Expect your COVID-19 test results via text message

Coryell Health will send negative and will now send positive results, if you saw a practitioner.

If you test positive: stay home for 5 days-  if symptoms are resolved after 5 days, you can leave your house. Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days. If you are moderately to severely ill then you should quarantine for 10 days and until fever free with symptoms mostly resolved. To find out more visit https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s1227-isolation-quarantine-guidance.html.

Coryell Health is Asking Local Community Members to Donate New or Gently Used Crutches

An aluminum shortage tied to the global supply chain crunch has led to a new medical supply shortage: crutches.

The latest example of pandemic-spurred medical supply chain problems has become a bigger problem for health systems across the nation. Crutches are walking aids used to reduce weight placed on the lower body and provide support and balance.

“Our hospital, short-term inpatient therapy, physical therapy, home health and clinic provide crutches for patients on a daily basis. All surgery volumes spike at the end of the year, including orthopedic surgeries, but if we do not have crutches to use post operatively, some patients may have to delay care,” said Heather Rambeau, Coryell Health Chief Nursing Officer. “We have run out of crutches and our suppliers don’t know when they’ll have more available to sell.” Rambeau adds the hospital’s supplier told them there is an aluminum shortage and “we just cannot get them there.”

“Just because it’s something that we’ve always had a surplus of and then it got down to having zero of certain sizes, so it really just put us in a bad situation,” she said. “The impacts of the global pandemic continue to affect so many aspects of healthcare. We’re hopeful that there are plenty of used crutches gathering dust in closets that can be put to good use for our patients.”

Any donated crutches will be sanitized and inspected for safety before being issued to patients. Individuals are asked to drop off crutches at the main entrance of the hospital anytime between 7am – 5pm, Monday thru Friday. Anyone with questions or needing assistance may call Monica Salter at (254) 248-6247.

Acid Reflux Surgery at Coryell Health

The Most Effective Solution for Your Acid Reflux Issues

Have you ever had heartburn at bedtime? Simply put: that painful, burning sensation that robs you of sleep can be awful. For some, the symptoms are mild and seem to go away on their own; but for many, a few sleepless, painful nights are just the beginning. If you’re having frequent heartburn, you may have acid reflux disease, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), when your condition is severe or chronic. 

Acid reflux is caused by a weakness or relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter. This is the valve that joins your esophagus and your stomach. Normally this valve shuts tightly after food enters your stomach. However, sometimes it relaxes when it shouldn’t, causing your stomach contents – stomach acid, food, etc. – to come back up into your esophagus. 

Symptoms can be triggered a number of different things, including:

  • Food choices – Most doctors agree that acidic, fatty and spicy food may contribute to your symptoms, and the size of your meals also makes a difference. Large meals are more likely to cause symptoms than small ones.
  • Medicines – Aspirin, ibuprofen, sedatives and blood pressure medications may affect your condition. 
  • Alcohol and tobacco use – This relaxes the stomach valve, enabling food and stomach acid to rise up into your esophagus. 
  • Weight – Being overweight or obese increases the pressure on your abdomen or stomach, weakening the valve.
  • Pregnancy – This also may increase pressure on your abdomen or stomach.
  • Other diseases and conditions – One of the most common is a hiatal hernia, which according to the Cleveland Clinic, occurs when the upper part of the stomach abnormally pushes through an opening in the diaphragm and into the chest cavity. Typically, the opening in the diaphragm is where the esophagus and stomach join, and that valve closes tightly after letting in food. However, with a hiatal hernia, the valve is in a different place (inside the chest cavity), which may keep it from closing completely. Thus, letting in a back-flow of stomach contents that can be extremely painful and damaging to your esophagus.

Common symptoms of acid reflux and related conditions include:

  • Heartburn
  • A sour taste in your mouth
  • Feeling overly full
  • Coughing
  • Hoarseness
  • Feeling like you have food “stuck” in your throat
  • Regurgitation

Symptoms may seem to intensify when you lay down or bend over because these positions may allow stomach acid to move more easily into your esophagus. Thankfully, there is hope. Certain medications, dietary changes and weight loss can help improve symptoms.

