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The Lowdown on Diarrhea: When is It Time to See a Doctor?

by Nidhi Malhotra, MD, Gastroenterologist
December 11, 2018

Diarrhea is a menace in the form of hard-to-control bowel movements and loose, watery stools three or more times per…

Celebrated Physician: Anirudh Rao, MD

by the MWHC Blog Team
December 07, 2018

During his training at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Anirudh Rao, MD, found the most meaningful…

Hallucinations, Confusion, Dizziness: Symptoms of ICU Delirium

by Matthew Schreiber, MD, Associate Director, Medical ICU and Attending Physician, Pulmonary Disease/Critical Care
December 04, 2018

“You’re trying to steal me!” “Don’t put me in that oven!” These are actual comments we’ve heard in the intensive…

Small Gland, Big Impact: Functional and Nonfunctional Pituitary Tumors

by Susmeeta Tewari Sharma, MD, Director, Pituitary Endocrinology
November 27, 2018

The pituitary gland is a tiny organ, only about the size of a pea, located at the base of your…

3 Groups at Increased Risk for High Blood Pressure—and How to Beat It

by Valeriani Bead, MD, Cardiologist, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
November 20, 2018

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a well-known condition in America. We regularly check it during doctor’s visits and see…

Attack Joint Replacement Surgery Pain Before It Starts

by Savyasachi C. Thakkar, MD, Orthopaedic Surgeon, MedStar Orthopaedic Institute, James Edward Tozzi, MD, Chair, Orthopedic Surgery, MedStar Washington Hospital Center
November 13, 2018

Hip and knee replacements have played an important part in the treatment of arthritis and other painful joint conditions for…

Six Non-Heat Injuries That Burn Center Doctors Should Treat

by Taryn E. Travis, MD, Burn Attending, The Burn Center
November 09, 2018

When most people think of a burn center, they think of heat-related injuries. While we are the only adult burn…

A Delicate Balance: Control High Blood Pressure to Reduce Stroke Risk

by Richard T. Benson, MD, Associate Medical Director, Comprehensive Stroke Center
November 06, 2018

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. But many patients don’t realize that high blood pressure…

From Fainting to the Spins—Facts About Dizziness

by Susan O’Mara, MD, vice chair, Emergency Medicine
November 05, 2018

Feeling dizzy can be scary—and rightfully so. We see many patients in the emergency department or urgent care seeking medical…

How Oncoplastic Surgery Gives Women More Natural Breasts After Cancer

by Patricia B. Wehner, MD, Breast Surgical Oncologist
October 30, 2018

Surgery is the gold-standard breast cancer treatment, but some techniques leave women flat-chested or with lopsided breasts. Today, many women…

The Lowdown on High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

by Stephanie Jacobs, MD, Cardiologist, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
October 29, 2018

High blood pressure is a serious problem that continues to grow in our country. Among women of childbearing age, we…

Better Imaging, Better Neurosurgery: The Airo Portable CT Scanner

by Edward Fiore Aulisi, MD, Chairman, Neurosurgery and Medical Director, MedStar Pituitary Center
October 25, 2018

“Measure twice, cut once.” It’s a simple expression that reminds us to be precise, and it applies in many situations—even…

4 ways women can take control of their breast cancer risk

by Ami A. Chitalia, MD, Hematologist and Medical Oncologist
October 23, 2018

Breast cancer is one of the most daunting diseases in women’s health, as it affects about one in eight U.S….

3 experiences of hospital care and why we measure them

by Shawn R. Smith, MBA, CPXP, Vice President & Chief Experience Officer
October 19, 2018

We aim to enhance patient experiences at MedStar Washington Hospital Center (MWHC) through a trickle-down approach, from staff to patient….

