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    Taking a Closer Look at Coronary Artery Disease

    Last updated 2 months ago

    Coronary artery disease, also sometimes called coronary heart disease, is the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S. Although extremely common, coronary artery disease is largely preventable and can be controlled with a combination of medications and lifestyle changes. If you have coronary artery disease or have been told by your cardiologist that you are at risk, here is what you need to know to take control of your heart health.

    What Is Coronary Artery Disease?

    Coronary artery disease occurs when plaque build-up restricts the flow of the blood through the coronary arteries to the heart. The buildup of plaque, known as atherosclerosis, usually takes place over the course of many years and is caused by factors such as high cholesterol and a high fat diet. In addition to reducing the blood flow to the heart by narrowing the arteries, the plaque can also harden and cause blood clots that can cause heart attacks and strokes.

    What Are the Symptoms?

    Angina, or chest pain, is one of the most common symptoms of coronary artery disease. Angina pain can spread to the arms, neck, and jaw, and may feel like indigestion. Angina usually lasts from two to 10 minutes. If you experience angina that lasts for more than 15 minutes, go to the ER as you could be having a heart attack. Shortness of breath, nausea, and weakness are also possible with coronary artery disease.

    What Treatments Are Available?

    Your cardiologist may use medications to treat your coronary artery disease, including blood-thinners, beta blockers, and nitroglycerine for angina. Medications to lower cholesterol may also help. Eating a heart-healthy diet, getting exercise as recommended by your cardiologist, and stopping smoking will also help. In some cases, bypass surgery is necessary.

    The heart hospital at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center is staffed by skilled cardiologists who can help you control your coronary artery disease and reduce your chances of complications. Get answers to your questions about your condition and our Thousand Oaks hospital by calling (805) 497-2727. 

    Hand Washing Tips to Help You Avoid Illness This Winter

    Last updated 2 months ago

    If you want to avoid illness this winter, make hand washing a priority. By washing your hands, you clean away germs that can make you sick and that you could spread on to other people. How and when you wash your hands also makes a big difference in maintaining good health. Here is what you need to know.

    You should wash your hands before and after making food, before eating, after using the bathroom, and after blowing your nose. You should also wash up after interacting with someone who is sick. To wash your hands thoroughly, wet your hands with water, apply soap, lather and scrub for at least 20 seconds, and then rinse and dry your hands.

    Talk to your doctor at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center for more advice on things you can do to prevent illness. When health problems do strike, our Thousand Oaks hospital is here with comprehensive care, including an ER. For more information, call our hospital at (805) 497-2727. 

    What Patients Should Know About TAVR

    Last updated 2 months ago

    Transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, is a relatively new procedure for patients suffering from aortic stenosis. TAVR is minimally invasive and can be effective for many patients who cannot undergo traditional valve replacement. If your cardiologist has recommended that you have a TAVR procedure, here is what you need to know.

    What Is TAVR?

    TAVR is an alternative to full aortic valve replacement. During TAVR, your cardiologist will place an artificial valve inside of your existing, damaged valve, rather than removing the old valve. The valve is then expanded, pushing the old valve out of the way, so that blood will now flow through the new valve. The replacement valve will then regulate blood flow. The idea behind TAVR is similar to placing a stent in a clogged artery. Patients may also hear TAVR referred to as TAVI, which stands for transcatheter aortic valve implantation.

    What Happens During the Procedure?

    TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure, unlike traditional valve replacement, which requires open heart surgery. Your cardiologist will determine whether to approach the valve via the femoral artery in the groin or via a small incision through the chest. The valve is then guided to the appropriate location. After the procedure, patients usually require a three to five day hospital stay.

    Who Is a Good Candidate?

    TAVR is recommended for patients who cannot have open heart surgery. Most patients who undergo TAVR are elderly and have medical conditions that make surgery too risky. For these patients, TAVR offers a treatment option for valve damage where none was previously available.

    Is TAVR right for you? Schedule a consultation at the heart hospital at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center to find out. Our cardiology specialists can help you get the right diagnosis and find the best treatments for your needs. For a referral, talk to your physician or call us in Thousand Oaks today at (805) 497-2727. 

    What You Need to Know About the Flu Vaccine in 2014

    Last updated 2 months ago

    The Centers for Disease Control recommends the seasonal flu vaccine for everyone over six months of age. The vaccine, which has a proven safety record, reduces your risk of needing treatment for flu by 60 percent, which means less illness, less overuse of antibiotics, and a lower risk of needing ER treatment for flu complications. Talk to your healthcare provider about getting the flu vaccine, and keep these facts in mind.

    How Is the Flu Vaccine Administered?

    The flu vaccine can be administered via an injection or nasal spray. Pediatric patients often receive the nasal spray to quell fears about needles, but adults can choose that method as well. If you get the injection, the shot will be delivered in the upper arm.

    When Should You Get the Flu Vaccine?

    The best time is get the vaccine is as soon as it is available at your hospital or medical center, which is usually in the early fall. However, if you have waited until mid-winter and still haven’t gotten a flu shot, don’t assume that it is too late. The flu can continue to spread well into May, so the vaccine can still offer protection. If you have a chronic illness, such as diabetes, or otherwise have a higher risk of having complications from the flu, the earlier you get your shot, the better. Remember that you need a flu shot every year as the vaccine is adapted to protect against the strains of flu most common that season.

    Can the Flu Vaccine Make You Sick?

    The flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. The virus in the vaccine is dead and cannot cause infection. Potential side effects from the vaccine include soreness or swelling at the injection site or runny nose and wheezing with the nasal spray. If you experience signs of an allergic reaction, such as hives or difficulty breathing, go to the ER right away.

    If you need a flu shot, contact your Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center physician. Our Thousand Oaks hospital provides a comprehensive range of healthcare services, including ER care and a heart hospital. Call our hospital at (805) 497-2727 to learn more. 

    Keeping Back Pain Out of the Picture This Holiday Season

    Last updated 2 months ago

    The holiday season is time for reconnecting with family and friends, but it can also be extremely hectic. The last thing you need is to be sidelined with back pain. If you have been suffering from chronic back pain, the Spine Program at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center can offer the relief you need. If your back is healthy now, keep it that way through the holidays and beyond with these tips.

    Lift Carefully

    When you lug around those packages of gifts and heavy suitcases for holiday travel, think of your back. For starters, if something is too heavy, don’t force it. Wait for help instead of putting your back on the line. When you do pick something up, don’t let your back do the work. Bend with your legs and push yourself upwards with your leg muscles. When you’re holding a heavy object, keep it close to you with your knees slightly bent. Never twist your spine while holding something. Instead, pivot your whole body to move the item.

    Keep a Healthy Weight

    The holidays are a tough time to keep an eye on your weight, but excess pounds put too much pressure on your spine. You don’t have to forgo holiday goodies entirely. Simply choose a few things that you really want, eat light and healthy meals before parties, and make sure to get some physical activity most days.

    Watch Your Posture

    Long hours in plane seats and slumping down on the sofa can take a toll on your back health. When standing and sitting, keep your posture in mind. Stand with your shoulders relaxed, back straight, and head in neutral position. When you sit, keep your back slightly arched and the small of your back against the chair.

    Don’t let back pain slow you down. Schedule a consultation with the doctors at the Spine Program at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center in Thousand Oaks. In addition to our spine care, we have an ER, heart hospital, pediatric care, and much more. You can learn more about our hospital by calling (805) 497-2727.




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Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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