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Latest Posts

Study Shows That Most Women Do Not Choose Immediate Post-Mastectomy Breast Reconstruction

Despite the benefits of immediate post-mastectomy breast reconstruction, only a small minority of women, regardless of age, choose this option, a new study indicates. Research has shown that compared with a delayed procedure, immediate post-mastectomy reconstruction improves psychological well-being and quality of life. The new study, headed by Dawn Hershman, M.D., associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center, indicates that only about one-third of women opt for the procedure, according to the American Association for Cancer Research.

Immediate breast reconstruction does lead to better results in patients with early stage breast cancer. That is a pretty much well known fact. This statistic of less than a third of women seeking this type of reconstruction in this light seems kinda sad, but keep reading: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*

Device Delivers A Still-Beating Heart To Transplant Patients

Packing hearts on ice destined for transplantation may eventually become a thing of the past. The Organ Care System from TransMedics, which delivers a still-beating heart to a transplant patient, continues to show promise in clinical trials. UCLA recently reported that Rob Evans, a 61-year-old patient suffering from cardiomyopathy, is the most recent recipient of a heart delivered by the device.

We’ve actually covered the Organ Care System (OCS) several times before (we first caught wind of it in 2006). The device, however, is still classified as an investigational device by the FDA; it is undergoing phase II clinical trials in the United States at three sites: the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic, and New York-Presbyterian, Columbia University Medical Center.

Check out the UCLA press release explaining the technology and its use in the university’s Heart Transplant Program: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Columbia University Medical Center To Hold All-Day Event Covering Pancreatic Cancer Research

On Thursday, October 20, The Pancreas Center of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center will be holding the 2011 Gigi Shaw Arledge Conference on Pancreatic Diseases. This all-day event is targeted for clinicians and scientists, covering pancreatic cancer research from basic, translational, clinical and epidemiological perspectives and will feature distinguished guest lecturers and leaders in the field of pancreatic diseases.

The conference is being held due to the generous support of the Gigi Arledge Foundation. Giselle (Gigi) Arledge, the late wife of Columbia Trustee and benefactor Roone Arledge, passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2010. According to foundation President Catherine Shaw, ” Now is the time to move pancreatic cancer research forward. Dr. Chabot, Dr. Wang and the team at The Pancreas Center are leaders in this battle. With their focus on research, treatment and prevention, they are helping develop society’s knowledge of pancreatic cancer. In my mother’s honor, I have donated a research and endowment fund that will support the Center’s scientific research”.

*This blog post was originally published at Columbia University Department of Surgery Blog*

What Patients And Families Should Know About Kidney Donation And Transplantation

Lloyd Ratner, MD, Director of Renal and Pancreatic Transplantation at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, has released a highly informative YouTube video regarding kidney donation and transplantation. The video is addressed to prospective patients, kidney donors, and families, and provides clear answers to their most common concerns.

In this direct and engaging presentation, Dr. Ratner addresses topics such as the advantages of living donor kidney donation; laparoscopic and open surgical techniques; what donors and recipients should expect during and after surgery; post-operative pain and follow-up; and post-donation pregnancy. The full seventeen-minute video can be seen here:

About Kidney Donation

*This blog post was originally published at Columbia University Department of Surgery Blog*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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