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    The Patient's Guide to Gallstones

    Last updated 5 days ago

    The gallbladder is an organ that assists in the digestive process. Though a small structure, the gallbladder can cause major health problems when afflicted with gallstones. Westside Regional Medical Center provides gallstone treatment for individuals in the greater Plantation, FL region.

    What are the warning signs of gallstones?

    Gallstones often prevent the flow of bile from the gallbladder, and as a result, it can cause substantial pain. Because of the gallbladder’s role in digestion, the presence of gallstones can also lead to gastric distress. Some people may feel sick to their stomachs or even suffer from vomiting when they have gallstones. This condition can also result in abnormal bowel movements that take on a light tan or gray color.

    Why do gallstones form?

    Gallstones are normally made from bilirubin or cholesterol in the gallbladder. Many times, stones are too small for sufferers to even detect. When present in high amounts, though, these substances can form large, hard stones that obstruct normal gallbladder function.

    How can doctors treat gallstones?

    When gallstones produce pain, doctors can address them with several treatment options. The type of gallstone treatment typically depends on the severity of the condition. Under some circumstances, a physician might recommend oral medication. This strategy can effectively break down the gallstones, though it might be an extended period of time before the gallbladder is completely free of them. However, medication can be useful if gallstones are found before they cause significant discomfort and other unwanted side effects. When gallstones produce acute pain, though, more aggressive measures might be necessary. The surgical removal of the gallbladder, which is not vital to survival, may be an option. Advanced surgical techniques can take out this organ without necessitating a lengthy recovery period. The use of shock waves to break down the stones may also be considered for some patients.

    If you have been diagnosed with gallstones, talk to the healthcare professionals at Westside Regional Medical Center. Call our Plantation, FL hospital at (954) 302-7112 to find out about our gallbladder treatment services. We offer gallbladder care for individuals with gallbladder cancer, biliary pain, duct stones, and gallbladder stones.

    Screening Tests for Colorectal Cancer

    Last updated 9 days ago

    Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers among men and women alike. More than 100,000 Americans are diagnosed with this disease each year, but screening tests can lead to earlier diagnoses and better cancer care outcomes. Westside Regional Medical Center offers screening options for individuals at our Plantation, FL hospital.

    Stool Evaluation

    When patients want a noninvasive testing option for colorectal cancer, doctors might recommend a stool test. Healthcare providers can use several different stool tests to look for cancer warning signs, such as blood or DNA mutation. Depending on the specific stool test administered, patients may need to make minimal dietary changes in the days leading to their screenings, but otherwise they can carry on with their normal activities. These tests can be completed in the privacy of a person’s home, and when ready for evaluation, they are either brought back to the doctor’s office or mailed to the laboratory.

    Virtual Colonoscopy

    A minimally invasive alternative to stool tests is a virtual colonoscopy. Unlike stool evaluation, a virtual colonoscopy can provide images of the colon so that doctors can look for unusual growths in it. Colorectal cancer often begins as polyps that develop on the walls of the colon. Though they may initially be benign, polyps left in the colon can eventually turn cancerous. A virtual colonoscopy that uses CT imagery can reveal the presence of these polyps.


    To address colorectal cancer before it starts, doctors typically advise patients to undergo a traditional colonoscopy. Like a virtual colonoscopy, a traditional colonoscopy can show physicians if polyps are present in the colon. However, it is not computed tomography that reveals these polyps. Rather, it is a small, lighted camera that doctors introduce into the colon during the procedure. What makes a traditional colonoscopy particularly effective is that a physician can immediately remove polyps if they are found. With the removal of these growths, the risk of future colorectal cancer diminishes greatly.

    Are you considering a colorectal cancer screening? Then call Westside Regional Medical Center at (954) 302-7112. We can help you determine the screening test that best fits your health needs.

    Risk Factors for Coronary Artery Disease

    Last updated 11 days ago

    Coronary artery disease occurs when the arteries that supply the heart with oxygen-rich blood suffer from the accumulation of fat, calcium, and cholesterol. A potentially life-threatening condition, coronary artery disease often presents few warning signs, making risk factor management key to its prevention. Westside Regional Medical Center offers preventive cardiovascular care services for individuals who might be at risk for this problem.

