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Get Back in the Game

Revolutionary acoustic wave therapy boosts sexual performance.

Outside of being about four or five pounds overweight, Elliott* says he’s in great shape for a man who will soon celebrate his 70th birthday.
“I’m in excellent health,” the now retired civil engineer exudes. “The only problem I’ve had has been in the bedroom, if you know what I mean. That’s the only place where I’ve had a tendency to feel my age on occasion.”Stock Photo from
On those occasions when Elliott has actually felt his age, it was erectile dysfunction, or the inability to either achieve or maintain an erection satisfactory for sexual intercourse, that robbed him of his vim and vigor.
“I used to get early-morning erections all the time,” Elliott says. “I used to wake up with one. Then, a few years ago, they started going away or decreased in time or just weren’t as hard. After a couple years of that, I couldn’t get a good, hard erection at all.”
Elliott is not alone in his plight. Studies show that more than half of all men will experience some form of erectile dysfunction during their lifetime and that men suffering from hypertension, diabetes or cardiovascular disease are even more likely to experience dysfunction.
Smoking, heavy consumption of alcohol and drugs (either illicit or prescription) can also cause erectile dysfunction, which is typically the result of circulatory impairment in the blood capillaries or urogenital areas of the penis.
For years, medications such as VIAGRA® and CIALIS® have been the first line of defense against erectile dysfunction, or ED. If those proved unsuccessful, the next treatment option has generally been injections into the penis. If that failed, the last resort has long been a penile implant.
There is now a revolutionary, noninvasive and highly effective treatment called GAINSWave® therapy that treats erectile dysfunction through the use of acoustical waves that is performed in Clearwater by Rene M. Reed, DC, DABCO, NMD.

Acoustic Wave Technology

Dr. Reed is a practicing chiropractic orthopedic specialist and naturopathic medical doctor who specializes in alternative medicine. He recently added GAINSWave to his menu of treatment options because of the great need he sees for it.
Graphic courtesy of GAINSWave.“I do hormone treatments, genetic testing, stool studies for digestive issues and treat autoimmune diseases. Now, I do GAINSWave treatments because I’ve seen erectile dysfunction destroy relationships and devastate men,” Dr. Reed explains.
“It doesn’t matter how educated you are or how rich you are. When that ability to express yourself in the area of romance wanes, it tears men apart. I’ve literally had grown men cry in front of me over it.
“Most men won’t even admit they have this kind of a problem. But all they’re doing is letting themselves down and letting their wives down. What they need to know is that it’s okay to let somebody know they have an issue, because we can fix it.”
GAINSWave fixes the problem through the use of a small, handheld device that delivers acoustical waves in a series of short, painless pulsations that break up the plaque and calcium that have built up inside the blood vessels in the penis.
“It works like a little pneumatic hammer except you don’t feel it because it doesn’t touch your skin,” Dr. Reed explains. “And once that plaque and calcium are broken up, you get better blood flow. 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. That process typically takes three to four months to complete and leads to larger girth and firmer erections that are totally natural.
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. Reed informs.
“Women can benefit from this treatment, too, because the anatomy and physiology of the female genitalia is the same as the man. And just like men, when women get older, their labia shrink up, and their clitoris shrinks up just like the man’s penis shrinks up.
“But, just as it does with men, GAINSWave can improve that blood supply and reinvigorate the nerves and put some spice back into their lives and their relationships so that they’re not one of two people just living together anymore.”

Remarkable Results

Elliott’s relationship was nearing just such a stage when he sought out Dr. Reed, who had previously treated him for a vitamin deficiency. After discussing the matter, Elliott and Dr. Reed agreed that Elliott would benefit from the GAINSWave treatments, which he began last spring.

Patient photo by Jordan Pysz.

Dr. Rene M. Reed

GAINSWave treatments last about 30 minutes, with patients typically receiving two such treatments per week for a span of six weeks. Some patients, such as those with high blood pressure or diabetes, may require more sessions to achieve the desired response.
“For those patients as well as anyone who has been a heavy smoker, as many as twenty treatments may be needed to see a result,” Dr. Reed confirms. “But the therapy does work. More than seventy percent of men who undergo GAINSWave therapy respond to it.”
Dr. Reed says most patients begin to experience a response after about six sessions and notes that they typically experience the effects for more than a year. Elliott is among those who reported positive results after his first course of treatment.
“It wasn’t all that long after I started the treatments that my erections started to become bigger and stronger, and my wife can attest to that,” Elliott says. “It’s been about a year now since I completed my treatment, and I’m still going strong.
“But I’m not stopping there. This treatment has made such a difference in my life and in my relationship with my wife that I’m going back in the summer for a tune-up. And let me say that everyone in Dr. Reed’s office is very professional.
“Dr. Reed is a fascinating guy. He shows a great deal of concern for his patients, and his staff does a great job. I don’t hesitate to say that Dr. Reed has not only changed my life, but he’s made it better. A lot better.”

*Patient’s name withheld at his request.


Freedom from Glasses

Graphic from kisspng.Cataract surgery alleviates need for glasses, improves vision.

As military tours of duty go, the 23-month stint that John Clark served overseas with the 1st Cavalry Division and 173rd Airborne during the Vietnam War was about as manageable as any soldier could possibly hope for.

As a communications expert working in the small town of An Khê in the Central Highlands, John saw no combat and worked in a secured, air-conditioned communications facility.
“I don’t brag about it, but I definitely lucked out,’’ says John, whose three-decade-long career in communications continued in similar comfort. It wasn’t until after he retired that John’s good fortune began to wane as some medical issues, including a very significant one associated with his eyesight, crept up on him.
“I’ve always been very good about getting my eyes checked regularly, and for a few years, the eye doctors had been telling me, You’ve got a nice cataract growing there,’’ John reveals. “At first, I really didn’t notice it, but that changed the last year or so.
“I eventually began to notice that I wasn’t seeing as well as I had before, especially driving at night. Whenever I would drive somewhere, it was like the lights were exploding. The glare would fill the whole windshield of my car.
“At home it was just the opposite, everything was dim. I had to start leaving lights on all over the house because I wasn’t seeing as well. I didn’t need the light to get to the room, but I needed the light on once I got into the room, so I just left them on.”
John, who had worn glasses all his life, put up with the inconveniences for several months. Finally, during his annual eye exam last year, he was told his cataract needed to be removed and was advised to have his surgery done at The Eye Institute of West Florida.
That’s where he met Robert J. Weinstock, MD, a board-certified, fellowship-trained cataract and refractive surgeon who is in his 18th year of service at the institute and is now the institute’s director of cataract and refractive services.
During his initial examination of John, Dr. Weinstock learned that John had cataracts in both eyes and that they had matured to the point where they were affecting his vision. He then scheduled John for cataract surgery.

A Common Occurrence

As they did with John, cataracts develop naturally in about 90 percent of all people 65 or older and more often than not as a result of either a breakdown of the eye’s lens fibers, a clumping of the eye’s proteins, or both.

Patient photo by Jordan Pysz.

John had one eye corrected for distance and the other for reading,
which is known as monovision.

They most often cause blurred vision, an increase in sensitivity to light and/or a reduction in color vibrancy, and while they usually develop slowly, they can be corrected quickly, easily and painlessly through a brief, outpatient surgical procedure.
With a break of a week or two in between surgeries, physicians usually correct one eye at a time using an ultrasonic device that breaks up the cloudy, natural lens. Once that old lens is removed, it is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens or IOL.
Standard IOLs correct a patient’s vision for distance only, meaning the patient would still need to wear glasses for reading. Multifocal IOLs correct vision if any present astigmatism is corrected simultaneously for both distance and close-up needs, such as reading, the way bifocal glasses or multifocal contact lenses do.
Patients can also have one eye fixed for distance and one fixed for reading. That process is called monovision. That was the correction Dr. Weinstock recommended for John, who first went through a natural monovision trial, at Dr. Weinstock’s recommendation.
“During a natural monovision trial, we give the patient about a week to see how their brain will tolerate one eye being set for distance and the other being set to see up-close vision,’’ Dr. Weinstock informs. “John was one who actually adjusted very well to that.
“We corrected his left eye first, for distance, and when he looked in the distance following the surgery, his brain automatically used the distance-corrected eye. At the same time, when he looked at his cell phone, his brain automatically used the noncorrected eye, set for near.
“That eye was still blurry and hazy because we had not yet removed the cataract from it. We could tell by the way he responded to that first surgery that once we corrected the second eye, his brain would adjust very well with monovision.
“When we corrected the second eye, we purposely left him nearsighted in that eye because we want that eye to continue reading for him without glasses. Now, it’s like he has a built-in pair of reading glasses in that one eye, so he doesn’t need reading glasses at all and has crystal-clear distance vision as well from the first eye.”

