Mind & Body
Spotlight on Healthcare Taking Care of our Community
10/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Spotlight on Healthcare


From the day we are born, our lives are impacted by dedicated healthcare workers and medical institutions. When we are young, pediatricians monitor our growth, provide vaccinations that keep us well, and bring us back to health during an illness. As adults, we maintain our health through the help of primary care doctors and physician specialists. Nurses and allied health professionals provide care every step of the way, as well. As we age, gerontologists may guide us through our senior years. In this issue’s cover section, we recognize the contributions that healthcare workers and health organizations make to our community by highlighting a variety of services offered at several local healthcare facilities. You’ll find stories on some of the latest technologies available at area hospitals; a new rehabilitation center, robotic technology, hospice care, and more.



A More Comfortable Mammogram Experience Is Now Available

by Christine Fisher


A new, more comfortable mammogram is now available at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital. The Smart Curve 3D has a curved design that mirrors the shape of a woman’s breast to reduce pinching and apply uniform compression.


"Sometimes, what seems like a small change can make a world of difference,” explains Rhonda Ryker, WCCH Breast Health Navigator. Women often report that the fear of pain is a big reason why they avoid or delay getting their annual mammogram. This puts a woman at risk of a diagnosis at a more advanced stage when it’s more difficult to treat with a positive outcome. The Smart Curve system addresses this issue to give women a more pleasant experience.

According to Hologic, the company that designed the Smart Curve technology, 93 percent of patients said it improved the comfort of a mammogram. These women had previously reported moderate to severe discomfort with standard compression technology.  


"The processing software is designed to take the geometry of the curved surface into account, so the resulting images have the same appearance as images taken using standard compression,” explains Ryker.  


Annual mammograms are recommended for women starting at age 40, according to the American College of Radiology. "If breast cancer is detected at some point during a woman’s life, finding it early greatly increases a woman’s survival rate. In addition, her quality of life is enhanced because usually less extensive treatments are needed for early stages of breast cancer,” Ryker says. 

Kathy Bourgeois recently had a Smart Curve mammogram at WCCH and says, "It was the most comfortable mammogram that I’ve had and I would recommend it to anyone. It might be hard to believe but I’ve had zero pain with the Smart Curve mammogram.”  


"It seemed softer,” says Elnette Tolbert, who also recently experienced the new mammography technology at WCCH. "I didn’t feel inhibited while I was having the mammogram done, and the staff at WCCH are very friendly and caring. If you need a mammogram, WCCH is the place to go.”

Ryker, who administers mammograms at WCCH as well as guides patients through their breast cancer treatment, says she is pleased this technology is available. "This makes the experience much better and it eliminates the reason that many women were delaying or dreading getting their mammogram. Early detection makes quite a difference in the treatment outcome if cancer is diagnosed. We want women to be in control of their health; we’re doing everything we can to help women live healthy lives.”


Mammograms are available by appointment at WCCH, call (337) 527-4256 to schedule. 



The Diep Flap - New Breast Reconstruction Procedure Helps Women After Breast Cancer Treatment


Undergoing a mastectomy can be an arduous, sometimes heartbreaking, and life-changing endeavor. Losing one or both breasts to breast cancer, even as a preventative measure, can sometimes leave the patient feeling that a "piece” of them is missing. However, there is a procedure that may bring peace of mind for those looking to be made "whole” again. 


Previously, women affected by breast cancer may have felt as though living with the results of their mastectomy meant implants were the only option for a normal life again. But there is a more natural alternative. For those who feel implants aren’t right for them, there’s a revolutionary procedure that uses a patient’s own tissue to restore their breasts. It’s called DIEP flap. 


Deep inferior epigastric perforator flap surgery, otherwise known as a DIEP flap, is a procedure that uses the lower abdomen as a donor site where surgeons borrow vascularized tissue, without affecting the muscles of the abdomen. With this technique, the breast is restored with similar tissue (the abdominal fat). For patients lacking in abdominal excess or a previous abdominoplasty, there are alternative sites available for living tissue. 


This procedure has many benefits. It can be performed at the time of mastectomy or can be scheduled at a later time and many women find the procedure very similar to a "tummy tuck”, as another result of the procedure is a flatter abdomen.


