From performing regular exams to full-mouth reconstruction, your dentist plays a key role in maintaining your overall health. Good oral and dental hygiene can help prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease, and can help you maintain or replace your teeth as you get older. Researchers have discovered that good oral health can help ward off serious medical disorders such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even preterm labor.
Establish an Oral Health Baseline
“Adults should have a dental exam and cleaning twice yearly,” says Dr. Joseph P. Prasad D.M.D., M.A.G.D. “It is very important to establish your oral health baseline,” he explains. “Your dentist should perform a complete oral examination, including an oral cancer screening, a periodontal evaluation, an analysis of
your bite, and a thorough examination of your teeth, their supporting structures, and of the oral anatomy.”
“Regular cleanings by a dental hygienist will help prevent new cavities, preserve teeth that have been restored, and manage periodontal disease,” says Dr. Prasad. “If you haven’t visited the dentist in a while,” he adds, “schedule an appointment soon.”
Technology-Driven Patient Care
Technology is contributing to more beautiful smiles for patients of all ages. “Orthodontic practice is embracing the future of technology in dentistry,” says orthodontist Dr. Patrick Cuozzo. “One great advance is using 3-D printing to create in minutes customized orthodontic models for clear aligners, precise surgical guides and more, which can be done right in the orthodontist’s office.”
After a digital impression has been made, the data is fed into a computer program and a 3-D printer produces a model on the spot. “State-of-the-art 3-D printing is just one of the technologies available to streamline patient care without sacrificing accuracy and precision,” says Dr. Cuozzo.
Accelerated Orthodontics: Faster Orthodontic Treatment with Less Discomfort
“For anyone considering orthodontic treatment, the first question is always ‘How long will treatment take?’” says Dr. Tara Gostovich.
“The goal of an emerging school of treatment called “Accelerated Orthodontics” is to shorten the time in orthodontic appliances and treat the patient with less discomfort,” says Dr. Gostovich. “Almost anyone is a candidate for accelerated treatment, but it is perfect for those who have a special event in mind, such as a wedding or the start of a new job.”
“Today’s surgical and non-surgical accelerated orthodontic treatment options painlessly stimulate the movement of teeth into proper alignment in less time,” says Dr. Gostovich. “These accelerated treatment options can be used in combination with current orthodontic treatments such as braces or clear aligners to reduce treatment time by as much as 50 percent.”
Prosthodontists: Architects of the Smile
Not all dental care is preventative. Some conditions require the advanced care of a prosthodontic specialist. Sometimes called the “architects of the smile,” prosthodontists are primarily concerned with the restoration and replacement of lost or damaged teeth with implants, dentures, bridges, crowns and other restorations.
After graduating from college and completing four years of dental school, prosthodontists receive an additional four years of advanced graduate training recognized by the American Dental Academy. These specialists are highly familiar with all the elements that go into a beautiful, functional and naturallooking smile—not just the teeth, but also the gums, lips, and facial features.
“Dental reconstruction because of trauma, disease and congenital disorders can sometimes require several steps, including bone grafts, implants and orthodontic therapy,” says prosthodontist Dr. James Courey. “The prosthodontist puts the plan together and sequences other dental specialists. By collaborating with dental professionals in other specialty areas, we can ensure the best possible outcomes for the patients we serve.”
Infertility is a condition that affects approximately 1 out of every 8 couples, according to the American Pregnancy Association. “When to seek help is really up to the couple,” says board-certified specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Dr. William Ziegler, D.O., FACOG. Dr. Ziegler is Medical Director of the Reproductive Science Center of New Jersey.
“If a woman is feeling stressed about the length of time it is taking to conceive or is worried there is a problem, then they should seek help,” advises Dr. Ziegler. “By definition, a couple should seek help if they have failed to conceive after one year if the woman if under age 35, or within six months if the woman is older than age 35.” An infertility diagnosis is given to a couple that has been unsuccessful in efforts to conceive over the course of one full year.
Common Causes of Infertility
The most common causes of female infertility include problems with ovulation, damage to the fallopian tubes or uterus, or problems with the cervix. “Age can contribute to infertility because as a woman gets older, her fertility naturally tends to decrease,” says Dr. Ziegler.
