State-of-the-art Clinic & Specialty Center to open in late March in downtown Minneapolis

 

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When the doors of the Hennepin Healthcare Clinic & Specialty Center open on March 26, 2018, patients will find their familiar caregivers in an inviting, convenient new building located on the campus in downtown Minneapolis. What they won’t find are multiple entrances, long skyways, and three block walks from the parking ramp their clinic. The new Clinic & Specialty Center has eliminated complicated wayfinding and created a seamless, patient-friendly experience – beginning with something simple as parking.

“Parking and convenient access are fundamental needs, which can be hard to accommodate downtown,” said Jon L. Pryor, MD, MBA, CEO. “So we built two levels of parking below the building with elevators that bring patients directly to the floor of their appointment. No more long walks from parking ramps and bus stops to get to our clinics.”     Continue reading “State-of-the-art Clinic & Specialty Center to open in late March in downtown Minneapolis”

Latest robotic technology now offered at Hennepin County Medical Center

Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) is now offering surgical procedures using the latest technology available with the da Vinci Xi HD Surgical System. The advanced, four-arm robotic system allows surgeons to perform complex, minimally invasive procedures that often result in smaller incisions and reduced blood loss, enhanced recovery times, a lower rate of complications and less time spent in the hospital.

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Kendall Feia, MD (center) and Ian Schwartz, MD (left) demonstrate the da Vinci Xi Surgical System for the surgery team.

“We may not be the first to offer da Vinci but that means we have the most innovative technology available literally at our fingertips,” explains urologist Kendall Feia, MD, who has performed hundreds of procedures using the da Vinci system and is one of the surgeons leading its implementation at the Level I Trauma Center.

The da Vinci Xi Surgery System integrates robotic technology to virtually extend the surgeon’s eyes and hands. While seated at a console in the operating room just a few feet away from the patient, the surgeon views a 3-D high-definition image of the surgical area and the intuitive system mimics the surgeon’s hand movements in real time while he or she operates. The surgeon is in complete control throughout the procedure.

“The precision offered by this technology enhances the surgical experience of my patients and ultimately gets them back to their daily activities as soon as possible,” said Dr. Feia. “That’s the most rewarding feature of da Vinci.”

In addition to general surgery cases for upper and lower GI concerns, surgical specialties most frequently using da Vinci include OB/GYN (for hysterectomy, endometriosis), urology (prostatectomy and nephrectomy), and thoracic surgery (lung cases).

More than 10,000 surgeries are performed annually at HCMC. While more than one-third of the surgical patients are considered “major” in severity of illness, HCMC surgeons also provide a full range of elective surgical care and have expertise in the latest minimally invasive techniques, including the da Vinci XI HD Surgical System. For more information, go to hcmc.org/surgery.

Keeping a stick on the ice

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Dr. Daniel DiBardino
is a double board-certified physician in both adult and congenital cardiothoracic surgery – in other words, he fixes hearts and where they live – both big and small.

“Every heart is precious and I understand the enormous responsibility of caring for every inch of this important organ,” Dr. DiBardino explains, “that’s why I’m so passionate about providing the most advanced surgical care to all patients with heart disease.”

Using extensive training from some of the best centers in the U.S. including Harvard Medical School and the University of Michigan, Dr. DiBardino works with Dr. Domenico Calcaterra, the Chief of Cardiothoracic Care at HCMC, to provide cutting edge care to patients such as valve repair and replacement, coronary bypass surgery, ECMO, and cardiothoracic trauma care. He’s also currently completing advanced training at the Minneapolis Heart Institute in minimally invasive valve surgery and heart transplant surgery.
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In 2010, Dr. DiBardino practiced at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he was featured in an episode of the TV series, Boston Med. But “Dr. DiBar” (as he was called on the show) feels right at home here in the State of Hockey – both on and off the ice. That’s right, he plays the sport and has already connected with some colleagues to chase pucks.

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Ashley and Daniel DiBardino

“I’ve been playing hockey for 30 years, including in areas where it’s not as popular,” he says. “It’s great to be able to live and work in Minnesota where everyone knows the game and there are so many opportunities to skate, watch hockey and be a hockey fan.”

Dr. DiBardino and his wife, Ashley, live in the Mill District/North Loop area of Minneapolis with their Papillon-mix dog, Gizmo. When he’s not working (or skating), Dr. DiBardino enjoys lifting weights at the gym, taking Gizmo for walks, and finding new places to eat out for dinner. For more information about Dr. DiBardino, check out the recent blog written by Dr. David Hilden after Dr. DiBardino was a guest on his radio show. The post can be found at myhealthymatters.org.

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Gizmo DiBardino

 

Keeping pounds off after weight loss win

Word Help written on a weight scale

How common is it to put the pounds back on after losing weight?
People with a significant weight problem who are highly motivated to lose weight using diet and exercise can almost always succeeded in losing some weight during the initial months of their attempt. If, however, you check with them again five years after starting the diet, about 95% of these people will have regained most or all of weight lost during the initial period.

Can our bodies actually resist losing weight?
Normally, a person’s body has a weight “set point,” that is, a weight at which the body prefers to stay. This set point is not set for all time and can change with life circumstances, including stress and age. At any given time, a person’s body resists change in weight, either gain or loss. When a person tries consciously to lose weight against the body’s desire to maintain its weight at that set point, the body slows its metabolism, so that the person has to reduce food intake much more than one would think in order to lose the desired amount of weight. Interestingly, the same thing occurs with weight gain. When people of healthy weight try, as part of an experiment, to gain weight by eating extra food, their bodies become very inefficient at using the extra food, and most of the additional calories are burned off as waste heat.

