Aventura Hospital
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Aventura Hospital and Medical Center provides healthcare services responsive to the needs of our patients, in partnership with our physicians, employees, volunteers and community.

Taking a Look at the Vascular Ultrasound Procedure

Vascular ultrasound is performed to diagnose blockages that are interfering with blood flow. Without proper diagnosis and treatment, these clots can lead to stroke or heart attacks and the need for emergency care. This diagnostic imaging procedure is painless and does not require radiation. If you are scheduled for one of these screening tests, here is what you need to know.

Why the Test Is Performed

Vascular ultrasounds are a common part of heart and vascular care. Your doctor may recommend this procedure if you have symptoms of a blood clot, such as unexplained swelling, tenderness, or shortness of breath. It may also be ordered because of the results of other heart and vascular studies. If you are scheduled for certain heart procedures, such as an angioplasty, or if you recently had bypass surgery, a vascular ultrasound may be ordered to either determine if you are a good candidate for treatment or to see if your procedure was successful.

How to Prepare

Very little preparation is required for a vascular ultrasound. In some cases, your provider may ask you to fast before the test. You should wear comfortable clothing to the imaging center and avoid wearing jewelry. Depending on the area being screened, you may be asked to change into a hospital gown. Vascular ultrasounds are painless, so there is no need for pre-procedure medications or anesthesia.

What to Expect

During a vascular ultrasound, gel will be applied to the area being tested, and a transducer will be run over the skin. The transducer transmits information to a computer that creates an image based on sound waves. The resulting imaging shows your physician where a block may be located.

Aventura Hospital and Medical Center offers vascular ultrasound as part of our heart and vascular services. If you need diagnostic imaging in Miami, emergency care, or a referral to a heart and vascular specialist, please call us today at (305) 682-7000.


Early Alzheimer's Warning Signs

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive condition for which there is no cure. However, an increasing number of treatments are available that slow the progress of the disease for some patients, allowing them to stay healthy for longer. Because these treatments are often most effective in the early stages of the disease, knowing the signs of Alzheimer’s is more important than ever. If you or someone you love experiences any of these symptoms, consider seeing your doctor, or in the case of severe symptoms, seek emergency care.

Memory Loss

Memory loss is the most familiar symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. Sometimes forgetting someone’s name or missing an appointment does not necessarily indicate Alzheimer’s disease. In people with Alzheimer’s, memory loss is severe enough to interfere with daily life on a regular basis. Loss of short-term memory is especially common in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Someone with the condition may have to ask to be reminded of new information or may need to rely on notes or other memory aids to get through the day.

Time and Place Confusion

In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, it common for sufferers to struggle to distinguish between seasons, remember important dates, or remember where they are. They have difficulty making future plans or understanding when something is not happening immediately. This is different than forgetting what day of the week it is and then figuring it out, which is something that happens to most people occasionally.

Change in Judgment

People with Alzheimer’s disease may begin to behave differently. For instance, someone who was always frugal may develop financial problems caused by overspending, or someone who has always been fastidious about his or her appearance may suddenly develop poor hygiene habits. Persistent changes in judgment or behavior, rather than isolated out-of-character instances, may be indicative of a problem.

If you are concerned about memory changes in yourself or someone you love, Aventura Hospital and Medical Center is here to help with the diagnostic imaging and neurological services necessary to diagnose and manage dementias like Alzheimer’s. Call (305) 682-7000 to request a referral to one of our emergency care physicians and ask about our services, including heart care, stroke care, and emergency care in Miami.


How Does Obesity Impact Your Health?

Obesity is at the root of many health problems, from chronic high blood pressure to symptoms that require emergency care. Losing just 10 percent of your body weight can have a dramatic impact on your health and help to control or cure a number of weight-related medical conditions. Here is a closer look at some of the ways obesity can influence your health.

Heart Disease

Obesity increases the risk of heart disease in a number of ways. Being obese significantly increases your risk of having high blood pressure and high LDL cholesterol levels, both of which can cause blood clots and clogs in blood vessels that can lead to heart attacks. It also increases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, which is another risk factor for heart disease. If you require heart care, an important part of your treatment may be losing weight to reduce these risk factors.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear on the joints. Aging is a major risk factor for this kind of arthritis, but obesity can cause it to develop at a younger age. The pressure put on joints by excess weight can cause them to wear down faster, leading to pain and eventually immobility. In some cases, obesity can lead to the need for orthopedics and spine procedures to repair damaged joints. Weight loss can alleviate this joint pressure and reduce the associated symptoms.

