Surgery

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In medicine, surgery (from the Greek χειρουργική, or chirurgical, and latin chirurgiae meaning “hand work”) is a medical specialty that uses operative manual and instrumental techniques on a patient to investigate and/or treat a pathological condition such as disease or injury, to help improve bodily function or appearance, or sometimes for some other reason. An act of performing surgery may be called a surgical procedure, operation, or simply surgery. In this context, the verb operating means performing surgery. The adjective surgical means pertaining to surgery; e.g. surgical instruments or surgical nurse. The patient or subject that the surgery is being performed on can be a person or an animal. A surgeon is a person who performs operations on patients. Persons described as surgeons are commonly medical practitioners, but the term is also applied to podiatrists, dentists and veterinarians. Surgery can last from minutes to hours, but is typically not an ongoing or periodic type of treatment. -Source

Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopy, or minimally invasive surgery, is not a new procedure. However, it wasn’t until the 1990s after a significant advance in the technology for laparoscopic clip appliers that the use of this surgical technique became widespread.

laparoscopic surgery

Thanks to this advancement in modern surgery, patients now enjoy much faster recovery times due to the advantages that the small incisions bring such as less pain, decreased bleeding, and reduced risk for infections. And while surgery using laparoscopic techniques means a longer time under the knife, it’s a pretty good swap considering that you can leave the hospital the day after the surgery. Besides, you’ll be asleep the whole time the surgery is being done anyway.

As for the issue on scarring, laparoscopy also wins over traditional open wound surgery since smaller cuts meaning smaller scars. This might seem trivial beside the other perks but is still important since it can affect a person’s perception of their own beauty.

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Amazing Medical Breakthroughs from the Korean War

However you feel about war, it’s difficult to deny how many technological and medical advances come from wartime. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and many times nowhere is medicine more necessary than on the battlefields.

The Korean War, which ran from June 25th 1950 to July 27th 1953, is known for the first large-scale deployment of Medevacs, helicopters used for medical evacuation. The country’s unique terrain, rougher than the grounds fought on in World War II, required a quicker method than the usual jeeps and land vehicles. An example of a medevac used extensively during the Korean War was the Sikorsky H-19, pictured below, which was also known as the S-55.

Sikorsky S-55 inflight c

Another medical breakthrough from the Korean War- and perhaps the most famous- were the MASHEs, or Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals, deployed by the U.S. Army, which proved almost immediately to be quite successful. As one account goes:

…during the Korean War, a seriously wounded soldier who made it to a MASH unit alive had a greater than 97% chance of survival once he received treatment. (Source)

The breakthroughs were mostly, if not all, made by the American army medics stationed in Korea. Sanctioned by the United Nations, the United States was fighting for the South of the country, in what would finally result in its division into North Korea and South Korea. It’s a war not easily forgotten; recently, a group of Korean War comfort women filed a lawsuit against the South Korean government demanding compensation for being forced to provide sex in brothels during the war.

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Another, perhaps less known medical breakthrough, was the use of plastic bags as blood bottles for wounded soldiers who were losing blood too quickly. The usual glass bottles were gravity-drained, and blood was dripping too slowly to help in healing. It was Walter Reed Army Medical Center surgery chief BG Sam Seeley who thought of using squeezable plastic bags to help force blood down faster. It was a simple decision that nevertheless proved remarkable in saving lives.

Preventive HIV Oral Medicine

HIV is one of the scariest virus out there at the moment since it can lead to AIDS, which is as of the moment incurable. HIV is a sexually transmitted disease which is found in the blood, semen, vaginal fluid and even the breast milk of patients. In most cases HIV can be prevented with the use of contraceptives such as the condom which blocks direct contact between the male and female reproductive organs. The problem with condoms is that one not all couples use these since it is perceived to decrease the pleasure of intercourse, and second it is not applicable to all types of sexual interactions that may also lead to HIV. Truvada is an oral medicine which has shown to prevent HIV among two healthy partners. In a study with an uninfected and an HIV positive couple, it was found that the medicine reduced the risk of acquiring HIV by 42-75%. This oral drug may be a better alternative to standard preventive HIV methods.

