Author Archive

The ER Doc Will See You Now

May 11th, 2022

Manatee Memorial Hospital’s freestanding ER
at Sun City Center now open

The ER at Sun City Center, a newly built freestanding emergency room located in Wimauma, officially opened its doors this week and is now offering emergency medical care to patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The ER at Sun City Center, an extension of Manatee Memorial Hospital, is the first freestanding emergency department established by the specialty care hospital and is located at 16504 US 301 S., behind the Walmart.

“By expanding our emergency services, we can better meet the needs of our growing community and provide access to emergency care where it is needed,” Manatee Memorial Hospital CEO Tom McDougal said in a statement.

The facility has 12 treatment areas, including six exam rooms and three rapid medical exam spaces. It also features a full-service laboratory as well as X-ray, CT and ultrasound services, and a physician will always be on duty to address patient needs.

“This facility offers the same level of care as a hospital-based emergency room and provides care for a range of health issues, from minor scrapes and sprains to chest pain and stroke symptoms,” says Joseph Hwang, FACHE, chief operating officer at Manatee Memorial Hospital. “Doctors here are capable of treating or providing stabilizing treatment for all major conditions that present to an emergency room.”

A Growing Trend

Freestanding emergency departments are nothing new. The concept dates to the early 1970s, when big-city hospitals began placing them in rural areas that lacked acute care facilities.

At first, their development grew slowly. Since 2008, however, a surge has taken place, with the number of facilities increasing from 222 to 566 across 32 states by 2016. Estimates call for 2,000 to be in place by 2023.

“This is the wave of the future,” says Tiffany Hughes, director of business development at Manatee Memorial Hospital. “You’re going to continue to see more of these freestanding emergency facilities down the road.”

The fact that Manatee Memorial Hospital is part of the trend should come as no surprise. It has long been providing advanced treatment options.

Watchman FLX™ Implant


For example, Manatee Memorial was the first hospital in the state to perform 800 procedures in which the Watchman™ left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) was implanted into patients with atrial fibrillation, including 500 by one physician.

More recently, Manatee Memorial was among the first in the region to offer Barostim™ Baroreflex Activation Therapy, which uses neuromodulation – the power of the brain and nervous system – to treat systolic heart failure.

“It is important to us to be using advanced technology because it is our goal to provide the community we serve with the best care possible,” Tiffany states. “Our cardiac program is one very good example of that.

“We are hitting thresholds and benchmarks through that program that are exceeding other programs all around the country. That’s why Manatee Memorial Hospital is the most decorated hospital in Manatee County.

“We have the highest number of accreditations and awards for services in the county.  Those are determined based on performance, criteria, quality metrics and participation in different organizations to make sure that we meet those accreditation needs.

“We pride ourselves in going through those processes to make sure we are providing exceptional care and treatment for our community and patients.”

Community Relationships

The opening of the ER at Sun City Center is another example of that goal to provide the community with advanced care and services.

“This is an opportunity for Manatee Memorial Hospital to deliver a service to a portion of the community that may not always have access to the kind of care received at an emergency room based on residents’ distance from a full-service hospital,” Tiffany adds.

“It’s also important to point out that since the COVID-19 pandemic started, there have been many people in communities all across the country who have expressed fear about going to an emergency room connected to a full-service hospital. People might feel more comfortable going to a freestanding ER than a full-service facility.”

The primary difference, she says, is that the ER at Sun City Center doesn’t have an inpatient option. Patients needing further treatment will be transferred to Manatee Memorial Hospital or have transportation arranged to another hospital of their choice, so the patient experiences no delay in care, Tiffany assures.

“We are excited to join this community and provide the support and medical care that is needed. We’re honored to be accepted into the community and look forward to providing residents of all ages with these much-needed services.”

New Back Procedure Addresses Disc Disease

Outpatient treatment deactivates nerve that sends pain signals to brain.

For a 76-year-old with two reconstructed knees, Georgia Ainsworth sure does get around a lot.

“I play tennis four or five days a week, and I also spend one day a week volunteering in the gift shop at our local hospital,” Georgia says proudly. “And to tell you the truth, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Georgia Ainsworth

Georgia Ainsworth

“I tell the ladies I play tennis with that just by showing up at the club we’re probably ahead of 99 percent of the people in our age group who are sitting on the couch at home eating bonbons and watching the soaps.”

Georgia has never been a watcher; she’s always been a doer. When she married a ski enthusiast years ago, she learned how to ski. When she moved to Florida and found that her new friends played tennis, she learned to play right alongside them.

“I do it for the fun, really, the social aspect of it,” Georgia adds. “For me, it’s just fun to be out there socializing with people; that’s the big thing for me. And believe me, we have a really good time out there.”

Since having her knees replaced a couple of years ago, Georgia has been playing mostly doubles tennis. Recently, though, even that became a struggle as aggravating back pain sometimes forced her to the sidelines.

“I have suffered from back pain for 40 years,” Georgia relates. “When it comes to back problems, you name it and I’ve had it. I’ve had disc problems and arthritis, and now that I’m older, I have stenosis,” a narrowing of the spinal canal that puts pressure on nerves.

“Because of that, I’ve also been to every kind of doctor you can name and taken every kind of pain pill and muscle relaxer you can think of and tried every procedure known to man short of surgery to get rid of my pain.

“Nothing worked, so for as long as I’ve been dealing with this back pain, I have always kept on moving because I’m afraid that if I stop, I’ll freeze up. That’s one of the reasons I play tennis a lot. I need to keep moving.”

Georgia tried to keep moving through her most recent bout with back pain but eventually had to relent. Not only did the pain force her to stop playing tennis in the middle of matches, it also forced her to abandon simple household chores.

“I couldn’t stand on my feet for very long, so I couldn’t vacuum the whole house in one standing,” she explains. “But sitting was even worse than standing for me. The only relief I could get was if I lay flat in bed.

“But like I said, I’m afraid to stop moving so I forced myself to get up and do things like play tennis. I played through the pain for as long as I could, but I eventually had to say, Sorry ladies, I just can’t go anymore, which was embarrassing.”

Last summer, after the pain became excruciating, Georgia asked her primary care physician if there was any treatment she hadn’t tried yet. This time, her PCP recommended she visit Michael Hanes, MD, at Jax Spine & Pain Centers.

“He said he heard that Dr. Hanes was doing some good work there, and as it turns out, two of the women I play tennis with had seen Dr. Hanes and were very happy with their results,” Georgia notes. “I made an appointment.”

Exclusive Access 

During his initial visit with Georgia, Dr. Hanes examined an MRI of her back. The MRI showed that she was suffering from degenerative disc disease, a condition in which the aging process causes discs between vertebrae to lose their cushioning.

As that cushioning slowly disappears or degenerates, excess stress is placed on the vertebrae. That excess stress can create so much pressure on a nerve in the area that it causes pain.

For years, the best treatments for degenerative disc disease have been medications that ease swelling and inflammation, epidural steroid injections, or spinal fusion surgery. About a year ago, though, a minimally invasive option became available.

Known clinically as the Intracept® Procedure, it is available in St. Johns County exclusively at Jax Spine & Pain Centers, which specializes in interventional treatments for chronic joint, neck and back pain.

“The Intracept Procedure is an FDA-approved outpatient treatment that alleviates the chronic back pain associated with vertebral degeneration by deactivating the nerve that sends pain signals from the defective disc to the brain,” Dr. Hanes educates.

“That nerve is called the basivertebral nerve, and it’s a nerve that many physicians were unaware of until recently because it’s located within the vertebral body, or bone, is not easily accessible, and there was not any therapy available that addressed this nerve until the Intracept Procedure.

“It’s a nerve a lot of doctors were never even taught about. Now that we know about it, we can deactivate it by heating it up, or ablating it. Once that’s done, this nerve doesn’t grow back, so this is a procedure that does not have to be repeated.”

The Intracept Procedure is covered by insurance and can be performed under moderate sedation. During the procedure, the doctor uses x-ray guidance and a thin probe to access the nerve. The probe then heats the nerve.

