MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center Recognized Nationally for Promoting Organ, Eye, and Tissue Donation

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center (MSMHC) was among a select group of hospitals nationwide recognized for promoting enrollment in state organ donor registries in a national campaign sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The campaign has added more than 443,000 donor enrollments to state registries nationwide.

MSMHC conducted awareness and registry campaigns to educate staff, patients, visitors, and community members about the critical need for organ, eye, and tissue donors and, by doing so, increased the number of potential donors on the state’s donor registry. The hospital earned points for each activity implemented between October 2017 and April 2018 and was awarded Silver recognition through the HRSA Workplace Partnership for Life Hospital Campaign.

Of the 1,283 hospitals and transplant centers participating in the campaign, 360 Silver Awards were awarded during this phase of the campaign.

“Winning the Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC) Silver Award for promotion of organ donation gives me such pride and also has personal meaning,” said Renee Sicheri, MSMHC RN and member of the MSMHC ICU team. “The collaboration between WRTC and our ICU team is evident with every donor patient, as well as the donor family, who are given compassionate care, love, respect and support by the entire team. My family has been touched personally by organ donation. My brother-in-law experienced a hemorrhagic stroke and was an organ donor. His gift of life impacted seven people’s lives. I remember how supportive the team was, and the comfort they brought my family. I am proud to be a part of this fabulous program and the great work carried out by the teams at MSMHC and the WRTC.”

The Donate Life campaign is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Workplace Partnership for Life, mobilizing the nation’s hospitals to increase the number of people in the country who are registered organ, eye, and tissue donors and ultimately, the number of organs available for transplant.

“MSMHC is proud to support organ donation,” said MSMHC President Christine Wray. “We humbly thank donors for giving the gift of life, and their families, for supporting their generous decision. We thank all physicians and associates who work in units where donations originate, for their professionalism and reverence for this delicate process. Finally, we thank WRTC for partnering with us in this important, life-saving mission.”


About MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center:

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, located in Clinton, Maryland, is a 176 bed acute care hospital serving the Washington, D.C., metro and Southern Maryland area. The hospital is focused on caring for patients and their loved ones utilizing advanced technology under the guidance of expert clinicians. Quality, Safety, Wellness, and Patient Satisfaction are achieved through a spirit of patient centered services that connect us to the community we serve.


MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center Welcomes Gastroenterologist Freaw Dejenie

CLINTON, MD--MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center (MSMHC) is proud to announce that we have added another gastroenterology (GI) physician, Dr. Freaw Dejenie, to our team.

Dr. Dejenie will perform colonoscopies and endoscopies, and will treat esophageal disorders, stomach and intestine issues, colon problems, and liver disease.

“In this specialty, we treat patients not at one point of contact, but with continuity of care over a period of healing,” said Dr. Dejenie. “If we do a colonoscopy, for instance, and discover polyps or cancer, we can change someone’s life, and we can decrease mortality.”

Dr. Dejenie attended medical school at Addis Ababa University in his native Ethiopia and then came to the United States to complete his internship, residency, and fellowship. All three took place at Howard University Hospital, where he fell in love with the Washington, DC-area and with the GI specialty, which is in high demand in this area and across the country.

He joins Dr. Walid Chalhoub, who has been with MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center for more than two years. 

“There is a need for good GI physicians across the country,” said MSMHC President Christine Wray. “We are excited this practice is growing at our hospital, and we are proud to welcome Dr. Dejenie to partner with Dr. Chalhoub in this thriving specialty.  Both physicians, along with Nurse Practitioner Kayleigh Lambert, provide excellent care and help bring healing and relief to patients suffering from gastrointestinal issues.”

To make an appointment with either of MSMHC’s two GI specialists, call 301-877-4599.


About MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center:

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, located in Clinton, Maryland, is a 176 bed acute care hospital serving the Washington, D.C., metro and Southern Maryland area. The hospital is focused on caring for patients and their loved ones utilizing advanced technology under the guidance of expert clinicians. Quality, Safety, Wellness, and Patient Satisfaction are achieved through a spirit of patient centered services that connect us to the community we serve.