Mental Illness

Mental illness, including depression or anxiety, frequently accompanies obesity. Physical health problems and low quality of life caused by physical limitations associated with obesity are both factors in the emotional impacts of obesity. In some cases, mental illness can exacerbate obesity by triggering overeating. Some medications for mental illness are also linked to weight gain.

Taking control of your weight is possible with the help of the professionals at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center. With physicians specializing in behavioral health, bariatrics, emergency care, heart and vascular care, and orthopedics in Miami, we help patients manage all aspects of obesity and weight-related medical conditions. Learn more about how we can help you by calling (888) 256-7692.


Understanding the Different Types of Breast Cancer

Whether you are undergoing minor robotic surgery, recovering from a stroke, or receiving complex heart care, understanding your condition empowers you as a patient and helps you become an active member of your care team. The same holds true for breast cancer. There are different types of the disease with different symptoms and treatment requirements, so talking to your women’s services specialist about your specific variation of the disease will help you feel more in control. Here is a closer look at some of the most common types of the disease.

Ductal Carcinoma In Situ

Ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, is a non-invasive form of breast cancer that occurs in the cells that line the ducts in the breasts. These cancer cells have not spread beyond this location because they have not invaded the tissue outside of the ducts. In some instances, DCIS is referred to as pre-cancer because of its non-invasive status. However, DCIS can and does become invasive in some women. For this reason, DCIS is treated as cancer. When diagnosed at this stage, most women can be cured through appropriate treatment.

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma and Lobular Carcinoma

Invasive ductal carcinoma is the most common form of breast cancer. It occurs when the cancer cells in a milk duct push through the duct wall and infect surrounding tissue. This type of cancer can also spread through to tissue outside of the breast through the blood or lymphatic system. Invasive lobular carcinoma occurs in the milk-producing glands and can also spread throughout the body.

Less Common Breast Cancers

Less common but still serious forms of breast cancer include inflammatory breast cancer, Paget disease of the nipple, angiosarcoma, and phyllodes tumors. Of these, inflammatory breast cancer and Paget disease of the nipple are most common. Inflammatory breast cancer occurs when cancer cells block lymph vessels in the breast and cause inflammation. Paget disease of the nipple is marked by scaly and irritated skin around the nipple and is often associated with DCIS.

Aventura Hospital and Medical Center is a world-class breast cancer center in Miami that offers comprehensive women’s health services and heart care services. Learn more or request a referral to a breast cancer specialist by calling (305) 682-7000.


What to Expect When You Arrive at the ER

Emergency care physicians are highly trained professionals who can quickly evaluate patients and initiate life-saving protocols when necessary. Some patients arrive at the Emergency Department of Aventura Hospital and Medical Center with life-threatening medical problems such as stroke or heart attack while others may need emergency care for infections, broken bones, and other generally non-life-threatening conditions. Because of the diverse range of medical needs among ER patients, the emergency care team does not see patients on a “first come, first serve” basis. Rather, patients with the most critical medical problems are seen first.

Triage

When you arrive at the emergency care department, a triage nurse will assess your health status. The triage nurse will ask you about your major symptoms and primary medical complaint, and he or she will evaluate your vital signs. Using this information, the triage nurse determines if you need to be taken to the treatment area immediately. When patients’ conditions are not emergent, they are seen in order of arrival.

Registration

If a patient requires immediate treatment, he or she may not go through registration beforehand. If you are asked to wait for a little while, you may meet the registration clerk during this time. During registration, the clerk will ask you for some basic information, such as your insurance policy number and an emergency contact. ERs have the mandate to treat patients regardless of ability to pay; even if you do not have health insurance, an ER physician will evaluate and treat you.

Waiting Area

Hospitals strive to make their ER waiting areas as comfortable as possible. While you’re waiting to be seen, you should notify the staff if you experience any urgent changes in your health status.

Treatment Area

In the treatment area, you may meet with several providers. These may include nurses, physicians, and technicians. You may be asked to have diagnostic tests. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, you may receive treatment in the hospital or you may be discharged with prescriptions and instructions for home care. You may be referred to a specialist or to your primary care physician for a follow-up appointment.

At Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, we’re committed to investing in new technologies to streamline the patient experience, including our self-service ER kiosk. Please call 911 for transportation to our ER in Miami. Non-emergent inquiries about our hospital services may be directed to a registered nurse at (305) 682-7000.


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