Better Than Ever

John underwent cataract surgery on his left eye in January. During that surgery, Dr. Weinstock also corrected the astigmatism in John’s left eye using a special laser. He also fine-tuned the power of his lens by using a special device called the ORA System.
ORA stands for Optiwave Refractive Analysis. It allows eye surgeons to obtain accurate measurements of the shape of the eye after the cataract has been removed so the newly implanted IOL gives the patient the clearest vision possible.

Patient photo by Jordan Pysz.

John Clark

“By correcting his astigmatism and using the advanced technology ORA System to measure the shape of the eye, we were able to get the perfect matched lens for John, which gave him perfect 20/20 distance vision in that eye,’’ Dr. Weinstock reports.
“All of a sudden, he could drive again, even at night, without glasses. He could see street signs and watch TV. He had surgery on his right eye a week after he had the surgery on his left, and he began to notice a drastic improvement in his reading vision as well.”
“After the first surgery, I would close my right eye and look only out of the left, and everything was bright and clear,’’ John says. “But when I looked only out of my right eye, the one that hadn’t been corrected yet, everything was yellow and blurry.
“That’s when I realized that I never knew just how bad my eyesight had become. I naturally just got used to seeing poorly, I guess. Now that I’ve had both eyes done, I can see everything perfectly in the distance and up close.”
John adds that he’s extremely happy he was advised to visit Dr. Weinstock for his surgery. He says the entire staff at The Eye Institute of West Florida deserves high grades for its care and compassion.
“They’re all just aces,’’ John says. “Dr. Weinstock is very personable, and he made sure I knew everything that was going to happen all along the way. They even called me the very next day after the surgeries to make sure everything was all right. They’re all great.”

Nurse Peggy

Like John, Peggy Hall learned a couple years ago that cataracts were developing in her eyes. Sometime last summer, the cataract in her right eye began to develop rapidly, causing her to make a couple of changes in her contact lens prescription.

Patient photo by Jordan Pysz.

Peggy Hall

“All of a sudden, the vision in my right eye began to get progressively worse,’’ explains Peggy, a 61-year-old registered nurse who has spent the past 38 years of her 40 years in nursing serving patients at Clearwater’s Morton Plant Hospital.
“At first, I was just having a lot of blurred vision. But then I started to see halos around lights at night. And they were pretty pronounced. It was like there was a rainbow around the street lights, which made me a little anxious.
“I quickly reached a point where I wasn’t all that crazy about driving at night anymore, so I would only drive at night if I absolutely had to. Over time, the problem eventually started affecting me at work a little bit, too.
“I’m a triage nurse, and I’d worn multifocal contact lenses for years, but I still used readers at the desk and when I would work with patients, reading their monitors and charts. After a while, I had to get a little closer to the monitor to read it clearly.”
Peggy’s growing vision problems prompted her to visit her eye doctor, who twice prescribed new contact lenses. When the problem persisted, Peggy’s eye doctor suggested she see Dr. Weinstock at
The Eye Institute of West Florida.
“When I first saw Dr. Weinstock in November of last year, my contact lens prescription had changed even more,’’ Peggy says. “That’s how fast the cataract was developing, so I knew I needed to have it taken care of.”
During her initial visit with Dr. Weinstock, Peggy made plans to have her cataract surgery done in January. Because she was accustomed to wearing multifocal contact lenses, she chose to have multifocal IOLs implanted during that surgery.
“The multifocal implants are very similar to the optic design of the multifocal contact lenses,’’ Dr. Weinstock informs. “That made them a good choice for Peggy because her brain was already accustomed to the use of the multifocal contacts.
“That’s a very important factor that has to be taken into consideration, because cataract surgery is no longer a one-size-fits-all type of procedure. There’s a big difference now between what you get from customized refractive cataract surgery and basic cataract surgery.
“Standard IOLs are going to be fine for a lot of people, depending on their lifestyle. But because of the advances that have been made in technology and training, there’s another level we can go to that can leave you completely glasses free and with exceptional vision.”

Amazing Outcome

Peggy reached that level after undergoing a surgical procedure similar to John’s, one in which Dr. Weinstock corrected her astigmatism and used the ORA System to ensure the implanted IOLs gave her the clearest, sharpest vision possible.

Patient photo by Jordan Pysz.

Peggy received multifocal implants, which allow her to see all distances clearly

The surgery, and Peggy’s choice of multifocal IOLs, proved a perfect combination for her as she is now living a glasses-free and contact-lens-free lifestyle for the first time since she was eight years old.
“The outcome was absolutely amazing,’’ Peggy exudes. “I wore glasses and contact lenses for fifty-three years, and the first morning I woke up and was able to see the alarm clock without reaching for my glasses was a very emotional moment for me.
“That sort of thing has been very cool. It’s also been a little hard to get used to. I mean, I’ve been in the habit of taking out my contact lenses every night and putting them in every morning for so long that I still think to do it sometimes. But I don’t have to.
“The best part, of course, is that my vision is perfect. Actually, it’s better than perfect. My vision is 20/15 now, so I’m very lucky. I don’t need to wear readers or anything anymore, and I see in the distance very clearly and crisply.”
Like John, Peggy’s vision improved dramatically after she had just one eye corrected. In her case, that was the right eye. The procedure Dr. Weinstock performed on both her right and left eye was
“completely uneventful.”
“It was so easy,’’ she raves. “And the way they do everything is so organized. They have it down to a science how they get you in and out of there. It doesn’t take any time at all, just a few minutes for the surgery itself, which is great.
“And everyone there is so professional, yet they treat you like family. Everybody greets you and is very courteous.
Dr. Weinstock is just amazing. Even though he’s treating so many people, he treats you like you’re his only patient.
“The reason I went to him is because so many of the surgeons and anesthesiologists I work with have been to him and recommended him. I figured that if they trusted him with their eyes, then that’s who I’m going to trust my eyes to, and I’m glad I did.”

Implants Now The Gold Standard For Replacement Teeth

May 22nd, 2019

The loss of a tooth may be a bit traumatic for a five- or six-year-old child, but it’s all part of the natural growing process, one that adults usually find rather cute. There is nothing cute, however, about adults losing a tooth.

When someone past the age of seven or eight loses a tooth, it’s gone for good, and studies show that more than 178 million Americans have suffered just such a loss while more than 35 million Americans have lost not just one or two teeth but all their teeth.

Most consider tooth loss to be an aesthetic problem, and for those who lose a tooth in their smile line it is. But there are physical problems that develop as a result of tooth loss that are even more concerning.

Over time, the loss of a tooth can lead to a loss of bone in the jaw area where the missing tooth used to be, which can result in changes in a person’s facial appearance, odd shifts in the remaining teeth and a collapse in the person’s bite.

Replacement options for missing teeth include bridges and dentures, but dental implants have become the gold standard for tooth replacement because they prevent further bone loss and look and function just like natural teeth.

At Dental Specialists of North Florida, John W. Thousand IV, DDS, MSD, is a specialist in implant dentistry, which is the surgical placement into the jawbone of a screw-like post that serves as the foundation for replacement teeth, bridges or dentures.

The Right Choice

The implant itself is a titanium root-shaped body that is surgically placed into the jaw bone. A single implant supports an abutment and a crown, which creates a new tooth. Several implants can be used to support a fixed bridge or even a full denture.

Because implants require a certain amount of bone to attach to, the implant procedure always begins with an examination to determine whether the patient has enough jaw bone to adequately support an implant.

For those who don’t, a bone grafting procedure can be done in which bone from another part of the body or a special bone grafting material designed to enhance new bone growth is seated in the jawbone where the implant is expected to go.

It typically takes between four and six months for the jaw bone to heal to a point where it is strong enough to support implants. During that healing period, patients usually wear temporary, or removable, dentures or bridges.

Once the implants are placed, patients usually need between three and six months for the implants to heal to the point where they can support the abutment and the crown. As with bone grafting, patients typically wear temporary crowns or bridges during that time.