Your Heart Questions Answered

We asked MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute Cardiologist Athanasios Thomaides, MD, FACC, to give us answers to the following common health questions he most often deals with as a cardiac electrophysiologist.

What is Tachycardia and how is it treated?

Tachycardia is a heart rhythm disorder characterized by the heart beating faster than normal, which is caused by rapid electrical signals in the heart. Because the heart muscle is beating so quickly, it can weaken the heart.

Typically, tachycardia is treated by catheter ablation, a newer process with a 70 to 80 percent success rate that replaces the use of drugs, which were less effective at a 30 to 40 percent rate of success. Ablation destroys the tissue that is causing abnormal electrical signals in the heart, stopping the arrhythmia.

Like with other heart conditions, people with tachycardia should limit their alcohol and caffeine intake, maintain a healthy weight, control their blood pressure, and treat complicating conditions, such as sleep apnea, asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

What is Atrial Fibrillation?

This and atrial flutter are the most common types of arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat). It can be described as a quivering of the heart and indicates an electrical problem. Atrial Flutter means around 300 beats per minute, and Atrial Fibrillation could cause heartbeats of 500 to 600 in the upper chambers, which puts the heart into a kind of electrical chaos.

Symptoms include sudden fatigue, palpitations or feeling as if your heart is racing, shortness of breath and diminished energy. People most at risk are the elderly, those with hypertension, sleep apnea, and diabetes, as well as those who smoke or consume too much alcohol and caffeine.

Sometimes, a person with atrial fibrillation does not appear to have symptoms, but the young may be at risk for passing out and older people are at risk for having a stroke.

How is Atrial Fibrillation Treated?

Treatments can range from something simple like reducing caffeine and alcohol consumption or prescribing blood thinning medication, to a more complex solution, including the installation of a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator, to a more invasive solution, including a cardiac ablation or surgery.

What is a WATCHMAN device?

A WATCHMAN is a device that is implanted in the heart during a catheter-based procedure. This new technology does not allow clots to form, thereby reducing the risk of stroke. It is a great alternative to taking blood-thinning drugs, eliminating the food and drink restrictions of these drugs, as well as the possibility of bleeding problems from these medications.

To better understand common terms used by medical professionals who treat veins and arteries, this guide should help. It is important to know these terms and work with your primary care physician to prevent these conditions, when possible.

  • Arrhythmia: Arrhythmia means an abnormal heartbeat.
  • Atrium: The upper two chambers of the heart. The top right pumps blood to the lower chamber and the top left atrium pumps oxygenated blood out into the body.
  • Blood Flow: Deoxygenated blood travels from all parts of the body through your veins, back to your heart, to be pumped into the lungs to receive oxygen. Once the blood is oxygenated, it is pumped back through and out of the heart into the body through your arteries.
  • Cardiologist: A cardiologist is a physician who is specialized in the heart.
  • Electrophysiology: This is the study of the electrical activity of your heart, which is used to find where an arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat) is coming from.
  • Pulmonary: Simply, this refers to the lungs.
  • Stroke: Cardiologists who are electrophysiologists deal with blood clots that can form in the heart and travel to the brain, reducing or completely blocking blood flow that can cause a stroke, resulting in temporary or permanent damage.
  • Ventricles: The lower two chambers of the heart. The right ventricle takes blood pumped in from the upper chamber and pumps it into the lungs and the left ventricle pumps oxygenated blood into the left atrium to travel throughout the body.

Athanasios Thomaides, MD, FACC

For more information on this and other heart-related issues, visit or call 301-877-4367. 

If you do not have a physician, visit

Please call 301-877-5677 if you would like to make an appointment with Dr. Thomaides.

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center
7503 Surratts Road
Clinton, Maryland 20735
[Get Directions]
Phone: 301-877-4367

MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center partners with MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, a national leader in research, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

OB-GYN Meghan Malentacchi, MD, on Postpartum Depression

What is Postpartum Depression?

It is very common for new moms to experience stress and a short-term bout of “the blues” after having a baby. However, Postpartum Depression is a mood disorder that causes emotional and physical changes that are more severe and last for a longer period of time. Typically, it involves a prolonged sad mood, inability to focus and to find pleasure in things. Moms with Postpartum Depression often have feelings of worthlessness and unhealthy changes in sleeping and eating. They may cry frequently, have no appetite, or be unable to sleep even when exhausted. Postpartum Depression can occur anytime in the first year after birth. Unlike the exhaustion and anxiety that accompanies nearly all births, Postpartum Depression doesn’t usually go away on its own.

