occasion as well, and she’s convinced that all the time she spent dancing, leaping and pounding on hard surfaces since she was a young girl led to the distressing condition she developed as an adult – restless legs syndrome.

“My father, mother and sister were the only other people I knew who had restless legs,” Mollie shares. “But back in those days, no one knew what it was. We called it the jimjams, and we asked all our relatives, Have you ever had anything like this? But they told us, No, nothing like that.

“I didn’t have restless legs growing up. They started after I had children. At first, they occurred just at night when I sat down to relax for the evening. I learned to get up and move around because movement warded them off. Then, they started occurring in the morning and afternoon as well. It didn’t matter what time of day it was.

“More recently, I got terrible restless legs in the afternoon. They would start up and last for hours. I would roll around on the floor, screaming and crying. It felt like little worms were crawling up and down inside my legs, and I had to move them. I couldn’t sit still.”

Mollie’s case of restless legs syndrome was severe, and by the time she was 73, she had taken medication for the condition for more than 30 years. But the medication was failing to curb her symptoms and had drawbacks of its own, so Mollie sought treatment alternatives.

“I wanted to get off the medication because it has terrible side effects,” Mollie elaborates. “I tried everything, then a friend told me about Dr. Sharma and encouraged me to visit him and ask if he could do anything about restless legs, so I did.”

Ravi Sharma, MD, is a board-certified cardiovascular surgeon with expertise in blood vessel disorders affecting the legs. His practice is Premier Vein Centers, which has offices in Homosassa and The Villages®.

Dr. Sharma ordered an ultrasound examination of Mollie’s legs that showed a number of her leg veins were leaking and not enabling proper blood flow toward her heart, a condition called venous insufficiency. That happens to be a root cause of restless legs syndrome.

Venous insufficiency can be treated through a number of minimally invasive vein closure techniques. Dr. Sharma relies on his many years of experience when determining which technique to use for each patient to achieve the best outcome.

Mollie liked Dr. Sharma right off the bat. She was impressed by his knowledge and experience and by the compassionate way he treated her. She was also impressed by his honesty.

“Dr. Sharma was very personable and interested in me, and he didn’t rush me through our appointments,” Mollie recalls. “He was very upfront with me as well. He said, I have treated people with restless legs, but I can’t guarantee treatment will help with your severe condition. But I said, I’m willing to try anything if you are.

At the core of Mollie’s problem was the intricate series of blood vessels that make up the human circulatory system. Veins are the blood vessels that return oxygen-depleted blood back to the heart. There are three types of veins: superficial veins, deep veins and perforator veins. Superficial veins lie close to the skin, deep veins lie in groups of muscles, and perforator veins connect the superficial veins to the deep veins.

“Venous insufficiency occurs when the deep leg veins cannot pump blood back to the heart,” Dr. Sharma describes. “Chronic venous insufficiency has multiple causes. Over long periods of sitting or standing, the blood in leg veins can pool. This increases the venous blood pressure and weakens the vein walls and valves, thereby damaging the valves. Damaged valves prevent proper blood flow back to the heart.”

“I thought Dr. Sharma was a miracle worker because after my treatment was completed, I didn’t have restless legs anymore.” – Mollie

There are many signs and symptoms of venous insufficiency. Signs are the issues that can be seen, such as bulging varicose veins, swelling, and thickening and discoloration of the skin of the ankles or legs. Symptoms are those things that are felt, not seen. They include throbbing, aching, stinging, burning, itching, nighttime leg cramps and restless legs. These are all indications that the veins are not functioning properly.

“For patients who experience any of these signs or symptoms, it is important that they have their veins assessed,” Dr. Sharma emphasizes. “Leaving the condition untreated can lead to more serious difficulties, including leg ulcers, infection and a breakdown of the skin.

When seeking a physician for care, it is crucially important for people to choose surgeons who specialize in venous diseases. The physicians should also be experienced in the advanced procedures available to treat these diseases. In addition, they must also express genuine concern and compassion for their patients. Physicians with these qualifications achieve the best outcomes.”

