Day Of Dance 3-25-13
(Englewood, Colorado) Liver cancer patients in Colorado now have a highly specialized alternative when it comes to surgery. The Center for Diseases of Liver and Pancreas at Swedish Medical Center is the first in Colorado to offer them the option of robotic liver resections.
“I feel as though this is a natural next step in the commitment as demonstrated by our Center for Diseases of the Liver and Pancreas. We have a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of benign and malignant disorders of the liver and this stands as a great example of bringing new technology in the appropriate timing and circumstance for the benefit of the patient while maintaining adherence to best treatment guidelines and outcomes,” says surgeon Eric Kortz, M.D.
Kortz is currently the only surgeon in the state that uses the Da Vinci surgical robot to perform this procedure.
Liver resections remove part of the liver containing cancer. With the robot, the operating surgeon has complete control during surgery offering safety for the dissection through tissues. “Robotics offers an extension of the minimally invasive approach for liver resection to more of our patients than our standard laparoscopic procedures due to increased operative maneuverability and increased safety,” explains Kortz.
The procedure also offers patients significant advantages to postoperative pain and speed of recovery. “The benefits of minimally invasive procedures reduce overall physiological stress on the patient during operation and recovery,” says Kortz, “I certainly feel that the future of liver resection will involve robotic decision making.”
About Swedish Medical Center (www.SwedishHospital.com)
Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, Colorado, part of HealthONE, serves as the Rocky Mountain Region’s referral center for Level 1 Trauma, neurotrauma and as the region’s only Joint Commission certified Comprehensive Stroke Center, a recognized leader in the most advanced stroke care. Swedish offers patients the highest quality care and the most advanced technologies and treatments in nearly every medical specialty and is an eight time winner of the National Research Corporation Consumer Choice Award and a Top 100 Hospital recognized by Reuters. An acute care hospital with 368 licensed beds, Swedish is located in the south metro Denver area where it has been a proud member of the community for more than 100 years. Annually, Swedish cares for more than 200,000 patients with a team of 2,000 dedicated employees, 500 volunteers and more than 1,300 physicians.
Denver-area Hospital is First and Only Credentialed Facility in Both State and Rocky Mountain Region
(Denver, CO) Swedish Medical Center has been named the first and only Comprehensive Stroke Center in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Region by the Joint Commission, the prestigious national medical accreditation organization. This new level of certification recognizes the advanced technology, staff and training that comprehensive stroke centers must have to provide state-of-the-art complex stroke care.
“Colorado takes great pride in recognizing Swedish Hospital’s status as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, ” said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. ” Efforts like these go a long way to giving Coloradans the best possible medical treatment and to making our state the healthiest in the country.”
The certification underscores the hospital’s long-standing commitment to health and wellness for citizens across the state, and throughout the region.
“Our new designation acknowledges the exemplary care we have provided to patients in Colorado and the region for years,” said Chris Fanale, M.D., Stroke Medical Director at Swedish Medical Center. “This is a true example of collaboration and innovation. We have the most outstanding team and technology this region has to offer.”
The 14th hospital in the country to achieve this certification, Swedish Medical Center was awarded this high-performance credential by the Joint Commission for its advanced integrative stroke team and outstanding patient outcomes. Simply stated, Swedish treats more strokes faster than anyone in the region.
“Our quality metrics at Swedish Medical Center have exceeded national benchmarks and consistently outperformed other area stroke programs,” said Mary M. White, President and CEO of Swedish Medical Center.
By the numbers, Swedish offers some very impressive statistics: Incoming stroke patients have a neurologist at their bedside in an average 4.8 minutes, compared to the national target of 20 minutes. Patients receive vital CT imaging within 14.6 minutes on average compared to the national goal of 25 minutes, and medically appropriate patients will receive IV t-PA within 40.8 minutes against the national goal of 60 minutes. The national average of ischemic stroke patients treated with IV t-PA is 5%, while Swedish treats 26%.
“Swedish was a pioneer in developing and providing comprehensive care through our stroke telemedicine program,” White added. “This innovation in healthcare has allowed us to provide exceptional care for the stroke patients in our community as well as throughout the 31 stroke telemedicine partner hospitals across the Rocky Mountain Region. Our certification is a result of the dedication and hard work of many who collaborate to offer this award-winning care.”