However, most patients report that these treatments help but do not completely “fix” the problem. If you’re still having symptoms, then acid reflux surgery might be the solution for you! For example, if you have a hiatal hernia, simply changing your diet isn’t going to fix the underlying medical condition that’s causing your symptoms, but surgery can. And after the surgery, you can go back to eating the foods you love, without the painful consequences! 

You might be a good candidate for acid reflux surgery, if:

  • You still have symptoms, despite dietary changes and medications.
  • You continually require medications to control your symptoms and do not want lifelong medication use.
  • You have a hiatal hernia or another underlying medical condition.
  • You have frequent or ongoing symptoms that are affecting your quality of life.

Acid reflux surgery can be extremely beneficial, bringing you relief from acid reflux symptoms and preventing the serious complications that can occur if symptoms are left untreated. These complications include but are not limited to, esophagitis, ulcers, esophageal cancer and aspiration pneumonia.

There are two types of acid reflux surgery: linx surgery and nissen fundoplication, both of which are offered at Coryell Health. During linx surgery, the doctor wraps a ring of tiny beads around the lower esophageal sphincter, which keeps the opening closed, stopping reflux. During nissen fundoplication, the upper part of the stomach is wrapped around the lower esophageal sphincter, which also keeps the opening closed and prevents reflux.

Our acid reflux specialist, John Bawduniak, MD, can help determine which surgery is right for you. Board certified in general surgery, with significant training in vascular and endovascular surgery, Dr. Bawduniak has a special interest in complex, minimally invasive and laparoscopic surgery, as well as oncologic surgery and vascular surgery. 

Dr. Bawduniak is specially trained in the use of Robotic-Assisted da Vinci®, a minimally invasive general surgery that allows him to use the da Vinci Surgical System to perform a wide range of delicate and complex operations through a few small incisions. Coryell Health’s da Vinci system enables Dr. Bawduniak to operate with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control. 

Dr. Bawduniak is a gifted surgeon, who is highly skilled, highly trained and highly experienced. He’s one of the many reasons why you don’t have to drive to the “big city” to get state-of-the-art treatment. If you’re suffering from acid reflux symptoms, we can help. Call 254-865-8251 to book an appointment with Coryell Health today.

Catch More Zzzs With Coryell Health’s Sleep Center

Need Better Sleep? Coryell Can Help.

If you want to improve your health and your mood, the first step might be to get better sleep. Sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on your body and may result in both short- and long-term physical and psychological problems. Sleep deprivation can:

  • Limit your ability to form new memories, reason properly, pay attention, react quickly or make decisions. 
  • Make you more susceptible to infections and respiratory disease, which also may take longer to resolve when you’re sleep-deprived since our bodies use that sleep time to heal.
  • Increase your fat storage and increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Sleep triggers the release of insulin and affects the hormones that control feelings of hunger and fullness.
  • Cause your body to release additional stress hormones, making you feel anxious, frustrated or cranky. This also may cause headaches, increase your sensitivity to pain, and cause more serious health concerns.

How much sleep do you need?

Just how much sleep is enough? Well, that depends on a host of factors. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that during a 24-hour period, most adults ages 18-64 should get 7-9 hours, and ages 65 and up should get 7-8 hours.

But each person is different and may require more or less sleep. Other factors need to be considered, such as how physically active you are, personal and family medical history, gender, occupation and your average stress levels. If you’re getting the recommended hours of sleep but are frequently tired, require caffeine to “get you through the day,” or are experiencing any symptoms of sleep deprivation, call the Coryell Health Sleep Center.

Our team of board-certified sleep physicians can advise you on how to best prepare your body for sleep and prevent outside influences from waking you up before you’re ready. He or she can also determine whether or not you have a serious sleep condition, like sleep apnea, that’s interfering with your ability to get adequate rest, and prescribe a personalized treatment plan.

A serious condition

Sleep apnea is a common medical disorder, in which you repeatedly stop breathing while you sleep. Though it can affect anyone, sleep apnea is more common in men. Age, weight and smoking can increase your risk.

There are three types of sleep apnea: central, obstructive and complex. Central sleep apnea occurs because your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing. This type of sleep apnea isn’t characterized by loud snoring. However, obstructive sleep apnea is. 

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by an upper airway obstruction that we see most often in overweight patients. It is the most common form of sleep apnea and is more often found in male patients. During sleep, the muscles that control your airways become relaxed. If they’re too relaxed, your airway can become blocked, causing your body to stop breathing. When this happens, your brain has to tell your body to breathe. This process is very stressful to your brain and heart and can leave you feeling drained the next morning, despite a full night’s sleep. 