Ovulation problems can be caused by:
• Hormone imbalance
• A tumor or cyst
• Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia
• Alcohol or drug use
• Thyroid gland problems
• Excess weight
• Intense exercise that causes a significant loss of body fat
• Extremely brief menstrual cycles
Female infertility factors contribute to approximately 50 percent of all infertility cases, and female infertility alone accounts for approximately one-third of infertility cases. Male infertility can be the result of low sperm production, abnormal sperm function or blockages that prevent the delivery of sperm, illnesses, injury, chronic health problems, and lifestyle choices.
“Overweight and underweight women have increased risk for infertility and less success with fertility treatments,” says Dr. Ziegler. “Consistent, moderate exercise and a healthy diet is good preconception care to help a woman maintain her reproductive health. “
Meeting Each Patient’s Special Needs
“There are many encouraging advances in fertility treatment, and every patient desiring to conceive should be treated individually, helping them to build a family in the best way specific to their needs and wishes” says Dr. Ziegler.
“A patient’s treatment is based on many variables,” says Dr. Ziegler. “This includes the cause for their infertility, other medical conditions, ovarian function, and results from prior fertility treatment.”
“Medications have evolved over the years, which helps us to fine tune a patient’s response so we can now decrease the risk of multiples and ovarian hyperstimulation,” adds Dr. Ziegler.
“For women that are older or if they are carrying a genetic abnormality, we are now able to test embryos for genetic issues prior to transferring them into a women’s uterus,” says Dr. Ziegler. “This has helped increase pregnancy rates in women with pregnancy losses and those at an increased risk for genetic issues.”
Cryopreservation is another exciting advance for women who may choose to delay pregnancy. A woman may choose to delay pregnancy for medical reasons such as cancer treatments including chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, which can speed up the natural decline in available eggs and increase the risk of infertility, or for personal reasons such as education, career, relationship and other social factors.
Cryopreservation is the freezing and storage of mature eggs or embryos for later use in assisted reproductive treatments. These treatment options help women address the disconnect between the readiness to have children and the biological limitations of aging eggs.
“At some point, maternal age becomes a factor in achieving the goal of parenthood” says Dr. Ziegler. “With egg and embryo cryopreservation, however, women can take a proactive role to protect their future fertility.”
Americans are information-hungry and, thanks to the Internet, there’s plenty of data to be found – especially when it comes to healthcare. According to the Pew Research Center, over 70 percent of people look for healthcare information on the web. Moreover, 77 percent of consumers admit they use the Internet at the outset of their search for a new healthcare provider.
The problem, of course, is that not everything we read online is factual. In fact, with the exception of mainstream media such as the The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, information online is often skewed. It’s called “marketing,” and it’s often onesided and not 100 percent reliable.
A study completed by Invespro truly underscores the importance of reviews, as well as the impact negative reviews can have on a doctor or healthcare practice.
• Positive reviews make a practice seem more trustworthy, according to 72 percent of patients surveyed.
• If a local doctor has a five-star rating, they are going to earn more patients; 92 percent of people surveyed said that “stars” are a determining factor in choosing a physician.
• Before even trusting a healthcare professional, the vast majority of patients (who read reviews) said they read at least four online reviews.
It’s easy to understand why bogus reviews present a huge challenge for physicians, hospitals and healthcare practices around the country. It’s so easy for anyone to post a review, but there’s no way to know if it’s bogus, or unfair. Further, there are companies out there that permit people to “buy” reviews – good for themselves or bad for a competitor – which truly makes the entire concept of online reviews unpredictable and practically a waste of time.
Unfortunately, this isn’t stopping disgruntled patients from writing doctor reviews. In most cases, reviews posted on Healthgrades or Yelp, and other sites can’t even be responded to or refuted by the healthcare professional or practice (due to privacy laws.)
Bogus Complaints Send the Wrong Message
Consider a story about a woman who was very clearly addicted to pain medication. According to the director of a major New Jersey healthcare practice, she came to the office complaining of pain and requesting pain medication. “She was refused pain meds due to her obvious prescription abuse history,” he said. “However, she took the opportunity to write a review about our practice. She wrote that no one here cared about her pain. She clearly misrepresented the facts.”
