Surgery Day (and other tidbits)

hospital sign

By:  Richard M. Kline Jr., M.D

My wife took me to the hospital at 6 a.m., and I sat in the preoperative waiting room with the other surgery patients. Eventually my name was called, and I was taken by a female technician to a room to be weighed. I wanted to say “NOT FAIR!” when she weighed me with clothes, shoes, and cell phone, but I realized it didn’t really matter. Next she took me to a private preoperative room, handed me a gown, and told me to take off “everything”, use the bathroom, and put on the gown. This was definitely unsettling, as I’m not used to taking off my clothes in front of strangers, but I realized I was going to have to comply if I was going to get through this. As I put on the gown, I couldn’t help but think about Jack Nicholson with his butt sticking out of his hospital gown in “Something’s Gotta Give.” After I had changed, the young lady returned, and directed me to lie on the stretcher. She then announced she had to “remove my hair,” and mentioned that others would be coming to check her work. I was a little surprised because plastic surgeons have learned that there is really no need to remove hair before surgery, but the last thing I wanted to do at this point was upset the routine. As I lay there trying to be calm while she trimmed my lower abdomen and groin with clippers, she chatted pleasantly, asking at one point if I wanted the “full Brazilian wax.” After she finished, her female supervisor came in, lifted my gown and inspected the job, then told her to trim another inch of hair off the bottom.  After this was done, I got a short reprieve, after which a third woman came in and “checked my prep” again. At this point, I was starting to get over being inspected, and just wanted to move forward.

Another nurse, the self-proclaimed “i.v. specialist,” entered. She was very bubbly and chatty (perhaps even more so after I told her I was terrified of needles). She complained about me grinding my teeth when the local anesthetic went in my hand, but after that I didn’t even feel the i.v. catheter go in, which was a relief. At that point I thought I was safe, but then she pulled out a syringe, smiled, and said “Lovenox!” That needle went into the left side of my freshly prepped abdomen. I didn’t realize until then that Lovenox burns going in. Ouch.

At last I was prepped, and my wife was allowed in. What a relief to see her again! Soon the anesthesiologist came in to see me. I’d never met him, but I knew my wife worked with him frequently and thought highly of him. He was very calm and matter-of-fact, exactly what I wanted. The surgeon then entered for the final preoperative visit, confirmed the procedure, and marked the surgical site. He was calm and reassuring.

Before they wheeled me from the preoperative room to the operating room, they gave me a dose of i.v. Versed, to “take the edge off.” This was a good thing, as the process of being wheeled down to the O.R. in a stretcher was, for me anyway, surreal. I’m usually the one pushing people down these hallways – this was too weird! As the team wheeled me down the hall I said “this is a very different vantage point from down here,” and they all agreed. Once we got in the OR, they had me move myself from the stretcher onto the table. The oxygen mask went over my mouth and nose, and the last thing I remember was the slight burn of the Propofol anesthetic going into my hand and wrist.  —Lights out—

(Part 3 of this series will post April 23)

7 Ways to Fit into Your Itty-Bitty Bikini

girl in yellow polka dot bikiniOkay, do you hear that ominous music in the background? It sounds a lot like “dun dun dunnn.”

Oh wait, that’s just the sound of bathing suit season rapidly approaching!

Don’t fret—we’ve come up with 7 ways to get you back in that itty-bitty bikini in no time!

These aren’t crash diets either. They are just 7 easy and healthy tips to incorporate into your day to lose those extra winter pounds.

Here’s to being bathing-suit ready this year!

1.    Fill up on vegetables

Waiting to eat until you’re absolutely starving can lead to bad cravings and poor eating choices, so it’s important to eat consistently throughout the day.

Recommendation #1: don’t skip meals.

Sure, you might not be hungry right then, but that hunger will come back with a vengeance later—and it might be in the form of a pizza.

Recommendation #2: fill your plate up with veggies. Vegetables are incredibly filling, and you can pile your plate full of them.

2.    Start the day on a healthy note

Yes, you’ve probably been beaten over the head with this one. Why? Because it is SO important. The National Weight Control Registry, which monitors people who have been successful at weight loss of 30 pounds or more, reports that eating breakfast is one of the weight loss behaviors that most successful participants share (78%).

