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  • Key points:

    • Wear a mask. 
    • Stay in your homegroup.
    • Stay six feet away from others.
    • If you get sick, isolate at home. 
      Stay in touch with your doctor.
    • If you are exposed to COVID-19, quarantine. 
    • If you have the virus, you can still infect others. 
      Even if you feel fine.
    • You are not alone. Help is available. 

    If you get sick:  

    The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are: 

    • Runny Nose
    • Congestion
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Headache
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or Body Aches
    • Loss of Taste or Smell
    • Sore Throat
    • Nausea
    • Diarrhea

    Stay home except to get medical care. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness. 
    Most people recover without medical care. 

    Go to the emergency department if you have serious symptoms:

    • Trouble Breathing
    • Pain or Pressure in Chest
    • New Confusion
    • Inability to Wake Up or Inability to Stay Awake
    • Blue-Colored Lips or Face

    Call 911. Notify the operator that you or the other person may have COVID-19. This list does not include all possible serious symptoms. Call your medical provider for symptoms that are concerning. 

    If the symptoms are not serious, call your physician. Do not go there without calling. If it’s an emergency, call 911. Tell them your symptoms.  

    If you do not have a primary care provider (PCP):

    Take care of yourself. Rest, eat well, stay warm, and drink plenty of water. Talk to your doctor about over-the-counter medications. 

    Monitor your symptoms. Get care immediately if you are having serious symptoms. 

    Stay in touch with your doctor. Please do not call the health department with questions about your care. 

            

    If you are sick or have tested positive for COVID-19, you should ISOLATE:

    • For 10 days after your test or after the beginning of symptoms, avoid contact with other members of your household and pets. Stay in a separate room. Sleep in a separate room. Use a separate bathroom, if possible. Do not share personal items, like towels or utensils. Do not go anywhere, including school or work. Wear a mask when around others. 
    • Tell your household and close contacts to quarantine (see below).
    • Wash your hands frequently with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks). Include the bathroom if sharing with others. 
    • Cover your cough or sneezes with a tissue and throw it away. Wash your hands with soap and running water after touching the tissue. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
    • If you must leave isolation, wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart from others, wash your hands frequently, and clean all touched surfaces.
    • Even if you do not feel sick, you can spread COVID-19 to others. Protect everyone as though they could become seriously ill.
    • Information from the CDC on isolation is at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/isolation.html

    If you are not sick but have to QUARANTINE: 

    • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact a person with COVID-19. Do not go to work or to school, and do not run errands or visit with friends. 
    • Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. If any of these occur, notify your physician. 
    • If possible, stay away from others in your home, especially people who are at high risk.
    • Consider getting a COVID-19 diagnostic test 5 to 7 days after the last exposure.
    • People who are unable to safely isolate or quarantine should call their doctor, or for Erie County residents, call (716) 858-2929. 

    If you were tested for COVID-19:

    • If you have symptoms, stay home. 
    • If you were in contact with someone with COVID-19, stay home.
    • Otherwise, wear a mask, stay six feet from others, and stay in your homegroup. 
    • If you were tested for a procedure and you have no symptoms, you do not need to stay home.

    When the test results come, discuss them with your doctor.

    If your test is positive...

    A government contact tracer will call you.

    Notify people you’ve been in contact with. Tell them to quarantine and to call their doctor. Tell them to consider getting a COVID-19 test. 

    If you have symptoms stay home until:

    • You feel better.
    • It’s been 10 days since you got sick. 
    • You had no fever for one day.
    • You haven’t taken fever medicine for 24 hours.

    If you do not have symptoms:

    • Stay home for 10 days after the test.

    If your test is negative...

    And you were in contact with someone with COVID-19:

    • You could still have COVID-19.
    • Stay home for 14 days after you saw the person. 

    And you have symptoms: 

    Talk to your doctor. While you have symptoms, stay away from work and school. Stay away from other public places. Consider getting another test.

    And you do not have symptoms, protect yourself like always: 

    • Keep to your homegroup.
    • Stay six feet away from others.
    • Wear a mask.

    If you do not have enough food, or you need health insurance, legal help or anything else:

    • There is a list of community resources on the Erie County health department’s website:https://www2.erie.gov/health/coronavirus
    • If you are in isolation or quarantine and need help with basic needs, call 2-1-1(www.211wny.org) 
      or the Erie County COVID-19 Information Line at 858.2929.

