Organ transplantation has dramatically changed lives and is raising hopes it could do even more for millions of people. But getting where we are has not been easy. A transplant surgeon traces the history of transplant research and notes the courage to fail among pioneering researchers and patients.
Dr. Josh Mezrich, Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and author, When Death Becomes Life: Notes From a Transplant Surgeon
Knee replacements are successful for 80 percent of recipients, yet many assume the success rate should be higher. Those who are not successful often are bitterly disappointed. However, patients and physicians can take steps to avoid a bad result. New techniques also offer much faster recovery. Experts discuss.
Dr. Dan Riddle, Professor of Physical Therapy, Orthopedic Surgery and Rheumatology, Virginia Commonwealth University
Dr. James Rickert, President, Society for Patient Centered Orthopedics
Dr. Richard Berger, Assistant Professor of Orthopedics, Rush University
After attempts to use non-human primates as a source of scarce organs for transplant, doctors have turned to pigs for a variety of reasons. They’re now making great progress against the largest hurdle—rejection. One of the world’s foremost xenotransplantation experts discusses how the process might work and what the future might look like for millions of potential organ and tissue recipients.
Dr. David Cooper, Professor of Surgery, University of Alabama at Birmingham and Co-Director, UAB Xenotransplantation Program
Trauma at such an early age that we don’t remember it can still have lifelong effects. A study in the journal Developmental Science screened nearly 200 pre-teens for stressful experiences in infancy and toddlerhood, asking if they’d gone through stressors such as parental divorce, a move to a new hometown, or the death of a loved one. Then they were given structural MRI’s… which showed a much greater likelihood of a smaller hippocampus in the brain of the traumatized youth. That can lead to memory deficits.
If you get one of your knees replaced, there’s a pretty good chance it will lead to having the other knee done within five years. A study in the Journal of Orthopedic Research shows that happens to nearly a quarter of people who have total knee replacement surgery… possibly a result of abnormal walking patterns after the first replacement. Researchers say physical therapy after knee replacement should aim to normalize walking movement to avoid the need for a second surgery.
And finally… if you’re in a stressful situation, think about your Valentine. A study in the journal Psychophysiology shows that visualizing your romantic partner is just as effective at lowering your blood pressure as actually having them there to comfort you. It could be one reason having a sweetie is good for your health.
Many people who have chronic recurrent sinusitis may have an allergic reaction to fungi rather than a bacterial infection. Treatments for the two are completely different, and in some cases, fungal sinusitis can be life threatening. Two experts and a patient explain.
Erin Porter, fungal sinusitis patient and founder, EatPrayGetWell.com
Dr. Donald Dennis, ear, nose & throat surgeon, Atlanta
Dr. Joseph Han, Professor of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Eastern Virginia Medical School
Anesthesia is one of the most commonly used medical practices. It is used on patients who are undergoing surgery in order to make them unconscious for the duration of the procedure. Despite being a well used practice, doctors admit that they do not know how anesthesia actually works–only how to control it.
Since anesthesia is an important aspect of surgeries because it ensures that the patient has no recollection of the pain, anesthesiologists must be well trained. Dr. Henry Jay Przybylo, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at Northwestern University School of Medicine and author of Counting Backwards: A Doctor’s Notes on Anesthesiology,explains that anesthesiologists must first finish medical school, and then they receive additional training. While administering anesthesia is a simple task on most patients, he explains that some patients can react differently and the anesthesiologist must be able to adjust to it.
In the 1990s, technological advancements not only made the medical practice easier, but they also made it safer. Dr. Przybylo explains that it became easier to measure the gases that were being inhaled and exhaled by the patient because they now had monitors and screens to better track these measures. Despite improved technologies that make anesthesia more simple, some patients are still more afraid of losing consciousness than they are of the actual procedure. But, Dr. Przybylo states that the pain and trauma experienced during the procedure is probably much better off forgotten by the patient. Listen to Dr. Przybylo talk about the history of anesthesia, and how doctors have learned to use it over time despite having little understanding of how it really works.
Dr. Henry Jay Przybylo, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at Northwestern University School of Medicine and author of Counting Backwards: A Doctor’s Notes on Anesthesiology