Due to HIPAA laws, the practice is unable to respond to “bogus” complaints like that, leaving healthcare practices helpless to refute bad information. “People read these kinds of one-sided, unfair reviews and make a decision that the practice is not compassionate,” he added.
In another case, a patient showed up at a specialist’s office without a referral from his primary care physician. The paperwork snafu caused an extended stay in the waiting room which obviously angered the patient. He wrote a review of the practice complaining about the horrible wait time. A review like this is biased and unfair and is not truly representative of the practice.
According to a report printed in JAMA, the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association, “commercial physicianrating websites have significant limitations.”
While the number of physician reviews online are increasing, the reviews observed by the study were not meaningful. “It is difficult for a prospective patient to find (for any given physician on any commercial physician-rating website) a quantity of reviews that would accurately relay the experience of care with that physician,” according to JAMA.
NJ Healthcare Practices Seriously Injured by Bogus Online Reviews
Moazam Gazi, administrator for University Urology Associates of NJ, says bogus online reviews are a problem faced by most, if not all, healthcare practices. Unless a practice is large enough to have a team of people monitoring social media and online review sites, doctors and healthcare practices face substantial risk to their public image, Mr. Gazi said.
“The conversations on these review boards are almost exclusively one-sided due to HIPAA laws. People feel that it’s a place to vent and discuss their personal care,” he explained. “But it doesn’t give a physician or practice the ability to respond in kind due ethical considerations. Additionally, practices are often very negatively affected by bogus reviews stemming from insurance issues like copays that have nothing to do with quality of medical care.
“Bottom line”, Gazi added, “people should be careful about where they go for their reviews.”
“Taking Reviews with a Grain of Salt”
Many people interviewed said they regularly look at reviews when considering a healthcare professional for their own, or their family’s, care. But suspicions abound.
“I read reviews but I take them with a grain of salt because of the bad experiences I’ve have with docs who were given rave reviews. I do admit, though, that I am more influenced by negative reviews compared to 100% glowing reviews.” — Sue M., Robbinsville
“I know the internet has trolls. It could be someone’s just posting negative comments to be mean. It could be the doc did make a medical mistake once, but is otherwise a great doc. It could be the doc aggravated the commenter in some realm other than medical, and the comment is a revenge posting.” — Jennie P., Hamilton
“I am usually suspect of every review and can’t help but wonder if they were planted. That’s just my suspicious nature. I do not to trust them nor do I base my choices on them.” — Nancy R., Howell
Many consumers look to friends and family for referrals when it comes to choosing a physician. Even so, they still admit to checking out online reviews before making a final decision about setting an appointment.
“I typically read online reviews after I’ve made my decision because I prefer to get a referral from someone I know,” said Jamie C. ff Allentown. “That being said, I know for a fact that people are much more likely to complain than they are to write a good review. So, one review – either way – I am suspect about who wrote it.”
Still others look to reviews for specific information. A negative review, in this case, could really impact a patient’s decision to see one physician over another.
“It’s difficult to ascertain the legitimacy of a review. It’s very subjective and there are so many factors that come into choosing a doctor. Bedside manner is important to me,” said Janis P. of Hopewell. “So if there was a review that said he doesn’t spend a lot of time or is gruff, couldn’t be bothered, that would definitely impact my decision.”
Bogus Reviews are Bad for Consumers and Bad for Business. Period.
“Bad online ratings can wreak havoc on doctors’ businesses, in extreme cases driving physicians to leave a particular state to practice elsewhere,” according to research published in The Wall Street Journal. “Ratings sites will take down reviews that use profanity, but they typically won’t edit or remove a review simply because a doctor (or any business) disputes what is in it.”
Further, while an electrician or an eatery can just close and change the business name and reopen, physicians can’t do that. Once their reputation is damaged, it’s a done deal.
In fact, “one negative review can cost you almost 30 new patients, and nearly 80 percent of patients will change their mind about a practice after reading a bad review,” according to the Invespro study.
“Unfortunately, it’s hard to find reliable, easy-to-understand information about specific doctors or practices,” Doris Peter, Ph.D., director of the said. “Sure, you can check out physician reviews on sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List, but do you really want to find a doctor the same way you do a restaurant or plumber? Probably not.”
So – What is the solution?
