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Reducing Hepatitis C in the African-American Community

by Alexander Geboy MS
July 28, 2016

World Hepatitis Day was celebrated this week, a day set aside to raise awareness about viral hepatitis, which affects 400 million people…

Changing blood pressure targets frustrate patients – and doctors

by Allen J. Taylor, MD, Chief of Cardiology, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
January 18, 2017

Most people know that having high blood pressure is unhealthy. But how high is too high? The answer depends on…

How to monitor your blood pressure at home

by Allen J. Taylor, MD, Chief of Cardiology, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
February 07, 2017

Your blood pressure can lie. It changes throughout the day, but too often, we rely on one blood pressure measurement…

The surprising heart risks of too much sleep and exercise

by Allen J. Taylor, MD, Chief of Cardiology, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
February 10, 2017

You’ve probably heard a lot about how getting exercise and sleep can help you avoid heart troubles in the future….

Know your heart-healthy numbers – including CRP

by Allen J. Taylor, MD, Chief of Cardiology, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
February 14, 2017

“Know your numbers.” It’s a common theme surrounding heart health. Most doctors agree you should know your blood pressure, blood…

Stress: As dangerous as high cholesterol and blood pressure

by Allen J. Taylor, MD, Chief of Cardiology, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
February 16, 2017

According to a study released in January 2017 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is…

The ‘other’ drug problem: Poor medication adherence

by Allen J. Taylor, MD, Chief of Cardiology, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
February 23, 2017

We’re always looking for the next new “wonder drug,” the medication that will take us to new heights in keeping…

How much caffeine is safe for you and your child?

by Allen J. Taylor, MD, Chief of Cardiology, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
May 25, 2017

We are a nation obsessed with caffeine: Cans of caffeinated energy drinks with flashy names line beverage shelves. New coffee…

Why I think it’s time to make statins available over-the-counter

by Allen J. Taylor, MD, Chief of Cardiology, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
July 10, 2017

Heart disease and stroke are the leading cause and fifth-leading cause of death of adults in the United States, respectively….

Shared decision-making: It’s no longer ‘doctor knows best’

by Allen J. Taylor, MD, Chief of Cardiology, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
July 31, 2017

Does this sound familiar? You go to the doctor. They diagnose you and tell you what the treatment will be….

5 ways to help a parent with heart disease

by Allen J. Taylor, MD, Chief of Cardiology, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
August 30, 2017

As more people survive and live longer with heart disease, adult children are increasingly becoming involved in their parent’s health…

What do the new blood pressure guidelines mean?

by Allen J. Taylor, MD, Chief of Cardiology, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
November 15, 2017

On Nov. 13, 2017, two leading health groups, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC),…

Heart attack with no symptoms? The danger of silent MI

by Allen J. Taylor, MD, Chief of Cardiology, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
February 07, 2018

It’s hard to imagine that something as serious as a heart attack could go unnoticed. But as many as 1…

Why many adults over age 50 need statins—even if they’re ‘healthy’

by Allen J. Taylor, MD, Chief of Cardiology, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
February 14, 2018

The U.S. population is trending older, and as we age, our risk for heart disease increases. We’re on the verge…

Are health and fitness apps the future of heart care?

by Allen J. Taylor, MD, Chief of Cardiology, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
February 21, 2018

A patient recently told me she was working to improve her fitness and had noticed unusual spikes in her heart…

Minutes Matter During a Stroke

by Amie W. Hsia, MD, Medical Director, Comprehensive Stroke Center
May 09, 2016

Think FAST: Minutes Matter During a Stroke Minutes matter when doctors are trying to limit or reverse brain damage caused…

When stroke strikes, clinical trial decisions need to be made quickly

by Amie W. Hsia, MD, Medical Director, Comprehensive Stroke Center
May 22, 2017

(In the photo: Stroke team evaluates a patient. (L to R) Adey Haile-Mariam, RN, nurse responder team, Carlos Portillo, MRI…

Who’s at risk for heart problems during cancer treatment?

by Ana Barac, MD, Director, Cardio-Oncology Program, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
March 15, 2018

Every patient who’s being treated for cancer should talk to their oncologist about the risk of heart-related complications. We’ve learned…

What cancer survivors need to know about long-term heart health

by Ana Barac, MD, Director, Cardio-Oncology Program, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
April 20, 2018

Cancer doctors used to think of cancer treatment in terms of extending patients’ lives by a few more months or…

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…

Forget about vitamins, protein powders and supplements. Focus on your food!

by Andrea Goergen, RD, Bariatric Program Dietitian
August 22, 2017

According to the National Health Interview Survey—conducted annually by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics—Americans spent $12.8 billion on natural…

Common UTI symptoms and tips to prevent them

by Andrew Sokol, MD, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgeon
September 05, 2017

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are one of the most common problems doctors see in women. According to the National…

What women need to know about pelvic floor disorders

by Andrew Sokol, MD, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgeon
September 25, 2017

Women often find it embarrassing to talk about pelvic floor disorders—a broad category of issues also called pelvic floor dysfunction….

