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    We are so used to the attacks on the NHS from the Daily Mail that we forget that it can be merciless to private medicine too. A critical article by Lois Rogers for the Mail’s on-line edition on June 12th provoked a defensive response from the Association of Independent Healthcare Organisations (AIHO).

    Rogers’ attack begins with the story of a man (a Director of a high-end car company) who underwent surgical removal of the prostate (no small procedure) in a private hospital, only to be told years later that the surgery had not been necessary. According to the Mail’s journalist he is just one of at least 66 people, who believe they were misdiagnosed or underwent unnecessary surgery at the hands of a particular surgeon. For the full story go to .

    Daily Mail

    EXPOSED: How the NHS is paying millions to private surgeons for operations that we may not need – and could even HARM us

    • The quality of care received by NHS patients in private hospitals is under review 
    • Insiders fear countless people are paying for needless, expensive operations   
    • There’s also been a sharp rise in complaints from unhappy or worried patients
    • Those treated in private hospitals are often not compensated  if things go wrong

    By Lois Rogers for The Daily Mail Published: 22:06, 12 June 2017 | Updated: 13:57, 14 June 2017

     This story is the tip of a much bigger iceberg in private hospital care, Rogers asserts, because the private sector has particular problems with lack of scrutiny of what surgeons are doing. Doctors working in private hospitals have a financial incentive to be interventionist about operations. They are not subject to the same monitoring and scrutiny as in the NHS, and private hospitals don’t have to monitor outcome trends to detect substandard surgeons either. Medical insurance cover is also a problem. Rogers believes that many private patients who have undergone unnecessary surgery may never be compensated.

    The Mail article argued that NHS patients should be made aware of these risks before being treated in private hospitals. The article then goes on to mention by name NHS consultants who have been accused of over-treating patients in the private sector.  Unsurprisingly the AIHO was not pleased by these claims and responded sharply, pointing out that surgeons in the private sector are all responsible to the General Medical Council, mostly work for the NHS (where they are scrutinised), and work privately in hospitals that are inspected by the Care Quality Commission. The AIHO says “failings of a handful of rogue surgeons does not represent the high quality and compassionate care delivered day in and day out by the independent sector as a whole”.

    The AIHO insists that the ‘independent’ (private) sector is actively working with NHS England to bring the level of reporting of surgery in line with the NHS’s own. Independent hospitals are already required to provide detailed data on every private episode of care, and they are beginning to publish performance measures for 149 common procedures at over 250 hospitals. More will soon follow, according to the AIHO, including measures of consultant performance in 2018.

    This spat matters. Treating NHS patients is big business for private hospitals. 530,000 surgical procedures were carried out on NHS patients in the private sector in 2016. A third of all NHS-funded hip and knee replacements are now being carried out in private hospitals. The NHS paid the private sector £8.7 billion for services last year, amounting to 28 per cent of private hospitals’ income. The private hospital sector constitutes a source of spare surgical capacity for the NHS, and are in effect in the NHS’s public domain (as distinct from the state-run public sector) when they do NHS work. They are, then, like GPs, dentists, pharmacists and other contractees to the NHS, and they have to perform according to NHS rules. That is why the Mail – always ready to occupy the moral high ground – sees them as fair game for the critical journalist.

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    Plastic surgery is not a new practice. It has been around for more than 2000 years, with historical medical documents attesting its presence in various areas from around the globe. Although the majority of interventions are related to repairing and reconstructing tissues that were damaged by accidents or diseases, in the past decades there has been an emerging trend focusing on aesthetic plastic surgery.

    With the use of aesthetic plastic surgery, both men and women can choose to transform certain parts of their body that they feel are not aesthetically pleasing enough. Although there are slight differences between trends when it comes to age, social status, and location, the biggest differences come when we analyze the gender of the patients, source: blog.

    Trends Among Female Populations

    According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, breast augmentation has become the 2nd most popular surgical procedure. More than 320k women chose to augment their breasts over the course of last year.

    In terms of procedure, 305k women opted for implants while 18k women opted for fat transfers from a different part of the body.

    Out of all the conducted breast implants, 85% were done with silicone gel while the remaining 15% were done with saline implants. Given the malleability of silicone gel, women were given the choice between shaped implants and round implants. Only 12% of all women chose to have a specific shape for their new breast implants.

    Overall, the breast augmentation procedure has seen a 7% rise from the previous year.