“The probe is placed into the vertebral body through a small incision that doesn’t even require sutures to close,” Dr. Hanes notes. “The heating process takes about 15 minutes.  When we’re done, we just close the incision with skin glue.”

Immediate Relief 

Patients undergoing the Intracept Procedure typically begin to feel relief from their chronic back pain within a few weeks. Georgia is among those who experienced improvement almost immediately.

“Dr. Hanes told me some patients come in for their two-week follow-up saying, It’s not working; I don’t feel any difference,” she explains. “But I felt better right away.

“I still get some flare-ups here and there, but even then, the pain is tolerable, so I’m a happy camper. I was afraid I was going to have to live with the back pain forever, but with the pain level I have now, everything is doable.

“The bottom line is, I have the relief I was looking for, so the treatment was a success. One of the best things is that I haven’t had to quit a tennis match since I had the Intracept Procedure done, so I’m very happy with the results.”

She’s happy with Dr. Hanes and the staff at Jax Spine & Pain Centers as well.

“I’ll tell you what, those people know what they’re doing,” she enthuses. “I gladly recommend them to anyone. And I recommend the Intracept Procedure as well. It’s made a huge difference in my life.”

Serendipity 

A study conducted a few years back showed that married couples who initially connected through social networking sites such as Facebook were more likely to be satisfied with their marriages than couples who met in more conventional ways.

Korey Shumway has no reason to dispute such data.

Korey Shumway

Korey Shumway

While living in St. Augustine several years ago, Korey reconnected with an old friend living in his hometown in upstate New York through Facebook. The couple “hit it off” immediately, according to Korey, and they were soon married.

“You could not have scripted it any better,” Korey says. “It was quite serendipitous. Here we were, thousands of miles away, then we find each other on Facebook, and the next thing I know, I’m moving back to New York and getting married.”

Tired of the snowy New York winters, Korey brought his family to Florida seven years ago, but not before Korey, 46, suffered a nasty workplace fall that sparked what became a long and arduous ordeal with debilitating back pain.

“I was working in the kitchen of a medical facility, and it was a typical slip and fall,” Korey explains. “I hit a wet spot on the floor, my foot went out from under me, and I fell. I tried catching myself, but I wound up falling right on my back.

“I knew instantaneously that I had done some serious damage. I’ve played hockey my entire life, skied and done a lot of winter sports and been injured before, but I’d never felt anything like this. It was like someone took a sledgehammer to my spine.”

Korey tried working through the pain, but it grew worse. When it became excruciating, he visited his primary care physician, who ordered an MRI. The MRI confirmed Korey’s initial suspicion that he had a serious injury.

“The MRI showed that I had an L5-S1 disc herniation,” Korey reveals. “That made sense to me because the amount of pain I was in was excruciating. There’s back pain that you can take Advil® or something like that for, and then there’s the kind of pain I had.”

The lower back is made up of five lumbar vertebrae, labeled with an “L” and numbered top to bottom. S1 is the first vertebra of the triangle-shaped sacrum, between the hip bones. L5-S1 identifies the lumbosacral joint, an area that receives a high degree of stress.

“The pain limited me in everything I wanted to do,” Korey continues. “Even everyday activities like standing, walking and sleeping were hard, so things like running a vacuum cleaner, reaching up to get something off a shelf or just picking up a bag of groceries were things I couldn’t do.

“I hate to use the word, but it almost emasculated me in a way. I mean, the pain was so bad that it pretty much took away everything that made me who I am, things like doing martial arts, playing hockey, going to the gym, that kind of thing.”

The pain also robbed Korey of the ability to work and pushed him into what he refers to as a “forced retirement.” 

That forced retirement may finally be coming to an end, though, thanks to Jax Spine & Pain Centers, which he also found serendipitously.

A Good Candidate 

“After moving to Florida, I started looking for someone to help me with my back,” Korey relates. “Jax Spine & Pain Centers was the only practice that accepted New York state workers’ comp insurance, so once again, by the grace of God, I lucked out.”

Korey didn’t fully realize just how fortunate he was because Dr. Hanes had not started performing the Intracept Procedure. Prior to that, none of the treatments delivered the results hoped for by Korey and Dr. Hanes.

“We tried everything from epidural injections to radiofrequency ablation of his facet joints and even some medications, but nothing ever helped him,” Dr. Hanes recalls. “Then I ordered a new MRI of his back that showed us something new.

“It showed that the disc causing all of Korey’s pain had deteriorated and there had been what we call Modic changes within the bone. In his case, there was inflammation within the bone next to the degenerated disc.

“The inflammation was what was causing his pain, and because of that, he became a candidate for the Intracept Procedure, which does carry some prerequisites that patients need to meet before becoming eligible for the treatment.”

To undergo the procedure, patients must have chronic back pain due to degeneration of a vertebral disc for more than six months and failed to receive adequate relief through other conservative care options for at least six months. Korey met those requirements. 

The Intracept Procedure has shown in clinical studies sponsored by Relievant Medsystems, the company that developed it, to improve pain scores by 53 percent over 24 months.

Korey’s pain score improved even more than that. Since having the procedure in December, he says there are days when he forgets he ever had a back problem.

“Phenomenal” Work 

“It’s made a world of difference,” Korey says. “It’s given me a big portion of my life back. I’m not doing anything crazy just yet, but I can function again, and I’ve even gone back to working out at the gym.

“There are days when I feel so good that I need to remind myself to slow down and take it easy because there’s still an injury there. But as far as relieving my pain, I can testify as to how effective this treatment is.”

Korey says he highly recommends the Intracept Procedure for those who are eligible for it and highly recommends Dr. Hanes and Jax Spine & Pain Centers as well. 

“I can’t tell you how thankful I am that I was able to have this procedure done, and I would definitely encourage others who are suffering with back pain to get it,” he concludes. “And I just can’t say enough good things about Dr. Hanes.

“He’s a phenomenal human being who legitimately cares about people. He called after the treatment was approved and told me that he immediately thought of me when he found out he’d be treating his patients with it.

“He’s a great guy, and the work that he and everyone else at Jax Spine & Pain Centers is doing is phenomenal.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photos by Jordan Pysz. mkb

A Holistic Approach To Total Wellness

One-stop shop offers treatments for the whole body, from inside to out.

Located just south of the Colorado border, the Horse Lake Mesa Game Park in northwestern New Mexico is so teeming with elk that on the morning of her first excursion this past December, Leslie Ward bagged her greatest hunting prize yet.

Leslie: AFTER

“I had a guide who took us down to where the elk were moving, and I was able to put one down,” Leslie details. “My husband got one as well, so now we have two freezers full of elk meat.”

Several years ago, after she and her husband moved to Okeechobee, Leslie went in search of a physician to help her manage her hormones. With no guide to aid her, she found what she considers another great prize in Melissa Dean, MD.

Founder of the Dean Wellness Institute, Dr. Dean practices traditional medicine while also offering a holistic approach to wellness. She is an expert in treating menopause and andropause and specializes in a variety of wellness treatments.

That list includes bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), which is considered the most natural and effective solution for hormone-related issues such as insomnia, vaginal dryness and lack of focus that once afflicted Leslie.

Bioidentical hormones are natural byproducts of a plant derivative that are molecularly identical to the hormones produced by the body and can be administered in a number of ways, including creams and sublingual tablets.

Since undergoing a complete hysterectomy 25 years ago, Leslie says she has tried all those treatments. None have worked as well for her as hormone pellets, and the fact Dr. Dean offers that treatment is why Leslie visited her in the first place.

“With the pellet therapy, we make a small incision and insert the pellet beneath the skin,” Dr. Dean explains. “The pellet slowly dissolves and is absorbed into the system. Many patients find that approach to be much easier than managing a daily application.”

Prior to prescribing any treatment, Dr. Dean meets privately with patients to learn their activity levels, lifestyle choices and medical history, including where women are in the cycle of life.

It was during such a meeting that Leslie realized Dr. Dean could do more for her than balance her hormones. Taking notice of the lengthy list of aesthetic treatments offered by the Dean Wellness Institute, Leslie sought help in that area as well.

“One of the first things I did was laser hair removal,” Leslie confides. “I was starting to get that little peach fuzz on my face, and it was so annoying. So, I tried the laser hair removal, and the results were absolutely wonderful. One of the best things I did for myself.”