Don’t live with urinary incontinence. Help is available

by Andrew Sokol, MD, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgeon
October 12, 2017

Some women have to deal with unpleasant body issues every day. A common one is peeing when you sneeze, cough,…

Why no one should have to live with an overactive bladder

by Andrew Sokol, MD, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgeon
November 21, 2017

You’re out to lunch with a group of friends when you feel that urge again—you have to go to the…

What young adults need to know about colorectal cancer

by Brian Lim Bello, MD, Colon and Rectal Surgeon
March 13, 2018

Colorectal cancer has traditionally been considered an older person’s disease. But a study in the Journal of the American Medical…

Food for thought: What we eat affects colorectal cancer risk

by Brian Lim Bello, MD, Colon and Rectal Surgeon
March 27, 2018

Most people know that fruits and vegetables are good for their bodies, but recent research suggests that the foods and…

Summer: Taking a toll on your soles?

by Caitlin Zarick, DPM, Reconstructive Foot and Ankle Surgeon
August 08, 2017

It’s August—the height of summer—and many of us are taking advantage of the longer days to cram in more outdoor…

Cherrell’s story: My colonoscopy confession

by Cherrell Freeman-Davis, practice administrator, Gastroenterology
March 12, 2018

My friend was in her mid-50s and, like me, she worked in health care. She was a busy mom and…

Demystifying pap smear and pelvic exam guidelines

by Cheryl Iglesia, MD, Director, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
March 20, 2017

Gynecological exams used to be simple: Get an annual Pap smear and pelvic exam. Current guidelines recommend Pap smears every…

Risks to consider when buying topical creams made outside the U.S.

by Cynthia M. DeKlotz, MD, Pediatric and Adult Dermatologist
December 06, 2017

It’s a standard part of most doctor visits: “Tell me about the medications you’re taking.” Some people quickly list a…

Today’s stone age: How to eat to prevent kidney stones

by Daniel Marchalik, MD, Director, Ambulatory Urologic Surgery
July 05, 2017

Kidney stones are very common: Men have a nearly one in five chance of developing kidney stones over their lifetime,…

How to reduce risk of kidney stones after bariatric surgery

by Daniel Marchalik, MD, Director, Ambulatory Urologic Surgery
August 07, 2017

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 22.1 percent of adults in Washington, D.C., are obese. Though…

Literature’s lessons for medical students

by Daniel Marchalik, MD, Director, Ambulatory Urologic Surgery
September 18, 2017

Many of my patients don’t know that, in addition to my medical degree, I also have a master’s degree in…

Homing in on prostate cancer with fusion biopsy

by Daniel Marchalik, MD, Director, Ambulatory Urologic Surgery
October 05, 2017

Left Image: The target from an MRI is merged with an ultrasound image for targeting. Right Image: The biopsy locations are…

A Jewish Hospital Chaplain’s Christmas

by David Balto, Volunteer Chaplain, Department of Spiritual Care
January 02, 2018

I am a Chaplain at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, the largest hospital in the nation’s capital. It is my third…

Why I disagree with 2017 knee arthroscopy recommendations

by David C. Johnson, MD, Orthopaedic Surgeon, MedStar Orthopaedic Institute
July 26, 2017

Some of my patients have come to me worried after seeing media coverage of a report about knee arthroscopy, a…

Saving limbs and improving lives: The Center for Limb Salvage

by David H. Song, MD, Washington Regional Chief, Plastic Surgery
August 24, 2017

Keeping our feet strong and healthy is an important goal for us all. For people with diabetes, good foot health…

How surgery can improve the lives of patients with lymphedema

by David H. Song, MD, Washington Regional Chief, Plastic Surgery
October 03, 2017

There are many options available to patients for treating breast cancer. Unfortunately, a significant portion of patients will face the…

Why is autologous breast reconstruction better than breast implants?

by David H. Song, MD, Washington Regional Chief, Plastic Surgery
October 16, 2017

Women who have a mastectomy often are concerned with how their breast will look and feel after reconstructive surgery. About…

Leg pain: A potential sign of peripheral artery disease

by Edward Woo, MD, Director, MedStar Vascular Program
July 17, 2017

A little leg pain or soreness with exercise usually is normal. But severe pain, especially pain that appears when you’re…

Is endovascular surgery right for you?

by Edward Woo, MD, Director, MedStar Vascular Program
August 28, 2017

 The trend in surgery today is to use the least-invasive procedures possible. The reasoning is simple: It’s usually better for…

What bariatric surgery patients need to know about excess skin removal

by Elizabeth Alexandra Zubowicz, MD, Bariatric Surgeon
April 10, 2018

Over the past few decades, weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, has become increasingly common. As such, we’ve…

Taking mammogram education to our neighborhood streets

by Elmer E. Huerta, MD, Director, Cancer Preventorium, Washington Cancer Institute
October 23, 2017

In 2014, we made a shocking discovery. While analyzing the data for women who came to our hospital for breast…

From treadmill to sidewalk: 4 tips to prevent running injuries

by Evan Argintar, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon and Assistant Director of Sports Medicine, MedStar Orthopaedic Institute
April 03, 2017

Washington, D.C., is a city full of runners. You can see it in the number of 5Ks, half marathons and…

Knee replacement alternative relieves pain, retains mobility

by Evan Argintar, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon and Assistant Director of Sports Medicine, MedStar Orthopaedic Institute
April 21, 2017

If you’ve been told you need a knee replacement due to arthritis, it can feel like you’re caught between a…

How we use in-office arthroscopy to visualize knee, hip and shoulder conditions

by Evan Argintar, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon and Assistant Director of Sports Medicine, MedStar Orthopaedic Institute
January 02, 2018

Joint pain from cartilage or tissue injury in the knee and shoulder can make it painful to run, play sports,…

Internal bracing transforms ACL ligament repair

by Evan Argintar, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon and Assistant Director of Sports Medicine, MedStar Orthopaedic Institute
April 17, 2018

In 2017, a long list of NFL players tore their anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL), and several were forced to sit…

Are D.C. residents at risk for Zika virus?

by Glenn Wortmann, MD, Section Director, Infectious Diseases
May 11, 2017

An April 2017 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 1 in 10 pregnant women…

Going abroad? See your doctor first

by Glenn Wortmann, MD, Section Director, Infectious Diseases
June 01, 2017

Your plane tickets are purchased, accommodations are organized, and passport is squared away. You’re almost ready for a trip abroad….

