Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Relief for a Common Problem

Doctors use a small balloon and other minimally invasive treatments to relieve chronic sinus inflammation

If it seems like every time you turn around someone is sniffing, sneezing, snoring or squinting, you’re right. These are symptoms of sinusitis, which is one of the most common chronic health problems, affecting an estimated 37 million Americans each year, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“Sinusitis is a general term that simply means inflammation of the sinuses,” says Alidad Arabshahi, M.D., an ear, nose and throat specialist on Sentara Potomac Hospital’s medical staff. “It’s when the mucus membranes in your sinus cavities are swollen and do not allow air to flow easily through. This can cause miserable symptoms including stuffy nose, cough, and severe headaches.”

Finding relief

There’s good news for people who are looking for sinus relief but want to avoid traditional surgery.

“At Sentara Potomac Hospital, we perform Balloon Sinuplasty™,” says Dr. Arabshahi. “We place a small flexible balloon catheter through the nose into the blocked sinus passageway. We then inflate the balloon to restructure and unblock the passageway so that normal sinus drainage and function are restored.”

“Until recently, patients have had two main treatment options for severe sinusitis,” says Dr. Arabshahi. “Medical therapy, which includes antibiotics and topical nasal steroids, or conventional sinus surgery. Unfortunately, medical therapy doesn’t work for everyone and conventional sinus surgery can be painful because it involves the removal of bone and tissue to open up a blocked sinus passage.”

Since there is no bone or tissue removed with the Balloon Sinuplasty procedure, patients recover more quickly with less pain or discomfort during recovery, according to Dr. Arabshahi.

Free Sinus Screening

Wednesday, May 18, 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. in The Potomac Center, First Floor (Next to Sentara Potomac Hospital).

Screenings are performed by board-certified ear, nose and throat specialists, Drs. Alidad Arabshahi and Ramin Ipakchi, who are trained in minimally invasive sinus surgery techniques, including balloon sinuplasty. Register online or call 703-221-2500.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Consider a Career with Sentara Potomac Hospital

Come to our Registered Nurse Career Fair!

Join us on Thursday May 5, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. in the Hylton Education Center at Sentara Potomac Hospital for our Registered Nurse Career Fair.

You have dedicated your career and your heart to caring for others. Why not consider bringing your talents to Sentara Potomac Hospital? We invite you to be a part of the future of healthcare as we implement Sentara Healthcare’s electronic medical record, eCare, in October; and the opening of the Sentara Heart and Vascular Center in May.

Experienced registered nurses are invited to meet with Sentara Potomac Hospital nursing leaders from the following areas to find out more: ICU, IMCU, Medicine/Dialysis, Hematology/Oncology, Cardiology, Perioperative Services, Labor & Delivery, and Post Anesthesia Care Unit.

Staff, leadership and education level positions available. For more information, please contact Regina Falco at

To join us for this event, we ask that you submit an online application and/or RSVP to 703-670-1509.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Free Weight Loss Surgery Seminars in Springfield and Fredericksburg

Get Your Weight Loss Surgery Questions Answered at our Free Seminars

Join board-certified weight loss surgeon Dr. Denis Halmi to learn about surgical solutions to weight loss including laparoscopic gastric banding, gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and revisional procedures. Plus, hear firsthand from surgery patients about their experiences.

Saturday, May 14, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Hilton Springfield, St. Thomas Room, 6550 Loisdale Road, Springfield.

Tuesday, May 17, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Fredericksburg Hospitality House, Palm Room, 2801 Plank Road, Fredericksburg.

Register online or call 703-221-2500 or 1-800-Sentara.

Sentara Potomac Hospital is designated a Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. The ASMBS Center of Excellence designation recognizes surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of excellent outcomes in bariatric surgery.

Free Sinus Screenings at Sentara Potomac Hospital

Are you suffering from chronic sinus problems such as runny nose, itchy eyes, loss of smell or taste, headaches, or dizziness? These are common complaints, but solutions are available. Learn what treatment options might help you.

Screenings are performed by board-certified ear, nose and throat specialists, Drs. Alidad Arabshahi and Ramin Ipakchi, who are trained in minimally invasive sinus surgery techniques, including balloon sinuplasty.

Wednesdays, May 18 & June 15, 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. in The Potomac Center, First Floor (Next to Sentara Potomac Hospital).

Register online or call 703-221-2500.

Free Foot Screenings at Sentara Potomac Hospital

Pain in your feet can affect a person’s ability to enjoy the most basic activities of daily life. At the screening, Dr. Vincent Bonini, a board-certified podiatrist, will provide free consultations and explain available treatment options and ways to relieve your foot pain. These consultations will last approximately 10-15 minutes and are by appointment only.

Register today for our upcoming free foot screenings:

Thursdays, May 12 & June 9; 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., The Potomac Center, First Floor the building connected to Sentara Potomac Hospital).

Register online or call 703-221-2500.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Free Men’s Health Seminar

Permanent Solutions for ED and Bladder Control Problems

At this free seminar, board-certified, fellowship-trained urologist Dr. Pratik Desai will discuss solutions to erectile dysfunction (ED) and bladder control problems caused by prostate surgery, diabetes and heart disease.

