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    Medical Advancements Providing Hope for Women with Stress Urinary Incontinence

Medical Advancements Providing Hope for Women with Stress Urinary Incontinence

Statistics suggest that, at any given time, approximately 15 million women are affected by stress urinary incontinence. Of the various types of incontinence, this is the most common. Historically, women have had relatively little help in managing this condition. Over time, though, both nonsurgical and surgical solutions have been developed. We’ll briefly outline them here.

Nonsurgical treatment options for stress urinary incontinence have included:

Pelvic floor exercises. Known as Kegel exercises after the physician who developed this technique, pelvic floor exercises work by contracting and releasing the muscles that span the lower pelvic region, which includes the vagina, rectum, and the urethra.
Behavioral modification. Avoiding certain activities may reduce episodes of urine leakage, but this can also decrease quality of life.
Transurethral bulking agents such as collagen have been injected around the urethra to thicken tissue and control urine leakage.
Pessary, a removable device that supports the bladder neck by repositioning the urethra.

Surgical treatment for stress urinary incontinence has generally consisted of mesh techniques, also referred to as “sling” surgery. Mesh techniques became popular due to their minimally invasive nature compared to fascia or donor slings. However, surgical mesh for stress urinary incontinence has had somewhat of a turbulent history that has included numerous cases of complications. Now there is an alternative.
Innovative Technology for the Reduction of Stress Urinary Incontinence
Medical professionals are aware that our industry is constantly changing. New technologies are continually being assessed in stringent clinical trials. Earlier this year, the FDA cleared a new device by BTL Aesthetics, a leader in energy-based devices. This device, Emsella, reportedly tones the pelvic floor without a woman having to perform repetitive exercises. Emsella works via HIFEM®, a patent-protected technology that is already winning awards for its […]

Patient Engagement Improves Overall Satisfaction

Medicine sustains a nearly-constant state of evolution. Every year, new devices and techniques are tested. New products and technologies are presented to the medical community for clinical trials and FDA approval. With the consistent advances in the clinical side of care, providers may overlook the opportunities they have to also improve overall patient satisfaction. Here, we discuss a few ways in which technology is improving patient engagement and how that engagement benefits each patient’s experience with their provider.

More medical offices, clinics, and hospitals are equipping spaces with technology that patients are familiar with. These technologies may be used to educate patients or, sometimes, to provide an entertaining distraction from discomfort and stress. Some of the strategies that are making a big impact on patient engagement at this time include the following.
Entertainment Systems
One of the biggest challenges that nursing and support staff face is helping patients deal with physical discomfort. A patient that is in pain is also dealing with stress, fear, and anxiety. Altogether, unmanaged pain and emotional distress will degrade the patient’s sense of well-being. It may sound simplistic that entertainment systems that interact with the patient could make a difference in state of mind. However, devices such as televisions, mobile devices, and tablets have demonstrated efficacy in distracting patients from their immediate situation. Not only does this distraction ease the load of nursing staff, but it can also enable patients to rest better and heal more quickly.
Doctor Accessibility
Patients feel more satisfied when they know they have access to their doctor. The higher doctor-patient interaction is, the better care the patient feels they receive. Utilizing the same software and technology on which entertainment systems are based, doctors can communicate more readily with their […]

Train Smarter, Not Harder

For the medical professional, training is a never-ending process. Surgical techniques are constantly changing. New devices and products are continually being developed, even the administrative and collaborative aspects of medicine do not stay the same from year to year. Fortunately, there is one thing we can always count on (and you know we never say “always”): the human body.

Med Ed Labs has been established to provide surgeons with the most accurate medical training they can get. This is working smarter, not harder. Studies show that, even in light of advanced virtual reality technology, the greatest value in medicine continues to be found in the human cadaver lab. Physicians and other medical professionals don’t just want to develop and advance their skills, they want to do so with reference to the real-life tissues they will handle in the clinical setting.

Professionals who have used one of the nationwide training labs we put together come from all walks of medicine, including gynecology, neurosurgery and neurology, orthopedic, head and neck surgery, spinal surgery, urology, dental, arthroscopic surgery and more. Why? Because each and every one of these specialties provide treatment on living, human tissue and there is no better way to get insightful information than to engage in training on cadavers.
Training smarter means:

Refining skills. It is an unspoken expectation of every patient that their clinical provider has the necessary skills to provide their treatment. It doesn’t matter if that treatment involves a few injections or a surgical procedure on the brain, heart, or other vital organs. Studies have shown that medical professionals who have trained in a cadaver lab hold a high degree of confidence in their clinical abilities and can thus communicate this to their patients, […]