Advanced Options

At Premier Vein Centers, a full range of advanced, minimally invasive treatment options for addressing varicose and spider veins are available. These treatment options include microphlebectomy, endovenous laser ablation (EVLA), sclerosing injections and VenaSeal.

Microphlebectomy has replaced stripping, an outdated, more invasive procedure during which doctors removed the large veins by making big gashes across the leg that often left the patient with large scars.

“With microphlebectomy, the incision is tiny – about the size of the tip of a scalpel – and we can do much more through that small incision,” Dr. Sharma informs. “And with this procedure, patients end up with tiny marks on the skin or no scars at all.”

During EVLA, a sterile laser fiber is introduced into the incompetent vein via a small puncture in the leg. Laser energy is then delivered through the fiber, painlessly closing the vein in less than an hour, using local anesthesia.

Sclerosing injections are used to treat spider veins, which are tiny, dilated blood vessels in the skin that become swollen with stagnant blood. Dr. Sharma uses ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy (UGS) to guide the injections that gently close the problem vessels.

VenaSeal is a non-thermal closure system that relieves symptoms by delivering a small amount of a specially formulated medical adhesive, or “super glue,” to the diseased vein. This permanently seals the vein. This procedure does not require multiple needle sticks and, in some cases, support stockings are not necessary.

Dr. Sharma uses his expertise to determine which procedures to use based on each patient’s symptoms and health status. These advanced treatments are all performed in a comfortable office setting and result in little or no downtime and discomfort.

“Our patients are often very relieved to discover that there is no general anesthesia involved in our minimally invasive treatments,” Dr. Sharma notes. “And they are happy to learn that they can resume activities right away.”

Premier Vein Centers provides a free initial consultation and accepts most insurance, including Medicare.

Miracle Worker

Using the ultrasound results as a guide, Dr. Sharma created a treatment plan to address Mollie’s restless legs syndrome. With his experience, he knew right away that EVLA was the best method of closure for Mollie’s leaking leg veins. Mollie was amazed by the treatment’s initial outcome.

“Dr. Sharma performed six painless laser procedures on my legs,” Mollie recalls. “He explained to me that he sealed off the bad veins that were pooling blood, and eventually, my body rerouted the blood flow through good veins.

“I thought Dr. Sharma was a miracle worker because after my treatment was completed, I didn’t have restless legs anymore. I thought, Surely, it isn’t this easy. I should have done this years ago.”

“Dr. Sharma adds, “Ms. Mollie followed all of the post-treatment instructions, which is also important in achieving the best outcome.”

*Patient’s name withheld at her request.

 

Healthy Partnership

PCPs prove pivotal in early detection and treatment of cancer.

Among all medical providers, the primary care physician, or PCP, is the one who typically has the most face-to-face contact with patients and develops the strongest relationships with them.

That’s why PCPs play such a critical role in the early detection and treatment of diseases, including many cancers. By ensuring their patients undergo routine screenings, PCPs help patients achieve the better outcomes and longer survival rates associated with early detection and treatment.

“Working against cancer is a very personal fight for me because my father died of lung cancer,” shares George E. Roque, MD, a board-certified internist at Atlantic Medical Group in Melbourne.

“I have a personal commitment to my patients and my community to battle cancer, and our practice proudly partners with the specialists at Cancer Care Centers of Brevard in that mission.

“At our practice, we are very proactive in following standard cancer screening guidelines, and because of that, we detect many cancers in their early stages. Once cancer is detected, we immediately direct those patients to an oncologist at Cancer Care Centers of Brevard so that treatment can be initiated right away.”

Lung Cancer Protocol

As their patients’ health care gatekeepers, PCPs have knowledge about the patients’ personal and family histories as well as their lifestyle habits. PCPs are aware if their patients smoke, are physically inactive and eat an unhealthy diet.

