Browse Category: Wellness

robotics

PCRMC Begins Offering Robotic-Assisted Surgeries

 

This fall, surgeons at Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) began using da Vinci robotics to assist with certain surgeries. In November, Dana Voight, MD, general surgeon at PCRMC, successfully performed three surgeries using the da Vinci Si surgical system.

This system is a new tool at PCRMC that utilizes advanced robotic, computer and optical technologies to assist surgeons with their operations. The technology does not act on its own, and the robotic system’s movements are controlled by surgeons, said Shawn Hodges, administrative director of ancillary services at PCRMC.

“We’ve started with common surgeries, such as gallbladders and hernias,” said Dr. Voight, who was the first surgeon at PCRMC to use robotics in a surgery. However, other physicians and surgeons are starting to use the technology, too. By February or March of 2018, robotic-assisted surgeries are expected to be available in the following PCRMC service lines: general surgery, urology and obstetrics/gynecology.

“General surgery is experiencing a shift to advanced minimally invasive techniques utilizing robotic technology,” said Jennifer Bechtel, director of surgical services at PCRMC. “Robotic surgery is the current standard of care in performing surgical prostate cancer treatments, and much of the gynecological surgical platform and urological procedures are also being performed via robotics.”

PCRMC surgeons have been performing laparoscopic surgeries, which are minimally invasive, for many years. Laparoscopy involves using several small incisions (also known as ports) to perform a surgical procedure rather than making a large incision.

Robotic surgery is a laparoscopic procedure, only with an added layer of technology. “Robotics augments what we already do,” Dr. Voight said.

One of the features of the da Vinci Si surgical system is its high-definition 3D vision capability. This allows the surgeon access to special instruments and computer software to operate with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control.

According to information from Intuitive Surgical, maker of the da Vinci robotics system, “the 3D-HD image is highly magnified, so your surgeon has a close-up view of the area he or she is operating on.”

Unlike laparoscopic surgeries, the da Vinci instruments have mechanical wrists that bend and rotate to mimic the movements of the human wrist. This lets surgeons make small, precise movements inside patients’ bodies.

“It’s like having an articulating wrist inside that can rotate 360 degrees,” Dr. Voight said.

The robotic system includes a patient cart that has the robot with arms. The physician can control the robot’s arms from a separate surgeon’s console.

Studies of the da Vinci surgical system have shown many benefits compared to open surgery. Some of these include a shorter hospital stay, fewer complications, less blood loss and less need for narcotic pain medicine after the operation.

“There’s potential for less pain and for a faster recovery time,” Dr. Voight said.

Currently, there are robotic programs available at hospitals and medical centers in Springfield, St. Louis, Jefferson City and Columbia. While many of the surgeries that can be performed with the help of robotics already occur at PCRMC, there may be some, such as gynecological procedures, that patients will not have to travel far for anymore.

Robotic surgeries are not for everybody. Patients should talk to their physician to decide if da Vinci surgery is right for them. Only a physician can determine whether an operation using da Vinci robotics is appropriate for a patient’s situation.

diabetes

PCRMC Is Celebrating National Diabetes Awareness Month This November

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) is joining the American Diabetes Association, International Diabetes Foundation and World Health Organization to raise awareness of diabetes, especially in women.

Diabetes is a disease in which the body, specifically the pancreas, does not produce insulin (type 1 diabetes) or does not properly utilize insulin (type 2 diabetes). Insulin is a vital hormone that regulates blood sugar, which fuels the body for life-sustaining processes.

Symptoms of diabetes can include frequent urination, blurry vision, extreme hunger, excessive thirst, increased fatigue, irritability, unexplained weight loss as well as infections and slow healing of cuts or sores.

While the cause of diabetes is unknown, people may be more at risk for diabetes if they are age 45 or older, are overweight or have a family history of the disease. In 2015, 84 million Americans age 18 and older were diagnosed with pre-diabetes, and currently 1.5 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed each year. By 2050, about 1 in every 3 people will develop diabetes.

This disease can lead to devastating long-term complications including blindness, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, amputations and even death. Diabetes remains the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. as of 2015 and the primary cause of death for 79,535 Americans each year.

According to the American Diabetes Association, about 1.4 million Americans age 20 and older are newly diagnosed with diabetes each year. However, this condition is not only seen in adults. In fact, approximately 208,000 people younger than age 20 have diabetes.

World Diabetes Day is celebrated on November 14 of each year, and the theme for 2017 is “Women and Diabetes – Our Right to a Healthy Future.” This year’s campaign is meant to promote the importance of affordable and fair access for all women at risk for or living with diabetes to essential diabetes medicines, technologies, self-management education and information.

According to the International Diabetes Foundation, there are currently over 199 million women living with diabetes around the world. This total is projected to increase to 313 million by 2040

Diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women globally, causing 2.1 million deaths each year. Additionally, approximately one in seven births is affected by gestational diabetes.