Strategies for Reducing Medical Errors in Patient Care

According to a Johns Hopkins analysis of the medical death rate during an eight-year period, more than 250,000 deaths a year could be attributed to medical error. Each year, great strides are made in the medical community to improve patient safety. Continued research and development are necessary not only in hospitals but also in public and private medical practices. Here, we discuss a few strategies that are being implemented to achieve this.
Encourage a culture of reliability.
First and foremost, it is vital that the medical community develop an environment in which accountability is encouraged. The line here is that it is far too easy to lean to a “punishment” type of environment in which medical providers are actually discouraged from accurate reporting. The rule of proper accountability is to focus on behaviors rather than care providers.
Reliability is also a cornerstone of adequate medical care, and there may be no better way to achieve the highest standards of reliability than for each medical provider to have an in-depth familiarity with human anatomy. Training is something that never stops for the medical professional. Med Ed Labs has been established to support physicians and staff in their quest to improve quality of care while simultaneously reducing the risk of medical errors. Although numerous VR platforms have been developed to assist medical students in their training, they are not and should not be perceived as a substitute for human cadaver training.

Interdisciplinary Collaboration
In just about every instance of patient care, there is a chain. Where there is a handoff of patient care from one provider to another, communication will always be a critical point; one at which medical errors could happen. Quality assurance experts have observed positive […]

We Can’t Overlook Robotics in Surgical Success

The da Vinci robotic surgical platform was first introduced to medicine in 2000. At that time, the robotic device was approved for the performance of laparoscopic surgeries. Now, nearly two decades later, we see the use of robotics used far more expansively than ever before. A large percentage of the minimally-invasive surgical procedures that are performed today involve either the da Vinci or another robotic platform. Because robotics is not going away, it is vital that physicians become acquainted with the merits of robotic surgery and well-versed in communicating the details of robotic surgery with their patients.
Robotics as the Surgical Assistant
Platforms like the da Vinci do not take over the role of the surgeon; they act as a highly-trained assistant. Through robotics, surgeons can increase their efficiency by using smaller surgical instruments without affecting precision. Most robotic surgeries are performed by two surgeons; one in the direct presence of the patient and the other at the platform console, observing the surgical field and maneuvering robotic arms using computer controls.

One of the most significant ways that robotics assist surgeons is by reducing fatigue. This is possible because the surgeon operating robotic arms is seated for the duration of the procedure. Also, the cameras involved in robotic surgeries magnify the surgical field up to ten-times – and in 3D high definition.
Robotics Benefit Patients, Too
Robotic surgical devices have been developed for mutual gain. A surgeon who is not affected by fatigue is a better-performing surgeon. The availability of small surgical tools and robotic hands significantly reduces the need for long incisions and more “open” surgical technique. Smaller incisions are the cornerstone of minimally-invasive surgeries and the basis of faster, more comfortable recovery.
Uses of Robotics in Modern Medicine
Robotics […]

Simulation is No Match for Hands-On Cadaver Training

Several aspects of medicine have been improved with the advent of innovative new technologies and systems. One such advancement has been the use of virtual reality software and apps in the area of medial education. Because we have seen an increase in the sophistication and use of these apps, some say that virtual reality will at some point make hands-on bioskills training obsolete. Here, we discuss the value, as well as the limitations, of virtual reality in medical training.
Virtual Reality as a Reliable Instructor
The use of digital technologies is nothing new. Medical classrooms have incorporated a range of programs, including advanced medical imaging, 3D printing, multimedia, and even games, to disperse information to students and engage various abilities through interactive and effective methods. Virtual reality falls into the same category as these technologies; it is simply the latest and greatest to be developed, albeit one that has extensive capabilities in and outside of the classroom.

Some of the recent uses of virtual reality, thanks to the collaboration between universities and developers like Microsoft, have been the simulation of medical exams and VR apps that teach anatomy.
Several Tools Beat One Tool
Medicine is a practice of precision. We cannot rely on a singular modality or technology to teach us what we need to know. To do so could open the door for a decline in the level of patient care we provide. To maximize our potential as medical examiners, surgeons, and general physicians, our reliance should be on multiple educational tools, including cadaver training.

What cadavers bring to the table is the ability to observe the unique aspects of every human body. The anatomical variations are unique even between twins. To recreate these numerous variations from one person […]

Surgical Techniques: We’ve Come a Long Way

Patients facing the prospect of surgery are usually more than a little stressed. The medical team is also not impervious to the effects of surgery. On our end, stress stems from the need for meticulous performance at every turn. We are well aware that, regardless of the reason for surgery, there are certain risks. It is the desire to mitigate these risks that lead surgeons and surgical staff to obtain training in innovative techniques. How impressive is it that we have several options available these days?
We Want to Take a Walk
The original surgical techniques that were developed involved what we now call open surgery. Doctors used to have to open the body just to be able to observe internal structures, let alone repair or remove them as needed. Open surgeries still exist today and may have a valuable place in medicine for some time to come. However, more healthcare professionals are coming to realize the implications of this surgical technique, including longer recover times for patients and suboptimal outcomes regarding scarring and discomfort. Finally, we cannot overlook the level of risk that is involved in opening any part of the body more than necessary.

