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Dr. T.J. Swope, Director, Center For Minimally Invasive Surgery At Mercy, Discusses Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery (SILS) For Treating Hernias
A new procedure allows doctors to deal with hernias through a single-incision surgery.
Hernias occur when there is a hole in the muscle layer of the abdominal wall. They are a fairly common problem for men and women, though for women they often occur because of previous pregnancies.
Marie Greb had a couple of hernias for years but said they didn't bother her too much, so she didn't see a doctor about them.
"Finally, they started to show through my clothes and were recognized by my daughter, who immediately told me I had to see a doctor," she said.
Mercy Medical Center surgeon Dr. T.J. Swope discovered Greb had three hernias — something he said is rather common for women.
"Especially in the belly button area from childbirth. The stretching of the abdominal wall from pregnancy — it can create an opening there at the belly button," he said.
A hernia can develop anywhere in the abdomen or groin area. Greb had hernias in the right and left groin and one close to her belly button.
They were all fixed with a tiny, single-incision surgery in her belly button.
"I've been doing it here for about a year and a half. I was one of the first in the country to start doing it. We do teaching courses here to bring out the surgeons to learn the technique," Dr. Swope said.
Greb's surgery was about three weeks ago, and while she isn't supposed to pick up anything more than 10 pounds for a while, she's back to walking and taking the stairs.
"I feel great. I don't even have a scar," she said.
According to Dr. Swope, anywhere there has been an incision in the abdominal muscle can be the site of a hernia. While hernias tend to run in families, anyone who does a lot of heavy lifting or straining is more prone to get them.
To view Dr. Swope's interview on WBAL-TV11's WOMAN'S DOCTOR, click on this link: http://www.wbaltv.com/womansdoctor/21044347/detail.html.
Dr. Swope was honored March 2009 in The Daily Record newspaper's annual "Health Care Heroes" ceremonies. He was nominated in the "Advancements in Health Care" category as one of the first physicians in Maryland to utilize single-incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS). He also was cited for his dedication in teaching this new technique to other surgeons from across the region who come to Mercy to learn the procedure.
SILS requires only a single incision in the bellybutton rather than the traditional four incisions in the abdomen for organ removal (e.g. gallbladder, kidney, appendix, etc). Dr. Swope inserts specialized tools through a small incision in the bellybutton. The tools include a flexible camera and an instrument to cut and suture. Minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures such as this usually require four small incisions for separate insertion of the instrumentation.
Mercy Gynecologic Oncologist Dr. Hyung S. Ryu Discusses Using Da Vinci Robot For Treating Gynecologic Disease
Traditional surgeries for gynecological cancers often mean large incisions and a lengthy recovery time, but there's currently an option that's less invasive through the use of a robot.
A few weeks ago, Tracie Beam said she couldn't believe it when she was told she had a cyst on her ovary.
"They didn't like the looks of it and thought it should be out. So, a little over a week later, I was under the da Vinci hands," she said.
Not Leonardo da Vinci, but da Vinci the robot. The unusual looking robot is assisting doctors in gynecological surgeries like Beams'.
"It was pretty different-looking. It was not what I expected at all," she said.
During the procedure, a surgeon who works from a console in the operating room guides the da Vinci robot. It's able to work in tighter areas than any human hands can, and Mercy Medical Center gynecologic oncologist Dr. Hyung Suk Ryu said that means better precision.
"It's easier to use and gives us much better control of our instruments during surgery," he said.
As a result, the procedure is less invasive than traditional surgery with fewer and smaller incisions. The patient is usually in and out of the hospital in a day.
Dr. Ryu noted that the da Vinci robot is currently being used in a number of surgeries.
"The applications that we use it on are endometrial cancers, cervical cancers and with early-stage ovarian cancers," he said.
Only days after her surgery, Beam said her incisions are healing well and that she's getting her life back to normal.
"I'm sore but I feel good. I don't feel like I just had major surgery," she said. To view Dr. Ryu's interview with WBAL-TV11's "Woman's Doctor," click this link: http://www.wbaltv.com/womansdoctor/20908517/detail.html.
Mercy President And CEO Thomas R. Mullen And Sister Helen Amos, RSM, Lay Ceremonial Brick At Construction Site For Mercy's Mary Catherine Bunting Center
On Friday, Sept. 11th, Mercy Medical Center President and CEO Thomas R. Mullen joined Sister Helen Amos, RSM, Executive Chair, Mercy Board of Trustees, in placing a ceremonial brick at the construction site of the new, state-of-the-art, 18-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. The brick was taken from the original House of Mercy, built in 1827 on Baggot Street in Dublin, Ireland, where Catherine McAuley founded the order of the Sisters of Mercy. In addition, Mr. Mullen and Sister Helen used the same trowel that was employed by Cardinal James Gibbons when the hospital's cornerstone was laid in 1888, and again in 1963 by Cardinal Lawrence Shehan when construction began on the current Mercy tower.
