Patient Education

Today’s Top Doctor Feature: Yuichiro D. Nakai, MD and Dr. Jack Waxman MD

Northern California Medical Associates’ Endocrinologist Dr. Yuichiro D. Nakai, MD and Rheumatologist Dr. Jack Waxman were recently selected as 2017 top physicians in their respective specialties by Sonoma Magazine’s Top Doctors survey.

Sonoma Magazine’s Top Doctor survey was submitted to Sonoma County doctors who were then asked which medical specialist they would most often recommend to a loved one, and more than 300 professionals emerged as top docs in 50 categories of medicine.


About Dr. Nakai

NCMA’s Yuichiro D. Nakai, MD, and his Endocrinology Division in Santa Rosa diagnose and treat hormone-related health conditions by identifying imbalances in the hormone glands of your body system. Through discussion, examination and careful laboratory testing, they work hard to provide comprehensive treatment options for conditions. Dr. Nakai also oversees the NCMA Diabetes Center. To learn more about the Diabetes Center or to schedule an appointment call (707) 578-7530.


About Dr. Waxman

Dr. Jack Waxman of NCMA’s FountainGrove Rheumatology is an expert rheumatologist who is able to provide patients with diagnostics, treatment and management of a full spectrum of rheumatologic health conditions. In addition to general rheumatologic medicine services, treatment of arthritic diseases and fibromyalgia, vasculitis, connective tissue diseases, osteoporosis, bone density scanning and infusion therapy is also available. To learn more call (707) 573-6942 to make an appointment today.

 

NCMA Otolaryngologist Dr. David Quenelle, MD: The connection between antidepressants and tinnitus

Dr. Quenelle discusses the new study by Oregon Health & Science University that reveals why prescription antidepressants may aggravate tinnitus symptoms

People of all ages experience symptoms of hearing loss, including tinnitus and these symptoms can sometimes lead to serious social problems and depression. Researchers at OHSU presented findings this month on a study focused on understanding why a common antidepressant medication may worsen tinnitus symptoms in some patients. Published in the journal Cell Reports, researchers focused on the neuromodulator ‘serotonin’, which is largely considered to be responsible for maintaining mood and social behavior, sleep, memory, appetite and digestion. This study discovered that neurons of the brain known as fusiform cells become hyperactive and hypersensitive to stimuli when exposed to antidepressants that work to elevate serotonin; a situation which may compound symptoms in people who suffer from both depression and tinnitus.

People most at risk of experiencing an increase in tinnitus symptoms are those who take the type of antidepressant classified as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) which works in the brain by boosting the level of serotonin specifically.

“We have known for some time that prescription medications can damage inner ear hair cells and cause tinnitus,” explains Dr. David Quenelle of Santa Rosa Head & Neck. “Culprits include non-prescription medications like aspirin and acetaminophen taken at high doses. Prescription medication such as certain diuretics and antibiotics are also known to cause or aggravate tinnitus, so it’s not surprising that anti-depressants can also be added to the list.”

Tinnitus in a nutshell

According to the American Tinnitus Association more than 50 million Americans deal with tinnitus every day, often to a debilitating degree, making it one of the most common health conditions in the U.S. More than 20 million people struggle with chronic tinnitus, and 2 million of those report extreme and debilitating symptoms. Veterans are the fastest growing segment of the population suffering from severe tinnitus reportedly affecting more than 900,000 people.

Tinnitus is commonly associated with hearing loss. Onset can stem from a variety of known and unknown causes, including but not limited to neurological damage, excessive ear wax, ear infections, and nasal allergies. The primary symptom of tinnitus is the perception of a persistent buzzing or ringing sound within the ear, not associated with external auditory stimuli.

“Symptoms of tinnitus can be perceived in a range from mild to severe for those who have the condition,” says Dr. Quenelle. “Ironically for some people, it can also lead to depression, making it all the more important that physicians treating patients for depression also screen for hearing loss or tinnitus before prescribing medication.”

Severity of Symptoms

Tinnitus is a medical condition that can have negative consequences on a patient’s overall health and well-being. Even moderate symptoms can interfere with a person’s ability to work and socialize. Most commonly reported symptoms include:

  • Anxiety & Depression
  • A sense of feeling distressed
  • Mood swings
  • Poor concentration
  • Problems sleeping
  • Pain (tinnitus accompanied by hyperacusis)

There may be no medical cures for tinnitus yet, but there are proven devices and treatments that can significantly reduce the symptoms including; hearing aids, biofeedback, electrical stimulation, relaxation therapy, counseling, habituation therapies, tinnitus maskers and hypnosis.

