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Recent blog posts

Leukemia: When Cancer is in Your Blood

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Michael D. Pavy, MD

“Where’s coach?” several players asked. His absence from the regular Monday meeting struck the attendees as more than unusual. It was extraordinary for their NFL head coach to miss this critical weekly team meeting. Indianapolis Colts Coach Chuck Pagano “skipped” that meeting in 2012 because he was in the hospital being treated for leukemia.

When Your Aching Shoulder Leads to Joint Replacement

Posted on in Orthopedics

Medically reviewed by Pat Denton, MD

What’s the first thing they ask you to do in school?  Raise your hand. Right? So, if it’s something you’ve practiced most of your life, why does it hurt so much now? One possible answer: You may need a shoulder joint replacement, the third most common joint replacement after knees and hips.  “The shoulder is more complicated than some joints in the body,” says Dr. Pat Denton of Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates. “It’s actually several joints with muscles and tendons that enable a broad range of motion, enabling you to reach for your wallet, swing a golf club and hammer a nail. 

4 Tips on Spotting a Stroke

Posted on in Heart Health

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

Surviving a stroke – essentially a heart attack in the brain – requires a fast trip to the Emergency Room and immediate treatment once you arrive. To achieve these two goals, you must be able to spot the signs of a stroke as soon as they appear. McLeod Vascular Surgeon Dr. Christopher Cunningham uses the four-letter word, "F.A.S.T." to help us remember:

Medically reviewed by Valencia Oxendine-Rose, MS, ATC

Let’s start with a quick quiz.  Which of the following help reduce the inflammation and pain of osteoarthritis – the major cause of knee and hip replacements? (Mark ALL that apply)

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:

Medically reviewed by Dr. Michael Sutton McLeod Orthopaedics Dillon

How much difference does 20 years make? In 1994, a British study determined that you should not drive for at least 8 weeks after a total joint replacement in your right knee. Twenty years later, how has the advancement in surgical technique, implant materials, pain management and physical rehabilitation, changed the guidance on when you can return to driving? “We start with the understanding that you should not be on pain medications or narcotics,” says McLeod Orthopedic Specialist Dr. Michael Sutton. “The next benchmark is whether your reflexes and normal strength have returned.  And the third variable is whether it’s your right or left knee or hip.”


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

Aneurysm is a medical term for a bulge in a blood vessel. When that bulge occurs in the aorta -- a key artery carrying blood from the heart – it can threaten your life. McLeod Vascular Surgeon Dr. Christopher Cunningham explains surgical treatment to repair the aneurysm. In the video, Dr. Cunningham shows a dramatic before-and-after comparison of a successful surgery on an abdominal aortic aneurysm.


From a presentation by Dr. Eric Heimberger McLeod Orthopaedics Seacoast

In any surgery, there is some level of risk.  However, advancements in technology and surgical technique for hip joint replacements has raised the level of success and lowered the possibility of infection, blood loss, nerve damage or other complications says McLeod Orthopedic specialist Dr. Eric Heimberger.

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

When your blood pressure is too high, the power of blood rushing like a roaring river can weaken your arteries from the inside. McLeod Vascular Surgeon Dr. Christopher Cunningham explains what can be done when blood rips the inner layers of the artery apart:


From an interview with Gary Emerson, M.D. McLeod OB/GYN Associates

From large, very visible scars traveling across the abdomen to small scars, less pain, and faster recovery.  That describes the path that surgery for incontinence and other women’s pelvic health problems has taken in the 21st Century. McLeod Gynecologist Gary Emerson, M.D., describes the progress and outlines where minimally invasive techniques are used today:


From a presentation by Dr. Eric Heimberger McLeod Orthopaedics Seacoast

Today’s total knee joint replacement patient is helped to get back on their feet and start physical rehabilitation the same day of surgery. Dr. Eric Heimberger offers an overview of this common surgical procedure.