    A higher increase in popularity, although with a considerably smaller number of patients, is held by breast lifts. With a 12% increase and 148,967 patients, breast lifts have, for the first time in aesthetic plastic surgery history, secured a place in the top 5 surgical procedures.

    Thanks to medical advancements, women looking to change the size of their breasts have access to breast implant explanation. 38,071 women chose to either upgrade or downsize their already-implanted breasts.

    Trends Among Male Populations

    The number of men who opt for aesthetic plastic surgery is on the rise thanks to the decrease in social stigma. Hundreds of thousands of men have opted for at least one form of plastic surgery in the past year.

    According to data published by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, male breast reduction procedures are up by 26%. In numbers, 30,464 men opted for this procedure, as a form of treatment for the effects of gynecomastia.

    An increasing trend has been observed in nonsurgical skin tightening procedures as well, with 47,329 men choosing to trim off some of the fat from areas of their body. Most the procedures were against jowls fat, submental fat, and waist fat (“love handles”). Thanks to the increasing number of male patients, nonsurgical skin tightening procedures have gained the number 5 spot on the top aesthetic plastic surgery procedures list.

    Similar to previous years, liposuction continues to reign at the number 1 spot when it comes to aesthetic plastic surgery among male populations. Maintaining this position is widely attributed to the larger variety of surgical procedures, coupled with the decreased downtime and increased number of less-invasive maneuvers.

    Another top spot is held by injectable procedures. Almost 600 thousand men opted for a type of injectable procedure. The most popular procedure was Botulinum Toxin injections, which accounted for 438,513 of the total number of procedures. The rest of the men, 159,052 to be specific, chose to inject hyaluronic acid in the past year.

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    With the taboo surrounding cosmetic surgery dying down in recent years, it seems that it is no longer just women who are looking to enhance their appearance and look younger for longer. These days, men are almost as likely to seek the attention of a cosmetic surgeon. Here are some of the most popular procedures to be undertaken by men at the moment…


    Rhinoplasty is more commonly known as a nose job and is perhaps the single most sought after form of surgery amongst men. Nose jobs are in high demand for men who do not like the shape of their normal nose and are useful for those who have difficulty breathing due to obstructed or narrow nasal passage. A nose job involves the surgeon peeling back the skin of the nose and either reshaping or reducing the size of the cartilage in the nose. Botox and other injections can also be used as a less invasive way to deal with minor problems in the appearance of the nose.


    Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is popular for men as it helps to remove signs of ageing around the eyes as the skin around the eyes is typically a clear indicator of ageing. During this surgery, the surgeon removes fat tissue and/or excessive skin in the area.


    Liposuction is now proving to be as popular with men as it is with women and involves the process of removing fat from under the skin. This surgery is conducted by making a small incision on the target area and then using a special tube to break up the fat and remove it from the body. Other ways of changing the shape of the body to create a more desired outcome is through non-invasive procedures, such as Liposonix (which melts body fat) and CoolSculpting (which freezes fatty tissue).

    Breast Reduction

    For men who suffer from Gynecomastia – a condition which causes larger breast due to weight gain, drug use, hormones and other issues – breast reduction is a popular solution. Plastic surgeons use various techniques to reduce the size of the breast and do this by removing the fat and getting rid of excess skin where necessary. Liposonix and CoolSculpting can also be useful in male breast reduction.


    Facelifts, also known as Rhytidectomy, are favoured by men who want to eradicate the signs of ageing around the face and neck. A Rhytidectomy helps to not only lessen the appearance of saggy skin, but also works to reduce the depth of creases on the face and facial features.

    If you are looking to have some form of body modification surgery and want to ensure that you are left in the hands of a high quality surgeon, look no further than the extensive list of Longevita surgery procedures on offer. They offer an exceptional range of services that are guaranteed to make you feel comfortable and safe when it comes to undergoing one of the aforementioned forms of popular surgeries for men.

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    Wales is the only part of the UK where “deemed consent” to organ donation applies. The means that any deceased who is over 18 years, is mentally competent and who had lived in Wales for  12 months is deemed to have given consent to organ donation unless they have formally registered their objection.

    About a decade ago, the UK had a low organ donation rates (13 / million population) compared to countries such countries as Spain, USA and France. As well it had a much lower rate of next of kin refusal. In Wales around three people per month died while waiting for an organ donation with about 300 people on a transplantation list.