Patients also have a greater chance of retaining their abdominal strength, as a normal procedure does not require any muscle to be used. Located in Lafayette, Delatte Plastic Surgery and Skin Care Specialists pride themselves as one of the best in South Louisiana and are pleased to share their revolutionary treatments, professionals, and procedures with their neighbors in Southwest Louisiana. More specifically, Dr. Delatte and Dr. St. Hilaire want to reach out to those who may feel there are no other options after a mastectomy. 


"I thought that I’d be fine with no implants or reconstructive surgery, but when I sat with my surgical oncologist, he made it clear that studies showed that reconstruction/implants greatly added to the quality of life. When I shared with him I was not interested in surgical implants, he highly recommended I talk to Dr.Delatte.” 


-Tammy Cecil (DIEP flap patient)


For more information or to make an appointment, call Delatte Plastic Surgery and Skin Care Specialists, located in Lafayette, at 337-269-4949 or see their website, https://drdelatte.com.



Lung Cancer - DiagnosisNew Minimally Invasive Technology Aids with Earlier Detection 


In the past, to effectively diagnose most lung lesions, doctors had to rely on traditional bronchoscopy or a needle biopsy, which may result in a collapsed lung. Some patients even had to undergo traditional open surgery, which requires a large incision, broken ribs and a long recovery time just to find out if the lesion was cancerous or not. 


But now, as part of the Lake Charles Memorial Cancer Center comprehensive lung health program, patients have the option of a minimally invasive procedure  which can aid in earlier diagnosis of lung lesions, so those with cancer can get treated as soon as possible and patients with benign conditions can potentially avoid surgery. 


These Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy™ procedures, also known as ENB™ procedures, which are performed with a device known as the superDimension™ navigation system with LungGPS™ technology, allow the physician to navigate and access difficult-to-reach areas of the lung from the inside. Memorial Medical Group Pulmonologists Clifford Courville, MD and Gary Kohler, MD are trained to use this new technology. 


"The superDimension™ navigation system, with GPS-like technology, is a significant advance for aiding in the diagnosis of lung cancer and overcomes limitations of traditional diagnostic approaches including bronchoscopy, needle biopsy and surgery,” says Dr. Courville. "By guiding us through the complicated web of pathways inside the lungs, we’re able to access and sample target tissue throughout the entire lung without the need for higher risk procedures. With this technology, we’re able to get anywhere in the lung to acquire a biopsy or tissue sample, stage the lymph nodes and prepare for future treatment all in one procedure.”


"With the superDimension™ system, the CT scan images are used to create a roadmap of the thousands of tiny pathways inside the lungs,” says Dr. Kohler. "The LungGPS™ technology then provides a roadmap that allows us to guide tiny tools through the lung pathways so we can take tissue samples of the lesion and place markers. This technology prevents patients from undergoing multiple procedures.”


This new procedure comes on the heels of another procedure called Endobronchial ultrasound or EBUS, which allows a technique known as transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA) to obtain tissue or fluid samples from the lungs and surrounding lymph nodes without conventional surgery. 

Dr. Courville has used this procedure since 2015 to diagnose lung cancer, infections and other inflammatory diseases of the chest more quickly and accurately. He has been joined by fellow Memorial Medical Group Pulmonologist, Ben Thompson, MD who is also now trained to do the procedure. 


"A scope is inserted through the mouth and the real-time image-guided technology allows us to have pinpoint accuracy in obtaining a biopsy from the targeted area. The technique allows access to areas of the chest where it is traditionally difficult to biopsy,” Dr. Thompson says. "The traditional way to sample those lymph nodes in the chest would be minimally invasive surgery, which may require a couple of days in the hospital. EBUS is done outpatient, with moderate sedation and only takes about 30 minutes.”


The samples taken with EBUS are then used for diagnosing and staging lung cancer, detecting infections, and identifying inflammatory diseases that affect the lungs, such as sarcoidosis, tuberculosis or other cancers like lymphoma. 

With the addition of these new technologies, Lake Charles Memorial Hospital is poised to remain at the forefront of lung cancer diagnosis and treatment, and Memorial Medical Group Pulmonology helps lead the way. 


For more information you call Memorial Medical Group Pulmonology Associates at 337-494-2750 or go to www.lcmh.com.