2017’s growing tick problem: How to protect yourself

by Glenn Wortmann, MD, Section Director, Infectious Diseases
June 29, 2017

We’re reminded every spring and summer to beware the return of the tick. These tiny, bloodsucking parasites carry a wide…

As flu infects D.C., hand-washing in the hospital is a first line of defense

by Glenn Wortmann, MD, Section Director, Infectious Diseases
February 02, 2018

In the district and the U.S. as a whole, the influenza virus is surging, with roughly 200 new cases reported…

Young women are at risk for this type of heart attack

by Harjit K. Chahal, MD, cardiologist, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
February 12, 2018

Most heart attacks occur when cholesterol buildup, or plaque, blocks an artery and restricts blood flow. But a certain type…

Why do more women than men die after heart attacks?

by Harjit K. Chahal, MD, cardiologist, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
February 19, 2018

The most common symptoms of a heart attack occur in both men and women: chest pain or pressure and arm…

Tips to make colonoscopy prep more bearable

by I. David Shocket, MD, Director, Gastroenterology
March 30, 2017

At least once a month, a patient asks if I’ve read Dave Barry’s column about getting a colonoscopy. The humor…

6 frequently asked questions about bariatric surgery

by Ivanesa L. Pardo, MD, Bariatric Surgeon
April 11, 2017

Bariatric surgery has been available in the U.S. for more than 50 years, and surgeons are doing more every year….

3 precautions to take if you choose to travel for weight loss surgery

by Ivanesa L. Pardo, MD, Bariatric Surgeon
May 08, 2017

It’s difficult to pin down the exact number of people who travel abroad to access medical services, but the Centers…

Will I encounter digestive problems after gastric bypass?

by Ivanesa L. Pardo, MD, Bariatric Surgeon
June 15, 2017

The headlines may sound alarming: “Weight loss surgery tied to lasting digestive issues.” “After gastric bypass surgery, many experience eating…

Hernias: How they occur, how they can be repaired

by Ivanesa L. Pardo, MD, Bariatric Surgeon
October 10, 2017

Men or women can develop hernias. When they do, an organ or tissue can squeeze through a weak spot in…

How bystanders can stop severe bleeding after traumatic injury

by Jack Sava, MD, Chief of Trauma
January 09, 2018

Imagine you’re walking to the bus or train when you spot a person lying on the ground, blood pooling under…

Quick! Name some important diseases: Is traumatic injury on the list?

by Jack Sava, MD, Chief of Trauma
April 24, 2018

What if I were to say to you, “Quick! Tell me some important diseases.”? What would you come up with?…

How do colorectal cancer screenings measure up?

by James F. FitzGerald, MD, Colon and Rectal Surgeon
March 01, 2017

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS)….

Walk away from colorectal cancer: Exercise can lower risk

by James F. FitzGerald, MD, Colon and Rectal Surgeon
March 09, 2017

By James Francis FitzGerald, MD, colon and rectal surgeon at MedStar Washington Hospital Center  In January 2017, researchers reported that exercise…

Why gadolinium in MRI contrast dye is safe

by James S. Jelinek, MD, Chairman, Radiology
November 27, 2017

In November 2017, martial arts expert and actor Chuck Norris filed a lawsuit in California alleging an ingredient in a…

When to go to the emergency department for heart palpitations

by Jeffrey Dubin, MD, Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine
May 29, 2017

Most people barely notice their hearts beating. And that’s natural. But any noticeable change in the heartbeat should be concerning….

How smartphones and apps are changing emergency department care

by Jeffrey Dubin, MD, Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine
June 26, 2017

A mainstay of the “Star Trek” TV and movie franchise is the medical tricorder. This versatile piece of technology allows…

Why We Must Address the Psychological Impact of Burns

by Jeffrey W. Shupp, MD, Director, Burn Center
January 20, 2017

Survival rates for burn patients have improved drastically over the years thanks to advances made in burn treatment. Unfortunately, the…

Why burn scars itch and how to find relief

by Jeffrey W. Shupp, MD, Director, Burn Center
March 16, 2017

As many as 90 percent of burn patients report itching after their injuries, according to data cited by the Phoenix…

When to seek treatment at a burn center

by Jeffrey W. Shupp, MD, Director, Burn Center
April 13, 2017

“Why do I have to drive into the middle of D.C. to a burn center? There’s a hospital right by…

How stem cells and skin grafts are shaping the future of burn care

by Jeffrey W. Shupp, MD, Director, Burn Center
June 05, 2017

I’m never content with the same old burn treatments. I love pushing the envelope and learning new and better ways…

Pay attention to potential frostbite – early treatment can save fingers and toes

by Jeffrey W. Shupp, MD, Director, Burn Center
January 05, 2018

With expected low temperatures in the single digits for the D.C. area this weekend, pay attention to the early stages…

Could doctors have prevented Jack Pearson’s heart attack on ‘This Is Us’?

by Jeffrey W. Shupp, MD, Director, Burn Center
February 06, 2018

The Feb. 4, 2018 episode of NBC TV drama ‘This Is Us’ broke the hearts of viewers around the U.S….