    The issue was considered by the National Assembly for Wales Health and Well-being Committee in 2008. Though its report did not recommend  “presumed consent”, the Welsh Government felt there was sufficient public support for the proposal and indicated its intention to legislate on the matter. A commitment to do so was included in the Welsh Labour, Plaid Cymru and Liberal Democrat’s manifestos for the 2011 National Assembly election.

    The Bill was introduced into the National Assembly in December 2012. Over the next year an extensive debate and consultation took place. There was broad support for its purposes though concern was expressed, by Christian and Islamic faith groups in particular, that “deemed consent” was not real consent and that it undermined the altruistic virtue of the gift of donation.

    A key feature of the legislation was its “soft opt-out” option whereby close relatives are involved in the donation decision with particular attention being paid to any evidence that the deceased may not have wished to have their organs donated.

    In the run up to the beginning of the legislation in December 2015 there was an major campaign to both explain the new legislation and to raise awareness on the wider organ donation need in Wales. The legislation will require the Welsh Government to maintain a programme of promoting public awareness and to report on progress.

    At the end of the first year of the legislation the Welsh Government reported “… the latest figures show that 39 organs from patients whose consent was deemed have been transplanted into people who are in need of replacement organs.

    In the two years prior to the introduction of the new system of deemed consent, .. (we) made significant efforts to inform the public of the exact nature of the upcoming changes in respect of transplantation activities. During this period the number of organs transplanted increased each year, from 120 between the 1 December 2013 and 31 October 2014, to 160 between 1 December 2015 and 2016.

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    Back fusion is a procedure to correct problems with the vertebrae or small bones of the spine. Basically, spinal fusion is an operation whose purpose is to connect the vertebrae, thus eliminating motion between them permanently. If you or someone you know are about to undergo the back fusion surgery, you’re probably nervous. The nervousness usually occurs when a person doesn’t know what comes after, what to expect? To help you out, this post will inform you about the recovery process.

    Back fusion overview

    Before finding out what to expect after spinal fusion, it’s necessary to learn more about the procedure itself. Besides eliminating the motion between two or more vertebrae, the fusion prevents stretching of nerves and surrounding muscles and ligaments. It is usually recommended in cases when motion causes pain and only in instances when the doctor can pinpoint and specify the source of pain. This means that if the exact cause of pain or discomfort is uncertain, then spinal fusion isn’t recommended.

    Back fusion is usually performed to relieve symptoms associated with:

    • Degenerative disc disease
    • Fracture
    • Infection
    • Scoliosis (abnormal, sideways curvature of the spine)
    • Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the open spaces within the spine which causes pressure on spinal cord and nerves)
    • Spondylolisthesis (condition wherein a part of the spine causes vertebra to slip to one side of the body)
    • Tumor

    What affects the recovery?

    Now that you know what spinal fusion is, it’s time to learn more about things you can expect. In most cases, a patient stays in the hospital between 1 and five days; there’s no one size fits all rule here. A patient has to be able to get up and walk on his/her own before being discharged from the hospital. Some factors can prolong one’s stay in the hospital and recovery from the operation. They include:

    • Depression
    • Obesity
    • Smoking
    • Osteoporosis
    • Post-surgery activities
    • Malnutrition
    • Chronic steroid usage
    • Diabetes and other chronic illnesses

    If you want to recover faster, than quitting smoking is a must. Nicotine is a bone toxin with a tremendous potential to impede bone-growing cells. This means that if you continue smoking after surgery, the organism finds it harder to grow bone necessary for the fusion.

    Things you can expect after back fusion

    The easiest way to understand fully what’s ahead of you is to divide the recovery process into different stages.

    Hospital: 1 – 2 days

    After the completion of the surgery, the primary aim of your hospital stay is to alleviate pain and learn how to minimize pressure on the back. At this point, nurses administer pain medication regularly. Applying cold packs is also an excellent way to reduce pain.

    The incision shouldn’t be scrubbed or washed. Instead, you should just let soapy water flow over the site. You can also expect drainage in first days after surgery.

    Because a patient loses blood during the surgery, the hemoglobin levels are monitored to make sure that blood oxygen doesn’t fall dramatically. The doctor may order some blood tests.

    After discharge: 3 – 6 days

    Before you leave the hospital, your doctor will inform you about the next checkup and other relevant info you should know. He/she will also tell you not to lift heavy objects, bend, twist the body, and to avoid any kind of strenuous activity that is hard on the back. You should follow doctor’s orders religiously, make sure someone is always home with you as support and help.

