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What is on the Horizon for Skin Cancer Screenings?

Dermatologists understand the immense value of those routine skin cancer exams, even if patients are still catching on. The more consumers have learned that early detection is the X-Factor in the successful treatment of various health conditions, the more scientists have begun researching ways to help doctors and patients attain that goal.

Skin cancer is an interesting condition in that, although it is the most common form of cancer, and although awareness in prevention has increased, there is still a vast valley that needs to be bridged. Patients are not getting the screenings that could save them from unnecessary and extensive treatments. The fear of hearing that they have skin cancer is standing in the way of the early diagnosis and treatment that could save their life. The times, they are changing, though. Now, it seems there is new technology on the horizon that could be a real game-changer for skin cancer detection.

Recent research out of Stanford University is showing just how advanced science has become. Computer scientists, not health providers, have made significant steps forward in the development of a high-tech, albeit convenient, method of assessing suspicious growths. Ultimately, this new research in algorithms related to skin cancer could come down to a simple smartphone app.

The study, which can be read in a January 2017 issue of Nature, suggests that the artificial intelligence developed by Stanford scientists is as accurate as the current methodology of assessing abnormal cells using a dermatoscope. It is as if the visual processing of this artificial intelligence essentially puts another set of eyes onto the issue of skin cancer; a set of “eyes” that consumers may reach for before calling their dermatologist.

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We cannot say that we aren’t […]

Carb-Specific Diet may Help Children with Irritable Bowel

Patient care involves a great deal of research in many cases. Just as every disease or condition has nuances, so does every patient and the way he or she responds to various therapies. When it comes to treating pediatric conditions, physicians show preferences for avoiding surgical intervention whenever possible. According to recent research conducted by physicians from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Seattle Children’s, diet may be a vital element to putting conditions like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s to bed.

The study involved the use of a carb-specific diet for a 12-week period. No other intervention was performed adjacent to this diet, which contained NO processed foods, dairy, grains, or sugars (honey was the only exception). Children participating in this study consumed a nutrient-dense diet of fruits and vegetables, nuts, and meats.

Of the 10 patients who participated in this study, 8 entered into a remission state using diet alone.

Prior to this formal study, only anecdotal evidence was available to suggest dietary modifications as an intervention therapy for children with inflammatory bowel disease. Now, it seems that we are gaining new data to support the use of food as medicine.

The Standard

For several years, the standard of care that has been placed on conditions such as irritable bowel and ulcerative colitis, among all age groups, has been based on the use of pharmacological agents. Steroids can diminish symptoms by reducing inflammation in the bowel, and other medications have been prescribed to manage symptoms such as bloating and diarrhea. The long-term use of such medications, though, are not without consequence. Plus, this approach does not resolve the underlying cause of these conditions, which some researchers believe ties to the microbiome in the digestive tract.

Whatever tool a physician can […]

Advances in Aesthetic Medicine mean there is Always Something to Learn

With every advancement in science, we gain better ways to accomplish goals. The field of aesthetic medicine has evolved at a rapid pace thanks to the development of numerous technologies and new techniques. As the new and improved elbows-out antiquated processes, we notice a shift in trends. Some of what has been sitting at the horizon throughout 2016 is expected to remain on trend for the coming year. These aspects of aesthetic care include . . .

Customized Programs for Rejuvenation

Each skin type is unique, and now every professional from the esthetician to the dermatologist has the right tools to address concerns ranging from chronic acne to the signs of aging for each individual patient. Skin care has come so far that some physicians have learned how to test the DNA for processes like the breakdown of collagen, or the type of antioxidants a person’s skin needs most.

Fat-Adding Procedures

Cosmetic surgeons are using fat for several face and body procedures today. An example of the value of autologous fat grafting is the results of the modern-day facelift. Rather than tightening skin and tissue over the skull, skilled practitioners are recreating youthful contouring by complementing the lift with volume restoration. Fat grafting restores plumpness to the cheeks and other areas that would otherwise look flat or hollow after facelift surgery.

Another example of fat grafting is the ever-popular Brazilian Butt Lift procedure. This surgery has all but replaced buttocks implants, appealing to patients who want an all-natural way to accentuate this part of the body. Like autologous fat transfer to the face, the Brazilian Butt Lift involves a liposuction procedure on a part of the body such as the abdomen, the processing of fat cells, and the subsequent […]

Patients Need to Know the Benefits of Low Impact Exercise

We talk a lot about health and wellness, but sometimes it is in vague terms. Eat less fat. Eat more fat. Exercise, but not too much or you’ll hurt yourself. What is right? In fact, it may all be right. Every patients is a unique individual, and that means that the savvy healthcare provider will develop an arsenal of information from which to draw when providing personal care. Here, we will discuss the value of low impact exercise for a large majority of people.

What is Low Impact Exercise?

