Northwest Medical Center
954.974.0400
At Northwest Medical Center, we treat the most important health concerns - yours. We provide healthcare services designed to meet your needs at every stage of your life.

Recognizing Overlooked Symptoms of Heart Disease

Heart disease is often thought of as being a singular diagnosis, when in fact there are many different types of heart disease. Heart failure, coronary microvascular disease, coronary artery disease, and congenital heart defects are all examples of heart diseases that can benefit from specialized cardiac care. Unfortunately, the signs and symptoms of heart disease aren’t always easy to detect. Heart disease doesn’t always cause chest pain, for instance. By reporting unusual changes in your health status to your doctor at Northwest Medical Center, you can facilitate a timely diagnosis.

Sexual Dysfunction

Sometimes, patients who talk to their doctors about sexual dysfunction may be referred for cardiac care. Heart and vascular diseases may involve the narrowing and hardening of the blood vessels, including those that lead to the genital region. When blood flow to the penis in men or genital area in women is restricted, sexual dysfunction may result.

Edema

Edema is the medical term for swelling caused by the buildup of fluid in the tissues. There are many possible causes of edema, including pregnancy, certain medications, or underlying medical conditions such as congestive heart failure. In a patient with congestive heart failure, the heart can no longer efficiently pump all of the blood out of the organ. Blood may accumulate in the legs, ankles, and feet, resulting in swelling. Sometimes, edema may affect the abdomen. Pulmonary edema refers to fluid accumulation in the lungs, which can cause shortness of breath.

Fatigue

Extreme fatigue is another hallmark sign of congestive heart failure. Some patients may describe the feeling of tiredness as being “crushing” fatigue. Fatigue may sometimes be indicative of an impending heart attack. In women in particular, heart attack may be indicated by vague, non-specific symptoms. Some women report feeling atypically fatigued for days or weeks leading up to the heart attack.

The Heart and Vascular Institute at Northwest Medical Center is proud to be Northwest Broward County’s only Cardiac Level II Licensed Program. The cardiac care services we offer at our Margate, FL facility include cardiac catheterization, electrophysiology studies, cardiac rehabilitation, and many more. If you feel you may be having a cardiac emergency, please call 911 now. Otherwise, contact our hospital at (954) 974-0400.


What You Need to Know About Bonding with Your Baby

Spending time bonding with your baby is important for both yourself and your child, so it is helpful to understand the bonding process and the ways you can increase your connection with your newborn. Most babies will be ready to begin bonding as soon as they are born, but parents may have different feelings. For some parents, attachment to the child is immediate, while others can take some time to get used to parenting. In either case, you should remember that bonding will take place through time, and it is critical to your child’s social development. Below you can get a closer look at some key facts about baby bonding so that you are able to build a positive relationship with your child from the moment he or she is born.

Babies bond through all senses

It is helpful to interact with your baby in a variety of ways. Touching and holding your baby with skin-to-skin contact will create a sense of security for your newborn and strengthen your bond together. You should also talk to your baby and make eye contact, which is a meaningful form of communication well before babies are able to speak and gesture.

Bonding can take place through feeding

If your baby is born healthy and well with a complication-free delivery, one of the first things you might do is breastfeed. This can create an immediate start to the bonding process and make feeding much easier overall. Even if you do not breastfeed right away after birth, breastfeeding will be a great help in bonding, and it can offer numerous other health benefits for your baby.

Dads should participate in baby bonding too

Moms have a special connection with their babies from birth, but dads should not be left out of the bonding process. Dads can participate by reading and singing to their babies, changing diapers, and using a front baby carrier.

With the maternity services at Northwest Medical Center in Margate, you can expect exceptional care throughout your pregnancy with private labor-delivery-recovery suites to welcome your baby into the world. For a closer look at our facilities and childbirth classes, call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (954) 974-0400.


Is Surgical Care the Right Step for Your Heartburn Treatment?

While occasional acid reflux may be no more than an inconvenience, chronic acid reflux can be a painful condition that prevents you from eating the foods you love, sleeping comfortably at night, and participating in all of your favorite activities. There are many treatment options that you might consider for recurring heartburn from chronic acid reflux, but a growing number of patients are turning toward TIF, or transoral incisionless fundoplication, which is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that can treat the problem at its source. Read on to see if this procedure is right for your treatment of chronic acid reflux.