What causes Postpartum Depression?

The postpartum period is a perfect storm of emotional and physical changes, fluctuating hormones, stress, and sleep deprivation that all contribute to Postpartum Depression. This can also be exacerbated by a lack of support after birth. There is often a genetic link to Postpartum Depression, and women who have previously experienced bouts of depression or anxiety are more at risk.

What are the symptoms of Postpartum Depression?

Look for anxiety that goes beyond what would be normal after having a baby. Women may be overly worried about the baby’s health or their ability to take care of their baby. On the other hand, they may be uninterested in the infant’s activities or unable to bond with baby. They can be overwhelmed by negative thoughts. Watch out for excessive crying, appetite changes, mood swings, reduced concentration, withdrawing from family and friends, and failure to enjoy the things the new mother used to enjoy.

OB/GYN’s can screen for Postpartum Depression by utilizing a questionnaire in the office. If a woman scores 12 or higher out of a possible 30 points, she is probably suffering from Postpartum Depression.

Can it be prevented?

Having a baby is a stressful and difficult time even in the best of circumstances. While Postpartum Depression may not be preventable for some, there are things you can do to help set yourself up for success. The best way to help is to build a support system before you have a baby. Oftentimes people ask if they can help you out, so take advantage of that. Having family members and friends pitch in to help you after you welcome your baby will ease some pressure and help you cope. Try to sleep whenever you can and do small things to take care of your own well-being.

Another tip I recommend is to watch for symptoms right away, especially for women who have had depression in the past, as Postpartum Depression can be more easily helped the earlier it is addressed. All new moms should come to their OB/GYN for a follow-up around six weeks after giving birth, but if Postpartum Depression is suspected, come in earlier.

How is Postpartum Depression treated?

Both mood-elevating medications and therapy are recommended to help combat the effects of Postpartum Depression. Using a dual approach of medication and therapy often works better than either treatment does alone. You don’t have to be on medication forever afterward, but the boost these proven drugs can provide may be able to effectively help a Postpartum Depression sufferer, and talking to someone about your problems always has the potential to help.

What do you want women to know?

Postpartum Depression is common.  It’s not something to feel guilty or embarrassed about. Think about it this way: if you had diabetes, you would have no trouble seeking treatment for it, and you should think about Postpartum Depression in the same way.

There are very effective treatments available. If you don’t treat Postpartum Depression, it can lead to longer-lasting emotional issues for the mother and developmental issues for the baby. Mother-baby bonding can also be affected, so please, if you feel like you may be experiencing Postpartum Depression, ask for help.

If you need an OB/GYN, Dr. Malentacchi is taking new patients at our MedStar Waldorf location. You can call her office at 301-645-8867, or you can use our Find-A-Doc feature at

Please visit for more information on pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum care.

MedStar Southern Maryland Recognized as Breast Imaging Center of Excellence

CLINTON, MD - The American College of Radiology (ACR) has recognized the MedStar Regional Breast Health Program at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center (MSMHC) as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence (BICOE). The BICOE designation is awarded to breast imaging centers that achieve excellence by seeking and earning accreditation in all of the ACR's voluntary accreditation programs and modules, according to Anna H. Choi, MD, Chief of Radiology at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center. MedStar Southern Maryland is accredited by this organization in mammography, stereotactic biopsy, breast ultrasound, ultrasound-guided biopsy, and breast MRI (via a relationship with MedStar Washington Hospital Center).

"The breast imaging team has been instrumental in maintaining high standards and meeting the high bar set forth by the American College of Radiology," said Dr. Choi. "I am very proud of the teamwork!"

MedStar Southern Maryland employs a team approach to treat breast health, of which Dr. Choi, as a breast image specialist, is a part. The team also includes a roster of OB/GYN's, medical and radiation oncologists, a contracted genetic counselor, Dr. Ekaterini Tsiapali, breast surgeon, and Dr. Sarah Sher, plastic surgeon.

