Breast Cancer Best Outcomes 3 Memorial & St. Elizabeth’s Cancer Treatment Center

Metro East Area • Volume 5 Issue 4 • Fall 2009
Memorial & St. Elizabeth’s
Cancer Treatment Center
Breast Cancer Best Outcomes 3
University Hematology Oncology
Focus on Getting Better 6
Dr. Alyssa Lynch Joins Meridian Ob/Gyn Associates 8
Better Safer Peripheral Vascular Disease Treatment 14
Publisher’s Note:
This is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we are
focusing on prevention, care and the amazing technologies available for live-saving cures. Cancer, of any kind,
is something most of us would rather avoid thinking
about. But rather than hope you never have to deal
with it, we encourage you to take steps to lower your
risks. Be proactive!
There are some very basic things we all can do to
lower our risks for cancer, like living a healthy lifestyle
that includes a good diet and exercise, and no smoking.
Even with healthy living, as we age, we automatically
increase our risk for cancer.
So, to be more proactive, make sure you get your
annual check-ups and regular cancer screenings that
your doctor recommends for your age and physical condition. Guys, this means you too. We know some of you
would rather put salt in your eyes than go to a doctor,
but it’s important. It’s far better to get a screening and
know where you stand, than to wait until you have a
serious health issue that may be harder to treat later
on. Besides, your family is counting on you!
And ladies, especially you busy moms — we know
you tend to take care of everyone but yourself. If you’re
over 40, don’t let another year go by without a mammogram. If you haven’t been doing your breast self-exams,
start now. After all, EVERYONE is counting on you!
To your good health,
Kelly M. Hunt
Editor: Holli Martin
Art Direction, Graphic Design: Scott Pfau Design
Contributing writers: Holli Martin
Photography: Kelly M. Hunt
The material in HealthNow is not intended for diagnosing or prescribing. Consult your physician
before undertaking any kind of medical treatment, adopting any kind of exercise program or
dietary guidelines.
For more information, please contact Kelly Hunt at 618-779-8052.
Articles featured in this magazine are paid advertisements.
Cover photo:
Team leaders of the Memorial & St. Elizabeth’s Cancer
Treatment Center are from left Jody Sullivan-Manager,
Radiation Therapy, Sarah Allen, Dosimetrist,
Prasad Kurichety, MD, Susan Laduzinsky, MD,
Patty Karraker- Manager, Business office and
Chad Gerber, Medical Physicist.
2 healthnow
There are few things that can universally make
men cringe — one of them is discussing vasectomies.
If truth be told, women rarely have any sympathy for
that because they’re used to having their sexuality
and reproduction being part of medical and health
care. But, it is understandable why men may be
reluctant to discuss vasectomies and consider having
them. One reason is the lack of knowledge and the
myths that circulate.
Myth 1: A vasectomy can make you impotent.
The actual surgery, the vasectomy, has nothing to do
with sexual function. The surgery involves disrupting
the flow of sperm into the semen. That doesn’t mean
that you may not experience sexual problems, such
as erectile dysfunction if you have other problems
— they are independent from the vasectomy itself
Myth 2: A vasectomy makes you less than a man.
What makes a man a man is the hormones that have
developed and maintained the male characteristics.
These help develop the facial hair, genital development, lower voice, and so on. Since a vasectomy has
nothing to do with these things, it can’t affect a man’s
Myth 3: A vasectomy increases a man’s risk of
developing prostate cancer. This myth surfaced in
the 1990s but has been disproven by quite large studies published in respected medical journals, such as
the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Myth 4: The amount of semen ejaculated will be
significantly noticeable. A vasectomy doesn’t affect
how much semen a man produces — it only prevents
the sperm from entering the semen. Since sperm
makes up a very small part of the ejaculate, there is a
very small reduction in the fluid.
Myth 5: Vasectomies have a high failure rate in
the beginning. Vasectomies are actually a very effective method of birth control. What happens often
though, is men don’t follow through and have their
semen tested for sperm following their procedures.
The only way you can be absolutely sure that you no
longer have viable sperm in the semen is by having
your semen tested.
12345 West Bend Drive,
Removing any sperm takes
200 15 ejaculations
or about 6 weeks, say doctors.
if you
St. Louis,
early after your procedure,Phone:
you should
(314) 843-8000
alternate birth control for protection.
Early Detection Tips
1. B
reast self-exams should begin at
age 20 and occur on a monthly
basis. (This is how my breast cancer
was discovered).
2. B
reast exams by physicians should
occur annually starting at the
same age.