The Lodge - New Facility in Lake Charles Offers Rehab-to-Home Option

by Angie Kay Dilmore


There’s a new alternative in Southwest Louisiana for patients who require intensive physical therapy and rehab, with the goal of returning home. Located adjacent to Lake Charles Care Center, The Lodge offers a unique experience for a temporary stay with 20 private suites, televisions in each room with free cable and Wi-Fi, restaurant-style dining or in-room meal service, a reception lobby for visiting with guests, 24-hour skilled nursing care, and custom programs to promote social, emotional, and physical well-being. Amenities include an in-house beauty salon, barber, and nail service, and transportation to and from local establishments and doctor visits. Through a private entrance, The Lodge affords an upscale community with dedicated, experienced staff offering in-house physical, occupational, and speech therapy for those in the Lake Area with orthopedic, neurological, and other diagnoses.  


"The Lodge has been in the works conceptually for some time now,” stated Buck Fellows, Administrator of Lake Charles Care Center and The Lodge. "Our management team recognized the high demand for a community where one could go for a short stay to receive rehabilitation services and coupled that with our expertise in all disciplines of therapy, and the idea became a reality.” 

The state-of-the art therapy gym provides high-tech aerobic exercise equipment; free weights for traditional motor strengthening, coordination, and neurological re-education; ultrasound for deep tissue heating to minimize muscle pain and movement dysfunction; several electrical stimulation interventions and moist heat application to address pain management, poor motor control, muscle strengthening, and motor re-training. Parallel bars and stair platforms help prepare a patient to return to the home environment. Laundry set-up and a full kitchen help train a patient to be independent in the home. Pet therapy is employed to assist in social and cognitive function. These are only a sampling of the therapies, treatments, and amenities available at The Lodge.


From the time a patient arrives at The Lodge, the goal is to return the patient home quickly, safely, and with the confidence needed to continue to full recovery. Discharge planning includes a home assessment for optimal return to a safe environment, equipment and home modification recommendations, caregiver education and training, and an individualized home exercise program.

When your hospital stay is over, but your therapies and recovery continue, consider The Lodge to provide the round-the-clock care you need before returning home. "From friendly surroundings to personalized 24-hour service, our community is a true home away from home, embracing values of dignity, understanding and respect,” Fellows says. "In addition to the new construction of The Lodge, we also completed a major refurbishment of Lake Charles Care Center which houses our long-term residents and Memory Care Community.”


The Lodge is located at 2701 Ernest St., Lake Charles. For more information, call 337-439-0336.



Heart of Hospice Delivers Compassionate Care at End of Life


Since 2007, Heart of Hospice has provided compassionate, quality, end-of-life care throughout the communities it serves. In 2014, Heart of Hospice was purchased by Evening Post Industries (EPI) because of its strong foundation in quality and compliance. EPI believed that Heart of Hospice could lead the transformation of the industry through a commitment to breaking barriers to access and providing high quality end-of-life care to all eligible hospice patients. With strong, experienced, leadership Heart of Hospice not only became the transformative hospice that was envisioned but also grew exponentially. Originally serving four locations across Louisiana, Heart of Hospice is now the largest hospice in Louisiana and serves over 1200 patients and families across 15 locations throughout Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Oklahoma.


Their philosophy of care makes Heart of Hospice different from other hospice providers. Their vision and mission are not just words on the page. They believe that all hospice-eligible patients and those that love them deserve the best care at the end of life. They meet each patient and family where they are, not allowing cost or complexity of care to be a barrier to access. In addition to traditional hospice patients, Heart of Hospice is skilled at caring for hospice-eligible patients who still have hope, are receiving therapies such as IV, radiation, and chemotherapy, and patients who might not live in a traditional home setting. They serve patients wherever they call home, whether in an Assisted Living Facility, a Skilled Nursing Facility, in a tent, under a bridge, on a boat, or in a traditional home setting. While some hospices take these patients on a case by case basis, Heart of Hospice strives to serve ALL hospice-eligible patients. To date, they have not turned away any eligible patients, including those who have no ability to pay.


