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Theres not much that is scarier or more confusing than having your doctor tell you need surgery. You might have gone to see the doctor because you were having some pain in your belly. He ordered a test called an ultra sound of the abdomen. You went to the radiology department and a technician rubbed a wand like instrument over your mid section which revealed that you have stones in your gall bladder.Is this an emergency? It could develop into one over the course of time....

Two Things You Should Know Before You Have Surgery

Two Things You Should Know Before You Have SurgeryTheres not much that is scarier or more confusing than having your doctor tell you need surgery. You might have gone to see the doctor because you were having some pain in your belly. He ordered a test called an ultra sound of the abdomen. You went to the radiology department and a technician rubbed a wand like instrument over your mid section which revealed that you have stones in your gall bladder.Is this an emergency? It could develop into one over the course of time. Gall stones can cause horrible pain, necessitating a trip to the emergency room. They can block ducts that carry important enzymes to your digestive system. But gall stones may also be treated homeopathically in some cases, which you wont hear from your surgeon. A surgeon may tell you that it would easier to operate on your gall bladder before it becomes infected, inflamed, or even gangrenous. He may tell you that done laparscopically; gall bladder surgery is as safe as surgery can be. But there are risks involved, which we will talk about later.So what does all this mean? First of all, what brought you to the doctor in the first place? Secondly, is the first time you have complained of the problem? Or is it ongoing? How is this problem affecting your life? Before we talk too much about making the decision to have surgery, lets discuss some of the important questions you should ask before signing the consent.The first thing you should know than is.Is it absolutely necessary that I have this surgery? Will I lose my life or limb if I dont have it? Will the quality of my life deteriorate if I dont have it?As in the gall bladder discussion, there are variables that come into play when making the decision to consent to surgery. First of all, what can go wrong if I decide to go to the operating room?Again, using Laparoscopic gall bladder surgery as our example, it is a commonly performed operation. In the hands of an unskilled laparscopist, lots can go wrong. But problems are encountered by even the most skilled of surgeons.Unusual anatomy of the patient is a condition which is usually not detectable until the patient is on the table, under anesthesia. We are similar inside as human beings, but there are variations. The most crucial procedure in the operation is the clipping and cutting of the cystic duct and cystic artery. These structures carry blood and bile to the gall bladder. Easy, right? Just two little structures. But the truth is, if the cystic duct is cut too far away from the gall bladder, into the common duct, a very unpleasant, life threatening situation can occur which will require additional extensive surgery. What can go wrong if I decide NOT to have the surgery? Not having an infected gall bladder removed can lead to peritonitis, even death if left untreated. But a healthy gall bladder should be left in place.Are the risks involved for the surgery you are contemplating having worth risking your life for? The risks involved should be spelled out in the consent form you are asked to sign.Lets look at this from the perspective of joint replacement. Here is another elective surgery, one fraught with risks, huge expense and long rehabilitation. Why would anyone subject themselves to the risks of infection? Now we are talking quality of life. Not being able to walk without intense pain would be an acceptable reason to have this surgery. So joint replacement can improve quality of life, allowing a return to work and living. Worth the risk? Probably.You should also always ask for second opinion from a surgeon in a practice not associated with your surgeons.You have had a heart attack and now find you must have bypass surgery. You arent a candidate for the angioplasty procedure that is done so frequently now, although you did ask about that! This may not be an elective surgery.How can improve your chances of having a good outcome? Can you reduce the chances of problems like common duct damage and joint replacement infection? You absolutely can.The second thing you should know is.How many times has my surgeon performed this surgery? How often is this surgery performed at the hospital I am going to? Is the nursing staff familiar with the techniques? Do they have all the equipment needed?Your surgeon is a highly trained, well educated, hard working person. He or she sacrificed years of life and tons of money to get to this point of being able to diagnose and treat you. But he is not God. He should be willing to listen to you and answer your questions, one of which should be How many times have you done this surgery?Everyone has to have a first time. Even surgeons have to do a surgery for the first time An experienced surgeon who wants to learn a new technique will usually train under the watchful eye of a surgeon who is well versed in the technique.Hospital operating rooms have huge capital budgets for equipment that rapidly age and require replacement, upgrading and inventory maintenance. How can you be sure that the hospital you go to has the required equipment, instrumentation and supplies?Total joint replacement requires hundreds of specialized sizers, instruments, positioning equipment and implants. Each patient needs different size implants. Usually, a hospital doesnt need to stock everything needed for a surgery. The company providing the implants sends trays of instruments that are processed by the sterilization facility at the hospital, along with hundreds of different sizes of implants. A knee replacement surgery, for instance, requires four different components. Each component may come in ten or more different sizes. All of these parts must be in place before the surgery can take place. If the staff is inexperienced, absent or incorrect instrumentation and implants can go unnoticed and even the most experienced surgeon cannot do successful surgery under these circumstances. In many cases, representatives from the implant companies attend the surgeries and are there as a resource to the surgeon and nursing staff.Vascular implants are a concern because most hospitals must stock a huge supply of sizes, even the unusual, rare size, just in case. Vascular surgery can be necessary in an emergent situation, so implants and instrumentation sterile and in stock is crucial.These are just a few of the possibilities which can occur. Knowing in advance what level of expertise your local hospital is functioning at can save a lot of frustration, and perhaps your life.