Dear Women:
I’m sure it’s comforting to know that our
community has the Memorial & St. Elizabeth’s
Cancer Treatment Center with all of the latest
tools in place to fight breast cancer. But, please
don’t ever forget the importance of prevention
and early detection.
As a physician and a breast cancer survivor
myself, I’d like to share some important
information that may help you stay tuned in to
your breast health, beginning with regular self
exams and annual mammograms.
Please be sure to share this information with
other women in your life.
Susan Laduzinsky, M.D.
3. M
ammography should start at age
40 and occur annually. (Do not
discontinue self or physician exams.
My cancer was not detected in a
mammogram. This is the case for some
women with dense breast tissue).
4. If you are at high risk, ask your doctor
about medications like Tamoxifen and
Evista which may be appropriate to
help lower the chance of developing
breast cancer by 50% to 60%.
1. L imit alcohol to less than one drink
a day or avoid alcohol completely.
2. M
aintain a healthy weight. Obesity,
especially after menopause, increases
your risk.
3. B
e physically active. Aim for
30 minutes of exercise most days
of the week.
4. L imit dietary fat. Limit intake to less
than 35% of your daily calories and
avoid food high in saturated fat.
5. M
aintain a healthy Vitamin D level.
Minimal sun exposure and over
the counter supplements provide
this nutrient.
healthnow 3
Memorial & St. Elizabeth’s Cancer Treatment Center
Breast Cancer Best Outcomes —
A partnership of healthcare provider innovation
and community awareness
BrainLAB ExacTrac ®
Susan Laduzinsky, M.D., a
breast cancer survivor and radiation oncologist, is sitting in an area
of the Memorial and St. Elizabeth’s
Cancer Treatment Center known
as dosimetry, studying a radiation
treatment plan for Judy, a breast
cancer patient. Judy will be treated
using the BrainLAB system, which
allows radiation targeting of tumors
with millimeter precision. Despite
the name, BrainLAB is used to treat
cancer of the breast, prostate, lung,
brain and other areas.
Alongside Dr. Laduzinsky are
healthcare professionals that
include a team of medical physicists and dosimetrists who are
building Judy’s treatment plan.
Later today, Judy’s treatment plan
will be discussed with another radiation oncologist, Prasad Kurichety,
MD, and other team members to
ensure this is the best treatment
plan possible for Judy. In addition,
a medical coder, financial counselor
and others will determine what her
insurance covers, and help her seek
funding for what they don’t cover.
Radiation therapists will deliver
the treatment, while nurses and a
dietician will aid in monitoring her
condition. Dr. Laduzinsky notes,
“While implementing a treatment
plan may seem cumbersome, we
consider it being thorough.”
Dr. Kurichety says, “We are very
conscientious about maintaining
the latest technology to treat our
patients. We have treated over
10,000 patients in the 23 years
since we were established. Our
experienced and caring staff,
along with the latest technology,
allows us to provide exceptional
care. Having the support of both
St. Elizabeth’s and Memorial
hospitals further allows us to obtain
the best equipment available.”
At Memorial & St. Elizabeth’s
Cancer Treatment Center,
Dr. Laduzinsky and Dr. Kurichety
head up the radiation therapy
team. They use the latest technology, which includes a PET/CT, a
new big-bore CT and the newest
addition, the BrainLAB ExacTrac®
image-guided radiation therapy
(IGRT) system.
Radiation therapy is treatment with high-energy rays to kill
cancer cells and shrink or eliminate tumors. Dr. Laduzinsky notes,
“Radiation therapy is an equipment
intensive service and our ultimate
goal is to hit the abnormal cells
or tumor with the highest dose of
radiation possible, while minimizing the radiation to surrounding
healthy tissue and organs. This
most recent technology allows us
to do this better than ever.”
Historically, doctors have
employed three methods for breast
cancer treatment: surgery,
chemotherapy and radiation.
While newer or supplemental
methods like immunotherapy and
hormone therapy have been introduced, the three primary methods
are prevalent in most all treatment
plans in the United States. For
most women diagnosed with breast
cancer, the removal of the primary
tumor, followed by radiation and
perhaps chemotherapy, is the most
common treatment plan. This
requires daily treatments that
typically last for 30 days.
Because treatment may be daily
for 3-6 weeks, where a patient
goes for treatment is a significant
consideration. This was one of the
main reasons the Cancer Center
and Illinois Oncology Ltd. (a private practice medical oncology
and hematology practice) partnered
to offer comprehensive care at
the Center.
“Working together in the same
location gives both partners an
opportunity to provide an exceptional level of service,” says
Dr. William Popovic of Illinois
Oncology, Ltd. It also gives patients
more convenience and a better
quality of life.