"We are honored to receive this recognition," said MedStar Southern Maryland President Christine R. Wray. "Breast health is a significant health concern for women, and in southern Maryland, they can be reassured by our comprehensive program that includes preventative care, early screening, use of the latest technology and innovations in treatment, surgical options that minimize risk and recovery times, and after-care that is compassionate and diligent in follow-up. We are proud of our program, proud to serve southern Maryland and proud of this attention given by the Commission on Quality and Safety, and the Commission on Breast Imaging with the American College of Radiology."

MedStar Southern Maryland's breast care experts provide comprehensive breast care for both women and men. They treat a wide range of breast conditions, including breast cancer and benign breast disease. They also follow women who are at increased risk of developing breast cancer.

Our breast health services include:

  • Disease prevention: breast self-exam training, risk assessment, genetic testing
  • Routine evaluation: annual well-woman exams
  • Breast imaging: screening, diagnostic and digital mammography, with breast radiologists to interpret the images
  • Diagnostic evaluation: needle localization, open surgical biopsy, frozen section pathology, stereotactic biopsy, sentinel node biopsy
  • Comprehensive treatment: treatment for benign breast disease and breast pain, fine needle aspiration, lumpectomy, partial or total mastectomy, reconstructive surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy

For more information, visit

Cheryl Richardson
Director of Marketing & Community Relations
[email protected]
(301) 877-5556

William O. Suddath, MD, Named Chairman of Cardiology

 Clinton, Maryland - MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is pleased to announce that William O. Suddath, MD, is the new Chairman of Cardiology and medical director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center.

Dr. Suddath is a highly experienced interventional cardiologist, having spent the last 22 years as an integral member of the renowned interventional cardiology team at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. He is the program director for the interventional cardiology fellowship program which trains physicians in advanced cardiac catheterization skills. Dr. Suddath was instrumental in the start-up and growth of CodeHeart, our regional program which expedites the transport and treatment of heart attacks. Dr. Suddath is a Maryland native, and he has worked closely with southern Maryland physicians and EMS for over two decades.

"Bill Suddath will be able to build on the outstanding work already underway by our MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center physicians, leadership, and staff," said Stuart F. Seides, MD, physician executive director, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute. "His proven leadership skills and clinical expertise will be invaluable in his role as the new team leader for our cardiovascular colleagues practicing in this region."

Earlier this year, MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center was invited to join the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute-Cleveland Clinic alliance, after meeting the high-quality standards required of all members. This alliance between two nationally-recognized cardiac programs has accelerated improvements in heart care and research and resulted in even better outcomes for the patients served by the participating healthcare organizations.

"We are very pleased that Dr. Suddath is taking the leadership role in cardiology at our hospital," said Dr. Chile Ahaghotu, Vice President for Medical Affairs, Medstar Southern Maryland Hospital Center. "He has an impeccable track record as a top notch clinician and teacher. His leadership will complement our unrelenting commitment to provide best-in-class cardiovascular services for the Southern Maryland community."

Southern Maryland residents have local access to physicians who specialize in cardiology, interventional cardiology, cardiac electrophysiology (heart rhythm experts), vascular surgery and vascular access surgery at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center located in Clinton, Maryland and at MedStar clinical offices throughout the Southern Maryland peninsula.

About MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center
MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, located in Clinton, Maryland, is a 182-bed acute care hospital serving the Washington, D.C., metro and Southern Maryland area. The hospital is focused on caring for patients and their loved ones utilizing advanced technology under the guidance of expert clinicians. Quality, Safety, Wellness, and Patient Satisfaction are achieved through a spirit of patient-centered services that connect us to the community we serve.

About MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is a national leader in the research, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. A network of 10 hospitals and 150 cardiovascular physicians throughout Maryland, Northern Virginia and the Greater Washington, D.C., region, MedStar Heart also offers a clinical and research alliance with Cleveland Clinic Heart & Vascular Institute, the nation's #1 heart program. Together, they have forged a relationship of shared expertise to enhance quality, improve safety and increase access to advanced services. MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute was founded at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, home to the Nancy and Harold Zirkin Heart & Vascular Hospital. Opened in July 2016, the hospital ushered in a new era of coordinated, centralized specialty care for patients with even the most complex heart and vascular diagnoses.