The laser hair removal treatment was performed by certified electrologist Anne Harrell, CME, CCE. The owner of Laser Institute of Vero Beach, Anne has a satellite location inside the Dean Wellness Institute, where Leslie eventually returned for additional treatments.

One of those is called a PDO thread lift. Another is microneedling with platelet rich plasma, or PRP.

Need a Lift?

The PDO thread lift is a nonsurgical skin-lifting and rejuvenation procedure that is effective in treating the neck and jawline, where the results are immediately noticeable.

Leslie: BEFORE

The treatment uses absorbable, protein-enriched, medical-grade polydioxanone threads that are inserted beneath the skin. These threads naturally lift the skin while also promoting collagen production and skin renewal at the cellular level.

There are three types of PDO threads — lifting, volumizing and smoothing threads — and they come in many sizes and forms. When inserted beneath the skin, they work like sutures to lift the skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and improve skin texture and elasticity.

“We start by numbing a couple of insertion points,” Dr. Dean educates. “We then insert the threads. As you insert each thread, you actually pull on it to lift it up. That pulls the tissue up, which is how you get that dramatic and immediate effect.”

A PDO thread lift can be completed in about 45 minutes, but the results can last for up to two years. It requires no downtime for recovery. Patients can return to work or resume normal activities immediately.

Liquid Gold

Microneedling with PRP is a skin-rejuvenation treatment during which a trained technician uses a small handheld device to induce microtraumas to the skin. The microtraumas are then treated with PRP to further enhance the therapy.

Each session begins with a blood draw from the patient’s arm. The blood is then placed in a centrifuge, where it is spun down. Afterward, a special kit is used to separate the red blood cells from the plasma and PRP.

“What you’re left with is what we refer to as liquid gold,” Dr. Dean explains. “That’s the plasma with all the growth factors, or PRP. We put that into a syringe and disperse it like a lotion across the targeted area while performing the microneedling.

“The results were absolutely wonderful!” – Leslie

“When performing microneedling, the body’s response is to send growth factors from inside the body to the site of the microtraumas. With PRP, we’re also applying growth factors to the outside of those microtraumas.

“By itself, microneedling is an excellent skin-rejuvenation tool. By combining it with PRP, which contains natural growth factors obtained from the patient’s blood, the rejuvenation process is enhanced exponentially.”

The microneedling treatment, including prep, blood draw and procedure, lasts only about an hour, and it can be used to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, tighten skin and even reduce or eliminate scarring.

No Downtime

“There’s no downtime with this treatment, and the effects are like that of a slight sunburn. Someone can leave here after a treatment and go right back to work or to another appointment without any concerns.”

Leslie has also received some BOTOX® injections, and she’s happy to report that all the treatments provided the improvements she desired. She further notes that she greatly appreciates Dr. Dean for how she treats patients in such a caring manner.

“Dr. Dean and her physician assistant (Catherine Cheries, PA) are so comforting and easy to talk to,” Leslie raves. “When I go in for my hormone replacement therapy, I can sit down and talk with them as if I’ve known them all my life.

“They treat people with so much compassion and care and understanding that it’s just amazing. The entire staff is like that, no matter what treatment you have done. Everyone treats you so well that I just can’t say enough good things about them.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Before and after images courtesy of Dean Wellness Institute. mkb

See Clearly With Artificial Intraocular Lens

Football analyst tackles cataract surgery, gains sharper view of game.

From his front-row seat in the press box, Gary Parris has seen every pass, tackle and touchdown in what can only be described as one of the most incredible ascensions in college football history, that of the University of Central Florida to NCAA Division I power.

Gary Parris

As the Knights’ radio analyst, he watched the Orlando school advance to the Division II playoffs in 1987, then jump to Division I-AA and reach the postseason in the 1990s. And, of course, he was there when UCF claimed a Division I title in 2017.

“I’ve been at UCF for 25 years, and it’s been a great ride,” says Gary, 71. “I’ve seen a lot of great young men grow up and watched many of them move on to the NFL, which is a real thrill.”

A football star at Vero Beach High, he went on to become a three-year letterman at Florida State University, then spent eight years in the National Football League.

Afterward, he returned to Vero Beach, where he has served as the football analyst for his prep alma mater over the past 40 years. That’s on top of his UCF duties.

“I first got into football when I was 10 years old, and I haven’t left it since, so that’s 61 years I’ve been involved in the game,” Gary notes. “I have definitely lived a football life, and I love it.”

Life Interrupted

Gary’s life was recently shaken up by the development of cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s lens that affected him in the press box and away from the football field.

“I’ve worn glasses for the past 15 years, but even with my glasses on I was having a hard time reading the numbers on the player jerseys,” Gary explains. “It was especially tough during night games.”

Then, there were the trips home after games.

“When driving from a game late at night, I had to have my glasses on all the time just to see anything at all,” he describes. “Even then, it was still hard to see far off. I was seeing halos around lights. And not just one halo, a bunch of halos.”

Gary was certain the problem was due to cataracts. He learned of their development a decade earlier during a routine eye exam and was told he would eventually need surgery to remove them.

“When I first went to my eye doctor, he told me I’d need glasses in a year or two, and he was right,” Gary recalls. “A few years later, he said I was probably 10 years away from needing cataract surgery. It turns out he was right about that, too.”

Gary’s eye doctor is Val Zudans, MD, a board-certified ophthalmologist with the Center for Advanced Eye Care. When Gary returned complaining of his vision issues, Dr. Zudans quickly confirmed the cause was cataracts.

“If you don’t have an eye doctor, or even if you do, you owe it to yourself to see Dr. Zudans.”  – Gary

The only treatment for cataracts is surgery, which is typically performed on one eye at a time with a week or two between procedures. Each takes about 10 minutes and is done with the patient awake and alert, using anesthesia eyedrops.

During each surgery, an ultrasonic device breaks down the clouded lens and the small pieces are gently vacuumed out. The natural lens is then replaced with an artificial intraocular lens, or IOL.

IOLs are made of acrylic or silicone and are coated with a material to protect the eye from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. During surgery, the IOL is rolled up and placed in the eye. Once in place, the lens is unfolded and side structures called haptics hold it in place.

Like contact lenses, IOLs are available in different focusing powers. Standard IOLs correct primarily for distance vision, but patients can have one eye fixed for distance and the other for reading, an option called monovision.

A third option is multifocal IOLs. Most multifocal IOLs are bifocal lenses that correct distance and either reading or intermediate vision. However, there are now advanced multifocal options that correct vision at all three distance levels.

The advanced multifocal IOLs are designed to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses, including readers, following cataract surgery. Dr. Zudans warns, however, that there is sometimes a tradeoff the patient must make to get that convenience.

“With advanced multifocal IOLs, some people experience starbursts or halos around lights, so night driving may not be as good with them,” the doctor confirms. “That factor figured prominently into my recommendation for Gary.”

Considering Gary’s work as a football analyst and the long drives following games, Dr. Zudans recommended an IOL known clinically as an extended depth of focus lens (EDOF).

“This is primarily a distance lens, but it has a greater depth of focus,” Dr. Zudans educates. “This means that you can clearly see in the midrange, like when you’re looking at a computer, and you can clearly see in the near range if the lighting is good.

“Now, if the lighting is low, you’re definitely going to need reading glasses for anything up close. But with the wider depth of focus, there is no sacrifice in quality in terms of sharpness of vision, even when driving at night.

“That’s why a lot of people end up choosing this lens. It’s not as exciting or as sexy as some of the newer lenses, but it offers the best quality in my opinion. This is the lens I would want if I were having cataract surgery.”

Cataract surgery has greatly reduced Gary’s dependence on eyeglasses.

Eye-Popping Results

Dr. Zudans’ recommendation was good enough for Gary, who agreed to be fit with EDOF lenses during cataract surgeries this past summer. The results have been eye-popping.

“It’s amazing how much better my vision is now,” Gary exudes. “For one thing, colors are much brighter, and my distance vision is exceptional. I like to sit out and look up at the stars at night, and I used to wear glasses to do that.