Together, Medical Oncology/
Hematology along with an adjoining PET/CT Imaging Center and
Radiation Therapy department
allows for an extensive scope of
comprehensive care under one roof
and on one level of the five-acre
campus nestled at the end of
North Illinois Lane off of 159 in
Swansea, Illinois.
“While progress in the fight
against breast cancer is assisted by
expertise and innovative technology, our greatest tool continues to
be education and early detection,
when a cure is not only possible but
probable,” states Dr. Laduzinsky.
Prasad Kurichety, M.D.
4 healthnow
Breast Health Awareness
October of each year is breast health awareness month. Not only is
it an opportunity for the community to demonstrate support for breast
health awareness but it is also an opportunity for health care professionals
to reflect on our individual and collective efforts to beat this disease. The
American Cancer Society estimates 192,370 women will be diagnosed with
invasive breast cancer in the United States this year. While that number
is staggering, the good news is that breast cancer rates continue to decline
while survival rates increase.
Susan Laduzinsky, M.D.
4000 N. Illinois • Swansea, IL 62226
(613) 236-1000
healthnow 5
University Hematology Oncology Group • 13 Wolf Creek Dr #1 • Swansea, IL 62226-2367 • (618) 222-9566
UHO offers:
Prompt Appointment
University Hematology Oncology Patients Can
Focus on Getting Better
t takes a village to fight cancer. And in the fight, everyone involved has
a responsibility. The job of the family (biological family, work family,
church family, etc.) is to provide support; the physician’s job is to
recommend and oversee the best possible course of treatment; and,
arguably the most important job of all is that of the patient…
to concentrate on getting better.
When a patient is delivered a cancer diagnosis it conjures up a number
emotions, with WORRY frequently at the very top of the list. Thankfully,
the professionals at University Hematology Oncology, Inc. have created a
culture in which the practical issues of getting better can be less stressful,
a place where doctors and patients can focus on treatment.
“At our practice, we put the patient at the very forefront of what we
do every day. We know cancer treatment can take a toll on a person, both
emotionally and financially, so we do everything we can to help,” said
Raza Syed, UHO’s practice administrator.
Led by the company founder, Shabbir Sadfar, M.D., UHO is staffed by
three, board-certified, hematologist-oncologists with more than 50 years of
combined experience. These professionals treat the patient’s illness with
great concern for the patient him/herself. The immense knowledge and the
outstanding bedside manner of the physicians combined with the helpfulness and kindness of the clinical and administrative staff create a relaxed
environment in which a patient can get well.
In addition to the best treatment options available, UHO has a number
of patient-centered features in place to help those battling cancer do so
conveniently, comfortably and with choices.
6 healthnow
A new patient is able to schedule
his/her first physician appointment
at UHO within one or two business
days of contacting the office.
“When it comes to cancer, the
last thing a patient wants to do is
wait,” said Syed. “We simply need a
patient’s insurance information and
his or her medical records prior to
this first appointment.”
Once a treatment plan has been
established, the treatment cycle is
begun as soon as the patient can
make arrangements.
Self-Referral Acceptance
For those with a family history
of cancer who are exhibiting
obvious symptoms of the disease,
UHO can accept patients without a
primary physician’s referral. This
scenario can be more complicated
in regard to insurance coverage,
so an initial appointment may be
slightly delayed.
Record Acquisition
We will help if needed with
obtaining medical records from
a primary care physician’s office.
When necessary, the administrative staff at UHO will intervene on
behalf of a patient in order to get
the necessary information as soon
as possible so as not to delay a
consultation or treatment.
Multiple Locations
UHO has four full-service
locations available in Swansea
and Centralia, Illinois and St. Louis
and Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Patients
can choose which location at
which they would like to
receive treatment.
M. Zahid Siddiqui, M.D.
Kochurani Maliekel, M.D.
“A patients treatment location
can change from day to day or
week to week. It is up to the patient
where to go for each treatment and
this can be done with one phone
call. We make it very convenient,”
explained Syed.
On-site Laboratories
Each UHO location is equipped
with a full-service laboratory for the
frequent blood tests needed when
undergoing treatment.
Choice of Physician
While all three hematologistoncologists at UHO are boardcertified, highly experienced and
have office hours at each location,
sometimes patients feel more
comfortable being treated by a
male physician and can choose to
see either Dr. Shabbir Safdar or
Dr. M. Zahid Siddiqui. Those who
prefer a female physician will be
pleased to learn that UHO has the
only female hematologist-oncologist
in the area, Dr. Kochurani Maliekel.
Creative Treatment Funding
A single cancer treatment can
cost between $5,000 and $10,000.