    To manage pain, the doctor will prescribe medications, but you can also use ice packs to alleviate discomfort and pain sensation. To speed up recovery, you can use different devices, such as:

    • “grabber” device to avoid bending and reaching
    • Cane or a   walker
    • Cooler or mini fridge for ice packs

    1 – 4 weeks after surgery

    At this point, you feel stronger each day, but you have to take care of the incision properly to avoid the risk of infections. Use soap and water once a day. Staples and stitches are usually removed about two weeks after your procedure. Since physical activity is important, but you’re still not ready to do some vigorous activities, walking is ideal and plays a major role in the recovery process.

    1 – 3 months after surgery

    During this stage, you feel much better, and you’re able to perform more demanding activities. You will be happy to know that the worst pain disappears about a month after the surgery, meaning it can only get better from now on. However, when you feel pain in the back when doing something, regardless of the intensity, you should stop and take some rest.

    At this point, the fusion bone mass is established which is why some maneuvers should be avoided such as lifting anything heavier than 10 to 15 pounds, bending, and twisting.

    About six weeks after the spinal fusion, the patient undergoes physical therapy which lasts between 2 and three months. The therapy is customized according to your level of recovery and capabilities. During this stage, you can also add swimming to your physical activity routine.

    Three months after surgery and beyond

    At this stage, exercise is a pivotal aspect of the recovery process, and you shouldn’t neglect it. You will notice tremendous progress when performing some daily activities. Although it might seem like you’ve recovered, you should bear in mind that a complete recovery lasts up to eight months. You are obliged to go to checkups regularly.


    Spinal fusion is a common procedure that resolves different problems and conditions. The surgery requires a lengthy recovery and adherence to physical therapy as well as avoiding bending, lifting, and twisting. You will feel better week after week. Remember, this is also the perfect opportunity to quit smoking.

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    If you are one of the millions of people who suffer with knee and hip pain, you’re certainly not alone. Knee pain and hip pain are some of the commonest adverse physical conditions in America today. It is estimated that some 52 million Americans suffer from arthritis-related knee or hip pain, with more people joining those ranks every year. Experts predict that by the year 2030, at least one-fourth of all Americans will find themselves dealing with some sort of arthritic changes in their knees and hips. According to the National Health Interview Survey, knee pain is the most commonly reported joint problem among adults. Fortunately, a range of effective treatment options are available.

    What are the causes of knee pain?

    The knee is a complex joint with many parts that can be damaged. Injured or misaligned bones, ligaments that connect bone to bone, and tendons that attach bones to muscles can all be damaged in a number of ways. The bursae, or fluid-filled sac that surrounds the knee can suffer injury, as well, explains the Mayo Clinic.

    Injury, arthritis, and mechanical problems can lead to debilitating pain in the knee. Being overweight can also cause severe knee pain. Common injuries to the knee include tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL. This sort of knee injury is typical among basketball players, waitresses, soccer players, and other people who make sudden direction changes while walking or running. Fractures of the patella, or knee cap, often occur as a result of automobile accidents and sudden falls. Persons with bone-weakening osteoporosis may injure their knees merely by stepping the wrong way.

    The meniscus is comprised of firm cartilage that absorbs shock, especially between the thighbone and the shin. Meniscus tears are a common sports injury. Bursitis of the knee is an inflammation of the tissue that surrounds the knee. Bursitis can cause unbearable agony to people with the condition. Bicycle riders, runners, joggers, and skiers may fall victim to another awful knee condition called patellar tendinitis.

    Normal Canine Hips

    What are the causes of hip pain?

    The National Institutes of Health notes a number of causes of hip pain. Among these causes are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Warning signs of arthritis include joint stiffness, especially in the morning, swelling in one or more joints, and a ‘crunchy’ feeling that is actually bone rubbing against bone.

    Hip fracture, tendinitis, labral tear, and dislocation are other somewhat common causes of pain in the hips. Nerve impingement, such as that which occurs with sciatica, sacroiliitis, synovitis, and meralgia paresthetica are also contributors to severe hip pain, says Mayo Clinic. People may suffer hip pain due to injury, as well. Falls are a common cause of hip pain, especially in older adults.