About SRHN Hearing Center

People of all ages experience symptoms of hearing loss, including tinnitus and these symptoms can sometimes lead to serious social problems and depression. SRHN’s Hearing Center’s team of board certified otolaryngologists and experienced audiologists is devoted to finding the best, personalized hearing solutions and providing comprehensive care for all hearing and balance needs. To learn more visit our website or call (707) 523-7025.

 

 

The Hearing Center SRHN

 

Just a Few Extra Pounds Has Big Consequences on Heart Health

NCMA Cardiology expert Dr. Thomas Dunlap on the importance of maintaining healthy weight over time as new study reveals hazards associated with heart health and minimal weight gain.

NCMA Cardiology expert Dr. Thomas Dunlap on the importance of maintaining healthy weight over time as new study reveals hazards associated with heart health and minimal weight gain.Researchers now say that gaining just a small amount of weight can have a negative impact on the structure and function of the heart muscle over time, increasing long-term risk of heart failure. The study tracked a group of 1,262 adults (average age 44) who were originally free from heart disease and other conditions that put them at high risk for heart disease for seven years. Participants underwent MRIs scans of their hearts and multiple body fat measurements at the start of the study and then again seven years later. Scientists discovered that even a five percent weight gain led to an increased risk of thickening and enlargement of the left ventricle.

“We’ve known for some time now that patients who carry extra pounds are much more likely to develop heart disease,” says NCMA cardiologist Dr. Thomas Dunlap. “This study helps to stress the importance of maintaining optimal weight and points out the need to be persistent with an exercise program that will help keep the pounds off.”

One bit of good news from the study was revealed by those who actually lost weight. The participants of that group were more likely to exhibit decreases in heart muscle thickness, resulting in lower risk of heart disease.

“It’s important to take steps to improve heart health before a problem arises,” says Dr. Dunlap. “If maintaining weight at optimal levels can decrease a person’s chances of developing heart disease over time, then making lifestyle choices to improve cardiovascular health will also improve quality of life, while lowering the risk for heart disease. Once symptoms begin to manifest, walking back the clock to earlier levels of cardio health is not always easy, or in some cases; even possible.”

Heart Disease is Serious Business

According to the American Heart Association more than 5 million people in the United States suffer from heart failure, less than 50 percent of those with heart failure live a full five years following diagnosis. The deadly duo of heart disease and stroke are among the most prevalent and costly health complications today. Heart disease or stroke wreak havoc on people’s lives measured in increased medical bills, lost wages and decreased quality of living.

  • 1.5 million heart attacks and strokes occur every year in the United States
  • 800,000 deaths occur from heart disease each year, a total of 1 in every 3 deaths – about the same number as die from cancer, respiratory disease and accidents – combined
  • 150,000 of deaths from heart disease occur in people under age 65
  • $320 billion in health care costs and lost productivity were attributed to heart disease and stroke in 2011

The top five ways to get a handle on heart disease include; managing high blood pressure (talk to your doctor), take up a daily routine of physical activity (at least 20 minutes per day), make an effort to eat whole foods (avoid processed alternatives), avoid excess salt and quit smoking. 

About NCMA Cardiology Services

From cardiac catheterization to open-heart surgery, from electrophysiology to rehabilitation and prevention, the NCMA’s Cardiovascular Services team is dedicated to delivering the highest quality care and the best patient results. The professional staff not only maintains its commitment to patients’ health and well-being but maintains a tradition of excellence and expertise in the practice of the most current, innovative treatments in cardiovascular medicine. For more information, visit the NCMA website.

 

Experts Predict Sonoma County Allergy Sufferers Will Have a Lot to Sneeze About

Linda Biggers SRHN Allergy Clinic Manager & Clinician talks about the impending allergy season and provides options for allergies sufferers.

