Local professionals share popular treatments, identify trending technologies and offer good advice for the year ahead
ASK THE EXPERTS
When it comes to feeling and looking your best, diet and exercise might not be enough. Let your New Year’s resolution know you are in it for the long haul by improving your physical and mental health with advice from local experts. We reached out to industry leaders to learn more about their practices, what treatments are the most popular and what technologies are trending in 2023. Discover a more beautiful and healthy you in the new year.
Brad Fraum, Chiropractor
Q: What was the most common treatment in 2022? A: Our practice continues to see incredible growth, helping patients to re-learn the art of healing and healthy living as a whole. Our advanced restorative medicine therapies and treatments meet those goals powerfully by assisting the body to heal itself.
Q: Are there any new technologies, procedures or treatments you are excited about? A: We are excited to see the science facts being shared more publicly behind restorative medicine treatments along with a shift in Western medicine beliefs as a non-surgical restorative remedy, but more so, a proactive approach to living longer and making the rest of your life the best of your life.
Q: What trend or trends do you see coming in 2023? A: We continue to see a rise in the concierge healthcare movement with our Global Healthcare Advocate program. With America’s healthcare system overwhelmed, the need for patients to have one-on-one, customized and a personalized primary care solution is in great demand. More than a trend, this is the future of successful healthcare that we successfully offer at the Fraum Center.
Expert Advice: Your body knows best what’s best for you. It just needs guidance on where to begin and how to realign its abilities to restore itself by choosing a restorative rediscovery to provide strength and healing. Our best advice is to make the decision today so you can enjoy living the life you once loved, again.
Dr. Brad Fraum is the owner of Fraum Center for Restorative Health.
Patrick Wiita, Psychiatrist
Q: What was the most common treatment in 2022? A: Kids are back in school, grown-ups are back in the office, and a lot of people with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are struggling with having less flexibility in their environments. I’ve been seeing many more kids, especially teenagers, wanting to restart medication treatments for ADHD as well as adults who, in some cases, have been out of treatment for many years. Luckily those who have had favorable past treatments with these medications can get right back on, and they are typically very well tolerated.
Q: What trend or trends do you see coming in 2023? A: I think in general more people, especially young people, are simply becoming more aware of common mental health concerns through traditional and social media. As awareness grows, the stigma that often prevents people from engaging in treatment lessens. Throughout 2023 I believe we will see more people prioritizing their mental health and focusing on accessible preventive measures such as nutrition, exercise, mindfulness and maintaining healthy boundaries at work and in their social life.
Q: Are there any new technologies, procedures or treatments you are excited about? A: What’s old is new again. There is a brand new medication on the market that combines low doses of two very old medications to treat Major Depressive Disorder in a new way. It’s a total departure from the focus of the last few decades of drug development to treat depression. What’s exciting is that the new treatment has demonstrated quicker improvement in symptoms compared to current antidepressants and with similar or better tolerability.
Expert advice: Don’t wait until you’re sick to see your doctor. Many primary care doctors are focusing on a more holistic, wellness-oriented approach to optimizing your health span, which is to say maximizing the number of years you feel healthy and vital. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Dr. Patrick Witta is a child, adolescent, adult and forensic psychiatrist based on Hilton Head Island.
Matthew Mastrorocco, Dentist
Q: What were the most popular services in 2022? A: Preventative dentistry, such as routine hygiene visits, crowns, dental implants and fillings were our most popular services of 2022. Just as you would expect from its name, preventative dentistry focuses on preventing issues from becoming emergent and is the foundation of good oral health.
Q: What trend or trends do you see coming in 2023? A: Full mouth reconstruction, also known as cosmetic dentistry, continues to increase in popularity, and I believe it will remain a trend in 2023. Improved cosmetic results are just one benefit of the reconstructive procedure. Greater quality of life, increased confidence and better overall health seem to be the biggest motivators.