Patients should seek in-depth information regarding the physician, their practice and their philosophy. One site dedicated to bringing deeper information to consumers is HumanizeMD (www.humanizemd.com). Compatibility with your physician enhances communication, and good information flow between doctor and patient leads to better outcomes.
Hyper local, and focused initially in Central New Jersey, HumanizeMD is the first informational website that helps you get to know more about a doctor as a person before making one of your most important healthcare decisions.
New Integrative Approaches to Mental Illness and Substance Abuse
Depression, anxiety, and other behavioral health conditions are not only increasing in incidence, but have traditionally been treated almost exclusively with medications. Additionally, substance abuse and addiction are often intertwined with behavioral
An Integrative Approach to Managing Mental Illness
Health psychologist Lisa Sussman, Psy.D., a member of the Integrative Health & Medicine program at Hackensack Meridian Health, is part of a team utilizing a unique care model based on Five Pillars of Health and Well-being to help manage mental illness, stress, and overall mind-body health with complementary techniques. Studies show that mindfulness, meditation and targeted nutrition, for example, offer improved
results for managing mental health.
The Five Pillars include Nutrition, Sleep, Activity, Resilience, and Purpose. Dr. Sussman adds, “We believe that these pillars are fundamental to the health and well-being of every human being.”
“Integrative health and medicine techniques provide nonpharmaceutical methods to manage pain or the symptoms of mental illness,” says Dr. Sussman. “Some of these methods include cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness, positive psychology, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), and other energy based interventions.”
“There are many health interventions available to guide people in learning skills which not only help them adjust to their medical status, improve quality of life and change their mindset, but also to shift into and maintain a resilient lifestyle which promotes positive mind-body change, healing, and wellness,” concludes Dr. Sussman.
Building Resilience for Behavioral Health Clients
Kathleen Welshman, RN, a Certified Integrative Nurse Health Coach with Hackensack Meridian Integrative Health & Medicine, partners with clients to help create transformation and sustainable lifestyle change.
Welshman recently launched a Personal Resilience Empowerment Program (PREP) for home-based behavioral health clients to encourage sustainable healthy lifestyles. The program supports clients with a persistent mental illness as well as the comorbidity of a chronic health condition such as hypertension, diabetes or substance abuse.
Based on the Five Pillars of Health and Well-Being, PREP helps clients attain a goal each week. At the end of the eight-week program, clients will have developed an individualized self-care plan. Welshman believes that identifying one’s true purpose and values in life are a motivating factor to create desired change.
Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction
Historically, the majority of drug treatment centers in the U.S. have subscribed almost exclusively to an abstinence-only model to treat opioid addiction, based on an interpretation of the 12 steps of the Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous programs.
“With tens of thousands of people dying each year from drug addiction, healthcare leaders are revisiting their response to treatment,” says Mary Pat Angelini, CEO of Preferred Behavioral Health Group, which last year provided community behavioral health prevention, intervention and treatment services to 27,000 individuals in New Jersey.
Angelini adds, “Studies show that Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) can cut mortality rates among clients with substance use disorder substantially. MAT is creating longer periods of sobriety which provide the person who is addicted with time to get the supportive counseling they need to embark on lifetime of recovery.”
Humanizing Behavioral Healthcare Design
With a growing number of individuals in the U.S. being diagnosed with mental health conditions, organizations are designing specialized facilities where patients can be treated with dignity.
At its Lakewood facility, which provides outpatient mental health and substance use disorder treatment and counseling, Preferred Behavioral Health Group is incorporating design elements to create a light and airy space with a comfortable, home-like feel, de-stigmatizing both the facility and the clients it supports.
“This paradigm shift in architecture parallels new ways in which mental illness and addiction is viewed by society,” says Angelini, “Patients are being treated with the expectation of holistic wellness that will aid in their long-term recovery.”
Preferred Behavioral Health group
Hackensack Meridian Health Integrative Medicine
Returning Patients to Active Living
Inpatient rehabilitation facilities restore function and strength so that patients can return to their highest level of independence. You probably already know that inpatient rehabilitation is a must to achieve the best possible recovery following hospitalization for surgery, injury or a serious illness.
But knowing how to make the best choice for inpatient care following a hospital discharge can be confusing. Often both patients and families think they need to stay within the hospital system where treatment took place.
