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Ophthalmology Department at Vithas Xanit, one of the most advanced laser platforms in the province of Malaga

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Ophthalmology | Posted on 24-01-2020

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We live in a world where technology progresses before our eyes, bringing us each time more advanced and effective solutions to our health problems. At Vithas Xanit, we are aware of the importance of offering the best solutions to our patients, hence the latest cutting-edge technology available in all our departments. When it comes to our Ophthalmology Department, almost all diagnostic and therapeutic procedures available today are included, from clinical consultations to treatments of any eyesight related problem. Besides, this Department has the most advanced types of lasers currently available, such as Femtosecond laser, Teneo laser or the newly incorporated laser for the treatment of glaucoma.

“At Vithas Xanit International Hospital, our Ophthalmology Department counts upon an extensive medical team of great experience, made up of 10 ophthalmologists, three optometrists and two auxiliary nurses, as well operating room instrumentalists specialised in ophthalmology, anesthesiologists, etc.,” explains Dr Cilveti, Head of this team.

“In specialties such as ophthalmology, despite having a seemingly small target organ such as the eye, the sub-specialization is very high. At Vithas Xanit we have specialists in ophthalmology dedicated to specific branches of ophthalmology, having defined units such as the Medical and Surgical Retinal Unit, the Refractive Surgery Unit, Oculoplasty Unit, Glaucoma Unit, Cataract Unit, etc.”, adds the specialist.

The department is led by Dr Ángel Cilveti, who has extensive professional experience of more than thirty years. Throughout his career, Dr Cilveti has worked in the Andalusian Healthcare Service and, in the last 15 years, also in different private centres. He specialises in different branches of ophthalmology such as diabetic retinopathy, corneal transplantation and, for almost two decades, also in vitreoretinal surgery. Dr Cilveti has a long teaching and research career at the University of Malaga as a professor of Human Anatomy and, since 1988, of Ophthalmology. He is a member of various medical societies and holds several specialist certificates.

 

Vithas Xanit International Laser Portfolio

 

Femtosecond Laser

It is a sophisticated instrument that allows different incisions to be performed in eye tissues without physical cuts, only volatilising molecules of the tissue in order to separate them. This is achieved with levels of accuracy unthinkable with other methods and, thanks to this type of laser, we can treat cases of myopia, presbyopia, astigmatism and hyperopia, as well as cataracts.

In cataract surgery, the use of this laser which avoids employing cutting instruments like in other laser systems, improves performance and accuracy, further reducing, to a minimum, the use of ultrasound during the surgery. Computer-assisted surgery also improves the accuracy of the intervention. This greater precision in the incisions allows faster recovery, a higher visual quality, with fewer corneal aberrations and less induced astigmatism in both refractive surgery, presbyopia and cataract surgery.

 

Teneo laser

The Teneo laser allows us to treat myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia and, together with femtosecond, is the most advanced refractive platform existing today. It is the most advanced version of the excimer laser and, among other qualities, highlights the speed of surgeries, which are now performed in a few seconds. The Teneo laser incorporates the possibility of extraordinarily improving the PRK by performing epithelial ablation (first step of PRK surgery).

Recently, Vithas Xanit International Hospital has incorporated a new module of Teneo laser that allows performing the PRK technique but this time without even touching the patient’s eye, i.e. it is performed exclusively with the laser. The advantages of this laser over other techniques are accuracy and safety above all since the alternative to laser de-epithelization is doing it manually, using diluted alcohol to remove the corneal epithelium, as performed until now.

 

 Laser for the treatment of glaucoma

Recently the Xanit hospital has also employed a novel laser for the treatment of glaucoma. It is a pathology that affects about 60 million people worldwide and it is considered as the second cause of blindness because if not treated, the diagnosis is the loss of vision. Cyclo G6 laser is a modification of the previous laser system used in the treatment of glaucoma using the destruction of the ciliary body. This laser system allows, with a few seconds effect on the surface of the eyeball, to significantly reduce intraocular pressure. Its ideal indications are open-angle glaucomas, not very advanced, with painless applications that do not require the opening of the eyeball.

