Top10MD Blog

FINDING A SURGEON, YOU TRUST | A MATTER OF LIFE & DEATH

 9 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



Surgeries that some consider routine can still sometimes cause serious complications. No matter how straightforward you think your surgery might be, you still want to be in the absolute best surgical hands.

Today, your surgeon and hospital are especially important for procedures that are new or complex or even routine. You should be concerned and research but your surgeon and the hospital for that matter as most errors happen in a hospital setting according to John Hopkins report in May noting the third leading cause of death is medical errors. In your search for the best surgeon one indicator is how often your surgeon performs the procedure you’re seeking. For example, a study by researchers at New Hampshire’s Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center of people undergoing surgery for pancreatic cancer found that annual death rates were nearly four times higher for those treated by surgeons who performed the fewest operations.

With that being said, how should you choose a surgeon, someone with whom you’ll be sharing some of your most personal information and entrusting with life-and-death decisions? Communication with your surgeon is essential.

Ask your prospective surgeon these questions before going under…

Are you board certified, and is your certification current?

  • Look for a surgeon who has the necessary board certification(s), necessary training, and has maintained their certification(s) in the specialty they are practicing.

Is this surgery necessary?

  • Avoiding surgery entirely is the only sure way to avoid a surgical complication; understanding the effectiveness of the surgery and having exhausted alternatives you then need to compare the results of your alternatives with the possible risks of the surgery. 

What are your success, failure, and complication rates?

  • Not all surgeons are willing to be upfront with this information, but a good surgeon will.

What is your experience with this surgery?

  • Ask your surgeon how many of these procedures he or she has performed and compare that number with other surgeons performing the same procedure. The best surgeon is not necessarily the busiest surgeon; it’s about avoiding the surgeon who has not performed the procedure as much or as often or as well.

What’s the hospital’s infection rate?

  • Seventeen states now make that information public, and many hospitals report their rates voluntarily. Kudos to them! After asking these questions and others relating to your needs, likes, and dislikes, do your homework and make your choice. Your final decision could be one of the most important you’ll make for you and your family.

To locate a Top10MD Surgeon you can trust visit Top10MD.com and schedule your appointment today.


FROM TOP10MD TO YOU…

 1 year ago    Leave a comments (0)

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FIVE MYTHS ABOUT YOUR GUT

 1 year ago    Leave a comments (0)



Myth 1: The More Fiber, the Better.

Tired of having bran cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Maybe it’s time to ease up. Most experts agree that you need to get 25-30 grams of fiber per day. It is difficult for many to reach 25. However, some aim to go above and beyond the recommended amount. Should we? No! Not only is reaching 25 grams an accomplishment in itself but going above and beyond can be troublesome for your gut. For people with conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the increase in fiber isn’t as important as the type of fiber. Research shows that insoluble fiber, like bran, may aggravate IBS symptoms. What is more important is an intake of soluble fiber such as psyllium which can offer a reduction in IBS severity. Either way, it is critical to increase fiber intake gradually (2-5 grams per day) to avoid discomforts such as gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea.

Myth 2: Nuts Lead to Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is a condition in which pockets in the intestine become inflamed and irritated. If you have diverticulitis, you may have been told to avoid nuts, corn, popcorn, and food with small seeds, which is a common myth. You may also have been told that these foods might worsen or even cause diverticulitis by lodging in pouches along your intestine. However, researchers have looked at the health records of more than 47,000 men and found no connection between these foods and diverticulitis. New studies suggest that people who eat a high-fiber diet have a lower risk of the disease, and the main culprit of diverticulitis is a low fiber diet.

Myth 3: You Will Know if You Have Cancer

There are usually no symptoms of colon cancer until its later stages, so early detection is important with routine colorectal checks. Those at risk of colon cancer should start getting tested at age 50 through a CT scan of the colon, a colonoscopy, or a colonoscopy. Talk to your board-certified practitioner about which one is right for you.

Myth 4: Bowel regularity means a bowel movement every day

The frequency of bowel movements varies from person to person. For some, three a day is regular and for some, it is three a week. Perfectly healthy people can fall outside both ends of this range. Nevertheless, even three bowel movements a day can be abnormal in someone who usually has one bowel movement a day. If you have had a change in your frequency, it is best to speak to a practitioner to make sure there are no underlying issues.

Myth 5: Spicy Foods Cause Ulcers

Bring on the tabasco sauce and Texas chili! Hot sauce lovers you may now rejoice! People used to believe that too much spicy food would give you an ulcer. But now we know the majority of stomach ulcers are caused either by infection with a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) or by use of pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. Spicy food (and stress) may exacerbate ulcer symptoms in some people, but they do not cause ulcers.

 

FIND A TOP10MD GASTROENTEROLOGIST NEAR YOU

There are hundreds of Gastroenterologists to choose from; however, not all doctors are created equal. Gastroenterology takes the skill and finesse of an experienced Gastroenterologist. That’s why we’ve selected your city’s finest Gastroenterologists – to make your decision process easier.