It’s no wonder one of the most
common questions asked of the
Shabbir Safdar, M.D.
staff at UHO is “how am I going to
afford this?” Syed and his team
are experts in navigating through
the complications of insurance and
Medicare and have become quite
adept at what they refer to as “
creative financial assistance.”
“Our company founder,
Dr. Safdar, makes is widely known
that he refuses to compromise
care to make the bottom line more
plump. The physicians are not
aware of a patient’s financial situation. The course of treatement
with the best potential outcome is
prescribed,” said Syed. “So my staff
and I work hard to help patients
afford the necessary treatment.
We work with various foundations,
pharmaceutical assistance programs
and private donors to assist with
payment with our patients are
un- or under-insured.”
Patient Education Programs
A variety of programs are held to
assist patients with their emotional,
fiscal and practical needs. They
include topics like smoking cessation, understanding of insurance
funding and the American Cancer
Society’s Look Good, Feel Better
program, to name a few.
healthnow 7
L to R: Kelly Murray, Nurse Practitioner, Dr. Dennis
Hurford, Dr. Michael Scharff, Dr. Alyssa Lynch
Dr. Alyssa Lynch…
The Perfect Addition
to the Family
or a number of years, as a
result of the growing local
population and an increased
number of patient-to-patient
referrals, the physicians at
Meridian Ob/Gyn began to experience a steady increase in the
number of patients they were
seeing. Nearly two years ago, it
became apparent that the addition of another staff physician
would be necessary to continue
the high quality of care they
were providing.
“It is in the best interest
of patient care, comfort and
convenience that we remain
appropriately staffed,” said
Dr. Dennis Hurford. “Because
we constantly evaluate our staff
and patient ratios, we were able
to anticipate this need quite a
while ago. This afforded us the
luxury of time to seek out and
choose the best possible person
to fill this important role.”
After a thorough, two-year
search, and a half dozen disappointing interviews, Dr. Hurford
became aware of the qualifications of Alyssa Lynch, D.O.,
an experienced Ob/Gyn looking to relocate to the area from
“Our standards are high. While
we were seeking a physician with
8 healthnow
a top-notch education
and excellent clinical
skills and experience, the
physician’s personality
was a huge deciding
factor as well. It was important
to find someone whose personality aligned with our practitioners
and patients,” said Dr. Hurford.
“I knew the minute I met Dr. Lynch
that she would be the perfect
addition to our office. She’s
friendly, kind and extremely
intelligent. Itwas clear to me that
our patients and staff would
welcome her wholeheartedly.”
Dr. Lynch, too, was being very
selective. She wasn’t willing to
take the first opportunity that
presented itself. Instead, she was
seeking a busy, established practice with a diverse patient base
and an office with colleagues and
staff whose personalities melded
well with her own.
“I felt instant rapport,” commented Dr. Lynch. “From our
first conversation, I had a good
feeling about the practice. After
meeting the team, I knew this
was the right place for me. I
feel fortunate to have found
this group.”
In late July, Dr. Lynch became
an official member of the team,
working alongside Dr. Hurford,
Dr. Michael Scharff and Kelly
Murray, Nurse Practitioner and
Midwife. In addition to routine
annual well-woman exams, caring
for pregnant women and delivering babies, she treats patients
with gynecological problems,
evaluates and recommends birth
control methods, explores infertility issues and performs a wide
variety of surgeries–from minor
outpatient and laparoscopic
procedures to major surgery
like hysterectomy.
“I have already heard
many positive comments about
Dr. Lynch from her patients,”
said Dr. Hurford. “In addition to
her medical acumen, she has a
knack of putting patients at ease.
She’s especially good at eliminating the fears of the often-nervous
adolescents seeing a gynecologist
for the first time.”
“I know what it’s like to be on
the other side of an exam, so I am
very aware of how important it is
for me to take the time to make
sure my patient is comfortable,
both physically and emotionally,” stated Dr. Lynch. “Only
when a connection is made, and
the patient is at ease, is she able
to clearly and honestly communicate her medical history and
describe any problems she may
be experiencing.”
Dr. Lynch received her medical degree from Des Moines
University—Osteopathic Medical
Center in Iowa. She
completed her residency
in Obstetrics/Gynecology
at Mercy Hospital and
Medical Center, a
community hospital
located on the south
side of Chicago.
There, she treated a significantly diverse patient
population and served as Chief
Administrative Resident for two
years. Dr. Lynch is a member
of the American College of
Obstetrics and Gynecologists
and the American Osteopath
Patients wishing to schedule
an appointment with Dr.Lynch
should call Meridian Ob/Gyn at
(618) 288-9251. She sees patients
at the main office located at
2246 South State Route 157 in
Glen Carbon every weekday
except Wednesdays, when she
has office hours at the clinic at
the Gateway Regional Medical
Office Building.
