Medical problems we can treat include but not limited to common colds and flu, sore throats, headaches, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, asthma, COPD, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, deep venous thrombosis management, pulmonary embolism management, vitamin deficiencies, allergies, heart disease, and urinary problems.
Why have an annual medical exam?
Depending on your age and a host of other factors- like family history, environment, and occupation - you can be at risk for certain medical problems which can be prevented by going to the doctor. The truth is, no one knows how long a person will live. Medical science does have good data on screening for certain diseases and preventing them from happening, which allows for continued quality of life. We believe having good health is like having money in the bank. What is good health worth? In Eastern countries, it is not unheard of that people pay their doctor when they are healthy and don't pay if they get sick. That's just how important maintaining good health is in a person's life.
What does the annual exam consist of?
The exam starts off with checking your vital signs. Think of the vital signs as quick indicators of a person's well being. The vital signs consist of temperature, pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate (how fast someone is breathing), and measuring the height and weight which provides the BMI (a ratio of weight to height). For example, a BMI of greater than 30 classifies a person as obese.
Then the doctor finds out more about you medically by discussing your family medical history, any medication or food allergies, any smoking habits, sexual activity if pertinent, genetic history if known, and any medications you might be taking.
The actual physical exam consists of observation, listening, palpation, and sensory/motor testing. The observation part involves looking at how the patient walks, and looking at his skin, hair, and nails. The doctor also looks in the patient's ears, nose, and mouth, and observes the color of the whites of his eyes. Listening involves the use of a stethoscope so the doctor can hear lung sounds, heart sounds, and stomach sounds. With palpation the doctor can feel for any enlargement of the thyroid gland, liver or spleen, any abdominal masses or herniae, or elicit normal or abnormal responses. Sensory and motor testing, along with checking reflexes, are performed with tools like a tuning fork or reflex hammer. Finally, depending on whether the patient is a man or a woman, the doctor might perform a testicular or breast/pelvic exam. With this information, a good medical assessment can be made about the patient.
Will I also have blood work done?
Generally yes, it is recommended that adults have their cholesterol checked every year. We also draw blood for thyroid hormone levels to assess your thyroid function, the hemoglobin A1C which is a good indicator of your sugar control for the past 3 months and can tell you if you have or are at risk for diabetes, and urine analysis to check for infection or protein leakage. Your basic chemistry and blood counts can tell us how your kidneys and bone marrow are functioning.
Will I get any referrals, radiological testing, or shots?
It depends on your age and/or medical need. For example, for someone over the age of 50, a colonoscopy is recommended, and referral to a gastroenterologist would be given. We would recommend women at risk for osteoporosis to obtain a bone mineral density scan. We offer annual flu shots to all of our patients, should they desire one.
It is imperative to be properly immunized when traveling abroad. Vitastat Medical offers a complete array of medical services including all vaccinations necessary for world travel.
For more useful related information, visit: CDC Travel Information
Please note: Payment for all travel related vaccinations is due at the time of service. A receipt can be obtained for submission to insurance for reimbursement.
Vaccine fee schedule:
- Hepatitis A $175/shot a series of 2 (at 0 and 6 mos.)
- Hepatitis B $200/shot a series of 3 (0,1 and 6 mos.)
- Yellow Fever $150 every 10 yrs.
- Typhoid $150 every 2 yrs.
- Tetanus $40 every 10 yrs.
- Twinrix (Hep A &B combo) $175/shot a series of 3 shots (0,1 and 6 mos.) or (0,1 and 3 weeks)
Please call ahead to ensure availability of vaccine.
We do INR testing for patients taking coumadin (warfarin) for DVT, PE, or any other blood clot disorder.
What is PRP?
PRP, or “platelet-rich plasma,” is a revolutionary new treatment for musculoskeletal injuries. Well-known atheletes have been using it since its introduction with very good results. The concentrated platelets found in PRP contain huge reservoirs of bioactive proteins, including growth factors that are vital to initiate and accelerate tissue repair and regeneration. These bioactive proteins initiate connective tissue healing: bone, tendon and ligament regeneration and repair, promote development of new blood vessels, and stimulate the wound healing process.
Will I benefit from PRP joint injections?
If you have a tendon or ligament injury and traditional methods have not provided relief then PRP therapy may be the solution. The procedure is less aggressive and less expensive than surgery. It will heal tissue with minimal or no scarring and alleviates further degeneration of the tissues. Common conditions that PRP treat include:
- Shoulder pain and instability
- Elbow pain - Tennis & Golfer’s elbow
- Hamstring and hip strains
- Knee sprains and instability
- Patella pain- patellofemoral syndrome and patellar tendinosis
- Ankle sprains
- Achilles tendinosis & plantar fasciitis
- Knee, hip, and other joint osteoarthritis
- Other chronic tendon and ligament problems
- Knee arthritis
- Hip joint arthritis
- And other joint arthritis
Why does PRP work?