Preventive cardiology: 4 tips to stop or improve heart disease

by Jennifer Brown, MD, Cardiologist, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
March 01, 2018

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and it’s preventable. While symptoms of heart disease…

Why a patient’s heart failure type matters for treatment

by Jennifer Brown, MD, Cardiologist, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
March 29, 2018

A diagnosis of heart failure doesn’t mean your heart has stopped or is about to stop working. It’s a condition…

Avoid a Hyperparathyroidism Misdiagnosis

by Jennifer Rosen, MD, Chief, Endocrine Surgery
October 17, 2016

Almost all of us have four parathyroid glands, located next to the thyroid gland in the neck. They are an…

Bariatric surgery at 18: Jewel’s story

by Jewel Francis-Aburime, 18-year-old bariatric surgery patient
December 18, 2017

In July 2016, I attended a bariatric surgery information session with my mom. I went to support her, but I…

What Are the Warning Signs of Diabetic Limb Damage?

by John Steinberg, DPM, Director, Podiatric Residency Training Program
July 21, 2016

If you or a loved one suffers from diabetes, you may be aware of one of the more troubling aspects…

Prevent, relieve foot pain from bunions, plantar fasciitis and more

by John Steinberg, DPM, Director, Podiatric Residency Training Program
September 21, 2017

One-fourth of the bones in our body are in our feet. These bones, combined with numerous joints, muscles, tendons and…

Alone and afraid: When family support for diabetes patients falls short

by John Steinberg, DPM, Director, Podiatric Residency Training Program
October 23, 2017

In most of the podiatric, or foot care, patients I see, families are very supportive, and I love that. Painful…

Prevent diabetic foot problems with these easy care practices

by John Steinberg, DPM, Director, Podiatric Residency Training Program
November 13, 2017

For many people, a blister or ingrown toenail would be a minor nuisance, painful for a few days, but then…

Healthcare data and how we use them for cardiology care

by Jonathan E. Patrick, MD, Director of Inpatient Cardiology, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
April 26, 2018

Patients used to rely entirely on their primary care doctors’ referrals when they needed to see cardiologists and other heart…

Recognizing and treating depression in hospital patients

by Karen Johnson, MD, Associate Chair, Psychiatry
October 24, 2017

More than 16 million — or nearly 7 percent — of American adults experience at least one major depressive episode…

Can an advanced MRI improve prostate cancer screening?

by Keith Kowalczyk, MD, Urologist and Robotic Surgeon, Lambros Stamatakis, MD, Director, Urologic Oncology
January 27, 2017

Prostate cancer is notoriously tricky to detect. It often doesn’t cause symptoms until it’s advanced, and there are no routine…

Why taking thyroid supplements is a bad idea

by Kenneth D. Burman, MD, Director, Endocrinology
November 07, 2017

The thyroid is an organ located in the front of the neck that’s involved in several major bodily functions. Breathing,…

Why I usually recommend surgery to treat low-risk thyroid cancer

by Kenneth D. Burman, MD, Director, Endocrinology
December 12, 2017

Doctors are seeing more patients with thyroid cancer in the last 30 years, as data from the American Cancer Society…

Thyroid cancer screening guidelines raise questions

by Kenneth D. Burman, MD, Director, Endocrinology
January 08, 2018

In May 2017, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended that doctors not screen routinely for thyroid cancer in…

Can an advanced MRI improve prostate cancer screening?

by Keith Kowalczyk, MD, Urologist and Robotic Surgeon, Lambros Stamatakis, MD, Director, Urologic Oncology
January 27, 2017

Prostate cancer is notoriously tricky to detect. It often doesn’t cause symptoms until it’s advanced, and there are no routine…

What to do when prostate cancer biopsy/PSA test results conflict

by Ross Krasnow, MD, Urologic Oncologist, Lambros Stamatakis, MD, Director, Urologic Oncology
September 28, 2017

Prostate cancer can be challenging to detect. Our screening and diagnostic tools—prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing and transrectal ultrasound-guided (TRUS) prostate…

Treating bladder cancer: What patients need to know

by Lambros Stamatakis, MD, Director, Urologic Oncology
November 14, 2017

While bladder cancer doesn’t get as much press as colon or lung cancer, it’s the fourth-most common type of cancer…

Immunotherapy: The future course of bladder cancer care

by Lambros Stamatakis, MD, Director, Urologic Oncology
December 14, 2017

In the 1990s, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a treatment for bladder cancer called Bacillus Calmette-Guerin therapy, or…

Don’t get burned cooking up a holiday feast

by Laura S. Johnson, MD, Burn Surgeon
November 20, 2017

The holidays often involve lots of time in the kitchen preparing grand feasts for family and friends. With extra people…

Why diabetes increases burn risk, and tips to stay safe

by Laura S. Johnson, MD, Burn Surgeon
November 28, 2017

Burns can happen to anyone, but people with diabetes may be more susceptible than others. In fact, between 10 and…

10 mistakes to avoid in burn care and prevention

by Laura S. Johnson, MD, Burn Surgeon
January 12, 2018

Burn injuries are one of the leading causes of accidental death and injury in the United States. And while nearly…

An explosive issue: E-cigarettes and burn risk

by Laura S. Johnson, MD, Burn Surgeon
April 30, 2018

Since electronic cigarettes, commonly known as e-cigarettes, first hit the market in 2007, they’ve become a popular option for people…

How we care for sexual assault survivors

by Lindsey White, MD, Emergency Medicine Physician
August 02, 2017

Sexual assault is a sensitive topic, no matter how we discuss it. But it’s an important topic to discuss honestly…

Midwifery

by Loral Patchen, PhD, Director, Section of Midwifery
May 04, 2016

Midwifery Delivering a baby is one of life’s most memorable moments. But childbirth can also be painful. Many women struggle…

Laugh through labor? Nitrous oxide makes comeback

by Loral Patchen, PhD, Director, Section of Midwifery
August 10, 2017

A “retro” form of pain control is making a comeback in the United States: nitrous oxide, often known as laughing…

Ovarian cancer and talcum powder: What I tell patients

by Louis Dainty, MD, Regional Director, Gynecologic Oncology
September 26, 2017

Talcum powder has long been a baby care and personal hygiene essential, showing up in everything from cosmetics to soaps…

TAVR is used for high-risk aortic stenosis patients. Why not everyone?

by Lowell F. Satler, MD, Medical Director, Cardiac Cath Lab
March 23, 2017

As recently as 15 years ago, if you had severe aortic stenosis but were considered too ill or weak to…

New Device Reduces Stroke Risk for Certain A-Fib Patients

by Manish Shah, MD, Director, Cardiac Electrophysiology Training Program
March 14, 2017

Tune in to the full podcast about the WATCHMAN device with Dr. Manish Shah. Atrial Fibrillation Facts Atrial fibrillation (A-fib)…

When to see a headache specialist for migraine relief

by Marc F. Schlosberg, MD, Neurologist
June 21, 2017

More than 38 million people in the U.S. are affected by migraines, a neurological disorder that causes intense headache episodes….

