• How Can a Goiter Impact Your Voice?

    thyroid gland

    The thyroid gland sits at the front of the neck and base of the throat. There it makes many of the hormones your body requires for its numerous processes. If your thyroid begins to produce more hormones than are necessary for the body to function, it can increase in size. This side effect of hyperthyroidism is called a goiter. In some cases, a goiter may actually become visible, and the neck may appear bigger. Under other circumstances, a change occurs only to your voice. Because the thyroid gland is larger than normal, it can affect the way the throat produces sound. If you have noticed a change to your voice that has made it sound raspier than normal, it may be because of a goiter.

    Do you suspect that a goiter is affecting your throat and voice? West Hills Hospital & Medical Center can help. Call (818) 676-4000 to schedule a consultation with a physician at our West Hills facility.

  • A Look at Some of the Minimally Invasive Procedures Offered at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center

    West-Hills-Cast-Page-Centered-Logo

    Have you been told that you need surgery for a medical condition? If so, you may be surprised to learn that many surgical procedures no longer require the extensive incisions and long recovery times of the past. West Hills Hospital & Medical Center is proud to offer more than a dozen minimally invasive surgery options for patients in the West Hills community. The following describes some of our minimally invasive procedures and the advantages they have over their conventional surgical alternatives.

    Prostatectomy
    For some men with prostate cancer , removal of the prostate is the best treatment option. A prostatectomy once required an incision through muscle, which can take an extended period of time to heal. Due to the delicate positioning of nerves and other structures around the prostate, surgery also often resulted in reduced urinary and sexual function. With minimally invasive prostatectomy, men with prostate cancer can now receive treatment that successfully addresses their cancer care needs without the complications of prolonged healing, incontinence, and erectile dysfunction.

    Hysterectomy
    Women must sometimes undergo surgical intervention for the treatment of reproductive issues. Uterine cancer and endometriosis are two conditions that may require hysterectomy, or removal of the uterus. Conventional hysterectomy techniques involved a large incision through the lower abdominal muscles. Traditional procedures could also result in significant loss of blood, substantial pain, and infection. Minimally invasive hysterectomy largely eliminates these postoperative problems.

    Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
    Minimally invasive surgery can also address less severe conditions. Sinus congestion may not have life-endangering risks, but it can be a considerably irritating concern for sufferers. Endoscopic sinus surgery safely and quickly unblocks clogged sinuses to allow for easier breathing.

    Before undergoing surgery, contact West Hills Hospital & Medical Center at (818) 676-4000 to see if a minimally invasive surgical alternative is available. Our facility provides minimally invasive treatment options for a range of medical conditions. Visit our website to learn more about the benefits of these services.

  • How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy

    Though pregnant women require only 300 extra calories a day, both mothers and babies require specific nutrients for health and growth. This video discusses the foods most beneficial for expectant mothers.

    Calcium is a key nutrient for strong bones, which is why growing babies need ample amounts of it. Dairy products such as milk and yogurt can satisfy the calcium demands of pregnancy. Folate is a mineral that can prevent neurological problems in newborns. Leafy green vegetables and fortified cereals contain the folate that pregnant women require. Protein and iron must also be part of an expectant mother’s diet. Lean meats can fulfill both of these nutritional requirements.

    West Hills Hospital & Medical Center offers comprehensive prenatal and delivery services to women in the greater West Hills area. To schedule a tour of our maternity hospital , call (818) 676-4000.

  • Ways You Can Reduce Arthritis Pain Every Day

    Arthritic hands holding flower

    Arthritis often reveals itself in small ways, such as when you’re making your bed in the morning or cutting up vegetables for dinner. West Hills Hospital & Medical Center understands how frustrating these circumstances can be, which is why we offer total joint care services for arthritis sufferers. We also encourage our patients to introduce small lifestyle changes for the alleviation of arthritis pain:

    Revamp Your Wardrobe
    Trying to fasten buttons and tie shoelaces can prove a painful task when battling arthritis. When shopping for new clothing and footwear, look for articles that take the strain off stiff wrists and fingers. Instead of buttoned shirts, look for pullovers that require no closing of fabric. Purchase jackets with wide zippers or Velcro. Velcro can also be useful when putting on shoes. Many specialty shoe stores carry Velcro options for individuals who need easy-to-wear footwear.

    Space Out Your Cleaning Duties
    Putting aside a single day for cleaning your home can put undue strain on your joints. Instead of attempting to accomplish all your housework goals in a single session, spread out your domestic duties . Do laundry in the morning, vacuum in the afternoon, and clean dishes at night. By spacing out your at-home chores, you can avoid arthritis flare-ups.

    Invest in Cooking Aids
    Cooking and baking can be relaxing for many people, but if these activities cause joint pain, they can quickly become aggravating. You don’t need to chop your own vegetables to make them a delicious part of your meals. A food processor can take care of those cooking needs for you. Home goods stores carry an extensive array of cooking aids that can make your mealtime preparation a pain-free chore.

    Don’t let persistent arthritis pain interfere with your life enjoyment. West Hills Hospital & Medical Center can help you find successful strategies for managing your joint issues. Call our West Hills facility at (818) 676-4000 to find out more about our total joint care program. Our Consult-A-Nurse Healthcare Referral program can also help arthritis sufferers learn more about their condition.

