• Happy Doctors’ Day from West Hills Hospital & Medical Center!

    Today we celebrate Doctors’ Day, a day we thank and recognize our dedicated physicians for the care and expertise they provide to our patients each and every day.

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  • How to Recognize the Symptoms of Stroke

    Stroke Care

    Strokes are one of the leading causes of death in American men and women and are the number one cause of long-term adult disability. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 6.2 million Americans have suffered from a stroke, and the disease causes the deaths of approximately 150,000 men and women each year. Although a stroke occurs in the brain, it can adversely affect any part of the body and can result in mild to severe disability. Cognitive problems, numbness, emotional issues, and pain are all possible long-term disabilities associated with a stroke.

    One of the most important ways to avoid the unfortunate consequences associated with a stroke is to know the symptoms and act as quickly as possible. Seeking care from a specialized emergency medical services department may help to minimize the damage and prevent disability. The warning signs of a stroke will typically occur very suddenly and be quite severe, with symptoms including:

    • Sudden, severe headache of no known cause
    • Sudden weakness or numbness of the arm, leg, or face, especially if it occurs only on one side of the body
    • Sudden difficulty seeing or blurriness of vision (can occur in one or both eyes)
    • Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding what is spoken to you
    • Sudden trouble walking, including dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination

    When a medical emergency strikes, consider trusting the West Hills Hospital & Medical Center Emergency Services department to care for your medical needs. Our staff of specialty physicians and emergency health care professionals is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide a high standard of medical care when our community needs it most. You can find out more about our advanced and comprehensive emergency care services by calling (818) 676-4000 today. You can also get our emergency room wait times sent directly to your mobile phone by texting ‘ER’ to 23000 and responding with your West Hills zip code.

  • Minimally Invasive Surgery: Advantages and Benefits

    West-Hills-Hospital-Minimally-Invasive-Surgery

    In recent years, the development of more advanced surgical techniques has revolutionized the way in which many procedures are performed. Instead of having to perform a surgery through a wide and open incision, many procedures can now be executed through incisions only centimeters long with the help of advanced camera equipment and high-definition monitoring systems. These less-invasive surgical techniques provide many benefits for the patient, including:

    • Reduced pain
      By performing the surgery through tiny “keyhole” incisions and utilizing the most advanced surgical technology, surgeons can often perform the procedure with a higher degree of precision, resulting in less damage to the skin and underlying tissues. This reduced tissue damage will in turn result in less bleeding during the procedure and significantly reduced pain after surgery.
       
    • Reduced scarring
      In addition to reducing the discomfort of surgery, minimally invasive techniques will also often reduce the scarring left behind by the procedure. The tiny incisions used to perform the surgery are usually much less noticeable than those used for traditional open surgical procedures.
       
    • Reduced recovery period
      The reduced trauma, blood loss, and pain that are associated with minimally invasive surgery translate into a shorter recovery time and a much shorter hospital stay. With this reduced recovery period comes a much quicker return to normal daily activities and reduced healthcare costs.   

    West Hills Hospital & Medical Center offers our community the full range of minimally invasive surgical options performed by a team of board-certified and experienced surgeons. Our entire surgical staff is specially trained to care for the postoperative patient and is dedicated to his or her continued health and wellness. Contact our staff today at (818) 676-4000 to find out more about our comprehensive, state-of-the-art surgical services and how they may benefit you.

  • The Diagnosis and Management of Colorectal Cancer

    Colorectal Cancer

    According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women living in the United States. Fortunately, colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable and curable types of cancer, as it can be easily detected through screening processes such as a colonoscopy. March is National Colorectal Cancer Month; increase your awareness and read on to learn more about the importance of an early diagnosis in the treatment of this deadly disease.

    A colonoscopy is the best-known screening method for detecting and diagnosing colorectal cancer, as it has the ability to image the entire colon. During this exam, the physician looks for the presence of structures called polyps lining the inside of the colon and rectum. These polyps can be large or small, raised or flat, and while they are typically benign, they can also be a site of cancerous growth. If a polyp is found, the tissue will often be biopsied for the presence of cancer cells.

    Once the condition has been diagnosed, the treatment process will often depend on the stage, or severity, of the disease. For cancers found at their earliest stage (stage 0), treatment usually involves the removal of the affected cells during the colonoscopy. If the cancer is found at stages I, II, or III, more aggressive treatments may be recommended. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery to remove the cancer cells are among the most common treatments for colorectal cancer.

    If you are over the age of 50 or have an increased risk for colorectal cancer, speak with your physician about undergoing a colonoscopy. Like most other cancers, early detection will significantly increase the likelihood of a full cure. You can contact West Hills Hospital & Medical Center at (818) 676-4000 if you have any questions regarding your potential risk factors.

  • Nutrition and Healthy Eating

    Are you getting the nutrition you need to maintain excellent health? In this video, the American Diabetes Association presents helpful information about what it means to eat a healthy diet . The host also discusses how the body breaks down and absorbs nutrients, and how this process is interrupted in patients with diabetes. For those suffering from diabetes, nutrition is especially important for maintaining stable blood sugar levels and preventing any complications from arising. 

    West Hills Hospital & Medical Center offers the patients in our community comprehensive health and wellness services, from advanced diagnostics to expert rehabilitation and support programs. Contact West Hills Hospital at (818) 676-4000 to learn more about how our healthcare team can help you improve your health.

  • Diabetes During Pregnancy: What is Gestational Diabetes?