Q: Are there any new technologies, procedures or treatments you are excited about? A: I am a big proponent of digital imaging and am excited about its current and future capabilities. Digital imaging allows us to create a current baseline of oral health, better diagnose infection and pathology, plan for procedures like root canals and dental implants and design appliances such as fixed bridges, night guards and Invisalign with greater precision. All is done in-office, often chair-side. Also, rather than just telling a patient what we see in their mouth, an intra-oral camera allows us to show them in real-time on a monitor in the exam room.
Expert advice: The best piece of advice I can give is to make and keep your routine cleanings and checkups since there can be an oral health issue even without any pain. Also, a person’s mouth can reveal many things about their overall health. Regular visits can detect issues earlier and help avoid more expensive procedures in the future.
Dr. Matthew Mastrorocco is a doctor of medicine in dentistry at ROC Dental Group
Audrey Klenke, Plastic Surgeon
Q: What were the most popular services in 2022? A: The top five plastic surgery procedures in 2022 were liposuction, neck/face lift, breast lift and/or augmentation, tummy tuck and fat transfer. The popularity of certain procedures varies mainly by the patient’s season of life but also geographically. Being close to the beach, many patients want to improve from the neck down to boost their confidence in a bathing suit. We also have many retirees who are noticing changes from the neck up that don’t match how they feel inside. The so-called “Zoom Boom” is another contributor — so many people are seeing themselves more than ever. With the increasing awareness and acceptance of plastic surgery, there seems to be something for everyone, be it surgical or non-surgical.
Q: What trend or trends do you see coming in 2023? A: There has been a steady increase in the number of men who are ready to take the plunge. From medical-grade facials to skincare and from non-surgical body contouring to cosmetic surgery, men are feeling confident in their decision to make a change. Another trend will be the plastic surgery and weight loss industries intermingling. New injectable medications like Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro make significant weight loss attainable for many more patients. Often with weight loss comes sagging skin that can then be addressed by plastic surgery.
Q: Are there any new technologies, procedures or treatments you are excited about? A: I answer this with caution because every year there are new technologies, medications and procedures that hit the market. Oftentimes the “new” flops for various reasons. I tend to let more brazen providers try things first to “work out the kinks.” That being said, I am pretty excited about the new longer-acting Botox that will be available in the spring.
Expert advice: I always stress to my patients that it is so important to take care of your insides, your outsides, all of you. This includes mental health, diet, exercise, and sometimes a sprinkle of Botox or maybe that breast lift you’ve been contemplating are OK too. Research shows the more confident we are with how we look, the less likely we are to feel depressed and anxious. The bottom line? Make time for you!
Dr. Audrey Klenke is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon with Pinnacle Plastic Surgery.
Joel Johnson III, Physician
Q: What were the most popular services in 2022? A: Covid testing. Since the pandemic started, we have been working tirelessly to provide Covid testing advice and treatment for patients with Covid-related issues.
Q: What trend or trends do you see coming in 2023? A: More local physicians are going concierge. We have made a decision to continue to see existing and new patients on a fee-for-service basis. We continue to see new primary-care and existing patients daily.
Q: Are there any new technologies, procedures or treatments you are excited about? A: There is a greater focus on preventative medicine; trying to anticipate the types of problems a patient may have earlier to help patients lead longer, more healthful lives.
Expert advice: Live as healthfully as you can. I recommend a whole foods, plant-based diet, but at least be smart about what you are eating. Exercise, spend as much time as possible with friends and family, and be adventurous.
Dr. Joel Johnson III is an emergency physician and medical doctor with Main Street Medical.
Vandit Sardana, Orthopedic Surgeon
Q: What were the most popular services in 2022? A: In terms of surgical services, total joint replacement, particularly knee and hip replacement, are among the most common elective orthopedic procedures in the U.S., with approximately a half million knee replacements and another 300,000 hip replacements performed last year. Joint replacements are used to treat osteoarthritis, the most prevalent joint disease and a leading source of chronic pain and disability among adults.