How to get better shut-eye when you work night shifts

by Marc F. Schlosberg, MD, Neurologist
July 24, 2017

Job duties can pose various dangers to workers’ health: handling chemicals, operating heavy machinery, even sitting for hours on end…

Why epilepsy risk increases after age 60

by Marc F. Schlosberg, MD, Neurologist
September 07, 2017

Most people know they’re at increased risk for certain health conditions as they age: heart disease, stroke, cancer, arthritis, etc….

4 ways to relieve varicose and spider veins

by Maria E. Litzendorf, MD, vascular surgeon, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
March 22, 2018

Dark, twisted or bulging varicose or spider veins on the legs can look unsightly, cause pain and even signal a…

Under (eye) pressure: Can exercise lower glaucoma risk?

by Mark L. Gonzalez, MD, Clinical Director, MedStar Eye Institute
December 29, 2017

As the Glaucoma Research Foundation notes, about three million Americans have glaucoma, but only about half of them know it….

Eye drops: The first line of defense against glaucoma

by Mark L. Gonzalez, MD, Clinical Director, MedStar Eye Institute
January 18, 2018

The goal of any glaucoma treatment is to prevent vision loss by lowering pressure in the eye caused by excess…

‘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…

How to manage the rising epidemic of heart disease

by MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute Team
May 09, 2017

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. While heart attacks…

A Patient’s Perspective: To Honor My Doctor

by MedStar Washington Hospital Center
March 30, 2017

National Doctors’ Day is held each year on March 30th, as a day set aside to honor the significant contribution…

Apps, mannequins and actors: Professional development for today’s nurses

by Michael Clarke, RN, Director of Nursing Professional Development
April 12, 2018

Today’s nurses have to keep track of so much more for patients than they did just 30 years ago. Millennials…

Is it hemorrhoids–or something else?

by Mitesh R. Patel, MD, Director, Pancreatobiliary Services
January 30, 2018

It can be a shock to look down at the toilet paper after going to the bathroom and seeing bright…

5 tips to protect your eyes during the solar eclipse

by Namratha Turlapati, MD, Ophthalmologist, MedStar Eye Institute
August 15, 2017

People in the United States will be treated to an awesome show in the sky Aug. 21, 2017: a solar…

Are nasal steroids safe?

by Norman Lester, MD, Otolaryngologist
May 17, 2017

“Steroids.” For many people, even the word is enough to make them recoil. They’ve heard stories from friends and family…

The top 3 symptoms mistaken for allergies

by Norman Lester, MD, Otolaryngologist
June 07, 2017

I see hundreds of people every year who ask for help controlling their allergy symptoms. Allergies can be serious and…

Is it a cold, sinus infection or allergies? How to tell the difference

by Norman Lester, MD, Otolaryngologist
September 11, 2017

It can be tough to tell the difference between a cold, a bacterial sinus infection and allergies. In fact, that’s…

Keep moving to avoid and relieve back pain

by Oliver Tannous, MD, Spine Surgeon, MedStar Orthopaedic Institute
April 06, 2017

Physical activity is vital for overall health, including for a healthy spine. Most people can avoid chronic back or neck…

Neck surgery with shorter recovery, better range of motion

by Oliver Tannous, MD, Spine Surgeon, MedStar Orthopaedic Institute
July 12, 2017

For many years, the gold standard for surgical treatment of certain painful neck conditions has been a procedure called anterior…

Why does back pain persist after surgery?

by Oliver Tannous, MD, Spine Surgeon, MedStar Orthopaedic Institute
August 14, 2017

Living with severe back pain can be debilitating. If left untreated, the pain can make it difficult or impossible to…

Advances in radiation oncology changing treatment plans

by Pamela Randolph-Jackson, MD, Chair, Department of Radiation
October 17, 2017

In the United States, nearly 40 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in…

What your eyes can tell you about your health beyond how well you see

by Pavle Doroslovacki, MD, Oculoplastic Surgeon, MedStar Eye Institute
November 02, 2017

An old saying goes, “The eyes are the window to the soul.” Though my work as an oculoplastic surgeon (a…

Why you should choose an oculoplastic surgeon for eye surgery

by Pavle Doroslovacki, MD, Oculoplastic Surgeon, MedStar Eye Institute
December 11, 2017

When you see the words “plastic surgery,” your first thought probably doesn’t involve the eyes. Or you may think about…

Watch for these potential lung cancer warning signs

by Puja G. Khaitan, MD, Director, Esophageal Surgery
November 17, 2017

Despite recent progress in lung cancer research, the survival rate for lung cancer patients remains poor. Only about 18 percent…

Routine lung cancer screening saves lives

by Puja G. Khaitan, MD, Director, Esophageal Surgery
November 22, 2017

We’ve made great progress in recent years when it comes to lung cancer. As noted in trends data from the…

Why all forms of tobacco are harmful, not just smoking

by Puja G. Khaitan, MD, Director, Esophageal Surgery
November 30, 2017

Cigarettes and other tobacco products contain one of the world’s most addictive substances: nicotine. The Centers for Disease Control and…

3 common misconceptions about palliative care and hospice

by Regina Tosca, LICSW, Clinical Social Worker, Palliative Care
November 09, 2017

Most people are unfamiliar with the term “palliative care” and often confuse it with hospice. Palliative care and hospice services…

How early palliative care can help relieve pain and other symptoms

by Regina Tosca, LICSW, Clinical Social Worker, Palliative Care
December 04, 2017