You have chronic heartburn symptoms

Symptoms of heartburn can include chest pain, bloating, excessive throat clearing, cough, burning in the mouth and throat, and dental erosion. You may also have an intolerance for certain foods, especially spicy foods and high-acid foods. When these symptoms come up twice per week or more, you likely have chronic acid reflux, which takes place when the anti-reflux barrier in your esophagus malfunctions. Surgery will repair this structure to promote healthy digestion without ongoing discomfort.

You have not had success with other treatments

The use of PPI medications is often recommended as the first line of treatment for chronic heartburn, but these medications will not be effective for every patient. Surgery is effective in providing long-term heartburn relief for about 93% of patients, and it does not carry many significant risks, because it is performed through the mouth rather than an open incision.

You are concerned about long-term medication use

Even if medication does work, it may have side effect with continued use. Following surgery, you can reduce or even discontinue use of PPI medication to minimize potential negative side effects.

Northwest Medical Center is a leader for heartburn and acid reflux relief through TIF surgery in Margate. For a physician referral or more details about this procedure, call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (954) 974-0400.


Health Tips for Women in Their 20s

It is not common for women to see many health issues in their 20s, but this age is a key time for prevention to avoid problems with infertility, heart disease, and other serious health concerns down the road. There are many steps that you can take early on in adulthood to ensure good health for a lifetime, and this article will offer a look at some of the most beneficial actions you can take before you reach your 30s.

Schedule preventive health screenings

Through health screenings, you can prevent common health problems or treat them as soon as they develop, which will save you time and money in your healthcare. If you do not have a primary physician in your 20s, find a doctor through your health insurance provider and schedule a checkup. Once you have a primary care provider, you can easily schedule pelvic exams, clinical breast exams, blood pressure screenings, and STD testing, which are all incredibly important tests for young women.

Exercise regularly

With an active routine early on in life, you can prevent heart disease, reduce your risk for osteoporosis, and fight off depression and anxiety. When you are in your 20s, you can be very active without worrying about putting stress on your body, so you should get at least 90 minutes of weight training and 120 minutes of moderate to strenuous cardiovascular exercise every week.

Avoid excess drinking

While early adulthood is a time to indulge, you should think about how alcohol can affect your health in the long-run. Women typically have a lower tolerance for alcohol and generally should not drink more than one alcoholic beverage per day.

If you are seeking a primary care physician to manage your care in your 20s and beyond, contact Northwest Medical Center’s Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (954) 974-0400. In addition to physician referrals, our nurses can provide you with information about our women’s health services in Margate.


A Closer Look at Carotid Stenting

The carotid arteries are two of the most important vessels in the body, because they carry oxygenated blood to the brain. Hardening of the carotid arteries caused by untreated high cholesterol and hypertension can pose a serious risk to the brain, because plaque can develop along the walls of the arteries, limiting blood flow. When blood flow through one of the carotid arteries is severely restricted or cut off entirely, a stroke may occur and lead to permanent damage of the brain tissue. Carotid stenting is a treatment that may prevent stroke in patients with carotid artery disease (CAD) by reopening the artery and reinforcing it with a mesh device that can ensure proper blood flow.

How does carotid stenting work?

Carotid stenting is a minimally invasive surgical procedure, which will begin with angioplasty to move a catheter through the arteries with an entry at the arm or groin. Using X-ray imaging, your vascular surgeon will guide the catheter into place, and then inflate a balloon tip that pushes plaque against the artery walls. Another catheter is moved along the same pathway to place a metal stent, which will expand to fit into place.


When is this procedure necessary?

Patients who have systemic CAD with significant narrowing of the arteries or symptoms of stroke or TIA may be candidates for carotid stenting. Prior to this procedure, your doctor may schedule screening procedures to assess the health of your arteries so that the right treatment may be selected.

What is involved with follow-up care?

While carotid stenting will be effective in reopening a clogged artery, it is not the only measure needed to prevent a stroke. You may take part in a cardiovascular rehabilitation program or simply follow instructions provided by your doctor to improve your lifestyle and manage your stroke risk.

Northwest Medical Center’s Heart and Vascular Institute has been named as one of the Truven Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals in the nation, so you can count on us to provide exceptional care for vascular surgeries, cardiac interventions, and heart surgery. To learn more, give us a call on our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (954) 974-0400.


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