Health Care in Indian River County

Medical Specialties Defined
Medical Symbol

Allergy and Immunology
Diagnosis and treatment of problems involving the immune system, including allergic reactions to foods, drugs, chemicals, insect stings and pollens. Allergic conditions include hay fever, asthma, hives, dermatitis, eczema and acquired immune deficiency diseases.

The administering of drugs, called anesthetics, for relief of pain during surgery. The anesthesiologist may use a regional anesthetic, including spinal or local, which dulls sensation in part of the body, or a general anesthetic, when a patient is rendered unconscious.

Diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the heart and blood vessels, such as heart attacks and life-threatening abnormal heartbeats. Diagnostic procedures include interpretation of electrocardiograms, echo cardiograms, performance and interpretation of stress tests and cardiac catheterization. The cardiologist evaluates the need for cardiac surgery.

Critical Care Medicine
Intensive care in the hospital of life-threatening disorders, such as shock, coma, heart failure, trauma, respiratory arrest, drug overdoses, diabetic acidosis and kidney failure.

Diagnosis and treatment of benign and malignant disorders of the skin, mouth, external genitalia, hair and nails. Skin cancers, melanomas, moles and other tumors of the skin, contact dermatitis and other manifestations of systemic infectious diseases are treated. Also includes management of cosmetic disorders of the skin, such as hair loss and scars. Treatment methods include medications that are externally applied, injected or taken orally; selected X-ray and ultraviolet light therapy and surgery.

Emergency Medicine
Primarily hospital emergency treatment, focused on the immediate decision-making and action necessary to prevent death or any further disability; immediate initial recognition and evaluation of acute illness or injury and provision of appropriate short-term care and treatment. Indian River Memorial Hospital and Sebastian River Medical Center both have a staff of physicians who specialize in emergency medicine.

Evaluation and treatment of disorders of the internal glands, such as the thyroid and adrenal glands. Also deals with such illness as diabetes, metabolic and nutritional disorders, pituitary diseases and menstrual and sexual problems. Sub-specialty of internal medicine.

Family Practice
The prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of common illnesses and injuries. Special emphasis on care of families on a continuing basis, utilizing consultations and community services when appropriate. Some physicians specialize in geriatric medicine, advising and treating older patients on disorders common to aging.

Management and treatment of disorders associated with the digestive organs, including the stomach, bowel, liver and gall bladder. Abdominal pain, ulcers, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, cancer and jaundice are also treated. Lighted scopes are used to see internal organs for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Consultation with surgeons, when abdominal operations are indicated. Sub-specialty of internal medicine.

Geriatric Medicine
The prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and disorders of the elderly including comprehensive care management of patients with multiple disabilities such as dementia, diabetes, cerbrovascular and cardiovascular conditions, osteoporosis, and arthritis.

Hematology and Oncology
Diagnosis and treatment of human solid tumors, including lung, breast, colon, rectum, anus, small bowel, liver, biliary system, pancreas, stomach, esophagus, kidney, bladder, prostate, testes, uterus, ovary, crevix, skin and head and neck cancers. Diagnosis and treatment of hematologic (blood) malignancies, including Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, myeloproliferative disorders, myelodysplastic syndroms and leukemias.

Diagnosis and treatment of non-malignant hematologic disorders, including anemia, thalassemias, clotting disorders, sickle cell disease and hemophilia.

Outpatient and inpatient administration of chemotherapy, colony stimulating factors, IV fluids and antibiotics. Hospital-based blood product transfusions.

Coordination with surgical and radiation specialists, including combined modality chemo-radiotherapy

Infectious Disease
Diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases of all types. Treatment of patients with HIV infection and AIDS is common. Diagnosis and management of unusual infections or unexplained fevers. Sub-specialty of internal medicine.

Internal Medicine
Emphasis on diagnosis and comprehensive care management of internal illnesses and problems, and on preventive health care and wellness. Heart disease, diabetes, lung and digestive diseases frequently are managed. Travel medicine, including consultation and vaccinations. There are many sub-specialties within internal medicine.

Disorders of the kidney and related body fluid and chemical imbalances are diagnosed and treated. Dialysis of body wastes, when the kidneys do not function, is administered. Consultations are conducted with surgeons about kidney transplants in appropriate situations. Sub-specialty of internal medicine.

Diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the nervous systems, including their supporting structure and blood vessels. Encompasses treatment of disorders involving the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, muscles and autonomic nervous system. Strokes, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord disorders are typical problems that are treated and diagnosed.