The advantages to dental implants include a more natural feel and look but they don’t end there. Because a full implant-supported upper arch doesn’t cover the palate the way traditional dentures do, they don’t negatively affect a person’s sense of taste.

Another issue associated with traditional dentures that is avoided through implant-supported dentures is the gag reflex that some patients experience because the denture extends over the back of the palate. Implants also aid the digestive process.

That process begins in the mouth with the way we chew our food. Implants allow a person to chew their naturally and properly, which is an important health factor. If certain foods are not chewed properly, some nutrients may not be absorbed into the body.

Implants even have an effect on the foods we eat. People missing teeth or those wearing bridges or traditional dentures may be prohibited from eating certain foods. That’s not the case with dentures, because their natural form eliminates all restrictions.

Buon Appetito!

Customized weight-loss program improves health, vitality.

trip to the Cape Coral area isn’t complete without a visit to Miceli’s waterfront Italian restaurant, where the Pasta Ala Miceli is one of the best options on a menu the Miceli family has been honing since it opened its first eatery some 20 years ago.

Vincenzo Miceli lost 100 pounds on the Ideal Protein® weight-loss program. 

Before & After Ideal Protein

“It’s a bounty of fresh, local seafood – clams, shrimp and calamari,” says Vincenzo Miceli, who opened this particular restaurant ten years ago. “You can even get it with Fra diavolo, which is a spicy red sauce. That’s how I like it. It’s our signature pasta dish.”

A restaurant owner since he left college, 38-year-old Vincenzo says he makes a point of tasting every dish made in his kitchen each day. Some would consider that one of the perks of the job, but Vincenzo learned a few years ago that it has some drawbacks.

“I had some pictures taken professionally of me and my family at my restaurant, and I was very dissatisfied with the way I looked in them,” Vincenzo reveals. “I could see I was overweight, and that got me very concerned.”

Vincenzo had good reason to be concerned. At the time the pictures were taken, he weighed more than 320 pounds and was experiencing pain and tingling in his legs, symptoms he suspected were a result of his excess weight.

The son of a man who had a heart attack at the age of 39 and the father of two young daughters, Vincenzo also worried his excess weight was putting him at greater risk for a heart attack or stroke that would forever alter his life and/or that of his family.

It was those concerns that prompted Vincenzo to visit a doctor. His choice of physician was Keith Susko, MD, who specializes in pain management at Pain Relief & Physical Rehab in Fort Myers.

Vincenzo’s choice was fortuitous because Dr. Susko also specializes in obesity medicine. Following a nerve study of Vincenzo’s legs, Dr. Susko confirmed Vincenzo’s belief that his weight was causing his leg pain and recommended he begin a diet plan.

An Ideal Fit

The plan Dr. Susko endorses is Ideal Protein®. It is a four-phase, ketogenic, medically developed weight-loss and lifestyle protocol that helps participants lose excess body fat and effectively improve their health and wellness while increasing vitality.

“Ideal Protein is such a complete and effective nutrition program that it has actually helped some patients reduce blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes medications they need to take,” Dr. Susko explains.

“Some of those patients have been able to get off their medications entirely by sticking to this program, which helps them maintain their fat loss because it changes their eating habits and the way they look at food.”

In addition to improving blood sugar and cholesterol levels and reducing blood pressure, Ideal Protein also helps participants foster better appetite control and develop and maintain eating habits that become second nature to them.

Those goals are achieved through customized meal plans that help to burn stored fat and preserve lean muscle by emphasizing high-quality proteins that are easily absorbed and by limiting the amount of sugars and dietary fats that are taken in.

“Another thing I like about the program is that it acts as a natural appetite suppressant by increasing the fat-burning mechanism of the body, which suppresses the craving for additional carbohydrates,” Dr. Susko adds.

“That’s why it’s so easy for participants to stay on the program, because they’re not craving food and feeling hungry the way you do when you’re on a regular, high-carbohydrate diet.”

Adapted from a fitness and nutrition program designed for Olympic athletes, Ideal Protein also helps participants preserve and sometimes increase muscle mass, which further fuels weight loss and helps to build added strength.

“Ideal Protein burns fat while preserving muscle mass, which is what you need to stay healthy and maintain a high metabolic rate, which is the rate of energy the body needs to function properly,” Dr. Susko informs.

Because the program removes most of the dairy, grains and a lot of fruits from their diet, Ideal Protein participants need to take a multivitamin as well as potassium, fish oil and calcium supplements to ensure they receive an adequate amount of minerals each day.

“I highly recommend the supplements, but the advantage you get from eliminating a lot of the dairy and grains from your diet is that you’re also eliminating some of the most inflammatory foods people tend to eat,” Dr. Susko educates.

“I run a medical practice where I treat a lot of pain, and I’ve noticed that when I get patients to use the Ideal Protein program, their pain levels drop because they’ve reduced the systemic inflammation caused by some of the foods they’ve eliminated.

“Another advantage is that Ideal Protein helps patients decrease their gastroesophageal reflux and any medications they may be taking for that. It can also help with snoring or sleep apnea problems.

“That’s partly because fat loss in general helps with those things, but we notice that happens very quickly with people on the Ideal Protein program. In fact, within a week or two of starting the program, we start seeing all of these benefits.”

Participants in the Ideal Protein Protocol are also encouraged to exercise regularly. To aid them in that endeavor, participants are given access to fitness videos showing them a variety of exercises that can be done to help them burn more calories.

“It’s always helpful to exercise when you’re in any type of diet program and that includes Ideal Protein,” Dr. Susko explains. “But I started offering the Ideal Protein program because I had so many patients who simply could not exercise because they were in too much pain.

“I was looking for a way to help them lose weight because people tend to get heavier due to a lack of exercise. The beauty of Ideal Protein is that, if you can exercise you’ll get better results; but if you can’t, it is still a medically sound way to control your weight.

Life-Changing Results

Vincenzo is proof of that. Because of his work schedule, he is one who simply doesn’t have much time to exercise. Still, he has lost more than 100 pounds since he began the program a few years ago. And he’s done that without having to change his work habits.

“Ideal Protein worked for me because it teaches you how to eat right and what to eat to keep your body burning fat,” Vincenzo says. “It gives you the tools to succeed that all the other diet plans I’d tried over the years never did.

“And believe me, I tried a lot of other diet plans. But this was by far the most beneficial because it taught me portion control, which was my biggest problem. It also taught me about the right types of food to eat and when to eat.

“And one of the best things is that I was able to stay on this diet and still be productive at my restaurant, where I need to do a lot of taste testing and am always creating new things. All I had to do was stick to the guidelines of the program, and it worked.

“That’s why I owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Susko. He was instrumental in changing my life because when I started this program, all I saw in my daughters’ eyes was love and when I looked in the mirror, all I saw in my own eyes was pain.

“I wanted them to see love in my eyes, too. I committed to losing the weight not only for myself but also for my daughters. They’re just eight and ten now, and I need to be around for them, and this is going to help me do that.”

A Fine Art

Celebrating a beautiful life one brush stroke at a time.

The colorful painting of a bass player that hangs in the office of Robert Pollack, MD, is typical of Cori Scheft’s work. It’s a vivid and vibrant collage of brightly dyed newspaper clippings, fabrics and strips of sheet music that belie one simple fact:

Despite her battle with depression, Cori Scheft sees and recreates a beautiful world.

Cori Scheft

Cori has been suffering from a Brain Disease know as Depression.

“It’s a painting of a blues musician,” explains Dr. Pollack, who treats Cori at Psychiatric Associates of Southwest Florida. “I love the blues and I play the blues, and since I treated Cori’s blues, she put that painting together for me and gave it to me.

“I’m actually quite proud to have it because it’s a beautiful painting created by someone who fights depression, which is often dark and colorless. Yet this painting is alive and colorful. I don’t think anyone would guess it’s the work of someone battling depression.”

Cori, 67, believes her depression dates back to her early childhood, when an emergency appendectomy forced her to miss several weeks of school and prompted her mother to request that she be held back and repeat the first grade.

From that moment on, Cori says, she often had a feeling of “being less than” others, particularly in educational settings, where she struggled to learn at the pace most children do. The Boston, Massachusetts native says she carried that feeling into her early 20s, when she first noticed depression’s grip on her.

