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

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.

A Look at the Recovery Timeline Following Stroke

Stroke is a life-threatening condition and a leading cause of disability. Patients who suffer a stroke should be rushed to a Comprehensive Stroke Center right away for emergency care. After a patient receives acute stroke care and has been stabilized, he or she will begin a stroke rehabilitation program at Westside Regional Medical Center. Post-stroke rehabilitation can help patients regain some measure of function and independence.

Immediately After the Stroke

Patients who recognize the warning signs of stroke and seek emergency medical care have a better chance of surviving. They may also have a reduced risk of serious, long-term disability. After an individual is diagnosed with stroke, the stroke care team may administer an injection of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (TPA). This can restore blood flow to the brain. If patients are not good candidates for TPA, the healthcare team can use other interventions to stabilize them.

During the Hospital Stay

Patients who have been successfully stabilized after suffering a stroke will typically begin a rehabilitation program while still in the hospital. Each patient’s rehabilitation program is customized to meet his or her unique needs. After a healthcare provider assesses the patient’s impairments, the patient will begin to work with an interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation specialists, such as a speech therapist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, and neurologist.

After Discharge from the Hospital

Some patients may be able to return home after being discharged, while others might be transferred to a long-term care facility. After being discharged, patients typically continue to work with the rehabilitation therapists to restore their functional abilities. Patients may focus on reacquiring everyday skills, such as feeding and dressing themselves, walking, and talking. Patients may also need to make lifestyle changes and take medications to reduce their risk of suffering another stroke.

Westside Regional Medical Center is a certified Comprehensive Stroke Center in Plantation, FL. Our stroke care specialists provide acute care for patients who arrive at our emergency room, along with a comprehensive stroke rehabilitation program to improve outcomes. If you think you could be experiencing a stroke, please call 911 immediately; otherwise, you can direct general questions about stroke care to a registered nurse at (954) 722-9933.

4 Common Signs of Sleep Disorders

A good night’s sleep can greatly contribute to daytime productivity and overall quality of life. Unfortunately, millions of Americans suffer from sleep-related problems. Sleep deprivation is often dismissed as being a trivial concern; but in fact, it can lead to serious health consequences. Just as a patient with a heart condition should seek cardiac care, so too should a person with a sleep disorder get the help he or she needs to overcome sleep-related challenges.


Occasional snoring isn’t generally a cause for concern. However, frequently snoring loudly enough to wake others up may be an indicator of sleep apnea. Other possible symptoms of sleep apnea could include headache in the morning, excessive daytime sleepiness, and attention problems. Sometimes, a partner of a person with sleep apnea may witness periodic breathing cessation and abrupt awakenings.

Daytime Sleepiness

Excessive daytime sleepiness may be caused by an insufficient amount of sleep or poor sleep quality. It may also be caused by irregular sleep schedules, such as those caused by shift work or night classes. Without treatment, daytime sleepiness can lead to complications such as poor productivity at work or even motor vehicle accidents caused by falling asleep at the wheel.

Nighttime Wakefulness

Many patients seek help at a sleep disorders center because they find themselves tossing and turning at night, unable to get to sleep. Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that may also involve frequent awakenings during the night. Some people experience a combination of these two problems.

Sleep-Disruptive Behavior

Sleep-disruptive behaviors are another possible indicator of a sleep disorder. These are known as parasomnias and while they are more common in children, they may also affect some adults. An example of a sleep-disruptive behavior is sleepwalking. Individuals who notice that they have unexplained bruises or that they wake up in unusual places may suffer from sleepwalking.

The highly trained healthcare providers at the Sleep Disorders Center of Westside Regional Medical Center are dedicated to helping patients throughout Broward County overcome their sleep disorders. At our community hospital, you’ll also find comprehensive stroke care, emergency care, rehabilitation therapy, and pediatric care near Plantation, FL. To request a referral to a healthcare specialist, contact our Consult-A-Nurse line at (954) 722-9933.

What Are the Benefits of Custom Knee Replacement?

If you’ve been evaluated by an orthopedic specialist at Westside Regional Medical Center and you were informed that you could benefit from knee replacement surgery, you now have more options available to you than ever before. You may be a good candidate for custom knee replacement, which involves the use of sophisticated pre-operative planning tools and MRI imaging to develop surgical guides that are customized to the patient’s anatomy. This exciting new technology offers numerous benefits for patients anticipating having a new knee implanted.

Reduced Surgical Trauma

The artificial knee has several primary components. It is comprised of the tibial component, which is placed on top of the shin bone. A spacer separates the tibial component from the femoral component, which is placed at the end of the thigh bone. Traditional and custom knee implants both have these main components. However, with a custom knee replacement, the custom-designed anatomic guides allow the orthopedic surgeon to remove only the necessary amount of bone from the natural joint to place the implant. This may mean that the surgeon will have to remove less bone overall than he or she otherwise would, resulting in reduced surgical trauma for the patient.

Precise Joint Alignment

Another significant benefit of custom knee replacement is the impressive degree of precision. With traditional knee replacement, there may be up to five millimeters of variability regarding the alignment and fit of the knee implant. With custom knee replacement, the surgeon can reduce that variability down to just a few tenths of a millimeter.

Improved Function

It is believed that because custom knee replacement offers greater precision than the traditional approach, patients may experience improved joint function. They may have greater range of motion and they might recover faster. Additionally, it is hoped that the precision fit translates to less wear and tear damage on the artificial joint, which may increase its longevity.

Westside Regional Medical Center is pleased to provide custom knee replacement as part of our comprehensive program for orthopedic care serving Plantation, FL. To request a referral for an orthopedic specialist at our hospital, please call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (954) 473-6600. Or, visit our website to read more about the specialized services available at our Orthopedic & Spine Institute.

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