    Gestational diabetes is a temporary type of diabetes mellitus that occurs in about 18% of pregnant women.  Although the cause of this disease is not known for sure, scientist believe gestational diabetes could be the result of pregnancy hormones blocking the action of insulin in a mother’s body, causing insulin resistance.  In this video, you can learn more about how high blood sugar levels can occur in women with gestational diabetes and what a mother can do to keep her baby healthy during pregnancy. 

    West Hills Hospital & Medical Center offers the families in our community specialized Maternal and Child Health services. You can learn more about how we work to provide mothers a safe, joyful birthing experience by visiting out website, contacting us online , or by calling (818) 676-4000.

  • Learn More About Your Health And Wellness With These Resources

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    Are you looking for more information about postpartum depression or the other topics discussed in our recent posts? Check out the following links or contact West Hills Hospital & Medical Center at (818) 676-4000.

    • In this article, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists answers many frequently asked questions about postpartum depression and postpartum blues.
    • You can also learn more about postpartum depression from this fact sheet found on WomensHealth.gov.
    • Find out more about burn injury prevention from the American Burn Association website.
    • This article from the PubMed Health medical library provides an overview of the causes, symptoms, and first-aid procedures associated with burn injuries.
    • Read some of the statistics that are related to lung cancer and the other types of cancer from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
    • Visit the National Stroke Association website for more information on the basics of a stroke and its causes .
    • A stroke is a serious medical emergency that requires immediate treatment—read more about recognizing the symptoms on the American Stroke Association website.
    • This overview from MedlinePlus describes a few of the problems that can arise when a woman becomes pregnant.
    • KidsHealth.org provides more information about what designates a high-risk pregnancy .
    • Become more aware of the symptoms of transient ischemic attack by reading this guide from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

  • A Look at High-Risk Pregnancies

    High Risk Pregnancy

    When a woman is considering having a child, it is important for her to take good care of herself and make healthy lifestyle choices, including practicing proper nutrition and staying physically active. Taking these precautions can help to prevent complications associated with high-risk pregnancies. A high-risk pregnancy occurs when a woman has one or more illnesses or factors (such as advanced maternal age) that could put her or her developing child at risk for experiencing health-related complications. Certain conditions can also develop during a pregnancy to make it high-risk. A few of these health problems include:

    • Gestational diabetes
      Like other forms of diabetes, this condition results in high blood sugar levels due to the body’s inability to produce or utilize insulin, the hormone that facilitates glucose uptake into the cells of the body. When this condition is properly managed with the help of a knowledgeable specialist, mothers are usually able to deliver healthy babies. When blood sugar levels are not managed, however, this condition can pose serious health risks to both mother and child.
       
    • Preeclampsia
      This syndrome leads to high levels of protein in the urine and abnormal changes in liver enzymes during a woman’s pregnancy. Preeclampsia also causes high blood pressure in expectant mothers. Without proper management, this condition can lead to serious long-term health problems and can even be fatal for the mother and child.   
       
    • Preterm labor
      Labor that begins before the 37th week of gestation is considered preterm. The baby is not fully developed before this time and may not be able to survive outside his or her mother. While physicians cannot predict which women are at a higher risk for experiencing preterm labor , there are defined factors, such as a shortened cervix, that may increase a woman’s risk.

    The staff of West Hills Hospital & Medical Center’s Maternal and Child Health Center is dedicated to providing the highest quality of medical care for expecting mothers and their families. We also offer Childbirth and Baby Care Classes to help you approach the birthing process and new motherhood with confidence. Contact our friendly staff at (818) 676-4000 to find out more about how we can help you to have a peaceful and enjoyable birthing experience.

  • Common Treatments for Burns

    Burn Treatment

    A burn is defined as damage to the skin (and sometimes the underlying tissues) that occurs due to exposure to heat, flame, chemicals, scald, electricity, radiation, steam, oil, or other dangerous substances. There are three categories of defined burn severity: first-, second-, and third-degree burns.

    • A first-degree burn , also called a superficial burn, is most often caused by very short flame exposure or UV radiation (sunburn). This type of burn affects only the outermost layer of skin and does not normally result in a scar.
    • A second-degree burn can be caused by a splash of scalding-hot liquid or short flame exposure. These burns affect the epidermis more deeply and may or may not cause scarring.
    • A third-degree burn is a very serious injury and causes damage to all layers of the skin and will often involve the muscle and bone beneath it. These burns do not heal on their own and will result in scarring.

    When a person suffers from a burn injury and seeks medical assistance, the physician will examine the injured area and evaluate the grade of the burn. He or she will then formulate a plan of treatment that depends on the depth and cause of the injury and how much of the body has been affected. Prompt treatment is very important for burn injuries and can decrease the damage done to the skin and other tissues. 

    First-degree burns can usually be treated effectively with home care, typically involving cooling the skin with running water and keeping the wound clean to avoid infection. More serious burns, however, should be evaluated by an emergency medical professional. If the burn is diagnosed as being serious, treatment may include the following:

    • Intubation and the administration of oxygen to assist with breathing
    • IV (intravenous) fluids to replace those lost by the burn injury
    • Possible skin graft depending on the burn damage
    • Splints for the joints to help maintain their mobility
    • Physical therapy (if the burn is very serious and covers a wide area)

    The Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital is a plastic surgery-based medical center of excellence specializing in the comprehensive treatment of burns – from acute care and reconstruction, to rehabilitation and psychological counseling. For more information, visit our website or contact West Hills Hospital & Medical Center at (818) 676-4000.