Dr. Kathy J. Helzlsouer, Director, Prevention & Research At Mercy, And Mercy Dietitian Kelly O'Connor Addresses Ways To Boost The Immune System On "The Woman's Doctor"
The flu season started this summer, and with an expert panel predicting nearly half the American population could come down with swine flu this fall, how do you up your odds of staying well? By boosting your immune system, which is always on duty.
"We have little cuts, we have exposure to viruses, bacteria, we're in the midst of flu season earlier than usual, so we are constantly protecting ourselves against these invasions," said Dr. Kathy J. Helzlsouer, Director, Prevention & Research center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, MD.
According to Dr. Helzlsouer, hand washing is obviously extremely important, but there are other things we can do.
"A lot of that is just eating right and sleeping, getting our rest--we're exposed to stress, and stress effects how our immune system works, so we want to have ways to control our stress...that's the mind-body medicine approach, relaxation techniques, etc.," Dr. Helzlsouer said.
Mercy dietitian Kelly O'Connor, RD, LD, agrees that food is one of the cornerstones of a healthy immune system.
"Fruits, vegetables, all the foods that you eat contribute to the functioning of your body, so if you're lacking in any of the key nutrients, then you're likely to be lacking in some of the systems that go on in your body," O'Connor said.
To help ensure a healthy immune system, keep these items in mind: Vitamin E (a handful of almonds a day should be sufficient); Selenium (tuna sandwich), Vitamin D (the "sunshine vitamin" ; many doctors suggest taking a supplement of 1,000 IUs per day); Exercise (even a small amount can help wake up the immune system); and Sleep (sufficient sleep is key for a healthy body).
For more information and to view Dr. Helzlsouer and Kelly O'Connor's interview with WBAL-TV11's "Woman's Doctor," click this link: http://www.wbaltv.com/video/20788393/index.html
Mercy Pharmacy Receives MSHP 2009 Medication Safety Award
The Pharmacy Department at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, MD, is the recipient of the Maryland Society of Health System Pharmacists (MSHP) 2009 Medication Safety Award.
This award, presented annually, is given to a pharmacist or pharmacy group as members of a multidisciplinary team for significant improvements relating to medication use safety. Mercy’s submission, one of many from hospitals and health systems throughout Maryland, detailed the use of pharmacy barcoding applications and clinical pharmaceutical data mining to produce patient safety advancements.
Based on its originality, innovative nature, and the significance of its program to pharmacy practice in Maryland, MSHP presented the award to Paul Vitale, Mercy Vice President and Chief Pharmacy Officer, at the MSHP Spring Seminar in March, 2009. Mercy Pharmacy team members include David Park (Informatics Pharmacist), Nick Smith (Barcoding Specialist), Kathy Higbee (Pharmacy Director), and Paul Vitale. Multidisciplinary collaborators included Mary Covacevich (Senior IT analyst), and Beth Kilmoyer (Nursing Informatics Manager).
Medication barcoding has been used by the Mercy Medical Center Pharmacy as the foundation of multiple patient safety advancements, beyond its use for bedside medication verification. The application of data mining principles and innovative universal barcode technology developed by David Park ensure that the most accurate, informative barcodes are generated for any drugs for which barcoding is not already supplied by the manufacturer. Doses distributed in patient medication carts are pre-scanned before leaving the Pharmacy, sharply decreasing barcode-related problems during administration, and providing an electronic accuracy check by matching items dispensed to the patient’s medication profile. Accuracy scans are also performed on operating room medication trays, emergency code cart drug trays, and other emergency drug kits.
By data-mining information generated by Carefusion and Pyxis, Nursing Quality and Pharmacy management are able to gain insight into controlled substance utilization patterns throughout the hospital. Drug removals from Pyxis are paired with patient administration scans from Carefusion to assure that appropriate narcotic control practices are consistently followed. Extensive reporting – by area, patient, nurse, and drug - from this combined data is now available for review.
Product development programmers from both Pyxis and Carefusion have consulted with the Mercy Pharmacy to try to incorporate similar reporting technology into their commercial products, so that other hospitals can benefit from this innovative program.
Gerontologist Dr. Ernestine Wright And Internist Dr. Janet O'Mahony Discuss Connection Between High Cholesterol And Alzheimer's Disease On "The Woman's Doctor"
High cholesterol is a well-known risk factor for heart attack and stroke, but a new study says there is a link between cholesterol and Alzheimer's disease.