Not anymore.

“Now, when I’m driving, I can read street signs more clearly and from farther away than I used to. I can also see the computer clearly, and I only need reading glasses if there’s very little light. These lenses have improved my entire quality of life.

“I can’t say enough great things about Dr. Zudans and all that he’s done for me. He is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet and very professional. He does a great job of explaining the procedures he’s going to do for you.

“I’ll tell you right now, if you don’t have an eye doctor, or even if you do, you owe it to yourself to see Dr. Zudans and get to know him because he and his staff are nothing short of exceptional.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photos by Jordan Pysz. mkb

Discreet Hearing Aid for Active Lifestyle

Starkey IIC is an in-ear canal device that sounds perfect for busy diver.

Of the more than 150 dives that Sinjin* has made since he became a certified open water diver, none was more memorable than the dive he made seven years ago off the Caribbean island of Montserrat.

“It was a deep wall dive where you dive down along the edges of a coral reef,” Sinjin explains. “The plan was to go down to 130 feet, which is as far as recreational divers can go because at around 100 feet, you can start to get symptoms of narcosis (drowsiness or unconsciousness).

“So, we all had dive buddies, and just as we were approaching 130 feet, I noticed my dive buddy was sort of floating around. I pulled him toward me to check on him and, sure enough, he was just staring blankly and wasn’t responding. He had narcosis.

“So, little by little, I started to bring him back up. Thankfully, once I got him to the surface, he was OK. But if I hadn’t taken notice of him when I did, it’s quite possible he would have fallen deeper into that stupor and maybe perished. So, I saved a life that day.”

Sinjin, 62, is no stranger to saving lives. A former medic in the Marines, he went on to spend 34 years as a nurse in emergency room trauma bays treating everything from heart attacks to gunshot wounds.

Several years ago, just before he retired and moved to Florida, Sinjin began to experience symptoms of a health issue all his own. The issue did not require emergency care. In fact, Sinjin put off seeking care for the problem for years.

“The problem was with my hearing,” Sinjin reveals. “I first noticed it probably 10 or 12 years ago, but it didn’t bother me much and didn’t affect my work, so I pretty much ignored it. Then a year or two ago, my wife started to get annoyed with me.

“I was always asking her to repeat herself, and when we’d watch TV or a movie or something, either I’d have to turn the TV up real loud or keep asking her what the people were saying. Finally, she said, Would you please go get your hearing checked?

“Phenomenal Practitioners”

Convinced that his hearing had become an issue that was affecting others as much as himself, Sinjin had a hearing evaluation done that showed he was experiencing high-frequency hearing loss. His initial attempt to correct the problem failed miserably.

“The first hearing aids I got were self-programming devices that I purchased online through a provider that sent me something in the mail,” Sinjin remembers. “Having been in the medical field, I should have known better because that was a waste of money.

“Then I went to the provider inside one of those big-box stores. What they gave me was better than what I had, but it still didn’t improve my hearing. After that, I started asking some friends for advice, and several recommended EarCare.”

Co-owned by Karen Cowan-Oberbeck, AuD, a board-certified doctor of audiology, and Glenn A. Oberbeck, BC-HAS, a board-certified hearing aid specialist, EarCare has locations in Melbourne, Merritt Island and Indian Harbour Beach.

“When I first went to EarCare, I immediately found the practice to be outstanding,” Sinjin applauds. “Karen and Glenn are phenomenal practitioners who listen to their patients and check and recheck and fit and refit to ensure everyone gets optimum results.”

In evaluating Sinjin, Dr. Karen and Glenn confirmed the previous finding of a significant high-frequency hearing loss. They also learned that Sinjin remains very active as a scuba diver, boater and deep-sea sport fisherman. That active lifestyle factored greatly into their decisions regarding his care.

“Because he’s such an active person, we wanted Sinjin to try out several hearing devices so he would get a good understanding of the capability and limitations of all the products,” Glenn explains.

“We had him try two or three products and eventually settled on the Starkey IIC, which stands for invisible in canal. It’s a product that sits very deep in the ear canal so it’s not going to get in the way, no matter what the wearer is doing.”

The smallest, most discreet hearing device available, the Starkey IIC is custom molded to fit comfortably inside the ear canal so it’s almost impossible to see. In terms of technology, a great deal comes in that small package.

“Getting these hearing aids has literally been a life-changing event for me.” – Sinjin

“Because it sits deep inside the ear canal, the Starkey IIC takes advantage of the natural acoustics of the ear, which is designed to enhance high frequencies,” Glenn educates. “So, the wearer doesn’t need to worry about controlling multiple microphones.

“The wearer also doesn’t need to worry about noise cancellation programs. The hearing aid does the noise cancellation for you, whether it’s machine noise, wind noise or any other interrupting sounds. It has the ability to decipher between speech modulation and noise.

“Also, because of the technology and the nature of the fit, this hearing device automatically switches to a phone mode anytime you put a phone up to your ear, whether it’s a cellphone or a landline. So, there’s no Bluetooth streaming with this device.”

Happy Holidays

Sinjin wanted mostly to improve hearing in normal settings, such as at home while watching TV, going to a movie, in crowded restaurants, at church and when talking with family or friends in a variety of places. The Starkey IIC devices are doing just that for him.

“I got them two days before Thanksgiving,” Sinjin recalls. “At Thanksgiving dinner, I was able to hear everyone in our family very clearly, no problem at all.

“It had been a long time since I was able to hear people clearly in a crowded environment like that, and it was like that again at Christmas, so I think these hearing aids are absolutely fantastic. I really can’t say enough great things about them.

“Not only do I hear better than I have in years, but I feel like my brain is getting stronger because I’m processing sounds I hadn’t processed in years. It’s like those nerves have been reenergized or reconnected.

“Getting these hearing aids has literally been a life-changing event for me, and I can’t thank Dr. Karen and Glenn enough for all they’ve done. As I said before, they’re exceptional. The best. And I absolutely, unequivocally recommend them.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. mkb
*Patient’s name changed at his request.

Emergency Denture Replacements

The ‘go-to dentist’ for difficult cases comes to the rescue.

Like so many people, David Beeman grew up wanting to see the world. To scratch the itch, he did what his father did and joined the Navy. Now 64, David considers that the best decision he ever made.

“What a great experience,” David enthuses. “I saw it all. I went to Spain, Iceland and Norway just to name a few on the West side of the world, and on the East side, I’ve been to the Philippines, Japan, Hawaii, even Kuwait.

“It was a great time, and a lot of that is because I was fortunate to be selected as part of an aircrew and stationed onboard a couple of aircraft carriers. That’s how I was able to travel so much and have some pretty neat adventures.”

David was assigned to the USS John F. Kennedy and the USS Kitty Hawk. His job aboard those carriers was to repair aircraft electronics.

David did that for the better part of his 21 years in the service. Afterward, he worked with his father on a commercial fishing venture for a few years before retiring for good.

Though grouper and sea bass were among their primary targets, David spent a good part of that time wishing he had caught a better break with his teeth.

“I must have had bad genetics or something because I’ve always had bad teeth,” David remembers. “Eventually, they started to come loose, and a few fell out. I went to a dentist in West Palm Beach, had them all extracted and got dentures.

“A few years ago, I started to have problems with the dentures. They weren’t fitting quite right. One night, I came home after a night of drinking and left them on the couch. That’s when my dog tried wearing them, and that was pretty much it for them.”

In a Bind

The dentures left unwearable by David’s dog were secured by dental implants, which are screw-like bodies implanted into the jawbone, where they become the foundation for replacement teeth.

Replacement teeth can be a crown that is cemented or screwed onto an abutment affixed to the implant, a partial bridge secured by one or more implants, or a full denture fastened to a series of implants.

David’s upper denture was secured by four implants and his lower denture by three. After his dog got a hold of them, though, the dentures were no longer wearable, so David found himself in a bind.

To rectify the problem, David briefly considered traveling to West Palm Beach to see the dentist who made the dentures. Instead, he decided to get them fixed locally by Richard Leong Jr., DDS, PA.