Q: What trend or trends do you see coming in 2023? A:In recent years some hospitals have begun to use robot-assisted technology for knee and hip replacement, allowing surgeons to replace joints with pinpoint precision. This trend will continue as clinical studies have shown the robotic surgery system improves outcomes by allowing the surgeon to customize the placement and alignment of the implant components to the patients’ unique anatomy, providing more natural movement of the joint and increasing its longevity. For instance, at Beaufort Memorial we use the Mako SmartRobotics Arm-Assisted Surgery System. This sophisticated technology allows my fellow surgeons and me to replace a joint with much better precision, impacting far fewer internal structures, resulting in less post-operative pain and a faster return to normal activities.
Q: Are there any new technologies, procedures or treatments you are excited about? A: The recent evolution of joint replacement surgery has been tremendous. As an orthopedic surgeon specializing in total joint replacements, my goal is to help my patients get back on their feet as quickly as possible. Thankfully, continuous improvements in surgical technology and techniques have allowed me to do just that. In addition to state-of-the-art robotic surgery, many orthopedic surgeons are also using “muscle-sparing” techniques, like the Direct Anterior Approach, to improve hip replacement outcomes. With this technique surgeons are able to avoid cutting and then reattaching the key muscle group that enables patients to walk and bend. For years patients undergoing total joint replacements often stayed in the hospital for two to four days following surgery. But all of that has changed. Today joint replacement patients can go from the operating room to the living room in one day – or less. While moving from an inpatient to an outpatient surgery isn’t for everyone (currently about a third of our patients at Beaufort Memorial go home the same day, with the majority spending just one night), patients who are healthy and who have family and other support measures in place have the same outcomes as patients who stay in the hospital.
Expert advice: Don’t let your joint pain progress to the point where it is having a significant impact on your quality of life. There are non-surgical options for treating joint pain that may provide relief. And if surgery is recommended, you will find that today’s less invasive surgical techniques offer less post-operative pain and shorter recovery. Best of all, joint replacement patients’ outcomes have never been better.
Dr. Vandit Sardana is a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon with Beaufort Memorial Orthopaedic Specialists.
Gerard Love, Addiction Treatment
Q: What were the most popular services in 2022? A: Britelife Recovery of Hilton Head Island offers treatment for individuals diagnosed with a substance-use disorder. Our most popular service during 2022 was the opening of our women’s residential program at our satellite in Old Town Bluffton. Multiple women have responded that the all-female staff, quality of individualized care and the intimate non-institutional setting helped create a safe place to begin the important work to pursue recovery.
Q: What trend or trends do you see coming in 2023? A: We offer a virtual family program to assist families in understanding the basics of a substance-use disorder, give them some insight into their loved one’s journey and to affirm that they are not alone in their journey. Families need to embrace the notion that they didn’t cause the addiction, nor can they control it or cure it. They can, however, work on empowering themselves by engaging in self-care and setting good boundaries with their loved one, each progressing in their own recovery lane. We plan to expand our family treatment program to face-to-face, in-person programming, a trend many sites will be embracing to add an additional layer to our continuum of care.
Q: Are there any new technologies, procedures or treatments you are excited about? A: Holistic care and treatment is essential to a good foundation for abstinence-based recovery. We currently utilize recreational therapy, mindfulness, yoga and acupuncture. We are excited to expand our adjunctive therapies to include use of the local resources such as kayaking on Broad Creek and stand-up paddle boarding in the Shelter Cove Marina area. These adventure-based activities are central to experiencing and celebrating a life free of substances.
Expert advice: When you are concerned about a loved one, it’s always best to avoid the temptation to look the other way and hope the issue will get better. Embracing being honest, open and at the same time willing to help sets the stage for healthy family communication and the clear message that “we care about you” and “we need you to get help.” The beauty of substance-use disorders is that with abstinence-based treatment the disease entity can shift to remission, and a healthy happy bright life awaits in sobriety.