"There are several risk factors contributing to developing Alzheimer's. Unfortunately, to date, we haven't been able to determine the exact cause of the disease," said gerontologist Dr. Ernestine Wright of Stella Maris long-term care facility in Timonium, MD. Stella Maris has been part of the Mercy Health Services family, including Mercy Medical Center, since 1997.
But the new study is shedding a little light on the topic. Researchers looking at almost 10,000 people for four decades found that those with high or borderline high cholesterol in their 40s had a significantly increased risk of Alzheimer's disease.
Wright said they're not really sure why that's happening.
"Certain types of cholesterol do move across the blood brain barrier, and it appears that in people who develop Alzheimer's, that level of cholesterol is higher in the brain," she said.
But doctors said taking cholesterol-reducing medication may not help.
"Although high cholesterol is a risk factor for Alzheimer's, treating that high cholesterol doesn't appear to lower risk of Alzheimer's; however, it does lower the risk of heart attack and stroke," said Mercy Medical Center internist Dr. Janet O'Mahony.
But doctors said they think the same things that protect your heart may do the same for your brain.
"Lowering your cholesterol, exercising, eating healthy, lowering blood pressure, preventing and treating diabetes -- if we can keep our heart healthy, we can also keep our brain healthy and prevent dementia of the Alzheimer's type," Dr. Wright said.
For more information and to view Dr. Wright and Dr. O'Mahony's interview with WBAL-TV11, visit this link: http://www.wbaltv.com/womansdoctor/21208229/detail.html.
Mercy's Institute For Foot And Ankle Reconstruction To Participate In National Effort To Help Homeless
Our Hearts to Your Soles Provides Free Foot Screenings, Footwear to Residents of Helping Up Mission in Baltimore City
BALTIMORE, MD – Mercy Medical Center and the nationally renowned Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy will take part in a national effort to help relieve the foot problems experienced by area homeless.
“Our Hearts to Your Soles,” founded by Pittsburgh teen Matt Conti in 2005, is teaming up with Mercy board-certified surgeons Dr. Clifford Jeng, Dr. Rebecca Cerrato, and Dr. John T. Campbell, as well as medical fellows from the Institute, to provide free foot screenings and footwear to residents of the Helping Up Mission, located at 1029 East Baltimore Street, Tuesday, Nov. 24th, 1-3:30 p.m.. Similar events will take place in cities across the U.S.
“We’re always on our feet, walking, running--activities we take for granted. But for those who can’t afford proper footwear or medical care for their feet, it’s a different story. This program helps by providing shoes and foot screenings and by raising awareness, encouraging people to help those less fortunate,” Dr. Jeng said.
“Myself and my colleagues at Mercy’s Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction have had the opportunity to provide foot screenings to those at the Helping Up Mission the past few years. It’s very gratifying, and we are pleased to be part of this outreach effort again in 2009,” Dr. Campbell said.
As a college freshman, Matthew Conti witnessed firsthand the poor health of homeless people in his own community. Along with his father, Dr. Stephen Conti, an orthopedic surgeon at Pittsburgh's Allegheny Hospital, he has volunteered to serve Pittsburgh’s homeless in shelters and missions on several occasions.
The experience inspired Matt, his sister Laura and their father to create a unique non-profit organization called "Our Hearts to Your Soles" in 2005.
“It’s great to part of this program that’s helping people across the country receive care they might not have access to otherwise,” Dr. Cerrato said. “We see all manner of foot ailments and are pleased to be able to provide the treatment these individuals need.”
Drs. Jeng, Cerrato and Campbell see patients in The Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy under the direction of world renowned foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Mark Myerson.
For more information about Our Hearts to Your Soles, visit www.heartstosoles.com. To learn more about the Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy, go to www.mdmercy.com or call 1-800-M.D.-Mercy.
Dr. Mark Myerson, Director, The Institute For Foot And Ankle Reconstruction At Mercy, Leads Special Instructional Course For Fellows At Mercy
Mercy Medical Center’s Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction hosted a special instructional course for physician fellows the last weekend in September 2009 at the downtown hospital.
Under the direction of internationally renowned foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Mark Myerson, the 2-day course was broken into sections which included a didactic, surgically-based “how-to” approach for particular procedures, followed by a cadaver dissection of the identical procedure. Fellows then returned to a conference room to present and discuss cases of that pathology. Discussions were geared toward surgical techniques.
The weekend conference was part of Dr. Myerson’s prestigious fellowship program which trains orthopedic surgeons to become specialists versed in the full breadth of foot and ankle disorders.
Myersonconference5: Institute director Dr. Mark Myerson (center) explains a surgical procedure to two physician fellows.
Myersonconference4: Dr. Myerson discusses aspects of Tarsometatarsal Arthrodesis, a surgical fixation of a joint using fusion, as may be required due to injury such as by motor vehicle accidents, falls, and twisting injuries to the foot.