Diabetes can cause several health problems in women. For instance, women with type 1 diabetes have an increased risk of having an early miscarriage or having a baby with malformations. The International Diabetes Foundation also states that women with type 2 diabetes are almost 10 times more likely to have coronary heart disease than women without the condition.

PCRMC provides many resources and educational opportunities for people diagnosed with diabetes along with their families and caregivers.

The Diabetes Outpatient Clinic at PCRMC, which is fully accredited by the American Diabetes Association, has the tools people need to manage their diabetes and enjoy life. Patients must be referred to the clinic by their primary care provider. Diabetes self-management education/training helps patients to improve glycemic control, which could reduce the risk for diabetes complications, hospitalizations and healthcare costs.

The Diabetes Outpatient Clinic is located at the PCRMC North Entrance, 1000 West 10th St., Rolla. There also are outpatient clinics Tuesday evenings only at Forest City Family Practice, 1000 North Jefferson St., in St. James and Thursdays only at the Waynesville Medical Plaza, 1000 GW Lane St., in Waynesville.

In addition, PCRMC offers a free diabetes support group on the first Saturday of each month (except for January and July) from 10 a.m. to noon in Private Dining Room 2 near the cafeteria at PCRMC in Rolla. For more information about diabetes self-management education/training and the monthly support group, call 573-458-7697 or visit pcrmc.com.

IMG_7792

Rolla Mayor Proclaims November 5-11 as National Radiologic Technology Week

National Radiologic Technology Week, which is being celebrated November 5-11 this year, is an ideal time to learn more about medical imaging and radiation therapy as well as the profession of radiologic technologists.

Medical imaging encompasses X-rays, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasounds, nuclear medicine, mammography and bone density scans. Radiologic technologists are medical personnel who perform diagnostic imaging examinations and administer radiation therapy treatments.

When you are scheduled for a medical imaging examination or radiation therapy treatment, the person who performs your exam or delivers your treatment is called a radiologic technologist. These individuals are educated in anatomy, patient positioning, examination techniques, equipment protocols, radiation safety, radiation protection and patient care.

There are 332,755 registered radiologic technologists across the country, including about 7,000 in Missouri, according to a 2016 census by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. They perform approximately 159.7 million X-ray procedures annually, 78.7 million CT procedures and 37.8 million MRI procedures. Additionally, there are about 1.2 million radiation therapy treatments initiated.

On Friday, November 3, Rolla Mayor Louis Magdits IV signed a proclamation marking November 5-11, 2017, as Radiologic Technology Week in the City of Rolla.

The proclamation reads, in part, “Qualified practitioners who specialize in the use of medical radiation and imaging technology to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of disease share a commitment to bring the people of the community a safer, more compassionate environment now and in the future.”

Several Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) Medical Imaging staff attended the proclamation signing and reading at Rolla City Hall.

Rolla Mayor Lou Magdits, right, is shown with CT Technologist Nancy Moore, RT(R)(CT)(MR), left. Also pictured are Brandi Grindel, instructor; Kylie Moon and Thomas Coggins, both student technologists; Donna Wilson, assistant director of medical imaging-radiology, RT(R), RDMS, BA; Shawn Hodges, administrative director of ancillary services; Dennis Enloe, director of medical imaging-radiology, RT(R)(N), CNMT, CRA; Kristy Upshaw, CT Technologist, BSRT(R)(CT); and Mechelle Grumney, secretary/student technologist, RT(R), BA.

Waynesville Medical Plaza

PCRMC Waynesville Medical Plaza Immediate Care Opens November 1

Getting sick or injured does not always happen at convenient times. So when your primary care physician is unavailable and a trip to the emergency room seems unnecessary, Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) has a new option for patients and families living in Fort Leonard Wood, St. Robert, Waynesville and surrounding communities.

Immediate Care is a new service at the PCRMC Waynesville Medical Plaza that will be available starting Wednesday, November 1, 2017. This walk-in clinic will be open seven days a week, and no appointments are necessary.

Clinic hours will be Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The clinic will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. On these holidays, the Emergency Department at PCRMC will still be open.

Immediate Care will be conveniently located in Suite 150 on the first floor of the Waynesville Medical Plaza near the North Entrance.

If you suffer from a sinus infection or allergies, sprain your ankle or get a minor burn, PCRMC Waynesville Medical Plaza Immediate Care is the right place to receive care.

However, if you experience severe chest pain or signs of a stroke or feel you have a life-threatening emergency, call 911 or visit your nearest emergency department. Do not delay seeking treatment for serious conditions.

With Immediate Care, PCRMC’s caring, compassionate team will be able to help both adults and children treat a variety of medical issues, including allergies, coughing, sinus infections, sore throat or strep throat, upper-respiratory infections, ear infections, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, headaches, urinary tract or bladder infections and minor injuries, including sprains and strains, minor cuts and wounds, minor burns, bug bites and stings, splinter removal and more.