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

Pain comes with aging. But a specific type of back pain warns of an impending disaster – a bulge in one of your body’s key blood vessels, ready to explode. McLeod Vascular Surgeon Dr. Christopher Cunningham describes what to look for:

From an interview with Gary Emerson, M.D. McLeod OB/GYN Associates

That sudden, unexpected urge to urinate – anytime, anywhere – can cripple a woman’s life. Constantly searching for restrooms. Hurrying to get there in time. “Unfortunately, there are no entirely successful surgical solutions to this problem,” says McLeod Gynecologist Gary Emerson, M.D. Yet, he notes that non-surgical solutions are improving.


From a presentation by Dr. Eric Heimberger McLeod Orthopaedics Seacoast

Nagging knee or hip pain can be mentally aggravating while keeping you from enjoying life.  McLeod Orthopedic Surgeon Eric Heimberger, M.D. provides a list of more than a half dozen more conservative, non-surgical options that might help you avoid surgery:

Hear That Swooshing? Could be a Heart Murmur.

Posted on in Heart Health

From an interview with Alan Blaker, M.D. Pee Dee Cardiology

A heart murmur could be a sign of…nothing. Or… it could be the sign of some more serious underlying problem. McLeod Cardiologist Alan Blaker says if your personal physician hears “swishing” or “swooshing” sound through his stethoscope, you should see a cardiologist promptly.


From an interview with Gary Emerson, M.D. McLeod OB/GYN Associates

Like many surgical approaches, the ability to treat stress incontinence has made tremendous advances in the past several decades. McLeod Gynecologist Gary Emerson, M.D., explains the most common surgical and non-surgical treatments for women who have embarrassing bladder leakage when they cough or sneeze:

Medically reviewed by Michael Sutton, D.O.

You’re thinking about a total joint replacement. And there is a lot to think about when it comes a new knee or hip joint. “The actual surgery for knee replacement or hip replacement is very common, but gives a patient much to consider, “ says McLeod Orthopedic Specialist Dr. Michael Sutton. “Testing, the day of surgery, pain, coming home, returning to your life and work. Here are some tips on avoiding problems after your surgery so that you get the most out of that new knee or hip.”


From an interview with Alan Blaker, M.D. Pee Dee Cardiology

Cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons play different and equally important roles in the care of a patient with Heart Disease, as McLeod Cardiologist Alan Blaker explains: Cardiologists will generally handle the diagnosis and medical treatment or nonsurgical procedures like balloon angioplasty, coronary stents, ablation procedures or devices like pacemakers or defibrillators. Cardiothoracic surgeons will handle bypass surgery and surgical valve replacement procedures. After surgery the patient will usually follow up with a cardiologist long term once released by the surgeon. Some newer procedures actually involve the talents of both cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgery such as TAVR or percutaneous valve replacement procedures. 


From an interview with Gary Emerson, M.D. McLeod OB/GYN Associates

The day a woman finally decides to move past the embarrassment of Stress Incontinence or Urge Incontinence and seek care, is a benchmark she’ll long remember.  It’s the start of a journey to regain control of her life. No more leakage when she sneezes or coughs. No more constant scanning for a bathroom because of her overactive bladder. Yet, a woman has some work to do before she sees the doctor. McLeod Gynecologist Gary Emerson, M.D. suggests keeping a diary is key to beginning the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment:

Medically reviewed by Rodney Alan, M.D.

“I’m sweating like when I was a kid picking cucumbers in July,” thought Michael as he approached the airport security checkpoint. It was anxiety – not the summer heat – triggering Mike’s perspiration. He was taking his first airplane trip after receiving a hip joint replacement. “Will my hip set off the metal detector?  Will they pull me out of line for an embarrassing and time-consuming special check?” worried Mike. Michael’s not alone. The rate of total joint replacements for knee and hips continues to climb. Even the U.S. economic downturn, starting in 2008, did not halt the growth of joint replacements. One researcher called them “recession proof.” If you’re like Michael – living with a knee joint or hip replacement and planning air travel -- you might have a few questions. 

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