Although glaucoma is a pathology that can not be cured completely, by employing this laser it is possible to reduce the values of elevated intraocular pressure. By doing so, we avoid using eye drops (which, over time, lose effectiveness to lower eye pressure). We also avoid having to add other medication to achieve the necessary reduction of intraocular pressure, especially in those patients who tolerate eye drops badly due to redness and discomfort that those cause in general.

Also, this laser system helps us avoid surgical treatments for glaucoma, which are usually aggressive and sometimes lead to other eye problems, such as cataract formation or eye discomfort.

Although there are other laser procedures aimed at lowering the pressure that can be used alone or in combination with eye drops, the cyclo G6 laser is the newest of these procedures, which, by modifying the original procedure, manages to reduce the amount of aqueous humour produced during the surgery, satisfactorily reducing eye pressure associated with glaucoma.

Childhood obesity: how to help children have a healthy weight

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Various, Xanit salud | Posted on 13-01-2020

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In recent years the percentage of obese children has been much higher than 20 years ago, when there was no talk of improving healthy lifestyle habits among children, according to the Paediatrics Department at Vithas Xanit International Hospital

Obviously, over the course of years, we have changed our way of living and that has harmed our health. As a society in general, we are increasingly leading a sedentary lifestyle, we are subjected to stress and the level of pollution increases day by day. The Mediterranean diet that we are so proud of is being swapped for processed meals, we do not sit down to eat with the family and do not exercise enough.

To try to understand the danger of childhood obesity and how to overcome it, we spoke with a specialist in this topic: Dr Pablo Ercoli, a paediatrician at Vithas Xanit International Hospital. The first question that we would like to ask the specialist is obvious:

 

From what parameters can you say that a child is obese?

By linking the weight and height of the child, we can get a parameter called Body Mass Index (BMI). If we compare it with a population of the same age and sex, we will be able to know if, within these parameters, the index is high or low, which is quantified by the so-called percentiles. In this case, percentiles express the percentage of the population with a lower BMI than the studied individual. Children between the 90th and 97th percentile would be defined as overweight patients. Those above the 97th percentile would fall within the definition of obesity.

 

Consequences of obesity on children’s health

Today we know that obesity is a proinflammatory state, which worsens the current and also future health of the child (diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, etc.). Specifically, it generates various problems, from joint pain, back pain or trouble breathing well, especially when sleeping. There are also other triggers for childhood obesity, such as increasingly evident problems arising at school in the form of bullying, which is usually what makes the child and the family consult a specialist.

As previously said, as likely health consequences, in adulthood obese children will suffer from hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, heart problems to name a few. It goes without saying that it is always better to prevent these pathologies rather than having to fight them later on in life!

Are there differences between the feeding of a boy and a girl?

Healthy and varied eating should be the same for everyone, although it is true, for example, that in adolescence more iron intake is recommended for girls and more calories in boys.

As for the recommended daily calories, they depend closely on the age and specific needs of each child. Although paediatricians usually calculate individual caloric needs, it is generally better to focus on healthy eating, without calorie numbers as we adults do.

 

Healthy foods for proper feeding of children

In general, children should eat everything, as long as it is healthy.

Fruits and vegetables can never be missed. It is advisable to eat three pieces of fruit and 2 servings of vegetables a day, 5 in total, like the fingers of one hand! And if both are seasonal, it’s better.

Fish and legumes are also very important. Another food that can never be missing to accompany our meals is olive oil, however, in the amounts recommended for its high caloric load.

Also, there is increasing emphasis on the importance of the consumption of natural nuts, and processed nuts (fried, salted, ticked, etc.) should be avoided.

Finally, we will have to avoid processed and ultra-processed foods, excess salt, sugars, fats and proteins. Avoid specially packaged juices, pastries and sugary drinks.

 

Fewer fresh juices and more fruit pieces for children

Let’s take orange juice as an example. To fill a glass, squeezing without pulp, we will need about six oranges. That brings us too many sugars.

