Raulerson Hospital
We are a 100-bed acute care facility providing a full range of medical and surgical services. We have been serving the Okeechobee and surrounding communities for more than 30 years.

Ultrasound Imaging: What to Expect

Ultrasound exams are a type of diagnostic imaging study that generates images of the internal structures of the body. Ultrasound imaging uses sound waves to produce these images, rather than ionizing radiation. This diagnostic imaging study offers real-time images that can capture movements, such as the flow of blood. Ultrasound exams are frequently used to evaluate the health of a fetus; however, they may be used for many other medical purposes. These exams may be offered as both inpatient and outpatient services.


There are different types of ultrasound exams. For example, sometimes the transducer—which is a hand-held device that transmits the sound waves—must be inserted into the patient’s esophagus, a woman’s vagina, or a man’s rectum, depending on the structures that must be examined. This means that preparation for an ultrasound can vary. Patients can speak with their healthcare provider to determine what they need to do to prepare. Some patients may be instructed not to eat or drink for up to 12 hours prior to the appointment, while others must drink a lot of water and to avoid urinating before the test. In general, however, all patients anticipating an ultrasound can prepare by wearing loose-fitting clothing. Patients may be asked to remove certain articles of clothing for the exam.


Most patients undergoing an ultrasound exam are asked to lie on their back on an exam table. The Ultrasound technologist applies special gel to the skin above the internal structures that are to be examined. This gel facilitates proper contact between the skin and the hand-held transducer. Then, the technologist places the transducer on the skin and moves it around to capture the appropriate images. The exam is safe and painless, and most exams only take about 30 minutes.

Raulerson Hospital provides comprehensive diagnostic imaging in Okeechobee, FL, including ultrasound exams. If you would like to speak with a registered nurse about your upcoming appointment at our Radiology & Diagnostic Imaging Services department, call (863) 763-9228. For over 30 years, the staff members at Raulerson Hospital have been dedicated to combining healthcare excellence with a personal touch.

When Does Hysterectomy Become Necessary?

Women’s health specialists generally try to treat conditions with nonsurgical methods first. Sometimes, however, surgeries such as a hysterectomy may be considered. A hysterectomy involves the removal of the uterus. Sometimes, the ovaries, cervix, fallopian tubes, pelvic lymph nodes, and upper portion of the vagina are also removed. Women’s health experts may discuss the possibility of a hysterectomy with patients who have conditions such as cancer and chronic pelvic pain.


Often, hysterectomies are performed on women who have been diagnosed with cancers of the uterus, ovaries, cervix, or endometrium, which is the uterine lining. Other treatment options, which may be combined with the hysterectomy, may include chemotherapy and radiation therapy. An oncologist can develop a personalized treatment plan based on the patient’s type and stage of cancer.


Adenomyosis is a condition in which the endometrial tissue grows into the uterine wall. Since the tissue cyclically thickens, breaks down, and bleeds during a woman’s monthly cycle, adenomyosis can cause very painful, heavy periods and an enlarged uterus. Some women report the pain as feeling similar to a knifelike pain. They may also experience pain during intercourse and tenderness of the lower abdomen.

Uterine Prolapse

The uterus is normally supported by the muscles and ligaments of the pelvic floor. Over time, these can stretch and become weakened, particularly among women who have had several vaginal births and those who are obese. This causes the uterus to shift downward and to sometimes protrude out of the vagina. Women with uterine prolapse may be good candidates for a hysterectomy if they suffer from severe symptoms, such as urinary problems, bowel problems, pain and discomfort, and the sensation of heaviness in the pelvis.

For compassionate services for women’s health near Okeechobee, FL, turn to Raulerson Hospital. Our hospital services include open and laparoscopic hysterectomy, in addition to outpatient services for women’s health such as mammography. To request a referral to a specialist at our community hospital, call (863) 763-9228 and speak with a registered nurse.

Getting the Basic Facts of Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is often categorized along with sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea. Although it is a sleep-related disorder and it may be treated in the Sleep Disorders Laboratory at Raulerson Hospital, RLS is actually a neurologic disorder. As the name implies, RLS is characterized by symptoms that involve the legs. Since there is no specific test to diagnose RLS, a doctor might perform a variety of tests, including diagnostic imaging, to rule out other potential causes of symptoms.


