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Recent blog posts

Cut Your Risk of a Stroke

Posted on in Heart Health

May is National Stroke Awareness Month  Medically Reviewed by Nicolette Naso, MD

All of a sudden you feel dizzy. You try to talk, but it doesn’t come out right. Your leg (or arm or face) feels weak and numb. A splitting headache hits you out of the blue.  Your vision blurs. The symptoms of a stroke seem simple and straightforward.  However, a survey by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that only 38% of people could correctly identify all 5 symptoms of stroke. If these appear SUDDENLY, call 911 immediately. Stroke is the leading cause of death and long-term disability in the US. 


May is National Stroke Awareness Month
Medically Review by 
Timothy Hagen, DO

Migraine headaches are more common in women than men.  Migraines can often be crippling, sending a women to a quiet, darkened bedroom. Migraines are said to put a woman at greater risk of stoke than even family history of heart problems or high cholesterol.

5 Things You Need to Know About Endometriosis

Posted on in Women's Health

When a Woman’s Body Rebels
Medically reviewed by 
Dr. Dale Lusk

Ideally, tissue and blood vessels grow to line a woman’s uterus, enabling her to become pregnant. Once a month, if she’s not pregnant, the uterus sheds the lining. That’s her period. 

Medically reviewed by Rodney Alan, MD

For many folks, arthritis equals pain. And pain leads to limited activity. Years ago, doctors might even suggest that arthritis patients “be sure to rest their joints.” “More recently, we’ve come to understand that moderate exercise can offer many benefits, even for those with osteoarthritis in their knees, hips and back,” says McLeod Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Rodney Alan, MD. “Physical activity should be a priority to improve your symptoms and prevent or delay limitations if you combine aerobic, balance, range-of-motion and strengthening exercises.”

Unique Heart Risks for Women

Posted on in Heart Health

Medically Reviewed by Alan Blaker, MD

Not only do heart attacks in women exhibit with symptoms different from men, but women are different from men in the way some risk factors affect them. “Most coronary heart disease risk factors affect men as well as women,” says McLeod Cardiologist Alan Blaker, MD. “Three risks unique to women are related to birth control pills, pregnancy, and menopause.”

Medically reviewed by Dr. Dale Lusk

Fibroids – non-cancerous growths – that form in and around the uterus can cause heavy bleeding, pain, discomfort during sex and a frequent need to urinate. The most common way to eliminate the problem is for a woman to have the fibroids and her uterus removed through a hysterectomy. When the fibroids are removed, the bleed and pain will diminish. 

Chemotherapy – Fighting Cancer with 100+ Chemicals

Posted on in Cancer

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sreenivas Rao

Along with surgery and radiation therapy, chemotherapy – the use of powerful drugs to attack cancer cells – is one of the main treatments available to cancer patients. “Chemotherapy involves using a specific drug or one combination of several of the more than 100 now used, depending on the specific goal of treatment,” says McLeod Oncologist Dr. Sreenivas Rao.  “Not only is the specific mix of drugs important, but also the order in which the patient receives the drugs is critical. Sometimes chemo is given alone. Other times, it’s part of the treatment along with surgery or radiation therapy.”

When Baseball Hurts Your Child

Posted on in Orthopedics

Medically Reviewed by Pat Denton, M.D. Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates

While parents and grandparents might be struggling with the signs of aging (bad knee and hip joints, painful shoulders) orthopedic youth injuries are increasing at an alarming rate, especially in baseball. One researcher estimated that serious throwing injuries are occurring 16 times more often than just 30 years ago – even though orthopedic surgeon organizations have issued guidelines. According to the STOP Sports Injuries campaign, 20% of youth ages 8-12 and 45% of youth aged 13-14 will have arm pain during baseball season.

Are You Too Old for Heart Valve Surgery?

Posted on in Heart Health

Medically Reviewed by Cary Huber, MD

Fact: More than 300,000 people worldwide have heart valve surgery annually. Fact: Valve Replacement and Heart Bypass surgery (or a combination of the two) are the most common procedures in the “elderly.” Fact: More than 30% of the patients having heart valve surgery are over 70. Fact: More than 20% of heart valve surgical patients are over 75 years of age. 