“It was a day in October, and I distinctly remember walking along the street and suddenly feeling this heavy sadness come over me,” Cori reveals. “It was a very sunken feeling, and I didn’t understand at all what was going on with me. I really didn’t understand at the time that it was depression.”

Cori has been fighting to curb that sunken feeling ever since. During her fight, she has used about every weapon psychiatry has to offer, including antidepressants, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and an “express” version of TMS called theta burst stimulation (TBS).

“I eventually went to see a therapist, but that didn’t help me much. I was very sensitive to the medicines that they prescribed for me. They knocked me out; I wasn’t able to function well,” continues Cori. “Later on, I did have some success with taking medicine, but after thirty-
plus years, the side effects were making it very difficult for me to be with people.”

Dr. Pollack is currently treating her with a sequential combination of TMS, TBS therapy and ketamine, a drug originally introduced in the 1960s as an anesthetic agent that has also proven to be a fast-acting and effective antidepressant.

Meeting of the Minds

The combination of treatments is one Cori began receiving last September, after she was referred to Dr. Pollack by another psychiatrist after expressing her desire to seek new alternatives to the antidepressants that were causing her dire side effects. She now receives a quarterly ketamine booster as her primary treatment.

“People like Cori are the reason I’ve been doing this for the past forty-seven years,” explains Dr. Pollack. “She’s another example of why we need to treat people who are depressed, because they, too, have something special to offer the rest of us.

“For some people, that comes in the form of what they do or say. But for people like Cori, it comes in the form of what we see, because when we take that depression away, she provides us with a beautiful view of the world.”

The view of the world Cori expresses through her art is a byproduct of her childhood. She says her vast array of materials are like toys, and she uses them to be creative the way she was once creative when playing as a child.

“When I was young, I could literally play with anything,” Cori says. “I was intrigued by the shapes and textures of things. Even with something as simple as aluminum foil, I could find a way to be creative with it, and I’ve never lost that.

“What I do now are mixed-media collages using pages from vintage books, paper bags and all kinds of fabrics. A lot of it is stuff I’ve collected or been given over the years, like an old aeronautical chart that a neighbor gave me, things like that.

The images themselves are as diverse as the materials used to create them. Though dominated by beach scenes, Cori’s works include a portrait of a Victorian-age woman, an ad for television repair and a LeRoy Neiman-like painting of tennis star Roger Federer.

The only constants in her work are the radiant colors she uses to enhance the joie de vivre that she captures, particularly in the many images she’s created of musicians, dancers and lovers. Even her still-life works have a vibrancy to them.

An Expression of Love

“My father once said to me, Cori, even though it can be painful sometimes, life is so beautiful and exciting, and I really believe that,” Cori confides. “I love people and I love life, and I try my best to express that through my art.

Despite her battle with depression, Cori Scheft sees and recreates a beautiful world.

Cori painted this image of a bass player for Dr. Pollack.

“I think what allows me to do it is that when I work, I kind of free myself from everything else that’s going on, and I just zone in on what I’m doing. I sort of lose myself in the process, and because the colors in life are so very vibrant, that comes through in the art.”

That process has what Cori describes as an addictive-like nature to it. She notes that when she gets lost in her work, she has the ability to bounce from one piece to another and produce a lot of art all at once.

“I often have ten or twelve paintings going on at a time,” she says. “Each one is a journey, but sometimes when I get stuck on one path, I just skip over to another instead of going into that black hole where you don’t know what to do next.

“The inspiration always comes when you step back from it for a minute, and of course it’s easy to keep on going when you feel like you’re good at something and it’s fun and soothing.”

Part of the fun comes from creating unique pieces, such as the cigar box Cori painted to look like a Charleston Chew® candy bar for Dr. Pollack. She created that piece after learning that she and Dr. Pollack shared a special affinity for the candy.

“The first time I met with him, he asked me if I wanted a Charleston Chew, and I was like, Wow, this guy likes Charleston Chew?” Cori relates. “I was surprised to hear that, and so I made the painting for him.

“I did it because I’m a Bostonian, and Charleston Chew is the original candy that came out of Charleston, Massachusetts. I thought it was interesting that even before he treated me, we had this connection, which I took as a sign everything was going to work out.

“The ketamine in combination with the TMS and the TBS [theta-burst stimulation] has really worked for me,” raves Cori. “I remember the first time I had the treatment, I felt a peace, a calmness come over me.

Cori’s art is proof that everything is indeed working out, says Dr. Pollack.

“When the black clouds depart, there is a special beauty that this lady who has been tormented by depression all her life can bring to the world,” he says. “And to have a hand in giving someone back that ability, that spirit, is truly rewarding.

“That’s why it’s so important for us to continue to find a way to help people with depression. I mean, as a society, how can we not want to take that evil away from people like Cori, who can help us see the world in such a different and beautiful way.”

Creating Healthy, Attractive Smiles

As an investment REALTOR® and design consultant, Debi Grover works face to face with people all day long. She knows all too well then just how important it is to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.

Debi Grover had the LANAP® procedure performed by Dr. Joseph Farag. Michael Burrock was a little hesitant to have Dr. Katrine Farag work on him, but through her excellent care, she eventually earned his trust.

Debi is no longer embarrassed to smile.

“When you greet someone, one of the first things they notice about you is your teeth,’’ Debi says. “I’ve known that for years, and there was a time not long ago when that became a concern for me because I suspected for a while that I had periodontal disease.

“I wasn’t experiencing any bleeding or anything like that when I brushed, but there was a lot of plaque built up on my teeth, and I knew that over time, some damage had been done to my gums.

“I wanted to be able to smile and not feel like I had to hide my teeth when I smiled, and because I really wanted to save my own, natural teeth, I got to a point where I knew I needed to find a dentist who could help me do that.”

Debi began her search for a dentist by doing some homework, researching gum treatments such as the laser-assisted LANAP® procedure. That’s where she came across Advanced Dentistry of Fort Myers.

“I read that they are very skilled and knowledgeable in treating gum disease with this laser, so I made an appointment in the hope that I would gain some additional knowledge about it,” Debi explains.

During her first visit to the practice, Debi met with Joseph H. Farag, DMD, who discussed the LANAP procedure as well as conventional surgery with her. Together, Debi and Dr. Farag decided that the LANAP option was the best choice to alleviate her gum disease.

Breaking with Tradition

Simply put, periodontal disease is an infection of the tissue that supports the teeth. The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) estimates that between 50 and 75 percent of all Americans have some form of periodontal disease, some through no fault of their own.

Gingivitis is a mild form of periodontal disease that causes irritation, redness and swelling. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to a second, more serious stage called periodontitis that can lead to bone loss around the teeth and cause the pockets around the teeth to get deeper.

“Just as she suspected, Debi had moderate to advanced stages of periodontal disease,” Dr. Farag reveals. “Because she had already researched the LANAP procedure, she knew she wanted to have that procedure rather than go through a traditional gum treatment.”

Traditional gum treatment involves cutting away the infected gum tissue and placing sutures to hold the reduced tissue in place during the healing process. One of the problems with it is that the scalpel cannot differentiate between healthy and diseased gum, so the patient loses healthy tissue as well as diseased tissue.

That’s why the traditional surgical approach often results in a recession of the gums, or a lowering of the level of gum tissue. If that tissue recedes too far, it can leave the sensitive tooth roots exposed, which can lead to other complications.

Research studies show that LANAP, which stands for laser-assisted new attachment procedure, is superior to conventional surgery in a number of ways, the most notable being that it allows the patient to retain a healthy gum line that supports the teeth.

“We don’t want the gums to recede, because that can make the teeth appear longer,” Dr. Farag explains. “Our goal then is to leave the patient with healthy gums that reattach naturally to the teeth. And when doing the LANAP procedure, we achieve that goal by making three passes along the entire gum line with a special laser and some other sonic dental devices.”

During the first laser pass, the energy from the laser kills any bacteria in the gums, vaporizes the diseased gum tissue and dehydrates any tartar on the tooth, making it brittle and easy to remove. This is also the step during which the diseased lining of the tissue is removed.

During the second pass, the tartar is removed with a vibrating, fine-tipped, ultrasonic instrument, and the pockets are flushed with an antimicrobial substance that stops the growth of new bacteria.

Finally, during the third pass, an antimicrobial seal is created that prevents re-infection and releases growth factors from blood cells that help regenerate the attachment between the gums and the teeth. The entire procedure, Dr. Farag emphasizes, is painless. So is its aftermath.

