I came across this article the other day regarding use of the daVinci robot to perform base of tongue surgery for obstructive sleep apnea.
For those who don’t know, the daVinci robot system made by Intuitive Surgical is a robotic system whereby the surgeon directs the arms of the robot to perform surgery in difficult-to-access areas of the body.
My feeling is that using a robot to perform sleep apnea surgery is way overkill akin to using a $50,000 sniper rifle to kill an ant on the wall.
Everything the daVinci robot can do can also be done without the robot with equivalent patient outcomes. In fact, Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Fauquier ENT Blog*
A couple years ago, a team of researchers from the University of Utah managed to create a wireless network made from standard home automation devices to “see” through walls.
Now, the engineers are using the same technology to monitor breathing in patients with sleep apnea, post surgery, and babies at risk for SIDS. The system consists of Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*
This is a guest post by J. Paul Curry, M.D.
I was inspired when I lost my best friend 15 years ago to a common medical-error phenomenon: The lack of monitoring patients in the hospital.
Losing Mark altered my entire career in medicine and started me on a long journey of trying to understand how this particular problem happens. The journey has been eye-opening for me for many reasons, and probably most importantly by striving to learn and understand how the human brain can deceive itself into believing that thoughtful, rational, goal-directed tactics are always the solution to finding the answers to highly-complex enigmas.
Actually, the blockbusting solutions that change the course of our culture — how we do things — are most often totally unpredictable and discovered by accident by disruptive innovators, such as Dr. Larry Lynn of the Sleep and Breathing Research Institute, willing to tinker on their own and against the grain of thousands of smart people who dismiss this kind of outlier work as fantasy. To get just how often this happens and why, I’d invite those unfamiliar with Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s work to read “The Black Swan : The Impact of the Highly Improbable” and other books of his. This is what we’re up against today.
I was recently operated on, having a significant multi-level back surgery at one of the outstanding university spine programs in the country, supported by one of the elite anesthesia programs. I was told by the resident that I’d be going to the general care floor following my surgery, where I’d be checked on regularly. This was a given because I’m a fitness fanatic, but the resident wasn’t prepared for my followup questions. As I probed for more detail, it became apparent that no one in the organization had any inkling that nursing checks only occurring every four or eight hours on a patient fresh from surgery with patient-controlled narcotics was less than standard of care.
I told them I have mild sleep apnea and wanted pulse oximetry at minimum. I had to be upgraded to telemetry to get it. What’s more interesting is that there was so little understanding of this problem that they put me on pulse oximetry in a room where the only one who could watch it was me — the patient. Read more »
A recent medical study reported a fairly unique finding: Pregnant women who snore frequently are at an increased risk for developing gestational diabetes.
The Associated Professional Sleep Societies (TAPSS) reported that 24 percent of habitual snorers had an official diagnosis of gestational diabetes as opposed to 17 percent of nonsnorers. As gestational diabetes affects 4 to 6 percent of all pregnant women, this study is significant according to Louise O’Brien, Ph.D. who is associated with the department of neurology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Snoring is nothing new among women but it becomes more pronounced with the onset of menopause or weight gain. Approximately one-third of all women in the U.S. are obese and at risk for snoring and sleep apnea. Being overweight can cause bulky throat tissue which then physically blocks air flow.
Up until the publication of the University of Michigan study, the health risks associated with snoring included greater than ten seconds of interruptions of breathing, frequent waking from sleep, potential strain on the heart which then results in hypertension, increased risk of heart attacks, and stroke. Now the tide has changed. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway*
People who’ve been diagnosed cancer can be heartened by the results of a study that will be presented June 5 at the upcoming American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting. The researchers found that the practice of yoga helped cancer survivors improve sleep quality and reduce fatigue.
The lead researcher, Dr. Karen Mustian, professor of Radiation Oncology and Community and Preventive Medicine at the University of Rochester in New York, followed 410 patients who had already completed treatment for cancer but who experienced sleep disturbance that required medication. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*