2246 South State Route 157
Glen Carbon, IL 62034
2044 Madison Avenue
Suite G2, Granite City, IL 62040
(618) 288-9251
Gateway Women & Newborn Services
number of pregnant women cared for by the
physicians at Meridian Ob/Gyn Associates choose
to deliver their babies at Gateway Regional Medical
Center’s Women & Newborn Services. Featuring a
home-like atmosphere with calming, warm décor and
subtle lighting, each spacious, state-of-the-art birthing
suite provides moms-to-be one room in which to enjoy
the entire birthing experience. Each suite is furnished
with a comfortable bed, TV/VCR, CD player and a
sleeper for the birthing partner.
While at Gateway, mothers and babies are cared
for by compassionate registered obstetrical nurses. On
average, each nurse has 10 years experience in obstetrics, ensuring the highest level of
experienced care. Additionally, nursing mothers have the opportunity to consult with our
experienced lactation consultant.
Tours of Gateway’s Women & Newborn Services are available by calling (618) 798-3040.
healthnow 9
Prostate Enlargement:
Symptoms and Solutions
The prostate is a gland just
larger in size than a walnut. Found
only in men, its job is to produce
the fluid that carries sperm during
ejaculation. But enlargement of this
gland can cause a range of symptoms, from annoying to painful,
and can sometimes indicate a lifethreatening issue.
Prostate enlargement happens
to almost all men as they age, but
only about half will ever experience
symptoms. Because of its location
in the body — wedged just beneath
the bladder, wrapped around the
urethra and surrounded by nerves
and arteries — it can begin to
squeeze the bladder as it increases
in size. An enlarged prostate can be
the cause of a number of urinary
problems including:
• Dribbling after urination
• Inability to urinate
• Incomplete emptying
of bladder
• Urinary incontinence
• Frequent nighttime urination
• Pain with urination or
bloody urine
• Slowed or delayed start of
the urinary stream
• Straining to urinate
• Strong and sudden urge
to urinate
• Weak urine stream
10 healthnow
According to Dr. Salim
Hawatmeh, a board-certified
urologist on staff at South County
Urological, “Most likely symptoms
will not indicate a larger problem,
but it is important to seek medical
attention to rule out prostate
cancer and determine the best
course of treatment to alleviate
the symptoms.”
Once cancer or other issues
are ruled out, the team at South
County Urological recommends a
treatment plan.
“We have a number of treatment
options in our arsenal,” said
Dr. Hawatmeh. “We typically start
with a conservative measure, like
medication, and only progress to
surgery when/if that method ceases
to be effective.”
If surgery is recommended, the
traditional method is transurethral
resection of the prostate (TURP) in
which a scope is inserted through
the urethra to remove the section of
the prostate that is blocking urine
flow. But for the last several years
the team has been providing a laser
surgery using the GreenLight High
Performance System, a high-powered laser vaporizes and removes
the prostatic tissue blocking normal
urine flow.
“This procedure provides
near-immediate results, is less
invasive and provides a faster
recovery. It is also an option for
patients who would not ordinarily
be candidates for TURP, like those
with smaller prostate glands or
those on anti-coagulant therapy or
blood thinners.”
Dr. Hawatmeh is well-trained on
the GreenLight laser. In fact, when
he was chief resident associate and
clinical instructor in urology at the
Mayo Clinic, he learned the technique from the urologist who helped
develop the device.
“After surgery, our patients stay
in our recovery room for about an
hour. They can then go home to
recuperate,” said Dr. Hawatmeh.
If It’s Cancer
The National Cancer Institute
estimates that more than 190,000
new cases of prostate cancer will be
diagnosed in the United States in
2009. That’s why Dr. Hawatmeh is a
firm believer in regular screenings.
“Detecting certain types of
prostate cancer early is critical. A
number of our patients ultimately
diagnosed with prostate cancer seek
medical attention due to the symptoms associated with an enlarged
prostate. However, others find
themselves here after a high PSA
test result.”
The American Cancer Society
and the American Urological
Society recommend the combination of an annual Prostate-Specific
Antigen (PSA) test, coupled with
a digital rectal exam (DRE), for
screening starting at age 50. They
recommend age 40 for those with
a family history of prostate cancer
and African-Americans.
“A high PSA doesn’t always
indicate cancer, and all prostate
cancers do not require aggressive
treatment,” said Dr. Hawatmeh.