People sometimes mistakenly think that accepting palliative care means they have to stop receiving other medical treatment. However, palliative care…

How to approach end-of-life discussions and tools to help

by Regina Tosca, LICSW, Clinical Social Worker, Palliative Care
January 22, 2018

Preventive medicine is the wave of the future as doctors and patients focus more on maintaining good health. In conjunction…

Stroke: A young person’s disease?

by Richard T. Benson, MD, Associate Medical Director, Comprehensive Stroke Center
May 12, 2017

If you think you’re too young to have a stroke, think again. A study published in April 2017 showed that…

Can the flu cause a stroke?

by Richard T. Benson, MD, Associate Medical Director, Comprehensive Stroke Center
May 04, 2018

In April 2018, beloved Night Court actor Harry Anderson died at 65 from a cardioembolic stroke, which involves blockage of…

How we can manage breast cancer that spreads to the bones

by Robert Henshaw, MD, Director, Orthopedic Oncology, MedStar Orthopaedic Institute
April 06, 2018

“Has my cancer spread?” After a woman has had the time she needs to process a cancer diagnosis, this tends…

The need for fast stroke care–and why some patients don’t get it

by Rocco A. Armonda, MD, Director, Neuroendovascular Surgery and Surgical Co-Director, Neuro Intensive Care Unit
January 26, 2018

When a patient has a stroke, seconds and minutes can make the difference between life or death. Similar to someone…

How mechanical thrombectomy is revolutionizing stroke care

by Rocco A. Armonda, MD, Director, Neuroendovascular Surgery and Surgical Co-Director, Neuro Intensive Care Unit
March 06, 2018

For many years, the number of people who were dying of strokes in the United States had been decreasing steadily….

Stents work to reduce chest pain—but are they better than drugs?

by Ron Waksman, MD, Director, Cardiovascular Research and Advanced Education, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
November 03, 2017

For years, patients with angina (chest pain) caused by blockages in the arteries have been treated with medications. When medications…

Should men get a PSA test to screen for prostate cancer, and when?

by Ross Krasnow, MD, Urologic Oncologist
September 19, 2017

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, with one in seven men in the United States projected to…

What to do when prostate cancer biopsy/PSA test results conflict

by Ross Krasnow, MD, Urologic Oncologist, Lambros Stamatakis, MD, Director, Urologic Oncology
September 28, 2017

Prostate cancer can be challenging to detect. Our screening and diagnostic tools—prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing and transrectal ultrasound-guided (TRUS) prostate…

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…

Too few women know about this effective uterine fibroid treatment

by Saher Sabri, MD, Director, Interventional Radiology
January 23, 2018

For decades, women with uterine fibroids, or benign growths inside the uterus, commonly have been offered two options to manage…

Am I too young for knee or hip replacement?

by Savyasachi C. Thakkar, MD, Orthopaedic Surgeon, MedStar Orthopaedic Institute
May 04, 2017

A 30-year-old man came to our emergency room with excruciating pain in both hips. He had been experiencing pain for…

‘GPS’ improves knee and hip replacement outcomes

by Savyasachi C. Thakkar, MD, Orthopaedic Surgeon, MedStar Orthopaedic Institute
June 08, 2017

When you get new tires on your car, it’s important that they are balanced and in alignment. This will keep…

The dangers of loud–and dirty–earbuds and headphones

by Selena E. Briggs, MD, Otologist, Neurotologist and Skull Base Surgeon
February 20, 2017

We live in a noisy world. The ear-splitting sounds of rush-hour traffic, the drone of a lawn mower, loud washing…

Listen up: Get your hearing tested!

by Selena E. Briggs, MD, Otologist, Neurotologist and Skull Base Surgeon
May 01, 2017

According to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 25 percent of people between the ages…

6 lesser-known and better-known causes of hearing loss

by Selena E. Briggs, MD, Otologist, Neurotologist and Skull Base Surgeon
May 18, 2017

About 48 million Americans, or approximately 20 percent of the population, have some degree of hearing loss. According to the…

Sudden hearing loss is a medical emergency: What patients need to know

by Selena E. Briggs, MD, Otologist, Neurotologist and Skull Base Surgeon
May 01, 2018

Every year in the U.S., one in 5,000 people experience sudden sensorineural hearing loss, or sudden hearing loss. This is…

Putting Sleep Apnea to Bed

by Stanley Chia, MD, Chairman, Department of Otolaryngology
March 20, 2017

An estimated 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from serious chronic or intermittent sleep disorders that undermine the quality of…

Happy 50th anniversary, heart transplant! Then, now and what the future holds

by Steven W. Boyce, MD, Surgical Director, Advanced Heart Failure Program, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
December 28, 2017

In December 1967, a South African surgeon made history when he successfully transplanted the heart of a woman who died…

LVAD origins: A lifesaving heart device, 30 years in the making

by Steven W. Boyce, MD, Surgical Director, Advanced Heart Failure Program, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
January 29, 2018

In 1988, MedStar Washington Hospital Center became one of the first four hospitals in the United States to implant a…

Living with an LVAD: 5 tips to make it easier

by Steven W. Boyce, MD, Surgical Director, Advanced Heart Failure Program, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
February 26, 2018

Many heart failure patients rely on left ventricular assist devices (LVADs), which are amazing medical implants that pump blood throughout…

Cardiogenetics: Detecting and Preventing Heart Disease Before it Strikes

by Susan O’Donoghue, MD, Cardiac Electrophysiologist
April 18, 2017

Tune in to the full podcast with Dr. O’Donoghue. LISTEN NOW! A relatively new sub-specialty of cardiology is helping people…

What to expect during pregnancy if you have a heart condition

by Tamika Auguste, MD, Obstetrician and Gynecologist
February 01, 2017

Common tests during pregnancy include ultrasounds and blood sugar screenings. But heart tests – such as electrocardiograms (EKGs) – are…