Complex sleep apnea is a combination of both central and obstructive sleep apnea, and the condition can be diagnosed by a sleep specialist.

How Coryell Health can help

Accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the Coryell Health Sleep Center is dedicated to helping patients achieve a better night’s sleep and better quality of life. We utilize a sleep study called polysomnography to determine what kind of medical condition you have and formulate a personalized treatment plan.

During the polysomnography, you sleep in our sleep center and we monitor you, every step of the way. While you sleep, our equipment records your brain waves, oxygen levels, heart rate and breathing, as well as eye and leg movements. This helps us to determine which sleep disorder you suffer from – we diagnose and treat more than 80 sleep disorders, including the various forms of sleep apnea, as well as insomnia, narcolepsy and more. The sleep study also is helpful for adjusting a patient’s treatment plan if you’ve already been diagnosed with a sleep disorder but haven’t found the right treatment combination.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Coryell Health’s Sleep Center can improve your quality of life, contact us at (254) 248-6296 or sleepcenter@coryellheath.org.

Take the first step toward a happier, healthier you!

If you’re overweight or obese – you’re not alone. In fact, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reports that more than two in three adults are considered to be either overweight or obese. (1)

Being overweight or obese can lead to a host of health problems such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, joint problems, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, certain types of cancer and more. Doctors and researchers report being overweight or obese as the fifth leading cause of death in the world, accounting for nearly 3.4 million deaths annually. (2)

Thankfully, there’s hope. 

At Coryell Health, we offer a medical weight loss program, directed by David Gochnour, MD. Dr.  Gochnour is a board certified, general and bariatric surgeon, who specializes in bariatric, minimally invasive, robotic and general surgery.

“Being overweight or obese is not a personal failure. It’s a medical problem, and we have a medical solution that is personalized for you. We look at your unique circumstances and support you on every step of your journey toward a happier, healthier you.”

Before prescribing treatment, Dr. Gochnour and his team work with you to identify factors that may affect your progress. These may include genetics, eating habits, physical activity/inactivity, sleep habits, medical conditions or medications, as well as where/how you live.

Coryell Health’s medical weight loss program employs Ideal Protein’s science-backed, three-phase, structured protocol. This resets the body to burn its own fat as its primary energy source.

In some cases, bariatric surgery is recommended. This is done in combination with expert nutritional advice and behavioral health counseling to maximize results and long-term success. Coryell Health offers two types of bariatric procedures: Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass and gastric sleeve surgery.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass is a bariatric procedure where your physician makes changes to your stomach and small intestine to adjust the way they absorb and digest food. A small pouch is created from the stomach and the small bowel is re-routed to the pouch, bypassing the first part of the intestines. This decreases the amount of food that can be consumed and slows down the absorption of nutrients. More importantly, it has been shown to have a positive effect on the various hormones that lead to obesity.

Gastric sleeve surgery

For patients with a body mass index of at least 40 – this means you’re 100 pounds or more over your ideal weight – gastric sleeve surgery, also known as a vertical sleeve gastrectomy – may be recommended. Gastric sleeve surgery is a bariatric procedure that removes 75-80% of the stomach, reshaping it into a tube, like most of the digestive system. This reduces the amount of food that can be consumed and shows positive effects on obesity hormones.

Bariatric surgery does more than just help you lose weight. It helps you take control of your life and your health. It can:

  • Alleviate type 2 diabetes symptoms and eliminate the need for related medications: The Cleveland Clinic references a study where Type 2 Diabetes sufferers went into long-term remission following bariatric surgery, enabling almost all patients to remain free of insulin and other related medications for at least three years after surgery. (3)
  • Reduce joint pain and osteoarthritis: Studies published by UCLA indicate that bariatric surgery helps decrease pain, pressure and inflammation of joints, particularly with regard to knee osteoarthritis and back pain. (4)
  • Lower your risk for liver and cardiovascular diseases: A new Cleveland Clinic study shows that patients with obesity and advanced fatty liver disease who had bariatric surgery significantly lowered their risk for severe liver disease and serious cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke, compared to patients who did not have the surgery. (5)
  • Eliminate obstructive sleep apnea: Achieving and sustaining a normal weight range often allows people with sleep apnea to stop using a CPAP machine at nighttime. Approximately 80 to 85% of patients experience remission of their sleep apnea one year after surgery. (3)
  • Improve your quality of life: More than 95% of the patients who had bariatric surgery at UCLA reported markedly improved or improved quality of life after surgery in an anonymous survey. (4)
  • Increase your life expectancy: In scientific studies of hundreds of thousands of patients, weight loss surgery has been shown to lower a person’s risk of death from any cause by over 40%, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. (6)

