Our Medical Services

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For Emergencies: Call (352) 394-2323

Our Services

Aesthetic Services

Dr. Lonnie Lassiter of Advanced Wellness Institute is the top choice for people in the Columbus North Carolina area who need medical aesthetic services.

Who Needs Aesthetic Services?

Almost anyone can benefit from aesthetic medical services. As we age, the skin loses supporting collagen and develops lines and wrinkles. Our aesthetic services include fillers, wrinkle removers, skin peels, laser treatments and special skin care products to help maintain your skin.

What is Juvederm?

Juvederm is a dermal (skin) filler. It is used to reshape and contour aging skin that has lost collagen (the supporting structure under the skin) and begin to loosen or sag. Injected under the skin with a fine needle, Juvederm contains hyaluronic acid, which is a natural component of healthy skin.

What is a Chemical Peel?

Chemical Peels peel away dry, rough, flaky skin, revealing a fresh new skin layer underneath. Applied to the skin in layers, chemical peels are available in light, medium and deep strengths. As the solution penetrates the skin, it will cause the outermost skin layers to peel.

What is Rejuvapen?

The Rejuvapen is a device containing very tiny needles at the tip. It is used to inject material into or under the skin. The tiny needle punctures stimulate the skin’s natural healing response, which increases collagen production and adds strength and structure to the damaged or aging skin.

What is Isolaz?

Isolaz is a laser treatment used for acne, sun damage and other skin imperfections. Isolaz clears pores and destroys the bacteria that cause acne. It can also target sun damage. In both cases, the treatment focuses on damaged areas, leaving healthy skin and tissues intact.

What's a PRP Facial?

PRP stands for platelet rich plasma. The product is created in our office from a sample of the patient’s blood and then injected under the skin with a micro-fine needle. This combination therapy helps produce new skin cells and tissues and improves circulation under the skin.

Do You Use Special Skin Products?

At Advanced Wellness Institute, we use Obagi skin products, developed by leading dermatologist Zein Obagi, and Priori, skincare products available only through prescription. Both help in targeting specific skin conditions, and also nourish and protect your skin.

Primary Care

Advanced Wellness Institute, led by Dr. Lonnie Lassiter, is the premier source of primary care in the Columbus, North Carolina area.

What is Primary Care?

Primary care is the broad term for medical care provided by physicians who have been specially trained in first contact comprehensive care. A primary care doctor is sometimes called a family practitioner, although the two are not the same. The primary care physician is the person a patient starts with for any undiagnosed symptom or health concern. Primary care may be provided by family practitioners, internists, pediatricians and nurse practitioners or physician assistants.

What's Included in Primary Care?

A primary care doctor has an extremely broad scope of practice. These doctors provide care to patients of all ages, manage many acute and chronic medical problems, and are actively involved in health promotion, disease prevention, health maintenance and patient education. Unlike a specialist, who might focus on a single organ system — cardiologists, for example, focus on the heart — primary care doctors are concerned with the entire patient and all of the various bodily systems and functions.

How are Primary Care and Prevention Connected?

It’s always much better to prevent a problem than to try and cure or manage it later. As just one example, by the time a patient is diagnosed with diabetes, the elevated blood sugar has already started to affect all of the body systems. If this chronic disease can be prevented, it will also prevent complications like heart disease, visual changes, and kidney damage. Many chronic diseases can be prevented with lifestyle changes that include diet, activity, and other self-management strategies.

What Primary Care Services are Available?

Dr. Lassiter offers both acute and chronic primary care. Acute care is available for conditions like sprains, respiratory illnesses or infections, and similar problems. Chronic disease management includes conditions like asthma, diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, arthritis and gastrointestinal reflux. We can also perform sports physicals. One of our specialties is wound care, for which we may use a variety of strategies including hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Chronic Disease Management

Advanced Wellness Institute, led by Dr. Lonnie Lassiter, provides high-quality chronic disease management services to the residents of the Columbus, North Carolina area.

What's the Definition of Chronic Disease?

A chronic disease is a medical problem that cannot be passed from one person to another, as an infection can, for example. They are often the result of long-standing habits or lifestyle factors, such as poor nutrition or smoking. Chronic disease tends to be more common in developed countries while infections are a bigger problem in less developed countries. A chronic disease typically develops over a period of months or years and slowly becomes worse.

What are the Most Common Chronic Diseases?

In the US, four main types of chronic disease account for the majority of medical problems. Cardiovascular conditions include heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Respiratory diseases include asthma, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Cancer is another chronic disease — many people live with cancer for years. Diabetes is a major problem in the US, especially in the southern states like North Carolina.

Can Chronic Disease be Prevented?

Some chronic diseases are the result of genetic susceptibility. For example, a family history of heart disease increases the risk that an individual will develop heart-related conditions. However, many chronic diseases are the result of both heredity and environment. You might have a family history of heart disease, but proper nutrition, regular exercise, and stress management can prevent problems from developing. Similar strategies can decrease your risk of diabetes. Not smoking can help prevent COPD.