Dr. Leong first saw David in June and vividly remembers him with his dentures virtually in pieces and wondering what, if anything, could be done to restore them.

“He came into the office with these dentures that were not in very good shape at all,” Dr. Leong recalls. “They were cracked and very worn down, and he needed to get new ones. But he also had a problem with one of his implants.

“His dentures had these special attachments, a ball-and-socket type of thing that allowed him to just snap them into place. The issue was that one of the implants was missing a very important piece that the denture attached to. That’s why he was having problems with that denture before his dog got a hold of them.

The dentures were also missing two precision attachments that fit into the implants.

David loves the fit and feel of his new dentures.

“The good news is that he came to the right place because this is what I do,” the doctor asserts. “I’ve been teaching about dental implants for 30 years, and not only can I put in new implants, I can also repair failing or broken implants. I’m the go-to guy for that sort of thing.”

Something New

Dr. Leong realized immediately that salvaging these dentures wasn’t going to be possible. The biggest reason was that the teeth had deteriorated to where they were forging a change in David’s appearance.

“When dentures get worn down and lose their proper height, the wearer loses bone from their jawbone because the top and bottom teeth don’t connect the way they should,” Dr. Leong educates. “The result is what we call a premature aging effect. The wearer looks older because the space between their nose and chin becomes diminished.”

A third of a person’s facial height should come between the nose and chin, but David’s dentures were so worn he had only a fourth of his facial height there, Dr. Leong points out.

“This caused him to look much older than he was,” the doctor continues. “The other thing that happens is that because your face crunches up at the bottom, your lips hang downward. When you put your teeth in, you always look like you’re frowning because your mouth is pointing downward.

“In addition, that downward hang of the lips tends to make you drool out of the side of your mouth. That can lead to yeast infections, and David was experiencing all of that. So, giving him new dentures that alleviate those problems was critical.”

Just as critical was the need to fit David’s new dentures into his established, 20-year-old implants. That proved tricky because several were in need of repair.

In addition to one needing a replacement part that is no longer made, two of the four implants in David’s upper arch had lost so much of the bone supporting them that they were in danger of failing if action wasn’t taken to halt the bone loss.

The loss of bone around those implants was due to the dentures fitting improperly. That was causing an imbalanced occlusion, which is how the top and bottom teeth meet when a person chews or closes the mouth.

The imbalanced occlusion placed excessive pressure on two implants, which caused them to loosen. The solution was to ensure that David’s new dentures had a balanced occlusion.

Tedious Work

Creating a balanced occlusion with a full set of dentures can be a tedious process, Dr. Leong notes, and in David’s case it took three appointments to ensure the correct placement to avoid further bone loss around the compromised implants.

Repairing the implant that was missing a crucial piece also proved to be a bit toilsome. Because that part is no longer made, Dr. Leong had to lean on his experience and expertise and fashion it himself. Then he had to make sure the dentures fit properly.

He did that by creating fittings in the dentures that matched the outmoded ball-and-socket implants. As with balancing the occlusion, this took a few tries, but Dr. Leong eventually delivered the perfect match required to give David the support, function and sustainability that was lacking.

“The fit of my new dentures is superb. It’s even better than it was originally.” – David

“It was a very difficult case, but we worked hard and got it right, and now David has a set of dentures that are strong and have the proper height so that he won’t have that aged look,” Dr. Leong emphasizes. “I think he’s pleased with the result.”

Not only is David pleased that he has proper-fitting dentures, he also is grateful Dr. Leong took the time to address and correct the myriad of problems with his dentures.

“The fit of my new dentures is superb,” David raves. “It’s even better than it was originally, and I thought that fit was pretty good. It just goes to show you how good a dentist Dr. Leong is. He’s really good and very experienced.

“He’s a very dedicated dentist and he puts a lot of care and effort into treating his patients. He’s not going to let you go until everything is exactly how it’s supposed to be. I was fortunate to find him and gladly recommend him to anyone.”

Missing Tooth

Debbie Franqui

The idea first popped into Debbie Franqui’s head a few years ago, when some friends showed up to a crafting workshop drinking beverages out of tumblers they each decorated.

“I thought, Wow, that’s really cool; I need to learn how to make those,” Debbie recalls. “Then a couple of years ago, my daughter got me the special cup turner you need to really do it right for Christmas. It took off from there.”

Oh, it took off all right. Debbie now has 12 cup turners, and she keeps them rolling because her first few custom tumblers created enough demand that she’s turned what was once a spare-time craft into a small side business.

“I’m selling them through a Facebook page right now,” Debbie offers. “They’re double-walled, stainless steel-insulated tumblers that we can decorate just about any way you want, with designs, decals, paint, whatever.”

Debbie, 49, is quite the craftsperson. In addition to making custom-designed tumblers, she also does custom framing at a local craft store. Recently, she sought help from a different kind of craftsman, one who specializes in custom-fitting replacement teeth.

A longtime patient of Dr. Leong’s, Debbie finally decided to resolve a dental issue that dates back more than 20 years to when she passed on having a problem molar repaired and opted instead to have it extracted.

“I was in my early 20s and didn’t have a good job or good insurance, so I couldn’t really afford to get the right dental work when I needed it” Debbie explains. “So, when this top molar became a problem, I just had it pulled.

“I never thought much of it after that, but then Dr. Leong told me it was eventually going to create problems because I still have the bottom molar, but I don’t have the top molar that’s going to hit against it when I chew.”

Debbie faced the likelihood that she would slowly damage several teeth as a result of her irregular bite. Recently, Dr, Leong suggested she finally replace that missing tooth with a dental implant.

Bone Graft Needed

Debbie hadn’t previously been offered that solution. A few years ago, Dr. Leong replaced another failing upper molar with a dental implant. She soon learned, though, that the approach to replacing this one would be different.

“Whenever you’re replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant, it’s very important to make sure that the patient has enough bone to support the implant,”
Dr. Leong informs. “In Debbie’s case, with that first molar, she did not have enough bone.

“After I pulled the tooth, I found that there was a lot of infection in that tooth and it had taken away some of the bone. So, what we did with her that first time was perform a bone graft with a special growth product called platelet rich fibrin.”

Platelet rich fibrin, or PRF, is obtained by drawing blood from the patient’s arm and spinning it in a centrifuge that separates the fibrin clot material, which is high in growth factors, from the rest of the blood.

When mixed with bone graft material, which can be real or synthetic bone, the PRF helps the body grow new bone faster. That new bone also grows stronger around the implant, which is then capped with an abutment and crown.

“I trust (Dr. Leong) because he’s done nothing but great work for all of us.” – Debbie

“Implants normally need to be in place for about six months before enough bone grows around them to support them,” Dr. Leong adds. “But by doing a bone graft with PRF, we can sometimes complete the implant process in three or even two months.”

Bone grafts are not always necessary, but in cases where infection runs deep or teeth have been missing for many years, a graft is often necessary because bone mass deteriorates when there’s no pressure from chewing to stimulate natural bone regeneration.

Dr. Leong was presented with the latter situation when he began the work aimed at replacing Debbie’s upper molar. In this case, however, a simple bone graft wasn’t going to be enough to resolve the problem.

Because she had been missing her tooth in that area for so long, the bone had deteriorated to where Dr. Leong would need to not only use a special implant but also perform a sinus lift before fitting the implant.

Tap, Tap, Tap

Also known as a sinus floor augmentation, a sinus lift is a surgical procedure where the dentist drills through the jawbone and lifts the sinus membrane in a way that creates more space for the bone grafting material and implant.

In treating Debbie, Dr. Leong also added what is known clinically as a guided tissue regeneration barrier to keep soft tissue from growing into the site where the implant was placed.

Dr. Leong further augmented the site with PRF, but in extreme cases such as this, it typically takes about six months for enough bone to grow around the implant to support an abutment and crown. Dr. Leong also used a unique implant.

“Most implants are screwed into the jawbone. In this case we used a smaller implant that has a post that you tap into a cylinder inside the implant,” Dr. Leong adds. “Then, once everything is finished, the more you chew, the tighter that post gets.”

Dr. Leong completed that advanced implant process in February. After spending more than half of her life without a tooth in that space, Debbie says the presence of the new molar felt a little odd at first. She quickly adjusted.