“The great thing about the LANAP procedure is the speed of recovery and the tissue response,” Dr. Farag educates. “It doesn’t take weeks or months for that to happen. It literally takes just a couple of days, which is truly amazing.

“When the bacteria or the tartar or the insult that is causing the inflammation and infection is removed from the tissue to the point where it’s sanitary – and that is what the laser does – the tissue heals ever so quickly.

“The analogy I use with patients is, say you cut yourself while working in the garden or because you work with your hands a lot. You get that cut and if you don’t clean it and don’t put NEOSPORIN® on it, you’ll go for days and it will burn and get irritated.

“It will eventually heal, but it will take a lot longer and you’ll feel it. But if you get a cut and you clean it, sanitize it, disinfect it and routinely put an antimicrobial on it and keep it clean, it will heal very quickly without pain and without scarring.

“That’s what LANAP does. It cleans, disinfects and sanitizes, and the body just heals up really quickly afterward, which is something that is very hard to do in the mouth because our mouths are not a very clean environment.

“Our mouths are filled with bacteria, and when you have that constant flow of bacteria in the mouth, it just makes it harder for the gums to heal. However, when you remove the bacteria and tartar and plaque, the gums heal quickly.

“Another advantage of this procedure is that it’s quick. Debi’s gums were treated in about three hours. Had she opted for conventional surgery, she would have had to make several visits to complete the process. LANAP is much faster, and there’s less discomfort afterward.”

Long-Term Commitment

Dr. Farag’s treatment of Debi didn’t end with the LANAP procedure. As he does with all of his patients, he took time to emphasize the importance of practicing proper dental care at home after the procedure is completed.

“When we sit down and discuss treatment options for gum disease, I want to be assured by that patient that they are committed to taking care of their teeth afterward,” Dr. Farag notes. “The laser treatment is the first step in getting the teeth healthy, but the patient needs to be committed to keeping the teeth healthy long-term in order for it to be effective.”

Patients are encouraged to have their teeth cleaned regularly, brush and floss daily and be aware of any sudden changes to their oral health.

“In order to keep the gums healthy, people need to keep the teeth clean. That requires daily commitment,” Dr. Farag reiterates.

Debi has a renewed desire to maintain a healthy mouth now that the procedure is complete. She looks forward to continuing her care with the team at Advanced Dentistry of Fort Meyers.

“Dr. Farag and the entire staff are personable and knowledgeable, and they make me feel confident.”

A Matter of Trust

Confidence is one thing Michael Burrock doesn’t lack. Though he’s 74 years old, he remains very active and health-conscious, and as a result, the Bokeelia resident says he neither feels nor looks his age.

Michael’s work helps keep him young, too. After all, as a software developer, he’s working in an industry dominated by men and women many years younger than him, and he has proven to be quite the entrepreneur in that field.

Over the years, he has either owned or been a deeply invested partner in three start-up companies, the most recent of which develops hotel reservation software programs for some of the world’s best-known hotel chains.

“Right now, we’re working mostly with Motel 6 and Best Western®, but we’ve also worked with Sandals®, Wyndham® and Westin® hotels,” informs Michael, who admits he’s had some help in maintaining that youthful appearance he’s so proud of.

The help has come from Katrine A. Farag, DMD, the dentist who inherited Michael as a patient when she took over a previous practice and opened Advanced Dentistry of Fort Myers.

Dr. Farag first began treating Michael in 2016, and over time, she earned Michael’s trust, first by doing the follow-up work for a laser gum treatment that was performed by his previous dentist and then by doing some general maintenance work.

“We followed up on his gums to make sure they stay healthy so that he would not need the surgery again, and did a filling on one tooth, a filling on a smaller tooth and some minor things on a tooth that had cracked,” Dr. Farag recalls.

“All along, though, his lower front teeth were very misaligned and not really in great shape. It was something he had put off taking care of for a long time, even with the previous doctor, and it was affecting his smile.”

It wasn’t just Michael’s smile that was impacted by the problems he had with his lower front teeth. His ability to eat was eventually affected as well when one of those teeth became loose and the area around it very painful.

Getting Committed

It was about that time that Michael was making a new commitment to proper oral health, so he decided once and for all to have his bottom teeth repaired. Having long since developed a great degree of trust in Dr. Farag, he turned to her to do the work.

“One of the things I really like about Dr. Farag is that before she does any work for you, she always does a great job of explaining all your options and what the pros and cons are of each choice,” Michael exudes. “She, of course, did that in this case as well.

“And what she told me was that because both of the lower front teeth were infected, it made the most sense to pull the front teeth and replace them with a bridge because the bridge would be more structurally sound and have a much better appearance.”

Confident that Dr. Farag’s recommendation would enhance both his oral health and his appearance, Michael agreed to have Dr. Farag pull his lower two front teeth and fit him for a permanently fixed bridge.

The time required for the gums to heal after two infected teeth are pulled is about eight weeks. Michael was given a temporary bridge to wear during that time and was fit for the permanent bridge in July.

“The bridge we gave him is completely fixed,” Dr. Farag explains. “It’s firmly cemented and anchored to other, healthier teeth, and one of the great things about it is that it’s made of ceramic, which allows us to align everything perfectly.

“Now, he has perfectly straight lower teeth. To look at Michael, you would never know how crooked his real teeth were. What I’m happiest about, though, is that he’s happy to have that look, because I know he was unhappy with that crooked smile.”

Debi Grover had the LANAP® procedure performed by Dr. Joseph Farag. Michael Burrock was a little hesitant to have Dr. Katrine Farag work on him, but through her excellent care, she eventually earned his trust.

Michael Burrock

“Ecstatic” might be a better way to describe how Michael feels about the new look of his lower front teeth. The new bridge fits perfectly, has alleviated any eating problems he was having and has greatly enhanced his confidence.

“Dr. Farag did an excellent job,” Michael enthuses. “The procedure wasn’t painful at all, and I’m no longer having any pain or discomfort when I’m chewing. A number of people have told me how great my teeth look now.”

Return Engagement

Michael was so pleased with the work Dr. Farag did to improve the health and appearance of his lower teeth that he recently returned to have her do some aesthetic work on his two upper front teeth as well.

“I call those my ‘bunny’ teeth, and they’re sound structurally; there was nothing wrong there,” Michael explains. “But one was a little discolored and the other one was a little worse than that, so I asked her what could be done about it.”

Dr. Farag determined that capping the two front teeth would be the best option for Michael, who agreed with her assessment. As part of that process, Dr. Farag also matches the color of the patient’s other teeth so they are aesthetically perfect.

“We have a variety of different shades to choose from, and it’s mostly a judgment call we make in making that match,” Dr. Farag informs. “Sometimes, we even step outside to see what the teeth look like in natural light to make sure we’re getting it right.

“Then, once I think I’m pretty close with the match, I let the patient try them, just to make sure they love the color before they’re married to them with permanent cement.”

Michael couldn’t be happier with the results of Dr. Farag’s work. Not only did she improve his oral health, but she gave him the aesthetically pleasing smile he’s always wanted. He adds that he would recommend her to anyone looking for a dentist.

“She’s a very happy, upbeat person, and the office is a comfortable place to go to where everyone is very positive,” Michael says. “And as far as her work goes, she’s very diligent and an absolute perfectionist. Everything has to be exactly right.

“She always does what’s necessary to make you feel comfortable and not experience any pain or discomfort. She’s very considerate, very much in tune with her patients that way, so I would suggest that anybody who has any anxiety about going to the dentist go see
Dr. Farag. She has a way of taking all of your anxiety away and making everything very easy.”

Icing on the Cake

Hormone replacement therapy renews spice for life.

Those pastry chefs and cake designers competing on television shows such as Last Cake Standing on the Food Network have nothing on Jan Neubauer, a former bookkeeper who thought while watching one such show several years back, I can do that.Jan Neubauer might not be running her specialty cake shop had she not started receiving BHRT.

And do it she does.

Now 62, Jan has been baking since her mother started teaching her the tricks of the trade when she was eight years old, and she is now the proprietor of U Take the Cake, a specialty cake shop in Vero Beach.

“We do birthday cakes, wedding cakes, anniversary cakes, just about anything anybody wants,’’ Jan says. “We even do cupcakes. I’ve been at it about seven years now, so it’s pretty much become a paying hobby for me.”

