What is a Free Flap (Free Tissue Transfer Flap)?

LikhterovGuest post by Ilya Likhterov, MD, head and neck surgeon at Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s Division of Head and Neck Oncology. To make an appointment with Dr. Likhterov, call 212-844-8775.

Patients who are diagnosed with cancer of the head and neck are often treated with surgery. Removal of tumors in the mouth and the throat can significantly inhibit speech and swallowing.  Similarly, removal of the bone involved with cancers of the jaw affects appearance and function of patients. In some cases, the wounds, left as a result of cancer surgery, can be allowed to heal or be covered with the surrounding tissues. Often, however, the wounds are too big, and the tissue removed with the tumor must be replaced. In such circumstances, a “free flap” may be a sound option for repairing the defect.  Read more

Studying a New Treatment for Chronic Knee and Back Pain

Steven Venegas, DPT, Senior Physical Therapist, Mount Sinai Beth Israel, calibrates pods on the bottom of specially designed biomechanical shoes for a patient.

Steven Venegas, DPT, Senior Physical Therapist, Mount Sinai Beth Israel, calibrates pods on the bottom of specially designed biomechanical shoes for a patient.

“We are very excited about introducing AposTherapy to treat chronic knee and back pain,” says Joseph E. Herrera, DO, Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. Developed in Israel, AposTherapy uses specially designed biomechanical shoes to retrain the muscles around the knee by adjusting the center of pressure when walking. By changing the foot’s point of contact with the ground, the device shifts the line of force closer to the center of the knee. Pods on the bottom of the shoes are calibrated for each patient by a specially trained physical therapist. Patients wear the shoes for up to two hours a day during their regular activities. The AposTherapy treatment  is being offered as part of a study being conducted at Mount Sinai. The study has enrolled 73 patients. To learn more, visit mountsinai.org/apos or email RehabBIappt@chpnet.org.

Dr. Herrera is a non-paid member of the Medical Advisory Board of AposTherapy.

Early Skin Cancer Screening Minimizes Complications

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Melinda Sacks receives a skin cancer screening from Morgan Rabach, MD, Clinical Instructor, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

When Melinda Sacks joined hundreds of other attendees at the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival, in Aspen, Colorado, to receive a complimentary skin cancer screening by dermatologists at the Mount Sinai Health System, the clinician told her she had a suspicious spot on her face that should be checked by a specialist as soon as she returned home to Stanford, California.

Ms. Sacks says she was surprised by this because “I thought it was a birth mark.” But the small pigmented spot with a clearly defined edge was a lentigo maligna—an early form of melanoma, in which the malignant cells are confined to the tissue of origin. By catching the disease at an early stage, Ms. Sacks was able to have it removed without further complications. Read more

Mount Sinai Queens Heralds a New Era of Community Health Care with Opening of Ambulatory Pavilion


From left: Darren Fitzpatrick, MD; Ugo Ezenkwele, MD; Brian Radbill, MD, FACP; and Fernando C. Carnavali, MD, at the Mount Sinai Queens Ambulatory Pavilion

Against a backdrop of an evolving national health care system increasingly focused on preventive medicine, outpatient surgical procedures, and other efforts to keep people healthy and out of the hospital, Mount Sinai Queens has opened the doors to its new Ambulatory Pavilion, a $175 million facility that allows it to better serve the health needs of its community and significantly expands its medical and surgical capabilities.

Mount Sinai Queens is located in the heart of Astoria and serves the communities of Western Queens and beyond. With the addition of the Ambulatory Pavilion and continued expansion, it is positioning itself to care for more patients and extend its geographical reach throughout New York City’s largest borough. Read more

U.S. Surgeon General Visits Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s Model Opioid Treatment Program Facility


The U.S. Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA, greets patient Gloria Harrison as other patients look on.

The United States Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA, recently visited Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s Opioid Treatment Program at East 125th Street, one of the hospital’s 11 licensed addiction treatment clinics, to get a first-hand view of a facility that is successfully addressing the nationwide opioid epidemic. Mount Sinai’s model opioid treatment program was among the sites recommended to Dr. Murthy by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Read more

Mount Sinai Opens a Comprehensive Center For Transgender Medicine and Surgery

Dr. David L. Reich President and Chief Operating Officer of The Mount Sinai Hospital Photo © Robert Caplin Image licensed for internal newsletter ONLY. Further usage will need to be licensed with the photographer Robert Caplin, robert@robertcaplin.com 212-699-0887

From left: Barbara E. Warren, PsyD; Jess Ting, MD; Matt Baney; David L. Reich, MD; Pamela Abner, MPA; and Zil Garner Goldstein, FNP

The Mount Sinai Health System recently opened the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, one of the first centers of its kind in the United States to provide the transgender community with comprehensive primary, specialty, surgical, and behavioral health care services.

The Center serves a growing need to support patients in New York City through each stage of their journeys, from initial assessment and screening to hormonal therapy, surgery, and post-transition care, providing seamless access to affordable care. Gynecology, urology, endocrinology, social work, and nursing are among the specialties available at one location. Read more

Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder Newborn Intensive Care Unit Unveiled at Kravis Children’s Hospital

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Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder

The newly constructed Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) opened on Monday, April 4, following a complete renovation and expansion that transformed the unit into a family-centered, therapeutic space equipped with the latest technology.

The NICU is a Level III Regional Perinatal Center, which is the highest designation for complex pediatric care, and provides consultative services to other regional neonatal units. It is located on the third floor of the Klingenstein Pavilion at the Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mount Sinai. Read more

Ambulatory Pavilion Planned for Mount Sinai St.Luke’s


Artist’s rendering of the new ambulatory pavilion at Amsterdam Avenue and 114th Street

Renovation is set to begin this fall on a 17-floor ambulatory pavilion at Amsterdam Avenue and 114th Street that will serve as the anchor in a new master plan to transform Mount Sinai St. Luke’s outpatient care. The state-of-the-art facility will expand the hospital’s primary, preventive, and specialty care, and foster integration with all departments within the Mount Sinai Health System. Read more

Bedside Medication Delivery Program for Patients


Patient Rosalene Dennis, center, learns about the medications she will need post-discharge from Lisa Martin, RN. The medications were delivered to her bedside through a new partnership with CVS Health. At left is Judith Maria, the CVS Concierge assigned to the program.

More than 300 patients at The Mount Sinai Hospital have participated in a new partnership with CVS Health that allows them to receive the delivery of their medications to the bedside prior to discharge. The service, launched earlier this year as a pilot program, is currently available in 15 units and will be rolled out to 28 units by mid-July. “We are very excited about this innovative collaboration,” says David L. Reich, MD, President and Chief Operating Officer, The Mount Sinai Hospital. “This service is not only a convenience for our patients, but also enhances the ability of our staff to communicate more effectively about post-discharge medications. This will undoubtedly help some of our patients achieve improved clinical outcomes.”

Transforming Health Care at Mount Sinai Downtown

New York Eye and Ear Infirmary (NYEE) of Mount Sinai

New York Eye and Ear Infirmary (NYEE) of Mount Sinai

As the nation’s emphasis on health care shifts from centralized hospitals that serve the sick to more proactive ways of keeping people healthy, and as more surgeries are safely handled in ambulatory settings, fewer hospitals will be needed.

This transformation is happening throughout New York City. A recent report by the New York Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), titled “One New York – Healthcare for Our Neighborhoods,” cited the closure of 19 city hospitals since 2003 and annual declines in the use of city hospital beds. The HHC report noted that New York City is increasingly moving toward a “system anchored by community-based preventive care.” Read more