Dr. Gerard Love is executive director of Britelife Recovery of Hilton Head Island.
Billy Simmons, Optician
Q: What was the most popular procedure in 2022? A: We feel that education is the most valuable thing we can deliver to patients. Our exam continues to be on the cutting edge of technology, but it’s the conversations about lifestyle, computer use and preventative care that take our exams to another level of personalization.
Q: What trend or trends do you see coming in 2023? A: Wellness is at the forefront of patient care. We like to shift patients into daily contact lens use for ease, comfort and advanced vision correction. Living on the island, we always stress the importance of sunwear to reduce the risk of cataracts, macular degeneration and skin cancers. And there is always a conversation about blue light exposure and the steps to minimize eye strain and sleep disruption.
Q: Are there any new techniques, procedures or treatments that you are excited about? A: Eye care and lens advancements are always changing. From dry eyes to aging eyes – we are staying on top of the newest treatment options for optimal eye health for our patients.
Expert advice: Annual eye exams are always a must. Not only will you receive the most up-to-date vision in your stylish eyeglasses and contact lenses, but an eye health exam can reveal so much about general health.
Billy Simmons is a practicing optician at Eyeland Optique.
Carlos Cordero, Internal Medicine Physician
Q: What were the most common treatments in 2022? A: The most common treatments during 2022 were centered around therapies associated with the management and prevention of the Covid-19 virus. The various Covid-19 vaccinations that were approved and distributed across the United States in 2021 and 2022 were important in prevention but also helped decrease symptom severity for those who contracted the virus after being vaccinated. As time has passed, the medical community has learned from the evolution of the virus and developed more targeted treatments, including the use of the drug Paxlovid.
Q: What trend or trends do you see coming in 2023? A: During the pandemic the healthcare industry was challenged to help keep people less exposed to sickness and dove deeper into the use of telemedicine in both inpatient and outpatient settings. As a result, the use of telemedicine went from being viewed as an option to more of a necessity and eventually gained a high percentage of acceptance as an appropriate method of treatment for both the medical community and the general patient population. I expect that telemedicine will continue to expand in 2023 and beyond. Patients will have access to providers from their home or other non-traditional medical settings and the opportunity to have consultations with a wide range of specialties, including neurology, infectious disease, critical care medicine and psychiatry, just to name a few.
Q: Are there any new technologies, procedures or treatments you are excited about? A: It has been exciting to witness Hilton Head Regional Healthcare’s (HHRH) offering of several advanced surgical robotic technologies, including the ExcelsiusGPS used in the treatment of spine, the daVinci Surgical System for a variety of treatments including urological and gynecological procedures and the CORI surgical system for custom joint replacements. The advancements of these techniques and expansion of their use will continue to drive less invasive procedures and shorter recoveries for our patients, which is always our goal. HHRH has recently begun offering WATCHMAN Implant procedures for qualified atrial fibrillation (A-fib) patients to reduce the risk of strokes that originate in the left atrial appendage. Also related to the heart, there are new cardiology/electrophysiology (EP) procedures, minimally invasive pace-maker implants and advancements in heart monitor loop recorders, collectively helping to provide consistent feedback regarding the operation of the heart.
Expert advice: Prevention is the key to maintaining good health. Don’t put routine screenings and annual checkups off, as they are the first line of sight for health changes as we get older. I encourage our community members to get their vaccinations, participate in annual health screenings, maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay in close contact with their local providers.
Dr. Carlos Cordero is the Chief of Medical Staff at Hilton Head Hospital.