“I definitely babysat that new tooth for a while before chewing on it, but the more I got used to it the more comfortable I felt,” she said. “I feel a whole lot more comfortable now knowing that this is going to help me avoid other problems down the road.

“That’s one of the reasons I really like Dr. Leong. He’s always looking out for his patient’s best interests. In fact, that’s how I ended up going to him in the first place. He was treating my husband before we got married and offered me a free cleaning.

“I’ve been seeing him ever since, and that’s been 15 years now. And all of our kids go to him as well. They really like him, and I trust him because he’s done nothing but great work for all of us. I gladly recommend him to anybody. He’s really great.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photos by Jordan Pysz. mkb

15 Minutes Every Week Fights Osteoporosis

Improve skeletal strength through novel exercise program.

Some daughters develop a special bond with their fathers through music or a favorite movie genre; others through sports or a designated staple in their weekly schedules such as Sunday morning brunch.

Leslie says that every DEXA scan she’s had since beginning OsteoStrong has shown an improvement in her bone mass.

The special bond that Leslie Bozeman had with her father was forged by the daily news.

“When I was growing up, my father would always share whatever was happening in the news while we were eating dinner together,” Leslie explains. “That sparked an interest in me to watch the news myself so I would have things to discuss with him.”

While watching the news, Leslie developed an interest not only in current affairs but also American history. That eventually led her to a decision to become a history teacher, a position she’s held for 28 years, most recently at Land O’ Lakes High School.

“I teach mostly 11th grade,” says Leslie, who can easily become engrossed in any aspect of US history but clearly holds a special passion for the women’s suffrage movement, her study of which has steadily increased over the years.

“I’ve built my women’s rights unit up a lot over the years because I like sharing stories of the women who were arrested, and in some cases illegally imprisoned, and then went on hunger strikes just to get the right to vote,” Leslie details.

Leslie, 57, clearly appreciates the sacrifice those women made for themselves and others that followed. She takes her voting rights seriously but will tell you that one of her most important election choices had nothing to do with politics.

It was a decision made after learning six years ago that she had osteoporosis, a condition in which bone growth fails to keep pace with natural bone degeneration to the point where bone mineral density becomes dangerously low.

Found most often in postmenopausal women, osteoporosis and its predecessor, osteopenia, affect about 54 million Americans, including many men, and can lead to severe bone breaks. Leslie has a family history of such fractures.

“My paternal grandmother had osteoporosis. Her arm snapped just trying to get out of the car once,” she recalls. “She also had a vertebra in her back crumble so bad that it left her bedridden before her death.”

Osteoporosis often goes undetected until a fracture occurs. Because it can greatly affect the bones in the spine, osteopenia, osteoporosis and low bone mass can also cause some to lose height or lead to a stooped posture.

These conditions can all be treated or managed, including through medications. Leslie, however, had concerns about side effects associated with those medications and sought a different treatment.

“I did some research and started at first by treating it myself with vitamins and some homeopathic things,” Leslie relates. “Then one day I saw a story about OsteoStrong and decided to check it out.”

Inventive Program

OsteoStrong is a revolutionary program that has helped more than 25,000 people reverse the negative effects of osteoporosis and osteopenia through using specialized biomechanical equipment that is used once a week for about 15 minutes.

The equipment allows the user to perform resistance-based pushing and pulling exercises with their arms and legs. During these workouts, pressure of up to 12 times the users’ body weight can be safely applied.

“The difference between our equipment and the equipment used at a traditional gym is that our equipment does not involve a counterforce,” states Mark Brady, president of OsteoStrong in South Pasadena.

“Because there’s no force pushing against you, you create the force you’re comfortable with, and you are in control of it at all times. For example, on our lower body and leg machine, I’ve had women in their 80s who weigh 100 pounds exert forces in excess of 1,000 pounds.

“For a 100-pound person to develop new bone working out on traditional equipment, they would need to create a resistance of over 400 pounds. That simply can’t be done by 99 percent of all people in a gym environment because it involves weights they couldn’t physically move. Or if they could move them, they’d be at high risk of injury.”

“It’s just a short amount of time that you spend on the machines, but the health benefits are amazing.” – Leslie

To understand the difference in the two formats, Mark invites people to come in and try the OsteoStrong equipment. His facility offers a free orientation session to allow those interested to learn more about the science behind the program.

“This is an amazing concept that is the culmination of 12 years of research that looked into the body’s adaptive response to growing bone and muscle structure and improving the density of the bones,” Mark says.

“As a result of that research, it is now a known medical fact that when you put certain forces on the bones, the body responds by growing new bone tissue. That’s what OsteoStrong does, and the results of these short sessions are absolutely amazing.”

According to Mark, studies have found that OsteoStrong improves bone density 7 to 14 percent per year. In addition, people will increase their strength by an average of 73 percent over their first year at OsteoStrong.

Mark also points out there are similar studies confirming that an OsteoStrong session more than once a week does not promote additional benefits. As a result, workouts are both impactful and efficient.

Noting that osteoporosis is not a disorder exclusive to any age group or gender, Mark encourages people of all ages to accept his invitation to try the equipment.

“Osteoporosis is not something that only happens to old people,” he explains. “As a result, we have clients from young to old. Nor are men immune to it. In fact, when men start losing their testosterone, their bone loss becomes more rapid.

“At OsteoStrong, we offer people an opportunity to learn more about osteopenia and osteoporosis and why the OsteoStrong program is so effective at fighting it.”

Keep It Up

Upon receiving her diagnosis, Leslie learned that in addition to her hips and legs, osteoporosis was mostly eating away at the bones in her spine. After her first year of OsteoStrong workouts, her bone density scans showed the disease was already receding.

“Not only did the DEXA scan that I had after I finished my first year in the OsteoStrong program show improvement, but every DEXA scan that I’ve had since then has shown improvement as well,” Leslie shares.

“In fact, the last one showed I no longer have osteoporosis and only have osteopenia in one small place in my spine. When I showed that to my doctor, he said, This is fabulous. Keep doing what you’re doing. He was very supportive, which I appreciate.”

Leslie has good reason to appreciate her doctor’s support. On Thursdays after school, she drives more than 50 miles from Land O’ Lakes High to get in her OsteoStrong session. That long drive, she says, is worth it.

“It is a bit of a haul for me, but the results are there, and the people who run the facility – Mark, the owner; his sister, the office manager; and Kathy, who runs the machines – are really invested in your health. And they make you feel like family.

“That’s one of the reasons I really look forward to going there each week. That and the fact that I know the OsteoStrong sessions are working. I’ve always been very active, and I want to stay active, especially now that I have my first grandchild.

“I want to be active with him, and OsteoStrong is going to allow me to do that. That’s why I highly recommend it. It’s just a short amount of time that you spend on the machines, but the health benefits are amazing.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photo by Michelle Brooks. mkb

 

As seen in South Pinellas County Edition of
Florida Health Care News
.

Pinellas Dentist Provides One-Stop Shop

He has the technology and skill to perform virtually any dental procedure.

If you think the weeks leading up to Christmas make for the busiest time of year for UPS drivers, David Vecchio urges you to think again.

David greatly appreciates the convenience offered by Bayway Dental.

As a UPS driver with more than 35 years of experience, David will tell you the winter holidays are indeed hectic, but they’re no longer the busiest part of the calendar.

“The fact that we always hire extra help during Christmas lightens the load a bit, so that’s one factor,” David explains. “But after Christmas, most of those drivers are let go, and then you always have that influx of winter visitors into Florida. You put it all together, for me, January through May have become the busiest by far.

“And it’s gotten even busier in the couple of years since COVID-19 hit. There are a lot more people having things shipped to their homes now instead of going out and getting them, so there are some days when I start at 5:30 in the morning and I’ll be delivering until 7:30 or 8 at night.”

With hours like that, David says he has long struggled to find time for after-work activities. Unfortunately, he has also struggled to keep good tabs on his health. His oral health, in particular, has suffered as a result of his dedication to his job.