Based on these factors, PCPs can determine the patients’ risks for certain cancers and focus on prevention and early detection of those cancers. But general cancer screenings are important to patients’ overall health as well.

“We follow recognized guidelines for cancer screening, and all the cancers we screen for are important,” Dr. Roque stresses. “Colon cancer screening is one that leads the way. If we have patients with rectal bleeding, we follow that with screening tests and note any precancerous changes, so even borderline cancer can be removed.

“Other cancers, such as prostate cancer in men and breast and cervical cancer in women, also have screening tests that detect cancer early. The key is for physicians to not just press their patients to have these tests. They need to also explain in detail why these tests are important and the benefits of the tests. The PCP is in a good position to do that.

“Our fight against cancer must be waged along with patient education,” he adds. “If we don’t get the population educated, patients will never understand the importance of cancer screening. Education begins with the PCP but must be supported in the media and by the patients’ friends, family and other health care providers.”

There are no standard guidelines for lung cancer screening, but Dr. Roque’s Atlantic Medical Group recently implemented its own screening protocol for at-risk patients who smoke tobacco. They recommend low-dose CT scans to screen for tumors in the lungs, but they occasionally encounter resistance from insurers.

“Sometimes, the patient’s insurance company wants us to perform an x-ray only, but x-ray is not effective for lung cancer screening,” Dr. Roque points out. “We cannot detect as many tumors with a simple x-ray as with a CT scan. CT scanning will definitely prevent earlier-stage lung cancer. It’s one of our major goals with that particular cancer.”

Dr. Roque notes that the PCPs at Atlantic Medical Group are making headway with early cancer detection and treatment, as well as with patient education, with the assistance of their colleagues at Cancer Care Centers of Brevard.

“Our partnership with Cancer Care Centers of Brevard has been very good for us and for the community as well,” he confirms.

On Your Toes

Those shoes may match your outfit, but are they good for your feet?

One of the most common foot ailments I see walk though my door are bunions,” explains board-certified podiatric surgeon Robert P. Dunne, DPM. A bunion is an unnatural, bony hump that forms at the base of the big toe where it attaches to the foot. Often, the big toe deviates toward the other toes.

“Sometimes, this particular foot deformity is genetic; other times, it can be related to an injury to the foot or a congenital issue [a deformity present at birth],” explains Dr. Dunne. “Arthritis can play a role, along with improperly fitting shoes and high heels.”

Bunion Symptoms

There are several symptoms to look for when diagnosing bunions.

“A bulging bump could be evident at the base of the big toe,” describes Dr. Dunne. “There may also be some swelling, redness and soreness in the area of the big toe’s joint. Other signs include a thickening of the skin at the base of the big toe, limitation in movement, pain that comes and goes, and corns and calluses developing.”

According to Dr. Dunne, people are intimidated by treatment for bunions because they have heard negative stories regarding surgical correction. “Our patients come first, and we recommend they take action now if they have a problem. Surgery is not the only option. Alternate treatments are available.”

When to See a Doctor

“More often than not, a patient will put off treatment until surgical correction is the only option,” says Dr. Dunne. Here are some of the signs that you should be aware of:

  • Difficulty with movement of the big toe
  • A bump at the side of your big toe
  • Issues with shoes fitting properly
  • Big toe pain that is constant or intermittent
  • The formation of corns or calluses
  • Redness in the area at the bottom of the big toe

 

Once you make an appointment with your doctor, it is helpful to know what questions to ask, including “What is the cause of my foot pain, and is this a long-term or short-term problem? This is another question to ask: “Is surgery right for me, or is there a conservative treatment that will help?”  These are useful questions to help you make decisions about your care.

“Occasionally, a bunion formation left untreated can cause additional ailments to arise,” warns Dr. Dunne. “These can include bursitis, hammertoe formations and metatarsalgia, which is pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot.”