Myths About Home Remedies For Jellyfish Stings

Myths About Home Remedies For Jellyfish Stings

What's Lurking Beneath The Waves?People often seek ocean vacations to escape their winter woes. Ocean dangers do exist, especially when daring people venture into the ocean on their own.Sharks are probably the first threat people think of, especially since the movie "Jaws" was released. Although highly-publicized, shark attacks are relatively rare.Other dangers involve currents such as rip tides and undertows. Proper instruction and flotation devices can assist one in surviving unpredictable ocean currents.There is one threat that most ocean visitors are at a total loss to deal with: jellyfish.What's So Bad About Jellyfish?Jellyfish are marine invertebrates having a bell-shaped, jelly-like substance enclosing their internal structure. Most species have tentacles covered with stinging cells that can stun or kill other ocean life. Most jellyfish use this stinging defense to catch prey or to defend themselves.Most jellyfish are not very dangerous to humans, but a few are highly toxic. A recently discovered Australian species is suspected of causing two deaths there.You may be swimming with jellyfish and never even know it. Many are tiny with unnoticeable stings. However, if you ever get caught in the stinging tentacles of a larger jellyfish, panic is likely, as this author can attest.What To Do If Stung By A JellyfishTry not to panic! Thrashing will only increase the amount of stings you will receive. Next, notify someone immediately who can help you get out of the water. If you are stung by a rare and toxic jellyfish, drowning is possible, so get to the beach or on board a boat.Seek a doctor's assistance immediately! Most people won't even know what happened to them. Only trained medical help can properly evaluate the severity of the stings and the appropriate treatment.Most people will not seek medical help. Instead, they rely on home remedies for jellyfish stings seen on television or told to them by locals. It is a mystery why sting victims don't seek immediate medical assistance.If you were bitten by a snake, would you wait and see what happens? Of course not - you would go to the emergency room as fast as possible! Stings or bites from any sea creature, including jellyfish, sea urchins, rays and others, should be considered the same as a snake bite and treated accordingly.Jellyfish sting "home remedies" usually involve the application of human urine, a solution of meat tenderizer, or fresh water to the site of the stings.Some of these home remedies are wrong, and will make the situation worse.Why Most Home Remedies For Jellyfish Stings Are WrongThe jellyfish evolved in the ocean, so it's stinging defenses are optimized for use in salt water. The use of fresh water will increase the venom injection of any stingers still stuck in the victim!Likewise, massaging the sting area, or using alcohol, spirits, ammonia, or urine will also encourage the release of venom.The mythical urine cure is probably the most misunderstood, yet is likely the most well-known. It was popularized on the television comedy "Friends" in the episode "The One With the Jellyfish."How To Deactivate Jellyfish Sting VenomIf you can't get to a doctor, the first step in properly treating jellyfish stings is to deactivate the stinging cells still stuck in the victim. The following deactivation solutions may be used:* A 5% percent acetic acid solution (available commercially as white vinegar) is the preferred method.* Solutions of meat tenderizer, or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) will neutralize any stingers that have not yet released their poison. Meat tenderizer should not be left on the skin for more than 15 minutes.* None of these substances should be used in the eyes. In the case of stings on or near the eyes, dip a towel in the deactivating solution and dab it around the eyes, but not directly into open eyes.* Salt water can be used if none of the above products are available.Removing Jellyfish StingersAfter the stingers are deactivated, persons with protective clothes and gloves should carefully remove any tentacles from the victim.Any remaining embedded stingers should then be removed. This can be done by applying shaving cream to the affected area. Carefully scrape the sting area with a sharp surface, such as a razor, a knife blade, or even a sharp plastic edge such as a credit card.Mild skin irritation can be soothed with the use of over-the-counter antihistamines containing diphenhydramine (such as Benadryl (tm)).These Treatments Are Not Substitutes For A DoctorAlways see a doctor if you are stung or bitten by a jellyfish or any other sea creature. These jellyfish sting home remedies are not meant to replace a doctor's expertise. You may wish to begin applying the proper care as first aid while waiting for the ambulance. If you do, tell the paramedics and doctor what steps you have taken.But whatever you do, please don't urinate on your jellyfish-stung friend. Although it makes for a funny story later, it will make your friend's pain - and humiliation - worse.To learn more about using common ingredients to cure uncommon illnesses, please refer to the resource shown below.