“For years, because I worked the hours that I did, I put off my health, and my teeth was one of those things that I ignored,” David confirms. “Then, just as I was starting to have some problems a couple of years ago, my dentist retired.

“I had two teeth that had become very sensitive, one on the upper left and another on the bottom left. I knew they were only going to get worse, so I started searching for a new dentist. Eventually, a buddy at work referred me to Dr. Sherberg.”

Restoration Begins

David Sherberg, DMD, FAGD, of Bayway Dental in St. Petersburg, has the technology and skill to perform virtually any dental procedure and can treat anxious patients through sedation dentistry.

“We’re a one-stop shop, so most of our patients don’t need to see a specialist to get the care they need,” Dr. Sherberg confirms. “We do root canals, crowns, dentures, implants, veneers, extractions, pretty much everything.

“And we do a lot of that work under sedation. I am one of only a handful of general dentists in St. Petersburg certified in IV sedation. One of the great advantages of IV sedation is that it allows patients who require a lot of work to get that work done in just a few visits.”

In addition to catering to patients with dental anxiety, Dr. Sherberg often treats patients who have long neglected their oral health or have complex problems. David, who first visited Dr. Sherberg in November 2020, fell into that category.

“When David first came to us, he was suffering from a mild case of periodontal disease; he had multiple abscesses and several cavities that were going to require extensive work,” Dr. Sherberg details. “He was also missing some teeth.”

David was initially interested in taking care of what was then the most pressing problem, those two teeth causing him discomfort. However, after discussing his case with Dr. Sherberg, David decided to commit to a smile makeover.

“Dr. Sherberg did a very thorough examination with x-rays and everything, and when we sat down and talked about it, he did a great job of explaining what he could do for me,” David relates. “I decided it was best to get everything taken care of.”

The smile restoration began with a thorough cleaning, one David describes as “the best I’ve ever had.” That took care of the gum disease and laid the foundation for the work that followed.

“As I said, David had a mild case of periodontal disease, with pockets of five to six millimeters around his teeth,” Dr. Sherberg states. “After a round of root scaling and planing, we got those pockets down to two or three millimeters.

“That’s healthy dentition, and it is something we always want to make sure we have before we move forward in a case like this. It’s imperative to have a healthy foundation. The success of the work that follows depends on it.”

Change of Plans

Dr. Sherberg moved on to root canals on the abscessed teeth, filling the cavities where possible, replacing the missing teeth with bridges or dental implants, and crowning David’s remaining healthy teeth.

However, the plan changed due to unforeseen problems, including the discovery of a tooth deemed unsalvageable because of the amount of decay in it.

“That was tooth No. 18, a lower left molar,” Dr. Sherberg reports. “We originally planned to create a bridge from that tooth to No. 20, the second premolar, but 18 was not salvageable so we took out 18 and gave him implants on 18 and 19.”

Dental implants are root-shaped, screw-like bodies that are surgically placed into the jawbone. Once the implant is in the jawbone, new bone naturally grows around it to form the foundation for an abutment and replacement teeth.

“The smile that Dr. Sherberg gave me is incredible. I’m a lot happier than I ever thought I’d be.” – David

The replacement teeth can be a single crown that is either cemented or screwed onto the abutment, a partial bridge that can be affixed to one or more implants, or a full denture that can be fastened to a series of implants.

Some patients require a bone graft designed to enhance the volume of the jawbone so it can properly support the implant.

Bone grafts are not always necessary, but with patients who have been missing teeth for many years, a graft is sometimes required because bone mass deteriorates when there is no pressure from chewing, which stimulates natural bone regeneration.

Bone grafts are typically done when the implants are seated. The implants then need at least three months to heal to a point where they can support a prosthetic. During the healing period, patients are usually fit with temporary replacement teeth.

David did not require bone grafting. According to Dr. Sherberg, he was “able to pop the implants into the areas where David was missing teeth,” which included the lower left molar and a lower right molar and premolar.

“We also had to do an unplanned root canal on tooth No. 21, the first bicuspid on the lower left, because we discovered an abscess there while I was preparing that tooth for a crown,” Dr. Sherberg adds.

Time and Money Saver

Dr. Sherberg’s ability to perform the root canal and seat the implants meant that David did not need to make appointments with another dentist to have those procedures performed. That saved him time and money.

BEFORE

“Typically, when you have a situation like that where we find a problem and someone suddenly needs a root canal, you stop what you’re doing, send the patient to an endodontist and then have the endodontist perform the root canal.

“Then the patient comes back again so you can finish up the work on the crown. In this case, the root canal was completed in the same visit and no time was lost because no other appointments had to be made with other doctors.”

Considering his busy work schedule, David was more than pleased he was able to get an unexpected problem resolved without having to visit another dentist at a different time. He was even more pleased with the results of Dr. Sherberg’s work.

In all, Dr. Sherberg seated three implants, created two bridges and placed crowns on more than a dozen of David’s healthy teeth. The result is a smile that David never thought he’d have and is proud to show off.

“Years ago, David expounds, “I had a Bell’s palsy attack that took away a little bit of the muscle tone on the left side of my face. Bell’s palsy is a sudden weakness in a facial muscle due to a damaged facial nerve.

“It didn’t really bother me, but ever since then I have always had this attitude that I was never going to have a perfect smile,” David continues. “But the smile that Dr. Sherberg gave me is incredible. I’m a lot happier than I ever thought I’d be. There is a very noticeable change for the better that I get a lot of compliments on.

“Just the other day, two people at work said something about it. They were like, Wow, your smile, your teeth, I can really tell you had some work done, and it looks great. So I am very pleased, and I absolutely recommend Dr. Sherberg. He does great work.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. David’s photo by Jordan Pysz. Dr. Sherberg photo courtesy of Bayway Dental. David’s before photo courtesy of Bayway Dental. mkb

 

As seen in South Pinellas County Edition of
Florida Health Care News
.

Lose Weight, Get Toned, Treat Incontinence

Trio of treatments trims fat, adds muscle and alleviates leaks.

Outside of the part-time gig she had waiting tables at a local diner, there was no “real job” waiting for Maya* when she graduated from college 30 years ago. So, she accepted the offer presented by three sorority sisters.

“They all bought Eurail passes and were planning to spend the next three or four months traveling through Europe,” Maya remembers. “They begged me to join them, so I finally relented and said, Sure, why not? I’m so glad I did.

“Not only did I see just about everything you can think of in Europe, but I met my future husband while we were skiing in Zurich. He was our ski instructor, and we hit it off from day one.”

The couple hit it off after learning they both grew up near Stowe, Vermont, which is where they were married and began their family. A job transfer brought them to Florida 12 years ago, but it wasn’t until recently that Maya began to enjoy the sunshine.

“By the time we moved here I already had two kids, and it showed,” Maya explains. “After both births, I had a hard time losing the extra weight I gained during pregnancy, and for a while I let it get out of control.

“I started dieting a few years ago, but nothing was working. I was still overweight and didn’t like the way I looked. Then a couple of years ago, I discovered Island Family Health and decided to see if they could help me.”

Primary Care and More

Established in 2018 by Nikolaos Kanellopoulos, MD, Island Family Health provides primary care, family medicine services and several leading-edge aesthetic services, including medically supervised weight loss, medical aesthetics, and body contouring.

“Maya came to us with a very common complaint,” Dr. Kanellopoulos reports. “She was struggling to lose belly fat and wanted to know if we could help her. I suggested she start by getting UltraSlim® treatments.

UltraSlim is a noninvasive FDA-cleared fat-removal treatment that uses photobiomodulation, or red-light therapy, to activate and shrink fat cells. It works by creating avenues through which fatty acids and triglycerides can escape the cells.

During each session, which lasts about 30 minutes, the patient simply lies on a table beneath a lamp that is aimed at the target area. The lamp produces the red-light energy that penetrates the skin and activates the fat cells.

At the same time, UltraSlim’s red-light therapy sparks an increase in collagen and elastin production, which tightens skin and reduces signs of aging in the targeted area. Results are often visible within days.

“I noticed a difference in the way my body looked and in the way my skin looked right away,” Maya attests. “I definitely looked a little slimmer, and there was a change for the better in the texture of my skin.