2 reasons we’re seeing more high-risk pregnancies in D.C.

by Tamika Auguste, MD, Obstetrician and Gynecologist
March 28, 2017

We care for about 3,500 pregnant women every year. While that number has remained fairly steady over the past decade,…

Not your mom’s IUD: Renewed focus on LARCs

by Tamika Auguste, MD, Obstetrician and Gynecologist
April 17, 2017

I often speak with women who are curious – and sometimes apprehensive – about birth control. This gives me the…

3 questions to ask before downloading a pregnancy app

by Tamika Auguste, MD, Obstetrician and Gynecologist
April 27, 2017

If you Google “pregnancy apps,” there’s no shortage of articles with titles such as “10 best pregnancy apps” or “Must-have…

How many people should be in the delivery room?

by Tamika Auguste, MD, Obstetrician and Gynecologist
June 12, 2017

Most of the time, welcoming a life is a beautiful, amazing moment. I understand the urge to want to share…

What makes a hospital ‘baby-friendly’?

by Tamika Auguste, MD, Obstetrician and Gynecologist
July 19, 2017

Gone are the days when you’d stand at a window and gaze at 15 babies lined up in bassinets in…

How negative-pressure wound therapy has changed diabetic foot care

by Tammer Elmarsafi, DPM, Podiatric Surgeon
April 04, 2018

Diabetic foot ulcers can form quickly when a patient gets a cut on their foot and doesn’t realize it. The…

All About Your Pelvic Health: Pelvic Floor Disorder

by the MWHC Blog Team
February 09, 2016

Pelvic Floor Disorder: A Common Problem It’s a fact that one in three women over the age of 45 suffers…

I am Nursing

by the MWHC Blog Team
March 25, 2016

Celebrating Nursing Each of our nursing associates at MedStar Washington Hospital Center has a unique story about what drew them to…

Body Contouring: Beyond Weight Loss

by the MWHC Blog Team
April 14, 2016

Weight Loss is Only the Beginning Whether through diet and exercise or bariatric surgery, you lost a lot of weight—congratulations!…

Celebrated Physician: E. Alexandra Zubowicz, MD

by the MWHC Blog Team
April 22, 2016

A healthy lifestyle is all about balance, according to E. Alexandra Zubowicz, MD, a general and advanced laparoscopic and bariatric…

Pelvic Floor Disorder

by the MWHC Blog Team
April 25, 2016

It’s a fact: one in three women older than 45 suffers from a pelvic floor disorder. For those whose conditions…

Screen Your Hearing

by the MWHC Blog Team
May 10, 2016

Time to Screen Your Hearing? An estimated 28 million adults in the United States have a hearing loss. Working with…

Level I Trauma Center

by the MWHC Blog Team
May 15, 2016

The Region’s Busiest Level I Trauma Center In the heart of the nation’s capital, MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s Level I…

Celebrated Physician: Rocco A. Armonda, MD

by the MWHC Blog Team
May 31, 2016

It’s rare to see Rocco A. Armonda, MD, sitting still. When he’s not splitting time between MedStar Washington Hospital Center…

Celebrated Physician: Susmeeta Sharma, MD

by the MWHC Blog Team
July 19, 2016

Growing up in a family of medical doctors, Susmeeta Sharma, MD, knew from an early age that she would one…

Celebrated Physician: Lauren M. Wiesner, MD

by the MWHC Blog Team
July 25, 2016

If a “routine” day in a hospital Emergency Department seems hectic, imagine what the day would look like if a…

Celebrated Physician: Luis Hernandez, MD

by the MWHC Blog Team
August 10, 2016

There’s no such thing as a “routine” surgery, even for procedures that have been performed thousands of times. But that…

Latest Robotic Technology Brings New Benefits to Patients

by the MWHC Blog Team
October 13, 2016

When one of our patients is considering or about to undergo a surgical procedure at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, we…

Midlife Intimacy: Myths vs. Reality

by the MWHC Blog Team
December 05, 2016

That your sex life has to sour after a certain age may be one of the biggest myths of midlife…

Springing Back from Obesity

by the MWHC Blog Team
January 05, 2017

Susan, 48, of Prince Frederick, Md., spent the last 25 years morbidly obese, reaching 360 pounds. After gastric sleeve surgery…

The “Art” of Service: Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

by the MWHC Blog Team
January 13, 2017

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”…

Celebrated Physician: Sara Iqbal, MD

by the MWHC Blog Team
June 09, 2017

Who is Dr. Iqbal? The joyful anticipation of childbirth can also be fraught with anxiety, particularly if the pregnancy is considered…

Celebrated Physician: Pamela Paufler, MD

by the MWHC Blog Team
June 22, 2017

Who is Dr. Paufler? Many physicians have pursued other careers before entering medicine, but the path Pamela Paufler, MD took…

Celebrated Physician: Clint Pettit, MD

by the MWHC Blog Team
July 07, 2017

Why Palliative Care? In recent years, more and more patients facing a serious illness have turned to the complimentary discipline…

Celebrated Physician: Helena B. Pasieka, MD, MS

by the MWHC Blog Team
July 20, 2017

It’s the rare physician who elects to endure the rigors of residency a second time. Yet for Helena Pasieka, MD,…

Celebrated Physician: Erin O’Neill, MD

by the MWHC Blog Team
August 03, 2017

The title on Erin O’Neill, MD’s business card reads “Attending Radiologist.” But it could just as accurately say “Puzzle Solver.”…

Celebrated Physician: Ivanesa Pardo, MD, FACS

by the MWHC Blog Team
August 17, 2017

It’s hard to say whether Ivanesa Pardo, MD, FACS, chose surgery as her medical specialty, or if surgery chose her….

