Tuesday, Jun 25th

BariatricThe obesity rate for adults in the U.S. currently stands at 42.4%, the first time the national rate has passed the 40% mark. Many who have struggled with weight loss for years have tried multiple diet and exercise plans and seen some of their excess weight temporarily disappear, only to see it quickly return.

A Bariatric Surgery Success Story

Thomas Pallogudis weighed 466 pounds, and as a result his overall health suffered. He was a diabetic, had high blood pressure and took 14 pills a day to treat various medical issues. After being evaluated by Dr. Philip Weber, Director of the Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery, Robotics and Bariatrics at White Plains Hospital, Pallogudis was deemed an ideal candidate for bariatric surgery.“Bariatric surgery, more commonly known as weight-loss surgery, is considered a last-resort option for patients with a longstanding history of obesity,” says Dr. Weber. “The ideal candidate has tried multiple medical or diet plans without long-term success.”

Pallogudis says he got a new lease on life after his procedure in October 2018. “The surgery saved my life. I’ve lost 240 pounds and my blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol are back to normal, without having to take medication,” says Pallogudis. “The process has helped teach me healthy eating, allowing me to become more active. Most importantly, I feel better.”

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The most common bariatric procedure is sleeve gastrectomy, in which a surgeon removes 80% of the stomach, shaping what remains into a tubular pouch resembling a banana. Patients go home about 24 hours after the surgery and are back to work and normal activity within a week. On average, patients can expect to lose more than 50% of their excess weight.

Gastric bypass surgery is slightly more involved but achieves a significant weight loss of 60-80%. “A smaller stomach is also created in this procedure, but in addition, they reconfigure the small intestine to alter path that food takes through the body during digestion,” says Dr. Weber. “This procedure requires a short hospital stay, but most patients are back to work in a few weeks.”

In both cases, the smaller stomach holds less food, absorbing fewer calories. The surgery also suppresses hunger and makes the patient feel full.

“We encourage our patients to stay in close contact with us, so that we can continue to support them, and navigate through any issues that may come up, especially in the first year,” says Dr. Weber. “We’re not just performing surgery; we’re creating a partnership. We want them to succeed as much as they do.”

Dr. Philip Weber is the Director of the Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery, Robotics and Bariatrics at White Plains Hospital. To make an appointment, please call 914-948-1000.

busdrill3Scarsdale Village Ambulance Corps is offering courses in emergency medicine. Here are the details about the courses and how to enroll:

Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corps is offering EMT-Original courses which prepares individuals as entry level Emergency Medical Technicians in career and volunteer positions within the State of New York and nationally through the National Registry.

The following EMT-Original courses are available:

May 5th-July 31st – Meets Mondays and Wednesdays 6:30pm to 10:00pm and some Saturdays or Sundays 9:00am to 3:00pm – This course offers a combination of on-line independent learning with on-line and in-person real- time learning. All skills classes are in person.

May 6th–July 24th – Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:30pm to 10:00pm and some Saturdays 9:00am to 4:00pm – This course offers a combination of on-line independent learning with on-line and in-person real-time learning. All skills classes are in person.

June 18th–July 23rd – Meets Monday through Friday 8:30am to 3:00pm – This course offers a combination of both on-line independent and in-person learning environments. All skills classes are in person.

September 2nd-November 13th – Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:30pm to 10:00pm and some Saturdays 9:00am to 4:00pm - This course offers a combination of on-line independent learning with on-line and in-person real- time learning. All skills classes are in person.

Course tuition is $700.00, which is reimbursable by NYS DOH if you are an active member of an approved agency and you pass the NYS Written Exam. Materials, on-line access and textbooks are additional.

Space is limited. Tuition payment by check or money order is due within five days of enrollment.

For more information,visit www.scarsdalevac.com and click on Courses. Minimum age requirement is 17 years old.