“I was so pleased with the results from the red-light therapy that after learning about another treatment called Emsculpt® NEO during an open house that Island Family Health held, I decided to sign up for that as well.”

Like UltraSlim, Emsculpt NEO is a nonsurgical body contouring treatment that burns stubborn fat. However, it also tones and strengthens the muscles in the area being targeted.

Ideally suited for people with a body mass index (BMI) less than 35, Emsculpt NEO burns fat through the use of an applicator that emits rapid pulses of high-intensity electromagnetic and radiofrequency energy.

The energy heats the fat cells to a degree that forces them to die. After the cells have died, or melted away, the lipids inside them are released into the lymph system and excreted over a period of time.

As the fat cells are treated, muscles in the targeted area are also heated, and a device on the applicator delivers the equivalent of thousands of contractions to those muscles in a matter of minutes. The contractions tone and strengthen the muscles.

Like UltraSlim, Emsulpt NEO sessions last about 30 minutes, and clinical studies show that four treatments typically result in a 30 percent decrease in fat, a 25 percent increase in muscle growth and a 19 percent reduction in abdominal separation (diastasis recti).

A 3D body scan of Maya after she completed a package of six combined UltraSlim and Emsulpt NEO treatments showed a loss of approximately 20 pounds and 11 inches around her waist. Her BMI was also greatly reduced.

“When I started, my BMI was definitely in the overweight range,” Maya reports. “By the time I got done, it was in the normal range. I also feel stronger and more muscular since doing the Emsculpt NEO treatments.

“My muscles in the areas I had treated, which were my stomach and glutes, are a lot more toned. And I know that came from the treatments because it wasn’t like I was working out or anything. I just rode my bike a lot.”

Stop the Leaks

Those bike rides proved to be a bit of an adventure at times. On several occasions, Maya experienced a brief loss of urine after hitting a bump in the road or while getting on or off the bike. The cause was urinary incontinence.

A condition that can take several forms, urinary incontinence can present itself as an involuntary loss of urine sparked by something as simple as a laugh, cough or sneeze, or just a strong urge to urinate.

Caused by a weakening of the bladder or sphincter muscles, an overactive bladder or nerve damage, urinary incontinence can be experienced by men but typically occurs in women who are pregnant, have had children or are going through menopause.

For patients with this condition, Dr. Kanellopoulos offers a drug-free nonsurgical treatment called the BTL Emsella® chair. It’s a treatment he often combines with Emsculpt NEO in a package called Core to Floor therapy.

The BTL Emsella is a chair that patients sit on comfortably while fully clothed. As the patient sits, the chair emits pulses of electromagnetic energy that create muscle contractions that simulate Kegel exercises and stimulate muscles in the pelvic floor.

The degree of contractions is far greater than any human can achieve alone, and studies show that a course of two 30-minutes treatments per week for three weeks typically restores neuromuscular control.

“Laugh, sneeze, cough, I was that person,” Maya admits. “If I did anything like that, I’d have a little leakage episode. Nothing serious, but it was annoying, so I tried out the Emsella chair, and I could not believe the results.

“After about two weeks, I was no longer having those leakage issues, and I haven’t had any since. And you can bet that I’ve told my friends about it. I’ve said, Girl, you’ve got to do this. I mean, you just sit on a chair. That’s it.

“In fact, I’ve encouraged several friends to try the UltraSlim and Emsculpt NEO treatments. I tell them, Look at me. I’ve lost weight and inches, and I look more muscular and feel stronger. You’ve got to try this.

“I also tell them, Don’t go anywhere but Island Family Health. Dr. K and his staff are wonderful. They’re kind, professional and have solutions that work. I’m very fortunate to have found them and want to help others do the same.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Before and after images courtesy of Island Family Health. mkb
*Patient’s name changed at her request.

Growing South Hillsborough Gets A New ER

Manatee Memorial Hospital opening full-service ER at Sun City Center

Since 2010, the population in Hillsborough County has increased more than 24 percent to 1.5 million. Much of that growth has taken place in the southern portion of the county, where civic leaders expect the population to jump another 150,000 before 2040.

ER at Sun City Center Treatment Room

The ER at Sun City Center will include 12 treatment areas and a physician on duty 24/7.

To help meet that area’s expanding need for medical services, Manatee Memorial Hospital will soon open a 10,884-square-foot, full-service emergency department in Wimauma.

The ER at Sun City Center, an extension of Manatee Memorial Hospital, is the first freestanding emergency department established by Manatee Memorial. It will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays. The address is 16504 US 301 S., behind Walmart.

“By expanding our emergency services, we can better meet the needs of our growing community and provide access to emergency care where it is needed,” says Manatee Memorial Hospital CEO, Tom McDougal.

The facility will have 12 treatment areas, including six exam rooms and three rapid medical exam spaces. It will also feature a full-service laboratory as well as X-ray, CT and ultrasound services. A physician will always be on duty to address patient needs.

“The facility will offer the same level of care as a hospital-based emergency room and will provide care for a range of health issues, from minor scrapes and sprains to chest pain and stroke symptoms,” says Joseph Hwang, FACHE, chief operating officer at Manatee Memorial Hospital. “Doctors will also be capable of treating or providing stabilizing treatment for all major conditions that present to an emergency room.”

Headshot Tom McDougal, Manatee Memorial Hospital CEO

“By expanding our emergency services, we can better meet the needs of our growing community and provide access to emergency care where it is needed.”
– Tom McDougal,
Manatee Memorial Hospital CEO

A Growing Trend

Freestanding emergency departments are nothing new. The concept dates to the early 1970s, when big-city hospitals began placing them in rural areas that lacked acute care facilities.

At first, their development grew slowly. Since 2008, however, a surge has taken place, with the number of facilities increasing from 222 to 566 across 32 states by 2016. Estimates call for 2,000 to be in place by 2023.

“This is the wave of the future,” says Tiffany Hughes, director of business development at Manatee Memorial Hospital. “You’re going to continue to see more of these freestanding emergency facilities down the road.”

The fact that Manatee Memorial Hospital is part of the trend should come as no surprise. It has long been providing advanced treatment options.

For example, Manatee Memorial was the first hospital in the state to perform 800 procedures in which the Watchman™ left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) was implanted into patients with atrial fibrillation, including 500 by one physician.

More recently, Manatee Memorial was among the first in the region to offer Barostim™ Baroreflex Activation Therapy, which uses neuromodulation – the power of the brain and nervous system – to treat systolic heart failure.

“It is important to us to be using advanced technology because it is our goal to provide the community we serve with the best care possible,” Tiffany states. “Our cardiac program is one very good example of that.

“We are hitting thresholds and benchmarks through that program that are exceeding other programs all around the country. That’s why Manatee Memorial Hospital is the most decorated hospital in Manatee County.

“We have the highest number of accreditations and awards for services in the county. Those are determined based on performance, criteria, quality metrics and participation in different organizations to make sure that we meet those accreditation needs.

“We pride ourselves in going through those processes to make sure we are providing the best care and treatment possible for our community and patients.”

Community Relationships

The spring opening of the ER at Sun City Center is another example of that goal to provide the community with advanced care and services.

“This is an opportunity for Manatee Memorial Hospital to deliver a service to a portion of the community that may not always have access to the kind of care received at an emergency room based on residents’ distance from a full-service hospital,” Tiffany adds.

“It’s also important to point out that since the COVID-19 pandemic started, there have been many people in communities all across the country who have expressed fear about going to an emergency room connected to a full-service hospital. People might feel more comfortable going to a freestanding ER than a full-service facility.”

The primary difference, she says, is that the ER at Sun City Center doesn’t have an inpatient option. Patients needing further treatment will be transferred to Manatee Memorial Hospital or have transportation arranged to another hospital of their choice, so the patient experiences no delay in care, Tiffany assures.

“We are excited to join this community and provide the support and medical care that is needed. We’re honored to be accepted into the community and look forward to providing residents of all ages with these much-needed services.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Rendering/photos courtesy of Manatee Memorial Hospital. mkb

As seen in Brandon/Sun City Edition of Florida Health Care News.

 

Page 1 of 17
1 2 3 4 5 6 17