Starting the day eating something healthy will also help you stay on the right track for the rest of the day. A good rule of thumb is keeping breakfast to 300 calories or less. Try whole grain toast with natural peanut butter. If you’re not usually hungry around breakfast, a fruit smoothie will still stave off snacking later.

3.    Get rid of temptations

Are you serious about cutting the calories? Rid your house of temptations. Trash or donate anything in your cabinets and fridge that call your name in moments of weakness.

Instead, fill up your kitchen with easy go-to healthy foods. Keep ready-to-grab cut-up fruits and veggies always in hand. Using pre determined serving-size tupperware containers are a great way to prevent over-snacking.

4.    Eat less, exercise more

Sure, this one is kind of a no-brainer. But think about it as a math equation. Calories in=calories out.

You can’t lose weight if your calorie intake is substantially more than what you work off. Keep track of how many calories you take in throughout the day and compare to how many you’re burning at the gym.

5.    Stay away from sodium

Foods and beverages with a large concentration of salt make your body retain water. Skip the margarita and salty snacks, and shoot for something with lower amounts of sodium.

Be careful—make sure to check the label; sometimes it’s surprising which foods have a large salt content. In addition, make sure to drink lots of water to flush out impurities in your body.

6.    Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Staying hydrated is the golden rule of weight loss. The Mayo Clinic recommends women drink 2.2 liters and men drink about 3 liters. When you drink plenty of water, your body is able to flush out toxins, and you’re able to stay fuller longer.

7.    Burn calories throughout the day

By just making a few changes to your daily routine, you’d be surprised how many calories you can work off! Here are a few recommendations:

  • When you wake up in the morning, do a five-minute exercise routine of jumping jacks, squats, and sit-ups.
  • Park in the back of parking lots so you can walk a little bit farther.
  • Take quick breaks after 45 minutes at work to walk around your building or do some jumping jacks—it’ll help you stay more focused, too!

Join us at the Breast Friends Forever Pink Ribbon Run March 6-7 in Myrtle Beach. Click here for more information…

Detox Water: 3 Recipes to Cleanse Your Body

water with lemon and cucumberDetox water. It’s all the rage.

But is this new fad healthy? Absolutely! Just add it to your normal daily routine.

Detox water has a balance of fruits and herbs that flush fat, support liver and kidney health, and give your metabolism a jump-start.

Each of the ingredients in these recipes contain natural health benefits—and most you can find already in your kitchen!

Mix up a big pitcher of these 3 water detoxes or pour into a water bottle if you’re on the go.

Pre-Bathing Suit Season Detox



  • ½ gallon spring water
  • ½ grapefruit, sliced
  • ½ cucumber, sliced
  • 2-3 mint leaves
  • ½ lemon, sliced
  • ½ lime, sliced

Why it’s good for you: The cucumbers serve as a natural diuretic, and help your body release water you’ve been retaining. The enzymes in grapefruits help you burn fat more easily. In addition, the lemons and limes help your digestive system. This detox will flatten your belly and have you bathing suit ready in no time!

Lemon Ginger Detox


  • 1 12-ounce glass water, at room temperature
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 inch knob of zested ginger root

Why it’s good for you: The properties of zested ginger act as a detoxifier that help give your metabolism a jump-start. Lemons serve as a diuretic and improve digestive health to release toxins. Having a glass of lemon ginger water is a great drink for first thing in the morning to get your metabolism moving.

Fat Flush Detox


-1 gallon of water

-Chopped-up watermelon in squares (about 3 slices)

-1 whole sliced cucumber

-1 lemon and/or lime

-Fresh mint leaves (about 10-13)

Why it’s good for you: The mint leaves are not only refreshing, but they also help cleanse the liver and relieve stomach cramping. Watermelon and cucumbers help filter your kidneys and liver. Lemons help to regulate your digestive track and break down fat. This is a great after-weekend detox to get your body back in tip-top shape.

Have a favorite detox recipe? Share on our Facebook page!

Make 2015 Your Year

apple with measuring tape around itOkay, dear reader, we’re taking 2015 by the horns. Sure, we may have had one too many Christmas cookies over the past month (okay, maybe the whole box), but we’re declaring that it all stops NOW!