If you have any questions, please call 914-722-2288 or e-mail EMT@scarsdalevac.com

vaccinecardsHere's some news and photos from around the neighborhood as spring emerges and spirits lift:

Opportunity Knocks

Maxwell(11) and Charlie (8) Geer realized that vaccination cards would soon be as essential as driver’s licenses. On one of the first warm days this year, they set up a table outside their Greenacres Avenue home to laminate neighbors inoculation cards. Let’s hope they keep it up as more of us get vaccinated.

Eagle Scouts

primoffGeorge Primoff rebuilt a patio at Scarsdale Synagogue.Tyler McCarthy and George Primoff were officially recognized as Eagle Scouts, the highest level attainable in scouting, at a Court of Honor held at Hitchcock Church earlier this year.

Both 18 years-old , George graduated in 2020 and Tyler is set to graduate this year from Scarsdale High School. They started out as cub scouts in Scarsdale Pack 440, chartered by Hitchcock Church, over ten years ago and then joined Troop 4, also chartered by Hitchcock, as Middle Schoolers.

Currently studying engineering at Northeastern University, George is an avid backpacker and was a member of the High School’s Ultimate Frisbee and Wrestling teams. For George’s Eagle Scout service project, he rebuilt by hand a large outdoor patio space at his synagogue, Scarsdale Synagogue, which had fallen into disrepair. George’s project resulted in an attractive outdoor space that allowed the congregation to gather in a safe, socially-distanced manner for celebrations.

Tyler has held leadership positions as Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader and Senior Patrol Leader with the Troop. Tyler also attended the National Scout Jamboree and Sea Base High Adventure. By earning the rank of Eagle Scout, Tyler follows in the footsteps of two grandfathers, his father, brother and cousin. Tyler’s Eagle Project entailed building four houses for the Scarsdale Fire Department that are used for training. The houses are made of wood and stand about 4 feet high with four rooms and an attic with windows and doors. It teaches the different ways fire and smoke move through a house depending on the airflow in the house.firehouseTyler McCarthy built 4 woodhouses to be used for training of firefighters.

While Tyler and George grew up in scouting, middle and high school boys are welcome to join Troop 4 with or without previous scouting experience. For further information, please contact scoutmaster@scarsdale4.mytroop.us.

(Contributed by Midori Im)

White Plains Hospital’s Day of Hope

On March 9th, 2020, White Plains Hospital received its first COVID-19 patient—marking the start of a journey that changed us all. One year later, the hospital brought together its leadership, COVID-19 survivors, elected officials and community members to reflect and honor its healthcare heroes—first at 6:30 AM as its morning shift employees arrived to work, and again at 6:45 PM as first responders joined in a community applause in front of the White Plains Hospital Emergency Department. Attending were COVID-19 survivors, including Hugo Sosa, former FDNY Captain who beat COVID after a 44-day hospitalization; The Westchester Children’s Chorus; Susan Fox, WPH President and CEO; White Plains Mayor Tom Roach; and nurses, physicians and staff who led the COVID fight.

WPDayofHopeCOVID survivors thank White Plains Hospital.

KayLovigDr. Kay LovigDiabetes is a major public health problem in the United States and is rapidly growing in prevalence. Approximately 34.2 million people or 10.5% of all Americans have diabetes.

The chronic disease occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or when the body can’t effectively use the insulin it produces. Having diabetes increases the risk of serious health issues, including premature death, vision loss, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and amputation of toes, feet or legs.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease and it’s anticipated that worldwide deaths death from type 2 diabetes will double by 2030. Surprisingly, an estimated 7.3 million people with diabetes remain undiagnosed, and 88 million people over the age of 18 have prediabetes, a condition in which their blood sugar is high, but not high enough to qualify as type 2 diabetics.