Treatment Options

“For a bunion, our typical treatment regimen will be determined by the severity of the deformity, along with the individual needs of the patient,” explains Dr. Dunne.

“Again, surgery is not always the only treatment option a patient has. Treatment should be tailored to the patient’s needs.” 

Some conservative treatments include:

  • The application of ice
  • Orthotics (over-the-counter
    or custom-molded)
  • Medications to reduce inflammation
  • Padding and splinting of the area
  • Changes to better-fitting or more-appropriate shoes

 

Rehabilitation time varies per patient and type of surgical procedure. As always, the patient’s individual needs come first, and treatment should reflect those needs.

Lake Washington Foot & Ankle is a comprehensive podiatric medicine clinic, offering treatment for everything from ankle sprains to hammertoes.

“We treat ingrown toenails, warts, dermatitis, ankle and heel pain, tendonitis and neuromas,” assures Dr. Dunne. “We also do clinical trials for onychomycosis [fungal toenails], as well as studies on diabetic ulcers, in an effort to find better and more effective treatments for these and other ailments.”

Article courtesy of Lake Washington Foot & Ankle Center.

Fine Art

Artistic residents flourish at retirement community.

For more than 34 years, Dolores Buffington lived out her dream of being an elementary school teacher. Seventeen of those years were at a Christian school in Clearwater. Not once during all of those years did she feel like she was working for a living.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Dolores Buffington

“I pursued teaching since I was a little girl and never regretted it,” Dolores says. “I think the thing I loved most about it was the children. It was a

pleasure to make teaching fun and exciting for them. That was my goal, to make them like school.”

Dolores, an 84-year-old who grew up just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, liked teaching so much that for many years she also taught Sunday school as well as piano. She learned to tickle the ivories when she was a child.

“I took piano lessons as a child and played the piano and the organ,” she proudly proclaims. “One of my summer jobs in college was playing the pipe organ for many different churches so the church organists could take their vacations. That was a fun time.”

Shortly after retiring several years ago, Dolores turned the teaching over to someone else and became a student herself yet again. This time, she focused on the art world – with one particular art form in mind.

“I’ve always wanted to paint. After I retired, I took painting lessons from different instructors and found that I really enjoyed that,” explains Dolores.

Along with flower design, painting is one of the many art forms this renaissance woman has practiced during her life, which took a dramatic turn last October when she fell and broke her ankle.

“My husband passed away twelve years ago, and after my fall, my son and his wife were there morning and evening to help take care of me, but I began to think, I don’t know what’s ahead,” Dolores recalls.

“I knew about Concordia Village of Tampa because I’d been there a few times before to visit friends from church. So, in January, after I was feeling better, I came over for an interview and a tour.

“I liked what I saw, moved in on June 11th, and I haven’t been sorry for a minute. Everybody is so friendly and welcoming. There’s always someone to talk to and I value that.”

Part of the Family

Concordia Village of Tampa is part of Concordia Lutheran Ministries, which was established in 1881. Concordia Lutheran Ministries began in Western Pennsylvania as an orphanage and expanded into senior care in the 1950s.

“We currently operate fifteen senior living communities, most of which are in Western Pennsylvania,” reports Brian Hortert, chief operating officer at Concordia Village of Tampa. “There’s also a community in Akron, Ohio and now Concordia Village of Tampa in Florida.

“There’s always someone to talk to. I value that.” – Dolores

“Concordia Village of Tampa offers independent living, assisted living, memory care, long-term nursing care and short-term rehabilitation. In addition, Concordia Lutheran Ministries operates homecare, hospice, medical equipment services and pharmacy services, primarily in Western Pennsylvania.”

As COO, Brian oversees all operations of the Tampa campus. He stresses, “When it comes to retirement living, there are many factors seniors must consider before deciding which community is right for them. When people come to Concordia Village of Tampa, they become part of our family.”

Good Move

Like Dolores, Virginia Rhan Halloway, 87, is a widow with a teaching background and a love for art.