Besides, its absorption rate, which is called the “glycemic index”, is also essential. By extracting the juice from any fruit we make this glycemic index much higher, almost similar to that of refined sugars (sweets, pastries, etc.), which has known negative effects on health. Taking the whole fruit, in addition to reducing the net amount of sugar that is ingested, causes that, thanks to the pulp and the rest of its components, the glycemic index is considerably reduced, which results in a very positive way in health.

Therefore, it is certainly preferable to eat one or two whole oranges than a glass of natural juice made from several squeezed oranges.

 

How parents should act with an overweight child

The first thing is to assume that there is a problem and that it also has a solution.

A correct diet and proper exercise will make your child enjoy a full, healthy life now and when they grow up.

Overweight, obesity and undernourishment can be included in the concept of malnutrition. It is likely that even if a single family member has the diagnosis, everyone in the house has dietary habits that can be improved. It makes us think that malnutrition is a family and social problem rather than that of a single person, and that changing habits will improve the quality of life of everyone in the house.

We have to eat again as a family, taking our time, without watching television while we are eating. Going back to the “spoon” meal, grandmother’s recipes and the Mediterranean diet of local products. Besides, if we combine it with exercise, we will have healthy habits for life!

Antibiotics: how to take them responsibly

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Xanit salud | Posted on 13-01-2020

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Today we mark the European Antibiotics Awareness Day, promoted by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and here at Vithas Xanit International, we wanted to join this celebration by highlighting the importance of making a prudent use of antibiotics, since an abusive use of these can cause bacteria to be become resistant to them, which poses a danger to the entire population, as they can lead to infections that are difficult to treat.

For that reason, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has launched a campaign focused on preventing self-medication with antibiotics by the general population so we wanted to share with you their messages of recommendation:

 

What is self-medication

Self-medication consists in taking antibiotics without first consulting a doctor, either by:

  • Using antibiotics left over from previous treatments.
  • Acquiring antibiotics in the pharmacy without a prescription.

 

How we can act

We must consider the following recommendations:

A doctor can only prescribe antibiotics.

If you have been prescribed an antibiotic for a previous illness and have recovered well, it may be tempting to use the same antibiotic when similar symptoms occur. However, we must keep in mind that many pathologies, especially those in winter, may have the same symptoms, but that does not mean that they require the same treatment. Only a doctor can determine whether or not a winter disease requires antibiotic treatment. Therefore, it is recommended that the patient: Do not try to buy antibiotics without a prescription.

  • Do not store antibiotics for later use.
  • Do not take antibiotics left over from previous treatments.
  • Do not share excess antibiotics with others.
  • Do not store excess antibiotic treatments. If you receive more doses ( e. g. tablets or capsules) of antibiotics you have been prescribed, ask your pharmacist how to get rid of excess doses.

Antibiotics can not cure all diseases.

Up to 80% of winter infections affecting the nose, ears, throat and lungs are of viral origin, therefore, taking antibiotics will not help us get rid of them.

Is it the flu or cold what I have? Differences, similarities and how to treat both

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in Xanit salud | Posted on 07-01-2020

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Breathing problems, phlegm, poor overall health… Flu and cold are very similar to the point that, on certain occasions, it is difficult to distinguish between the two pathologies.

Here at Vithas Xanit International Hospital,  we have prepared an article with some clues when in doubt if you are suffering from a common cold or flu and curiosities related to both, as well as general advice on treating them.

 

Differences: Yes, there are some…

It all starts with poor general health and a feeling of cold. Those first symptoms and the degree of virulence and intensity are already giving us a clue which out of two pathologies we are dealing with. The flu tends to be much worse than a cold and usually is followed by a fever that lasts for several days. Also, especially in children and the elderly, there is a greater risk of generating other health problems such as pneumonia.

The time of the year when the flu appears is also another clue. We can suffer from common cold almost at any time of the year. In contrast, the flu has limited its presence between the months of November and March.