Many patients and families who elect the hospice benefit often report that they wish they had hospice sooner. Hospice is so much more than most people understand. Heart of Hospice employs an entire team ready to provide specialized, individualized care and comfort to the patient and the family ensuring that the end-of-life experience is as comfortable as possible. Care teams can include any combination of the following: hospice physician, registered nurse, social worker, chaplain, nurse practitioner, hospice aide, dietician, volunteers, and physical, occupational, and speech therapists. 

Additionally, the hospice benefit is 100% covered by Medicare and Medicaid. This relieves the burden of medical bills commonly associated with end-of-life costs and makes hospice the most inclusive and best choice for end-of-life care.


For more information, see their website, www.heartofhospice.net, or call 337-855-5154. Located at 750 Bayou Pines E., Lake Charles.



Memorial for Women


Since opening its doors over 16 years ago, Memorial for Women has provided the highest level of service with the most state-of-the-art facility specifically for women in the Southwest Louisiana community. 


Alesha Alford, Vice President of Women’s Services at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital and Administrator of Memorial for Women says, "Memorial for Women is the first facility in Southwest Louisiana focused on family-centered care which provides the most memorable birth experience for our patients. Mother and baby are cared for in the same room by the same nurse. This setting allows a better bonding experience between mother and baby.”


Rather than having a room to labor, a different room to deliver, and a third room to recover in, women stay in the same spacious room for the entirety of their stay. Another significant change was the encouragement for baby to room-in with the mother after birth. 


The response to the new campus was gradual, but positive—over a thousand babies were born before the end of Memorial for Women’s first year of existence. They did, however, face some challenges in those early days. Alford says, "It was a new and not widely accepted concept in our community to keep the baby with the mom for the entire duration of her stay. Over time, the skilled expertise of our physicians and nursing staff helped change the community’s perception of this model of care. Mothers and their families actually now prefer to keep the baby in the room with them. Memorial for Women currently delivers more than 2000 babies a year!”


In overcoming these challenges, the facility was awarded many times over in the last few years, including a recognition as a Center of Excellence in Women’s Health Surgery from the American Institute of Minimally Invasive Surgery; Excellence in Promoting Infant Safe Sleep Practices from the Department of Health; The Gift award for Excellence in Promoting the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding from the Department of Health; and a designation from the March of Dimes for reducing the number of elective inductions/births before 39 weeks gestation.


The Present

Currently, Memorial for Women serves the largest percentage of women in Southwest Louisiana. While a large focus is on childbirth, they currently serve women from puberty through the rest of their lives. They’ve gained a reputation for being a family friendly birth center, a center for patient-focused women’s health practices, as well as an unparalleled neonatal specialty care unit. In April 2018, Memorial for Women celebrated a significant milestone of 25,000 total births at the campus.

They’ve also recently expanded the early labor department, allowing for mothers experiencing symptoms of early labor or any concerns throughout their pregnancy to be seen quickly and comfortably. Going from three beds to eight beds, they are now able to see the 450 patients that come in every month more easily.


The Future

Construction has just been completed at the campus, adding an entire new wing consisting of 14 beds and two operating suites. Despite the amazing achievements of Memorial for Women, they are not planning to settle any time soon. Over the next several years, there are plenty of projects in store to expand and improve the level of services offered to the women and families of Southwest Louisiana.


The approach to childbirth is changing across the nation. Alford says that whatever the future holds, Memorial for Women is ready for it.


For more information on services, go to  www.lcmh.com/memorialforwomen.



Avail Hospital - More than Emergency & Inpatient Care


One visit to Avail Hospital is all it takes to recognize that this is a place unlike any hospital or emergency room you’ve ever visited. From the minimal wait times before you’re taken back to see a physician – to the follow up call you’ll receive the day after you return home – and everything in between, you’ll discover very quickly what makes the Avail Hospital experience truly unique and amazing.


From its very beginning, Avail Hospital has been focused on more than just emergency care. While Avail’s skilled emergency medicine doctors are always available to quickly diagnose and treat sudden illnesses, injuries, and health complications, they look deeper into the problem to correctly diagnose each patient. With this consistently in-depth approach, they create unique health profiles for every patient in order to best treat each one as a whole person.