    If you want or need a test: 

    If you want more information, call your doctor, the county, or the state: 

    • Erie County Department of Health COVID-19 Information Line: 858.2929; 
      Foreign language interpreting available (open 8:00 am - 8:00 pm M-F and 8:00 am - 12:00 pm Sat-Sun)
    • NYSDOH COVID-19 Information Line: 888.364.3065; Ask a Question Online at NYSDOH COVID-19 Website

    You can find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 at: 


  • BUFFALO, New York, November 29, 2020 – Great Lakes Cardiovascular and Wyoming County Community Health System are pleased to announce an all-new approach to cardiac care as Dr. Joseph Gomez, MD, FACC, steps into the role recently vacated by retiring physician, Dr. Joseph Lanigan. 

    Dr. Gomez, who completed his medical training at the University of Rochester School of Medicine after earning his M.D. at Georgetown University, is looking forward to providing comprehensive inpatient and outpatient care to local cardiac patients, saving them lengthy trips to Buffalo or Rochester for regular treatment. 

    “We have all the necessary, up-to-date technology to give our community’s patients the cardiovascular care they need, just minutes from home,” Dr. Gomez says. “We’ll be seeing patients in our office for checkups and testing, and working hand-in-hand with the hospital to offer evaluation and consultation to any heart patients there.” 

    Joseph L. McTernan, Chief Executive Officer of Wyoming County Community Health System, agrees: “Wyoming County Community Health System is excited to welcome Dr. Gomez to our organization. Our partnership will further strengthen cardiology care in Wyoming County and provide a new level of service for our patients.”

    That level of service will include a cooperative approach with Great Lakes Cardiovascular’s team of surgeons to ensure continuous care with minimal disruptions. For example, if a local patient needs to travel to Buffalo for surgery at Buffalo General Hospital, Dr. Gomez says, “We’ll take over follow-up care of that patient as soon as possible to allow the patient to recover close to home.”

    Dr. Vijay Iyer, Medical Director for Great Lakes Cardiovascular, sees this as a great benefit to patients. “We are happy to partner with WCCHS in providing all outpatient and inpatient cardiology services for the patients of Dr. Joseph Gomez and PA Kelsey Adams in Wyoming County. Great Lakes Cardiovascular works hand-in-hand with the physicians at the world-renowned Gates Vascular Institute in Buffalo, and we look forward to serving the Warsaw-area patient community.” 

    Dr. Gomez, who has been with Great Lakes Cardiovascular for two years, is excited to bring the practice’s renowned, world-class cardiovascular care to Wyoming County. To learn more about Dr. Gomez and the services he provides, visit https://www.greatlakescardiovascular.com/physicians/cardiology/joseph-gomez-md-facc. To learn more about Wyoming County Community Health System, visit https://www.wcchs.net. More information about Great Lakes Cardiovascular can be found at https://www.greatlakescardiovascular.com.


  • Many women experience some form of abnormal uterine bleeding throughout their lifetime.

    Abnormal uterine bleeding can be described as bleeding or spotting between periods, bleeding after intercourse, heavy bleeding during your period, menstrual cycles that are longer than 35 days or shorter than 21 days, periods that last longer than 8 days, or bleeding after menopause. These are all scenarios where it is important to be evaluated by an Ob/GYN. 

    Abnormal bleeding can occur at any age, but it is more common to have irregular bleeding when a woman first gets her period or when a woman nears menopause. There are many causes of abnormal bleeding. The most common causes are problems with ovulation, uterine polyps, fibroids, endometriosis/adenomyosis, bleeding disorders, medications, pregnancy or miscarriage, and certain forms of uterine cancer.  

    Most causes of abnormal bleeding can be easily diagnosed by an Ob/GYN. It can be helpful to track your menstrual cycle before seeing your doctor. Based on the symptoms that a patient is having an ob/GYN will do a physical exam. They may do a pregnancy test, cultures, or bloodwork. 

    If there is a concern for a structural abnormality an imaging study such as a pelvic ultrasound may be done. If there is a concern for uterine cancer if may be necessary to have a biopsy taken from the endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus. Depending on the cause of the bleeding, it may be treated with medication. This includes hormonal birth control such as the pill or an IUD. 

    If there is a polyp or a fibroid inside the uterine cavity this may require surgery. If medication does not control the abnormal bleeding, endometrial ablation may be discussed. This is an outpatient procedure that destroys the endometrial lining of the uterus and reduces heavy menstrual bleeding. In some cases, if medication or ablation are unsuccessful a hysterectomy may be needed. 

    If there is any concern that a patient is experiencing abnormal uterine bleeding they should contact their ob/GYN.

    If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment with Dr. Sarah Schmitz call 716.656.4077.


  • You’re not alone! And for women with this medical issue, we have great news for you. If you are living with stress urinary incontinence (SUI), whether it’s from childbirth, surgery, or age, we are excited to offer you an innovative new therapy.