Explore Your Rehabilitation Options
“Many people are unaware that they are free to choose where their post-acute or long-term rehabilitation takes place,” says Terri Rufo, Administrator at CareOne Holmdel. “Families can make their own choice depending on considerations such as location, the patient’s needs, and their impression after touring a facility and meeting the staff who will care for their parent or another family member.”
“Ideally, both the patient-to-be and family members should explore their options before hospitalization occurs,” says Terri. “If an elective procedure is planned, such as joint replacement surgery, take the time to consider finding a rehabilitation facility that’s close to home for the primary caregivers. If your grandmother lives in Staten Island, but the family who will be visiting her in rehab after her hip replacement lives in Monmouth County, then it makes sense to find a top-rated facility closer to the caregivers’ Monmouth County home.”
Terri encourages caregivers to explore their options. “Ask friends for recommendations, learn about specialized programs, tour several facilities and then make a choice based on your needs. The benefits of in-patient rehabilitation include providing a safe environment where patients receive help with their daily needs, such as bathing, dressing, and dining. In addition, post-acute care patients should receive physical, speech and occupation therapies, as needed, seven days a week, overseen by a rehabilitation medicine physician, registered nurses, dieticians, pharmacists, therapeutic recreation staff and other team members.”
Rehabilitation should continue following discharge, says Terri. “Patients are prepared for discharge with a home preparation program so that they and their families are well-equipped to handle the patient’s care and ongoing recovery.”
Specialized Rehabilitation for Brain Injury
Sometimes a highly-specialized inpatient rehabilitation program is required. Dr. Anatoly M. Rozman, MD, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist notes that as powerful as the brain is when in good health, its resilience in revitalizing after injury is also remarkable.
“With time and an aggressive rehabilitation program, brain function can rebound,” says Dr. Rozman. “Although full recovery may not always be possible, early rehabilitation therapy is critical for repair and the full potential for recovery.”
“Most brain injuries are the result of motor vehicle accidents, falls, a battlefield injury, violence, and sports injuries where severe or ongoing concussion occurs, such as in boxing or football,” says Dr. Rozman. “Non-traumatic brain injuries may result from aneurysm, stroke, lack of oxygen (hypoxia), tumors, illnesses such as cancer, and brain infections or acute inflammation caused by conditions such as influenza (the common flu) and encephalitis, such as with West Nile disease.”
“Brain injury affects the entire body,” says Dr. Rozman, “and so a comprehensive rehabilitation program is required. Medical care is the first step in treatment to stabilize and promote the brain’s healing. For long-term treatment planning, rehabilitation plays an important role,” says Dr. Rozman.
“A specially-trained, multi-disciplinary team focuses on each patient to restore the best possible level of physical, cognitive and behavioral function,” says Dr. Rozman. “The focus is on improving the patient’s condition to enable a return to home, school or work, training and adaptation for long-term limitations, and home-based services as needed.”
“The goal is always to promote healing and maximize function and independence,” concludes Dr. Rozman.
Urgent Care Centers – Saving You A Trip to the ER “Urgent care centers offer an emergency room alternative to patients with medical needs that are not life-threatening,” says Dr. Cal Garcia, DO, FACOEP, Chief Medical Officer for Immediate Care, which has nine locations in Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties.
“Urgent care centers fill an important gap,” says Dr. Garcia. “Patients require immediate care on their own time, including nights, weekends and holidays, which often conflicts with the availability of the primary care physician. A trip to the ER is costly, time consuming, and commonly unnecessary.”
“An urgent care facility is also a convenient walk-in destination for vaccines and immunizations as well as school and sports physicals,” says Dr. Garcia. “Pre-employment physicals, DOT exams, and treatment for work-related injuries and illness are also available.”
“Urgent care centers are staffed with physicians trained in emergency medicine, and nurse practitioners and ancillary healthcare professionals skilled at handling all levels of non-life-threatening conditions on a walk-in basis,” says Urgent care centers, Cal Garcia, Immediate Care, Urgent Care Now, urgent care, walk in clinics, John Kulin, primary care physician, HumanizeMD, DO, FACEP, FCUCM, Founder and CEO of Urgent Care Now, with four locations in Southern Ocean County.