A patient-centered approach

With this approach toward caring for the whole patient, Avail Hospital has clearly put the care back in healthcare in every way. Board-certified physicians work around the clock with teams of professionals in providing comfortable, patient-centered care that is evident in everything from the hospital’s state-of-the-art technology designed to aid accurate diagnosis to customized, chef-prepared meals and Netflix in every room for patients who require overnight or longer stays. Avail Hospital has transformed the hospital experience into care without compromise.


The result of this unique approach is better in more ways than one. When patients get more time with their physicians, the patient-physician relationship improves, resulting in a more comprehensive care plan. Through real conversations, in-depth testing and examination, and support from a highly skilled professional team, which all come together to provide a care experience that is positive and comforting, patients can get back to their daily lives feeling confident and truly cared for.


The Avail difference

Despite the special amenities and upscale facilities, Avail Hospital, which accepts all major insurance plans, is not a club and charges no membership fees. The remarkable environment and experience you’ll find there is the result of the hospital’s dedication to providing a superior patient experience. 

This desire to go further and offer more for patients has driven Avail Hospital to create its already unique offerings – and to look ahead to offering its Lake Charles-area patients even more options and additional healthcare services in the future.



Wound & Lymphedema Treatment at Beauregard Health System


Building on the 69-year tradition of our healing mission, Beauregard Health System is dedicated to offering the most comprehensive and innovative care possible. An area leader in both wound care and lymphedema treatment, Beauregard Health System’s Wound Care Clinic provides treatment that is designed to enhance quality of life, prevent debility, and provide long-term management strategies to patients, by delivering advanced care that is adapted and targeted to each patient’s individual needs. 


Beauregard Health System’s goal is to promote early and lasting recovery of acute and chronic wounds, such as diabetic foot or pressure ulcers, burns, traumatic wounds, ulcers caused by poor circulation, surgical wounds, or any slow-healing wounds. Non-healing wounds can have a tremendous impact on quality of life and performance of daily activities. A variety of proven, effective treatment options to help wounds heal, including debridement, compression, negative pressure therapy and specialized dressings are available at Beauregard Health System. Tracy Winkley, PT, MPT, CWS, CLT, Certified Wound Specialist, uses complex, interdisciplinary knowledge of treating and assessing wounds to offer patients the most advanced, innovative care possible. 


Lymphedema is a very common and serious condition, affecting at least three million Americans. It occurs if the lymphatic system becomes insufficient and is unable to perform its normal functions. The result is an abnormal accumulation of water and proteins principally in the subcutaneous tissues, causing chronic swelling. Lymphedema is serious, due to its long-term physical and psychosocial consequences for patients; it continues to progress if left untreated. Although common in patients with breast cancer, damage to the lymph system from surgical procedures and radiation for any cancer treatment, as well as traumatic injury, infections or chronic circulation issues can cause lymphedema. As a Certified Lymphedema Therapist, Winkley offers complete decongestive therapy for people with primary and secondary lymphedema.


Contact your health professional or Beauregard Health System’s Wound Care Clinic at 337-462-7320 to schedule a consult today or for more information.



Robots Assist in Eradicating Bacteria

by Christine Fisher


Jennings American Legion Hospital hopes to soon welcome two robots to its Infection Prevention Team. Two Tru-D UV robots are earmarked for purchase once the funds are raised, says Phyllis Theriot, Director of Infection Prevention at JALH. "We’ve almost reached the fundraising goal,” she says.


"These robots are mobile units that can be moved among patient rooms. They use ultraviolet light to disinfect and kill bacteria. These units will work in conjunction with our Environmental Services team,” Theriot explains. "Once a room is thoroughly cleaned, we will utilize a UV robot as an added safeguard.”


The device’s sensors calculate the amount of UVC energy needed to disinfect an entire room while compensating for room variables, such as surface reflectivity, the size and shape of the room, then the unit delivers UV light to hit the entire room, virtually eliminating bacteria. 


"Researchers have studied the available UV robots currently on the market for cleaning hospitals. Tru-D is the device of choice for nearly all of the existing independent research on UVC disinfection technology, including a study funded by the Centers for Disease Control’s Epicenter Program at Duke University, the University of North Caroline, and eight other hospitals,” Theriot says.