A more modern and sophisticated surgical technique to be adopted is referred to as minimally invasive. Minimally invasive surgeries may be laparoscopic or endoscopic. These techniques naturally have fewer complication risks due to the smaller incisions. This also leads to smaller or barely perceptible scars and significantly reduces patients’ recovery time. Minimally invasive surgeries increase efficiency in patient care and lower costs because many of these procedures are now performed in outpatient facilities or even office settings using only local anesthesia.

The most recent advances in surgery follow the minimally-invasive route but facilitate […]

Trends in Bariatric Surgery Affect the Need for Training

Bariatric surgeries for weight management have become increasingly popular in recent years. The available procedures have provided invaluable assistance to men and women who have spent years yo-yoing between a healthy weight and dangerous obesity. The trend for many years was to undergo gastric bypass to realign the digestive tract. More recently, statistics indicate that a higher number of patients are leaning toward the laparoscopic procedure, sleeve gastrectomy, to essentially downside their stomach.

Weight loss surgery is typically considered only when other strategies have failed to help an individual manage her weight for long periods of time. Diet, exercise, and medications continue to be a front-line defense against obesity. However, patients who are at risk for serious health consequences due to excess weight may be prime candidates for bariatric surgery.  The question is, which one, and whom should perform the procedure.
Choices in Weight Loss Surgery
Most physicians agree that patient outcomes are best improved through personal care. No single procedure is right for every person. Instead, care should be based on particulars such as medical history, current health status, and patient preferences. This is where the upward trend in laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy may have originated.

Some of the reasons that patients cite for their interest in this weight-loss surgery is its shorter duration. Most sleeve gastrectomy surgeries are completed within about an hour. Gastric bypass takes twice as long. Naturally, a shorter procedure is less psychologically stressful and is also less taxing on the body, making it advantageous for the patient.

Bariatric surgeons report that sleeve gastrectomy seems to achieve excellent results in patients who have less than 100 pounds to lose. Older patients, as well as those with chronic health conditions such as heart disease, also may […]

The Important Role of Cadavers in Bioskills Training

Most physicians are aware of the necessity for post-graduate training. Not only do the governing bodies that renew licensure require a certain number of hours of training each year, but patients also deserve to receive the highest standard of care from physicians who are performing cosmetic and medical procedures. This is where focused bio skills training comes in. The physician who is well-trained – beyond medical school – is the physician who is more likely to enjoy a thriving practice. Even more than that, advance training also carries with it the benefit of pride in practice.

Med Ed Labs has been successfully facilitating surgical and medical training courses across the country for years. Our expertise in the planning and implementation of such programs makes the entire training process for physicians and staff more pleasant and efficient. Cadavers are an integral aspect of many of our bio skills courses. Here’s why . . .

Cadaver studies take us away from the reliance on animals for medical investigation. Study on the human form may be perceived as more ethical. That argument aside, it is the human form on which physicians work, so familiarity with the nuances of that form is necessary. Cadaver studies allow for the best possible research on organs, bones, and muscles in the way they will be during that crucial operation.
Cadavers also facilitate the optimal, real-life performance of techniques using innovative operating room devices, such as cath lab instruments, c-arms, and more.
Research on cadavers significantly reduces the need for guess-work. Computer simulation and animal testing do not come close to the accuracy of cadaver tissue and structure when assessing the value of new modalities or surgical interventions.
Surgical effectiveness and precision obtained […]

Using Dermal Fillers: It’s Not a Once-and-Done Achievement

The use of dermal fillers and other injectable products can set your practice up for additional, ongoing income. To fulfill the entirety of your responsibility to your patients, it is necessary to perfect the techniques you use for various products. Because each filler product carries unique properties, there are small nuances that can significantly impact the outcome. Therefore, injectable training is something that, at this time, should not end. Here, we discuss a few of the tips experts offer for mastering technique.
The Road to Mastery
The path to perfecting injection techniques begins with a few basic steps for all providers. A reputable training course should offer demonstration and hands-on practice. Beyond training, injectors are encouraged to continually focus on:

Relevant anatomy, not only of the face but also of other common injectable areas.
Study and review of danger zones, as well as remedies for unexpected side effects.
Use of reversible fillers only during the initial learning phase.
Use of injectables in patients whom can be monitored closely for several days after treatment. Friends, family, and office staff are ideal patients for new injectors who need to observe the effects of products, side effects, and recovery.
Easier treatment areas, such as nasolabial folds, are an excellent place to start. Move on gradually to more difficult treatment areas such as tear trough.
Take before and after pictures of as many patients as possible. This facilitates learning the nuances of different techniques and products.

Moving Beyond the Basics
For an injector to garner the praise of patients, it is necessary to fully master techniques, and this can take less time when you know what is needed. One of the primary areas of learning recommended by experts is the subtleties of […]

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