William O. Suddath, MD

MedStar Southern Maryland Publications Win 2 Gold Aster Awards

CLINTON, MD-- MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center (MSMHC)’s Connections associate newsletter and Health community magazine and have won Gold Aster Awards.  The Aster Awards are granted annually for excellence in healthcare communication.

“This is exciting for our hospital since we care so much about our associates and our community members,” said MedStar Southern Maryland President Christine Wray.  “Our publications are a big source of pride, as they help associates stay informed and invested in their workplace, and they help our community understand the great things we’re doing at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center.”

Connections is published monthly and mailed to associates’ homes.  It features a Letter from the President, stories on physicians, how the hospital is performing on the latest innovations at MSMHC, spotlights on departments or individuals, how the hospital is fulfilling its SPIRIT Values, and much more.

Health is a glossy magazine mailed out to more than 200,000 households surrounding the hospital.  This magazine is shot by professional photographer Ryan Smith.  The publication also begins with a Letter from MSMHC President Christine Wray.  It contains a Patient Testimonial cover story, and features articles promoting the work of the hospital, educational articles on medical conditions and treatments, and a Heart&Soul section featuring MSMHC’s Cardiology Department.  Current and past issues of Health are available at

“We’re thrilled to be the recipient of Gold Aster Awards,” said Cheryl Richardson, Director of Marketing at MSMHC. “One of our hospital’s SPIRIT Values is Teamwork, and these publications would not be produced without adherence to this Value.  Our writer, graphic designers, and marketing assistant work with an amazing photographer, and virtually every department in the hospital, to collaborate on these publications.  Without everyone here working together so fluidly as a team, we couldn’t accomplish all that we do.”

To be considered for an Aster Award, healthcare facilities had to submit all advertising/marketing materials developed, produced and/or distributed during the calendar year 2017 to be eligible for the 2018 program.  All entries for each category are placed together for judging by a panel of design and healthcare marketing professionals with decades of combined experience. Entries are judged on creativity, layout/design, typography, production, quality and overall effectiveness.  For more information, visit

About MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center:

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, located in Clinton, Maryland, is a 182-bed acute care hospital serving the Washington, D.C., metro and Southern Maryland area. The hospital is focused on caring for patients and their loved ones utilizing advanced technology under the guidance of expert clinicians. Quality, Safety, Wellness, and Patient Satisfaction are achieved through a spirit of patient-centered services that connect us to the community we serve.

MedStar Southern Maryland Partners with PG County on New Healthy Baby Initiative

Earlier this month, Prince George’s County, along with partners MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center (MSMHC) and the University of Maryland Capital Region Health, which are the two entities delivering babies in Prince George’s County, the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services and the Prince George’s County School and Library Systems, hosted a press conference announcing a new Healthy Baby Initiative.

The Healthy Baby Initiative provides several items to new parents to help after the birth of a new baby.  First, it provides a Graco Pack ‘N Play, which functions as a portable bed and playpen for babies.

Second, the Healthy Baby Initiative provides a bag with literature that helps educate and provide resources to parents.

Third, the Healthy Baby Initiative provides a set of soft-cover, washable books in this branded bag.  The bag also contains information on how to sign your baby up to receive additional books, totaling around 60, by the time the child is five years old and ready for school

Representing MSMHC at this press conference was Dr. Nahid Mazarei, Director of MSMHC’s OB/GYN Department.  Last year, said Mazarei, MSMHC delivered around 1,200 babies, 65-percent of which were classified as high-risk births.

“What we’re doing today is elevating the level of awareness for what we can do,” said Dr. Mazarei. “What we have learned as individuals, we can take this today and expand it to the community and raise awareness of how to best promote healthy babies.”

The Press Conference took place at the Prince George’s County Health Department.  Dominique Stuckey, Nursing Director of MSMHC’s Women and Newborns Center, and Cody Legler, MSMHC’s Senior Director of Nursing, were also in attendance. 