Jan’s paying hobby is one that keeps her on her feet throughout the day. To help her keep up her stamina and to ward off other menopausal symptoms such as depression and hot flashes, Jan regularly undergoes bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).

“I started the therapy back when I was in my forties,” Jan explains. “I owned another business at the time, but there were days when I couldn’t bring myself to stay at work because I was so depressed and moody and anxious.

“My husband is the one who actually did the research and discovered it, and for years, I had to travel all the way to Orlando to get the therapy because that was the closest place I could find where there was a doctor providing it.”

Jan’s long trips to Orlando to receive BHRT ended several years ago when she learned that Melissa Dean, MD, of the Dean Wellness Institute in Vero Beach, was offering the therapy as well.

Expert in the Field

Dr. Dean has been specially trained in the area of BHRT, which is designed to treat men and women whose hormones are low or out of balance. BHRT is considered the most natural and effective solution for hormone-related issues.

Those issues include insomnia, vaginal dryness and an inability to focus. BHRT has also proven to be effective in preventing diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease while also slowing the aging process.

Bioidentical hormones are natural byproducts of a plant derivative that are molecularly identical to the hormones produced by the human body and can be administered in a number of different ways.

“Some people want to do topical creams, which are very inexpensive and easily managed, while others prefer sublingual tablets,’’ Dr. Dean educates. “We also do a lot of bioidentical hormone pellets, which are about two times the size of a grain of rice.

“With the pellet therapy, we make a small incision and insert the pellet subcutaneously [below the skin]. The pellet slowly dissolves into the tissue and gets absorbed into the system. Many patients find that approach to be much easier than managing a daily application.”

Prior to prescribing bioidentical hormone replacement treatments, Dr. Dean meets with the patient to learn of their activity levels, lifestyle choices and medical history, including where women are in the cycle of life.

She then orders lab work to determine the patient’s exact levels of specific hormones such as estradiol, progesterone and testosterone, which is followed by a discussion of how those levels relate to the patient’s symptoms.

“After that, it’s a matter of educating the patient regarding the different modalities of administering bioidentical hormone replacement because it’s not one size fits all,’’
Dr. Dean says. “The patient’s lifestyle and ability to remember to take something really plays into which modality will work best.

“For example, some people don’t really look at the topical cream as a medication, but it certainly is, and if they’re not good at taking something consistently, then a daily application is not going to work best for them.

“Finally, there is an ongoing management because intermittently – every four to six months – we get new labs and check where the patient’s levels are and how they’re feeling, and based on those levels, we can either change the dose or keep it as it is.”

Back in Line

When Jan first began receiving bioidentical hormone replacement therapy nearly 20 years ago, she had just begun a new business venture, running a gym in Vero Beach. She says she never would have succeeded in that venture were it not for the hormone treatments.Jan Neubauer might not be running her specialty cake shop had she not started receiving BHRT.

“At the time, I was on antidepressants, but after a while, I was able to come off those because I really wasn’t depressed,’’ Jan reveals. “It was the fact that my hormones were all out of whack. That’s what was causing me to feel so down.

“My hormones were also causing me to lose a lot of energy, and the antidepressants were causing me to gain weight. But once I started getting the hormone treatments, I started gaining energy back and losing weight.

“To give you an idea of how well the treatments work, my husband, whom I lost last year, used to be able to tell when my hormones were getting out of whack or I needed to get checked again because he could see my mood change.

“He used to say subtly, Isn’t it about time for you to go get a new pellet? And, of course, he was usually right because about that time, I’d start to feel a bit run down and a bit low, so it was obviously making a difference.

“There’s no question that I’m happier and have a lot more energy because of the hormone therapy. I know I’m aging, but I don’t feel like I’m aging at all. And I’ve felt like this for so long now that I’ve almost forgotten what it was I felt like before.”

That, says Dr. Dean, is one of the great benefits of BHRT.

“Because of the advances in medicine and science, we’re living much longer now than we used to,’’ she says. “So the question is, how do you want to live the last thirty to forty years of your life?

“Some people would like to have something that helps them preserve their balance, their memory and gives them a renewed vitality and energy, things along these lines. This is a method to do just that.”

Jan concurs.

“Any woman of my age that I meet who complains about anything, the first thing I tell them to do is go see
Dr. Dean and get BHRT. It’s remarkable how
well it works.”

Need A Lift?

Upper eyelid surgery improves vision, appearance.

Back in the mid Sixties, when the United States was taking the lead in the space race against the Soviet Union and developing the technology that allowed man to walk on the moon, Alice Arcand literally had a hand in making that history happen.

Alice Arcand had upper eyelid surgery at the Center for Advanced Eye Care and came away extremely pleased.

Alice Arcand

“My sister and I came down to Florida and took jobs at Cape Canaveral for a while,” Alice explains. “I was a typist for testing procedures during the Gemini and Apollo missions. It was interesting work, to say the least, and a lot of fun.

“One of the interesting things was, we typed on typewriters with ribbons back then, and at the end of the day, someone would always collect all the ribbons because the information we were typing was top secret.”

Now 75 and a resident of Hutchinson Island, Alice has long been a regular patient at the Center for Advanced Eye Care, where she has been under the primary care of Adam M. Katz, MD, and recently had cataract surgery performed by William J. Mallon, MD.

It was during her annual eye exam last December that Alice mentioned that her sagging upper eyelids, an issue Dr. Katz had been monitoring for a couple of years, had drooped to a point where they were affecting her vision.

“There wasn’t enough light getting into my eyes, especially the right eye,” shares Alice. “And my peripheral vision was affected as well, which made it more difficult to drive.”

Upon examining Alice, Dr. Katz agreed that the problem had reached a point where it needed to be addressed and recommended Alice visit his associate at the Center for Advanced Eye Care, Alexander D. Blandford, MD.

Dr. Blandford is a board-certified ophthalmologist who completed an additional two-year accredited fellowship in oculofacial plastic surgery at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute and specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery around the eyes and face.

In addition to performing upper eyelid (eyelid lift) and lower eyelid (lower bag removal) surgery, brow lifts and nonsurgical skin treatments such as BOTOX® Cosmetic and dermal fillers, Dr. Blandford also specializes in skin cancer removal/reconstruction, orbital surgery and tear drainage system surgery.

Birthdays and Gravity

“Alice came to me with a complaint of having trouble getting enough light into her eyes and having to lift her eyelids up with her fingers to see well,” Dr. Blandford says. “She also said she looked tired and almost asleep compared to the way she actually felt.

“These are complaints I hear often from patients as birthdays and gravity result in extra tissue encroaching on the upper eyelids, resulting in skin covering the eyelashes and creating lateral hooding of the upper eyelid. Patients may also have weakness in one of the muscles that elevates the eyelid, called ptosis. These changes can create a cosmetic problem and in some cases actually impair a patient’s vision and ability to enjoy their daily activities.

Dr. Blandford says issues of this nature need to be identified prior to surgery through a thorough examination. Following just such an examination of Alice, Dr. Blandford concluded that Alice needed to undergo two procedures on each eye to correct the issue affecting her vision.

The first is called an upper blepharoplasty, or eyelid lift, which is designed to remove excess skin and/or fatty tissue from the eyelid. The second is called ptosis surgery, which involves repairing or tightening the muscle that is responsible for lifting the eyelid.

Dr. Blandford performed these procedures while Alice was under intravenous sedation, which allowed her to be awake and breathing but relaxed during the process. The combined surgeries took about 45 minutes to complete and both were performed through one incision in the skin of the eyelid.

Alice Arcand had upper eyelid surgery at the Center for Advanced Eye Care and came away extremely pleased.

Alice had a hand in helping man reach the moon

“Everybody is a little different, but if the patient doesn’t have significant extra eyelid skin and a ptosis is the primary problem, we also have the option of tightening the muscle from the inside of the eyelid without an external incision,” Dr. Blandford notes. “Either way, every patient has a customized plan in terms of their surgery.”

“The Whole Package”

Alice had her upper blepharoplasties and ptosis surgeries last October. Prior to the surgeries, Dr. Blandford went through every step of both procedures he would eventually perform, and he was mindful of her well-being during the course of each procedure as well.

“He was very attentive and kept asking me, Are you okay? Are you okay?” Alice reports. “That helped to put me more at ease. He also called me the weekend after my surgery from Chicago, where he was attending a conference, to check on me. He’s so kind and so professional. He’s the whole package as far as I’m concerned.