  • How to Prevent Sunburn This Summer

    Mature lady in a hat

    Lots of Southern Californians flock to beaches and pools during the summer, and after a long day of relaxing outside, many of them return home with painful sunburns. Cancer care experts caution that no sunburn is a harmless sunburn; each time sunburn occurs, it increases the chances that skin cancer will develop in the future. That’s why healthcare providers stress the importance of preventative care. Whether the day’s plans include an afternoon at the pool or a morning of running errands, any time spent outside demands sunscreen. Because many cases of sunburn and skin cancer occur on the face and head, be sure to cover up with sunglasses and a hat as well. For additional protection from sunburn, wear long layers and tightly knitted clothing.

    Would you like more tips on how to prevent skin cancer? The cancer care staff at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center would be happy to speak with you about sun protection. Call our West Hills hospital at (818) 676-4000 to schedule an appointment.

  • Foods That Every Mom-To-Be Should Avoid During Pregnancy

    eating healthy food

    Pregnancy can encourage certain food cravings, and most of the time, these yearnings are harmless. Obstetricians ask only that expectant mothers steer clear of a few types of foods that may prove dangerous to their growing babies. West Hills Hospital & Medical Center encourages pregnant patients to call our maternity hospital should any questions arise regarding unsafe foods. Here are a few items that expectant mothers should not eat for the safety of their baby.

    Soft Cheese

    In general, cheese consumption is acceptable during pregnancy. Dairy products such as cheese, milk, and yogurt contain calcium, which is essential for an unborn baby’s growing bones. Maternity hospitals want expectant mothers to make a distinction between hard cheeses and soft cheeses. While hard cheeses are safe to eat, soft cheeses, including feta, Gorgonzola, and Brie, may contain the bacteria Listeria. If a pregnant woman consumes too much Listeria, it can result in blood poisoning.

    Unwashed Produce

    Fruits and vegetables are safe for pregnant women to eat as long as they have been properly cleaned. Vegetables in particular should undergo a thorough washing before consumption. The substance toxoplasmosis, which is dangerous to unborn babies, is often found in the ground. Because residual traces of toxoplasmosis may be present on vegetables, it’s important to scrub fresh produce prior to mealtime.

    Uncooked Meat

    Animal products of any kind, including chicken, fish, or beef, must be thoroughly cooked before a pregnant woman eats it. To make sure that a meat product is sufficiently cooked, insert a food thermometer to confirm its internal temperature. As with unwashed produce, raw meat can contain toxoplasmosis.

    Are you looking for a maternity hospital for your prenatal or delivery needs? Call West Hills Hospital & Medical Center at (818) 676-4000 to schedule an appointment at our facility. We provide comprehensive maternity services for expectant mothers in the greater West Hills area. Pregnant women experiencing unusual complications such as bleeding or cramping should seek immediate treatment; our iTriage Symptom Checker offers staff assistance prior to arrival at our emergency care center.

  • Tips for Preventing Arthritis

    Is arthritis a nuisance in your life? This video offers some suggestions on how to manage this condition.

    Exercise is an important method for combating arthritis. Physical activity strengthens muscles, which relieves strain on joints. Being physically fit can also keep your weight under control, which is important because excessive pounds can add pressure to hips, knees, and ankles. When engaging in sedentary activities such as watching television, change your position on a regular basis. Your diet can also reduce arthritis flare-ups. Eating a wide variety of plant-based foods, which contain antioxidants, can alleviate inflammation in the joints.

    West Hills Hospital & Medical Center can help you keep your arthritis symptoms in check. For more information on our services for arthritis sufferers, call our West Hills facility at (818) 676-4000.

  • A Patient’s Guide to Hyperparathyroidism

    Male thyroid anatomy

    Structures such as the thyroid gland, testes, and ovaries produce many of the hormones that regulate bodily processes. The parathyroid glands are two other structures that monitor certain functions, including the normalization of vitamin D and calcium levels in bones. For some individuals, the parathyroid glands may produce an excessive amount of hormones, which leads to a condition called hyperparathyroidism. West Hills Hospital & Medical Center offers effective treatment options to correct this problem.

    How does hyperparathyroidism present?
    Under some circumstances, symptoms of hyperparathyroidism may be evident. Chronic fatigue is one common sign of hyperparathyroidism . Frequent urination is another symptom. Some people may also experience bone discomfort or a greater susceptibility to bone fractures. Hyperparathyroidism requires prompt medical attention; should one or more of these symptoms present, consult a doctor for testing.

    What circumstances prompt hyperparathyroidism?
    Hyperparathyroidism can develop when the body perceives an insufficiency of calcium. The parathyroid in turn increases its production. This condition can also cause the parathyroid glands to increase in size. Researchers are still examining the reasons why hyperparathyroidism occurs in certain individuals.

    What medical techniques can address hyperparathyroidism?
    People who suspect that they have hyperparathyroidism should speak to a doctor who can determine if hyperparathyroidism is present and how best to treat it. Medication may be effective in some cases. Minimally invasive parathyroid surgery can correct hyperparathyroidism in those who do not respond to more conservative measures. Thanks to advancements made in recent years, this procedure can frequently be performed on an outpatient basis and with minimal occurrence of scarring.

    West Hills Hospital & Medical Center offers minimally invasive parathyroid surgery for eligible candidates in the greater West Hills community. If you suffer from hyperparathyroidism, we can help. Call (818) 676-4000 or visit our website for more information on our minimally invasive procedures. Patients requiring emergency care can also view our website for current ER wait times.