The Joint Commission recently developed the criteria for designating Disease-Specific Care Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Centers in collaboration with the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. The requirements are rigorous, officials say, and require additional technology, resources and expertise in comparison to other Primary Stroke Centers. This ranks Swedish Medical Center among the most well-known academic institutions across the country, including Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA; Stanford Hospital, Stanford, CA; Ronald Reagan UCLA, Los Angeles, CA; Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; and University of North Carolina Hospitals, Chapel Hill, NC.
“The Swedish neurosciences community is proud to have achieved designation as the first Comprehensive Stroke Center in Colorado,” said J. Paul Elliott, M.D., Neurosurgeon at Swedish Medical Center. “It reflects the long-standing commitment of Swedish nurses, physicians and administration to the provision of extraordinary care for our patients with complex neurological illness.”
The Comprehensive Stroke Center certification specifically looks at advanced endovascular procedures and technologies, the presence of a dedicated neuro-critical care unit and highly skilled staff, as well as proven patient outcomes that surpass national standards.
Comprehensive certification also requires that hospitals have the latest high-tech surgical equipment for complex aneurysm clipping and endovascular coiling techniques to find and remove clots. In fact, hospitals receiving the certification must perform at least 15 endovascular coiling or surgical clipping procedures per year. Centers must also hold dedicated neuro-intensive care unit beds and maintain specific procedures for communicating with paramedic EMS teams. They must be capable of evaluating two or more stroke patients simultaneously and perform specific follow-up tasks after discharge. They also have a requirement to enroll patients in clinical trial stroke research, use a stroke registry, and have certain peer review processes. Swedish Medical Center enjoys a long standing partnership with the Colorado Neurological Institute to provide community education, patient navigation and research.
In addition to achieving the certification, Swedish Medical Center received the following accolades from the Joint Commission surveyors:
• Commitment to regional telemedicine site partners was a notable ‘best practice’
• Dedicated leadership of the Stroke Program
• Solid clinical foundations for care
• Program integration with AirLife, specialty trained air transport team for stroke patients
• The stroke peer review process at Swedish Medical Center was the ‘best they have ever seen’
• Stroke data collection methods were noted as a ‘best practice’
“This certification is a message to the community and surrounding region, patients and EMS providers that we are the place to go for acute stroke services,” said Don Frei, M.D., Interventional Neuro Radiologist at Swedish Medical Center.
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About Swedish Medical Center (www.SwedishHospital.com)
Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, Colorado serves as the Rocky Mountain Region’s referral center for neurotrauma and as the region’s only Joint Commission certified Comprehensive Stroke Center, a recognized leader in the most advanced stroke care. Swedish offers patients the highest quality care and the most advanced technologies and treatments in nearly every medical specialty and is an eight time winner of the National Research Corporation Consumer Choice Award and a Top 100 Hospital recognized by Reuters.
An acute care hospital with 368 licensed beds, Swedish is located in the south metro Denver area where it has been a proud member of the community for more than 100 years. Annually, Swedish cares for more than 200,000 patients with a team of 2,000 dedicated employees, 500 volunteers and more than 1,300 physicians.
About The Joint Commission (www.jointcommission.org)
An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.
Patient Stephanie Madsen describes her journey with battling cancer as not only a fight for her life but a story to share with others; a story to motivate, encourage and give hope to others in her shoes. She speaks candidly about her ups and downs on her blog, www.derailingmydiagnosis.com.
Stephanie was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer of the cervix in early 2012. After having surgery and under-going an aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatment, she was told she was cancer-free. “I was super excited!” says Stephanie, “I thought, I can finally move on and start planning the future.”
Stephanie and her husband Matt discovered the treatments had left them unable to conceive, so they made the decision to consider adoption. In the midst of planning, Stephanie started having pain in her stomach. “I felt this hard lump on my left side,” she explains, “I knew something wasn’t right and I was praying my cancer wasn’t back.” Next she would receive news she’d hoped not to hear, doctors found a massive tumor the size of a soft-ball. Not only was her cancer was back, she would have to undergo emergency surgery to remove it. “I took it a lot harder than the first time,” says Stephanie, “this time I knew what it was and I knew it wasn’t going away.”