What's Chronic Disease Management?

Once you develop a chronic disease, the problem must be managed. Good medical management helps prevent complications and can slow the progression of problems like diabetes. Chronic disease management requires a partnership between patient and physician, as many of the management strategies are self-management activities. For example, if you have diabetes, you need to change your eating habits. Your doctor can’t quit smoking for you; you’ll need to do that yourself. What your doctor can do, however, is help you identify the changes you need to make in order to become healthier or prescribe medications when necessary.

Supplements

Dr. Lonnie Lassiter of Advanced Wellness Institute is the top choice for people in the Columbus North Carolina area who want to include supplements as part of a wellness program.

What are Supplements?

combination vitamins and minerals (multivitamins/multi-minerals). In some cases, herbs are added to the vitamins and minerals. Supplements are usually found in oral forms. They are unregulated, and can be purchased over-the-counter from a variety of sources like pharmacies, health food, and grocery stores.

Are Supplements Necessary?

The theory behind supplements is that humans evolved to eat a diet much higher in vitamins, minerals, and fiber than is common today. Paleolithic humans, for example, ate an extremely nutrient-rich diet with many more food sources than are typical in modern diets (hundreds of herbs and plants, for example, instead of 30-odd modern vegetables). Many Americans have poor eating habits, especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables, and the soil in many areas is depleted of nutrients due to intensive farming.

Who Needs Supplements?

Physicians are in agreement that supplementation is unquestionably beneficial in some cases. Pregnant women, for example, need extra folic acid to help prevent birth defects. Women who take vitamins before conception are more likely to conceive. Vegetarians may need vitamin B-12 supplements, iron and vitamin D depending on their protein sources, and vegans need vitamin B-12. The elderly, people who are convalescing from surgery or illness, and people who smoke and drink may all need supplements.

Can Supplements Make You Healthier?

Nutritional deficiencies have long been known to cause disease and health conditions. For example, vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy, and vitamin D deficiency causes rickets. If your food is deficient in minerals or vitamins, supplements may help correct these deficiencies. Although scientists have identified the minimum daily amounts of vitamins and minerals that people require, it’s much more difficult to identify the optimum amount of a nutrient. In most cases, supplements certainly won’t hurt, and many people do feel better on a well-managed supplement regime. The Journal of the American Medical Association has recommended vitamin and mineral supplements since 2002.

Weight Loss

If you live in the Columbus, North Carolina, Dr. Lonnie Lassiter, is your first choice for expert help with weight loss.

Why is it Difficult to Lose Weight?

Weight loss is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Each has a unique combination of genetic, metabolic, emotional and other factors that affect the ability to lose weight. If you crave carbs and sweets, for example, you need a different plan than someone whose weakness is fatty foods. Nutritional deficiencies can affect weight loss (yes, you can be overweight and nutritionally deficient). A good medical weight loss plan takes all these factors into account and is tailored to your needs.

What is Medical Weight Loss?

Multiple weight loss programs exist; diet books abound on the bookstore shelves. Three things make medical weight loss different. First, the program is medically supervised. That means any health issues you might have, such as diabetes or heart disease, are taken into account in developing a plan. Second, the plan is customized for your metabolism, your ability to exercise, and other specifics like nutrient deficiencies. Finally, you get one-on-one support and coaching from people with expertise in the field.

Are There Different Weight Loss Plans?

All weight loss plans have some things in common. For example, good nutrition should be a part of any weight loss plan as should exercise. However, a vegetarian weight loss plan will different from one that includes meat. Some people do better by strictly controlling carbohydrates. Others are more likely to lose weight by decreasing fat in the diet. If you have special medical needs like high blood pressure, your diet must be customized to meet those needs. Exercise is another variable — someone with arthritis, for example, may need to swim instead of walk or lift weights.

Do You Use Medications?

We use different strategies depending on the situation. For example, some people need oral supplements and vitamins to correct deficiencies. Others benefit from specific prescription medications that can promote weight loss or help manage conditions like emotional eating. We may use human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone naturally found in the body, especially when women are pregnant. HCG can reduce hunger, prevent a breakdown of lean muscle tissue and reset your metabolism.

Wellness

Dr. Lonnie Lassiter of Advanced Wellness Institute wants to help residents of the Columbus North Carolina achieve their highest state of wellness.

What is Wellness?

Unlike disease, which can be identified with laboratory or other diagnostic tests, identifying wellness is a little tricky. Most definitions indicate wellness is more than a matter of freedom from illness and include concepts like healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit, and an overall feeling of well-being. The World Health Organization says wellness is “the optimal state of health of individuals and groups.” Other definitions include terms like “achieving full potential” and “a dynamic process of change and growth.”