Gardening for Beginners & Others To Avoid Injury
Medically Reviewed by 
Dr. Michael Sutton McLeod Orthopaedics Dillon

It’s no surprise that lawnmowers – with sharp, whirling blades -- top the list of causes for accidents in the yard. However, coming in second is the helpless little flowerpot – causing falls, cuts, and lifting injuries.“Gardening, like any physical activity, can lead to an orthopedic problem,” says McLeod Orthopedic Specialist Dr. Michael Sutton. “For gardeners, knees are a prime source of aches and pains.  Improper bending. Heavy lifting. And digging with your wrist at strange angles can also cause difficulties.”

5 Weird Heart Risks You May Not Know About

Posted on in Heart Health

Medically reviewed by Anil OM, MD

Baldness. Earlobes. Airports. Bowling Alleys. Breakfast. Yes, real scientific studies have shown that these 5 things are related to your risk of heart and vascular disease.  Here are some fun facts that have a serious side.

Medically Reviewed by John T. Atkins, MD

Let’s be honest: Smoking causes lung cancer. About 90% of lung cancers are caused by smoking. The more cigarettes you smoke a day and the younger you started smoking, the greater your risk of lung cancer. In South Carolina, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths – accounting for more victims each year than breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer combined.

Medically review by Eric Heimberger, MD

South Carolina plays a pivotal role in hip joint replacements. In September 1940, Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Austin Moore performed the United States’ first metal hip joint replacement in Columbia, SC.  “In the last 70 years, orthopedic specialists have introduced many improvements and developments to benefit hip replacement patients,” says Dr. Eric Heimberger of McLeod Orthopaedics Seacoast. “Most hip replacements include 2 pieces: a cup that fits into the hip socket and a stem that inserts into the leg bone (femur) and fits into the cup.”

Medically reviewed by Michael Carmichael, MD

Koreans would tell you that Kimchi – a spicy, fermented CABBAGE dish – can change your life. However, our apologies to Kimchi. In this article we are discussing the Coronary Artery Bypass Graft surgery, also known by its initials CABG and pronounced “cabbage.” It is also known as heart bypass surgery.

“I’ve seen patients who are relieved to find a specialist to handle the total knee joint replacement,” says Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Barry Clark of Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates. “Yet, they often don’t realize that their job was only 1/3 done.  The weeks before and after surgery are also vitally important to a person’s ultimate recovery.” 

Here are some tips to help you plan:

Patients with childhood acute leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease and testicular cancer all have something in common:  Cures for their cancers were developed through clinical trials.

Clinical trials can focus on diagnosis, screening and prevention. However, most of us think of clinical trials in the context of potential new treatments.  Patients who exhaust standard treatments in surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy often explore participation in clinical trials, where they can gain access to promising new treatments not generally available elsewhere.

Medically Reviewed by Michael Carmichael, MD

Want to have something in common with TV personality Barbara Walters? She had a TAVI.The most common heart valve problem is a narrowing of the aortic valve – the gateway for blood leaving the heart for the rest of the body. Aortic stenosis reduces the amount of oxygenated blood that reaches organs.

First, a few facts.  Feel free to use these at your next cookout or family dinner.

The knee is the largest joint in the body. With good reason. Walking and running.  Turning, crouching, climbing stairs and jumping. Or, simply standing around. In nearly every activity we undertake, the knee plays a key role.  

In 1831, a veterinarian described a condition of lameness that hit horses after exercise defining the problem as “claudication” from the Latin word meaning “to limp.”

These days, claudication describes a similar problem that affects 10% of people over 70, as well as about 2% of people aged 37-69. Men are twice as likely as women to suffer this health issue. Claudication symptoms are described as aching, burning, weakness or “dead weight” in their legs when walking.

Aortic Aneurysm - Screening Is Important.

Posted on in Heart Health

QUESTION: What can we do about a medical issue that 1) involves the largest, most important blood vessel in the body, 2) has few, if any, symptoms and 3) has a 90% risk of death if it ruptures?

ANSWER: If you are a man, a smoker and are age 65-75, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends an immediate ultrasound screening by your physician or a vascular specialist for an aortic aneurysm.

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