Platelets are a specialized type of blood cell. Blood is made up of 93% red cells (RBCs), 6% platelets, 1% white blood cells (WBCs), and plasma. The goal of PRP is to maximize the number or concentration of platelets while minimizing the number of RBCs. Generally speaking, the higher the concentration of platelets, the better. Most people associate platelets with clot formation. While that certainly is an important function of platelets, they are also very much involved in injury healing. Human platelets are naturally extremely rich in connective tissue growth factors. Injecting these growth factors into damaged ligaments, tendons, and joints stimulates a natural repair process. But in order to benefit from these natural healing proteins, the platelets must first be concentrated. In other words, PRP recreates and stimulates the body’s natural healing process.
How is PRP done?
In the office, blood is drawn from the patient (just like getting a blood test) and placed in a special centrifuge. The centrifuge separates the RBCs, and the remaining platelets and plasma are then highly concentrated. (The WBCs, which comprise only a fraction of the total cells, go along for the ride with the platelets and plasma.) The red blood cells are discarded, and the resulting platelet concentrate is used for treatment. The entire treatment, from blood draw, to solution preparation, to injection, takes 30-40 minutes. Before injections are given the skin and underlying tissue is first anesthetized to minimize the discomfort.
How often are injections given?
After the initial treatment, a follow up visit is scheduled 6-8 weeks later to check on healing progress. While responses to treatment vary, most people will require 1-3 sets of injections, some as many as 6 sets of injections. Each set of treatments is spaced approximately 8 to 12 weeks apart. There is no limit to the number of treatments you can have, the risks and side effects do not change with the number of injections.
When can I expect to see improvement?
On average, most patients start to see signs of improvement anywhere from 4-8 weeks after treatment. This can be less overall pain, an ability to do more activity before pain sets in, and/or faster recovery from pain.
Is PRP covered by insurances?
Most insurance plans, including Medicare, do NOT pay for PRP injections.
Do PRP injections hurt?
The level of discomfort of the treatment depends in part on the area being treated. For example, injections given into a joint often are minimally uncomfortable and in some cases painless. Injections given into tendons tend to be more uncomfortable. There is usually moderate pain for the next few days. Please read special instructions below.
Are there risks with PRP?
Anytime a needle is placed anywhere in the body, even getting blood drawn, there is a risk of infection, bleeding, and nerve damage. However, these are very rare. Other complications, though rare, can occur depending on the area being treated, and will be discussed by your doctor before starting treatment. Because PRP uses your own blood, you cannot be allergic to it.
What is the success rate?
Studies suggest an improvement of 80-85%, though some arthritic joints, namely the hip, do not respond as well. Some patients experience complete relief of their pain. In the case of tendon and ligament injuries the results are generally permanent. In the case of joint arthritis, how long the treatment lasts depends partly on the severity of the condition. Mild arthritis may not need another round of treatments. More advanced arthritis, on the other hand, typically requires a repeat course of treatment, usually in 1-3 years.
Will PRP regrow new cartilage in my joint?
The goal of PRP treatment is to reduce pain and to improve function. While there is some weak
evidence that treatment occasionally does result in increased cartilage thickness, the important point to keep in mind is that the cartilage lining the joint surfaces has no pain fibers
! For example, often we see patients with knee or hip arthritis where the joint that does NOT hurt has WORSE arthritis on x-ray! Pain from arthritis is very complex and involves far more than just how thick the cartilage is.
Will PRP help me avoid a joint replacement?
This is a frequently asked question. In the case of mild arthritis, PRP treatment may halt the development of further arthritic decay. However, in advanced arthritis, as noted above the goal of treatment is to reduce pain and improve function. In some cases the arthritis is so severe that PRP is not a viable option. In severe or advanced osteoarthritis PRP treatments may help delay the eventual need for a joint replacement, but it is rarely a treatment that eliminates the need for it. Some patients are not surgical candidates because of other medical conditions. Other patients simply do not want joint replacement surgery under any circumstance. In these cases PRP may be a viable treatment option, but it is not a permanent solution in these specific situations--treatments will need to be repeated periodically.
How much does a PRP treatment cost?
$670 per treatment. If two joints or areas are treated at the same time, the cost is NOT double-- there is a slight increase. A cash discount of $40 is given if payment is made at the time of service.
Are there any special instructions?
Initially the procedure may cause some localized soreness and discomfort. Most patients only require some extra-strength Tylenol to help with the pain. Ice and heat may be applied to the area as needed. For the first week after the injections it is critical to avoid anti-inflammatory medications, including Advil, Motrin, ibuprofen, Aleve, Celebrex, and Mobic. These will interfere with the healing response.The first week after the procedure, patients will typically start a rehabilitation program with physical therapy. However, aggressive physical activity is discouraged.