Your journey toward a happier, healthier you awaits. Take the first step by calling us today at (254) 404-2555!

Sources:

  1. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/overweight-obesity
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0095454315000986?via%3Dihub
  3. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/7-bariatric-surgery-benefits-besides-helping-you-lose-weight/ 
  4. http://surgery.ucla.edu/bariatric-surgery-benefits
  5. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2786270 
  6. https://asmbs.org/patients/benefits-of-weight-loss-surgery 

Minimally Invasive Surgery

At its very core, performing a successful surgical procedure is about art, skill, and precision, all of which can be supported and advanced by the latest technologies. At Coryell Health Minimally Invasive Surgery Center, we believe in using minimally invasive surgery tools and techniques whenever possible. This approach can lead to less tissue and muscle damage, less pain, less scarring, reduced recovery time and better overall outcomes. Some highlights include:

The da Vinci XI system robot:

Used for a range of soft tissue surgeries, including bariatric procedures, the da Vinci Robot is replacing many traditional open surgeries. The da Vinci System enables surgeons at Coryell Health to perform even the most complex and delicate procedures through very small incisions with unmatched precision. This innovative technology features many patient benefits, including a lower risk of infection and blood loss, significantly less pain, shorter hospital stays and faster recovery times. To learn about da Vinci Robot use for Coryell Health Bariatrics, visit https://coryellhealth.org/services/bariatric-surgery/

The ROSA robot:

Designed to assist specially trained orthopedic surgeons, the ROSA Robot helps surgeons perform total knee replacement surgery. Data provided by orthopedic robots assists with complex decision-making and enables surgeons to use computer and software technology to control and move surgical instruments, allowing for greater precision, customization and flexibility during procedures. To find out more about ROSA Robot at Coryell Health, visit www.coryellhealth.org/orthorobot.  

Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory:

The Cath Lab is a minimally invasive surgical suite where doctors use advanced X-ray imaging technology to view and treat the heart and vascular system without in-depth surgery—which is why it has been deemed minimally invasive. In this lab, an X-ray enables doctors to see inside the body. Specializing in the performance of outpatient cardiac and peripheral vascular procedures, our experienced staff is dedicated to providing quality care, close to home. To learn more about surgical procedures at Coryell Health, visit www.coryellhealth.org/surgery.

Coryell Health Team Effort Brings Patient Off Ventilator & On Her Way to Recovery

Transferred to Coryell Memorial Hospital  for a higher level of care and hospitalized over 2 weeks, COVID-19 patient K. Thompson, was in critical condition. Ms. Thompson suffered significant complications related to the virus, including placement on a ventilator after her heart stopped. With the care and encouragement of Coryell Health staff and providers, she fought to survive and won. “Every patient discharged gives hope to our Coryell Health team that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We encourage our staff members to make posters, play music, and cheer our patients out of the doors!” says said Heather Rambeau, Coryell Health Chief Nursing Officer.

 

“Staff started the celebrations spontaneously when we discharged our first COVID patient to come off the ventilator and survive,” says hospitalist Dr. Christopher Long, adding it is a nice reminder that positivity is happening in the middle of this pandemic. “It has been exciting to see Ms. Thompson regain her strength and make daily improvements as she works towards going home.”

 

Now, Rambeau says, our community can share in our excitement, adding that none of this would be possible if not for the heroic efforts of the doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and everyone who’s part of Ms. Thompson’s care team.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Breast cancer treatment often involves surgery; and not all surgical wounds heal as expected. Coryell Health Advanced Wound Care Center specializes in treating of a wide variety of non-healing wounds. If you or a loved one has a non-healing surgical wound related to cancer treatment, call (254) 248-6204 today to find out more about how we can help. Haven’t had a mammogram and are over the age of 40? The American Cancer Society recommends women begin receiving annual screening mammograms at age 40. Call (254) 865-2166 to make an appointment.

