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Lewes, Delaware
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January 8, 2008     Cape Gazette
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January 8, 2008
 

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30 - CAPE GAZETTE - Tuesday, January 8 - Thursday, January 10, 2008 Learn the tJasics of heart function Q.: I have a leaky heart valve that may need surgery down the road. Can you tell me about heart-valve surgery in one of your columns? A.: First, let's explain briefly how the heart works. There are four chambers in the heart - two atria on top and two ventricles below. There are four valves that open and shut with every heartbeat to control the cir- culation of the blood. These valves, which are made of tissue flaps, are called the tricuspid, pul- monary, mitral and aortic. Blood flows in one direction through the heart to get a new sup- ply of oxygen from the lungs. Here's how it goes: Used blood comes back to the heart from the body and goes into the right atrium. The right atrium pumps the blood downward through the tricuspid valve into the right ventricle. The right ven- HEALTHY GEEZER Fred Cicetti tricle pumps the blood through the pulmonary valve to the lungs. The oxygenated blood returns from the lungs to the left atrium. The left atrium moves the blood down through the mitral valve into the left ventricle. The left ventricle pumps the blood out the aortic valve, which supplies the body. Valves can malfunction and strain the heart. If a valve doesn't close properly, blood will flow backward. This is called "regurgi- tation." If valve flaps don't open correctly, they prevent blood from flowing through them. This is called "stenosis." Advanced valve disease can cause blood clots, stroke or sud- den death from cardiac arrest. For seniors, there is a problem with the flaps of the aortic and mitral valves; they thicken and harden with age, making blood flow more difficult. These changes may lead to complica- tions in people with heart disease. Other common causes of valve disease are birth defects that pro- duce irregularly shaped aortic valves or narrowed mitral valves; infective endocarditis, a bacterial infection of the lining of the heart's walls and valves; coronary artery disease; and heart attack. People with malfunctioning Beebe offers bone density screenings, f Beebe Medical Center will offer bone density screenings and Berg balance and fall-risk assess- ments from 9 to 11 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 15, at the CHEER Center in Georgetown. Appointments for the fall-risk assessments are required by calling Marie Berntsen, RN, at 645- 3623. No appointments are necessary for the nonin- vasive bone density screenings, which take just a few minutes to scan the heel bone for density. A nurse interprets these results. Beebe physical therapist Roseanne Schneider will carry out the individual, 15-minute, Berg balance and fall-risk assessments. She also will be available to discuss findings. The Berg balance and fall-risk assessment can identify people who are statistically at risk of experi- encing a fall, which can have serious health and functional status ramifications. all-risk assessments Patients who have a high risk for fall will be pro- vided with documentation of their score and strong- ly encouraged to discuss it with their primary care physician. Beebe Medical Center regularly offers bone densi- ty screenings to identify osteoporosis, a serious health concern that can lead to fractures that can cause disability and even death. Osteoporosis, often termed the silent disease because it shows no symptoms until it causes bones to become so fragile that they break, will strike mil- lions of people over the next decade if preventive action is not taken, according to a report by the U.S. surgeon general. It is estimated that by 2020, half of all Americans above the age of 50 will be at risk for fractures caused by osteoporosis. There is a risk for men as well as for women. Quakertown Wellness Center welcomes Silver Lotus Yoga Susan Hamadock, LCSW-C, director of Silver Lotus Yoga, has joined the practice at Quakertown Wellness Center. Quakertown Wellness Center is an integrative healthcare center focusing on health and healing. A new semester of yoga and tai chi classes is scheduled to begin Monday, Jan. 21. Classes will accommodate beginners, experi- enced yogis and people with lim- ited physical abilities. Briefl t Milford Memorial offers free valet parking Bayhealth Medical CenterMilford Memorial Hospital is now offering free valet parking. Valet parking is available from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the hospital main entrance on Kings Highway. Patients and visitors are encouraged to take advantage of frf in,, An open house is scheduled for noon to 4 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 13, at the center. The open house will include complimentary food, yoga and tai chi demonstrations, and Silver Lotus instructors will be on hand to answer questions. Class sched- ules will be available at the open house and at various locations throughout the community. Quakertown Wellness Center is located at 1307 Savannah Road, Lewes. WE HAVE MOVED!!! DELAWARE ARTHRITIS RHEUMATOLOGY CONSULTANTS OF DELAWARE Dr. Jose Antonio Pando Dr. John Gomez Quakertown Square 1532 Savannah Road Lewes, DE 302-644-2633 We are directly across Savannah Road from Bayside Health and, going east from the light at Happy Harry's, ours is thefourth build.kgg on the righL .c valves who don't have serious symptoms may not need treat- ment. Medicines can help with symptoms but don't fix a bad valve. Surgery or a less-invasive procedure is often needed to cor- rect valve disease. There is a percutaneous (through-the-skin) procedure that may be used to open narrowed tri- cuspid, pulmonary and mitral valves. In rare cases, it is used on aortic valves. A balloon-tipped catheter is inserted into the narrowed valve and inflated. The balloon makes the central area of the valve larg- er. The balloon is then deflated and removed. During surgery, valves may either be repaired or replaced. Repair may involve opening a narrowed valve or reinforcing a valve that doesn't close properly. Surgeons replace irreparable valves with prosthetic valves. Prosthetic valves can be mechanical; they are made of plastic, carbon or metal. Or, these replacement valves can be composed of human or ani- mal tissue. There is an increased risk of blood clots forming with a mechanical valve, so patients who get them have to take blood-thin- ning medicines as long as they have this kind of valve. Valve surgery is an open-heart operation that requires a heart- lung bypass machine. During the operation, the heart must stop beating. The machine keeps the blood circulating in the patient's body. Editor's note: Fred Cicetti is a first-class geezer over 60 who writes a health column for senior citizens. Email questions to fred@healthygeezer.com or visit http ://healthygeezer.com. Richard L.Todd, Ph.D., M, Licensed Psychologist Over 30 Years Experience Treating  11 Adlescents' Adults and Senirs fr: 7 ss Management Dual Diagnoses ssive Disorders Anxieties and Phobias  les Problems Grief from Divorce or ing new clients at Cool Spring Office  Rte. 9 - Call 302,-85 $100 Dermal Fillers OFF Rfldiessee' F:lebane' Peflane per full syringe $50 Touch-up Dermal Fillers OFF per syri,ge Skin Care