“I grew up an only child, and because I was alone without any siblings, I had to learn to find things to do alone,’’ Virginia says. “One of the things I learned to do was play the piano. I later became a music teacher and a professional piano player. I also had a studio where I taught both art and music.”

Virginia’s passion for music and art is second only to her passion for her husband, a former military colonel who died four years ago after he served as a city councilman in Temple Terrace for eight years.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Virginia Rhan Halloway

“We were happily married for thirty years,” she proudly reports. “I decided that the home we cherished and loved was getting too much for me to take care of, so I thought I needed to move.”

In a positive spirit of love and family, her choice for a new home was Concordia Village of Tampa.

“My mother lived here for about eight years starting at the age of ninety,” Virginia says, “so I moved here on the week of the day of love, Valentine’s Day 2019. I fell in love with my apartment right away, and it’s been an ongoing affair ever since.”

Like Dolores, Virginia is an artist-in-residence at Concordia Village of Tampa, where she is a member of the community’s art club.

“We meet for a couple of hours each Tuesday,” she says. “They put up a still life, and we try to recreate it ourselves. Some of the ladies are not really artists; they just like to color. But it’s a Let’s-get-together-and-do-what-we-want-to-do type of thing.”

Virginia is one of the more accomplished artists in the club. Her talent is so vast that she won a Best of Show award from the Southeastern Watercolor Society, a local art club.

“You get to be signature members for winning awards, and then you get to be published in magazines,” says Virginia, whose artwork is displayed prominently at Concordia Village of Tampa.

“I’ve got pictures in the hallways; I’ve got pictures all over my room,” Virginia states. “I’ve got lots of pictures that I sold in Temple Terrace and downtown Tampa.”

Like Virginia, Dolores has not only decorated the walls of her apartment at Concordia Village of Tampa with her artwork, she has also enthusiastically proclaimed her zest for the community and its amenities.

“I love the security here, the dining rooms and the people,” she enthuses. “Everyone is so lovely.”

“One thing I like about this place is that you can pick out a lifestyle that you want and it’s flexible,” Virginia says. “They have done everything they could for me; it’s wonderful. Coming to Concordia Village of Tampa was a good move for me. I’m very happy here.”

Catch the Wave

Noninvasive therapy reverses erectile dysfunction.

Edward* vividly remembers June 19, 2018. It was his 67th birthday and the day he finally admitted he wasn’t as vibrant as he used to be, most notably in the bedroom. More and more often, Edward had trouble developing and maintaining an erection suitable for sexual activity, a condition known as erectile dysfunction, or ED.

“It was frustrating, and I felt bad for my wife,” Edward shares. “She was understanding and patient, but I knew I had to see someone about my condition. I went to my family doctor. He recommended a urologist, who prescribed a medication.”

Edward first tried correcting the problem by taking the ED drug CIALIS®. “The CIALIS worked okay for a while,” Edward says, but he didn’t like the headaches that often came as a result of using it. Edward soon began looking for a viable alternative for ED treatment and found one in an unlikely place.

“I was in my dentist’s office when I picked up a copy of Florida Health Care News,” Edward relates. “I read an article about a treatment that offers significant improvement in ED symptoms without pills or surgery. I was immediately intrigued.”

The treatment Edward read about is GAINSWave® therapy, and it’s provided by Robert C. Lupo, DC, at Physical Medicine Center in Tampa. After his dentist appointment was over, Edward called Dr. Lupo and made an appointment with him to learn more about GAINSWave.

“ED is essentially a circulatory problem caused by an impediment in blood flow to the chambers that fill the penis with blood when stimulated,” Dr. Lupo explains. “For years, physicians have treated ED with medications such as VIAGRA® and CIALIS, penile injections or penile implants. But now, there’s a nonsurgical, drug-free treatment that corrects the underlying cause of ED through the use of acoustic waves. That treatment is GAINSWave therapy.”