    Until recently, the best treatment options for SUI were surgical or device-based. Now, you can talk to Dr. Armen Kirakosyan, a board-certified urogynecologist at General Physician, PC, to discuss whether you are a candidate for Bulkamid®. Bulkamid is a non-mesh, nonsurgical, long-lasting treatment that quickly relieves the symptoms of SUI in women. 

    Recently FDA-approved in the United States, Bulkamid is a water-based gel that is injected into the soft tissue of the urethra using a syringe. The natural, safe hydrogel thickens the urethral tissue close to the opening of the bladder and creates a seal that helps prevent the loss of urine when the bladder is met with sudden pressure.

    The minimally invasive procedure is performed in the doctor’s office and takes just 10-15 minutes. There is no downtime after the procedure, and you can usually resume normal activity the same day. The majority of women treated with Bulkamid report symptom improvement as soon as the procedure is completed and long-term studies have demonstrated greater than 80% success rates lasting more than 5-7 years.

    To learn more about this state-of-the-art option or to make an appointmentwith Dr. Kirakosyan, please call our Snyder office at (716) 656-4077.


  • All year long, Western New Yorkers have one thing on our mind. I hear it time and time again as I sit down and talk to my patients on a daily basis. 

    “WHEN WILL SUMMER BE HERE?”

    The first moment the sun shows up and we feel the warmth, albeit only 50 degrees and sunny, we let our skin show. Now as the summer days are long, and the sun is bright, we stay outdoors as long as we can. We are so grateful to finally have warmth on our bodies that we forget about sun safety.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) provide wonderful reminders to keep our skin safe while still enjoying those warm and kind sun rays.

    They remind us first and foremost that ultraviolet (UV) rays are part of sunlight that is an invisible type of radiation. UVA and UVB cause aging and damage to the skin cells and are the most dangerous and cancer-causing types of sun rays. We also know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The most common types of skin cancers include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.

    In order to protect our patients and ourselves, there are several things we can do to minimize our risk of skin damage. They include regular and routine use of broad-spectrum SPF 15 or greater sunscreen even when in the shade. Remember to reapply if you stay out in the sun for more than two hours and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off. Wear clothing made from tightly woven cloth with SPF protection when possible, stay in the shade, wear a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses that preferably block UVA and UVB rays. 

    Lastly, if you do get too much sun, by accident of course, here are some simple tips to help your body recover: stay hydrated to prevent fluid loss, comfort skin burns with cool baths or clothes, take over-the-counter Tylenol or ibuprofen for fever or headaches, and remain out of the sun until you are feeling better.

    Katherine Sumner, PA-C is accepting new patients at 1091 Main Street, Suite 301, Buffalo. For more information on health safety or if you are worried about damage to your skin, call our office at 716.248.1420 to schedule an appointment.


  • Millions of Americans have “learned to live” with pain, numbness and tingling in one or both of their hands. These symptoms can range from being painful to downright crippling. The good news is, you don’t have to live with pain. A single visit, microinvasive solution, is available.


  • COVID-19 and the Aging Population: A Collaborative Effort for the Successful Solution for Sub-Acute and Long Term Care Patients.
    Dr. Paul Shields, VP Clinical Services Post Acute Care at General Physician, PC, explains the process, the efforts of those involved, and the outcomes. Taking the virus head-on and beating it, advocating for our patients and working together to provide care for patients where and when they need it. https://youtu.be/Nh-y47AKWoI
     

  • The Hidden Danger of COVID-19: Ignoring other illnesses can be deadly during the pandemic

    Heart attacks and strokes don’t care about COVID-19. They just keep on coming.

    Unfortunately, there is anecdotal evidence that an increasing number of people are delaying seeking care for symptoms during COVID-19. That can be a real problem, according to Great Lakes Cardiovascular Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Vijay Iyer.

    When we are talking about certain cardiac episodes, the difference between life and death can be a matter of minutes,” he says. “Delaying treatment can be a fatal decision.”

    There appear to be two primary reasons people would delay seeking medical care for non-COVID-19 symptoms during the pandemic. First, there is the altruistic belief that they would be taking a bed away from someone who needs it more than they do.

    “People need to leave decisions like that to the medical professionals,” Dr. Iyer says. “We assess every patient, and we admit people who have a need for urgent care, so if a doctor admits you to a hospital, it is because you need that level of care, there is no more or less than the next person.”

    Additionally, in most parts of the country outside of New York City, social distancing has led to a flattening of the curve, and hospitals have the capacity to admit patients as needed. The shortage of beds that was expected early on, and was seen in some communities, is now much better.

    Even if there was a shortage in beds, Dr. Iyer says that’s no reason to delay or skip treatment.