“But it’s important for patients to
become fully informed and discuss
their options with an experienced
When prostate cancer is the
diagnosis, the physicians at South
County Urological provide a
number of options for their
patients to consider.
Dr. Salim Hawatmeh
“We provide the patient with his
viable treatment options and the
realistic side effects of each. Then
together, we decide the way to proceed,” added Dr. Hawatmeh.
Treatment options include seed
implant therapy, hormone therapy
and prostatectomy surgery, or the
surgical removal of the prostate. It
is the only procedure that offers the
best long-term chance of a cure.
“While prostatectomy offers
the best long-term results, it is not
without complications. Patients
who opt for this route may experience impotency and urinary incontinence, however, we offer two,
nerve-sparing techniques that help
reduce the instances of these complications,” said Dr. Hawatmeh.
Open radical prostatectomy
saves one or both of the tiny nerve
bundles on either side of the
prostate that are responsible for
potency. While challenging due to
the location of the prostate,
Dr. Hawatmeh can dissect and
remove the prostate through one
incision. In this procedure, the
urethra is also severed and reconnected. Patients recover in the
hospital for about two days and
ordered to refrain from heavy lifting. Most men take a total of four to
six weeks to fully recover.
“It’s important to
find an experienced
surgeon, one with
extensive experience
in nerve-sparing
prostatectomies, to
increase the possibility of normal potency
and continence,” said
Dr. Hawatmeh.
Through his
training at the Mayo
Clinic, his work as
former chief of urology at St. Anthony’s
Medical Center and in private
practice, Dr. Hawatmeh has performed several hundred of these
da Vinci
Surgical System
The surgeons at South County
Urological offer another, high-tech
prostatectomy option for their
patients. With the da Vinci Surgical
System, the team uses a $1.5 million robot to remove the prostate.
Like the open radical prostatectomy, this procedure is nervesparing, providing the best odds for
sexual potency.
Performed in a hospital, with
the da Vinci system, a computer
console is placed near the patient,
where the Dr. Hawatmeh sits. He
can then view the surgical field in
3-D on this monitor, and operates
three robotic arms with special
surgical instruments and one with a
high-resolution camera. Five small
incisions, each a half-inch in length,
are made. A sixth incision, about
two inches long is used to remove
the prostate.
“In surgery, the camera provides
me a highly magnified, 3-D image
of the prostate. To perform the procedure, I control the robotic arms
with the system’s hand controls,
which can be scaled down to fractions of a millimeter,” explained
Dr. Hawatmeh.
“In experienced hands, both surgical approaches can yield similar
results. It’s important to discuss the
pros and cons of each procedure
with a knowledgeable surgeon,”
cautioned Dr. Hawatmeh.
About South County
South County Urological is a
private medical practice dedicated
to medical excellence in the
diagnosis and treatment of problems affecting the male and female
urinary tract, and the male reproductive systems. These conditions
include prostate problems, erectile
dysfunction (ED), bladder control,
kidney stones and urologic
cancers. They have introduced
many urological procedures to the
St. Louis area. Services include
on-site diagnostic testing, treatment
and in-office procedures for many
conditions. They offer a variety of
treatment options for both men and
women, from conventional treatment to advanced care, including
minimally invasive procedures.
12345 West Bend Drive,
Suite 200
St. Louis, MO 63128
Phone: (314) 843-8000
healthnow 11
Living with
Knee Pain?
Osteoarthritis Sufferers Have Found Hope
at Associated Physicians Group
Hundreds of people suffering from knee
pain caused by Osteoarthritis have
received lasting relief from this program.
The majority of these people were told
that they had bone-on-bone arthritis and
would require a knee
replacement. Most of our
Are you tired of living with
sore, painful knees, but
don’t want to have knee
replacement surgery?
The good news is that recent
treatment options show that the pain
associated with OA of the knee may
no longer need to be considered an
inevitable part of aging.
Have You Given Up Hope?
Many people have already tried
exercise, but found it to be painful
without providing lasting relief. Many
people have also tried injections of
cortisone, Hyalgan or Synvisc with
little to no long-term relief.
“At Associated Physicians, we
believe in investing in your body and
well-being today to hopefully save you
from the pain and suffering of surgery
later,” Dr. Thom, M.D.
Over the last five years, APG’s
Program has worked wonders for
mild, moderate, and even severe
(bone-on-bone) OA. Many people
who have tried cortisone, Hyalgan
or Synvisc injections unsuccessfully
have finally found pain relief through
this program. Medicare, Tricare,
and most other insurance cover this
patients have recieved at
least several months or
• Are your knees stiff in the
• Do your knees hurt when going
up or down stairs?
• Do you frequently take
Ibuprofen or Aspirin for your
knee pain?