Referred to clinically as low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy, or LiESWT, GAINSWave uses a small, handheld device to deliver acoustic waves through a series of short, painless pulsations that not only open clogged blood vessels in the penis but also stimulate the nerve endings to enhance sensitivity and enhance the feeling of orgasm.

“The treatment is based on the same technology that’s used to break up kidney stones,” Dr. Lupo informs. “The device transmits acoustic waves that break up the plaque and calcium that have built up inside the blood vessels in the penis.

“Once that plaque and calcium are broken up, you get better blood flow, and it’s that improved blood flow that leads to better, longer-lasting erections.”

Along with providing better blood flow through existing blood vessels, the GAINSWave treatment also stimulates the growth of new nerve tissue, which is vital for achieving and maintaining healthy erections.

In addition, GAINSWave causes the growth of new blood vessels to occur over a three- to four-month time period. This differs from the temporary blood flow from sexual enhancement drugs. New blood vessel growth leads to larger girth and firmer erections that are totally natural.

Dr. Lupo points out that GAINSWave treatments can also be used to treat Peyronie’s disease, which is what occurs when scar tissue builds up in the penis and causes an abnormal bend, or curvature, to the penis that can impede urination and/or ejaculation.

“By making certain adjustments to the machine’s settings, we can treat the fibrous tissue the same way we treat blood vessels and break down the scar tissue that may be causing that irregular shape,” Dr. Lupo educates.

Suffering in Silence

Far more common than many realize, ED will derail the sex lives of more than half of all men at some point in their lifetime. It currently stands as the sexual problem most often reported by men to their doctors.

“ED is a problem that occurs progressively as men age,” Dr. Lupo reports. “But it is even more common in men suffering from hypertension and peripheral vascular and cardiovascular disease, in men who smoke or used to smoke and as a result of prescription or illicit drug use.”

Many different causes may underlie the diagnosis of ED, Dr. Lupo points out. The primary cause of erectile dysfunction – the one that affects 80 to 90 percent of all sufferers – is vascular disease.

The second most common cause is a hormone imbalance such as low testosterone or excessive estrogen levels. In a fair number of patients, both – if not more – factors can be the culprit. All factors must be addressed for best results.

“Unfortunately, most men have a hard time talking about this problem and frequently suffer in silence or, at most, discuss it with their primary care physician,” Dr. Lupo notes. “But most primary care physicians do not have the time and the state-of-the-art know-how to fully evaluate and treat the patient to achieve optimal results.

“As a result, most men are given a prescription for pills such as VIAGRA without so much as a discussion or explanation of how to take the pill correctly.”

Dr. Lupo, who is a certified provider of GAINSWave therapy, emphasizes that although many treatments may be effective, only few actually reverse the underlying cause as opposed to covering up the cause like a BAND-AID®, as is the case with pills.

Remarkable Results

GAINSWave treatments take between 20 and 30 minutes to complete. A full course of therapy is generally a total of six sessions twice a week over the course of three weeks. Some patients may need more sessions.

“For younger men, one course of six sessions is generally sufficient,” Dr. Lupo assures. “But a man in his seventies, eighties or nineties with certain health issues such as high blood pressure or diabetes may need more.

“For those patients as well as anyone who has been a heavy smoker, it may take anywhere from twelve to even thirty treatments before they see a result. But it does work. More than seventy percent of men who have GAINSWave therapy respond to it.

“Another thing to keep in mind is that results do not happen right away. It may take more than one course of treatment, but most men notice a significant change in their status after a full course of six sessions.”

The effects of the GAINSWave therapy are long-lasting. Once they begin to realize a result, most patients will continue to enjoy those results for one to two years, though some clinics recommend a refresher treatment every three to six months.

“Completely Gone”

Edward was eager to correct his ED issue, so he visited Physical Medicine Center and received a series of six GAINSWave treatments.