During the program, patients will share their personal success stories. Spouses and partners are encouraged to attend as well.

Tuesday, May 3, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Hylton Education Center at Sentara Potomac Hospital.

Register online or call 703-221-2500.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Auxiliary Pleges $125,000 for Cardiac Equipment

The Sentara Potomac Hospital Auxiliary has pledged $125,000 to purchase new portable Intravenous Ultrasound and Fractional Flow Reserve imaging equipment for the Sentara Heart and Vascular Center at Potomac Hospital. The new center, located on the hospital campus, opens in late May and will offer new heart and vascular services including interventional cardiac catheterization.

The equipment will provide physicians the technology to more comprehensively assess and treat patients with cardiac disease.

"We're thrilled to make this pledge," says Steve Argubright, Auxiliary president. "We are happy that we're able to contribute needed equipment that will help bring quality cardiac care to the local community."

The Sentara Potomac Hospital Auxiliary is made up of more than 150 community volunteers who provide an invaluable service to the hospital. In addition to operating the hospital Gift Shop, the volunteers also give freely of their time and talents by coordinating fundraising activities to benefit the hospital.

Visit if you're interested in becoming a member of the Auxiliary or for more information.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It's National Volunteer Week!

The Sentara Potomac Hospital volunteers are the best on the planet! Thanks to all of our volunteers for everything you do for us each and every day.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ask Our Experts

Help for Bladder Control Problems

Q. I’m very frustrated with my bladder control issues. None of the treatments have worked and I need results so that I can get my normal life back.

Dr. Alok Desai: Your feelings are common with many people who have bladder control problems or incontinence. Making repeated visits to the restroom is both inconvenient and very frustrating.

The good news is there is help for those with an overactive bladder including leakage, the inability to fully empty your bladder, or urgency or frequency. At Sentara Potomac Hospital one of the most successful treatments we have is called Interstim® Therapy for Urinary Control, which is an FDA-approved minimally invasive treatment for bladder control.

Interstim Therapy is recommended when other treatment options for bladder control have not been successful. Overactive bladder can really impair a woman’s quality of life and I’ve seen many women (and men!) benefit from Interstim. The beauty of the procedure is that we can test it in the office to see if it works before any surgery is done. The patient knows what the results will be before they commit to having surgery.

If a patient has a successful test procedure, the Interstim procedure can be performed as an outpatient surgery, with a quick return to normal activity. In patients who have not had success with other therapies, Interstim has a reported success rate as high as 80 percent. At Sentara Potomac Hospital, we have successfully performed this procedure in patients ranging in age from their 20s to their 80s.

Dr. Alok Desai is a board-certified and fellowship-trained urologist on Sentara Potomac Hospital’s Medical Staff. Dr. Desai completed his fellowship training at the Center for Continence Care in Minnesota, which performs more Interstim procedures annually than any other center in the United States.

Free Community Health Events
Join Sentara Potomac Hospital experts at our upcoming free health events. For a complete listing of programs and to register, click here.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Healthcare Decisions Day

Sentara Potomac Hospital will observe National Healthcare Decisions Day on Friday, April 15, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tables with Advance Directives will be set up in the main lobby and outside the Hylton Education Center at Sentara Potomac Hospital.

Patient relations representatives will be available to anyone who would like assistance in completing Advance Directives and to answer any questions you may have.

Plus, we will be hosting Matthew C. Connors of Hancock, Daniel, Johnson & Nagle, P.C., for an informational presentation on Advance Directives. Please join us this Friday, April 15, from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. in the Hylton Education Center for this event. The presentation is open to all employees, physicians, and community members.

Please stop by, complete an Advance Directive and check one more thing off of your to-do list! For more information, please call 703-670-1575.

What's New in Treating Heart Disease?

Join us for this free seminar as cardiologist Dr. Anna Czajka discusses the latest developments to diagnose and treat heart disease. Dr. Czajka will explain the techniques doctors use to diagnose heart disease, common symptoms and medical therapy for congestive heart failure.

Plus, learn about the role of pacemakers/defibrillators to manage congestive heart failure and find out about the new treatment options for valvular heart disease.

What’s New in Treating Heart Disease will be held on Tuesday, April 26, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Sentara Potomac Hospital.

Register online for this free seminar or call (703) 221-2500.

Free Skin Cancer Screening on April 30

When detected early, about 90 percent of skin cancers can be successfully treated and cured. Sign up now for our free Skin Cancer Screening on Saturday, April 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in The Potomac Center, First Floor (next to Sentara Potomac Hospital). Screenings are performed by board-certified physicians.

The screening is free but an appointment is necessary. Call 703-221-2500 to schedule your appointment or for information.

Since skin cancer can be effectively treated if detected early, self-examination of the skin is crucial. Scrutinize those areas of your skin that are regularly exposed to the sun, such as your face, neck, hands, ears and scalp. Most skin cancers develop on the head and neck. Use a mirror to check areas you can’t see, and ask your physician to perform a total-body exam with each routine checkup.

Early detection is important even if you haven’t been in the sun for a while – if you frequented the beach or tennis court as a youth, you’re still at risk decades later.