We are able to test for more than 40 different inhalant allergens that are common to the area, such as trees, grass, weeds, molds, dust mites, animals, and others. From the results of these tests we are then able to advise patients on the best options for treating their individual allergy symptomsAn increase in wetter weather in the Northern California area naturally means a lot more green and growing foliage and plants, and along with that; a humdinger of an allergy season. A relief from drought conditions is most welcome, but for pollen sensitive allergy sufferers, it also means an increase in misery-causing grass and weed pollen.

“Our patients have been reporting the typical allergy season symptoms, such as itchy eyes and sneezing,” explains Linda Biggers NCMA’s SRHN Allergy Clinic Manager & Clinician. “This is not surprising since according to the experts we are already well into grass pollen season. Grass pollen is the most allergy causing pollen; and it’s one of the most prolific pollen producers in our area.” Grass pollen levels typically become most prevalent though the month of June. “This year the pollen intensity might go on a bit longer thanks to the current uptick in heat we’re experiencing,” she added.

Although allergies might be a challenge to deal with, it is a normal physiological reaction to airborne allergens. Typical reactions include a runny nose and a swelling of the sinus passages as the body tries to block the allergen from getting into the system. The immune system reacts defensively to the pollen and responds to attack by producing large amounts of antibody. This allergic reaction can cause symptoms including; itchy watery eyes, runny nose, itchy throat, hives, fatigue, and irritability.

Understanding Pollen Season

Anyone who suffers from seasonal pollen allergies probably knows that it’s spread by the wind. Any warm afternoon breeze can be loaded with pollen from trees, grasses, flowering plants and a plethora of weeds. Although springtime may be the launch of allergy season, many plants pollinate year-round. And according to online pollen reporting sites, pollen counts vary from day to day and hour to hour depending on heat and precipitation.

According to researchers, nasal allergies affect about 50 million people in the U.S. and it’s a problem that is on the increase. As many as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children report allergy symptoms. Allergic disease including asthma, is the now the fifth leading chronic disease in the U.S. in people of all ages. It has been estimated that between 24-40 million of allergy patients suffer specifically from an airborne allergy resulting in hay fever or Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis.

Allergy Independence with Immunotherapy

Over-the-counter remedies and staying indoors might not work for everyone and that’s when doctors might recommend immunotherapy. This type of allergy therapy follows a thorough allergy test to screen for which allergens are causing the problem, patients are then set up on a schedule of injections that are geared toward not only relieving allergy symptoms but eliminating them altogether.

“We are able to test for more than 40 different inhalant allergens that are common to the area, such as trees, grass, weeds, molds, dust mites, animals, and others. From the results of these tests we are then able to advise patients on the best options for treating their individual allergy symptoms,” said Biggers

“In order to get a person’s immune system to stop over-reacting to allergens, we may offer immunotherapy which uses a gradual desensitization process that involves injecting extracts of identified allergens. Normally these injections are given once a week over the course of several months,” she explained. “We then graduate treatments to bi-monthly and eventually to just once a month. The goal is to make you feel better while cutting back or eliminating your allergy medications.”

About SRHN Allergy Center

The Allergy Center at Santa Rosa Head and Neck (SRHN) provides patients with a clear solution to the treatment of allergies using a collaborative team of board-certified otolaryngologists and allergy specialists. SRHN physicians are members of the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy. For more information on the Allergy Center at Santa Rosa Head & Neck visit the NCMA website or call (707) 523-7025 to schedule an appointment.

 

Long wet winter leads to concerns over exploding mosquito populations in Northern California

By all indications, and due to months of wet weather, there is a booming mosquito season underway in Sonoma County. While officials call for diligence, asking homeowners to scout for any open water sources that can be emptied or eliminated, healthcare providers are looking at potential health concerns. Along with the annoying buzz of mosquitos is the buzz associated with potential infections stemming from their itchy bites, namely Zika and West Nile.

The Buzz on Mosquitoes

“One good thing is that we don’t need to be too concerned about Zika,” explains Dr. William A. Markoff NCMA Family Practice Physician. “This virus has been linked to birth defects in Central and South America but authorities tell us that the mosquitoes known to transmit this virus are not in our area. Concerns over mosquito transmitted viruses this year remains focused on West Nile Virus, which – while most people suffer few to no symptoms, can cause serious problems in others including neurological issues.”