    “Calling and coming in to be examined still gives us the opportunity to assess your condition and take action outside of hospitalization,” he says. We treat many patients in the office, and there may be simple medications we can prescribe to help. But we don’t know that if a patient doesn’t reach out.”

    The second, more common reason, is simply fear. Erie County has the second-highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state. Governor Cuomo issued and reissued a Stay in Place Order. People are required to wear a mask in public. There is an understandable level of fear in the community and for many patients, that translates into a hesitation to go to a doctor’s office or hospital for fear of being exposed to the virus. While there is no guarantee, Dr. Iyer says healthcare providers across the community have done an outstanding job of implementing measures to keep patients and staff safe.

    “We are part of General Physician, PC and together we have more than 70 offices,” Dr. Iyer says. “At every office, we took immediate and comprehensive steps to ensure everyone who comes through our doors is safe.”

    Dr. Richard Charles is the Chief Medical Officer of General Physician, PC. He says those steps included increased training for staff and providers as soon as COVID-19 broke.

    “Keeping our patients safe during this time begins with keeping our staff safe and making sure they have the education and the tools to execute best practices in all offices,” he says.

    Dr. Charles says at every General Physician, PC and Great Lakes Cardiovascular office, the following safety precautions have been implemented:

    • No one is allowed to enter an office without having their temperature taken (fever is a primary symptom of COVID-19).

    • Access is retracted to employees, patients, and their caregivers only. No outside vendors or visitors are allowed in any office.

    • All staff and providers wear personal protective equipment.

    • Many offices offer video and telephone visits for added safety.

      “We understand the apprehension our patients feel, and we have taken every step possible to mitigate any risk for those individuals visiting our offices,” he says.

      Dr. Iyer says the same is true for the hospitals he cares for patients in — each is operating at a heightened level of safety and patient protection.

      “The advice I give my patients today is the same as it was before COVID-19 and the same it will be after COVID-19,” he says. “If you feel something, say something. If you have symptoms, call your doctor or hospital. It could absolutely save your life.”

      Dr. Vijay Iyer has offices in Buffalo and Olean. To schedule an appointment at any Great Lakes Cardiovascular office, call 716.710.8266.


  • Kelly Cardamone, Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Program Director at General Physician is passionate about helping people improve their health. See page 25 for full cover story.


  • When you think of hearts in February, many people think about candy hearts and chocolate hearts. We’re here to remind you about the other heart you should be thinking about this month.

    Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. More than 635,000 Americans die each year from heart disease. The good news is, you don’t have to be one of them.


  • With Covid-19 changing daily routines and canceling all sports and activities for the last few months, many sports enthusiasts and athletes have been out of commission for far too long. As we gradually return to a “new” normal and implement our fitness routines, it is essential to ease back in to avoid injury. After a period of inactivity, your body needs to adapt and slowly increase activity as tolerated.

    You may ask, “How do I go about this safely?” The answer is - make a plan.


    Return to play:
    Whatever your end goal - whether you are a collegiate athlete, a weekend warrior, an avid yoga goer, a once a week golfer or a high school track star - you have to start back at square one after being off your game for a few months.


    Before you jump back in, start by creating a daily stretching plan, then slowly incorporate a strengthening workout to complete every other day. Core strengthening and cardio or aerobic exercise are also essential to do every day as you gradually increase your baseline activity.

    If you were used to running 5 miles a day or squatting 250 pounds, do NOT start working out at that previous intensity. Instead, begin at HALF of your “normal” activity (in weight, distance, duration, intensity, etc.), and slowly increase as tolerated, provided you do not feel pain while doing it, that night, or the next day.


    Recovery:
    It is very common to be sore after returning to an activity that you have not done in a while. Soreness is okay and expected, but do not neglect persistent pain that continues for more than a few days. Sharp shooting pain felt during activity could be an overuse injury and a sign you tried to do too much too soon. LISTEN to your body. If your body is telling you that you need a rest day, take it. Your body will thank you later.


    If you are feeling tightness in your muscles, applying heat to them before stretching will help warm up and loosen your muscles to allow for maximum mobility. If stretching and heat do not help feeling sore after exercise, try applying ice or taking anti-inflammatories.


    Any training regimen, whether rebuilding or maintaining, is not complete without proper nutrition. If you are not fueling your body with a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, complex carbs, and lean protein, as well as maintaining good hydration before, during, and after exercise, you will not be able to reach your peak performance. When you ask your body to perform on an empty tank, it is harder for your body to train and recover, and most importantly, injuries can often occur.


