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Lakeview Regional Medical Center (95 East Fairway Drive, Covington, 985-867-3800) is one of the first hospitals on the Northshore to have this HD video system, and its surgeons are using it for all minimally invasive laparoscopic surgeries, such as gastric bypass surgeries, gynecological and urological procedures. An endoscope, a flexible, remote-controlled tube with a tiny camera and light at the end is put through a small incision and allows the surgeon to better view internal anatomy and perform precise instrument maneuvers.

"Compared to the old images, the new images are 110 percent better", says Kristen Porter, director of surgical services. "It's all digital, high-definition and flat screens, where as before we had TV monitors."

The HD technology supplies a sharp, clear picture, allowing surgical teams to work more efficiently and shorten the time a patient spends under anesthesia. Laparoscopic procedures have the added benefit of less pain at the site of the operation and a shorter recovery period. More comfortable dialysis Fresenuis Medical Care of Kenner (2717 Decatur St., Kenner, 469-1075) is bringing a little comfort to the process of dialysis. The new center has 20 dialysis stations equipped with heated massage chairs and interactive televisions that are operated with a touch screen. Patients also can opt for overnight, in-center dialysis, which allows them to maintain their regular schedules during the day.

Chronic kidney disease affects one in nine Americans, and Louisiana is experiencing an increase in dialysis patients due to kidney disease and Fresenuis plans to improve their health-care experiences.

"Fresenuis practices something called UltraCare, which has every patient getting the best care every visit," says Donna Waguespack, clinic manager. "It's very personalized treatment."

The center has treated almost two dozen patients since it opened in mid-September. It has the capacity to treat 50 to 120 patients. A patient's physician can refer them to the center, or they can contact Fresenuis directly and have a clinic doctor conduct an eligibility evaluation. Fresenuis Medical Care operates more than 1,500 dialysis clinics nationwide, including six others in the New Orleans area. Better health care for students The LSU Interim Hospital has taken another step toward providing accessible preventive health care in New Orleans.

LSU last month opened an outpatient student health center at O. Perry Walker College and Career Preparatory High School (2832 General Meyer Ave.) that offers students comprehensive care, including general nonemergency medical services, immunizations, hearing and vision screenings, sexually transmitted disease screening and treatment. In collaboration with the Metropolitan Human Services District, students also can receive integrated behavioral health programs like crisis counseling, risk assessments, mentorship programs and case management.

"[The clinic] provides preventive care that is age appropriate, tailored to the need of the particular school," says Dr. Cassandra Youmans, medical director of ambulatory care at the Medical Center of New Orleans.

The health center is staffed with a full-time nurse practitioner, a registered nurse with public health-care experience, a licensed clinical social worker and an on-site pediatrician.

"This is a very seasoned, qualified and caring staff," Youmans says.

Through the clinic, students will have access to a wide range of services provided through coordination with other health-care providers like Children's Hospital and LSU and Tulane University health sciences centers.

The health center is open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday when school is in session. EJGH receives five stars HealthGrades, (www.healthgrades.com), has awarded East Jefferson General Hospital (EJGH) a five-star ranking for its cardiac surgery services, the highest possible grade. This puts EJGH's performance in cardiac surgeries and related services among the top 5 percent of hospitals in the nation, and the best in Louisiana. EJGH also landed in the top 10 percent nationally for its pulmonary services.

HealthGrades is an independent organization dedicated to giving consumers detailed information about hospital quality and patient-safety outcomes.

"The meaning of a five-star rating is that the hospital is exceeding expectations. In the area of cardiac surgery, that means they're actually saving lives," says Ann Stadjuhar, a HealthGrades consultant. The group also ranked other area hospitals including Touro Infirmary and Ochsner Clinic Foundation, which both received three stars in the area of cardiac surgery.

"The ranking is based on both mortality rates and the rate of complications in specific areas of care, but they reflect not only on the surgical suite, but on the high level of care in a number or different departments, including nursing, recovery, care management and many other departments. Everyone has a role to play," says EJGH spokesman John Satori. "Surgery can be a really scary thing, especially cardiac surgery, and knowing that you're at the top-ranked hospital in the state, and the top 15 percent in the country, goes a long way towards putting the patient and family at ease."

The Tenth Annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America Study includes ratings for more than 5,000 hospitals nationwide and gives rankings for 28 diagnoses and procedures. Study results are available on the HealthGrades Web site. Relief is available Congestive heart failure, renal failure and metabolic diseases can often afflict sufferers with an excess of bodily fluids. Ochsner hospitals are now offering patients a new, minimaly invasive technology for reducing fluid overload, helping to relieve swollen limbs, fatigue and severe shortness of breath.

Aquadex FlexFlow (www.cdfsolutions.com) allows doctors a more precise method for removing fluid from a patient's blood and monitoring how much fluid has been extracted. Using Aquadex to reduce fluid has no significant impact on electrolyte balance, blood pressure or heart rate. The new technology is currently available at Ochsner Medical Center-West Bank and Ochsner Medical Center-Jefferson Highway.

High-definition surgery Doctors are now using the same high-definition technology for delicate surgeries that allows you see every minuscule detail of a Saints game.
  • High-definition surgery Doctors are now using the same high-definition technology for delicate surgeries that allows you see every minuscule detail of a Saints game.

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