Friday, January 24, 2014

Treat Dry Eyes to Avoid Damage to Cornea

Maybe you work on the computer from 8 am to 5 pm and you've noticed how blurry your vision becomes by the end of the day.   And then that glaring sunlight coming through the windshield in the afternoon drive home from the office is beginning to really hurt!    You may be suffering from Dry Eye, according to Donavon Lafleur, OD, now practicing at the new Ochsner Eyecare Iberville in Plaquemine, Louisiana as well as Ochsner Health Center - Summa.  
"Dry Eye is a condition that affects millions of people. It is more common in women over 35 years of age," Dr. Lafleur says.  "Dry Eye is often associated with hormonal changes that occur with aging, pregnancy, and menopause. It is also commonly found in patients with medical conditions such as arthritis, lupus, diabetes, and Sjogren’s syndrome." 

Dr. Lafleur points out that many prescription or over the counter medications can contribute to dryness as well.  These include decongestants, antihistamines, diuretics, oral contraceptives, certain anti psychotics, and chemotherapeutic agents. Environmental factors are also known to contribute to causing symptoms.  These include cigarette smoke, dry air, prolonged computer use and sometimes contact lens wear. 

Symptoms of dry eye include: 
  • blurry vision, 
  • red burning eyes, 
  • sandy or gritty feeling eyes, 
  • watery eyes or excessive tearing, 
  • contact lens discomfort/intolerance, and light sensitivity.
If left untreated, dry eye can cause damage to the delicate corneal tissue resulting in ocular irritation/discomfort and blurred vision. 
Treatment for dry eye may include: 
  • over the counter moisture eye drops/gels or ointments, 
  • prescription eye drops, 
  • oral antibiotics or punctal plugs (to keep tears on the surface of the eye longer).
Ask your eye care specialist about being evaluated for Dry Eyes, or make an appointment with Dr. Donavon Lafleur by calling 225-761-5200.

Dr. Lafleur is a nativ
Donovan LaFleur, OD, Ochsner Health System
Donavon Lafleur, OD
e of Ville Platte, LA. He attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and received his bachelor's degree in Medical Technology from LSU Medical Center in New Orleans. Dr. Lafleur then attended the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was a member of Beta Sigma Kappa Honors Society. He interned at The Eye Center in Memphis and completed six externships at Steen-Hall Eye Institute at Willis-Knighton Medical Center in Shreveport and Bossier Family Eye Care in Bossier City. Prior to joining Ochsner, Dr. Lafleur owned his owned practice in Ville Platte and most recently worked at The Eye Center in Lake Charles as an Associate Optometrist.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Now Accepting New Patient Appointments

New Liver Specialist at Ochsner Baton Rouge

Dr. Gia Tyson
Dr. Gia Tyson has joined the Ochsner Liver Center and is seeing patients in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Dr. Tyson, a native of Louisiana, earned her medical degree at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD and her fellowship in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. Most recently, Dr. Tyson completed an advanced Fellowship in Transplant Hepatology co-sponsored by Tulane University and Ochsner in New Orleans, LA.  

Dr. Tyson will be practicing general hepatology, transplant hepatology and gastroenterology at Ochsner Medical Center – Baton Rouge during the following days and time:

Ochsner Liver Center – Baton Rouge*
Ochsner Health Center - Summa (Bluebonnet Blvd)
9001 Summa Avenue, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
Tuesdays and Fridays: 8 am – 5pm; Wednesdays: 1:20 pm – 5 pm

Call 225-761-5219 for appointments.

New Primary Care Physician at Ochsner Baton Rouge

Dr. Shannon Murphy
Dr. Shannon  Murphy, Family Practice Physician,  earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology at Xavier University in New Orleans. In 2010, she earned her medical degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. She completed her residency at Penn State's Family and Community Medicine Residency Program in Labanon, Pennsylvania.   Dr. Murphy speaks French, as well as English, and is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine  
She is now accepting new patients at the Ochsner Medical Center - O'Neal campus at 16777 Medical Center Dr. Baton Rouge, LA. 

Call 225-751-5200 for appointments.

Is it really cancer? 

Dr. Jay Brooks
Ochsner is now offering a Second Opinion cancer service in the Baton Rouge region.   "It usually only takes three to five business days to get the peace of mind  that a second opinion can bring," say Dr. Jay Brooks, Ochsner Baton Rouge cancer specialist.  

He adds that "most the time I would like to have an Ochsner pathologist review the original materials, including slides.  One time out of ten we may find a difference in opinion from the original diagnosis.  If we do confirm the cancer diagnosis, we can still offer peace of mind to the patients that they receive are receiving treatment for the correct type of cancer.  Different cancers are treated differently, and this can be a critical factor in the treatment's success."   

