From stitches to cyro-surgery, our team of skilled doctors help you take care of your injuries. Our Denver primary care in-office procedures include: Abscess Draining, Biopsies, Cryo-Surgery, Ear Irrigation, Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG, Medically Guided Weight Management, Skin Surveys, War Removal and Skin Tag Removal, and Wound Suturing. Contact Kalo Health today to make an appointment.
An abscess is a swollen pocket of pus within the bodies tissue, usually caused by some sort of bacterial infection. Large abscesses that do not drain on their own may need an abscess draining procedure to reduce pain and pressure to the area.
To begin the procedure, your physician will clean and sterilize the affected area.
Usually, a local anesthetic is sufficient to keep you comfortable. It’s administered with a needle into the skin near the roof of the abscess where the incision will be made for drainage.
Steps of the drainage procedure include:
- An incision is made through the numbed skin over the abscess.
- Pus is drained out of the abscess pocket.
- After the pus has drained out, the pocket is cleaned with a sterile saline solution.
- The abscess is left open but covered with a wound dressing to absorb any more pus that is produced initially after the procedure.
- A deeper or larger abscess may require a gauze “wick” to be placed inside to help keep the abscess open. This allows the tissue to heal properly from the inside out and helps absorb pus or blood during the healing process.
- A small sample of the pus may be sent to a lab for a culture to determine the cause of the bacterial infection.
Skin abscesses are generally also treated with antibiotics. Higher risk patients are those who have abscesses on the face, which has a higher risk of causing complications, multiple abscesses, a compromised immune system or cellulitis.
If your physician thinks MRSA is the cause of the abscess, they may prescribe bleach baths, clindamycin or doxycycline long term to fight the infection. After drainage and treatment, abscesses typically do not return.
A skin biopsy is a procedure in which a doctor removes a small portion of the skin to have it tested. The tests can help diagnose skin infections and skin cancer. A local anesthetic may be applied before the procedure, and larger biopsies may require suturing or steri-strips to close the incision.
The biopsy can be performed 4 ways:
- Shave biopsy: Shaving a thin layer from the top or around a lesion.
- Punch biopsy: Using an instrument called a punch to remove a circular section through all layers of the lesion.
- Excisional biopsy: Using a scalpel to remove the entire lesion. This method is used for smaller lesions.
- Incisional biopsy: Using a scalpel to remove a small sample of a large lesion.
Cryosurgery is a procedure that involves the use of extreme cold to destroy abnormal tissues, such as tumors. Liquid nitrogen is commonly used to remove precancerous lesions from the body and can destroy human cells upon contact.
The procedure is minimally invasive and uses a spray, cotton swab, or metal device called a cryoprobe to apply extremely cold liquid nitrogen to the lesion. This freezes the dangerous cells and the immediate surrounding cells. The frozen skin thaws and forms a scab, that after falling off leaves a white scar which is covered with a bandage.
Side effects of cryo-surgery include:
- Loss of pigmentation to the area
- Bleeding or blisters
Healing time is typically 4-6 weeks depending on your overall health and the size of the lesion removed. Call Kalo Health today to see if cryo-surgery is the right treatment for you.
The components of the ear, especially the eardrum and canal are very sensitive and the build up of wax can cause pain and hearing loss over a period of time. Ear irrigation is an effective way to remove the excess ear wax and reduce the risk of damage to the ear.
Common symptoms of ear wax buildup includes:
- Hearing loss
Insects, food, or other foreign objects may become lodged in the ear canal and require ear irrigation to safely remove it and clean the components of the ear.
Once your healthcare provider at Kalo Health has determined that you ear irrigation is the proper treatment for your problem, the procedure is done with a pump flushing saline or sterile room temperature water into the ear to loosen and remove the ear wax.
Ear irrigation done by a healthcare provider can be beneficial to safely remove the problem and reduce the risk of side effects. The use of an otoscope (instrument to look inside the ear) for diagnosis and proper treatment is also helpful in correctly treating the problem.
Common side effects include:
- Ear pain
- Short term dizziness
- Ringing in the ears or tinnitus
The procedure typically takes about 15-30 minutes to perform, depending on the amount of buildup in the ear. The patient is usually sitting with their head slightly tilted with the affected ear facing upwards, to allow the water to travel down the ear canal as it is being inserted at a controlled rate.
