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El Camino Hospital Feature Stories

Women and Melanoma

In this short Q&A, the Cancer Center at El Camino Hospital and our colleagues at the California Skin Institute take a look at melanoma, the most deadly of all skin cancers. More and more cases of melanoma are appearing in younger women today, and it's important to know the reasons why.


O.R. Director Talks About Her Hip Replacement; Shares Secrets to a Successful Surgery

Mary Rivera, RNAfter nearly three decades as an operating room nurse and manager, Mary Rivera, R.N., learned the hard way that standing on cement floors day after day takes its toll on your joints. At first the pain in her hip was manageable, but over time it grew worse.



Talking About Cancer Treatment

Dr Shane DormadyEl Camino Hospital has profiled many of patients Dr. Shane Dormady's patients--patients who have overcome Stage IV cancers. In this interview, we ask Dr. Dormady about the current state of cancer care, the latest innovations in treatments, and how the El Camino Hospital Cancer Center works on behalf of its patients.


Know Your Family History: My Gallbladder Story

Melanie NorallFor the past year or so, I've had occasional sharp pains in my right shoulder blade (always in the same spot) and sometimes felt a bit sick to my stomach after going out to dinner. But my symptoms were always short-term and sporadic--the pain would come on at night but would always be gone in the morning, causing me to think that perhaps I had just imagined it. But in January, I was in so much pain I went to the ER at 3 a.m. in tears. Blood work and an ultrasound revealed I had something I had not expected at all--gallstones (hard, pebble-like deposits that form inside the gallbladder).


Museum Trip Energizes Cancer Survivors

MOMA trip by Creative Expressions painting classPablo Picasso once observed that "art washes away from the soul the debris of everyday life." The students taking El Camino Hospital's Creative Expressions painting class, all cancer survivors, experience for themselves the truth of his reflection every week. In July, they had the opportunity to reaffirm it on a special field trip to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.


Why More Women Are Choosing Robotic Gynecological Surgery

This summer, Dr. Albert Pisani, one of the country’s leading gynecological surgeons, marked an important milestone: 500 procedures performed with the da Vinci robotic system, a feat that is well above the national average for robotic gynecological surgery.


Boarding Option Allows Mom to Bond with Baby

Boarding Option Allows Mom to Bond with BabyLos Gatos mom Rebecca Geshuri had always planned to have her third baby at El Camino Hospital Los Gatos. After all, she had given birth to her first two children there, and she'd had a good experience with both deliveries. But what Rebecca didn't expect was to have her baby come six weeks early.


Brachytherapy (Targeted Radiation) Treatment for Lung Cancer

John,* a 70-year-old former smoker from Sunnyvale, Calif., has battled lung cancer for the past decade. His first cancer, a small-cell cancer on his left lung, was diagnosed and successfully treated with aggressive chemotherapy and large-field radiation therapy in 2000, but then nine years later, a new type of lung cancer surfaced on his right side. For that cancer, John was again treated, with surgery (a wedge resection to remove the tumor) and external radiation therapy. Unfortunately, in the fall of 2010, yet another new cancer appeared, this time on his left lung again.


New Severe Asthma Treatment: Bronchial Thermoplasty

Bronchial ThermoplastyBronchial thermoplasty is a treatment that can be used to address severe persistent asthma--asthma that is not well controlled despite the combined use of standard medicines such as inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta-agonists. El Camino Hospital is one of the first 12 hospitals nationwide, and one of just two in the state, to offer bronchial thermoplasty.


Urology FAQ: Nine Need-to-Knows

Urology graphicUrologists David H. C. King, MD, and Edward Karpman, MD answer some of the most frequently asked questions about urology, including questions about vasectomy and vasectomy reversal, urinary infections, urinary incontinence and bladder control, and kidney and bladder stones, and urination problems.


Think You Know What a Heart Attack Is? Think Again

Dr. James JoyeMost folks today know that heart disease is America's leading cause of death for both men and women. But, chances are, if you were to ask someone on the street to list all the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, they probably couldn't do it. Just ask James Joye, MD, FACC, El Camino Hospital cardiologist and director of research and education for El Camino's Heart and Vascular Institute. Joye sees plenty of patients every year who, unfortunately, have had no idea that they were having a heart attack.


Lifenet System Cuts Heart Attack Treatment Time

Image of test that is displayed from LIfenet systemThe window of time from when a patient starts experiencing heart attack symptoms to the moment he receives treatment has always been a critical period. In the hospital industry, it’s known as “door to balloon” time, as balloon angioplasty (along with stenting) is one of the most common treatments for heart attack.Cardiologists have long known that shaving off even minutes of that time can make a difference in the outcome of a patient. That’s why El Camino Hospital is excited about the launch of Lifenet, a new electrocardiogram (ECG) transmission and heart attack alert system from Medtronic, Inc. 


Why Women With Breast Cancer Are Choosing Brachytherapy, the New Five-Day Radiation Treatment

Image of Rakesh Patel holding instrument for Breast BrachytherapyNancie, 69, was recently diagnosed with an early-stage breast cancer known as DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ). Because her cancer was confined to one breast and hadn’t spread to other parts of her body, Nancie had many treatment options available to her. After consulting with her physician, Nancie chose to have a lumpectomy (partial breast removal) followed by a new form of radiation therapy known as “brachytherapy.”


Frequently Asked Questions About Erectile Dysfunction

Dr. Edward KarpmanOne in five or roughly 30 million men in the United States suffers from some degree of erectile dysfunction. The incidence is increasing not only here in America but also throughout the world. Here, Dr. Edward Karpman answers some commonly asked questions.


Doctors Perform Unprecedented Surgery on Woman with Severe Endometriosis

Dr. Camran Nezhat

Endometriosis, a condition caused by the abnormal growth of the endometrial lining of the uterus, can be an incredibly challenging disease to treat. It can easily spread, so that it affects not only the uterus, but also other organs in the body. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened to Katherine, a 36-year-old woman from Portland, Oregon.


Cardiac Surgeons Bring Robotics Online

Robotic surgeon Ramin Beygui

Surgeons at El Camino Hospital are gearing up to perform a variety of heart operations using the da Vinci robotic surgery system. The da Vinci system, which allows the surgeon to visualize the body cavity in 3D while controlling finely tuned instruments from a workstation, has already been used to perform prostatectomies, thoracic surgeries, and other procedures at the hospital.


Urinary Incontinence Isn’t Something You Have to Live With

Treatments for Incontinence

"When I was in residency, one of my professors told me that 50 percent of women will develop incontinence at some point in their lifetime," recalls Dr. Sari Levine, an El Camino Hospital urologist who recently spoke on camera in an educational patient video on urinary incontinence. Today there are many options for treating incontinence, both medical and surgical.