Myersonconference3: Institute foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Clifford Jeng (center, without cap) assists fellows in the cadaver dissection portion of program.
Myersonconference2: Institute foot and ankle surgeon Dr. John Campbell (far right) and Institute fellow Dr. John Kwon assists other physicians during the lab portion of the conference.
Myersonconference1: Institute foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Rebecca Cerrato makes a point as Institute fellow Dr. Kent Ellington (in background with glasses) and another participating physician look on.
More Than 900 Guests Attended "Mercy In The City," The 23rd Annual Mercy Magic Gala Held Oct. 24th At M&T Bank Stadium
Mercy Medical Center's 23rd annual Mercy Magic gala, "Mercy in the City," was the hospital's largest ever, with more than 900 guests attending,celebrating the "topping out" of Mercy's Mary Catherine Bunting Center. The Bunting Center is a $400+ million, 18-story state of the art facility named for philanthropic benefactor Mary Catherine Bunting who made a transformational gift to the project. Ms. Bunting was on hand as well as special guests Mayor Sheila Dixon and dignitaries from Whiting-Turner, the project developer. Guests gathered within M&T Bank Stadium to see a special video presentation made by Mercy and WBAL-TV11 which was shown on the stadium's oversized videoscreens.
Below is Baltimore Sun society editor Sloane Brown's story regarding the recent gala. To see the story online as well as 10 photographs taken from the event, visit the links at the very bottom of the article:
Some 900 people watched the ceremonial topping-out of the Mary Catherine Bunting Center at Mercy Medical Center. However, they weren't in downtown Baltimore, where the building is. They were assembled at M&T Bank Stadium, watching the event on giant TV screens. What's more, they were dressed in tuxedos and cocktail attire.
Except for the hospital's chairman of pediatrics. Dr. Ron Gutberlet sported khakis painted like brick walls and a clear plastic sports jacket. Underneath the jacket, his shirt had iron-on labels with names of hospital departments. On his head, a hardhat from which a gold construction crane sprouted.
"I'm the Bunting Building," he announced, as his wife, Shirley Gutberlet, indulgently smiled.
Sister Helen Amos, Mercy board chairwoman, led the crowd inside the stadium's club level for Mercy Medical Center's 23rd annual Mercy Magic Gala. Lines of chefs stood at the ready, manning a number of food stations with offerings such as pheasant sausage, white bean and chicken chili, and crab cake sliders.
"This is a wonderful celebration of doing something great in the city," said Michael Pinto, M&T's vice chairman and chief executive of its Mid-Atlantic division.
In addition to a silent auction, there was The Emporium, a boutique with gift items that could be ordered.
"I got lots of holiday shopping done," said Janet Kelly, Stella Maris advisory board member.
"This is, by far, the most fun. It's a dressy party, but not snooty," said Anne O'Brien, Tyanna Foundation president.
As folks hit the dance floor, Thomas Mullen, Mercy Medical Center president/CEO, summed up the night: "We're topping out Mercy, and we're rocking all night."
The City Paper's "Best of Baltimore" Edition Recognizes Mercy's Mary Catherine Bunting Center As "Best Development Project"
(Baltimore, MD) — The City Paper, Baltimore's free alternative weekly newspaper founded in 1977 recently issued its annual "Best of Baltimore" awards edition. "Best Of Baltimore" highlights local businesses, attractions, services, individuals and various aspects of the city. This year, The City Paper honored Mercy Medical Center's Mary Catherine Bunting Center as "Best Development Project."
According to the online version of The City Paper, "In June 2007, Mercy Medical Center announced that its new 18-floor, $400 million hospital would be built, pretty much next door to its existing facility. And then, the hospital proceeded to build it, in substantial part with money it had already raised. In other words, instead of borrowing every cent (and more), and expecting the value of its building to increase, allowing for easy refinancing, ad infinitum, like just about every other developer (of hotels, houses, condos, office buildings, etc.) did, Mercy is building what it needs and can afford. Not coincidentally, the hospital is also not bankrupt. Here's to you, giant nuns." (The "giant nuns" reference likely in recognition of Mercy's popular use of oversize cutout images of the Sisters of Mercy that have been posted on campus to direct visitors to the hospital's various centers, departments, parking, etc.)
The Mary Catherine Bunting Center is a $400+ million, 18-story, state-of-the-art medical facility that will provide inpatient care services to Mercy patients. Completion of the Mary Catherine Bunting Center is expected in late 2010-early 2011.For further information, visit the City Paper "Best Of Baltimore" online at http://www.citypaper.com/bob/story.asp?id=18729. For more details about Mercy and the Mary Catherine Bunting Center, visit Mercy online at www.mdmercy.com or call 1-800-M.D.-Mercy.
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