The procedure may have to be repeated a few times to adequately remove the build up but is an effective treatment for cleaning the ear. Many patients also find it relaxing.
Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)
If you have risk factors for heart disease or require further assessments of the heart, an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) can be used to detect heart rhythm abnormalities and monitor the electrical impulses of the heart.
The noninvasive painless test can be done right in our office, and results are discussed with you the same day. The test consists of electrodes being placed on the skin and connected to the EKG machine, which records the electrical impulses of the heart. The recording is then assessed by the physician to determine whether the heart rhythm is normal, slow, fast, or irregular, and how strong the impulse is as it moves through the heart, as well as evaluation for interval abnormalities that could indicate heart blocks or heart attack.
Recording the heart rhythm only takes a few minutes and the entire process is usually less than 10 minutes. You are not required to fast, but you should talk to your Kalo Health medical clinician regarding any medications you are on and if you have a pacemaker before the test is started. You are able to go back to all your normal activities after the test is performed.
Electrocardiogram testing is commonly used for the following:
- To get a baseline of the hearts current function
- Assessing the overall health of the heart, either before surgical procedures or following surgery or heart related ailments
- To look for heart abnormalities related to symptoms that might be heart related such as fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain or
- To evaluate how the heart is working with heart medications or a pacemaker
Your physician at Kalo Health will discuss the findings from your EKG with you and prescribe the proper treatments, referrals, and additional assessments as needed. To schedule an EKG or to discuss your risk factors for heart disease, contact the Kalo Health office today.
Medically Guided Weight Management
For patients who would see health benefits from losing weight, Kalo Health can help manage it through services in a clinical setting. Your weight is managed by your physician through any combination of nutrition, exercise, diet, behavioral therapy, and medications.
A medically guided weight management program instructs you how to eat right and exercise properly, and also how to incorporate lifestyle changes into your daily activities and behaviors. In some cases you may also be prescribed FDA-approved medications to assist you in weight loss. The goal is to lose weight and become a healthier person overall.
Incorporating these lifestyle changes and having a licensed medical provider oversee the program can be very beneficial for patients who also have medical issues related to weight. Common disease associated with being overweight include:
- High Blood Pressure
- Kidney Disease
- Sleep Apnea
- Gallbladder disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
- High Cholesterol
Depending on your individual needs your physician might incorporate the use of a nutritionist, personal trainer, or behavioral therapist to help you reach your goals.
Losing weight can be challenging but with the support of the healthcare providers at Kalo Health you can have a program managed and tailored for your needs. Many insurances also cover medically guided weight management, so the process to living a healthier lifestyle might be easier than you think.
Wart Removal and Skin Tag Removal
Warts and skin tags are non-painful fleshy bumps or raised growths on the skin. They are very common with more than 3 million cases in the US per year. Warts are caused by various strains of the human papilloma virus, while skin tags are caused by friction on areas of the skin.
It is to have any skin abnormalities examined by a physician, as there is a possibility it could actually be a cancerous mole. Warts and skin tags are typically harmless, but can be removed in the Kalo Health office using cyro-surgery. For some larger warts or skintags a local anesthetic and doing a surgical excision for quicker removal.
Wounds and lacerations that are not life threatening can be treated outside of the emergency room. Most lacerations are incurred on the face and head (as a result of falls or altercations) or on the hand or lower arm (caused by tools, broken glass, or other sharp objects).
Lacerations that need professional treatment include:
- Cuts that will not close or continue to bleed
- Resulted from a bite
- Is longer than half an inch
- Is deep enough to expose underlying tissues
- Is on or near the genitalia
- Was caused by the penetration of a foreign object
Your healthcare provider at Kalo Health will clean the wound and provide the appropriate suture technique to close it. Antibiotics or tetanus shot may be prescribed depending on the wound and mechanism of injury.
Wound sutures heal best if done within 6-8 hours of occurrence, and no longer than 24 hours, so it is important to call to schedule to come in right away.
Once the stitches have been in place for an average of 7 to 10 days and the skin has had a chance to heal, your doctor will remove them. If you have stitches or staples from a procedure performed by another doctor, we can remove them as part of your recovery from the procedure.