January 24, 2016
Patients seeking and undergoing weight-loss surgery were more likely to suffer from depression and binge-eating than the general population - but those with depression often saw their mental health improve after surgery, a new UCLA-led paper shows. The findings, published this month in JAMA, don't establish a causal link between bariatric surgery and improved mental health. But they do reveal a surprising relationship worthy of more study. "Although our results should not be interpreted as indicating that surgery is a treatment for depression, severely obese patients with depression may gain psychological benefits" along with the physical benefits of surgery, the authors wrote.
January 21, 2016 |
LIKE A LOT of fair-skinned people, Joe Cassidy knew all about the dangers of getting too much sun. And like a lot of folks as they get older, at some point he figured it might be a good idea to finally see a specialist. Just in case. "My wife (Betty Ann) has always been on me about taking care of myself," said Cassidy, who's been the Rowan basketball coach for the last two decades and a baseball/softball umpire for twice that long. "I had a little blotch on (the left side of) my face that was discolored, about the size of a quarter.
December 27, 2015 |
Mark H. Blecher has not yet had cataract surgery himself. But the cataract and refractive surgeon has been doing the procedure on others for 30 years, during which the safety and the outcomes have improved dramatically. So at whatever point Blecher does need cataract surgery - as many do - he's "looking forward to the time when I can replace my failing lenses with superior technology. " Blecher, co-chief of cataract and primary eye service at Wills Eye Hospital, recently spoke to us about cataract surgery today, and what's in store.
December 14, 2015 |
After Bob Garraty's annual PSA blood test led to the diagnosis of a tiny, slow-growing prostate tumor, he opted to do something almost as stressful as getting treatment. He postponed it. Like a growing number of men, he chose "active surveillance" of his cancer. He had PSA blood tests plus physical exams every three months, and biopsies every year, in hopes that he would never need surgery or radiation - and never risk treatment-related urinary and sexual problems. It didn't turn out quite that way. In October, after four years of surveillance, his biopsy revealed the cancer was turning more aggressive.
December 12, 2015 |
Excessive delays in breast cancer treatment may compromise patients' survival, according to two major studies published Thursday in JAMA Oncology. What's more, the women most likely to experience long delays were black or Hispanic, and one analysis found a correlation with lower incomes. One study, led by Fox Chase Cancer Center surgical oncologist Richard J. Bleicher, used patient information from two large federal databases to examine the impact on survival of delays in surgery for breast cancer that had not spread to distant organs.
November 3, 2015 |
NEW JERSEY Gov. Chris Christie was holding a news conference on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, talking about all the great things he was going to do for the beleaguered city, when he spied a familiar figure among the reporters. He braced himself. He knew what was coming. At 6-5, Pinky Kravitz stood out in any crowd. He also stood out because, as Christie and anybody else who ever had dealings with the veteran radio personality knew, Pinky was relentless if he had a cause to pursue.
October 28, 2015 |
A medical device used for decades has emerged as a worrisome source of infections, apparently sickening eight patients at a central Pennsylvania hospital - four of whom died. The device is a heater-cooler unit, widely used during heart bypass surgery to control a patient's blood temperature. The infections at WellSpan York Hospital and elsewhere are attributed to bacteria in water that circulates within the devices. European researchers and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration both say patients can be exposed to bacteria that are aerosolized through the device's exhaust vent.
October 25, 2015 |
James Wagstaff-Duncan's heart was about to give up. The organ was dangerously enlarged and surrounded with extra fluid. It pumped about one-tenth as efficiently as the heart of a healthy person. At age 28, he was unable to take four steps without feeling short of breath. But physicians at Temple University Hospital said he could not get a new heart for one of the very reasons his old one was failing: He weighed 480 pounds. His case presents a vexing dilemma from the frontier of the U.S. obesity epidemic.
October 17, 2015 |
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: I am having a tummy tuck, the date is set, and I am getting geared up and excited about the impending surgery. How do I deal with those who have a negative and/or rude response to my advising them of my procedure? I haven't told that many folks, but I do want to advise folks about what is going on with me. I understand that everyone has his own ideas, philosophies, etc., but to comment that I am being selfish and vain, it is a waste of money, what if you die, etc.?
October 15, 2015 |
Virtua, South Jersey's biggest health system, has entered into a partnership with Penn Medicine for cancer and neurosciences, the two tax-exempt systems announced Tuesday. Penn's Abramson Cancer Center will replace Fox Chase Cancer Center, and in a neurosciences collaboration, Penn doctors will operate at Virtua Memorial Hospital, in Mount Holly. Virtua has been sending certain stroke patients to Capital Health in Hopewell Township, N.J. Penn, the region's biggest health system, with about $5.3 billion in revenue, has many ties to community hospitals, but "this is a deeper relationship," said Ralph W. Muller, chief executive of the University of Pennsylvania Health System after the announcement at Virtua's Voorhees hospital.