 

Once identified, how can we treat it?

Treatment of influenza is fundamentally symptomatic, so it is recommended to drink a lot of liquids, take analgesics and antipyretics (ibuprofen or paracetamol). Acetylsalicylic acid is also a common resource, however, we try no to give it to children under 18 years of age to avoid Reye syndrome.

In both cases and in the light of the symptoms, you may use other drugs such as antihistamines, cough medicine, or nasal vasoconstrictors. On the contrary, we try not to prescribe antibiotics, since both flu and cold are produced by viral, non-bacterial infection.

 

Better to prevent…

We can pretty certainly say, that both influenza and the common cold are two of the most frequent diseases around. That is why a vaccination campaign to prevent influenza has been standardised, usually starting in October. There is no campaign to prevent the cold, as this is a more common ailment.

In the case of influenza, it is essential to call for vaccination within the main risk groups: people 65 years old or older, or people with diabetes mellitus, morbid obesity, kidney failure or liver disease, as well as healthcare or teaching personnel.

 

And how do the flu and cold spread?

The transmission is carried out through saliva, which we expel when sneezing, coughing or talking. In this regard, a greater degree of hands hygiene becomes important and, as far as possible, avoid contact with sick people.

As a fact to keep in mind in older people, influenza does not directly cause death, although it can lead to complications such as an aggravation of chronic respiratory diseases, pneumonia or specific diseases of the patient.

The first mammogram, what should we know?

Posted by Xanit Internacional Xanit Internacional | Posted in ALL ABOUT CANCER, women's health | Posted on 07-01-2020

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According to the Spanish Association Against Cancer, “around 32,825 new breast cancer cases are diagnosed annually in Spain”. With such figures, we believe it is of utmost importance to raise awareness among the society of the importance of research and early diagnosis of breast cancer since it is the most frequent tumour in western women.

For that purpose Dr Fran Fernández, responsible for the Breast Unit at Vithas Xanit International Hospital, explains today what mammography consists of and everything you need to know before making your first mammogram.

A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast that allows detecting breast lesions before they even give symptoms (palpable lump, retraction of the skin or the areola-nipple complex, bloody discharge from the nipple, lumps in the armpits, etc.).

When should we undergo the first mammogram?

For risk-free patients, it is advisable to start with mammograms at the age of 40, however, the family history should also be taken into account. If there is a history of breast, ovarian, and/or prostate cancer, this test is usually started at the age of 35.

Mammography should be repeated every year or every other year if the results of the previous test came back normal. If you are a patient at risk, the doctor may indicate whether it is necessary to perform this test every six months or combine it with other imaging tests, such as ultrasound or MRI.

 

Some recommendations to keep in mind before performing a mammogram

  • If you have a very sensitive breast, to avoid pain from the breast compression, it is recommended to perform mammography after the end of menstruation, since the breast is less sensitive because it has less hormonal influence.
  • It’s important not to be afraid. Mammography lasts between 15 and 30 minutes, it is a fast process and carries no risk. Therefore, it is important to be relaxed, since it is a routine test and it does not involve any complications.
  • Try not to wear any metal objects on the day of the screening such as earrings, bracelets, etc., because you will have to remove them for testing.
  • It is also advisable to wear comfortable clothes that are easily taken off, as the chest must be bare for the test.
  • Only in the case of being pregnant could there be a contraindication to take the test because it can pose a risk to the baby, although your doctor will always advise you whether to do it or not.
  • If the patient is in the process of breastfeeding, it is advisable not to perform the mammogram because the breast is anatomically very transformed due to changes that occur during lactation; only in cases of high suspicion of breast cancer the mammogram is indicated.
  • In the case of patients with breast implants, you should be aware that the implants may decrease the sensitivity of the test. In these situations mammography can also be supplemented with ultrasound and resonance imaging.

According to AECC, the most important means for early diagnosis of breast cancer is mammography, and the chances of cure of cancers detected at the initial stage are almost 100%.

That is why it is essential to perform mammography, complemented by self-examination at home.