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Recent blog posts

From an interview with Alison Smock, MD McLeod Vascular Neurologist

The more you know about strokes, the better chance you’ll have to save someone else’s life – or your own. McLeod Hospital Vascular Neurologist Alison Smock, MD explains the various types of strokes and their treatment:

Medically Reviewed by Taylor Holmes, DPT, STAR-C

Surgery is the gold standard for pelvic repair to “cure” urinary leakage or stress incontinence. However, following the diagnosis, nearly every gynecologist will start with a series of non-surgical options.

Medically reviewed by Al Gilpin, MD McLeod Orthopaedics

Let’s start this story backward. One of the ways to keep your knee and hip joints strong as an adult is with weight-bearing exercises. The best way to build up those bones for your knees and hips as an adult is to start when you are a teen.

Preventing Breast Cancer with Tamoxifen

Posted on in Cancer

From an interview with Michael Pavy, MD McLeod Oncology & Hematology Associates

Not only have we made great strides in treating women with breast cancer but today women, who have a high risk of the disease, are much better off thanks to pharmaceutical breakthroughs. McLeod Oncologist Dr. Michael Pavy describes the new hope for women at high risk of breast cancer:

Medically reviewed by Benjamin Elder, MD McLeod Family Medicine

Expectant parents, you can remove one of the greatest barriers to your new infant’s health by being ready before the baby comes home and, in some cases, even before pregnancy.

Medically Reviewed by Timothy Hagen, DO Neurologist

Stroke is the leading cause of death and long-term disability in the United States.  For a number of reasons, more women suffer this “heart attack of the brain” than men. 

The Months Before OR Minutes after a Stroke

Posted on in Heart Health

From an interview on Good Morning Pee Dee with Gabor Winkler, MD McLeod Vascular Associates

We live in the “stroke belt” of the United States – a region that runs from Texas to South Carolina. This designation isn’t something for which we seek recognition, since it points to the prevalence of risk factors for strokes in our communities.


“There are a large number of risk factors we can control,” says McLeod Vascular Surgeon Gabor Winkler, MD “People with diabetes can work to regulate the disease with diet and exercise. Quit smoking. Smoking is a risk factor you can easily control by quitting”

“High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of strokes,” says Dr. Gabor. “If high blood pressure is a problem, don’t wait to go to the doctor to have your blood pressure measured. Local drugstores sell inexpensive blood pressure monitors. Take your blood pressure at home regularly and keep a diary. Take it with you when you see your doctor or call your doctor if you see a spike in the pressure.”

These important healthy actions taken over a period of months and years can reduce your risk of stroke.


“The initial treatment is very important, because a stroke blocks oxygen to the brain,” says

Dr. Winkler. “The first part of the treatment is to restore the blood flow. Often this is done in the Emergency Department, using a drug called TPA. The body actually produces some of this itself to help break up blood clots.

“So by quickly administering the TPA drug, we can lessen the stroke’s damage and improve chances of a patient’s recovery,” says Dr. Winkler. “Time is the key. In general, TPA should NOT be administered more than 3 hours after the stroke or it might have the opposite effect and damage the brain further.”


“After the patient is stabilized, we seek the actual cause of the stroke,” says Dr. Gabor. “About a quarter of strokes are related to blockages in the artery leading to the brain – the carotid arteries that travel up each side of your neck. We can reduce this risk by either surgically removing the blockage or by placing a stent like a small pipe inside the artery to keep it open.”

To learn more about Strokes and their Treatment, you might find these articles useful:

4 Tips on Spotting a Stroke

Life-Saving Surgery for Stroke Patients

High Blood Pressure – Shortcut to Heart Attack, Stroke

Find a Vascular Surgeon near you.


From an interview with David Lukowski, MD McLeod Orthopaedics Seacoast

Summer can be a particularly perilous for your hands and McLeod Orthopedic Specialist David Lukowski, MD has some quick tips to keep your fingertips safe:

From an interview with Michael Pavy, MD Oncologist-Hematologist

About one out of every 10 women carries the gene that can make them susceptible for breast cancer.  McLeod Oncologist Dr. Michael Pavy explains the three types of breast cancer, how to find out if you carry this gene and what to do should you have it.

Medically Review by Timothy Hagen, DO

Pregnancy can be a wonderful time.  The expectation.  Planning for a new baby.

Life-Saving Surgery for Stroke Patients

Posted on in Heart Health

From an interview with Christopher Cunningham, M.D. McLeod Vascular Associates

Strokes – when the brain is deprived of blood – come in two essential forms. In one case, a blood vessel in the brain bursts, cutting off blood to the brain and exerting pressure on the brain from the leaking blood. A second type of stroke is caused by blockages building up in the neck’s artery, restricting the flow of blood. McLeod Vascular Surgeon Dr. Christopher Cunningham discusses surgical solutions for the second type of stroke:

6 Breast Cancer Myths And the Truth You Need to Know

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Rommel Lu, MD McLeod Oncology & Hematology Associates

“There are so many myths about breast cancer that it is difficult to narrow down the list,” says McLeod Oncologist Dr. Rommel Lu. “Plastic surgery, the BRCA1/BRCA2 gene, and underwire bras are just a few of the ‘issues’ people have misunderstandings about that we do NOT address here. Checking with the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation or the American Cancer Society are good reference sources for you.”

From an interview with David Lukowski, MD McLeod Orthopaedics Seacoast

Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common hand problems treated by McLeod Seacoast Orthopedic Specialist David Lukowski, MD – but finger joint replacements are becoming more common these days, as well.

Medically reviewed by David Bersinger, MD McLeod OB/GYN Cheraw

Most conversations and articles around the topic of Pelvic Health focus on women starting at age 35. Pelvic Health information for and about young women and teens are equally important.

From an article by Amy Murrell, MD Pee Dee Surgical Group

In the last decade, multiple advancements are increasing long-term survival for women with breast cancer. These advancements have included improvements in imaging technology, enhanced surgical techniques and new discoveries in oncology.

How Does Obesity Affect Joint Replacement?

Posted on in Orthopedics

Medically reviewed by Barry Clark, DO Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates

A 2016 study suggests that a person who is morbidly obese with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 40* would benefit from weight loss, and should start losing weight as much as two years before their knee or hip joint replacement.

Medically Reviewed by Timothy Hagen DO May is National Stroke Awareness Month

Stroke is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing on average 1 American every 4 minutes.There are a number of risks that can lead to a stroke. Among those risks are smoking, migraines, high blood pressure, and oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy. Another key risk factor is an irregular heartbeat called Atrial Fibrillation. In addition to heart palpitations, and dizziness, Afib can open the door to a crippling or fatal stroke.  McLeod Neurologist Dr. Timothy Hagen describes the problem.

Fibroids: Greater in African-American. Why?

Posted on in Women's Health

Medically reviewed by David Bersinger, MD McLeod OB/GYN Cheraw

Fibroids – non-cancerous growths in the uterus – are the most common pelvic tumor in women. Fibroids are also a major reason that women decide to undergo hysterectomies or myomectomies.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Pat Denton Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates

Ever try to hold up 150 or so pounds and keep it stable ALL DAY?

From an interview with Virginia Clyburn-Ipock, MD McLeod Radiation Therapy

Today’s radiation therapy for cancer uses computerized, multiple streams of highly focused beams to improve survival, reduce side effects and reduce the number of treatments needed.

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