    Injury prevention:
    Preventing injury is key to any training or participation in athletic activity. The last thing that you want is to sustain an injury, sidelining you or setting you back when trying to return to your sport. Your chances of avoiding injury are best if you can develop and stick to your training plan. Gradually increase activity intensity, incorporate strength, conditioning, and core workouts, stretch before and after exercise, maintain a healthy diet and hydration, get a good night’s sleep and always listen to your body.

    Dr. Lisa Daye and her Sports Medicine Orthopedics team are here for you. Whether you need to get your training back on track, avoid injury, or are injured and need treatment, Dr. Daye and her team can work with you to develop a plan that’s right for you.


    Call 716.500.BONE(2663) for more information or to schedule an appointment.


  • Are you sick and tired of feeling sick and tired? Visiting your primary care physician might just help you change that. It’s good practice to call your doctor when you’re feeling under the weather, but it’s an even better practice to call your doctor before you’re sick.

    Preventative care is a critical part of your overall health and well being. Your primary care physician isn’t here just to help you when you’re sick, they’re here to keep you from getting sick by keeping a watchful eye over your health.


  • Back to school means back to busy schedules, and when we’re busy we need lunch ideas that are easy and convenient. Often healthy eating goes by the wayside, replaced by fast food. With minimal planning, eating healthy can be easy. And when we eat better, we feel better! Eating a well-balanced lunch helps pave the way for the rest of the day and also helps overcome that midday slump. Having a good balance of complex carbohydrates, protein, and good fat brings greater satisfaction and more energy. Things to keep in mind for kids include awareness of food allergies, knowing which foods they are more likely to eat, and choosing non-perishables for field trips. When packing your own lunches, consider whether your office has refrigeration, microwave, or toaster oven.

    The following are some basic lunchbox basics.

    • In addition to lean meats, alternative healthy proteins include hardboiled eggs, tuna fish, Greek or regular yogurt, nut butters, nuts and seeds, cheese, edamame, meat alternatives (seitan, tempeh), and veggie burgers. 
    • Vegetables are nutritious and loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber. Add celery or tomatoes to your chicken salad, load your wrap with spinach and sprouts, or add roasted cauliflower, fennel, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, or broccoli to salads, grains, or sandwiches. Brined raw vegetables are delicious with a dip, but limit to 2 Tbsp as they can be high in calories.
    • Fruits help satisfy your sweet tooth, and vegetables can help meet 20% of your hydration needs. Be creative and try something different; star fruit, papaya, mango, dragon fruit and Asian pears can help add variety and be fun to eat. 
    • Add whole grains crackers, wraps, or bread for a healthier carbohydrate. Quinoa, barley, brown or wild rice, and farro are great ways to incorporate healthy complex carbohydrates into your day. When reading food labels, aim for 3 grams of fiber or more per serving. 
    • Fats are essential and will keep you satisfied. Use an olive oil mayonnaise on your sandwich or try dipping vegetables in hummus or guacamole. Avocado is a great in wraps, salads, or spread on whole grain crackers. Nuts and seeds are not only a good source of protein, but also good fats. 
    • Treat yourself to a small piece of dark chocolate, cocoa dusted almonds, or whole grain cookie, once or twice a week. Remember, these don’t need to be included daily.
    • Don’t forget to bring water! Flavor it with cucumbers and mint; lemons, limes or oranges; or even apples and cinnamon to change it up. 
    • Have fun, enjoy planning, and involve the whole family in the shopping and preparation. 

    Kelly Cardamone, MS, RDN, CDCES, CDN, IFNCP, is a Nutrition and Diabetes Program Manager, practicing at General Physician, P.C. She sees patients at 3980A Sheridan Drive, Suite 200 in Amherst, 1091 Main Street, Suite 301 in Buffalo, and 705 Maple Road, Suite 300 in Williamsville. For nutritional counseling appointments or more information, call 716-631-8400.


  • Linda Fuller, ANP-BC, CDCES, has been taking care of people for about two-thirds of her life. She became a registered nurse in 1982 and has worked as a visiting nurse and in doctors’ offices and hospitals throughout Chautauqua County for her whole career. 

    The more Linda works with her patients, the more she wants to be able to help them. Since the ’80s she had seen an increasing number of people coming in with severe diabetes that affects every aspect of their lives, so in 2008, she studied to become a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist. 

    In this role, she works one-on-one with each patient to manage their individual diabetes risk factors and symptoms to reduce the effects of the disease. But as a nurse without a prescribing license, Linda wasn’t able to help manage her patients’ medications – an important part of controlling diabetes for many. She went back to school to become an Adult Nurse Practitioner, which now allows her to meet all of her patients’ diabetes and overall health needs. 