What is “resting metabolism”?
Resting metabolism is the rate at which the body uses energy (food calories) when not engaged in physical activity, for example in bed at night. The body reduces resting metabolism and makes more efficient use of food calories when a person diets to lose weight. There is no currently known safe and effective way to increase metabolic rate to help with weight loss. Some weight loss medications increase metabolism, but they only increase it a little, and their effects tend to wear off after about one year of use. In addition, for most weight loss medications, we do not have good evidence that they can be used safely beyond the first one or two years.

Do hormones play a role in weight gain and weight loss?ghrelin and leptin

There are a number of hormones that help the body communicate internally. Leptin helps body fat tissue communicate with the brain. When body fat tissue is excessive, leptin is relatively low. When body fat tissue is too low, leptin increases to tell the brain that the person needs to eat more. GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1) helps the intestine communicate with the pancreas about when and how much insulin to secrete. It also communicates with the brain about feelings of hunger and fullness. When the body’s ability to regulate these and other hormones is disturbed, it can result in obesity. There are currently some medications that can help to adjust levels of GLP-1 and reduce weight, but the amount of weight loss is fairly modest. There are currently no medications that help with the leptin system or other hormone systems involved in regulating weight. Weight loss surgery has profound beneficial effects on hormone systems that help the body regulate weight.

How can weight loss surgery help?
After gastric bypass surgery, the average patient loses about 60% of his or her starting excess weight. It is then common to regain a little weight and to settle in having kept off about 50% of initial excess weight. So, if a person needs to lose 100 pounds to achieve healthiest weight, gastric bypass surgery is likely to help her or him lose about 60 pounds over the first year or 2 with a slight regain of weight after that, so that, for the long term, that person’s weight is down about 50 pounds compared with prior to surgery.

Weight loss surgery is much more successful at combating the body’s resistance to weight change than dieting. You might consider weight loss surgery if your body mass index (BMI) is over 40 or if it is over 35 and you have other weight related health problems such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea or serious arthritis in weight-bearing joints. A BMI over 40 amounts to about 100 pounds over healthy weight for men and about 80 pounds over healthy weight for women.

People who have weight loss surgery live longer, happier, healthier lives than people who meet the criteria and decide not to have weight loss surgery. People who have gastric bypass surgery are about 40% less likely to die over the next ten years than people who decide not to have surgery. Quality of life studies show that people who have had weight loss surgery are more satisfied with their lives than those who have not. Many health problems, like those listed above, go into remission or at least improve after weight loss surgery.

Weight loss surgery is, therefore, much more effective in helping seriously overweight people lose a substantial amount of weight initially and much more effective in helping people keep the weight off year after year and decade after decade.

Dr. Guilford Hartley is an internal medicine specialist and Medical Director for the Hennepin Bariatric Center. He has worked in the area of adult and adolescent obesity since 1988, focusing on finding the best solutions suited to individual patients’ needs and with emphasis on weight loss surgery for severely obese people as the safest and most effective treatment now available. For more information, go to www.hcmc.org/weightloss.

 

HCMC’s Burn Center reverified as pediatric and adult burn center

Nsg stationThe American Burn Association and the American College of Surgeons recently completed their regularly scheduled site visit and reverified HCMC as a pediatric and adult burn center. Reviewers commended the Burn Center team on their commitment to excellence and providing quality burn care to patients.

In their summary document, reviewers noted a significant number of program strengths, including:

  • A patient-centered approach that fosters a true interdisciplinary team approach to burn care, manifesting in great communication and collaboration among services.
  • Excellent quality improvement programs.

The HCMC Burn Center is a regional leader with an inpatient market share exceeding any other hospital in the state. In addition, the Burn Clinic facilitates over 3,500 outpatient visits annually.

Nobody plans to get frostbite

In an “average” year, HCMC’s Burn Center cares for about 25 patients with frostbite requiring hospitalization. In 2014, more than 200 patients were admitted for care.

Dr. Ryan Fey
Dr. Ryan Fey

“It was one of the coldest winters in the past 30 years, so it’s no surprise that we saw an increase in frostbite injuries,” explains burn surgeon and critical care specialist Dr. Ryan Fey. “Obviously, the key is to avoid exposure to extreme cold temperatures. That means staying indoors when it’s cold, and if you have to be outdoors for any length of time, making sure you dress appropriately to stay warm – even if it’s just a run to the mailbox or from your house to your car.” Continue reading “Nobody plans to get frostbite”

Dr. Chad Richardson named Director of Trauma Services

Dr. Chad Richardson
Dr. Chad Richardson

Chad Richardson, MD, was recently named Director of Trauma Services at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC). He has been serving as Assistant Director since 2008 under his predecessor Dr. Arthur Ney, who chose to step down after 24 years as Director of Trauma Services. Dr. Ney, who developed HCMC’s successful trauma program (which achieved the state’s first Level I Trauma verification) remains an active trauma and general surgeon at HCMC.

“Dr. Richardson is well-prepared to lead us in the years ahead,” explains Dr. Mark Odland, Chief of Surgery at HCMC. “He’s an outstanding surgeon who is focused on delivering the best patient care possible for our trauma patients.”

Originally from Anoka, MN, Dr. Richardson graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School and completed his residency training in surgery at HCMC. He received a fellowship in surgical critical care at HCMC and a fellowship in Renal Transplant at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

Hennepin County Medical Center is a comprehensive academic medical center and public teaching hospital with the largest emergency department in the state. HCMC’s was the first hospital in Minnesota to achieve Level I Trauma Verification status, and in 2014 it will mark its 25th year as a Level I Trauma Center. In addition to the 462-bed acute care hospital and primary care and specialty clinics located in downtown Minneapolis, Hennepin offers primary care clinics in Minneapolis and suburban Hennepin County.