"This technology will be an added line of defense to protect patients from infections and provide improved patient outcomes,” says Theriot. JALH is the first hospital within Southwest Louisiana to introduce a UV robot as part of patient safety. The funds for this robot, as well as other past projects, come from the hospital’s foundation fundraising efforts. "Our community and our employees have been generous in donating funds for hospital upgrades,” explains Mindy Hetzel, JALH Foundation and Marketing Director. "In the last three years, we have raised $207,924.22. We’ve been able to purchase three EKG machines, three AccuVein machines, two defibrillators, make upgrades to our Emergency Department, as well as provide extensive employee training.


The next fundraiser for the hospital is "Laugh for Life Comedy Dinner and Auction” on November 7 at the Grand Marais Ballroom and Pavilion in Jennings. Ticket and sponsor information is available by calling 337-616-7031.  



Local Doctor Treats Glaucoma Using World’s Smallest Human Implant


Over three million Americans suffer from glaucoma. Glaucoma is a buildup of eye pressure that may lead to irreversible blindness, if not treated. Up until now, treatment options were severely limited. 

Now there is a new, innovative procedure called iStent Inject, giving people with glaucoma real relief. It’s available at Hart Eye Center in Lake Charles.


The procedure uses two stents. This is the smallest medical device known to be implanted in the human body. Together, they relieve pressure and prevent further damage to the optic nerve.

The stents work like tiny drainpipes, allowing excess fluid to flow out of the eye. They are inserted during cataract surgery for optimal success.


Dr. Hart states the biggest benefit of this procedure is it enables the patient to discontinue the use of eye drops, which is the most common treatment for glaucoma."People often don’t use the eye drops. They forget to use them, they can cause red, irritated eyes, and sometimes they lose their effectiveness,” said Dr. Hart. "So being able to do such a minor procedure inside the eye is very helpful to the patient.”


"In the past, glaucoma procedures were highly invasive and often ineffective”, says Dr. Hart. "However, the small size of the iStent Inject allows for minimal disturbance to the eye.” For Southwest Louisiana resident Consuela Thomas, the procedure has been life changing.


"My glaucoma drops were not working. They were making my eyes red,” said Thomas, who had the procedure done this summer. "My eyes were also very dry, but they are not anymore, and I no longer have to use eye drops.”


Cost and irritation of drops are no longer a concern for Thomas. "Dr. Hart will work with your specific problems,” she said. Dr. Hart says many people don’t realize they have glaucoma until significant damage has already occurred. Therefore, it’s important to see an eye care professional.  

"Everyone should be screened at least once in their life for the possibility of glaucoma, especially if there is a family history,” he said. 


Dr. Hart provides screenings at Hart Eye Center, 1727 Imperial Blvd Building 1, Suite B, Lake Charles. For more information or to make an appointment, call 337-439-4014.



Genetics Testing at CHRISTUS Ochsner Lake Area Hospital

 

CHRISTUS Ochsner Lake Area Hospital is focused on healing, but the main goal is prevention through knowing your risks and creating a specialized plan that is unique to you. Thanks to medical research, CHRISTUS Ochsner Lake Area now offers a wellness, screening and genetics program that allows patients to answer a few simple questions to determine their cancer risks.

 

By offering newly developed tools for identifying both genetic and lifestyle cancer risk, advanced imaging technology and personalized management of cancer risk, this program enables patients to understand and address their risk at a much earlier stage in their lives.


As the name implies, the program focuses on three primary areas: wellness assessment, screening tests and genetic risk factors. For the initial wellness assessment, a Nurse Navigator is assigned to all patients who are at a higher-than-average risk for developing breast cancer. Lifestyle commendations are then made and managed for patients who need to reduce their weight and stress for improved wellness. This provides patients a chance to take an initial, active role in their own care and treatment.


Next, CHRISTUS Ochsner Lake Area Hospital experts guide each patient through a screening process while using state-of-the-art technology to help identify and diagnose. Three-dimensional mammography screening is performed to improve image quality and enable the identification of lesions that typically hide in dense breast tissue. Three-dimensional ultrasound, as well as Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging, is used to further investigate any suspicious tissue. Finally, three-dimensional mammography biopsy is performed to determine tissue type and rule out suspicious tissue.