“GAINSWave therapy was just the kind of thing I was looking for because I wanted something that was noninvasive, and I didn’t want to have to take any kind of medication that might bring about a bunch of side effects,” Edward reports.

GAINSWave treatments are performed right in the Physical Medicine Center. There is no downtime afterward, and Edward says his treatment regimen provided him with the boost in sexual performance he wanted.

“The results are truly remarkable,” Edward raves. “I actually began to notice a change after two or three treatments, but I completed the whole course, and now, six months later, the issue is completely gone.”

ED patients receiving GAINSWave therapy at Physical Medicine Center sometimes seek booster treatments after a couple of years. Edward says he won’t hesitate to get such a booster should he need it, in part because of how well he was treated by Dr. Lupo and his staff.

“First off, they do a great job of explaining how the treatment works,” Edward states. “And they don’t make you feel awkward at all. They actually make you feel very comfortable. And the results speak for themselves.

“If you’re looking for better sexual performance and a boost in sexual confidence, this treatment is a no-brainer. And I recommend getting it from Dr. Lupo and his staff at Physical Medicine Center because they really are as
professional as they come.”

*Patient’s name changed at his request

It’s A Wonderful Life

Resident ambassador eases transition into assisted living community.

Ambassadors are not synonymous with politics; they can be found in all walks of life. Such is the case with Sandy Petty, Sabal Palms first resident who serves as a resident ambassador at Sabal Palms Assisted Living & Memory Care in Palm Coast.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Sandy Petty

“I meet and greet all the new residents and help them get acquainted with their new home here,” says Sandy, a Tampa-born, self-described Navy brat. “It’s just something that I like to do because I like people and want to be helpful.”

Florida is known as a state many people retire to, so there is a great need for senior living communities offering myriad forms of care. That care is not always medical in nature. That’s where Sandy, 80, comes in.

“I usually give new residents a day or two to get situated, but then I’ll visit with them and give them a gift bag with a coffee mug, a sketch pad and information about activities, and I introduce them to other residents and answer any questions they might have.”

A resident of the Sabal Palms community since 2017, Sandy has a wealth of knowledge of the community and the daily activities that go on there, and she passes that information on to others, says Sandra Young, community relations director for Sabal Palms.

“She loves to be busy, and that’s probably why she’s one of our ambassadors,” Sandra states. “She welcomes new residents and helps them learn their way around. Everybody in the community does, of course, but she’s more one-on-one with people.”

Abundant Care and Amenities

Sabal Palms Assisted Living & Memory Care offers studio, one- and two-bedroom suites and five levels of customized care as well as specialized care for those residing in its secured memory care community referred to as Journeys.

The care levels begin with minimal assistance, such as medication management and move up to include incontinence care, shower assistance and more. The community also has a fitness room, piano lounge, wine bar and game room.

Yoga, cooking, painting and music classes are among the vast array of daily activities open to all residents, who are also treated to a movie each night in the community’s theater, where popcorn is freshly popped every afternoon for theater time.

Sandy Petty is an avid reader, and she notes that “there is also a wonderful library if you just want to relax and read.”

Sabal Palms also offers live entertainment every week, and every conceivable occasion – anniversaries, birthdays, etc. – are celebrated with gusto. You’ll find daily gatherings for happy hour in the wine bar and piano lounge.

Bingo, card games, music, trips to local shopping malls and plazas – all are offered at Sabal Palms, where Sandy moved to in an effort to be closer to her brother, who lives nearby. She says it was one of the best moves she ever made.

“It’s really a great place,” says Sandy, who talks of Sabal Palms with all the enthusiasm of a new student on her first day of school. “I feel comfortable here. I feel secure here.

“And I know that if I have a problem with anything that somebody is going to help me with it. It’s a comfort to know there’s someone here to help you no matter what, and that you really don’t have to do anything.

“It’s like a five-star hotel. They do my laundry, clean my apartment and change the sheets once a week. They help to make life wonderful here, and it’s really a lovely community.”

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