    Born and raised in Randolph, Linda is a country person who comes from a farming family and firmly believes that a day out in the fresh air and sunshine is some of the best medicine. She’s an avid crafter who makes most of the gifts she gives to friends and family (whether they like it or not, she jokes). She’s kept company by her two dogs – an 11-pound Yorkipoo and a 145-pound St. Weiler (a cross between a St. Bernard and a Rottweiler). 

     

    3898 Vineyard Dr., Ste. 1, Dunkirk, NY 14048 

    716.363.6960 

    To schedule an appointment, visit www.gppconline.com/scheduling 

    New Patients Welcome • Same-Day Appointments Available 


  • The Summer season is finally here! While many people have been emotional and stress-eating, as well as skipping physical activity during COVID-19, warm weather, sunshine, and fresh produce of the season offer you the perfect opportunity to make positive, healthy lifestyle changes.  

    Now is the perfect time to retrain your body and taste buds, particularly if you have been munching on sweets and snack foods like chips or pretzels over the last few months. Take advantage of the abundance of in-season fruits and vegetables, aiming for 1-2 pieces of fruit and at least 2-3 cups of vegetables a day. Fruit is a naturally sweet snack that comes with unique health benefits and phytonutrients. This time of year, WNY farms are brimming with U-pick strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. The summer months also boast an abundance and variety of homegrown vegetables. Try incorporating 2-3 vegetarian dinners a week. Not only is it a good way to take advantage of fresh produce, but it is an easy, healthier, and less expensive meal to prepare.  

    To help keep your weight, blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, and overall health in check, get out and walk! Even 15-20 minutes a day can make a big difference. Whether you are walking or participating in another outdoor activity you love, try to go early in the morning or in the evening to prevent overheating and avoid prime time sun exposure. Getting outside can also boost your mood and vitamin D levels adding additional health benefits. 

    Hitting the great outdoors has many health benefits, but it is essential to stay hydrated to keep your body functioning optimally. Aim for 48-64 oz of water every day. If you are active, your intake of water needs to increase. The rule of thumb is for every pound lost by sweating drink an extra 16 oz of water. 

    Decide today that the changes you make this summer will last all year. Write them down, use an app, find someone or something to make you accountable! Most of all, get outside, move your body and enjoy all that summer has to offer.


  • Music and medicine may not be a combination that typically comes to mind for patients. In fact, music selection is probably not high atop the list of any considerations whirling around one’s head when preparing for surgery or a medical procedure. 

    Anxiety is a universal experience when undergoing any procedure and is not limited to surgery. Anyone who's undergone an MRI exam, medical testing, or visits the dentist knows this. A certain level of stress can be present when someone is using tools or instruments to poke around your body. Many surgeons understand this and frequently play music during operations when the patient is fully unconscious.

    Dr. Paul Paterson, a "think outside-of-the-box" orthopedic hand surgeon, employs music to reduce anxiety for Carpal Tunnel syndrome patients. He understands their stress when they come to see him, and is not going for any ordinary surgical experience. Instead, he refers to his Carpal Tunnel Release and Relief procedure as a "spa-like" environment. He routinely utilizes personalized music selections during the Release and Relief procedure as a tool to optimize relaxation and get his patients back to doing what they love.

    Dr. Paterson's Carpal Tunnel Release and Relief procedure is performed under nothing more than local anesthesia. The minimally invasive procedure requires such a small incision that an operating room is unnecessary, and the patient is wide awake. The key theme  - less is more. The less anesthetic used means fewer complications. In addition, it makes it easier on the patient because less preparation is required for the procedure. 

    You don't need to plan for a ride home afterward, and you don't have to worry about not eating the morning of the procedure. All in all, your concerns diminish substantially, and the risk of complications during the carpal tunnel are greatly reduced. In fact, Dr. Paterson also has a text messaging system that provides you with all the updates and answers you need before, the day of and after the Release and Relief. Another tool to reduce stress.

    So, where does the music come into play? Music is the added “extra” measure to increase relaxation and diminish anxiety during the procedure. You are awake during Release and Relief; the local anesthesia will make it so that you feel nothing. And, studies show that music takes your mind off preoccupations, lowering your body's automatic response to stressors. As a result, lower heart rates and blood pressure – both great for surgical and non-surgical procedures. And that means an easier recovery, thus getting you back to your life as soon as possible. 

    Music is just one of the ways Dr. Paterson aims to optimize the space for a procedure that does not need to be so complex or involved. Less time, less equipment, and patient satisfaction are the goals of the endeavor. 

    So, when you arrive at General Physician PC Orthopedics for your Carpal Tunnel Release and Relief, make sure you have your favorite music or band in mind. Then let Dr. Paterson and his expert team take care of the rest.

