January 4, 2021
New Year’s Resolutions For Your Best Health

As 2020 was not a year we were sad to say goodbye to, we want to start off 2021 in the best way possible! Join us in making this year a healthy and happy one with some tips from the surgeons of Premier Surgical Network.

 

Go to your regular or annual doctor’s appointments. “Despite the reputation that doctors are the worst patients, I believe in practice what I preach,” says Dr. Dana Holwitt, “I always go to my regularly scheduled doctor’s visits, dentist visits and eye examinations. If you do not take care of yourself, how can you take care of anyone else?” Be sure to make your regular appointments when needed such as mammography scans, gynecological exams, physicals, blood work, etc.

 

Make exercise a priority. Getting more exercise or achieving a weight-loss goal is a resolution many people make for the new year. However, it is important it stay realistic and not over-do it. “I always set a goal to be more consistent with my exercise regime. I also remind myself that my body, like life, has peaks and valleys. As long as I work at the level I am capable of at that time, I will always make progress.” Says Dr. Holwitt. Aim to work out about 3-5 days per week.

 

Make healthier food choices. This is another common new year goal, but it’s an easy one to partake in. Even adjusting your nutrition choices slightly will have a positive effect on your health. “This year I will try substitute snacks like chips with something healthier, like fruit,” says Dr. Ann Chuang.

 

Reach out to family and friends. Especially with social distancing in play, it’s easy to lose touch with friends that you haven’t seen or talked to in a while. “One of my resolutions this year is to reach out to ten friends I have not spoken to for a year via phone,” says Dr. Chuang. It will feel good to reconnect with friends, catch up and reminisce.

 

Make time for self-care. Mental health, especially during the winter months, is so important. We recommend making time for yourself and your emotional well-being, even if it’s for just 30 minutes a day. “Whether it be yoga, meditation, Pilates, breathing exercises whatever, it is so important to your general health that your mental well-being is cared for,” say Dr. Holwitt. Even if you have a long to-do list, taking some time to even read a book or take a relaxing bath can help your mental health.

 

Drink plenty of water. An easy resolution this year is to make it a priority to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a day. Staying hydrated is vital in maintaining healthy skin, good digestion, transporting nutrients, and helps improve your circulation. Invest in a reusable, eco-friendly water bottle that helps you consume more water while also helping the environment.

 

No matter what resolutions you’ve set for yourself this year, be sure to add in some that can help you benefit your overall health. By implementing some practices that form a healthy lifestyle, you will live a healthier and happier life. Wishing all a great 2021!

 

December 2, 2020
Ways to Combat the Winter Blues

The “winter blues” affect many people each year; this year being no exception. With the large impact that COVID-19 still has around the world, the winter months may be exceptionally difficult for many. It is imperative to keep your mental health in check during these months, and there are several ways you can boost your mood when the days are shorter and colder.

Get outside when weather allows. Even though it’s less enjoyable to be outside when temperatures become frigid, studies show that getting outside for a little while each day can be beneficial. On a sunny winter day, grab your jacket and gloves and get some fresh air and Vitamin D. We recommend taking a walk around your neighborhood or exploring a local park or walkway path. Always remember to follow social distancing guidelines during physical activity.

Exercise. Exercise not only improves your physical health, but your mental health as well! “Exercising is an excellent way to combat the winter blues,” says Dr. Ann Chuang, “Instead of starting January 1st, start December 1st instead. I find that the masks are more and more comfortable as the temperature drops.” Getting 30 minutes a day of exercise can make a huge difference in your mood. Try doing a home workout video if it’s too cold to be outside! “Exercise helps, especially hot yoga, since it makes it feel like summer for an hour.” Says Dr. Desiree D’Angelo,  “Although hot yoga is cancelled due to COVID, I will do a practice in front of our electric fireplace and I get the same effect.”

Practice self-care. At least once per week, do something that brings you peace. Take a bubble bath, do yoga, meditate, or read a book. Treating yourself to at least an hour a week dedicated just for you will help elevate your mood.

Invest in a fire pit.  If you don’t already have one, consider purchasing a fire pit if possible. “This is a perfect way to have a socially distanced hang out with close friends.  You will be warm and get to enjoy the beautiful fire!” Dr. Chuang says. 

Check in on friends. This year especially, the winter months may be challenging and lonely for many. Make a point to check in on your friends and loved ones. A simple call or text message can mean a lot.

Partake in holiday shopping. Shopping for yourself can certainly boost your mood but finding the perfect gift for a loved one can also bring you some happiness during this difficult year. Selecting thoughtful gifts will be sure to bring a smile to the faces of your family and friends.