What are the Dimensions of Wellness?

The University of California at Davis notes there are eight dimensions of wellness: emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual. At Advanced Wellness Institute, we’re primarily concerned with the physical and emotional (or mental health) aspects. Wellness matters, because the balance and function of the body and emotions can help you manage stress, reduce the risk of illness, and promote healthy interactions in your relationships.

How are Primary Care and Wellness Connected?

The function of primary care is to help people manage their health and stay healthy by preventing chronic diseases, which is a major part of wellness, as it’s difficult to be completely well when you have a chronic medical problem. Primary care is also all about creating a partnership between patient and physician and educating people about self-care. Wellness isn’t the result of a pill, and it requires long-term self-management.

What Services are Included in a Wellness Plan?

Each person needs different therapies to achieve wellness. However, there are some basics for everyone. A healthy diet, regular exercise and good lifestyle habits, like getting enough quality sleep, are the foundation of wellness. Avoiding unhealthy habits like smoking is another important key. We can help with weight management through our medical weight loss program or create a customized program using bioidentical hormones to optimize body function and health.

Wound Care

Dr. Lonnie Lassiter of Advanced Wellness Institute is board certified with the American Board of Wound Medicine and Surgery and offers specialized wound care management to residents of Columbus, North Carolina and the surrounding areas. Dr. Lassiter primarily sees wound patients at Rutherford Wound Care & Hyperbarics in Forest City, NC where he is the medical director. Please contact them at (828) 351-6000 for further information.

Who Needs Wound Care?

For many people, a cut heals quickly with minimal care. For those who have problems like diabetes or circulatory problems, however, wounds heal slowly — if at all — and can become chronic open sores that drain and are susceptible to infection. Serious burns may also be slow-healing in some people, and anyone who has chronic swelling or is poorly nourished is more likely to have difficulty healing a wound. The rule of thumb is if a wound that doesn’t show significant signs of healing after two weeks or hasn’t healed on its own after six weeks, it should be evaluated by a medical professional.

How are Chronic Wounds Treated?

Wounds may be treated differently, depending on the situation. For example, while dressings are typically used to absorb drainage and cover the wound to prevent infections, some wounds need to be irrigated several times a day. In other cases, ointments or medications are applied to the wound. The skin around the wound may need to be protected with adhesive barriers or protective creams and ointments. In addition to direct wound care management, supportive care may also be necessary. People who are poorly nourished may need a special diet while those who have vitamin deficiencies need vitamin and mineral supplements. Dr. Lassiter may also use hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is used for some non-healing wounds. HBOT involves inhaling 100 percent oxygen inside a pressurized compartment. In normal circumstances, the body transports oxygen to red blood cells. HBOT increase the oxygen concentration in the plasma, central nervous system, lymph fluids and bone. The additional oxygen can reach areas where circulation is diminished or blocked. HBOT helps white blood cells kill bacteria to fight infection, reduces swelling and helps new blood vessels grow into the affected area. All of these changes promote wound healing.

Skin Cancer Prevention

Dr. Lonnie Lassiter of Advanced Wellness Institute wants to help residents of the Columbus North Carolina prevent skin cancer.

What is Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer — like most cancers — occurs when cells begin to grow uncontrollably. Damage from ultraviolet radiation, from the sun or tanning beds, can trigger mutations of the cells. The damaged cells are unable to repair themselves and begin to multiply rapidly and form tumors. Malignant melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma (the latter two named for the particular cell affected) are the three most common kinds of skin cancers.

How is Skin Cancer Treated?

Skin cancers can be treated with either surgery or radiation. If the cancer is found early, it can easily be removed in a doctor’s office with local anesthesia. If cancer has spread deep into the body, major surgery or radiation treatments may be necessary. Malignant melanoma, in particular, tends to cover a wider area than the “black mole” seen on the surface of the skin. Once cancer has spread throughout the body (metastasized) chemotherapy may also be necessary.

What Can a Primary Care Doctor Do?

One of the most important aspects of primary care is disease prevention. This is particularly important in skin cancers, as catching a problem early means it is more easily treated. That’s why we recommend an annual wellness visit for all age groups. Think of a wellness visit as you would a tune-up for the car: preventive maintenance that can identify problems so you and your doctor can take action. As part of your wellness visit, your doctor can inspect your skin and identify any areas of concern.

Can I Prevent Skin Cancer?

North Carolina is a state with relatively high skin cancer rates, probably related to long summers and lots of outdoor activities. The most important thing you can do is protect your skin. Don’t use tanning beds, as they significantly increase your risk of skin cancer. Protect yourself with hats, clothing or sunscreens, and avoid the sun during the most dangerous period — roughly 10 AM to 2 PM, when the sun’s rays are most intense. Don’t get sunburned; multiple sunburns are clearly tied to increased skin cancer risk.

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