Swedish gynecologic oncologist, Dr. Mary Jo Schmitz has seen Stephanie through her battle and performed her surgery. Stephanie says overall the surgery went well and the good news was the tumor hadn’t attached to any other organ and it was successfully removed from her body. “I was in the best hands and I had complete confidence in my doctor,” she explains.
Since surgery, Stephanie has been put back on a treatment plan. She will have chemotherapy once a week for six weeks. “It’s a constant battle, but I’m confident that I will be cured again. I believe my story can help a lot of people, I truly believe I wouldn’t be able to fully understand cancer if I didn’t have this recurrence. I’m a fighter and I’m not giving up.”
If you would like to follow Stephanie’s journey, check out her blog at http://www.derailingmydiagnosis.com.
There’s nothing like revving up the engine of a vintage motorcycle for 57-year old Marc Defur. The sound, the smell, the feeling of riding the wide open road, it’s no wonder why building and restoring these classics are his passion. But like these worn down roadsters, Marc was also feeling his own wear and tear and needed a tune-up. “All of a sudden it became very painful to walk. I started walking with a limp and it was painful to ride my motorcycle, I knew something wasn’t right,” explains Marc.
Marc was starting to experience severe ankle arthritis, a condition seen with age or prior trauma such as an ankle fracture or sprain. His arthritis was so severe, there was hardly any cartilage left in his ankle. “I was in extreme pain and my entire quality of life went down,” he explains. After a couple years of feeling this extreme pain, Marc decided to go see his physician and was referred to orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Fran Faro at Swedish Medical Center. “Marc was the perfect candidate for a total ankle replacement. Ankle fusion is usually the standard procedure for this type of ankle injury but because of his age, having a total ankle replacement was the preferred choice,” says Faro.
Marc’s case would be the first total ankle replacement in the last decade to be performed at Swedish Medical Center. “This type of surgery was uncommon in the past but is now becoming more common because of the technology we have. On average there are about 3,000 procedures performed each year in the U.S.,” explains Faro.
The total ankle procedure has been performed on patients since the 1970’s. The new re-designed implants help patients have less pain, better range of motion and full function after surgery. “The recovery was so short. I was out of my walking cast and back on my motorcycle after two months,” says Marc.
Rocky Mountain-region patients living with Acid Reflux disease, also known as GERD, have welcome relief – literally and figuratively – at the hands of Swedish Medical Center’s Reginald Bell, M.D.
Bell is the only physician in the region performing a new procedure in patients suffering from this debilitating disease. It’s known as the LINX® Reflux Management procedure. Acid Reflux, or GERD as it is sometimes called, is a chronic and often life-long condition in which the acidic liquid content of one’s stomach regurgitates back into the esophagus. Inflaming the lining of the esophagus, it leaves patients with an intense burning sensation. While medication can help in less serious cases, for many, there is no relief, until now.
The LINX® System is a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure that implants a series of interlinked titanium beads with magnetic cores into the esophagus just above the stomach. The magnetic attraction between the beads augments the existing esophageal sphincter’s barrier function to prevent reflux.
According to Bell, who has performed the procedure on a handful of Denver-area patients, the LINX treatment is a good choice for patients who are in the early stages of GERD.
“We are excited to be able to offer the LINX as a therapeutic option to patients with GERD,” Bell says. “I am amazed at the number of patients with GERD who are unaware that there are options other than taking a pill for the rest of their lives! We have worked to become specialists in the diagnosis and minimally invasive treatment of GERD, and were honored when Torax asked us to be their initial site for the Rocky Mountain region.”
Swedish Medical Center patient Cindy Bledsoe, 57, was the ideal candidate for the LINX implant, says Bell because she had medically resistant symptoms and early reflux. She did not have a hiatal hernia and only mild increases in esophageal acid exposure. In this setting, he says, a minimally-invasive procedure with a low risk/side effect profile is desirable. Bledsoe, a first grade teacher, was plagued by a continuous and chronic cough, often appearing as if she was choking at times. In addition, her oxygen saturation level was at 88 percent and doctors advised her that being significantly overweight contributed to her health problems. Several doctors and tests later, Bledsoe was referred to Bell, who performed the LINX procedure on her in October.