• Do the activities you enjoy
cause pain in your knees?
• Have you been told that you will
need knee replacement surgery?
If you answered YES to any of the
questions above, you are a candidate.
APG’s Unique Program
consists of Hyalgan injections performed under fluoroscopic guidance and a unique form of pain-free
rehabilitation. The program is based
on leading OA research which documents that injections performed
under fluoroscopy (a real-time, live
motion X-Ray) are significantly more
accurate, more effective, and less
With the fluoroscope, the medical
provider can see exactly where the
injection is going, giving him/her proof
that the Hyalgan is in the knee joint.
Being absolutely positive that the
Hyalgan is truly in the knee joint is
vital to the success of the program.
APG’s program also includes
Theraciser™ Rehab, a unique form
of high-speed, pain-free rehab that
makes the injections more effective.
more of relief, and many
report continued relief
“Our clinical experience of combining
these two procedures has shown superior outcomes to doing just injections
or physical therapy alone.”
“It’s the program as a whole, not
just the injections, that has made this
program so successful,” says William
Thom, M.D.
More About APG
Associated Physicians Group
is an integrated physical medicine
and rehabilitation facility that combines the skills of a Board-Certified,
Fellowship-Trained Pain Management
Anesthesiologist and other medical
providers working side by side with
physical therapists and chiropractic
physicians. Having all of these providers under one roof saves the patient
time and money.
Dr. William Thom is a Washington
University and Mayo Clinic trained
physician. He was born and raised
locally and has chosen to practice
close to home. He also specializes in
and performs spinal epidurals, facet
blocks, joint injections and other
interventional pain procedures.
APG also treats the following:
• Backs – bulging/herniated discs,
sciatica, osteoporosis, sprain
and strain, etc.
• Necks – discs, arthritis,
whiplash, sprain and strain, etc.
• Shoulders – rotator cuff, bursitis, tendonitis, etc.
• Injuries – Work and Auto
Related Injuries
• Carpal Tunnel, Fibromyalgia,
• Headaches & Migraines
For your FREE consultation or for more information,
contact any of APG’s three locations.
even after several years.
“I’m able to enjoy
golfing again.”
“I just want to be
able to go shopping
with my friends.”
Are you a candidate for
Associated Physician’s
Group’s Alternative To Knee
Replacement Program?
Dr. William Thom, a Wash U. and
Mayo Clinic trained physician
performing a knee injection under
fluoroscopic guidance.
O’Fallon • Edwardsville • Swansea Pain Center
Evening and Saturday hours available. APG accepts Medicare, Tricare, and most insurance plans.
12 healthnow
healthnow 13
Better, Safer Way
to Treat Most Peripheral Vascular Disease
Your Aneurysm Repair May No Longer Require Major Bypass Surgery
We are inundated by the media
about the latest advances in medicine that will make our lives better.
Most of what you hear are new
procedures that affect only a small
percentage of patients with unusual
conditions. But there are areas
of medicine that have made huge
advances in treatment of age-old
problems that affect tens of thousands of people. PVD or Peripheral
Vascular Disease is one of them.
The number of people afflicted
with PVD is staggering. If you have
heart disease, diabetes, and/or have
smoked cigarettes, chances are
you have PVD. You may also have
a higher incidence of aortic aneurysms (ballooning of the large artery
leaving the heart that supplies the
legs with blood). Unfortunately,
for many, aneurysms are often
diagnosed too late, when they
have ruptured.
The symptoms of PVD usually involve leg pain with walking,
known as claudication, but also can
involve pain in you rotes at night,
leg cramping, or ulcers on the feet.
With aneurysms, there are often no
symptoms at all, until it ruptures.
If not treated immediately, this can
be fatal.
Most people with PVD do not go
to their doctor for fear that repairing the aneurism will mean major
surgery. Traditionally, peripheral
aneurisms were treated with bypass
surgery, in which artificial tubing
is inserted to reroute blood flow
around the area of blockage. It was a
14 healthnow
huge operation requiring large incisions and long hospitalizations. And,
if the area became infected later on,
the tubing must be removed, and
unfortunately that often results in
amputation. Understandably, the
patient may fear the treatment more
than the risk of the aneurysm, and
gamble that the aneurysm
won’t rupture.
Fortunately, most aneurysms can
now be treated with minimally invasive vascular surgery. The procedure
is called endovascular stint graft
repair and it uses a device called
the Zenith Flex® endovascular graft.
Basically it grafts to the inside of the
aorta, and seals off the aneurysm. It
involves a needle stick in the groin
area and a 1 – 2 day hospital stay.