West Nile Virus Symptoms

Last year there were 442 cases of West Nile reported in California, with 10 of those in the nine-county Bay Area. West Nile Virus generally results in mild flu-like symptoms in some people, while others have no symptoms and suffer no consequence at all. A small segment of the population seems to be vulnerable to the more serious symptoms that includes swelling of the brain and potentially; death. Although there is a vaccine to prevent it, West Nile Virus can also be fatal to horses, and particularly birds.

Of the 176 known mosquito species in the United States there are roughly 20 mosquito varieties common to Northern California, and most of those will be out in force this year. Early mosquito prevention is key to protecting public health. This means scouting property for pools of standing water that mosquitos might find inviting and keeping an eye out for other potential incubating sites including wet tarps, tires, plastic containers, tin cans, jars, buckets, etc. District managers have also begun ground and aerial spraying to control mosquito activity where necessary.

Don’t scratch that itch

The best – and most difficult advice to take following a mosquito bite is; don’t scratch. Scratching creates openings on the surface of the skin which allows bacteria in and can cause infection. To relieve the itch and lower chances of an infection there are some time-honored techniques which include:

  • Clean the bite area with soap and water (or dab with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol)
  • Apply an anti-itch cream
  • Use Aloe Vera to soothe and heal the itch
  • Make a thick paste of baking soda & water and apply to affected area
  • Take an over-the-counter antihistamine if itching persists

“Although extremely rare, if a mosquito bite does result in a fever or causes vomiting, or shortness of breath it would be advisable to seek medical attention immediately,” adds Dr. Markoff.

About NCMA Family Medicine

NCMA Family Medicine physicians provide services at offices in Lakeport, Santa Rosa, and Petaluma. NCMA philosophy is based on the fact that early screening and detection can result in less acute episodes of illness that can be devastating both physically and financially. Family medicine physicians provide primary health care for people at every stage of life. For more information about Dr. Markoff and all NCMA medical services visit the website at ncmahealth.com.

 

NCMA Announces Opening of the New Vein Center to Coincide with Launch of Website

Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA) opens the NCMA Vein Center and unveils a new website to provide patients with a full range of venous treatment options in Santa Rosa

NCMA Cardiologist and vein disease treatment specialist Dr. Vishal Patel along with Board Certified Cardiologist and Internal Medicine specialist Kimberly Brayton, MD are now offering state-of-the-art services for patients with venous disorders at The Vein Center. Located at 3536 Mendocino Avenue in Santa Rosa, this specialty clinic that is unique to Sonoma County provides advanced care for cardiovascular patients suffering from vein disorders such as varicose veins or venous reflux.

Along with a new clinic the Vein Center team has implemented a comprehensive website (ncmavein.com) that offers a full spectrum of resources and information at their fingertips. “To make our services easily accessible to the people of Santa Rosa, we wanted to create a website that offers an overview of the team and features comprehensive information about causes and symptoms,” explains Dr. Vishal Patel. “Along with articles that describe how cardiovascular health is related to vein disorders, website visitors can also read about available treatments and technology.”

The NCMA Vein Center is part of the expert cardiac and vascular care team utilizing current medical technology including the latest minimally invasive techniques and treatments for a full range of venous disorders. “NCMA is already the top local medical group in cardiac care, so it made sense to extend our leading-edge technologies along with our cardiac and vascular specialists into a specialty service line treating venous disorders,” explains Ruth Skidmore, NCMA’s CEO. “We developed our clinic to provide comprehensive diagnostics and treatments for all types of vein disorders without the need for lengthy hospital stays or extensive surgeries.”

Understanding Venus Reflux

Venous reflux occurs when the valves that keep blood flowing out of the legs and back to the heart become damaged or diseased. This can cause blood to pool in the legs and leads to symptoms including edema, skin changes and leg ulcers. Venous reflux disease commonly produces varicose veins which are abnormally swollen and discolored superficial leg veins.

“Without proper treatment, venous reflux can become quite debilitating,” explains Dr. Patel. “With treatment and active monitoring by our team of specialists, many of our patients experience dramatic symptom relief which makes it possible for them to return to activities that they might not have had the opportunity to enjoy prior to treatment.”

About Dr. Patel

Dr. Vishal Patel’s background as Director of the Vein Clinic began with board certification in interventional cardiology, cardiovascular disease, endovascular medicine and specialty certification with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography Physicians’ Vascular Interpretation.  Vein disease treatment is Dr. Patel’s professional specialty and patient outcomes are extraordinary. Dr. Patel offers an informative video titled Evaluation and Management of Chronic Venous Diseases on the NCMA YouTube Channel available for free to view at any time.