For your peace of mind Top10MD Gastroenterologists’ credentials are validated yearly to verify medical licenses have no serious patient care sanctions, current Board Certifications in their given Medical Specialty, current DEA & DPS licenses and malpractice insurance. Top10MD’s have at least 5+ years experience and/or performed 300+ procedures in their given specialty and current Patient Satisfaction Score of 8.5 or higher.


COLON CANCER’S POTENTIAL SURGE AMONG YOUNGER PEOPLE

 2 years ago    Leave a comments (0)



Colon cancer is the third most common cancer among men and women, as well as the third most popular cause of a cancerous death.   The Washington AFP says that people under the age of 34 have double the risk they used to of getting colon cancer over the next 15 years. A study conducted by MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas, projected that by 2030, more than 1 in 10 cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed as well as 1 in 4 rectal cancers will be diagnosed in patients under the age of 50.

The Journal of the American Medical Association attributes this projected rise of colon cancer to the unhealthy Western diet and other unhealthy lifestyle factors including a lack of physical activity.Colorectal Cancer Illustration

This exponential increased risk could have a real impact among young people if the public education system doesn’t make drastic changes as well as the government calling for further prevention efforts.

If these projections are accurate, nearly 137,000 people will be diagnosed in the United States with colon cancer and 50,000 or more people will die of the disease.

A general warning has been given to doctors that the increase in incidence rate is increasing across all stages of the disease, so what may otherwise be dismissed in younger people, should be given greater attention and colon screening tests should be conducted at a much younger age.

Simply identifying these patterns through much research effort is a crucial first step in instigating a shift toward further cancer prevention, says principal investigator, George Chang.

While the reality of more colonoscopies is an expensive endeavor, without always much benefit, this research should lead to the development of more alternative risk-prediction tools.


GOOGLE GLASS: GAINING POPULARITY IN THE MEDICAL WORLD

 3 years ago    Leave a comments (0)

Google Glass is gaining popularity in the medical world. A 1.8 ounce computer, configured as a pair of glasses, is now finding it’s way into the medical world as a premier teaching tool.  Being able to record surgeries, hands-free, from the surgeon’s point of view has become a game changer!  Colleagues or medical students alike can now utilize these streaming surgeries.

Cardiothoracic surgeon, Pierre Theordore, M.D., has taken this new technology one step further.  By pre-loading x-ray images onto the Google glass, he is able to immediately reference them in his field of vision, and compare them to the actual surgical site.

Theodore explains that having these x-rays in your field of vision, without having to leave the operating room, allows you to maintain your attention 100% on the patient without interruption.  Having immediate access to valuable data, Theodore believes, is an essential part to making critical decisions accurately, which leads to better surgical outcomes for patients.

Dr. Theodore is the first surgeon to be given clearance on this tool as an auxiliary device from the local institutional Review Board (IRB).

If it seems hard to imagine, Theodore compares the screen to a tic tac toe board where his valuable information is in the top right hand corner and if he needs it, it’s there, but it also isn’t in the way of his normal field of vision. This is also similar to the idea of a rear view mirror.

Bridging the Gap

It’s possible that this new wearable technology is going to help break down geographical barriers, allowing surgeons in remote parts of the world to observe how the United States is performing more modern procedures. Google Glass will also provide a way to have live streaming feedback during surgery, for surgeons to teach modern surgical techniques, in live time, to surgeons in other parts of the world.

The numerous potential options for Google Glass are going to be revolutionary in the healthcare world.  With this new technology, it is now upon our doctors and researches to find out how far we can take it.

 


DA VINCI XI ROBOTIC SURGICAL SYSTEM UNVEILED

 3 years ago    Leave a comments (0)



Imagine you’ve just been diagnosed with a condition requiring major surgery.  In theory, it could be a big ordeal. A large open incision often can mean more time in surgery and a painful and long recovery. But imagine getting that same surgery done, with the smallest incisions possible and very little invasion. That means less hospital stay and quicker recovery with a fast return to daily activities.  Well, da Vinci robotic surgery is making all this possible as it changes the face on modern day surgical care.

The behemoth of robotic-assisted surgery, Intuitive Surgical, just got FDA approved clearance on the Da Vinci XI system. Gary Guthart, president of Intuitive Surgical, states, “Our goal is to develop technology that enhances surgical performance. The da Vinci Xi System’s new overhead architecture means that multi-quadrant surgery can be performed without repositioning the system, an innovation long sought by surgeons who perform complex procedures.”

Intuitive Surgical strives to provide the lease invasive and most advanced option for complex procedures in the cardiac and thoracic areas. With this new headway in technology, surgeries become less expensive and have fewer complications that can come with open procedures.

The da Vinci Xi System for robotic surgery includes 3D-HD visualization, ergonomic design, and intuitive motion. It is capable of bringing a highly magnified view to doctors allowing them to virtually extend their eyes and hands into the patient, thereby gaining greater anatomical access.  It is important to note that this robotic surgery does not replace the doctor with a robot, but rather, the doctor is using this robotic system as his surgical platform to enhance surgical performance.

It is exciting to see how da Vinci is changing the experience of surgery for the patient, the doctors and even the hospitals.

 


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