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Doctors' Helpers

Belladonna Day Spa (2900 Magazine St., 891-4393) is now collaborating with Dr. Ira Markowitz and Amy Lavis of Peripheral Vascular of New Orleans (3525 Prytania St., 899-9800) to provide special care for patients before and after cosmetic treatments they receive at the clinic.

The collaboration will include facials and makeup recommendations and applications at Belladonna for patients receiving such treatments from Markowitz and Lavis as Botox to eliminate lines and wrinkles, microdermabrasion to soften and erase fine lines, leg vein removal, permanent hair removal, lessening sun and age spots through pulsed light treatments, non-surgical skin tightening, photorejuvenation laser skin therapy and permanent makeup micropigmentation.

Markowitz, Lavis and Belladonna all offer free consultations.

Work It Out

There's a different type of yoga in town that gives you a complete body workout in 90 minutes, makes you energetic and helps bring your internal organs and lymphatic systems into balance. Bruno Teyssandier introduced Bikram yoga to New Orleans March 5 at Yoga 108 (The Yoga Room, 1138 S. Carrollton Ave., 864-1999; www.yoga-108.net) and offers classes every day. Packages are available for unlimited classes, or you can drop in for $15 a visit.

Bikram yoga is a series of 26 poses and some breathing exercises done in sequence over an hour and a half in a heated room, so bring a towel and yoga mat, dress comfortably in lightweight clothing and expect to sweat. The yoga discipline was named for Bikram Coudhury, founder of Bikram's Yoga College of India, and Teyssandier's class is the only one of its kind in the city.

A Good Rhythm

The Heart Rhythm Society's (HRS) 26th Annual Scientific Sessions is expected to draw hundreds of scientists and physicians to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to learn about the latest studies, advances and technology tomorrow (May 4) through Saturday.

Dr. Sean Tunis, chief medical officer of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), will speak at a plenary session and other scientists and physicians will present studies and discuss topics including cardiac resynchronization therapy, state-of-the-art pacemakers and defibrillators, obesity and sudden cardiac arrest, and how red wine affects the cardiovascular system. Leaders from the HRS, CMS, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health are scheduled, and noteworthy current clinical trials will be unveiled on Saturday.

The public is welcome to attend the sessions. The cost is $300 for a one-day pass or $690 for admission on all days and you can register at the door. For more information and a complete event schedule, log onto www.hrsonline.org.

A Better Option

Ochsner Clinic Foundation (1514 Jefferson Hwy., 842-4000 or 842-3000) now offers a new minimally invasive surgical procedure to permanently correct atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat that can inhibit the heart's ability to pump blood and increases the risk of stroke.

Using the new 'Modified-Maze' technique, surgeons can perform the procedure through a small incision in the ribs and effectively keep the atrial fibrillation from causing blood to pool in the lower part of the heart. The pooling sometimes causes clots, which then travel to the lung or brain and cause stroke. In patients who suffer more than one type of heart problem, the Modified-Maze technique can be performed during other surgery.

The American Heart Association says 'Afib' is the most common form of irregularity in the normal rhythm of the heartbeat and affects about 2.2 million Americans, making them five times more likely to suffer a stroke.

From the Heart

St. Tammany Parish Hospital (1202 S. Tyler St., Covington, 985-898-4000; www.stph.org or www.sthfoundation.org) has won the 2005 VHA Leadership Award for Clinical Excellence for its high standard of care for patients with acute myocardial infarction and heart failure. VHA Inc. is an organization that provides products and services to help health care providers improve efficiency and performance.

The award is bestowed on health care providers who have performed in the top 10 percent of their peer group based on national performance standards. In presenting the award, VHA Chief Executive Curt Nonomaque pointed to St. Tammany Parish Hospital's commitments to technology, procedures and staff training. The hospital will be recognized during a national awards banquet at the VHA Leadership Conference in Atlanta this month.

Netting an Honor

Alzheimer Services of the Crescent City (ASCC) has won a $10,000 grand prize for making its Web site, www.alzheimersservices.com, useful to the community.

Affinity Internet, the leading Web services provider for small to medium businesses, chose the non-profit ASCC for grand prize winner from among about 1,000 entries in its Making A Difference program. The ASCC Web site, designed by iSite Development, provides a forum where Alzheimer patients' caregivers and families can find answers to their questions, find out about resources and receive support. The ASCC says it will use the grand prize money to fund its outreach programs and a free lecture series. For more information about the group and its services, call 340-8565.

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