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Can Major Scarring Be Avoided With Breast Lift Surgery?

Breast Lift surgery (Mastopexy) is obviously surgery to lift the breast. There are variations of this operation – quite a few variations. Breast lift operations are usually discussed relative to the “full breast lift” which has also been called the anchor lift. This operation leaves scars around the areola, under the breast and vertically between the two. The shape of the scar configuration resembles an anchor, hence the name. The potential for scars is one of the major concerns potential patients have with the surgery. This version of the operation also has the greatest potential to change the shape of the breast.

Reduced scar breast lifts came into creation to limit the potential for scarring. The important compromise, however, is that these modified breast lifts “lift” less. Reduced scar lifts can involve any portion of the full lift scar pattern. The modified lift with an incision above the areola only is called a “Crescent lift.” It provides only Read more »

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

Chemical In Soaps And Sanitizers May Affect Growth And Development

The Washington Post had a story by Lyndsey Layton this past week: FDA says studies on triclosan, used in sanitizers and soaps, raise concerns. An excerpt:

The Food and Drug Administration said recent research raises “valid concerns” about the possible health effects of triclosan, an antibacterial chemical found in a growing number of liquid soaps, hand sanitizers, dishwashing liquids, shaving gels and even socks, workout clothes and toys.

The FDA and the Environmental Protection Agency say they are taking a fresh look at triclosan, which is so ubiquitous that is found in the urine of 75 percent of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The reassessment is the latest signal that the Obama administration is willing to reevaluate the possible health impacts of chemicals that have been in widespread use.

No where in the article is the use of triclosan use in suture mentioned, yet in my research on allergy/reactivity to suture material I found that it is. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

When An Ear Is A Hot Potato

Recently a plastic surgeon I know was called out to fix a lacerated ear. It is the domain of plastic surgeons pretty much all over the world. But in my neck of the woods it may be tricky to extricate a plastic surgeon from his warm bed on a cold night. Let me also say that back in those days all registrars of all disciplines earned the same overtime each month. Even opthalmologists and dermatologists and pathologists earned exactly the same overtime as surgeons. They weren’t complaining. We, however, were.

As calls went it was fairly standard for us general surgeons. I had found a moment to empty my bladder which was a nice change, but other than that one reprise there had not been a moment to even realise that I hadn’t eaten all day. At least there hadn’t been any lethal disasters…yet.

Somewhere in the madness the house doctor asked me to evaluate a patient with a lacerated ear. He had had half his ear detached in a bar brawl. It was hanging precariously from what still connected it to the body. Now at this time in that hospital there was a policy that once a patient had been referred by a casualty officer they would not take the patient back. If the referral was erroneous then we would be required to refer further as appropriate. So when I heard my house doctor had accepted the patient I was not impressed.

“You suture his ear.” I told him. Poor guy, he hadn’t studied at our university and therefore wasn’t used to our sink or swim approach to medical training. He freaked. My level of being impressed dropped even more. I’d have to phone the plastic surgeon myself.

The plastic surgeon was not keen. By that I mean he basically said he was not coming out. By the tone of his voice I assumed he was getting a back rub from his significant other under the warm duvet on his bed. Who could blame him. If you’re not in the trenches why would you want to go into them, even for a short while to suture an ear.

“Anyone can suture an ear. you’re there now. I’d have to come in to the hospital. You just do it.” I considered telling him that I’m at the hospital because I have so much bloody work to do and that he is drawing the same overtime that I am and that it is his bloody job and not mine. But I knew that at that stage, even if I walked on water and then turned it into wine he was not going to come out. I hung the phone up. my house doctor looked at me questioningly. He had already told me he couldn’t do it. But he was not from our neck of the woods. I needed a student. One walked past, unsuspectingly.

“You! have you ever sutured an ear back on?”


“When I ask this same question tomorrow, you will answer yes. Come with me.”

He did quite well.

*This blog post was originally published at other things amanzi*

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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