A hundred bucks doesn’t buy much these days. A crisp Ben Franklin can be exchanged for
- 50 Big Macs
- A Broadway show ticket
- A night in a New York City hotel (just joking)
- A college textbook (paperback)
- Your life
Your life? Yes, 5 crumpled Andy Jacksons can save your life, as was reported earlier this year in a front page article in The Plain Dealer, Cleveland’s only daily newspaper. University Hospital is now offering a $99 spiral computed tomography (CT scans) of the chest in individuals who are at increased risk of developing lung cancer. The rationale is that if cancers can be detected early, then the cure rate for surgical removal is very high.
Gary Schwitzer, medical blogger and press watchdog, tries to bring some balance to the distorted media coverage of CT lung cancer reportage.
The test is Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at MD Whistleblower*
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*
“Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? —Every, every minute?”
His cancer was growing and his symptoms were progressing alarmingly. As holiday music played in the background, I searched the calendar to see how rapidly his surgery could be scheduled. The young man and his wife first looked relieved when we found a surgical opening in the coming week, but their faces fell as they realized that he would spend December 25th in the hospital. Family plans were to be put on hold that year. The future was uncertain.
It has always seemed to me that ”cancer” causes more life disruption during this time of year. The quickened pace of life and the family expectations, particularly when small children are involved, push people to their limits.
On the other hand, Read more »
You may have heard that AF is a tough disease to understand. Questions far outnumber answers.
What causes AF?
Why do some not feel it at all, while others are incapacitated?
What’s the best treatment? Drugs? Ablation? Surgery? No treatment?
Should I take a blood thinner…and which one?
Where should one go for the best AF care?
This short email from a reader captures the essence of AF support group mayhem: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr John M*
Talking About Side Effects With Your Health Care Team
Side effects may occur with any new treatment, including new medications, placement of a new medical device, surgery, or even physical or occupational therapy. We usually think of side effects when we begin to experience bad changes —when the treatment introduces new worrisome symptoms or problems. Most treatments have some sort of side effect associated with them, and many of us may wonder if side effects are simply the price we must pay for a necessary treatment.
But side effects shouldn’t be taken lightly, for a number of reasons. At their most extreme, side effects raise the alarm when you are having harmful and even potentially fatal treatment reactions. Even somewhat mild side effects like a dry mouth, sleepiness, or minor muscle aches may still interfere with your daily life. Sometimes side effects bother some people so much that they skip doses or give up a treatment altogether, which can derail care and put them at risk for both short- and long-term complications.
Before treatment begins, here are a few questions you can discuss with your health care team: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Prepared Patient Forum: What It Takes Blog*