Let’s get ourselves looking and feeling better in 2015. What do you say—you in? Really, how great would it be to be prepared for beach season before it rears its ugly head?

We’re in this with you. So let’s come up with some strategies to help us reach our goals…

Portion Control

Keeping portions to a smaller serving size can be tough, especially when restaurants provide heaping helpings. The best method to prevent overindulging: plan ahead. Before you head to a restaurant, check out their menu online and decide ahead of time what you are going to order to prevent last minute temptations.

Another tip is to ask for a box when your meal comes to the table, and immediately put half of it in a to-go box for your next meal. If you have trouble oversnacking at work, put your meals and snacks in presized containers.

Stay Hydrated

We cannot reiterate this one enough. Drinking water has been proven to help weight loss efforts. Set consumption goals to remind yourself to keep the aqua coming. Drink 2 cups of water before each meal to fill you up, or drink out of a 2-liter bottle to help you keep track! In addition, drinking tea also helps you consume H2O with some added health benefits.

Rid Your Body of Sugar

One of the best things you can do for your health is reducing or avoiding sugar. Your body does not need sugar in the form we typically eat it.

Yes, your body uses glucose, but any carbohydrate you eat is broken down to glucose, so vegetables and grains give you everything you need. Simple carbs like candy, cola, and fruit juice are unnecessary and cause weight gain, sluggishness, and many other problems in the body.

Eliminating sugar from your diet will help you sleep better, feel more energized, experience happier moods, and flaunt better skin and hair—the only thing to lose are the pounds!

Talk to a Professional

It’s okay to ask for help! Take your concerns to a dietitian, who has the medical background to help you make the most successful plan for your overall wellness. Working with a professional will help you learn why you should and shouldn’t eat certain food. It also helps to have someone to check in with about your weight loss.

Do you have any weight loss success stories? We want to hear how you did it! Comment below:

How to Keep a New Year’s Resolution

It’s hardly surprising how quickly most of us tend to break our New Year’s resolutions (some before the end of January!). Yet each year, we take the time to reflect on our aspirations and set goals to improve our lives, even though less than 12% of resolution-makers succeed.

So what’s the secret to actually seeing these goals through?

If you really want to see results this year, it’s critical that you set your goals with sincerity, and concentrate on the intention of your resolutions. Read on to discover 5 ways to create attainable resolutions—and keeping them:

1. Be specific. A common mistake people make is setting ambiguous goals like, “I’ll lose weight.” Instead, make your resolution specific, with a tangible, achievable outcome. Determine how much weight you want to lose and what diet or exercise regime you will begin. Ask yourself, why do you want to lose weight, and what will you do once you reach your goal? Remember to visualize the good that will come when your desires are met.

2. Put it in writing. Write down your goals and outline the small, manageable steps you’ll take in order to achieve them. When you set a big goal, like learning how to silversmith, it can be overwhelming and frustrating if you don’t have a plan that lays out smaller steps toward achieving the larger goal. Plan ahead and focus on accomplishing one small thing at a time to keep yourself on track and optimistic.

3. Give yourself enough time. Be sure to set aside ample time for yourself to achieve your goals. If you want to exercise more, plot out time in your weekly schedule for runs and time at the gym. Additionally, you’ll want to make time to track your progress, either with monthly measurements, heart rate monitoring, or weigh-ins.

4. Find a partner. Having someone to keep you accountable is one of the key ingredients to changing your life. Try finding a friend who has a similar resolution, and check in with each other every week to talk about your progress and challenges. Or, ask a family member or significant other to keep you accountable—just make sure they’re supportive and encouraging. You can also seek professional assistance, such as a personal trainer to help you meet your fitness goals, or a tutor to help you finally learn French.

5. Take a deep breath. When you’re stressed or overwhelmed, it’s easy to get off track from your goals. Spend time every day collecting your thoughts and getting centered. You may try a breathing exercise, a scenic stroll, or even a little yoga. Be sure to push away self-sabotaging thoughts, such as: “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do it.” The truth is, you can do it, but you have to fully channel all your intentions into achieving what you want.

What are your resolutions for 2013?