About Dr. Brayton

Dr. Brayton is board certified in both internal medicine and cardiovascular disease. She received her medical degree and completed her Internal Medicine residency at the University of California, San Francisco and completed her clinical cardiology fellowship at UT Southwestern in Dallas, Texas, before transferring to Stanford University to complete her cardiology fellowship as well as receiving post-doctoral training including a master’s degree in health services research. Dr. Brayton continued on to complete a second post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford’s Clinical Excellence Research Center.

The NCMA Vein Center is geared toward putting patients on the path to long-term recovery. To request more information about venous reflux and to learn about the Vein Center team of providers visit the website or call (707) 573-6166.

Daylight Savings Time and Other Reasons for Sleep Loss

NCMA’s (Northern California Medical Associates) Dr. James Marco Steele talks about common reasons for sleep loss and the importance of recognizing when it has become a problem.

March is the time of year when most of us are confronted with the loss of an hour of sleep as our clocks adjust to Daylight Savings Time, making this the perfect time to think about what it means to have healthy sleep patterns all year long. “It’s easy to see what kind of an impact even mild sleep disorders can have on a person’s life by observing how losing just one hour of sleep can cause us to be discombobulated for days,” says Dr. James Marco Steele NCMA pulmonologist and director of North Coast Sleep Centers.

“No matter what causes a person to become sleep-deprived, when we lose sleep hours for any reason it can create a very real negative impact on how a person feels and performs throughout the day,” he explains. “Sleep deprivation can become an issue very quickly. Inadequate rest is something that can compromise a person’s ability to be alert and it can impact common functions including reaction time while driving, and that can lead to accidents.”

Sleep researchers leave little doubt that sleep deprivation can be hazardous to health. Studies have revealed that sleep-deprived people who participate in trials using a driving simulator or who are asked to perform simple hand-eye coordination tests execute their tasks as badly as or worse than do their intoxicated peers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driver fatigue is responsible for as many as 100,000 car accidents and at least 1,500 deaths annually.

When Too Little Sleep is Not Enough

The body’s internal clock or circadian rhythm can become confused due to factors such as daylight savings, for health reasons, working circumstances, by traveling or even by becoming a new parent; all of which can lead to interrupted sleep patterns, and loss of adequate sleep.

According sleep experts, if a person feels drowsy during the day, even while attending to otherwise dull activities, it’s a clear sign of inadequate sleep. And if a person routinely falls asleep in under five minutes of lying down, it’s probably in indication of severe sleep deprivation, and may be symptomatic of a sleep disorder.

The National Institute of Health says that more than 40 million Americans deal with chronic, long-term sleep disorders each year, while 20 million report experiencing only occasional sleeping problems. Sleep disorders and the resulting sleep deprivation have very real consequences on quality of life. Good sleep is necessary for optimal health and is known to affect hormone levels, mood and weight. More than 70 sleep disorders have been identified by doctors, most of which can be easily treated once diagnosed. The most common sleep disorders include;

  • Insomnia
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Restless Legs Syndrome
  • Narcolepsy

When to Get Help

Most experts agree that adults should sleep at least seven hours per night on a regular basis in order to maintain optimal health. While most adults can get by with eight hours of sleep some may need a longer sleep duration exceeding nine hours per night. People who require more sleep hours include young adults and people suffering from a chronic illness. For someone with persistent insomnia, going to a sleep center can help identify the problem and offer solutions for common sleep issues including;

  • Chronic Snoring
  • Insomnia
  • Narcolepsy
  • Pediatric sleep disorders (night terrors, sleep walking, etc.)
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Sleep apnea

“The best advice is to talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your sleep patterns, or if you feel constantly fatigued,” says Dr. Steele. “For an ongoing sleep problem, seeking out the help of an accredited sleep center can make a world of difference in a person’s quality of life.”

About Dr. Steele and NCMA’s Sleep Centers

NCMA Pulmonologist James Marco Steele, MD provides diagnostics, treatment and management of a full spectrum of pulmonary diseases. He is Board Certified in Sleep Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, Internal Medicine as well as Critical Care by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). For more information, visit the NCMA website or call (707) 525-3786.