How the flu can increase heart attack risk

by Allen J. Taylor, MD, Chief of Cardiology, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
October 16, 2018

Each year, up to 20 percent of Americans get the flu, resulting in over 130,000 hospitalizations—in fact, about 200,000 in…

DCIS breast cancer: Not every woman needs surgery

by Patricia B. Wehner, MD, Breast Surgical Oncologist
October 09, 2018

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is the earliest form of breast cancer. DCIS is confined to the milk ducts of…

3 questions and answers for mammograms

by Ami A. Chitalia, MD, Hematologist and Medical Oncologist
October 02, 2018

A mammogram is an imaging test used to screen the breast tissue for breast cancer, which affects about one in…

Penicillin allergy testing: Why it’s important to know the facts

by Anjali Majumdar, MD, Infectious Diseases Specialist
September 28, 2018

Antibiotics are among the most effective treatments for bacterial infections, and our go-to option often is penicillin. But up to…

How we use PET-CT scans to find more cancer faster than ever

by Carlos Alberto Garcia, MD, Medical Director, Nuclear Medicine
September 25, 2018

PET-CT  (positron emission tomography and computed tomography) often is referred to as the gold standard of cancer imaging. This tool…

From surgery to radioactive iodine and beyond: Hope for patients with thyroid cancer

by Sarika N. Rao, DO, Oncologic Endocrinologist
September 18, 2018

Most patients respond well to standard therapies for thyroid cancer. The five-year survival rate is more than 98 percent, and…

Why I stand behind digital rectal exams for prostate cancer screening

by Ross Krasnow, MD, Urologic Oncologist
September 04, 2018

“You want to put your finger where? Why? Do you really need to do that?” I’ve heard many men say…

100 Blessings

by David Balto, Volunteer Chaplain, Department of Spiritual Care
August 31, 2018

“When we bless life, we restore the world.” ~ Rabbi Marcia Falk I am a Chaplain in a 912-bed inner-city…

Outpatient hip or knee joint replacement: Healthier, faster and more effective

by The Joint Replacement Specialists, MedStar Orthopaedic Institute, MedStar Washington Hospital Center
August 28, 2018

Increasingly younger patients are seeking partial or total hip or knee joint replacement—people in their 40s, 50s and 60s who…

Triple-negative breast cancer: Who should get tested for their genetic risk?

by Christopher Gallagher, MD, Medical Director, Cancer Services
August 24, 2018

Triple-negative breast cancer is notoriously difficult to treat. It grows aggressively, and it lacks the three most common markers (estrogen…

Tiny salivary glands, big problems: How we treat these painful disorders

by Matthew L. Pierce, MD, Otolaryngologist
August 21, 2018

Most of the time, people don’t notice their salivary glands. They are located in the mouth and throat, and they…

How a gastroenterologist can help relieve heartburn

by Mitesh R. Patel, MD, Director, Pancreatobiliary Services
August 14, 2018

Does this sound like a typical day? Maybe you take an antacid with your morning coffee, a Zantac with lunch…

Don’t suffer with chronic pelvic pain—treatment is available!

by Vadim V. Morozov, MD, Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgeon
August 07, 2018

Imagine feeling one or more of these symptoms in your pelvic area up to 95 percent of the time: Burning…

Acid reflux? Bloating? It could be a paraesophageal hernia

by John F. Lazar, MD, Director, Thoracic Robotics
July 31, 2018

Hernias are common, and you likely know someone who has had one at some point in their life. So, perhaps…

Partial knee replacement: Arthritis relief without a long recovery

by The Joint Replacement Specialists, MedStar Orthopaedic Institute, MedStar Washington Hospital Center
July 24, 2018

The number of first-time total knee replacements, also known as arthroplasties, is expected to grow by 673 percent, reaching 3.48…

How common pituitary tumors can have huge health effects

by Susmeeta Tewari Sharma, MD, Director, Pituitary Endocrinology
July 17, 2018

As the American Cancer Society notes, doctors diagnose about 10,000 pituitary tumors each year in the United States. However, that’s…

Can a heart valve be repaired without surgery?

by Vinod H. Thourani, MD, Chairman, Cardiac Surgery, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
July 11, 2018

Heart valve disease, a malfunction of one or more of the valves that allow blood to flow through the heart,…

How to manage medications in the elderly

by K. Eric De Jonge, MD, Director, Geriatrics
July 09, 2018

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the typical Medicare patient sees two primary care providers and five…

COPD in D.C.: A tale of two cities

by Matthew Schreiber, MD, Associate Director, Medical ICU and Attending Physician, Pulmonary Disease/Critical Care
July 03, 2018

A September 2017 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the number of Americans who…