“Before the procedure, acid reflux/GERD controlled my life. And the cough was actually scary for my first grade students,” Bledsoe says. “Immediately after the LINX procedure, however, the cough went away and my oxygen levels went back up to between 96-98 percent.”
Bledsoe calls the decision to have the LINX procedure “life changing,” and has been removed from some of her pre-diagnosis medications as a result.
“LINX was designed specifically for this group of patients whose symptoms are not controlled adequately by medication and who do not have big hiatal hernias, bad esophagitis or other things we see with more advanced disease,” Bell says of the device manufactured by Torax® Medical, Inc. The LINX System is currently the only available device for the treatment of GERD approved by the FDA through its rigorous PMA process. It is indicated for patients who have problems with reflux despite medication, who have a hiatal hernia of less than three centimeters and who have fairly normal esophageal motility. Like other patients with pacemakers and some other implants, patients with the LINX procedure should not have an MRI, but can have alternative imaging procedures such as CT scans.
Symptoms of GERD include heartburn, regurgitation, cough and chest pain. Acid suppression drugs, such as Prevacid®, Nexium®, and Prilosec® affect gastric acid production but do not repair the sphincter defect and allow continued reflux. GERD can progress to a pre-cancerous condition known as Barrett’s esophagus and possibly esophageal cancer. Approximately seven percent of adults in western countries suffer daily from symptoms of GERD.
According to Bell, in a clinical trial of 100 patients, 92 percent of patients achieved freedom from daily dependence on PPIs, 90 percent of patients experienced a reduction in total acid exposure time, 93 percent of patients achieved significant symptom improvement and the percent of patients reporting moderate to severe regurgitation was reduced from 57 percent to one percent after the LINX procedure.
A Swedish Medical Center physician is breaking new ground in the area of cochlear implants with his recent surgery on a 9-year-old girl who received the medical implant for single-sided deafness.
Daniel Zeitler, M.D., a neurotologist and skull-based surgeon is one of only a few medical professionals in the United States to perform the procedure for this population
and diagnosis. According to Zeitler, the young patient’s deafness was beginning to take its toll on her both academically and socially. “Although Claire is an excellent student, she had to sit strategically in the classroom to be able to hear. She was having a hard time enjoying music, couldn’t enjoy birthday parties, and often felt socially isolated during basketball practice and games or active family outings such as bicycle rides. Basically, all the things that a 9-year-old girl likes to do were slowly taken away from her because of her deafness,” Zeitler says.
Young Claire received the cochlear implant on November 26. The MED-EL device will be activated on Dec. 18, however Zeitler says early testing during surgery indicated it was working properly. The use of cochlear implants for single-sided deafness, and for patients as young as Claire, is an emerging practice in Europe, but is extremely rare in the U.S. In fact, the FDA has not yet approved the device for single-sided deafness, says Zeitler.
So why did Dr. Zeitler agree to this rare procedure? Because he feels Claire can benefit greatly from this technology, and rather than wait for other options to emerge or trials to be conducted, he is confident the cochlear implant will dramatically improve the quality of life for this youngster sooner rather than later. “There’s a huge push to initiate clinical trials for its use in these circumstances in the U.S., but only a few anecdotal reports and small objective studies currently exist. Unfortunately, there is no good data or large-scale subjective experiences to make it the norm yet,” Zeitler says.
Claire began losing hearing progressively in her right ear at the age of 5 and tried a number of alternative hearing devices, including a traditional hearing aid. However, when her hearing loss became profound, she could no longer obtain any useful benefit from its use. Additionally, she attempted to use an FDA-approved bone-anchored hearing device, but was denied by her insurance. Her insurance is, however, paying for the cochlear implant. Zeitler is skilled in pediatric cochlear implantation, but his clinical interests also include bone-anchored hearing aids (Baha), benign and malignant tumors of the ear and skull base, facial nerve disorders, cholesteatoma and chronic ear disease, ear infections and hearing loss. Zeitler also frequently collaborates with neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists in the treatment of a variety of ear diseases and is an active member of the Colorado Neurological Institute.