Although the symptoms of RLS may affect individuals of any age, they are most common among older adults. The symptoms tend to occur in the evening and during long periods of inactivity. Patients with RLS typically report the sensations of tingling, pins and needles, pain, prickling, or creeping in the legs. Sometimes, these sensations occur in the arms. Patients tend to have a strong urge to move the limbs to alleviate the symptoms. These can lead to nighttime problems such as tossing and turning in bed. Patients with RLS often struggle with insomnia.


It is unknown exactly what causes RLS. It is possible that some patients may have a genetic predisposition toward developing this disorder. This is known as primary RLS. Secondary RLS may be caused by the use of certain medications or the presence of other medical conditions. These may include peripheral neuropathy, kidney failure, nutrient deficiency, vein diseases, and pregnancy.


Since RLS lacks a cure, the goal of treatment is to manage symptoms. For patients with mild RLS, this typically involves lifestyle modifications such as abstaining from the use of alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine, massaging the legs, using a heating pad, and adhering to a sleep routine. If underlying medical conditions may be contributing to RLS symptoms, then treating these issues may help. Patients with severe or persistent RLS symptoms might consider the use of medications. The FDA has approved dopamine agonists for the treatment of RLS. Other drugs that may be helpful include anticonvulsants and clonidine.

Raulerson Hospital provides state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic services for individuals with sleep disorders in Okeechobee, FL. For information about our Sleep Disorders Laboratory, you can call (863) 763-9228 to speak to a registered nurse or visit our website to read more about our healthcare services, including diagnostic imaging and women’s health services.

An Overview of Heart Health Red Flags

Leading a heart-healthy lifestyle is important for everyone, regardless of age. However, if you have a cardiovascular condition, it’s even more critical to improve overall wellness by following a treatment plan with the help of a specialist at the cardiopulmonary services department. Additionally, you can be proactive about your health by learning to recognize the red flags of cardiac problems, some of which may require emergency care.

Warning Signs of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

Coronary heart disease is characterized by the accumulation of plaque inside the coronary arteries, which bring blood to the heart. As the leading cause of death among men and women in the U.S., it’s important to recognize the warning signs of CHD early. If you’ve developed CHD, you may experience angina, or chest pain, which may feel like a squeezing sensation in your chest. Angina may be triggered by emotional or physical stress and it may be relieved by rest. Patients may also experience shortness of breath if CHD led to heart failure.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

CHD increases the risk of a heart attack, which requires emergency care at the nearest ER. If you think you could be experiencing a heart attack, you shouldn’t try to drive yourself to the hospital; instead, call 911. Some possible signs of a heart attack include pain in the chest, jaw, back, neck, arms, and upper abdominal area. Dizziness, lightheadedness, and cold sweats are other possible signs of a heart attack.

Red Flags of Heart Failure

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart is incapable of pumping a sufficient volume of blood to fulfill the demands of the body. In addition to shortness of breath and fatigue, heart failure may lead to swelling in the lower extremities, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, persistent cough or wheezing, and sudden weight gain caused by fluid retention.

The highly trained specialists at the Cardiopulmonary Department at Raulerson Hospital are available around the clock to perform intensive and critical care procedures. Our cardiopulmonary services in Okeechobee, FL include diagnostic imaging and emergency care. If you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 right away for transportation to the ER; otherwise, you can call (863) 763-9228 to speak to a registered nurse.

What Is a Colon Resection?

Pain in the abdomen

Colon resection is a surgical measure typically considered after less-invasive options have failed to alleviate a particular ailment. In particular, this procedure may be necessary for individuals with extensive colon disease.

Colon disease can encompass any number of conditions. For instance, patients with advanced Crohn’s disease may require colon resection to remove damaged tissue that is obstructing proper colon function. This procedure may also be necessary if the colon has malignant growths or if cancer from another part of the body has spread to the colon. Though colon resection may require several days of hospitalization, it can prove integral to preserving quality of life for those who undergo it.

Have you been told that you require a colon resection? Then call Raulerson Hospital today at (888) 725-3918 to speak with one of our registered nurses available 24/7. We can refer you to the appropriate physician for more information on this procedure and its benefits.

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