Dr. Mark Homicz Receives 2017 Top Doctor Recognition

Mark Homicz, M.D. of NCMA’s Santa Rosa Head and Neck Surgery group has been selected by the San Francisco Magazine as among the top Otolaryngology doctors for 2017.

San Francisco Magazine recently queried area doctors to nominate their choice of best physicians in eight Bay Area counties for 2017. Almost 1,000 nominations were submitted and a little over 500 physicians were selected by the healthcare research company managing the award process. Results were announced the magazine’s most recent issue.

Under the category of Otolaryngology Northern California Medical Associate’s Otolaryngologist Dr. Mark Homicz has been selected for this honor by San Francisco Magazine for two years. This year’s award notes these specialties performed by Dr. Homicz:

  • head & neck cancer
  • salivary gland tumors & surgery
  • sinus tumors
  • skull-base tumors

About Dr. Homicz

Dr. Mark Homicz graduated from the prestigious Yale Medical School in 1998 and conducted his internship training in general surgery at Stanford University. He completed a residency in Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Homicz’s training included an intensive focus on head and neck cancer and thyroid/parathyroid surgery. He has received national awards from the American Academy of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery, American Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery, and the Triologic Society for academic achievement and research during training.

Dr. Homicz joined NCMA and the Santa Rosa Head & Neck Surgical Group in 2004. He is board certified in his field and practices all areas of ENT – Ear, Nose, Throat and Head & Neck Surgery. Particular areas of interest and expertise include thyroid/parathyroid surgery, head and neck cancer, facial plastic/reconstructive surgery, and nasal/sinus surgery. Dr. Homicz also serves as Director of the NCMA Thyroid Center.

About NCMA Santa Rosa Head & Neck Surgery

Santa Rosa Head and Neck Surgical Group (SRHN) offers expertise in the medical and surgical treatment of patients with a wide variety of disorders of the head and neck including; hearing and balance problems, nasal/sinus disease, snoring, voice disorders, and swallowing problems. All SRHN physicians are recognized for their expertise in the management of cancers of the nose, mouth, throat, neck, facial skin, and thyroid. They have also been extensively trained in cosmetic and reconstructive procedures of the face and neck. Listed below is more information on the services offered:

  • The Hearing Center at SRHN
  • Nose/Sinus
  • Throat/Voice/Swallowing/Snoring
  • Head & Neck Tumors
  • Thyroid/Parathyroid
  • Facial Plastic/Reconstructive
  • Skin Care
  • The Allergy Center at SRHN

NCMA Santa Rosa Health & Neck Surgery is located at 1701 Fourth St. Suite 120 in Santa Rosa, CA. For more information about Dr. Homicz and SRHN surgery visit our website. Call (707) 523-7025 to make an appointment.

NCMA’s Cardiovascular Surgeon Keith Korver M.D. Receives Top Doctor Recognition

San Francisco Magazine recently queried area doctors to nominate their choice of best physicians in eight Bay Area counties for 2017. Almost 1,000 nominations were submitted and a little over 500 physicians were selected by the healthcare research company managing the award process. Results were announced the magazine’s January 2017 issue.

Under the category of THORACIC & CARDIAC SURGERY Northern California Medical Associate’s cardiologist Dr. Keith Korver has been selected for this honor by San Francisco Magazine for two years running. This year’s award notes these specialties performed by Dr. Korver:

  • Coronary artery surgery
  • heart valve surgery
  • aneurysm–thoracic aortic
  • congenital heart disease

About Dr. Korver

Growing up in Northern California in Susanville, Dr. Korver’s father was also a doctor and served as inspiration for pursuing a medical career. He originally intended to become a family doctor but soon discovered a passion for surgery, and heart surgery in particular. “I absolutely love being a cardiac surgeon,” says Dr. Korver.

Dr. Korver attended medical school at the University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine and served his residency in general surgery at Georgetown University Hospital; Integrated Surgical Residency, University of Hawaii. He is also fellowship trained in Cardiothoracic Surgery, UCSF School of Medicine; Pediatric Cardiac Surgery and Cardiac Transplant Surgery from UCSF School of Medicine.