Make some mulled wine or cider, put on your favorite winter PJ’S and watch your favorite holiday movies. As the days get shorter and it is dark much earlier, use this opportunity to carry on some favorite winter/ holiday traditions. “Holiday movies have generated a cult like following.” Says Dr. Dana Holwitt, “there is nothing cozier than curling up with your squad, your family, or that special someone to warm your heart and bring those serotonin levels up.”

Finally, don’t hesitate to seek professional mental health services.

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. If you just can’t seem to escape the winter blues, you may be experiencing a more serious mental health condition like Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The best piece of advice is to seek professional help, says Dr. Holwitt, “There are several strategies that can help with symptoms of SAD including talk therapy, medications, and light box therapy. Light box therapy includes various sized light boxes that emit a wavelength of light like that of the sun. You can use the light when you wake up in the morning for a period ranging from 15 min to 45 min depending on your needs. The light simulates the sun, thus stimulating your brain and tricking it into thinking it light outside. With repeated use, it changes your circadian rhythm. SAD light box therapy can be very effective at treating the winter blues.”

November 19, 2020
COVID-19 Breast Screening Update
Premier Surgical Network is proud to follow the American Cancer Society’s breast screening guidelines during COVID-19. While we understand that this can be a very difficult and overwhelming time for many, we would like to remind you that your breast health is a priority. Women at average risk for breast cancer should have annual screening breast mammography starting at age 45, and women ages 40-44 should also begin annual screening if they choose. During COVID-19, there has been an estimated… Read More
September 30, 2020
Breast Cancer Awareness
Breast Cancer Awareness month is celebrated each October. Breast Cancer is something that has impacted us deeply. As breast surgeons, this month means so much to us. We strive to provide compassionate care to our patients and their families as we navigate their treatment plan, surgery, and post-operative care. Breast Cancer Awareness Month allows us all to come together to support a common goal: The fight against Breast Cancer. This month, each of our surgeons answered a very important and… Read More
September 2, 2020
Lifestyle Modifications for Breast Cancer Prevention
Breast Cancer is something that has affected so many people and impacted our lives in some way or another. As with many cancers, there are several risk factors besides family history that impact this disease. On the topic of Health & Fitness Day, Dr. Ann Chuang details the correlation of breast cancer and living a healthy lifestyle. 1 out of 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.  Most of these women do not have a family history of… Read More
June 3, 2020
June is National Hernia Awareness Month
National Hernia Awareness Month is observed each June. Hernias can be described as abnormal bulges created by a weakness or a hole, usually in the abdominal wall or groin. It occurs when an internal organ, such as the bowel or bladder, extends through the wall of the muscle or tissue where it normally resides. A bulge in the abdomen or groin caused by a hernia is a common condition in both men and women and can range from pain-free to… Read More
May 15, 2020
Staying Healthy during National Women’s Health Week
National Women’s Health Week was created by the Office on Women’s Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The program intends to empower women to make their health a priority and provide resources to help them on their journey. Some of the essential components of the program include: Getting active Eating healthy and making better food choices Importance of sleep Managing stress Avoiding unhealthy and damaging behaviors such as smoking, excess alcohol consumption, use of illicit drugs… Read More
May 15, 2020
How to Make your Health a Priority during National Women’s Health Week
National Women’s Health Week begins on Mother’s Day every year to remind women to take care of themselves and to make their health a priority, especially this year with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has several recommendations including getting the suggested screenings and preventative care, which may be delayed due to the pandemic. As health care providers, we hope that we will be able to resume breast cancer screenings as soon as possible. If… Read More
March 23, 2020
Dr. D’Angelo is Recognized for Her Outstanding Leadership in the Community
Atlantic City Weekly’s “Top 40 under 40” pays tribute to South Jersey’s most impressive community leaders. We are proud to announce that the Premier Surgical Network’s Dr. Desiree D’Angelo is among the inspiring individuals who made the list. Atlantic City Weekly's “Top 40 Under 40” is all about shining a spotlight on those young professionals under 40 years of age who go above and beyond, those who not only excel at their jobs, but who thrive as inspirations to others… Read More
August 6, 2019
Does Breastfeeding Lower Your Breast Cancer Risk?
I'm often asked questions regarding breast health, specifically breast cancer risk and breastfeeding. Most patients like to go to ‘Dr. Google’ when researching information. The intent of this topic is to summarize the benefits that breastfeeding provides and answer a commonly asked question, “does breastfeeding lower your breast cancer risk?” Overall, female hormones (estrogen and progesterone) are known to ‘fertilize’ certain breast cancers. A woman’s lifetime exposure to hormones can promote breast cancer cell growth. Studies show that breastfeeding can… Read More