Westside Regional Medical Center
Founded in 1974, our facility provides comprehensive healthcare to the residents of Broward County.

Understanding the Basics of How Your Heart Works

If you’re like most people, you don’t think about your heart beating away in the background until something happens that causes you to need cardiac care. Understanding how your heart works can make you more alert to symptoms of heart problems, and can help you understand the treatments that are available to help you achieve better cardiac health. Here is a look at how your heart supplies your body with nutrient-rich blood to keep you healthy.

Hearts 101

Your heart is a muscle that works like a pump, delivering oxygenated blood to your body via a network of blood vessels. In total, your heart beats about 100,000 times per day when it is healthy. There are two sides of the heart, separated by the septum, and each side is further divided into two sections, for a total of four chambers. There is one valve connected to each chamber, and each valve connects to a blood vessel. The right side of the heart pumps deoxygenated blood to your lungs, and the oxygenated blood re-enters the heart on the left side to be pumped throughout the rest of the body.

Chambers and Valves

The two upper chambers of the heart are called the atria. Blood that has traveled through the body and been depleted of oxygen passes through the atria. The lower chambers are the ventricles, through which oxygenated blood leaves the heart. The valves, which work like doors that open and close to allow blood to flow through the chambers, are the tricuspid, pulmonary, mitral, and aortic valves.

Arteries and Veins

Your arteries and veins are the network of vessels that carry blood to and from the heart. Veins bring blood that has been deoxygenated back to the heart, while arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the body. Blockages in arteries caused by a build-up of plaque can lead to heart attacks and can cause you to need cardiovascular surgery.

Your heart is in good hands at Westside Regional Medical Center. Our cardiovascular program provides a range of cardiac care services in Plantation, FL, including diagnostics and cardiac rehabilitation. If you need help with your heart health, call (954) 722-9933 and request a physician referral.

Should You Consider Gallbladder Removal Surgery?

Gallbladder removal surgery is recommended for a number of issues, ranging from gallstones to cancer care. For most patients, the surgery is safe and effective with minimal risk, but it is not right for everyone. Whether the intense pain of gallstones sent you to the ER or your symptoms developed more slowly, your gastroenterologist will help you determine if gallbladder removal surgery can help you find relief. Here are some of the signs that this procedure could be right for you.

You Have Painful Gallstones

Some people who have gallstones don’t experience any symptoms. These cases are called silent gallstones. In other cases, gallstones can be very painful. During a gallstone attack, which often occurs after a fatty meal, patients may experience pain in the upper abdomen that is intense enough to require ER care. Other chronic gallstone symptoms include bloating, indigestion, nausea, low-grade fever, and clay-colored stools. Jaundice may also occur. Although over-the-counter medications can control the pain and bile salt tablets can help dissolve stones over a prolonged period, gallbladder removal surgery is the most reliable cure for painful gallstones.

You’ve Been Diagnosed with Gallbladder Cancer

Cancer that occurs in the gallbladder can cause abdominal pain, weight loss, fever, itchy skin, and jaundice. Surgery can be used as a standalone treatment or as part of a combination of therapies for cancer care. If the cancer has not spread beyond the gallbladder, removing it can potentially be curative. In other cases, gallbladder removal can help relieve the symptoms of gallbladder cancer and can be done in conjunction with other treatments.

You Haven’t Had Previous Gallbladder Surgeries

Sometimes, if you have had previous surgeries around your gallbladder, gallbladder removal can be more complicated. This is also true if you bleed a lot. Although you may still be eligible for gallbladder surgery, your surgeon may need to perform an open, rather than laparoscopic, procedure.

Westside Regional Medical Center is pleased to offer our patients the very latest advances in surgical technology, including robotic surgery near Plantation, FL, to make procedures and recoveries as fast and safe as possible. Get more information about our surgical services by calling (954) 722-9933.

How Is Colon Cancer Treated?

Colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer for men and women in the United States, but advances in care and aggressive screening protocols have made early diagnosis and better treatment outcomes possible. If you are diagnosed with this disease, there are several different treatments that can be incorporated into your cancer care plan. Typically, your physician will determine which treatments are right for you based on the stage of your cancer and your overall health. Here is a closer look at some of the treatments your physician may suggest.


Surgery is frequently recommended for patients with colon cancer, no matter +the stage of the disease. Depending on the size and location of the tumor, the surgeon may only remove the tumor itself or he or she may need to remove a larger portion of the colon. In some cases, the entire lower colon may be removed, and the patient may require a colostomy to remove waste. In very early stages of colon cancer, surgery may be curative. If the disease has progressed and metastasized outside of the colon, other treatments may be necessary.


