Exciting Developments for Pancreatic Cancer Care

**By Flavio G. Rocha, MD** After successful treatment for pancreatic cancer, one of our patients shared her story. Life after cancer is not normal, she said, it’s better than that. She talked of being inspired by the dedication of the Virginia Mason … [Read more...]

Watchman Device Potential Alternative to Blood Thinners

People with atrial fibrillation – an abnormal, irregular heart rate – are at increased risk of stroke due to blood clots. The abnormal rhythm may cause blood to pool and form clots, mainly in a small chamber of the heart known as the left atrial … [Read more...]

Transgender Health Care at Virginia Mason: Providers are ‘Driven to Do This Work’

Longtime Virginia Mason patient Samantha Forney and the nurse caring for her sat down to talk. The nurse had made a mistake by referring to Samantha, who is a transgender woman, with male pronouns. Samantha saw an opportunity for teaching, with a … [Read more...]

Cryoablation: New Hope for a Heart Out of Sync

Imagine you are speaking to a large audience when your heart suddenly starts fluttering and racing. You have to finish your talk without letting anyone know about the symptoms you are experiencing. Sounds like a nightmare, but this was Jon … [Read more...]

The Down Syndrome Program: A Supportive Medical Home for Families

When pediatrician Rebecca Partridge and her family moved to the Seattle area in 2008, finding a doctor for her son who has Down syndrome topped her list. But she was in for a surprise: no primary care Down syndrome program existed. Dr. Partridge got … [Read more...]

New Heart Valve Possible for More Patients with TAVR

**By Moses Mathur, MD, MSc, FACC** Less than a decade ago, replacing the aortic valve required open-heart surgery and involved a long recovery. Then in 2002, the first transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) was performed in France – a … [Read more...]

The ABCs of RA: What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

**By Amish Dave, MD, MPH** What is rheumatoid arthritis?  Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the joints that, according to the Arthritis Foundation, affects more than 1.3 million Americans. It is a common autoimmune … [Read more...]

More than Medication: How Pharmacists Help in Your Care

**By Alison Koop** When her pharmacist left the neighborhood drugstore, my friend felt adrift. This one pharmacist had always been there to answer her questions in between doctor visits. She could ask him whether a new drug prescribed by her … [Read more...]

Rapid Access TIA Clinic Reduces the Risk of Stroke

What if you suddenly experienced a stroke symptom – weakness, slurred speech, a change in vision or numbness in your body – that completely disappeared after a few minutes? You may have just suffered a transient ischemic attack (TIA), sometimes … [Read more...]

Joint Replacement: The Right Procedure at the Right Time Can Improve Quality of Life

**By Kevin MacDonald, MD** Joint replacement is a type of orthopedic surgery where parts of an arthritic or damaged joint are removed and replaced with a metal, plastic or ceramic device called a “prosthesis.” The prosthesis is designed to replicate … [Read more...]