QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE HAVING SURGERY

Before undergoing any surgery, you should ask your doctor how to prepare and what to expect afterward. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (www.plasticsurgery.org) says you need to communicate your goals and expectations to your plastic surgeon. And, of course, you should choose someone who is board certified by a reputable association such as the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery and who has a good amount of training and experience….

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PAP SMEAR: TEST LOOKS FOR PRESENCE OF PRECANCEROUS CELLS

A Pap smear is a procedure that screens for cervical cancer. Most women should start getting Pap smears at age 21 years and every three years after. It should be a part of your annual physical exam. The test looks for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix, the opening of the uterus or womb. During the procedure, cells from the cervix are scraped away. It is not painful and takes less than 10 minutes to complete. You may bleed a little after the test is completed.

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WHAT IS A MEDICARE WELLNESS EXAM?

A Medicare Wellness Exam is a preventative screening visit your provider wants you to have once a year. This visit is free and is separate from your annual physical exam (if your plan covers annual physicals). Traditional Medicare does not pay for a physical – it only covers a Wellness Exam.  What is a Wellness Exam? The visit is covered once every 12 months (11 full months must have passed since your last visit). It is designed to help prevent disease and disability based on your current health....

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SUMMER CAMP SEND-OFF

With summer vacation looming, parents and kids are getting ready for camp. Many camps require attendees to have a pre-participation physical to make sure the child is ready to participate in all the camp activities, including swimming and hiking. Be sure to schedule any physicals with your doctor’s office in advance to fill out any forms. The camp needs to know about any medical conditions your child may have and/or medications he may be taking. You may also need to provide immunization records. Tell the camp directors about your child’s physical, mental, behavioral and emotional limitations; special dietary needs and food allergies; and any recent illnesses. The registration packet may have a form you need to sign to allow the camp to give treatment for minor medical problems, such as giving ibuprofen, Benadryl or topic solutions for bug bites and poison ivy. Usually the camp director or nurse will administer all medications in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions. You may also have to fill out a form allowing emergency medical treatment. Do not send an ill child to camp.


What should you pack? Most camps provide a list of items to bring. Pack more underwear than you think your child will use – accidents happen! A good rule of thumb is to have enough clothes to last one and a half times the number of days the child will be at camp. You may need to send bedding or pillows. Don’t forget to pack a toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, wash cloth, bath towel, comb, brush, shampoo, conditioner,

pajamas and socks. If your child is attending a themed camp, such as a horseback riding or skateboarding camp, be sure to pack appropriate gear. Other items to pack include sunscreen, bug repellent, a swimming suit, goggles, a swim cap, a beach towel, a light jacket or sweatshirt, an umbrella and a flashlight with spare batteries. Pay special attention to the list of items that are NOT allowed at the camp, such as firearms, alcohol, drugs and electronic devices. Mark everything your child takes with his name or initials.


While most kids are excited to go away from home for a while, some are anxious about being in a new place with kids they don’t know. How can you prepare your child to deal with this anxiety? Talk with your child about what camp is like. Focus on the positive aspects. Emphasize the fun she’ll have and activities she’ll participate in. Answer all her questions and don’t belittle her fears. Perhaps she knows someone from school who will be attending the same camp and they can be buddies. Your child may want to take along a favorite stuffed animal or blanket for a touch of home. If, after all your pep talks, your child decides he doesn’t want to go to camp, respect that decision and take comfort in knowing as he matures, he’ll be more open to the idea of being away from home. When you drop him off at the camp, don’t make a big scene as you leave. Just say, “Goodbye – have fun.” He will.


DR. SUSAN MONAHAN

Dr. Monohan, board certified in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, is married to a physician and has 3 children. She feels that being a parent helps her to relate better to the issues parents face today. She believes that being a pediatrician involves much more than just treating medical conditions and does her best to help parents raise well rounded, healthy children.

more articles by Dr.Susan Monahan