Using Your Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage

Using Your Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage

As the new year begins, people with Medicare who have already joined a Medicare drug plan can take advantage of the new Medicare prescription drug coverage. Since this is a new program for Medicare, you might have questions about how to use your Medicare drug plan. For instance, what if you joined a plan but haven't received a plan ID card in the mail yet? Or, what if your drugs were covered by Medicaid and you're not sure how to get your medicines now? Whatever questions you have, Medicare has answers. First Pharmacy Trip Here are some tips people with Medicare can use to make sure their first trip to the pharmacy goes smoothly: • When you first join a Medicare drug plan, you'll get an acknowledgement letter in the mail about a week after you join. Your plan ID card should arrive three to five weeks later. • If you need to go to the pharmacy before your ID card arrives, bring the acknowledgement letter from your plan, your Medicare and/or Medicaid card, and a photo ID. • Save the receipts from your pharmacist. • For additional assistance, call 1-800-MEDICARE, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. People with Medicare and Medicaid If your pharmacist is having trouble confirming what plan you're in or whether you also get Medicaid, he can also call a special toll-free number that Medicare set up for pharmacists to get help. People with Medicare who also get Medicaid should be able to get their prescriptions filled with minimal copayments and no deductibles. How to Join a Plan If you haven't joined a Medicare drug plan yet, don't worry. You have until May 15, 2006 to choose and join a plan without having to pay a penalty

What To Do When Infected With Contact Dermatitis

What To Do When Infected With Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a physical reaction of the skin to certain allergens or substances that potently cause allergies or reactions.The skin infection is brought about by the effects on the skin of certain irritants.There are basically four kinds or classifications of contact dermatitis that are usually diagnosed by doctors and dermatologists. These are irritant "contact dermatitis" (ICD), allergic contact dermatitis (ACD), photocontact dermatitis (PCD) and contact urticaria.Those types or classification of contact dermatitis can be hardly identified and distinguished by ordinary people, but the nature and cause of the skin infection can be determined through them.A trivial fact about contact dermatitis is that in the United States, most recorded and diagnosed cases occur more in adults than children and the elderly.Causes of contact dermatitis Various allergens or allergy-causing substances can be cited for the onset of contact dermatitis. But reported cases of such skin infection points out to several factors or things that trigger the reaction.The most common sources of contact dermatitis allergens are soaps and perfumes. It is because the use of such substances is somehow inevitable that make the problem hard to contain.Contact dermatitis can also be caused by your skins reaction to drool, to detergents, to several allergy-causing foods and to lotions especially those with harsh ingredients.Some plants are also identified to produce enzymes that may lead to the onset of allergic contact dermatitis. Among these plants are poison ivy.There are also about 3,000 chemicals that are identified to cause "allergic contact dermatitis" . Among them are those that are based on common metals like mercury, chrome and nickel.Some cosmetics can also irritate the skin and trigger the appearance of allergic contact dermatitis manifestation in the skin. Permanent hair dyes, eye shadows, lipstick, clothing dyes, sunscreens and nail polishes are the identified cosmetic lines that cause such skin infection.Manifestations of allergic contact dermatitisSeveral symptoms are pointed to the onset of allergic contact dermatitis. However, it should be noted that for different individuals, the symptoms may vary. To be sure, further advice and check up from a dermatologist should be obtained.Contact dermatitis occurs when there is swelling or mild redness in the skin. The appearance of the infected spot could clearly not be mistaken for common insect bites.There is also blistering in the affected skin area, as well as itching. It is surely allergic contact dermatitis when there is a temporary thickening or scaling in the infected skin portion.Treatment and prevention To treat allergic contact dermatitis, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology advises people diagnosed that have the skin infection to do the following simple, yet effective remedies.- Wash thoroughly the infected skin part with soap and ample water. Immediately do this at the initial appearance of symptoms.- Throw away or carefully wash all clothing and objects that have come into contact or touched plants or chemicals that contain allergic contact dermatitis allergens.- Relieve and soothe skin inflammation or the infected part with a cold compress especially if the blisters break or crack.- If the symptoms show severity, do not hesitate to consult a physician or dermatologist.Baths using lukewarm water are also known to help soothe and rapidly control the skin infection.As for the prevention, the best way is to avoid all identified allergens.

