Westside Regional Medical Center
954.473.6600
Founded in 1974, our facility provides comprehensive healthcare to the residents of Broward County.

The Dos and Don'ts for Managing Back Pain

Back pain can interfere with every part of your life. While you are working with your orthopedic specialist to diagnose the cause of your pain and find a treatment solution that works in the long term, you will need to manage your symptoms as carefully as possible to improve your quality of life. Try these strategies for getting your back pain under control.

Do Keep Exercising

When your back hurts, it may seem counterintuitive that you should keep moving. However, resting your back too much will only increase the soreness and stiffness. Except for certain injuries that require immobilization, exercising can actually help reduce your back pain symptoms. Before you begin any activity, talk to your orthopedic doctor to find out which exercises are safe for you and won’t put you at risk of injury.

Don’t Mix Pain Medications

It can be tempting to take pain medications to ease your back pain, and while some medications can be helpful, taking too much puts you at risk for overdose and rebound pain. If you take over-the-counter pain medicines, track your dosage carefully and follow the package instructions. When you seek orthopedic care, tell your doctor what medicines you are currently taking, and don’t combine over-the-counter medicines with any pain treatments prescribed by your doctor unless instructed to do so.

Do See a Doctor

Back pain can become chronic and compromise your quality of life, but help is available. Don’t delay seeing a doctor for your pain, and don’t get discouraged if you don’t find the right treatment right away. There are a number of ways your doctor can resolve your pain, including with rehabilitation therapy and surgery.

At Westside Regional Medical Center, our Orthopedic and Spine Institute provides solutions for a large number of disorders that cause back pain and can help you reclaim your mobility. For a referral to a specialist, please call us at (954) 722-9933.


Healthy Habits for the Aging Brain

There is no denying the fact that aging has an impact on the brain, but that doesn’t mean that you are destined to live with dementia or need stroke care. There are several steps you can take to protect your brain health and stay mentally spry throughout the years. Take these steps to keep your brain as healthy as possible.

Reduce Your Chronic Disease Risk Factors

Several chronic conditions can have an impact on your brain, including diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Reduce your chances of developing these conditions by maintaining good overall health, including eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. If you already have a chronic condition, follow your doctor’s treatment plan closely. Several diseases can increase your risk of stroke, for instance, so keeping your chronic condition under control can reduce the chances you’ll need stroke care or suffer irreversible brain damage.

Stay Mentally Active

Like your muscles, your brain can become weak if it doesn’t get regular exercise. Be sure to give your brain a workout every day. Simply engaging in conversations with family and friends can keep your brain in good condition, as can reading a newspaper or your favorite book. Consider intellectually challenging activities, like crossword puzzles, math puzzles, and trivia games to make sure your brain gets plenty of activity.

Don’t Smoke

Smoking is dangerous for your overall health in a number of ways, including the health of your brain. Smoking impairs your blood vessels and increases the risk of stroke and can cause changes to the cortex that can exacerbate age-related brain changes. If quitting is difficult, your doctor has strategies that can help.

At Westside Regional Medical Center— from our ER to our Neuroscience Institute—we’re invested in your brain health through all stages of life. Whether you need neurosurgery or stroke care in Plantation, FL, choose us for the treatments you need. You can learn more about all of our hospital services by calling (954) 722-9933.


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

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

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.


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