“The work he does is exceptional. I even got a little cosmetic bonus out of it. That’s not the reason I had it done, but by removing that excess skin and tightening up my eyelids, my eyes look a lot better. There’s definitely a difference in the way I look, which I really like. And of course, I can see a lot better now and have a more rested appearance.

“That is what I was most concerned with. That’s why I decided to have the surgery in the first place, and immediately after the swelling went down, my eyes were open more and more light was coming in, and my vision all around was much, much better. Dr. Blandford did a great job, and I recommend him to anyone!”

A Whole New Look

Comprehensive treatment plan restores aesthetically pleasing, functional smile.

New York City native Louis Rodriguez finished his career as a laundry manager in style. After serving two hospitals in that capacity, he spent his last 18 years in the industry running the laundry service at the famous Fontainebleau® Hotel on Miami Beach.

 Louis Rodriguez and Magaly Villafradez-Diaz went to see Dr. Leong for their dental issues and came away with beautiful, new smiles.

The result of Louis’ dental restoration was a dream smile

“It’s a special place,” the 75-year-old Palm Bay resident says of the Fontainebleau. “I especially like the beach there. It’s beautiful.”

For years, Louis wished he could have said the same about his smile. Unfortunately, the loss of several back teeth and some extensive wear on many of his remaining teeth left Louis with a smile he was not eager to show off.

Those same issues were also causing Louis a lot of pain. When he ate, for example, his upper front teeth would become very sore. He was also experiencing a lot of pain in the gums behind his upper front teeth.

It was that pain that recently sent Louis in search of a dentist who could help him with the problem. The search ended one day late last year while Louis was waiting to be seen for a checkup by his primary care physician.

“I was in the waiting room reading a newspaper, Florida Health Care News, and I saw this article about a dentist that was nearby,” Louis recounts. “I knew I had to do something about this problem I was having, so I decided to go see him.”

The dentist Louis read about is Richard Leong, Jr., DDS, a general and implant dentist who practices comprehensive, full-treatment dentistry, including full mouth reconstructions. Upon first examining Louis, Dr. Leong immediately discovered the cause of his discomfort.

“It was a bite problem,” Dr. Leong reveals. “Because he was missing a lot of back teeth, when he bit down, his upper front teeth were coming down over his lower front teeth, and that was causing a scissoring-like action on the gums behind his front teeth. That had caused his jaw and some remaining teeth to shift, which resulted in some bone loss in the jaw area where teeth were missing.

“That’s why he was experiencing so much pain with his gums and his teeth. He came in thinking there was something wrong with his teeth and that he needed them taken out, but I told him that wasn’t necessary, that what we needed to do was fix his bite.”

Pleased to hear that he didn’t need to have his front teeth removed, Louis agreed to have Dr. Leong correct his bite. That work began with Dr. Leong doing a comprehensive evaluation of Louis’ mouth, after which Dr. Leong came up with a treatment plan.

The treatment plan was extensive. It included some standard dental work to fill several cavities and periodontal treatments to correct some advanced gum disease. When that work was completed, Dr. Leong began the difficult task of correcting Louis’ bite.

“The jaw bone is meant to have roots in it, and when those roots are there, they stimulate bone growth,” Dr. Leong educates. “When there are no roots, the opposite happens, and the jaw bone slowly shrinks away.

“That was part of the problem Louis was having, so I told him, We first have to determine where the upper and lower jaws should meet so that we have a goal of where to put all the new teeth. Then, we can talk about how we’re going to replace the missing teeth.”

Step by Step

To determine where the upper and lower jaws should meet, Dr. Leong studied photographs, x-rays and a CT scan of Louis’ jaw and ran several computerized tests to help create a temporary, plastic denture that included wax teeth.

“The teeth are in wax, so we can move them,” Dr. Leong informs. “That’s how we set up the bite to see if the patient can tolerate it the way it should be and likes the way it looks and feels. We do that using special instruments called articulators.

“With the articulators, we can simulate the bite. It allows me to show the patient how the new teeth will feel in the mouth. Through that, we determine whether the jaw joints and the muscles associated with the jaw joints can tolerate the new bite.

“The reason we do that is because over the years, the jaw joints and muscles have become used to a different position. All we’re doing is moving the bite back to where it used to be, but we need to make sure it can handle being there.

“It’s a big step and after we took that step with Louis, he was no longer hitting his upper teeth with his lower teeth and biting into his gums. We could see right away that he was pleased because he said, Wow, this is like having new teeth. I’m going to like this.”

Once Dr. Leong determined exactly what physical changes needed to be made to correct Louis’ bite, the next step was to discuss with Louis how best to replace the teeth that were missing so that he could properly execute the plan.

Louis went into the process thinking he would replace his teeth with partial dentures, but he eventually settled on implant-secured bridges in the areas where he was missing multiple teeth, and implants capped with crowns in the areas where he was missing single teeth.

Implants are screw-like posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone to serve as the foundation for replacement teeth such as crowns or dentures. When secured by implants, dentures don’t slip or move; they stay in place when patients speak and eat.

In making his decision to go with implants, Louis agreed to become the patient in a teaching video for Dr. Leong, who is also an adjunct professor at the Florida Institute of Technology, where he teaches the dental aspect of biomedical engineering.

Louis’ reward included being fit with three dental implants – one in the upper left, where he was missing a couple of teeth and needed a bridge, and two in the lower right, where he was also missing several teeth and needed a bridge.

Because he still had existing teeth strong enough to support the implant-secured bridge in the upper left, Dr. Leong placed an implant there and fit the bridge on the same day. The other bridge required a wait for the implant to fuse to the jawbone.

“It takes up to six months for implants to become secure in the jaw, so we usually can’t fit a patient with a bridge right away,” Dr. Leong notes. “But if there are adjacent teeth that can support the implant and make it steady, we can fit the bridge right away.

“In Louis’ case, he was able to use that bridge on the upper left right away because it was going to be supported by the teeth adjacent to the bridge. He did, however, need to wait a few months before we could fit the bridge on the lower right side.”

That wait was predicated on the fact that Louis had no adjacent teeth to support a bridge in that area. The time Louis spent waiting for the bridge was not wasted, because Dr. Leong used that time to repair all of Louis’ remaining damaged teeth.

By the time the restoration project was completed, Louis had received two implant-supported bridges and had more than a dozen other teeth repaired and crowned. The result was a smile and comfort level Louis had previously only dreamed of.

“I couldn’t be happier with the way everything has turned out,” Louis enthuses. “I don’t have any more pain in my teeth or gums when I eat, and my new teeth all look beautiful. Now, I just go for regular cleanings and checkups.”

Doctor Approved

Magaly Villafradez-Diaz decided a few years ago to wait until after she gave birth to replace a fractured second upper molar. Pregnant women are advised to avoid elective procedures and surgeries when pregnant.

“I have no idea how it happened, but there were fractures in the root of that molar, so they had to take the tooth out,” Magaly explains. “The next step was to get a dental implant to replace the tooth, but I was pregnant at the time, so I decided to wait.”

And wait she did. A rheumatologist then working in Dothan, Alabama, Magaly waited nearly three years before she inquired about the possibility of replacing that missing molar, in part because the gap was not in her smile line.

“It’s one of the last teeth, and because you can’t see it, you think it’s not a problem,” Magaly relates. “Being in the medical field, I know you have a specific number of teeth for a reason, so I knew I needed to have it checked out sooner rather than later.

“I started looking for a dentist as soon as we relocated to Florida. My husband found a dentist in our area whom he was really impressed with. He found him to be very professional, thoughtful and thorough, and he really liked that he took the time to listen to him. I decided to go see for myself how good this dentist is and see what his plan and recommendations would be.”

The dentist Magaly went to see is Dr. Leong. Upon first examining Magaly, Dr. Leong found several issues that needed to be addressed.

A Difficult Spot

“When Magaly first came to me, she had some periodontal problems and she needed a crown, but the main reason she came to me was to have that missing molar replaced using a dental implant,” Dr. Leong informs.

 Magaly Villafradez-Diaz went to see Dr. Leong for their dental issues and came away with beautiful, new smiles.

As a doctor, Magaly lauds the professional work of Dr. Leong.