To exercise with low impact technically means that one foot is always on the floor. We do this when we walk, when we hike, when we do yoga, and even when we dance. This way of exercising is often associated with older folks. However, studies show that low impact workouts offer significant benefits to adults of all ages. These include:

Healthier joints. We are learning more and more how crucial it is to take care of our joints earlier in life so they continue to function well later in life, when the aging process naturally affects their lubrication and mobility. Low impact exercise decreases the blunt force on joints in the knees and feet, and possibly even in the hips.
Healthier weight. Let’s face it, the person whose joints are chronically stiff and uncomfortable is the person who may not have a desire to exercise. This could lead them to decrease their caloric intake in order to lose or maintain a healthy weight. We know that 3500 calories need to be burned in order to lose a pound. Without exercise, that would equate to a 700 calorie deficit each day. Not very healthy. Add in an hour of […]

Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Looking Beyond Mesh

One of the biggest pieces of news in the field of urogynecology has been the persistence of lawsuits related to transvaginal mesh. This type of medical device was first developed in the 1950s. It resembles fishing net, and was originally intended to act as a barrier for surgical patients. Transvaginal mesh treatments did not begin until sometime in the 1970s, when the netting material was deemed appropriate to support pelvic organs to stop prolapse, as well as stress urinary incontinence. At the height of use, it is estimated that more than 100,000 implantations were performed in the U.S. And then the problems began . . .
Fast Forward

Gynecologists, family physicians, and urogynecology specialists should be well aware of the problems attributed to the unremovable transvaginal mesh. To that end, we will fast forward in our discussion of alternatives to the controversial surgery.

If the issues at hand is stress urinary incontinence, science now has new ways to improve on old techniques for resolution. For years, women have been encouraged to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor using Kegel exercises. The problem with this approach has been largely overlooked. If not performed correctly, Kegel exercises may not achieve the desired outcome. For that reason, more physicians are obtaining training for biofeedback. Stress urinary incontinence may also be improved with the support of an appropriate sling, or even with innovative radiofrequency treatments that reinstate the proper laxity and elasticity to the vagina.

Women affected by pelvic organ prolapse also need an alternative to transvaginal mesh, and they are finding it with sacrocolpopexy. Many surgeons are now performing this gold-standard treatment using the Da Vinci robotic platform. The procedure restores the correct anatomical position to the vagina using […]

November 15th, 2016|Medical Training|0 Comments

Why a Mental Health Day Matters, and How to Maximize it

We have all either been there or are fast approaching that moment when taking a break from the day to day hustle becomes an absolute must. Our need to get away from it all has actually been made formal. World Mental Health Day for 2016 is October 10th. In case you missed it, know that you don’t need an excuse to take care of your emotional needs. In fact, there are very good reasons to do so.

According to research, a large majority of the average person’s stress comes from work. This is true no matter how much you love what you do. Here’s a clue: if you feel anxiety tugging at your gut when you walk into your office, you need a day off. Research also shows that, when we do unplug as needed to lower our stress levels, we return to work more productive. One last bit of research . . . The American Psychological Association reports that nearly half of American adults (42%) are not taking steps to manage stress.

How to Tackle your Mental Health Day
We do a lot of talking about training and why it matters, but unwinding is equally as important, especially for those who consistently provide care for others. While it can be tempting to take a day off here and there to check off some items on your personal to-do list, that is somewhat counterproductive to the intent of this mode of self-care. Here are some ways that you can get the most from your mental health day.

Get a nature wash. If you haven’t heard of forest bathing, you’re missing out. The idea that nature is nourishing extends beyond the forest and all the way to the […]

October 15th, 2016|Mental Health|0 Comments

Ankle Replacement Surgery: How Modern Medicine is Making Strides

The arthritic condition, in any joint, results in uncomfortable swelling and stiffness. Because the ankle is such a small joint, and because it is also a weight-bearing joint, the symptoms of arthritis are often exaggerated compared to other areas of the body. When we walk, the ankle joint absorbs our entire body-weight. If arthritis is present, every step could be excruciatingly painful. Now, innovations in ankle replacement are giving new hope for pain free mobility in patients with arthritic ankles.

What Causes Arthritis in the Ankle
According to experts, the arthritic condition in the ankle joint often occurs as a consequence of an injury. Degenerative joint disease, mechanical instability, rheumatoid arthritis, and other conditions could also instigate this problem. Whatever causes the chronic degeneration and inflammation in joint cartilage, once this structure is lost, it cannot regenerate.

Treating Arthritic Ankles
Typically, the front-line treatment for ankle arthritis is some type of bracing. This often coincides with modifications to routine activities and treatments for pain and inflammation, such as cortisone injections. In the past, if more conservative care was unsuccessful, the surgical solution to arthritis in the ankle was to fuse the joint. Ankle fusion joins the bones in this structure to improve stability and put an end to pain. However, this surgery also affects the patient’s gate, or mechanical function of walking, due to the lack of movement in that joint. What physicians are now working on is a total ankle replacement.