Celebrated Physician: Lee Ann Richter, MD

by the MWHC Blog Team
September 01, 2017

Lee Ann Richter, MD, is one of the few urologists in the country with obstetrics and gynecology-based training in Female…

Celebrated Physician: Brooke M. Wolvin, MD

by the MWHC Blog Team
September 15, 2017

Brooke Wolvin, MD, an attending physician for MedStar Medical Group Radiology, also serves as assistant director of MedStar Washington Hospital…

Celebrated Physician: Norman Lester, MD

by the MWHC Blog Team
October 06, 2017

­­For as long as he can remember, Norman Lester, MD, wanted to become a physician. Choosing a specialty, however, took…

Celebrated Physician: Sarika Rao, DO

by the MWHC Blog Team
October 20, 2017

When helping patients tackle the challenges of endocrine cancer, Sarika Rao, DO, believes that trust is often the most important…

Celebrated Physician: Kevin Handy, MD

by the MWHC Blog Team
November 03, 2017

With the alarming rise in the abuse of prescription and non-prescription opioids dominating the headlines, many medical professionals may be…

Celebrated Physician: Michael J. Sherman, DO

by the MWHC Blog Team
December 08, 2017

Michael Sherman, DO, director of MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s Nephrology and Hypertension Clinic, says solving problems and working with people…

Living a pain-free lifestyle after double knee replacement surgery

by the MWHC Blog Team
December 20, 2017

This Christmas will be extra-special for Barbara Lott. For the first time in several years, the 68-year-old Washington, D.C., resident…

Celebrated Physician: Maryann Amirshahi, MD, PharmD

by the MWHC Blog Team
December 22, 2017

The bustling environment of Emergency Medicine may seem worlds away from the relatively benign atmosphere of the corner pharmacy. But…

Our top 5 healthcare news stories of 2017

by the MWHC Blog Team
January 10, 2018

From a solar eclipse with potential vision threats to a shift in long-standing heart health guidelines, 2017 was a remarkable…

Celebrated Physician: Kathryn M. Kellogg, MD, MPH

by the MWHC Blog Team
January 26, 2018

As with any other workplace, MedStar Washington Hospital Center goes to great lengths to maintain a safe environment for physicians,…

Celebrated Physician: Konstantinos Loupasakis, MD

by the MWHC Blog Team
February 16, 2018

Like so many other physicians, Konstantinos Loupasakis, MD, has never outgrown his childhood fascination with the many complexities of the…

Celebrated Physician: Matthew Pierce, MD

by the MWHC Blog Team
March 02, 2018

Matthew Pierce, MD, certainly understands that not everyone has fond memories of their high school biology dissection assignments. Yet, that’s…

Celebrating 60 Years of Caring

by the MWHC Blog Team
March 09, 2018

On March 10, 1958, the brand new and most modern Washington Hospital Center opened its doors on Irving Street, after…

Celebrated Physician: Tammer Elmarsafi, DPM, MBBCh

by the MWHC Blog Team
March 16, 2018

Smiling comes easily to Tammer Elmarsafi, DPM. It’s the result of his inherent good nature, and his passion for helping…

Celebrated Physician: Vadim V. Morozov, MD

by the MWHC Blog Team
March 30, 2018

Vadim Morozov, MD, FACOG, FACS, considers reading a good science fiction novel ideal for unwinding from his duties as an…

Celebrated Physician: Scott Frank, MD

by the MWHC Blog Team
April 13, 2018

When Scott Frank, MD, interviewed for a job as attending anesthesiologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in 2005, he asked…

Tug boat captain recovers from an 18-month ordeal fighting near fatal burn injuries

by the MWHC Blog Team
April 16, 2018

Tug boat captain Jeff Davis spent 40 years shepherding large ships safely through treacherous waters along every U.S. coast. But…

Celebrated Physician: Shruti Tiwari, MD

by the MWHC Blog Team
April 27, 2018

Growing up in India, Shruti Tiwari, MD, wanted to be anything but a physician—a rather unusual attitude, given that her…

Say what?!? Cochlear implant restores hearing in 90-year-old grandmother

by the MWHC Blog Team
May 10, 2018

Because of her profound hearing loss, Edna Whitted would pass notes back and forth in church with her granddaughter in…

Celebrated Physician: Eiman H. Nabi, MD

by the MWHC Blog Team
May 11, 2018

It’s no wonder Eiman Nabi, MD, characterizes herself as a“global baby.” Born in India, she grew up in the Middle…

How we evaluate young adults considering bariatric surgery

by Timothy R. Shope, MD, Chief, Advanced Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgery
December 22, 2017

Nearly 200,000 people get bariatric surgery each year in the United States, and about 1,000 of them are teenagers. The…

From angry to eager: Tools to manage the emotions involved with getting an LVAD

by Tonya Elliott, MSN, RN, Program Coodinator, Mechanical Circulatory Support, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
February 16, 2018

When patients find out they need a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) to treat their advanced heart failure, they go…

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

by Tonya Elliott, MSN, 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…

Type 2 diabetes trial offers chance to further research, treatment understanding

by Vanita Aroda, MD, Scientific Director, MedStar Community Clinical Research Center
April 24, 2017

Some people with Type 2 diabetes can manage the disease with diet and exercise alone. Others need medication, in addition…

The heart care team: Dedicated experts for every patient

by Vinod H. Thourani, MD, Chairman, Cardiac Surgery, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
May 08, 2018

Much of heart care focuses on the “what”—the diagnosis, treatments and outcomes. But just as important to consider is the…

No ifs about it: Colonoscopy prevents colon cancer

by Z. Jennifer Lee, MD, FACG, Gastroenterologist
March 20, 2018

Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of death among cancers that affect both men and women. However, it’s also one…

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

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

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

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by the MWHC Blog Team
July 14, 2017