For more information about the Ochsner Cancer Institute's second opinion service in Baton Rouge, call for an appointment with Dr. Jay Brooks at  225-761-5200.
*The Ochsner Liver Center in Baton Rouge is an outpatient department of Ochsner Medical Center of Baton Rouge.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

You May Need the Fastest ER in BR

Ochsner's Emergency Room in Baton Rouge Delivers the Fastest Care in the Region

It’s 10 pm and your spouse is complaining of chest pain.  If you suspect a heart attack or stroke, (see warning signs below), immediately call 9-1-1.  Do NOT attempt to drive yourself or a loved one to get care. 

But if you aren’t sure what to do, it’s a tough decision.  Do you call your doctor?  Do you call 911?  How about the after-hours place down the road?  Or should you just head to the closest emergency room? 

If you decide that the ER on I-12 and O’Neal Lane is your best option, you can feel secure about your choice. Ochsner Baton Rouge’s ER is the fastest in the area with average wait times of only 10 minutes before you see a provider, according to  Medicare measures the quality of hospital care delivered to their patients, and fast emergency care is one of the quality measures that is monitored continuously.    

And you can rest assured that Ochsner in Baton Rouge isn't sacrificing quality for speed.  Survival rates at Ochsner Medical Center of  Baton Rouge are the highest in the southwest region.  To find out more about patient safety in your area's hospitals, Consumer Reports has published data on that topic.  

In addition, Ochsner’s electronic medical record system allows our physicians 24/7 access to your complete medical history. All Ochsner ER wait times can be checked at  or through the Smart phone application download offered on that page.  

Heart Attacks and Strokes
When it comes to heart attacks and strokes, time is critical. If you suspect you or someone else is having a heart attack or stroke, immediately call 9-1-1. Do NOT attempt to drive yourself to the emergency department.

Warning signs of a potential heart attack:
  • Pain or pressure in the center of the chest that lasts for minutes or goes away and comes back
  • Pain or discomfort in the arms or left shoulder
  • Shortness of breath
Women’s symptoms differ from men. Women often report fatigue, sleep disturbances, shortness of breath, indigestion or anxiety for a month or longer before an actual heart attack.

Warning signs of a potential stroke:
  • Sudden numbness or weakness on one side or one part of the body
  • Sudden trouble seeing or walking
  • Sudden and severe headache
After 5 p.m.?   Ochsner On Call is a free service where specially trained registered nurses are available 24/7 to help make that decision.    By calling 1-800-231-5257, Ochsner On Call RNs are available to help you decide if your symptoms require going to the ER, an urgent care facility or to visit to a physician.  The registered nurse can also recommend appropriate self-care techniques. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Are You Going to be Safe During Delivery?

4 Questions to Ask your Provider
F.Ralph Dauterive, Jr.  
Section Head 
Baton Rouge,
Obstetrics and Gynecology

Even though we’d like to think that all hospitals and doctors have the same safety scores, unfortunately that is just not the case. When you are considering where to have your baby, comparing safety scores should be at the top of your list of to-dos, before picking out strollers or car seats.

What to ask your provider:
1. Am I allowed labor to try a vaginal birth even if I have had a C-section in the past? (What is your Vaginal Birth After C-Section or VBAC rate)
2. How often is labor induced here? (Are physicians scheduling labor for the sake of convenience?)
3. Do the providers in the hospital still use forceps? (Real warning sign of antiquated practices)
4. Am I allowed to walk-around during labor? (Find out if continuous wireless monitoring is available…not just intermittent. You want to be able to walk around or labor in a tub without being rewired every time you change your labor strategy.)

At Ochsner’s Family Birthing Center in Baton Rouge, we make sure that our quality scores are openly available. We are proud of our quality figures and believe we have the best quality scores in the region. Our figures are posted here for anyone to review. Please feel free to post questions or comments on the blog, or email us at with questions.

Almost 9 out of every 10 Ochsner patients who want to deliver vaginally after having a C-section, commonly called a V-BAC, are successful and avoid another surgery.

Elective labor induction
Since opening in 2010, the physicians and staff members of the Ochsner Family Birthing Center have adhered to the patient safety goal of a 0% elective induction rate prior to 39 1/2 weeks.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) publications have consistently advised against non-medically indicated elective deliveries prior to 39 ½ weeks gestation. Research findings indicate that early elective delivery with a medical indication is linked to infant deaths, and does not bring any benefit to mother or infant.

(Tita ATN, Landon MB, Spong CY, Lai Y, Leveno KJ, Varner MW, et al. Timing of elective cesarean delivery at term and neonatal outcomes. The New England Journal of Medicine 2009 January; 360;111-20.)