Coryell Health Hospital Staff Holding Celebrations for Recovered COVID-19 Patients

Coryell is throwing miniature celebrations as patients who had been fighting COVID-19 are released from treatment to return home. Doctors and nurses in PPE lined the hall to clap and cheer as Mr. Loecken was wheeled out of the hospital.

C. Loecken was recently discharged home after a two-week hospitalization with COVID-19. Staff that provided care during his stay, along with his family, celebrated his success. He fought an uphill battle for several days and seeing him go home was a success story that everyone involved in his care wanted to celebrate. “We are excited to see the progress he made and proud of the dedication and care that our staff provided,” said Heather Rambeau, Coryell Health Chief Nursing Officer.

COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Update – Immunocompromised People to Receive Additional Shot

Currently, CDC is recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

This includes people who have:

–         Receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood

–          Received an organ transplant and is currently taking medicine to suppress the immune system

–          Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or is currently taking medicine to suppress the immune system

–          Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)

–          Advanced or untreated HIV infection

–          Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

Individuals who believe they qualify for the COVID-19 booster vaccine, should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.

Other important info to know before scheduling:

–          It must be at least 4 weeks past your last COVID vaccine

–          Those that received Moderna or Pfizer are eligible for a booster

–          Coryell Health only has Pfizer at the time, but this can be given to those that received Moderna for their first two doses

–          Patients that received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are not eligible to receive a booster dose.

–          Please bring your vaccination card with you when coming for your booster vaccine

Patients that are qualified to receive the COVID-19 booster vaccine, according to CDC guidelines, may schedule an appointment online or by calling 254-865-2166 and selecting option 1. We ask that only those that have one of the following diagnoses documented in their medical history schedule a booster dose.

On Wednesday, August 18, the US Department of Health and Human Services released a statement regarding plans for authorization of a COVID-19 booster shot for all Americans in late September. Coryell Health is currently preparing to provide a booster vaccine to our communities when guidance is released from the CDC and FDA. We expect to receive guidance in September of 2021, but until then, we will only be providing the booster shot to immunocompromised individuals.

Migraines- Stop Them Before They Start

At some point, you will likely deal with a headache that is painful, frustrating, and inconvenient. However, a standard headache is different from a migraine, which is a more severe issue. These periodic, temporary events can be debilitating and negatively affect your quality of life. Fortunately, with the help of a neurologist, you can take action to prevent issues.

What Is a Migraine?

Symptoms 

Migraines involve recurring headaches of varying intensity, usually with throbbing or pulsing pain in one area of the head. Unlike a normal headache, you may also experience unusual mood changes, intense food cravings, persistent yawning, and increased fluid retention up to 24 hours before the onset of a migraine. Occasionally, you have an “aura” phase before or during an episode, during which you see bright or flashing lights or feel sudden muscle weakness. During a migraine, you may be more sensitive to light and noise, and even feel nauseous. Afterward, your body may be sore or fatigued.

Causes

Anyone can develop migraines, including children. However, it is more common among women. Certain types of migraines are also genetic and can run in families. While these headaches can occur at any time, many are preceded by a trigger. Common triggers include stress, loud noises, and hormonal changes. Alternatively, you may get a migraine after consuming a specific type of food, taking medication, or overexerting yourself physically.

Treatment

While there is no cure for migraines, you can minimize and prevent episodes. For example, a neurologist can order diagnostic testing to uncover the migraine source, as well as prescribe medications that can help prevent migraines and treat symptoms when they occur. Recording potential triggers and avoiding them, as well as getting a full night of sleep can help prevent episodes. When episodes do happen, you may find relief by drinking fluids and resting in a cool, dark room.

The average headache does not require a doctor’s visit, but if you are experiencing frequent headaches and using medication for them on a regular basis, Coryell Health neurologist Dr. Lakshmi Mukundan, MD, can help diagnose the type of headache and recommend pain reliving treatment. Dedicated to your continued whole health, Coryell Health assists with other sources of chronic pain—including arthritis, orthopedic conditions, and diabetes. Visit our website to learn more about our services, and call (254) 865-2166 to schedule an appointment.