Understanding Kidney Stones

Passing a kidney stone is often called one of the most painful things a person can experience.

Sometimes, people say it’s even more painful than childbirth.

Kidney stones are small pebbles of salt and minerals in the urine.

They can be the result of a chronic medical condition, or of what you eat and drink.

In this WLTX interview, Dr. David Lamb of Lexington Urology explains what kidney stones are, where they come from and some things you can do to prevent them.

They often cause:
~Severe pain in the back, belly or groin
~Frequent or painful urination
~Blood in the urine
~Nausea and vomiting

Urologists can treat them in a variety of ways. One is high-energy shock wave therapy that can break the stone into little pieces, allowing them to move through the urinary tract more easily.

Sometimes, eating a lot of animal protein, sodium, chocolate or dark green vegetables can boost the risk for kidney stones. Other risk factors include drinking certain sweetened beverages, putting on weight and taking certain medications.

To reduce your risk, drink a lot of water. Hydration is key for prevention.

Mick Jagger has Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

Legendary Rolling Stones rock star Mick Jagger underwent transcatheter aortic valve replacement in New York City this week.

Known as TAVR, this procedure allows doctors to replace the aortic valve in the heart with a catheter instead of open heart surgery.

Often performed in a cardiac catheterization lab, the patient is typically in the hospital for one night and recovers much faster than with open heart surgery.

To date, Lexington Medical Center has performed more than 440 TAVR procedures.

Learn more about it in this news story from Today on NBC.

TAVR

TAVR is for patients who have severe aortic stenosis. That’s when the aortic valve in the heart doesn’t open and close as it should. A narrowed aortic valve does not let blood flow efficiently. As the heart works harder to pump blood through the smaller opening in the valve, the heart eventually becomes weak.

Sometimes, people are born with aortic stenosis as a congenital heart defect. In other cases, the aortic valve wears out or calcifies as we age. Before TAVR, doctors would have to perform open heart surgery to replace the valve.

Often performed in a cardiac catheterization lab, the patient is typically in the hospital for one night and recovers much faster.

The Sentinel placed in arteries above the heart

Some patients undergoing TAVR are at a higher risk of having a stroke. Now, Lexington Medical Center doctors have a device called The Sentinel® to prevent that. The Sentinel is a basket that doctors place in arteries leading to the brain. It helps to prevent blood clots or plaque from going to the brain and causing a stroke during TAVR. The Sentinel is removed at the end of the procedure.

For more information about TAVR at Lexington Medical Center, visit LexMed.com/heart.

The Importance of An Annual Eye Exam

This week, WLTX interviewed Dr. Jeremy Crisp of Lexington Family Practice Northeast, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, about the importance of an annual eye exam.

From genetics to our electronic habits, there are a lot of factors that may affect our eyesight.

Seeing a physician about your eyesight regularly can help to identify problems and prevent future issues.

Here’s an excerpt of the doctor’s advice from the report.

One of the reasons why an annual eye exam is important as we age is because eyesight becomes a safety issue, especially while performing daily tasks such as driving.

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Staring at a computer screen all day for work or using electronic tablets too much can harm our eyes – and make them dry. It’s important to take breaks from screen time often during the day to give your eyes a rest.

People who have high blood pressure and diabetes have an increased of damage to the retina in the eye. And, after the age of 40, the risk of glaucoma or cateracts increases. Seeing your physician regularly can help prevent complications in the future.