Forceps and episiotomies
Labor and delivery practices at Ochsner's Family Birthing Center create the best outcomes for moms and babies. Forceps have never been used to deliver a baby at Ochsner Medical Center - Baton Rouge and no mom has ever experienced a 4th degree episiotomy tear.

Patient Satisfaction

Ochsner Family Birthing Center patients rate their birthing experience in the 90th percentile as compared to all other similar sized hospitals in the country.

Just a few examples why our patients are satisfied with their experiences:
  • Previous C-Section patients are allowed the choice to attempt a vaginal birth if they so choose
  • Laboring moms have continuous wireless monitoring so that they are never confined to the bed, if they so choose
  • At the patients’ requests, we do more water births than any other hospital in the region

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Why are all of my friends getting cancer?

Why are all of my friends getting cancer?

B. Jay Brooks, MD, FACP
This is a question I am asked constantly.  First of all, cancer is a common disease.  One in three of us will develop cancer in our lifetimes.  As we age and our population ages, cancer becomes more common.  We have also become much more open in our society, talking about cancer and talking about its treatments and its long term effects.  People are sharing more, which is good.   None of us are immune to the fear that a cancer diagnosis brings.  The recent media focus on actress Angelina Jolie’s prophylactic mastectomy points to how we are all affected regardless of fame or fortune.

It’s important to talk about what we can do to prevent us from getting cancer and how we can help each other when we are diagnosed with a cancer diagnosis.  Cancer is becoming a chronic disease and one that we will live with and many of us live with multiple cancers through the lifetime.   

To continue this discussion, join Dr. Brooks at a lunch presentation:

Cancer: All of my friends are getting it - WHY?
Presented by: Dr. B. Jay Brooks
Ralph & Kacco's Restaurant
Tuesday, May 28, 12:00 p.m.
$18.00 per person to cover lunch
Call 225-755-4984 to register or for more information.
Deadline to register: May 22, 2013

They lost over 1000 pounds on a diet...?!

Angelina LeBlanc, RD, LDN, CDE
Angelina LeBlanc, RD, is the manager of the Diabetes, Weight Loss and Wellness Program at Ochsner Health Center - Baton Rouge.    
Ochsner patients on the Ideal Protein diet have lost 1,122 pounds and 619 inches since April!

We began offering the Ideal Protein Weight Loss Program this spring as a medically-managed diet option for patients who are ready to lose those pounds -- for good.  So far we are thrilled with how well the program is working. To learn more about this program, visit our website.

Some of our patients are very concerned about gaining weight over the holidays.  Good news!  Holidays are a great time to make advanced menu plans to stay on track with health and fitness goals. With all the hustle and activities surrounding holidays, we need to have a plan and direction for eating ...or we'll end up with quick, unhealthy last minute choices leaving us wishing and knowing we could have picked healthier foods for ourselves and families.

Ideal Protein can help since foods are portable, convenient and taste great! Ideal Protein meals and recipes are perfect for tailgating, vacations and parties. You are able to have home cooked foods and our staff offers support on how to include these meals in your menu planning. One of our weight loss support group participants shared having an Ideal Protein lunch on the beach for a ladies weekend away!

The staff at the Diabetes, Weight Loss and Wellness Clinic at Ochsner in Baton Rouge is very excited about this new weight-loss alternative for our patients. I can't wait to update this blog someday soon with 2,000 pounds lost by our patients!   

To find out if this diet program is right for you, visit our website:

No Appointments Necessary at Ochsner Urgent Care Centers in Baton Rouge and Prairiville

As emergency rooms across the country have filled with people infected with the flu virus, Ochsner Baton Rouge now has extended hours with no appointments necessary at two urgent care centers in the Baton Rouge region. 

These clinics offer an alternative to an emergency room visit, which is traditionally reserved for serious, life-threatening medical emergencies, or a visit with your primary care physician who may not be available to see you the same day.

1)  10 am - 10 pm, Monday through Friday at the Ochsner Health Center – Prairieville Urgent Care Clinic, located at 16220 Airline Highway. 
2)   8 am - 8 pm, Monday - Friday and 8 am - 1 pm, Saturdays at Ochsner Health Center on Summa Avenue, right off Bluebonnet, across from the Mall of Louisiana. 

 Ochsner Urgent Care centers are fully equipped with on-site laboratories and imaging services.  

 “Our Urgent Care locations are ideal for people needing to see a healthcare provider immediately for conditions such as orthopedic injuries or upper/lower respiratory infections,” says Rubin Patel, MD – Ochsner Baton Rouge’s Urgent Care Director.