With elective surgeries curtailed or completely halted in most hospitals throughout the country, there is some question amongst patients as to what exactly constitutes an emergency procedure – especially in general surgery – where many procedures are considered elective or semi-elective. We have discussed the urgency of hernias before and concluded that in some patients it may be OK to wait to repair the hernia. We have also been quite clear that hernias may require urgent care in certain circumstances.
Whether it’s on TV or experience from your own surgery years ago, common (and now proven incorrect) knowledge tells us that shaving the surgical area makes surgery easier and minimizes impediments. Recent research, over the past 10 or 20 years, has determined that there are specific rules we should follow when it comes to shaving the surgical area to minimize the risk of postoperative complications. Studies have shown the risk of Surgical Site Infection (SSI) is higher in patients with a shaved surgical area versus those that that were not shaved.
On April 1, 2020, the FDA announced a recall of ranitidine, also known as Zantac, a common medication used to treat reflux in adults and children. Removing this medication from shelves and urging all users to dispose of the drug and cease taking it comes after months of warnings and increasing concern about the potential dangers of a suspected carcinogen NDMA (N-Nitrosodimethylamine). Research concluded that the levels of NDMA were above what is considered to be safe. Warmer storage temperatures of ranitidine containing products, like Zantac, can lead to an increase in concentrations of this suspected carcinogen. Levels were also seen to increase with time, meaning the longer the product was on the shelf, or say in your medicine cabinet, the higher the dangerous NDMA levels could climb. With all of this in the news, many GERD sufferers are exploring their options without ranitidine.
Most of us have a basic understanding that there is an appropriate time to go to the emergency room and when that time comes, we go without hesitation. However, as it has with just about everything in our lives, the COVID-19 crisis has the potential to change our health behaviors in a very serious, and quite frankly, dangerous way. One of the consequences of constant COVID-19 crisis coverage may be that many people believe that hospitals are (or soon will be) completely overrun and that they have become a breeding ground for the virus – in other words: avoid at all costs. That’s far from the truth.
The number of pre-diabetic and diabetic patients has increased dramatically over the past few decades. Today about 13% of the US population over 18 has diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes. The primary reason for this has been an exceptional growth in obesity. While we typically discuss diabetes as a significant risk factor for a number of long-term and chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, now, more than ever the effect diabetes has on the immune system needs to be emphasized.
With dozens of do it yourself prevention tips and cures circulating around the Internet, it can get overwhelming to know what works and what doesn’t. One common, but flawed, theory circulating during the height of the Coronavirus outbreak is that of going outside in the sunshine to kill the virus. This advice comes from the fact that sunshine does seem to have various antibacterial properties.
On the face of it, the idea that sunshine would in any way prevent a respiratory infection, might seem silly, but there may be some truth to it. In fact, around the world, in the absence of antibacterial agents, water can be left in sunlight (for hours) with disinfectant results. But how does this apply to our current situation? As it relates to the Coronavirus, not a whole lot, as these properties are limited to waterborne pathogens.
It may be one of the last things on your mind, but during stressful times such as these, we tend to find comfort in the familiar. Our lives have been affected, in many cases, to such a degree that going back to old habits becomes easy. For those suffering from excess weight or who had bariatric surgery, this may mean eating during times of extreme stress. After all, for years, or even decades, eating was our way of coping. Our bodies are very good at remembering those feelings and sensations, despite how destructive those actions were to our health.
While we can tell ourselves that we deserve to indulge a little bit more during these crazy times, the weight can pile on pretty quickly and put us in a position where it is difficult to turn around. Unfortunately, as we all know, it is much easier to put on weight than eliminate it.
The Centers for Disease Control or CDC states:
Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:
- Older adults
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
Patients considering bariatric surgery often wonder whether the gastric bypass or the gastric sleeve is a better option for them. First, it is important to mention that I can’t offer any concrete advice without meeting you in person and going over your medical records and previous diagnoses. However, as the bariatric landscape has broadened with new procedures and techniques, we are coming to some very interesting conclusions about which procedures are best for certain patients.
Any surgical procedure has risks associated with it. You are putting trust in your physicians to place you under anesthetic, and to incise your skin and organs, remove things from your body, place things into your body, and perform any number of maneuvers to help better your health. But with these, comes the risk of bleeding, infection, injury to your body, and even death.