“We’re so proud to be a part of this great initiative,” said MSMHC President Christine Wray.  “We love bringing babies into the world here in Prince George’s County, and we want to do all we can to promote healthy pregnancies, healthy births and a healthy start to life.  Providing this Pack ‘N Play and all the books and resources that come with it, will really help families in Prince George’s County, and we’re excited to help distribute these items to our new babies.” 

To learn more about MSMHC’s Women and Newborns Center, or to sign up for a tour of our facility, visit

About MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center:

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, located in Clinton, Maryland, is a 182-bed acute care hospital serving the Washington, D.C., metro and Southern Maryland area. The hospital is focused on caring for patients and their loved ones utilizing advanced technology under the guidance of expert clinicians. Quality, Safety, Wellness, and Patient Satisfaction are achieved through a spirit of patient-centered services that connect us to the community we serve.


Cheryl Richardson
Director of Marketing & Community Relations
(301) 877-5556
[email protected]

What is Palliative Care?

A Comprehensive, Caring Approach to Dealing with a Life-Limiting Illness

Palliative Care is customized, supportive care that takes into account all aspects of who the patient is and what works best for them. It helps people understand their choices about their care and it’s why our new Director of Palliative Care, Dr. Alvin Reaves, III, MD, FACP, FAAHPM, refers to think of what he does as Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care.

“When I began my career as a physician, I began to take care of people with chronic diseases, managing symptoms we could not cure,” said Dr. Reaves. “Uncontrolled symptoms cause fear and anxiety and I wanted to address how to care for people at this time in their lives, providing customized care that recognizes the differing needs of each patient and works in partnership with the medical team, the patient, and the family.”

At MedStar Southern Maryland, the Palliative Care Team includes Dr. Reaves, social worker Zoe Plaugher, and Nurse Practitioner Sherri Hayes. Together, they are responsible for managing the care a patient receives to ensure their case is treated in a unique way determined by each individual patient.

“This means doing different things for different people, said Plaugher. “We consult with the medical team, we make sure the patient and their family understands what is going on and we listen to what they want. We ask what kind of person they were and how we can preserve their dignity.”

The team incorporates multiple disciplines, says Plaugher, as they help review the medical condition of the patient, set treatment goals, provide the family with support and resolve conflicts. The team also works with both in-patient consultants and outside agencies, such as hospice, to coordinate the best care for each patient.

“We treat the whole person, physically, emotionally and spiritually, as well as the family,” said Dr. Reaves. “We find out their understanding of what is going on and what is important to them.”

The MedStar system believes putting a palliative care team in place is very important for patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families, so they have assembled teams at each MedStar hospital.

Please visit for more information about Palliative Care at MSMHC.

Neurologist Anne Constantino, MD, on Migraines

What causes a migraine?

Migraines have a strong genetic component with 70 percent of patients having a first degree relative with a history of migraines. More women than men suffer migraines, and many associate their migraines with factors such stress, hormonal changes, contraceptive use, pregnancy, ovulation, lack of sleep, head trauma, changes in weather, smoking, ingesting red wine and exposure to computers or bright lights.

What are the treatments you offer?

If you experience the worst headache of your life, you should not delay going to the ER for evaluation. If you experience a headache that is likely triggered by the components mentioned above, it is likely a migraine attack. There are numerous medications that can help, from aspirin to much stronger drugs, including antidepressants, anti-seizure medications or calcium blockers. If a headache cannot be stopped, IV medications may be needed and the patient may need to be hospitalized. Narcotics are never a good treatment for a headache. New innovations in treatment include occipital nerve stimulation, external trigeminal nerve stimulation and the Gammacore handheld device, which all work to relieve migraines by sending electrical stimulation to the brain. New medications for migraines include new drugs and antibody therapies.

What else should we know?

Sleeping in a dark, quiet room, doing relaxation exercises, yoga, acupressure treatment and short courses of steroids have proven helpful to some individuals. Lifestyle change can also help patients with migraines, including avoiding or learning how to deal with stressful situations, eating healthy, and sleeping at least eight hours per night. Of course, avoiding the inciting agent is key. If you have a headache from constant computer exposure, relax your eyes and your brain to prevent progression of the headache. A headache diary may be helpful in documenting what activities/ food/etc. triggers the headache.

For more information visit or call 301-877-4540 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Constantino.