If you’re in the field of orthopedics, you are probably saying “this is not new!.” Right. Ankle replacement surgery has been around for some time. The problem is that the standard procedure that has been taught has failed to provide acceptable results. The primary reason has been […]

September 15th, 2016|Medical Education|0 Comments

Breast Implant Trends: Saline or Silicone

The decision that a patient makes to have cosmetic plastic surgery is incredibly important. Breast augmentation has been contentious, at times, but has remained a leading procedure sought by women of all ages. One of the most crucial aspects of breast augmentation surgery is the decision between saline or silicone breast implants. As such, one of the most pivotal points in the consultation phase of care is to provide the fullest extent of information to each individual patient. Just the facts, Ma’am.
Every surgeon has personal preferences between the two types of implants. This includes innovative models such as the “gummy bear” implant and Ideal implants. What is the bottom line, though? What is the aspect of care that matters most for the patient? Here, we will discuss the potential differences in the appearance of saline versus silicone implants.

Silicone and Saline, Making the Comparison
Most physicians really do like silicone implants. The fact of the matter is that this material simply looks – and feels – more like natural breast tissue. This material is lighter; believe it or not, more durable in terms of longevity and it has a lower risk or rippling than saline. That being said, as a medical professional, any physician would do him or herself a disservice by offering only silicone implants. There is a large number of women who, regardless of physical characteristics, feel more comfortable with saline; period.

Still . . .
Still, the number one question most patients have when they are contemplating their choice between saline and silicone is “what will it look like?” Safety is one issue. To be frank, if a patient is worried at all about the overall safety of implants – will they be rejected? […]

Get Ready for Exciting Introductions to the Filler Market

Cosmetic treatments are interesting. What we consider new may be a product or technique that has already become popular in other countries. Likewise, the U.S. has set trends for certain cosmetic treatments, leaving the usual leader, Europe, wanting. Kybella is one example. This year, physicians are anxiously awaiting the arrival, or should we say approval, of two new filler products that are already being used across the pond.

The two products are both formulated with hyaluronic acid, similar to those in the Juvederm family. Hyaluronic acid is advantageous due to its biocompatibility and high record of safety. The substance is already present in the body, but its stores diminish with age, which results in the development of lines and creases around the eyes, nose, and mouth. It is estimated that at least half of the hyaluronic acid stores we have are gone by age 50. How unfair!

It may come as no surprise to hear that these products, Volbella and  Volift, will be brought to us by the makers of Botox and Juvederm, the Allergan company. Let’s look at how they will differ from other popular products:

Volift is formulated with low and high molecular weight. This has been shown to achieve soft correction and longer lasting results. At this time, it is predicted that this filler will outlast those that are currently used; up to 15 months in all. Physicians in Europe are using Volift in combination with other fillers, such as Voluma, to enhance the overall result.
Volbella is not as thick in its consistency as Volift and other fillers. This product is appreciated for its effects on finer lines, like those that appear around the mouth. It is also being used as a […]

The Types of Electrical Stimulation Therapists can Implement to Assist Their Patients

Electrical stimulation, or e-stim, is a common practice among chiropractors, physical therapists, and sports medicine practitioners. This therapeutic modality is valuable to clinical success, which is why it pays to know how to use it in the most efficient manner. Here, we will explore the 4 methods of electrical stimulation in physical rehabilitation.

Pain and inflammation. When electrical stimulation is used to minimize swelling and discomfort around an injured joint, it is referred to as interferential stimulation. The method incorporates 2 currents which interfere with pain signals at a sensory level. Used in the treatment of low back, shoulder, knee, and ankle injuries, this method of stimulation has been a mainstay in rehabilitation since the mid-60s.
Soft tissues and connective tissues: pre-mod. Pre-mod may be introduced into therapy as an adjunct to manual modalities such as trigger-point release or Graston therapy. This method is common in the treatment of a tendon or ligament, as well as for muscle tears. It can reinforce physical and mechanical changes, and also decrease pain.
Russian. This method of muscle strengthening was developed by Russian physician Dr. Kots. The motor stimulation of muscle tissue causes contraction that can improve strength in a muscle after injury or surgical treatment. Due to the immediate contraction of muscles, it is necessary to develop precise techniques for this type of electrical stimulation in order to avoid patient discomfort.
Hi-volt tissue stimulation. This method of electrical stimulation involves positive and negative forces that can promote wound healing and improve comfort. It is especially valuable to patients with circulatory conditions that would naturally inhibit tissue healing and new tissue production.

Electrical stimulation methods are valuable in the clinical setting, and are quite complementary to rehabilitation modalities […]