Healthy Lifestyle

In this day and age we see the rapid increase of the number of fitness gyms located in our areas. This is to promote the so called healthy lifestyle that many yearn for, but is exercise all there is to healthy living? Make no mistake, exercise is indeed an integral part of living healthy, but people tend to forget or in some cases just ignore that there is more to it that sweating in the gym. The food we eat is also a major factor to our health, exercise all you want but if fast food is the only thing you’re having for your nutritional needs then you may want to think again on your current eating habits. If you truly are bent on becoming a healthy person, then choosing the right food and accompanying it with exercise is one great way to start. Another factor that people these days tend to ignore is a proper sleeping habit. A night out every now and then won’t hurt anyone but constant late nights will worsen your general health. Lack of sleep is known to be related to issues such as heart attacks, diabetes and depression. Now if you truly want that healthy lifestyle remember to sleep, eat and exercise right and you may just be feeling the effects of a healthy lifestyle pretty soon.

Hope for the Paralyzed

When we think of those unlucky enough to be paralyzed, we think of how sorry we are that they can’t live as normal people do and how they live in the hope of being one. Technology is ever improving with breakthroughs in all fields of science but what hope is there for the paralyzed? Cathy Hutchinson a woman paralyzed for 15 years was finally able to sip a drink without the help of another person, to be exact Cathy was able to do this with the help of a robotic arm. BrainGate was able to implant a sensor in her brain which enabled the electrical signals in the brain to be interpreted and translated into movement. Imagine what the future holds for the unlucky who are paralyzed, though this technology is still in the early stage of development there is room for further improvement. The scientists are hopeful that the device used will not only enable a person to control foreign objects such as robotic arms but muscles themselves which if done will make their disabilities only a nightmare to be forgotten.

The Risk of Cancer

Cancer is one sickness we always hear about, in the United States alone the estimated number of new cancer cases in 2012 is around 1.6 million. Cancer is a common sickness that usually occurs in the aged population, but the question is how exactly do we prevent cancer? First it is necessary to understand that there are some causes of the cancer that we can’t control and that is old age and genetics. What we can control is how we treat our body, for example smoking cigarettes has been known to cause cancer. Poor diet, lack of exercise and obesity may increase the chances of a person to be susceptible to cancer. One must also be careful of sunlight, since overexposure to the Ultraviolet Radiation Rays by the sun can increase the chance of this sickness occurring. These are just some of the common causes of cancer, and this short list shows that the best we can do is to make sure that we don’t abuse our body and to try to eat healthy. This is no sure way of preventing cancer since genetics and old age play a hand, but it will lower the risk of being diagnosed with cancer.

Modern Surgery Overview

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Although it is sometimes difficult to determine when a medical procedure is considered surgery, a medical treatment that involves a cutting of a patient’s live tissue (e.g., hair and nails are dead tissue) is usually considered surgery of some sort. A medical procedure involving a drilling of live tissue in a body would often be considered surgery, but mere piercing of a body is not necessarily surgery since piercing is often done for taking samples or draining fluids from or injecting materials into the body, or setting up intravenous drip, and usually does not require suturing to close the pierced opening. Even if a medical procedure or treatment does not include cutting or drilling of live tissue in a body, it may be considered surgery, if it involves common surgical procedure or a setting, such as use of an operating room or table in a hospital, anesthesia, antiseptic conditions, typical surgical instruments, and suturing or stapling. Surgery is considered an invasive procedure. Examples of surgery without cutting the body may include debridement or closing (suturing or stapling) an open wound or applying skin grafts if done under typical surgical conditions. Many types of more complicated or involved surgery are obviously considered surgery, since they involve common surgical procedure or setting as mentioned above. A medical procedure may be surgery even if not all of the typical surgical conditions or procedures mentioned above are used. -Source

Highend Drugs Being Abused in the U.S.

Drug trade and abuse remain to be a major issue being faced by the U.S. government. This drug crisis that besets the country affects both adults and teens.

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A new survey has found a rise in prescription drug abuse among teenagers. Data from the study showed that 24 percent of high school students or equivalent to more than five million have abused certain medications. This figure is up by 33 percent from 2008.

Among the teens who claimed having abused prescription drugs, 20 percent said their first experience was even before they reached the age of 14. In addition, 27 percent said they mistakenly believed that frequently using prescription drugs was safer than using cocaine or ecstasy or the so-called street drugs. [Read more...]

Vitamin D and cancer

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Vitamin D is significant when it comes to the development of our organs. This vitamin is the regulator of calcium and phosphorous which is essential for the development of our bones. Vitamin D is also been said to be able to play a role in preventing diabetes and coronary diseases. The most recent findings on the benefits of vitamin D, though not yet extensively identified, is its ability to prevent the development of cancerous cells.

Calcitriol, a hormone of vitamin D is said to cause the death of cancerous cells. Several studies show that regular intake of vitamin D can deter the development of colon, breast, ovarian cancer and even prostate cancer. The link between vitamin D and colon cancer has produced the most interest among scientists and those in the medical field because it has shown a great potential.