Health & Wellness – Spring 2021

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Ethan Dasalla was born at just 25 weeks and spent three months in Saint Mary’s NICU. Photo courtesy of Jessica Dasalla

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Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center

More than seven years ago, Jessica and Danny Dasalla welcomed their son Ethan into the world at Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center. Ethan was born 25 weeks and five days into the pregnancy and weighed just 1 pound 12 ounces. He spent the first three months of his life in the T.J. and Debbie Day Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Saint Mary’s, under the watchful care of the area’s best pediatric doctors, nurses, and staff.

“Ethan was born so early, and it was really scary,” Jessica explains. “I didn’t know if he was going to be OK and grow up to be healthy. We were in the Saint Mary’s NICU for 96 days, and the people there helped so much every step of the way. They were so patient and kind. They would explain what they were doing and why. Even though we were sometimes going through complicated procedures, they really helped ease my mind.”

When Ethan was born, he had a perforated bowel, resulting in the need for surgery when he was just a few days old. He also was immediately placed on a ventilator and even went home with oxygen.

“Throughout it all, we celebrated the little wins,” Jessica adds. “Growing. Gaining weight. Eating more. And oxygenation. They all mattered to all of us.”

Today, Ethan is a thriving boy enjoying the first grade. He’s learning, developing, and playing at the same level as his peers. Every year, Jessica, Danny, and Ethan attend Saint Mary’s NICU Reunion, where they reunite with the nurses, celebrate graduating from the NICU, and catch up on the goings-on of the families.

Ethan Dasalla is now a healthy first-grader. Photo courtesy of Jessica Dasalla

Jessica continues, “It’s a special time for all of us. Looking back, for any mother and family who is in a similar situation, it’s important to remember your baby will be OK. It’s scary and seems like a long road, but the Saint Mary’s NICU staff is there to help and provide great care. I think that’s the reason Ethan’s done so well, and I’m thankful for it.”

Saint Mary’s Level III, 29-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is recognized and accredited by the state of Nevada as one of the area’s best in caring for urgent baby needs. The unit provides care to prematurely born infants who often weigh less than two pounds and also to full-term babies facing critical conditions, such as those who are fighting infection or need surgery. For more information, visit Saintmarysreno.com.

Sierra Smiles

When you look in the mirror, do you like the smile you see? Many people don’t. That’s where Dr. John Bocchi and his team at three Sierra Smiles locations come in. Specializing in the best technology, techniques, and equipment, Dr. Bocchi offers cosmetic possibilities with health benefits. Whether you don’t like the color of your teeth, have crooked alignment, or are looking for a complete smile makeover, Sierra Smiles can help.

Before and after photos of dental work show the significant cosmetic improvements possible at Sierra Smiles

“For discoloration, whitening is a great option, as well as restoring teeth through veneers and orthodontics,” Bocchi explains. “We can change the shape of the teeth, overall look, and complete smile. This not only helps you feel more confident, it helps your body stay healthy.”

An Invisalign provider such as Sierra Smiles offers a non-invasive method to teeth straightening. Crowding of the teeth prevents proper cleaning and can lead to periodontal disease, gum recession, and tooth fractures. Crowding also can directly affect your airway due to the lack of room in the jaw. Airway issues, including sleep apnea, can have detrimental health effects. Invisalign can be an easy, quick, innovative solution for a beautiful smile and improved overall health.

To learn more about cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign, and airway care, schedule a consultation with Sierra Smiles. For more information, visit Sierrasmiles.com.

ProSpinal

Don’t let chronic conditions linger and keep you from enjoying life. If you’ve been nursing an injury that isn’t getting better, it’s time to consider ProSpinal and Dr. Bryan Hansen’s team of professionals, who combine laser therapy with chiropractic care to get you ready for all your outdoor activities.

“In most cases, we can get people back to their active lives within just a few weeks!” Hansen explains. “We treat weekend warriors to professional athletes — even those who have recently undergone knee or hip surgery as our laser drastically reduces recovery time.”

Using the most up-to-date, non-surgical spinal-decompression therapy and Class IV deep-tissue laser therapy, Hansen often treats those looking for normal, active lifestyles without relying on surgery or medication to manage symptoms.

“Surgery may be an option for you, but it shouldn’t be the first option,” he says. “Consider conservative care with extremely successful outcomes before going under the knife.”

Don’t let your body hold you back this season. Laser and chiropractic care can be a nice complement to any training program and lifestyle choice. ProSpinal serves patients in Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Lake Tahoe, and surrounding Northern Nevada areas who suffer from chronic and severe neck and back pain.

To book an appointment, visit Prospinalinc.com.

Gastroenterology Consultants

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and Gastroenterology Consultants in Reno and Carson City encourages anyone age 45 and older to consider screening. According to the American Cancer Society, excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States.

Dr. Patrick McCabe, medical physician at GI Consultants, explains there are many advantages to getting screened.

Dr. Patrick McCabe at GI Consultants

“There’s a combination of financial and medical benefits,” he adds. “The worst-case scenario is if you get diagnosed with colorectal cancer, you may require a surgery where part of the large intestine is removed, as well as chemotherapy and radiation. In contrast, if someone undergoes regular screening and gets any precancerous lesions removed, they can avoid the stress, time, and cost associated with cancer treatment … An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

The Top 2 screening recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force are colonoscopy and Fecal Immunochemical Testing. During the non-surgical colonoscopy procedure, a physician threads a colonoscope — a small, flexible tube with a tiny camera — into the rectum, then searches the colon and large intestine for polyps that can be removed before becoming cancerous, or diagnose actual cancer. FIT testing is a stool test conducted annually that checks for a hemoglobin signature in stool, signifying hidden bleeding that may arise from cancer, polyps, or more benign conditions, such as hemorrhoids. FIT testing is as good as a colonoscopy in detecting cancer but less effective for diagnosing polyps and has no capability for removing polyps. McCabe suggests consulting with a physician to determine which is best for each individual.

“I usually engage the patient in a conversation about what they value most,” he says. “Some people worry about sedation with a colonoscopy, although the risk is low in comparison to the benefit. Some value having polyps found and removed before they become cancer, which colonoscopy best addresses. Others don’t worry so much about polyps and instead whether cancer is present or not, so the stool testing is a better option.”

Colon cancer is the only preventable cancer that can be treated right on the spot by removing potentially cancerous polyps. Colon cancer is preventable, treatable, and beatable. Those with a family history of colon cancer can and should get screened earlier than 50, and colonoscopies can be lifesaving when disease is detected on time. For more information, visit Giconsultants.com.

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