Specialized innovation: Methodist Hospitals expands individualized treatment programs - September 26, 2013

Courtesy of the Times

Methodist Hospitals offers a variety of specialized treatment programs ranging from a diabetes management course to a Parkinson’s disease individualized program to a specialty clinic for digestive disorders and a medical stabilization service.

Diabetes Self-Management Course

Methodist Hospitals’ Diabetes Self-Management Course is designed to help diabetes patients successfully manage the disease.

The course, awarded continuous recognition from the American Diabetes Association,

begins with a one-hour intake assessment followed by three, 3-hour class sessions. Classes are held on first three Tuesdays of every month at the Methodist Hospitals Rehabilitation Center on the Southlake Campus. Methodist also offers a free quarterly two-hour follow-up session. Topics include diet and exercise; when to check blood sugars; foot, eye and skin care; as well as kidney and heart health.

Medicare/Medicaid as well as most private insurers will cover the cost of the course. A physician’s order is required. In addition to classes, Methodist hosts a free support group that is open to the general public fourth Tuesday of each month at its Midlake Campus. Family members and friends of diabetes patients are encouraged to attend.

For more information, call (219) 738-5802.

Parkinson’s Disease Program

Methodist Hospitals offer intensely individualized programs for Parkinson’s disease patients. The Comprehensive Parkinson’s Disease Program is the first in Indiana and the Chicago area to take a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosis and long-term treatment. Until now, local residents had to travel to the Mayo Clinic for such a comprehensive diagnostic and treatment program.

Like other neurological disorders, no two cases of Parkinson’s disease are exactly alike. Symptoms can include motor symptoms such as tremor, slowness of movement, muscle stiffness, change in gait and stooped posture. Patients may also experience nonmotor symptoms including anxiety, depression, memory disorder, bowel and bladder symptoms, fluctuations of medication response, fatigue and lack of motivation.

Methodist Hospitals’ program uses quantitative rating scales and quality approach based on guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology to accurately diagnose Parkinson’s and map individualized treatment strategies.

A multidisciplinary team including physical therapists, pharmacists, nutritionists and social workers come together to plan the best treatment plan for the patient. “Our new Comprehensive Parkinson’s Disease Program is now ready to help Parkinson’s disease patients treat their symptoms beyond the tip of the iceberg, set back the clock on the disease and maintain their quality of life,” said Dr. Arif Davi, Methodist Physician Group neurologist and director of the Methodist Hospitals Parkinson’s Disease Program.

Deep brain stimulation, in which a neurosurgeon implants electrodes to specific parts of the brain to improve Parkinson’s disease symptoms, is an option for more advanced cases.

“This is a well-proven, relatively safe procedure, which has been FDA-approved for approximately 10 years,” said Dr. Kevin Waldron, a Methodist Physician Group neurosurgeon. “Deep brain stimulation is not in the first line of treatments for Parkinson’s disease. However, this procedure, which is performed using a local anesthetic, has helped to make it more livable in the appropriate cases.

Digestive Disorders Clinic

About 40 percent of all Americans live with heartburn, and it’s a chronic condition for one in 10 Americans.

Methodist Hospitals’ new Digestive Disorders Clinic provides access to diagnostics and treatments for heartburn, Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease (GERD) and similar disorders. Therapy options range from the most conservative to the latest advanced techniques. The clinic is designed to streamline diagnosis and improve care for chronic sufferers.

Symptoms include discomfort or a burning feeling in the chest, burning in the throat, an acidic taste in the back of throat, trouble swallowing, a cough and hoarseness.

Symptoms are considered chronic when they occur at least two to three times a week or are disabling in terms of interrupting a patient’s lifestyle.

Various therapies include endoscopy and the Bravo pH system, which offers a noninvasive method of measuring acid in the esophagus over a 48-hour time frame.

Methodist Hospitals is also acquiring a state-of-the-art, high resolution Esophageal Manometry System for evaluating functional swallowing disorders.

The Digestive Disorders Clinic offers surgical solutions including the hybrid transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) procedure and laparoscopic fundoplication.

The clinic is in Methodist Hospital’s Outpatient Surgery Center on the Southlake Campus.