“With type 2 diabetes your body is resistant to the insulin your body is making, which ultimately results in elevated blood sugars.” says Dr. Kay Lovig, Chief of Endocrinology at White Plains Hospital. “You should get tested for type 2 diabetes or prediabetes if you have a family history, are overweight or obese, have a history of elevated blood sugars in pregnancy, or have symptoms of elevated blood sugars. Common symptoms of elevated blood sugars include increased thirst, increased urination, dry mouth, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, and a darkening of your skin on your neck or fingers. The good news is, even if it’s prevalent in your family history, both prediabetes and type 2 diabetes can be regulated with diet and exercise.”

The likelihood that you’ll develop prediabetes begins to rise at age at age 45. To slow and reverse the onset of prediabetes, Dr. Lovig recommends these steps:

Change your eating habits. Studies suggest that the Mediterranean diet is beneficial to weight loss. The diet encourages eating nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains while limiting processed foods and sugar. Dr. Lovig also suggests monitoring your carbohydrate intake.

Work up a sweat. Regular exercise can delay or prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. A National Institutes of Health study indicated that a half hour of walking or other low-intensity exercise daily, combined with a low-fat diet, can reduce the possibility of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%.

Lose a belt loop or two. “Being overweight increases your risk for prediabetes,” says Dr. Lovig. “Losing just 5% of one’s weight can help delay or reverse prediabetes as well as the long-term complications of uncontrolled blood sugars.”
Dr. Lovig also recommends talking with your doctor about medications to control prediabetes and having your sugar checked during office visits.

Dr. Kay Lovig is the Chief of Endocrinology at White Plains Hospital, seeing patients in Armonk, White Plains and New Rochelle. To make an appointment, please call 914-849-7900.

coloncancerIt’s Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and time to get back on track by getting a colonoscopy. It will take time to grasp the many ways COVID-19 has taken a toll on our health as individuals and as a society. Yet, one fact is already alarmingly clear right now – the colorectal screenings that everyone put off last year will lead to thousands of more lives lost over the next decade. The Colorectal Cancer Alliance estimated last year that pandemic fears caused the number of colonoscopies to drop sharply by 86%.

“While there may be other, less invasive screening tools and tests to detect colorectal cancer, colonoscopy is far and away the gold standard for its ability to view the entire colon,” notes Dr. Robert Antonelle, Chief of Gastroenterology at White Plains Hospital. “This test is effective and safe, even during a pandemic. There is no longer a reason to delay this important, lifesaving screening.”

Age is still the biggest risk factor for developing colorectal cancer, so follow these guidelines:

If you are in your 20s or 30s

Take this time to learn your family history and identify any risk factors. Colorectal cancer is not just a disease of the elderly. Cases of young-onset colorectal cancer, in people in their 40s, 30s and even some in their 20s, have increased by 51% since 1994, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Colonoscopies are excellent at detecting polyps, which can be removed before they evolve into cancer, which is one of the reasons the rates of colon cancer in people over 50 has gone down in recent years.

If you are in your 40s…

• Ask your doctor if you have risk factors that would suggest starting screening in your 40s.
• While the general recommendation is for average risk people to start this screening at age 50, multiple professional societies are now advocating to start low-risk screening at age 45.

If you are in your 50s…

• Average-risk patients should start screening with a colonoscopy every 10 years.
• There are several other screening methods with different abilities to detect or prevent colorectal cancer, including fecal blood and DNA tests, sigmoidoscopy (which only looks at a section of your colon) and CT colonography that scans the entire colon. Speak with your doctor about the best screening test for you.

If you are in your 60s…

• Continue screening with colonoscopy every 10 years.

If you are in your 70s…

• Colorectal screening should continue through age 75; people ages 76-85 should decide with their medical provider whether to continue screenings.
One of the mottos of this year’s Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month is “It’s Time to Get Back on Track.” Call your physician to schedule a screening and get ahead of this highly preventable disease.

AntonelleDr. Robert Antonelle is the Chief of Gastroenterology at White Plains Hospital, seeing patients at 311 North Street in White Plains and 99 Business Park Drive in Armonk. To make an appointment, call 914-949-7171.

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