The final focus is genetics. Through a simple blood test, a patient can learn his or her lifetime risk for eight types of cancer using tools that focus on Hereditary and Lifetime Risk. Tele-Genetics education and counseling is provided to qualifying patients by our licensed professionals, and if indicated, genetic testing is performed to evaluate hereditary risk. Follow-up consultation is provided by a team of professionals. Once results are reviewed, a personalized plan for proactive treatment is created.

This comprehensive, proactive approach allows patients to understand and address their risks at a much earlier stage in their lives, which leads to beating the odds against the genetic risk of cancer. No age is too early to identify risks, and the best time to fight cancer is now. CHRISTUS Ochsner Lake Area Hospital helps area residents win that battle before it even begins.


For more information, call 337-474-6370.


CHRISTUS Ochsner Health St. Patrick's Hospital 

Robotic-Assisted Surgery Benefits Patients


CHRISTUS Ochsner St. Patrick Hospital is setting the standard in our communities for providing the most advanced technology and treatments. They are invested in ensuring that Southwestern Louisiana can access world-class healthcare without leaving town. One area making a huge impact is robotic-assisted surgery.


Their robotic-assisted technology, like the da Vinci Si and Mako surgery systems, allows surgeons to maneuver with a range of motion and visibility never before available. These technological advancements provide surgeons with incredible resources that enable a minimally invasive approach that was previously impossible. More importantly, these techniques mean huge advantages for patients: more precision, significantly less pain, shorter hospital stays, faster recoveries, fewer complications, and less scarring.


CHRISTUS Ochsner St. Patrick Hospital is proud to have been the first to bring robotic assisted surgery to Southwest Louisiana in 2006. The da Vinci Si is designed to provide clinical benefits and efficiency to physicians, from improved ability to see and navigate within the body during procedures, to the ability to be more precise and agile than what is possible with the human hand. Together, these technological advancements provide surgeons with unparalleled precision, skill, and control. For patients, that means easier procedures, performed more efficiently, with less pain and faster recovery – advanced treatment options first made available here.


The Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery system allows orthopedic surgeons to perform complex knee and hip replacement surgeries more with more precision for better results. Mako robotic-arm assisted surgery offers a chance for patients of all ages to get back on their feet and back to their lives faster.


With robotic surgery, surgeons can perform delicate and complex procedures that may have been difficult or impossible with other methods. As pioneers and experts in this new frontier of health care, CHRISTUS Ochsner Health St. Patrick Hospital provides Southwestern Louisiana with a truly life-changing resource, at home in Lake Charles.



Imperial Health Adds Neurology and Neuromuscular Medicine Services

by Kristy Como Armand


Imperial Health, the region’s largest multispecialty medical group, recently announced the addition of Neurology to their range of services. "We saw an unmet need in this area of patient care and are very excited to expand our services with the addition of neurology and neuromuscular medicine to provide the level of specialized care patients in Southwest Louisiana need,” said Lee Holmes, Imperial Health CEO.


Neurology is the branch of medicine concerned with the study and treatment of disorders of the nervous system, the complex, sophisticated system that regulates and coordinates body activities. The specialty of Neuromuscular Medicine includes the diagnosis and treatment of abnormalities of the motor neuron, nerve root, peripheral nerves, neuromuscular junction, and muscle, including disorders that affect adults and children. 


Nirmala Tumarada, M.S., M.D., Neurologist and Neuromuscular Medicine Specialist, has joined Imperial Health as part of the service expansion. After earning her Medical Degree from Guntar Medical College in her native India, Dr. Tumarada attended graduate school at Louisiana State University in New Orleans, where she earned a Master’s Degree in Neuroscience. She then completed a Neurology Residency at LSU Health Science Center in New Orleans before completing a Fellowship in Neuromuscular Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  


Dr. Tumarada diagnoses and manages all general neurologic conditions, inlcuding migraine, stroke, epilepsy, Parkinsonism, tremor, spasticity, dystonia and multiple sclerosis, along with neuromuscular disorders.  She is board certified in Neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and is a member of the American Neurological Association and the American Academy of Neurology.  She has been involved in numerous research projects and has a special interest in motor neuron disease and peripheral neuropathy. 


Imperial Health’s Neurology Services are located in the main Imperial Health office complex at 501 Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive in Lake Charles.  To schedule an appointment, with Dr. Tumarada, call (337) 312-8730.


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