Trey Bishop, Ophthalmologist
Q: What was the most popular procedure in 2022? A: Laser refractive cataract surgery remained our most popular procedure in 2022. Cataract surgery is by far the most common procedure performed by physicians in the United States annually. Fortunately, it is also one of the safest and most successful. Traditional cataract surgery involves removal of the cloudy natural lens and insertion of a new clear lens implant to restore vision. Laser refractive cataract surgery elevates the goal of traditional cataract surgery. It involves carefully analyzing the patient’s visual potential, developing a custom-tailored surgical plan and refining the surgical procedure, all in an effort to enhance the patient’s visual performance and freedom from glasses and contacts.
Q: What trend or trends do you see coming in 2023? A: Further evolution and refinement of laser refractive cataract surgery will continue to be the major trend for our practice in 2023. Our recent work linking the Cassini Ambient and Johnson & Johnson CATALYS was very successful. It allowed refractive cataract surgeons worldwide to achieve new levels of accuracy and precision in treating astigmatism during cataract surgery. For 2023 we will continue that trend by collaborating with Cassini and a new microscope manufacturer. The immediate goal is to link the Cassini Ambient to a novel heads-up-display microscope to dramatically improve visualization and guidance in the surgical suite. The ultimate goal is to optimize surgical outcomes to allow better vision and greater freedom from glasses for our patients.
Q: Are there any new technologies, procedures or treatments you are excited about? A: Yes, the newly FDA-approved Lumenis OptiLight has proven to be a beneficial and efficient means to help many of our dry eye patients. Dry eye disease is truly an epidemic. Due to our digital devices, cosmetics, nutrition, elective medications and procedures, environment, lifestyle and societal challenges, nearly 50 million Americans suffer daily from dry eye disease. The result is a vicious cycle of poor tear film quality accompanied by increased ocular surface inflammation, damage and sensory abnormalities. Our patients with dry eye disease often experience fluctuating poor vision, significant irritation and tremendous frustration. We at Bishop Eye utilize extensive diagnostics, thorough counseling and numerous therapeutic modalities to alleviate the symptoms and treat the underlying causes of dry eye. Fortunately we now have OptiLight Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy to facilitate breaking the aforementioned inflammatory cycle in a non-invasive procedural manner.
Expert advice: Be informed and discerning when it comes to healthcare. Modern healthcare is blessed with amazing technologies, an incredible breadth of knowledge and some wonderful providers. However, the day-to-day delivery of care is challenged on so many fronts. There is a great mutual responsibility between the patient and physician to navigate these challenges. Establish rapport and trust with your physician and their staff to ensure your best interests are being addressed.
Dr. Trey Bishop is a comprehensive ophthalmologist and is the founder of Bishop Eye Center.
Bonnie Rothwell, Dentist
Q: What was the most popular procedure in 2022? A: Most popular cosmetic dental procedures for 2022 are a mix of porcelain veneers which continue to be very popular and usually conservative and cosmetic composite bonding. Sometimes just some well-placed composite bonding can significantly enhance a smile.
Q: What trend or trends do you see coming in 2023? A: More and more offices are going digital with not only their x-ray technique but for oral impressions as well. And with some specialized software, 3D printing of things like temporary crowns and bridges and many other things can be done in the office.
Q: Are there any new techniques, procedures or treatments that you are excited about? A: It’s an exciting time in dentistry right now. Technology is advancing quickly. More and more materials are being FDA approved to use with the 3D printing process, which is constantly expanding what we can offer to patients, improving comfort, precision and quality.
Expert advice: I would have to say that many, many people would benefit from wearing a mouth guard. Wearing a bite guard when sleeping is a great idea and/or other times when one can identify they are clenching or grinding their teeth. Some people know they clench their teeth when they drive, play golf, study or work at a computer. Even an over-the-counter guard can protect your smile from the chips and wear your teeth suffer from active mastication muscles. Custom guards made by your dentist can also help relax those tense muscles. Wearing a guard will protect one’s investment of their new beautiful smile once restored and will also protect healthy teeth that need no enhancement or restorations to stay that way.
Dr. Bonnie Rothwell is a cosmetic dentist for Rothwell Cosmetic Dentistry.