Dental implants are screw-like bodies that are surgically placed into the jawbone. The implant supports an abutment, which screws onto the implant, and a crown that is cemented on top of the abutment.

Implant surgery is considered routine, but Magaly’s case was a complicated one, the complications stemming largely from the fact that she waited so long to have the tooth replaced.

“When a tooth is missing for a long period of time, there is no reason for the jaw bone to stay there anymore, so that part of the jawbone just shrinks away, naturally,” Dr. Leong educates. “That was part of the problem. The other problem was the location of the missing tooth.

“This tooth was in the back upper left. There was very little bone left between the roof of the mouth and the sinus, which meant I would need to lift up the floor of the sinus and add, or graft in, more bone in order to place the implant.

“She had even more complications than that because she also had a vertical shelf of bone that was right in the sinus where I needed to place the implant. That made it almost impossible for me to place an implant there.

“The good news is that I specialize in difficult cases. That’s why people come to me. I also do a lot of teaching, including teaching the placement of dental implants, and my residents refer a lot of difficult cases to me, so this was typical of what I see.”

After learning of the difficulties Dr. Leong faced in treating her, Magaly agreed to go ahead with the implant surgery. That surgery began with Dr. Leong removing the vertical shelf of bone that was blocking the area where the implant needed to be placed.

Once Dr. Leong completed that task, his next step was to create a support system for the implant. He accomplished that by mixing a blood derivative called platelet-rich fibrin with synthetic bone grafting material that grows over time into supportive bone structure.

“To obtain the platelet-rich fibrin, blood is taken from the patient’s arm and put in a centrifuge that forms a product that contains concentrated growth factors,” Dr. Leong describes. “It is then mixed with the bone graft material to expedite new bone growth.”

It typically takes about six months for new bone to grow strong enough to support an implant. The addition of the platelet-rich fibrin speeds up that process and allows for the implant to be seated at the same time the bone graft is done.

“By adding the platelet-rich fibrin, we actually save about six months of time because we can place the implant at the same time,” Dr. Leong explains. “Then, over the course of the next six months, the new bone grows and matures faster around the implant.”

Fast-Track It

Dr. Leong completed the first phase of the implant procedure, which included capping the implant with a healing abutment, during a single visit one day last March. He finished the project in September after first testing the strength of the newly developed bone.

“We have instruments now that can measure the maturity of the bone that’s surrounding the implant,” Dr. Leong says. “The instruments work on the principles of magnetism and actually measure the density of the bone and the solidity of the bone around the implant.

“With this and other newer techniques, I can sometimes accelerate the procedure and put the new tooth in about two months after placing the implant. I couldn’t do that in this case because she had absolutely no bone left, but I have done it before.”

Considering all the work that had to be done and the complicated nature of her case, Magaly says she was elated to have completed the process in just six months. And she lauds Dr. Leong for what she describes as exceptional work.

“Certainly, there were a lot of complications. But in the end, everything went very well,” she says. “And the new tooth is working great. It feels fantastic, like a real tooth, very functional and secure, the way it should be.

“Overall, I am very, very happy with the surgery and with Dr. Leong. He was extremely receptive and professional. I definitely recommend him because the treatment I received was excellent, just what you want when you’re a patient.”

The Time is Now

Solutions for male sexual dysfunction.

Sexual health is a hard topic to broach, but a third of all men could probably speak about it from experience.

Dr. Havkin offers a variety of solutions for sexual dysfunction.

Before & After GAINSWave

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

It is a problem that occurs progressively as men age but 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 drugs.

Many different causes may underlie the diagnosis of ED. Among the most common are vascular disease, hormonal imbalances and prostate cancer. In many men, several factors may be at play and all 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. 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.

Jeremy*, 56, was treated in just such a fashion after he explained to his general practitioner last spring that he was having difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection. The pills the doctor prescribed had little or no effect.

After trying the pills for nearly six months, Jeremy sought help from a men’s sexual health specialist he found during an internet search. That specialist is Boris Havkin, MD, a board-certified urologist, founder of Havkin Urology, which has its office in Melbourne.

“I see this a lot,” Dr. Havkin reports. “Patients treated indiscriminately without truly investigating their underlying causes, which can be vascular dysfunction or a hormonal deficiency such a low testosterone, etcetera, thus failing to respond.

“That’s what happened with Jeremy, whom I examined thoroughly and found to be suffering from penile arterial insufficiency, specifically a disease of the blood vessels of the penis.”

Jeremy was not alone. Dr. Havkin says 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.

In response to his findings, Dr. Havkin tailored a treatment to address Jeremy’s vascular disease. The treatment he chose is called GAINSWave® therapy, which is regenerative in nature.

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

GAINSWave is a nonsurgical, drug-free treatment that uses pulses of low-intensity acoustic waves to repair damaged blood vessels while also stimulating the growth of new blood vessels.

Referred to clinically as low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy, or LiESWT, the GAINSWave procedure uses acoustic waves to break up the plaque and calcium that have built up inside old or damaged blood vessels, while stimulating production of growth factors and stem cells thus leading to repair of the vessels.

The result is an increase in blood flow, which improves the quality of the erection and sensitivity of the penis.

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 of the penis as well as pain with erection.

Each noninvasive GAINSWave treatment lasts about 30 minutes, is performed in the doctor’s office and is completely painless. This technology has been used in Europe and Israel without any detrimental side effects for 15 years, indicating complete safety. Patients typically receive treatments either once a week or twice a week for six to 12 weeks.

Reversing the Root Cause

Dr. Havkin offers a variety of solutions for sexual dysfunction.

Priapus Shot

“As a fully trained men’s sexual health specialist and urologic surgeon, I am prepared to administer any and all available treatments for erectile dysfunction, from oral medications to vacuum pump therapy to teaching the patients how to do penile injections and even performing corrective surgery, including all forms of implants,” Dr. Havkin explains.

“However, I am especially excited to be able to offer treatment options that can result in a reversal of the underlying factors leading to the problem. That’s what GAINSWave does.

“Treatments such as pills and injections will help a large number of patients achieve erections when necessary, but they don’t reverse the underlying root cause and stop the progression of that cause.

“That’s why a large number of patients who initially respond to oral medications, for example, will eventually stop responding, because the underlying cause has not been treated and reversed.

“GAINSWave will not only reverse those causes but will optimize the patient’s penile health. And it does this without producing any known side effects and without causing the patient any downtime following the procedure.”

GAINSWave is not the only tool available in the quest for regenerating sexual health. Advanced techniques such as the Priapus Shot® (P-Shot), injections of amniotic fluid and even stem cell therapy are also highly effective.

“Based on research,” Dr. Havkin says, “it was proved that by combining GAINSWave therapy with the Priapus Shot an injection of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) derived from the patient’s own blood – further sexual improvement can be realized.

“The combination of these therapies improves not only erectile function, but sexual performance, sensitivity and the quality of the orgasm,” Dr. Havkin notes. “All of that leads to a far more satisfactory sexual experience.”

Dr. Havkin, who is a certified provider of the P-Shot, can also deliver that therapy as a stand-alone treatment, and in particularly difficult cases, he can utilize treatments that include stem cells.

“Each patient is treated as an individual, with their treatments tailored to their specific needs,” Dr. Havkin says. “For example, with patients who are suffering from a hormonal imbalance, we can administer hormonal replacement therapy that will further improve patient’s responses.

“Hormone replacement therapy is where the patient is given hormones that are biochemically identical to the ones they produce in their body but no longer produce in sufficient quantities.

“This kind of therapy requires thorough testing and careful adjustments and monitoring, and can be delivered through advanced methods, such as testosterone pellets.”

Jeremy began receiving GAINSWave treatments in December. Within a month, he noted definitive improvement and was able to achieve and maintain an erection without pills.

“I was getting nowhere with the pills, which is why I sought out Dr. Havkin in the first place,” Jeremy says. “I figured there had to be something out there that would take care of this problem, and GAINSWave was my solution.

“It’s an easy, painless treatment that you have done right there in the doctor’s office, and I love the fact that there’s no side effects or downtime associated with it. It’s made me feel like a new man, which is why I recommend not only GAINSWave, but Dr. Havkin.

“He’s no ordinary doctor. He’s truly a specialist in this field and is very thorough. He takes every step necessary to learn exactly what’s behind the problem and then he offers you a solution that works. I recommend him to anybody.”

* Patient’s name withheld at his request
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