    For more information about the Carpal Tunnel Release and Relief procedure visit: https://www.gppconline.com/paul-paterson-md/dr-paterson-carpal-tunnel

    Watch The Commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RS0eoP0xisg

    Take the Carpal Tunnel Assessment Quiz HERE

     

    Office locations

    ECMC Ambulatory Care Center
    462 Grider Street
    3rd Floor
    Buffalo, NY 14215
    Map/Directions

    5844 Southwestern Blvd
    Hamburg, NY 14075
    Map/Directions

    55 Spindrift Drive, Suite 120
    Williamsville, NY 14221
     
    Map/Directions

    Phone
    716-500-HAND(4263)


  • According to the CDC, diabetes affects more than 122 million Americans today, this includes both diabetes and prediabetes. It takes an incredible amount of work to keep your diabetes under control, and for the average person, managing diabetes is no small feat. Here are a few tips:

    Know Your Numbers

    After consulting with your doctor about your blood glucose targets, check them frequently to learn your trends. Your doctor will check your A1C every three months to determine your average blood glucose level. Also, check with your doctor on your blood pressure and cholesterol targets to keep those under control. Knowledge is power, and this will help you manage your diabetes. 

    Get Active

    It is essential to take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. COVID-19 may keep us socially distanced, but getting outside to walk just 10-15 minutes each day can significantly improve your health. Regular exercise has been shown to improve blood glucose levels and is an excellent tool for diabetes management. 

    Eat Right

    Healthy eating is a huge part of diabetes management. Food is a powerful tool, and it is essential to fuel your body with healthy foods to keep blood glucose levels low. Incorporating foods that are naturally rich in nutrients and low in fat and calories such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, is an excellent place to start!

    Take a Diabetes Education Class

    Classes are led and taught by Certified Diabetes Educators and are offered to the community in 4-week sessions. These classes can help you learn how your diet impacts your diabetes, how to plan healthy meals and snacks, interpret your blood glucose and A1C readings, find group support, and more.

    Virtual Diabetes Classes:

    December Session: 2, 9, 16, and 23,
    January/February Session: Jan 20 and 27, and Feb 3 and 10 
    Wednesday nights from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. 
    Call our Williamsville office at 716.631.8400 to register or if you have any questions.

    Dunkirk - In-Person Diabetes Classes

    February Session: 2, 9, 16, 23 
    Tuesday nights from 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
    3898 Vineyard Drive, Suite 1 
    Dunkirk, NY 14048
    Call our Dunkirk office at 716.363-6960 to register or if you have any questions

    Or click here for more information: www.gppconline.com/specialties/clinical-support/nutrition-services

    Don't Stress

    Managing diabetes can seem overwhelming. If you feel stressed, anxious, or depressed, give your doctor a call. They can provide assistance and additional resources. You are not alone.

    See Your Doctor

    Get your flu shot and stay up-to-date on all other vaccinations. Make sure you have an annual foot and eye exam and check your feet daily to make sure there are no cuts, redness, swelling, corns, calluses, or sores. See your doctor regularly to eliminate any potential health risks that may arise with diabetes.

    Use this month to take some time to reflect on your diabetes management and continue to be vigilant in your care. Diabetes can feel overwhelming at times, but remember, it is a disease that can be controlled!

     

    Resources: 

    www.diabetes.org/diabetes

    www.cdc.gov/diabetes/index.html


  • You have hand pain, maybe tingling, and you think you might have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - but what does that mean? Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common injury that occurs when excess pressure is put on the median nerve running through the carpal tunnel in your wrist. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, and shooting pains that wake you up at night . Living with constant pain, not sleeping well, and losing function can be frustrating and debilitating, especially if you cannot do the things you love. 

    You Have CTS – Now What?

    Once you know you have CTS, then what? Traditionally, you can spend weeks, even months, going to  appointments and tests trying to resolve CTS. “However, there is a better option: the Release and Relief procedure - a new minimally invasive procedure. The procedure aims to shrink the time spent diagnosing, testing, surgically correcting, and recovering from months to ONE day (also known as the “episode of care”).  Shrinking the “episode of care” means less time in the doctors' office and a quicker return to normal life.

    What is the “Episode of Care”?

    The episode of care for any injury or illness is the time spent taking care of that specific injury or illness and, ideally, getting you back to full health . It starts at your first doctor's appointment and continues with every subsequent office visit, test, and procedure. You can expect an episode of care for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to consist of 4-6 appointments over several weeks or months.

    What Else Does a CTS Episode of Care Entail?

