Early Fall 2009

Richard Garvey, MD
Q: My son needs abdominal surgery. How can I make sure that he’s getting the best physician and hospital for the procedure?

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.

Jeffrey Sandler, MD
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?

Ophthalmologist Jeffrey Sandler, MD, responds:

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.

For a physician referral to an expert ophthalmologist, please visit www.bridgeporthospital.org/FindPhysician or call 1-888-357-2396, toll free, 24/7.

Ceasar Irby, DPM
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 going on?

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.

For a physician referral to an expert podiatrist, please visit www.bridgeporthospital.org/FindPhysician or call 1-888-357-2396, toll free, 24/7.

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.

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