New PET-CT technology gives us an edge against cancer

by Carlos Alberto Garcia, MD, Medical Director, Nuclear Medicine
June 26, 2018

In 2006, the latest technology available for PET-CT scans was the time-of-flight scanner. At the time, this scanner compared to…

How we help LVAD patients fight infection at home

by Tonya Elliott, RN, Program Coodinator, Mechanical Circulatory Support, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
June 21, 2018

Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) have saved and extended the lives of thousands of patients with heart failure. These small,…

Say goodbye to BPH symptoms with this advanced treatment

by Keith M. Horton, MD, Interventional Radiologist, Saher Sabri, MD, Director, Interventional Radiology
June 19, 2018

As men get older, many of us find that we have to use the bathroom more often than we used…

3 steps to avoid a second stroke

by Richard T. Benson, MD, Associate Medical Director, Comprehensive Stroke Center
June 18, 2018

Having a stroke can be a life-changing experience. Nobody wants to go through it twice. Upon recovery, one of the…

How cochlear implants can work when hearing aids don’t help

by Selena E. Briggs, MD, Otologist, Neurotologist and Skull Base Surgeon
June 15, 2018

Between 2000 and 2010, data from the U.S. Census Bureau show huge increases in the numbers of older Americans between…

Exciting breast cancer news: More women can safely forgo chemotherapy

by Christopher Gallagher, MD, Medical Director, Cancer Services
June 13, 2018

Data from a 2018 study have confirmed the standard of care for many women with early-stage breast cancer: chemotherapy isn’t…

How diabetes patients can avoid amputation, and when it’s the best option

by Tammer Elmarsafi, DPM, Podiatric Surgeon
June 12, 2018

One of the major goals of our Limb Salvage and Wound Care program is to avoid amputation when we can—and…

45 is the new 50—for colonoscopy

by I. David Shocket, MD, Director, Gastroenterology
June 06, 2018

The American Cancer Society has released new colonoscopy recommendations: Adults at average risk should start getting colonoscopies at 45 instead…

Hernia repair through keyhole incisions? How robotic surgery works

by Elizabeth Alexandra Zubowicz, MD, Bariatric Surgeon
June 05, 2018

Robotic surgery is one of the most effective and least invasive options we offer our hernia patients. In fact, we’re…

Why hospital ratings and rankings don’t tell the whole story

by David Mayer, MD, Vice President, Quality and Safety, MedStar Health
June 04, 2018

In today’s data-driven world, there’s more incentive than ever to be the best. Health care is no exception. But here’s…

How advanced sarcoma treatment saves limbs–and lives

by Robert Henshaw, MD, Professor and Director, Orthopedic Oncology, MedStar Orthopaedic Institute
June 01, 2018

Sarcomas, which are cancers that start in bones, fat or muscle, are rare and can be challenging to treat. Historically,…

Why is HPV-related head and neck cancer surging among young adults?

by Matthew L. Pierce, MD, Otolaryngologist
May 29, 2018

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S.—it’s so prevalent that nearly all sexually active…

No pulse, no problem! What EMS teams need to know about LVAD patients

by Tonya Elliott, RN, Program Coodinator, Mechanical Circulatory Support, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
May 25, 2018

When EMS arrives on the scene of a medical emergency, the first things they often check are patients’ pulse and…

Celiac disease: Why gluten-free is still mission-critical in 2018

by Z. Jennifer Lee, MD, Gastroenterologist
May 22, 2018

For years, patients with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity have had to limit their diets to eliminate gluten, a protein…

How we lower heart risks of HER2-targeted breast cancer therapy

by Ana Barac, MD, Director, Cardio-Oncology Program, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
May 21, 2018

Imagine the triumph of surviving breast cancer. Every test and procedure, every round of therapy was worth it to save…

‘Draining the sink’ to treat glaucoma with minimally invasive surgery

by Mark L. Gonzalez, MD, Clinical Director, MedStar Eye Institute
May 17, 2018

Today’s surgeons can use minimally invasive techniques for many conditions that require surgery. For example, knee replacements can be performed…

Advanced technology offers better kidney cancer outcomes, less pain, and quicker recovery

by Ross Krasnow, MD, Urologic Oncologist
May 15, 2018

Years ago, before we had advanced and routine imaging, a kidney mass was only discovered when it had become very…