    The first appointment for CTS involves diagnosing the issue. Most doctors use electromyography (EMG), a test to read the nerve activity in your wrist. Electrodes are inserted through the skin into the muscle tissue to relay information to the doctor to confirm the CTS. It’s costly, not to mention unpleasant

    Some doctors may conduct additional tests, including blood work and x-rays. If you opt for remedies like splints, NSAIDS, or cortisone injections, your episode of care may be extended. Consider the time spent driving to and from appointments, time taken off from work, and interrupted routines or activities, which can increase stress levels.

    Dr. Paul Paterson, an orthopedic hand and upper extremity surgeon, uses the latest technology to get patients with CTS in and out in just ONE day. This innovative procedure is known as Release and Relief. As a result, your CTS episode of care is whittled down to ONE office visit. 

    How Does Release and Relief Work?

    After your assessment and confirmation of CTS, you will be scheduled for a procedure. You may take time to consider your options, or you can get it done there and then. First, Dr. Paterson will use ultrasound-guided technology to confirm the diagnosis – no electrodes are required. Then, local anesthesia is administered. Patients are fully awake and, and in fact, listening to music during the procedure.  Dr. Paterson uses a specially designed instrument that works in tandem with ultrasound to complete the procedure quickly and efficiently. The Release and Relief procedure is finished in less than five minutes per hand, and patients are ready to go home – no long recovery, no physical therapy.

    What About Follow-Up?

    After the Release and Relief procedure, you can opt into a text service to stay connected with Dr. Paterson for check-ins the next day. No need to come back into the office unless it’s necessary. Dr. Paterson even provides his patients with his number to call him with any urgent questions and concerns.

    Although saving time is a significant benefit of the Release and Relief procedure, quality is just as important. Rest assured Dr. Paterson delivers both. If you’re experiencing CTS symptoms, take our assessment quiz HERE. Or, click HERE and schedule an appointment online. For more information, you can also call the office at 716-500-HAND. You don’t have to wait weeks or months for relief; let Dr. Paterson get you back to enjoying life in just ONE Day.

     

    Office locations

    ECMC Ambulatory Care Center
    462 Grider Street
    3rd Floor
    Buffalo, NY 14215
    Map/Directions

    5844 Southwestern Blvd
    Hamburg, NY 14075
    Map/Directions

    55 Spindrift Drive, Suite 120
    Williamsville, NY 14221
     
    Map/Directions

    Phone
    716-500-HAND(4263)


  • It has been a very challenging few months. Due to COVID-19, many women had to delay their annual exams and screenings such as PAP smears and mammograms. 

    The primary purpose of the annual exam and screening is to catch a disease as early as possible and address it in a timely fashion. While waiting for a month or two is not usually a problem, delaying your healthcare visit for a more extended period could be a problem. 

    Even more pressing issues like seeing a doctor for a problem or renewing medications have been delayed because of the COVID-19 crisis. As you probably know, the Coronavirus pandemic forced us to stop all non-urgent surgeries in NY State and nationwide. Even though we restarted performing same-day procedures recently, the majority of elective surgeries are still on hold.

    What are elective surgeries? Elective surgeries are planned operations that are scheduled weeks or months in advance. Delaying surgical treatment is negatively impacting patients by prolonging symptoms, decreasing quality of life, and sometimes could make surgery more difficult.

    At General Physician PC, your safety and well-being are our primary priorities. We don't want you to delay your care. Rest assured that at all our offices, we have implemented robust procedures to ensure a safe and clean environment. We have changed our routine significantly by incorporating an initial screening upon entrance to the office, eliminating the need to wait in the waiting area, utilizing extreme sanitary measures to clean exam rooms as well as full mask regimen. All these changes are necessary to ensure patient safety in our offices. 

    We understand, however, that some people may still be concerned about coming to the office. We now offer telemedicine visits so you can talk to your doctor via phone or video. This type of appointment is an excellent way to discuss your concerns with your doctor, renew or change medication, follow up on chronic issues, and get all of your questions answered. If the problem is more challenging and requires a physical examination, we would recommend you schedule an in-person visit with your doctor.

    We are happy to see a definitive decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in NY State. With these positive changes, it is an excellent time to start thinking about your routine health again and take care of yourself.

    For more information or to make an appointment with Dr. Kirakosyan please call 716-656-4077.

    Armen Kirakosyan, MD, FACOG, FPMRS, FACS 
    https://www.gppconline.com/armen-kirakosyan-md
    Women's Health, Urogynecology 
    https://www.gppconline.com/specialties/medical-specialties/urogynecology


  • More than 800,000 Americans die every year from cardiovascular disease, making it the number one killer in America. The good news: those numbers are in decline, thanks, in part, to people taking a more proactive approach to their heart health.


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