Brushing With Cranberries? Maybe Later

Many of us remember the time from around last November when a flurry of reports citing Tel Aviv University and the University of Rochester suggested we might be brushing with cranberries soon.The University of Rochester tested the effect of cranberries on a synthetic enamel-like substance, and found that the tart little fruit had strong abilities to repel cavity-causing bacteria, even warding off the formation of plaque. Immediately, the world saw a super-effective cranberry toothpaste in its future. True, fluoridated public water had already cut down on our average number of cavities substantially, but perhaps if we combined fluoride with a super-toothpaste, we'd see them disappear altogether.Not so fast, say researchers and dentists. One of the drawbacks is that normally, we add and consume vast amounts of sugar with our cranberries. Needless to say, the Rochester experiments did not add sugar to the mix, yet most of the popular cranberry products on our store shelves are loaded with it.No problem, said those of us who like to keep up on dental trends. What if we just add xylitol, a somewhat scary-sounding but natural sweetener that's been shown to do its own number on S. mutans and even reverse minor tooth decay in some instances?Even then, we still have a problem. Because cranberries are not only bitter, they're extremely acidic. Applying acidic products to your teeth can end up softening the tooth enamel. Our teeth have the ability to recover and harden up again, but if they encounter acidic substances too often, the enamel will eventually start to erode.So for now, just wait, say dentists. The trick is to isolate all the beneficial compounds in cranberries while removing the need to partner it with truckloads of sugar, and avoiding the acid problem. Needless to say, manufacturers are on the trail, but they haven't gotten there yet.That isn't to say you won't find any cranberry-containing toothpastes -- some, produced by smaller outfits, have already hit the market. If you look at these products, you'll see that they claim to have isolated all the positive cranberry compounds already. For those who like to experiment, it might be worth a try. But if you'd rather wait for a wider understanding that cranberry compounds have been properly identified and isolated before you switch toothpastes, go ahead. Still, consider eating your cranberries anyway, even if it's not Thanksgiving. They've been shown to come with loads of benefits, including an ability to help prevent clogged arteries and inhibit hostile bacteria in the stomach and urinary tract. Cranberries have also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol, prevent kidney stones, and even aid in recovery from stroke.

Leucatin Believed To Aid In Natural Treatment Of Nail Fungus

Leucatin is a natural product that is said to instantly begin fighting against nail fungus. In addition to ridding the current infection, Leucatin is also believed to help prevent the fungus from spreading to other areas. This product contains all natural ingredients and is commonly available as both a capsule and spray, which are used together in order to effectively aid in the removal of "nail fungus" .Leucatin is designed to eliminate the nail fungus infection in seven days. According to experts, nail fungus is very difficult to treat and may require an aggressive regimen in order to effectively rid the system of an infection. Leucatin, because it is both a capsule and a spray that is applied directly to the infected area, is said to aid in the complete removal from the inside out.The Leucatin spray solution was manufactured with the intent of enabling a product to actually go beneath the surface of the nail and begin eliminating the infection and preventing it from spreading to neighboring nails. This is a larger problem among the toenail area, which is often confined to socks and shoes with increased bacteria buildup. When the foot is confined to this type of area, the nail fungus may be able to spread easier. The Leucatin solution is said to help thin out nails that have been thickened as a result of fungus and also remove the discoloration that is often associated with the infection. While Leucatin is believed to aid in the removal of nail fungus within one week, the actual nail will need time to heal and regenerate in order to look healthy and shiny. This may take some time, the length of which will be determined by the severity of the nail fungus infection itself. If a more advanced condition was present, it may take longer for the nail to regain its natural beauty. Leucatin is not designed to restore the look of the nail, but rather to remove the infection that will allow the nail to regenerate itself. It is important to realize what any medication, including Leucatin, is and is not capable of accomplishing. There is no miracle cure for nail fungus that will eliminate all signs of its existence, but there are products, such as Leucatin, that have been shown to remove the actual fungus that has invaded the nail. Eliminating the infection is the first, and most important, step in regaining a healthy, pain-free nail.

Summary

Theres not much that is scarier or more confusing than having your doctor tell you need surgery. You might have gone to see the doctor because you were having some pain in your belly. He ordered a test called an ultra sound of the abdomen. You went to the radiology department and a technician rubbed a wand like instrument over your mid section which revealed that you have stones in your gall bladder.Is this an emergency? It could develop into one over the course of time....