Obstetrics and Gynecology
Involves the female reproductive system, the fetus and the newborn. Some physicians specialize in one field or the other, rather than both. Obstetrics involves care of women during pregnancy, delivery of babies and follow-up treatment. Gynecology is the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the female reproductive organs and the reproductive process.

Conditions treated are infertility, infections of the genital tract, cancer of the genital organs and complications of pregnancy. Included is prescription for birth control and performance of sterilization procedures. Pelvic surgery, including hysterectomies are performed. Medication, diet and/or exercise is prescribed.

Diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the eye. Vision care. Surgery is performed to repair ailments such as cataracts and retinal detachments. Diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma. Surgery for nearsightedness and astigmatism. Detection of disease in other parts of the body may be made through eye examination, such as diabetes, thyroid disease, brain tumors and hypertension. Comprehensive eye examinations and prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lens are given.

Orthopaedic Surgery
Bones, joints and muscles are the focus of the specialty. Treatment of injuries, disorders and diseases related to the function of the extremities, spine and associated structures by surgical and physical procedures. Congenital deformities trauma, infections, tumors and metabolic disturbances of the muscular and skeletal systems are diagnosed and treated. Treatment may involve arthroscopic examinations and surgery of the joints.

Diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of diseases and disorders of the ear, nose and throat, respiratory and upper alimentary systems and related structures; hearing evaluation and treatment. Head and neck oncology sometimes is involved, as is facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. Specialty includes knowledge of audiology and speech-language pathology.

The diagnosis of disease through the study of body tissues, secretions and fluids. Includes use of scientific instruments and analytical measurements and procedures. Tissues and blood are examined chemically and microscopically to arrive at a diagnosis.

The prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of children from birth to adolescence. Services include well and sick care, immunizations and counseling. Consultation with parents and other medical specialists are extensive.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Evaluation and treatment of impairments caused by stroke, arthritis, head injury, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and cerebral palsy. Includes pain management and disability evaluations, and adjunctive treatment following orthopaedic procedures or surgery. Treatment may involve use of therapeutic heat, cold, massage, ultrasound, electrical stimulation techniques, exercise programs, mechanical devices and prosthetics.

Plastic Surgery
Surgery to correct functional and cosmetic deformities of the face, head, body and extremities. Repairs to scares or burned skin, reconstructs structures destroyed by cancer or accidents, performs surgery to correct congenital abnormalities or to improve the appearance of a part of the body. Includes cosmetic surgery and surgery related to reconstruction; breast reduction or breast lift; head and neck cancer; skin cancer, including melanomas; hand surgery; cleft lip and palate; eyelid ptosis surgery; maxillofacial surgery; reconstructive nasal surgery; body contouring (i.e., liposuction); and management of open or chronic wounds, including pressure sores and leg ulcers.

The diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the foot, including soft tissue disorders such as corns, bunions, and ingrown toenails. Podiatrists may specialize in podiatric surgery.

Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders, including depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, developmental disabilities and sexual dysfunctions. Treatment includes psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, laboratory diagnostic tests, medications and intervention with individuals and families who are coping with stress, crisis, and other emotional problems. Sub-specializations exist in child, adolescent and geriatric psychiatry.

Pulmonary Disease
Diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the lungs and airways. Includes such conditions as pneumonia, cancer, pleurisy, asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and other disorders of the lungs. Testing may include measurement of breathing volumes, bronchoscopy and evaluation of X-rays. Treatment involves administering drugs, mechanical assistance to ventilation and consultation with surgeons. Sub-specialty of internal medicine.

Radiology (Imaging Sciences)
The use of various modalities, such as X-ray, mamography, ultrasound, MRI, CAT and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat disease. Specialties include radiation oncology, diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine.

Diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of diseases of the joints, muscle, bones and tendons. Included are such conditions as arthritis, back pains, muscle strains and collagen diseases. Sub-specialty of internal medicine.

The pre-operative, operative and post-operative care of surgical patients in a broad span of surgical conditions, affecting most areas of the body. Also can involve comprehensive management of the trauma victim or the critically ill. A recently developed technique, laparoscopy surgery, particularly of the gall bladder, is increasingly in use. There are many sub-specialties of surgery.

Treatment of diseases of the urinary tract, both male and female, and of the reproductive system of the male. Organs include the kidneys, bladder, prostate gland, adrenal gland, penis and testes. Diagnostic procedures include examination of urine sample, X-ray, ultrasound and use of cystoscope. Conditions treated through medication, surgery and/or minimally invasive surgical techniques include bladder infections, incontinence, impotency, male infertility, kidney infections, kidney stones, prostate enlargements, as well as benign and malignant tumors of the urinary tract and prostate gland.

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