    Tobacco Usage

    Smoking is a habit that can cause extensive cardiovascular issues. Research shows that even moderate tobacco usage leads to coronary artery damage. While poor diet and inadequate exercise often contribute to the collection of fatty substances on the arterial walls, so too can a smoking habit. It is this buildup of plaque that can hinder healthy blood flow to the heart and even cause the obstruction of it. Studies also indicate that tobacco usage can cause hypertension, another risk factor for coronary artery disease.


    Hypertension is a common yet easily overlooked risk factor for coronary artery disease. High blood pressure can result from tobacco usage, high sodium intake, and even chronic stress. When it develops, the forces on the coronary arteries can eventually lead to their deterioration, making them prone to rupture and the accumulation of plaque. Because high blood pressure tends to show no warning signs, undergoing regular health examinations is essential to detecting this problem early and addressing it before it causes permanent heart damage.

    High Low-Density Lipoprotein

    Even in the absence of a smoking habit or hypertension, having too much low-density lipoprotein in the bloodstream can be enough to cause coronary artery disease. This risk factor tends to develop due to unhealthy eating behaviors. Foods high in cholesterol and fat can spike LDL levels in the blood and cause the collection of it on the arterial walls. Too little exercise can also contribute to this problem, as physical activity helps to flush low-density lipoprotein from the bloodstream.

    Are you at risk for coronary artery disease? Find out your cholesterol and blood pressure numbers with a health checkup at Westside Regional Medical Center. Call (954) 302-7112 to get a doctor referral from one of our Plantation, FL Consult-A-Nurse representatives. 

    Potential Complications of Diabetes

    Last updated 16 days ago

    Proper diabetes management is integral to overall health, as excessively high blood glucose levels can do more than cause hyperglycemia. When poor blood glucose regulation persists over time, it can lead to a host of systemic and life-threatening conditions. Westside Regional Medical Center encourages local diabetic residents to take advantage of our Plantation, FL healthcare services, which can help them learn how to control this metabolic disease.

    Kidney Failure

    One reason why doctors stress blood glucose management is because of the widespread cardiovascular problems that can result from overly high blood sugar levels. When blood glucose builds up in the bloodstream, it can cause inflammation of the blood vessels. In many cases, it is the smaller blood vessels that are first to succumb to this condition. That is why the eyes, which contain minute vessels, typically suffer many diabetes-related problems. However, high blood glucose levels commonly affect the kidneys as well. These organs also contain small blood vessels, making them vulnerable to damage and organ failure.

    Limb Amputation

    If the blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the limbs shut down, the cells that rely on them for nourishment can die. When diabetes goes unchecked, it can also damage the nervous system and disrupt the body’s ability to send pain signals. This particular side effect can make it difficult to detect skin sores and lacerations. Together, these complications can cause the tissues of the arms and legs to decay, which may then demand amputation.


    The longer that poorly managed diabetes continues, the more likely it is that it can cause damage to larger arteries that supply blood to the brain. Inflammation of these arteries can make them more susceptible to both breakage and plaque buildup. Should an artery in the brain leak blood, it can cause a hemorrhagic bleed. If an artery becomes overwhelmed by the presence of fat and cholesterol, it may eventually experience a total obstruction of blood flow, which can produce an ischemic attack. Both of these conditions can lead to a stroke and may be deadly without immediate treatment.

    Do you need help managing your diabetes? Westside Regional Medical Center can guide you toward the resources you need to keep your blood glucose levels under control. For more information on our diabetes care options, call (954) 302-7112.

    Are You At Risk for a Stroke?

    Last updated 16 days ago

    Strokes impact people of various ages and ethnicities. As this video points out, though, some demographics are at particular risk for this condition.

    Data indicates that more than half of all stroke victims are women. Though they comprise a large percentage of sufferers, women are typically less informed about the symptoms that denote stroke. Research also shows that African Americans experience stroke at a rate twice that of Caucasians. When stroke does not result in death, it still leaves many African American sufferers with disabilities. The Hispanic community too is greatly affected by heart disease and stroke. These conditions impact approximately 25 percent of Hispanic men and 30 percent of Hispanic women.

    What is your stroke risk? Call Westside Regional Medical Center at (954) 302-7112 to learn more about our stroke care services for Plantation, FL residents.


Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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