“Patients at an urgent care center benefit from diagnostic technologies commonly found in emergency departments at local hospitals, including radiology and laboratory services,” adds Dr. Kulin. “We also perform suturing, casting, IV therapy, and blood and urine analysis.”
“I ran an ER for 10 years before going into urgent care,” says Dr. Kulin, “and I always loved the variety of cases that came into the ER. The urgent care setting enables us to also treat patients with a wide spectrum of non-life-threatening conditions equally well, but in a timely, patient friendly, cost-effective fashion.”
Common Conditions Treated at an Urgent Care Center
• Animal and Insect Bites
• Back Pain
• Bladder Infections
• Minor Burns
• Cuts and Lacerations
• Minor Dislocations
• Minor Rashes & Skin Infection
• Respiratory Illness
• Sports Injuries
• Stomach Flu
• Wound Care
Walk-in clinic. Immediate care center. Retail clinic. Convenient care clinic. Urgent care center. Emergency room.
You’ve probably heard of most of these terms and even used them interchangeably, but do they mean the same thing? As it turns out, these terms are not equivalent. Most experts agree on the following:
“Walk-in clinic” is the most general term and this refers to – you guessed it – places where you can walk in without an appointment. The other terms represent types of walk-in clinics, with urgent care centers just one step below an emergency room, although more convenient and less costly.
Retail clinics, also known as convenient care clinics or immediate care centers, are walk-in clinics located in a retail environment, such as a pharmacy. Retail clinic services may include the treatment of minor injuries and illnesses such cold and flu symptoms, strep throat, and skin rashes. Many retail clinics also offer vaccinations, especially flu shots.
Urgent care centers, the most well-recognized term for the non-ER setting, provide far more comprehensive care for the conditions handled at retail clinics as well as for more severe,
non-life-threatening health issues, and they staff and equip accordingly. Urgent care is highly recommended to supplement times when your primary care physician is unavailable, particularly given urgent care centers’ extended office hours and seven-day operations.
Emergency rooms, typically located in a hospital, are the most expensive and least convenient walk-in option. ERs are essentially equipped to handle anything that walks through their doors. They also are required by law to accept all patients, regardless of their ability to pay. This fact, among others, often causes ER wait times to be several hours and the average cost is many times more than an urgent care facility.
A recent study found that nearly 50 percent of the diagnoses at emergency rooms could be treated by urgent care centers at a fraction of the cost and wait time. And with more than
9,000 urgent care centers in the US vs. 4,500 emergency rooms, urgent care centers are closer, more convenient options. Next time, consider an urgent care center when a nonlife-threatening emergency strikes.
With today’s evolving aesthetic technologies, women and more men are turning increasingly to advanced, non-surgical procedures to achieve a younger-looking face and body.
“Everyone wants to restore their youthful look,” says Kelly Weber, RN,BSN, the aesthetic nurse injector at Fostermd, the Facial Plastic Surgery practice of Wayne Foster, MD, FACS. “Twenty years ago, surgery was the only way to lift the face and reliably tighten the neck,” says Weber. “Today, we’re fortunate to have numerous nonsurgical options to rejuvenate the face and neck, including the nonsurgical facelift.”
The facial plastic surgeon can now restore facial volume and youthful contours, thanks to expertly placed injectables such as Juvéderm®, Restylane®, VollureTM XC, and Voluma® XC, with very little downtime or discomfort. “Imagine achieving a total facial transformation right in the office without surgery” says Weber. “Results are natural looking and can last for years, and for the most part can be achieved in a single visit.”
Having a Facelift Without Surgery
Weber suggests that, when considering a facelift of any kind, the key is to pay attention to what has changed about your face over the years.
• Have you developed jowls?
• Are your cheeks falling and creating lines around your mouth?
• Is your skin blotchy and pigmented with age spots?
• Do you have deep frown lines or hollows under your eyes?
• Do you have deep grooves creating a frown around your mouth?
“Each of these changes can be treated with non-surgical techniques in the office, or surgical procedures in the operating room,” adds Dr. Foster. “Once you have determined your goals, have a discussion with a board-certified facial plastic surgeon to determine what works best for you.”
CoolSculpting® Your Way to A Smoother, Tighter Body
“Your fat cells hate the cold,” says board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Asaad H. Samra, MD, FACS. CoolSculpting® is the only FDA-cleared procedure to use controlled cooling to safely target and eliminate diet-and-exercise- resistant fat.