And, more importantly, if the problem recurs later on, the procedure
can be repeated.
Ideally, the procedure should
be done as soon as an aneurysm is
discovered — well before a rupture.
But, Drs. David Finlay and Kosit
Prieb of Vascular and Hand Surgery
recently used
the technique
to save the life
of a 92-yearold man who
collapsed and
nearly died
from a rupture.
“It is never
Tummolore min.
too late to try”,
says Dr. Finlay. “He has 2 small
groin incisions, closed with glue —
not staples, that are healed and he is
David J. Finlay, M.D.
Kosit Prieb, M.D., F.A.C.S.
back playing with his grandson.”
The doctors at Vascular and
Hand Surgery are committed to
exhaust every possibility to preserve patients’ legs without artificial
means. “Our goal is to get patients
back to living as soon as possible.”
And our 92-year-old patient still has
a lot of living to do.
People suffering with varicose
veins know how painful this condition can be. However, they also
know that surgical treatments to
correct the problem can be just as
painful, sometimes without even
reversing the situation.
Now, thanks to advances is
medical lasers, treating veins does
not have to be painful or affect
current lifestyle and activities.
Instead, varicose veins can now be
eliminated non-surgically through
an outpatient procedure that has
patients walking and resuming full
daily activities immediately following the treatment.
VenaCure™ is a medical laser
technology that eliminates the need
for surgery often associated with traditional “vein stripping” procedures.
Through a minimally invasive procedure, varicose veins are treated
and healed with a 97 percent rate
of non-recurrence in the future.
VenaCure results in significantly less
pain and almost no discomfort. No
surgery, downtime and, ultimately,
no varicose veins.
The highly-experienced team
at the Vein Clinic, located in
Belleville, specializes in providing
the VenaCure solution to patients.
Doctors Kosit Prieb and David
Finlay along with their team of
medical professionals are trained
and experienced in using VenaCure
for long term results. Through the
VenaCure laser procedure, Doctors
Prieb and Finlay provide a long
lasting solution to painful unwanted
varicose veins without the lengthy
recovery time of more traditional
surgical methods.
Varicose veins are caused when,
over time, valves in the leg veins
weaken and fail to close tightly.
This allows blood to backflow and
pool in the veins, causing the twisting and bulging characteristics of
varicose veins.
To reach the affected veins,
doctors insert the thin VenaCure
laser fiber through an extremely
small entry point, with no stitches
required. The laser fiber is guided
into the targeted vein and the laser
light is emitted through the fiber to
the affected area.
VenaCure treats veins at their
source by precisely delivering the
right wavelength
of laser energy to
the right tissue
without affecting
the healthy surrounding tissue.
This causes the
weakened vein to
close while blood
is automatically
rerouted to other
healthy veins.
The VenaCure procedure takes
approximately 45 minutes and is
performed in the doctor’s office
under local anesthesia. VenaCure
allows patients to be up and walking
immediately after the procedure,
while also significantly reducing the
risk of infection and complication
sometimes seen with more traditional surgical treatments.
In most cases, patients see
immediate results. Studies have
shown the VenaCure’s high efficacy
rate provides no recurrence in veins
that have been treated. In addition to varicose veins, the team at
The Vein Clinic can also heal more
superficial spider veins through sclerotherapy. During this procedure,
an elimination agent is injected
into the affected veins to seal off
the damaged area. This treatment
is most often performed on small
areas of the leg over several sessions
that last approximately 30 minutes
per session. The number of treatments needed to completely heal
the spider veins
depends on the
severity with the
average number
of treatments
being three to
Patients no
longer have to
suffer with the
pain, discomfort
and embarrassment of varicose
and spider veins or with the just as
painful surgical procedures to correct the problem. Through state-ofthe-art laser treatments, The Vein
Clinic can treat a broad spectrum
of vein disorders, quickly putting
people back on their feet in order to
resume pain-free, normal activities.
Vascular & Hand Surgery Ltd.
311 West Lincoln, Suite 200 • Belleville, Illinois 62220
618-233-2500 / 1-800-727-3347
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We are pleased to announce the installation of
a state of the art large bore CT scanner and
movable laser system for radiation treatment
planning. This scanner integrates with our
treatment planning system electronically for
greater accuracy of radiation delivery.
The Cancer Treatment Center has proudly
been your community cancer center for
22 years as we continue to bring you
compassionate care and innovative technology
for treatment and diagnostic services.
Available Campus Services Include: • Radiation Oncology • Medical Oncology/Hematology
• Therapeutic Learning Center • Nutritional Support • PET/CT Imaging
4000 N. Illinois • Swansea, IL 62226 • (618) 236-1000