MED-EL’s MAESTRO™ Cochlear Implant System has proven to be an effective solution for individuals with bilateral severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss. According to Zeitler, the device is expected to last a lifetime. Zeitler and his team of medical professionals at Denver Ear Associates will evaluate the quality of sound Claire experiences once the device is turned on December 18th. “Before surgery, Claire was excited and apprehensive, but she was ready,” Zeitler says. “My hope is that Claire’s story can be shared with other children and adults suffering the same disability, and Claire can be a champion of cochlear implantation for these patients in the future.”
“Technology saved my life!”
Leroy Luraschi wouldn’t consider himself a “tech-savvy” person but someone who occasionally likes to surf the web or play a game on his home computer. Leroy was doing just that one evening at his Montrose home when all of a sudden he felt an unexpected sensation in his head. “It felt like something broke. I felt like someone was poking something through my eye,” he explains.
Leroy got up from his computer, walked into his bedroom and collapsed onto the floor. “All I remember is my 19-year old son Jacob running into the room, he called 9-1-1,” says Leroy. Paramedics took Leroy to Montrose Memorial Hospital. Immediately upon arrival to the emergency room Leroy says he knew he was having a stroke. “I couldn’t talk or move my whole right side,” he explains. Staff at Memorial Hospital dialed in Swedish Medical Center Neurologist Dr. Chris Fanale by tele-medicine technology and he was up on a screen within minutes ready to consult with doctors about Leroy. “It’s pretty wild that there was a specialist hundreds of miles away in Denver helping me in the ER,” says Leroy.
Leroy was transferred shortly after to Swedish Medical Center in Denver by helicopter where he was assessed in person by Dr. Fanale and the stroke team. According to Dr. Fanale, “stroke can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Stroke does not discriminate with age. Being close to a certified stroke center or a hospital with telemedicine capabilities allows you to get stroke treatment rapidly and efficiently. Sometimes patients in non-urban communities need a higher level of care due to the severity and complicated nature of their strokes. At Swedish Medical Center, we have the multidisciplinary team with the stroke specialists that can care for patients such as these on a 24/7/365 basis. The quicker we can treat, the better the outcome. We can only do that with seamless clinical collaboration between hospitals, as was displayed in the care of this patient. “
Leroy, who is 49-years old, didn’t expect he’d ever have a stroke. “I was completely caught off guard that I was having a stroke. But I’m so glad that I had the Swedish stroke team right there with me. They made my life worth living again and they sure know what they’re doing!” says Leroy.
There is important news for patients with brain tumors and abnormalities—especially those who were previously told that their medical conditions precluded them from undergoing surgery. A new treatment system called Gamma Knife is available to you at Swedish Medical Center, your local hospital in Denver.
The Gamma Knife is an advanced piece of equipment used to treat tumors and other abnormalities in the brain without an incision and with minimal effect on surrounding healthy tissue. For patients whose age or medical condition rules out surgery, the Gamma Knife can be a viable treatment option.
The Gamma Knife uses intense doses of radiation to treat malignant tumors that arise in or spread to the brain (primary brain tumors or metastatic tumors), benign brain tumors (meningiomas, pituitary adenomas, and acoustic neuromas), blood vessel defects (arteriovenous malformations) and functional problems (trigeminal neuralgia). The Gamma Knife treatment is highly effective for smaller brain lesions and those that are near critical structures in the head, such as the brain stem and cranial nerves.
The Gamma Knife treatment procedure is called stereotactic radiosurgery, and it is minimally invasive and creates few side effects or complications. It minimizes the risks of postoperative complications, infections, and internal hemorrhage. Often performed as an outpatient procedure, the Gamma Knife treatment does not require that patients stay in the hospital for more than 24 hours, which significantly reduces medical costs for the patient. Even better, the Gamma Knife treatment is covered by Medicare and many other insurance providers.
Gamma Knife is one of the state-of-the-art treatment options we offer here at Denver’s Swedish Medical Center. As a Level 1 Trauma Center, we are available to treat a wide variety of medical problems and disorders. If you would like to learn more or are ready to schedule an appointment, please give our hospital staff a call at (303) 562-3132.
At Swedish Medical Center, we believe that gaining knowledge allows you to take control of your health and do the best for yourself and your family. Check out these links for more information about your child’s health, and give our Denver hospital a call at (303) 562-3132. We can provide additional information or help you schedule an appointment with our friendly and knowledgeable staff members.