“CoolSculpting® uses a patented technology to freeze and eliminate unwanted fat cells, without surgery or downtime, providing up to a 25 percent permanent reduction in fat in the focused area of treatment,” says Dr. Samra.
“Sometimes, no matter how intense your workout or strict your diet, you can’t ditch stubborn fat, especially along the torso and sides of the body. CoolSculpting can be used on areas of the body from the chin to the ankles, the thighs and arms,” says Dr. Samra, “and provides excellent results, helping patients feel and look their best.”
CoolSculpting® technology uses a powered applicator to safely deliver precisely-controlled cooling to gently and effectively target the fat cells underneath the skin during a 45-minute cycle. The treated fat cells crystallize and the body naturally processes the fat and eliminates these dead cells, leaving a more sculpted you.
After just one session, the treated area will gradually appear smoother and more toned. Results improve in 4 to 6 weeks. Most patients plan for three months to see optimal improvement.
“CoolSculpting® is safe on your body,” says Dr. Samra, “but tough on fat.”
How Can PRP Help Your Orthopedic Recovery?
Platelet-rich plasma, commonly referred to as PRP, is a nonoperative solution for injuries and chronic musculoskeletal conditions.
Although blood is mainly a liquid called plasma, it also contains small solid components such as red cells, white cells, and platelets. Platelets are best known for their importance in clotting blood. However, platelets also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors which are of prime importance in the healing of injuries.
“PRP therapy is a concentration of your body’s own blood platelets, spun in a centrifuge that separates blood by weight,” says sports and regenerative medicine specialist Daniel Savarino, DO, RMSK.
“The platelets are injected into damaged areas of the body to promote tissue repair and accelerate healing,” continues Dr. Savarino. “Platelets are rich in growth and healing factors which means, on average, an injured individual can get back to a pain-free life in six to eight weeks. Some patients require two or three injections, based on the severity of the injury, but many respond to a single treatment.”
Awareness of PRP has risen as it has been utilized successfully by professional athletes, including Tiger Woods, who received four treatments following knee surgery, tennis star Rafael Nadal, Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Takashi Saito and Bartolo Colon, both Major League baseball players.
“PRP can be a great treatment for people who have tried conventional treatments with no success,” concludes Dr. Savarino.
A Long-Lasting, Permanent Solution
Board-certified orthopedic surgeon Marshall Allegra, MD says, “Injuries treated with PRP therapy include rotator cuff, quadriceps, hamstring, Achilles tendon injuries, tennis elbow, as well as conditions such as osteoarthritis.”
“PRP therapy can also be an alternative to surgery as well as part of an enhanced healing program following surgery,” continues Dr. Allegra. “PRP presents patients with a long lasting, permanent solution that will not wear off over time as with a traditional pain injections such as cortisone. For this reason, the use of PRP could help a patient avoid joint replacement surgery, and potentially back surgery. With any treatment option, the effectiveness of the treatment depends upon the severity of the injury.”
The risks associated with PRP are minimal. It uses the body’s own blood and there may be increased pain at the injection site, but the incidence of other problems, such as infection, tissue damage and nerve injuries, appears to be no different from that associated with cortisone injections.
Physical Therapy Enhances PRP Treatment
Following regenerative procedures such as PRP, physical therapy is introduced to help restore function and improve strength and mobility of the joint or muscle,” says physical therapist David Bertone, PT, DPT, OCS.
“Treatment utilizing the AlterG® Anti-Gravity treadmill is the perfect complement to PRP therapy,” says Dr. Bertone.
“By reducing up to 80 percent of body weight, the AlterG treadmill continues each patient’s enhanced treatment plan by reducing stress and strain on the lower body from impact walking or running, while maximizing healing and conditioning.”
“Additional physical therapy modalities can be used to increase circulation and healing in the injured area,” continues Dr. Bertone. “These may include electrical stimulation, Laser class IV treatment, heat and cold therapy and ultrasound, as well as manual therapy such as massage and joint mobilization.”
Revolutionary treatments like PRP therapy, supported by the latest treatment technologies in physical therapy, are helping patients experience less pain, accelerate healing, and get back in the game of life more quickly.