About NCMA Cardiovascular Surgery Services

NCMA is recognized as the leading center in the North Bay and one of the finest in the nation for thoracic and cardiovascular surgery for adult and pediatric patients. From routine coronary artery bypass and carotid surgeries to the most challenging cases, Dr. Korver applies years of training and expertise to provide compassionate care to his patients. Thoracic and cardiovascular surgery includes surgery on the heart, lung, airways, chest wall, mediastinum and esophagus.

Examples of procedures performed by Dr. Korver include:

  • Coronary Bypass Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery/Small Thoracotomy Arterial Revascularization (STAR
  • Heart Valve Surgery and Replacement
  • Ventricular Assist Devices.
  • Off-Pump Heart Surgery
  • Lung Reduction Surgery
  • Aortic Surgery

NCMA Cardiovascular Surgery is located at 3536 Mendocino Ave., Ste. 200 in Santa Rosa. For more information about Dr. Korver and cardiovascular surgery visit our website. Call (707) 569-7860 to make an appointment.

NCMA Diabetes Center takes a look at diabetes For National Diabetes Month

Dr. Nakai and the NCMA Diabetes Center team provides an overview of diabetes and explains why it is important to get diagnosed early; to prevent complications and for better symptom management.

diabetes-1327517According to the most recent statistics from the California Department of Public Health, one out of 12 adults – that’s more than 2.3 million Californians – have already been diagnosed with diabetes. Most adult diabetics are type 2, representing 1.9 million adults and one out of every six adult Californians aged 65 and older have this type of diabetes. It is well known that diabetes exacerbates heart disease and stroke making it the underlying cause of death for about 8,000 people annually. It is also ranked as the seventh leading cause of death in California.

“Diabetes is a serious health condition,” explains Dr. Yuichiro D. Nakai, Chief Endocrinologist and NCMA Diabetes Center Medical Director. “It can increase a patient’s risk for heart disease and stroke, and if diabetes is not managed properly it can lead to substantial disability including kidney failure, blindness and amputations.” The NCMA Diabetes Center offers comprehensive adult diabetes care for type I and II diabetes, as well as diabetes stemming from pancreatic insufficiency, with the goal of improving diabetes management and minimizing diabetes complications through a multidisciplinary approach.

What’s Your Type?

There are three basic levels of diabetes; prediabetes, type 1 and type 2.

In most circumstances, before type 2 diabetes manifests, a condition called “prediabetes” may be diagnosed, if symptoms are caught early. This is a situation where the blood glucose levels are elevated, or higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes puts the patient at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes and eventually; cardiovascular disease. But for some people diagnosed with prediabetes, early treatment can actually return blood glucose levels to the normal range.

Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and a variety of factors that trigger the onset of the disease, whereas type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics combined with unhealthy lifestyle factors including:

  • Being overweight
  • A diet high in calories from any source
  • Frequent consumption of sugary drinks

In most cases, type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. While many people with type 2 diabetes can keep their blood glucose at a healthy level with oral medications, over time the body’s natural production of insulin tends to decline and eventually insulin may be required to get blood glucose levels back to a healthy level.

Good News About Diabetes

The progression from prediabetes to full blown diabetes is not a given. A study conducted by The National Institutes of Health found that for people with prediabetes, even modest lifestyle changes that led to weight loss can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by a whopping 58 percent in individuals in the high risk category.

“Diabetes may the primary factor in more deaths each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined, but having diabetes doesn’t mean a person can’t lead a normal life,” explains senior diabetes educator Jennifer Logan R.D., C.D.E. “Good diabetes management can greatly reduce the risks for diabetes complications.”

About NCMA Diabetes Center

The NCMA Diabetes Center is under the leadership of Chief Endocrinologist and Diabetes Center Medical Director, Yuichiro D. Nakai, M.D. and offers a multidisciplinary team approach to treatment with diabetic nurse specialist Naya Barretto, FNP-BC, MPH, RN and Jennifer Logan, R.D., C.D.E.

Recognizing that education is the key to prevention as well as proper management of diabetes, NCMA Diabetes Center offers workshops to cover all aspects of diabetes care including diabetic weight management, nutrition, safe exercise for diabetics, glucose meter use, insulin use, carbohydrate exchanges/ carbohydrate counting. One-on-one patient diabetes education and nutritional visits are also offered.

To learn more visit our website or call 707-578-7530 to schedule an appointment.