Chemotherapy uses medications to kill cancer cells. It can be delivered intravenously or taken in pill form. Chemotherapy may be used if your colon cancer has spread to other parts of your body. Because the chemotherapy drugs cannot distinguish between cancer cells and healthy cells, treatment can carry side effects like nausea, vomiting, and hair loss. As part of your cancer care, your doctor will help you find ways to minimize the side effects when you are undergoing treatment.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy relies on X-ray and other radiation sources to target and kill cancer cells. If your physician suggests external radiation, you will receive radiation from an outside machine. For internal radiation, radioactive seeds, needles, or wires are placed inside the body next to cancer cells to target the malignancy directly.

For colon cancer patients, the cancer program near Plantation, FL at Westside Regional Medical Center works in conjunction with our colorectal surgery team to achieve the best treatment results. Find out more about our cancer care by calling (954) 722-9933.

A Closer Look at Thyroid Disease in Women

Thyroid disease is a common women’s health issue. It frequently affects women after pregnancy or menopause, but can strike at any age. Because the thyroid is responsible for regulating many systems in the body, it can cause a wide range of symptoms, from weight fluctuations to hair loss. Regular thyroid screenings are typically part of women’s health check-ups so that early diagnosis becomes possible. Here is what you need to know about the different types of thyroid disease that affect women.


Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. As a result, the metabolism slows, alongside other bodily systems. Hypothyroidism can cause weight gain, hair loss, fatigue, dry skin, and increased sensitivity to cold. Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland, is the most common cause, but hypothyroidism can also be triggered by radiation treatment for cancer care and thyroid removal. An oral thyroid replacement hormone is the usual treatment.


With hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland produces too much hormone, causing weight loss, rapid heart rate, excessive sweating, insomnia, and anxiety. Grave’s disease, another autoimmune condition, is responsible for most cases of hyperthyroidism. Medications, radioiodine treatment, and surgical removal of the thyroid can be used to treat hyperthyroidism. Sometimes, treatment for hyperthyroidism can cause hypothyroidism.

Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer occurs when malignant cells grow in the thyroid gland. Typically, the first sign of thyroid cancer is a nodule, though most nodules that appear on the thyroid are benign. You are more likely to develop thyroid cancer if you have a family history of the disease, have a goiter, or had radiation to the head or neck to treat cancer during childhood. Surgery and radioiodine therapy are the most common treatments and may cause permanent hypothyroidism.

At Westside Regional Medical Center, our services for women’s health near Plantation, FL include thyroid screenings and treatments. You can get a referral to a women’s health specialist or learn more about our hospital’s services, including our cancer program, by calling (954) 722-9933.

What Is Early Heart Attack Care?

Early heart attack care (EHAC) is a public awareness initiative. It was developed by a physician for the purpose of educating the public about the early warning signs of a heart attack and the necessity of getting immediate care at an ER. With better awareness about early heart attack care, the healthcare professionals at Westside Regional Medical Center hope to increase survival rates.

Recognizing the Early Signs of a Heart Attack

One of the driving principles behind the EHAC public awareness campaign is that the onset of symptoms among heart attack victims may develop well before the heart attack occurs. About half of heart attack patients first develop symptoms within the 24 hours preceding the cardiovascular event. Some patients have reported these symptoms two to three weeks prior to the heart attack. ER physicians strongly urge patients to seek a medical evaluation if they experience chest pain, shortness of breath, cold sweats, heartburn, or sudden lightheadedness. In addition to its hallmark symptom—chest pain—a heart attack may cause pain of the upper back and stomach, jaw, shoulders, and arms.

Understanding the Role of the Bystander

It isn’t unusual for a heart attack victim to disregard the early warning signs of a cardiovascular event. Patients may delay seeking emergency care because they assume that they have good overall health and that the symptoms do not indicate a serious problem. Some people avoid going to the ER because they feel short on time. This is why it’s crucial for bystanders to recognize the early warning signs and get emergency medical help for the patient. These individuals might be co-workers, exercise partners, spouses, children, or total strangers who take action to save a life.

Westside Regional Medical Center encourages members of our community to become informed of the early signs of a heart attack and to avoid delays in seeking emergency care. Heart attack patients who are rushed to our emergency room in Plantation, FL, promptly undergo diagnostic tests, and receive rapid medical and surgical interventions to increase survival rates. For non-emergency inquiries, contact our Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (954) 722-9933.

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