Q: My son needs abdominal
surgery. How can I make
sure that he’s getting the best
physician and hospital for
Surgeon Richard Garvey, MD, responds:
A: For young kids, hospitals can seem
like scary places. Look for a children’s
unit that has cheerful colors and décor, toys, activities
and a place for Mom or Dad to stay overnight in the room.
Having a parent stay in the hospital can ease the stress of
recovery. Bridgeport Hospital’s P.T. Barnum Pediatric
Center, which specializes in the care of children from birth
through adolescence, has a friendly circus theme, and each
room is equipped with a private bathroom and shower.
As any parent knows, kids’ needs are different from adults’
needs. When it comes to surgery or even an overnight hospital
stay, it’s important to make sure your child gets the
very best medical care from a physician and/or surgeon
who specializes in the procedure that your child will have,
using the most sophisticated equipment designed to meet
the specific needs of children.
Bridgeport Hospital offers the highest level of
pediatric care and surgical expertise available in Fairfield
County. For a physician referral to an expert surgeon
who specializes in pediatric surgery, please visit www.bridgeporthospital.org/FindPhysician or call 1-888-357-2396, toll free, 24/7.
Q: Sometimes I see black specks
in front of my eyes. The specks
seem to drift around when I
move my eyes. Is this serious?
Jeffrey Sandler, MD
Ophthalmologist Jeffrey Sandler,
A: The specks you see moving in and
around your field of vision are
called floaters. Floaters can also
look like drifting clouds, strings or cobwebs. They are more
visible when you look at a bright sky or something white,
and seem to move when you try to look at them.
Although the specks or cobwebs seem to be floating in the
front of your eye, they are actually shadows caused by tiny
clumps of cells floating in the fluid inside your eye. The
clumps cast shadows on the retina. The retina is a thin layer
of cells that lines the back of the eye. It responds to light
and sends visual messages to the brain.
Floaters become more common as we age. Most are harmless
and become less noticeable over time. Sometimes
floaters are a symptom of a serious retinal disease. If you
develop new floaters very suddenly, or if you see flashes or
shadows, you should contact your ophthalmologist right
away to make sure there is no damage to your retina.
Q: Lately, I’ve been feeling a
sharp pain in my heel. It
really hurts! Sometimes I
can’t even walk on it. What’s
Podiatrist Ceasar Irby, DPM, responds:
A: Heel pain is the most common
foot ailment among adults. Most
often, it is due to an inflamed plantar fascia ligament (a
tough band of tissue that connects bones), located at the
bottom of the foot. The technical name for this type of heel
pain is plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis pain is usually worse
in the morning or after sitting for a long time. For some
people, the pain decreases after walking for a few minutes.
The causes of plantar fasciitis range from having a faulty
foot structure to obesity to wearing very flat shoes or
very high heels.
A foot and ankle physician can examine your foot, listen to
your symptoms and determine what may be causing your
discomfort. Treatments for plantar fasciitis—depending on a
person’s condition—can include wearing sturdy shoes,
stretching, icing, weight loss and/or medications to relieve
inflammation of the ligament. Custom orthotics (shoe
inserts) or physical therapy may also help relieve your pain.
Most patients who have plantar fasciitis do not need surgery.
Although plantar fasciitis is the most common reason for
heel pain, it’s not the only one. Heel and foot pain can also
be caused by an undiagnosed stress fracture, nerve damage,
heel spurs (bursitis) and other foot ailments. It’s
important to talk to a physician about any heel pain you
experience to determine the reason for your discomfort.
Hoping it will just go away could worsen the damage.
At Bridgeport Hospital, we value the health of our patients, visitors, physicians and staff. Smoking is prohibited
on the Bridgeport Hospital campus (indoors, outdoors, in stairwells and in parking areas), providing a
healthier, cleaner and safer environment for everyone.