Limited laboratory and medical imaging services designed for acute care will be available at Immediate Care. Additionally, Department of Transportation (DOT) physicals and certain vaccinations and immunizations will be offered, too. The clinic also will have telemedicine capabilities.

Jeffery Kerr, DO, CMD, who serves as the medical director of the PCRMC Emergency Department, along with Family Nurse Practitioners Amy Jones, Lisa Smith and Sammy Radcliff make up PCRMC’s Immediate Care providers. With this team approach, patients will receive high-quality care.

PCRMC Waynesville Medical Plaza Immediate Care will accept patients with TRICARE, Medicare and Medicaid and many insurance providers. For patients with no insurance, PCRMC has care managers and insurance counselors along with other patient financial resources available.

Immediate Care offers many benefits. “Patients can come to us because we are convenient, available after work, after school and on the weekends. They don’t have to drive far,” Dr. Kerr says. In addition, copays at Immediate Care clinics are often less expensive than an Emergency Department visit, according to Dr. Kerr.

Patients who seek treatment at Immediate Care will be able to receive assistance with being connected to PCRMC’s primary care and specialist physicians, getting follow-up appointments, medications refilled or dental appointments or helping patients find pharmacies.

To learn more about Immediate Care, the public is invited to an open house on Thursday, November 9, 2017. This drop-in event will take place from 4-7 p.m. at the Waynesville Medical Plaza Community Room on the lower level. The Waynesville Medical Plaza is located at 1000 GW Lane St. in Waynesville. There will be information about Immediate Care services, and attendees can meet the providers as well as enjoy light refreshments and free giveaways.

For more information, call PCRMC Waynesville Medical Plaza Immediate Care at 573-842-4116.

Waynesville Sleep Center

Accredited PCRMC Sleep Center Can Help With Sleep Disorders

Do you often experience fatigue or excessive daytime sleepiness? Does your partner notice you snoring a lot? Do you wake up with headaches or dry mouth in the mornings? These could be signs that you may have a sleep disorder.

Fortunately, the Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) Sleep Center, with two convenient locations — in Rolla and Waynesville — can provide diagnostic and therapeutic treatments for patients with a full range of sleep-related problems. Both locations are accredited with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. In addition, PCRMC offers home sleep testing.

Some of the more common sleep disorders seen in patients at PCRMC’s Sleep Center include obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, narcolepsy and periodic limb movements. Poor quality sleep can often lead to accidents, injuries and other health issues, such as impaired cognition and many chronic diseases.

If you think you might have one or more of these problems, the first step is to contact your primary care physician. Your doctor will use screening tools, such as the Epworth Sleepiness Scale or the STOP-Bang questionnaire, to help assess your condition. These evaluations include questions about your likeliness of dozing off during various activities, not just feeling tired.

In certain cases, assessments of your heart and lung functions may be necessary. Depending on the results of these tests, your physician may refer you to the PCRMC Sleep Center.

PCRMC uses the most advanced technology to assess patients with sleep issues. At PCRMC’s Sleep Center, staff can conduct diagnostic polysomnography studies, electroencephalographs (EEGs) that measure the electrical activity of your brain, and CPAP/BiPAP (continuous positive airway pressure/bi-level positive airway pressure) fitting and titration.

PCRMC’s Sleep Center staff is comprised of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists and Registered Respiratory Therapists–Sleep Disorder Specialists, who are all credentialed. The Sleep Center partners with board-certified sleep specialist Dr. Terrence Coulter and Melanie Chisam, PA, who see patients twice a month at the PCRMC Medical Office Building.

“We are fortunate to have this clinical expertise and a board-certified specialist who provide high-quality care,” says Cheryl Hoerr, director of respiratory and sleep services at PCRMC.

The Sleep Center has four beds in Rolla and two in Waynesville, and sleep studies are conducted Mondays through Fridays, according to Amy Yates, lead technologist with the PCRMC Sleep Center. While most sleep studies occur at night, PCRMC offers daytime tests for those who work nights.

During sleep studies, patients can expect their breathing, heart rate, oxygen levels, brain waves and leg movements to be monitored. PCRMC’s Sleep Center offers a variety of nasal or full-face masks, and staff can help patients find the right one to wear.

The Sleep Center rooms are clean, comfortable and private. They include amenities such as televisions, large walk-in showers, queen-sized adjustable beds with memory foam mattresses and free access to high-speed Wi-Fi.

PCRMC’s Sleep Center is located near the East Entrance of the hospital in Rolla as well as lower level of the Waynesville Medical Plaza.

Sleep studies are provided by physician referral only, so talk to your primary care doctor if you feel you experience sleep apnea or other sleep disorders. For more information about the PCRMC Sleep Center, call 573-458-7650.