    How a person can reduce pain in the knees and hips

    Athletes who participate in sports may reduce their risk of injury by wearing an elastic brace to support the knee. Waitresses, cashiers, and others who spend a lot of time on their feet would do well to invest in a good pair of soft-soled shoes. Good sports shoes can help. Adding custom orthotics to work and sports shoes may offer an additional line of defense against knee and hip pain. A quality mattress may offer some amount of protection against hip pain. Maintain a healthy weight to reduce the risk of joint pain as well as a range of debilitating health issues.

    The Arthritis Foundation recommends exercise to strengthen the ligaments and muscles that hold the knee together. Tai chi and swimming are both excellent exercises that offer health benefits without high impact to delicate knees and hips. Some people find relief via acupuncture and other alternative therapies. Using a cane may reduce pressure on the knees, but can lead to hip trouble unless the cane is a perfect fit and properly used.

    Surgical interventions

    Replacement joints made of ultra modern materials are a viable option for many persons who deal with unrelenting knee and hip pain. To find out if you are a good candidate for joint replacement, ask your physician for a referral to a quality surgeon, such as the doctors who offer hip replacement surgery by Orthopedic One.

    Joint lavage and arthroscopic debridement involve the removal of tissue fragments from within the knee along with a sterile saline flush of the knee joint. The treatment is a bit controversial, and not recommended by all experts. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements work for some people, but again are not recommended by most orthopedic doctors.

    Protect your knees and hips by staying strong and maintaining a healthy weight. If you do suffer from knee and hip pain, see a specialist without delay.   Get the right kind of shoes.

    Connor Sheppard has a medical background, today working in eldercare. Always wanting to help people, and full of useful info, Connor writes articles on a number of healthcare topics.

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    In the last two decades, many different types of cosmetic surgery have become quite popular among different categories of people. Even though there is nothing wrong with accepting your natural look, it is not a bad idea to invest in cosmetic surgery and improve your appearance. Thanks to modern medicine, people can alter almost every feature of their face and body and look much more attractive. It doesn’t really matter whether we are talking about the elimination of birth defects or simple beautification, any individual can alter the appearance of their chin and other body parts. According to official statistics, the number of people who decide to use chin augmentation is growing every year. This is especially true for cities with a high number of qualified and experienced surgeons like Toronto for example. Chin augmentation Toronto is one of the most searched terms when it comes to cosmetic surgery in North America.

    There are a huge number of people who believe that good looking chin and jaw line make men more masculine. As we all know, not all men have jawlines and chins like this, but the good news is that a good cosmetic surgeon can solve this issue. So, with a simple surgical procedure, any individual can get an attractive chin and face. Let’s be clear, a well-defined chin will beautify women too. Men usually avoid women who have large chins or chins with certain bone defects in this area. After a consultation with a cosmetic surgeon, they can get the right treatment to resolve this problem.

    There are hundreds of surgeons around the globe offering chin augmentation. The fact is that not every surgical procedure like this is the same and there are situations where this procedure is very simple and there are cases when it’s a little bit complicated. However, an experienced surgeon won’t have a problem in any case.

    Regardless of the intensity of this procedure, surgeons use anesthesia before the procedure begins. Typically, they use grinding of the bone in this area so they can eliminate the defects and get rid of growths and other structures that don’t belong there.

    Generally speaking, the recovery time is not long, but it depends on the level of work. In many cases, patients are fully recovered after six weeks. During the recovery period, patients might experience swelling, redness, inflammation and few other side effects that can be treated easily. Patients get detailed instructions about the things they should do in order to speed up the process and avoid problematic situations.

    Even though there are some problems and issues associated with chin augmentation, many people are not discouraged because they know that the final results are worth it. This is the reason why the number of these procedures is growing every year and according to many experts, this trend won’t stop in the near future.

    There is no doubt that chin augmentation should be taken into consideration by any individual who is dissatisfied with the look of their chin. It is good to know that people can have this procedure independently or together with few other plastic surgeries. Those wondering whether they are the right candidates for chin augmentation should schedule a meeting with a qualified and experienced cosmetic surgeon. They will evaluate their chin and provide additional information about the procedure.

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    Cancers of the head and neck are curable —if they are caught early enough. The treatment options, though, have traditionally been fearsome ones. For years, surgery involving the physical excision of tumors was the only option. Patients needed time to recover and then reconstructive surgery followed if the procedure left visible deformities.


    Surgery isn’t an option for certain types of cancer. For tumors deep within the brain, conventional surgery would necessarily require the cutting away of intervening brain tissue, an unviable option. For these tumors, doctors use a technology called radiosurgery. While the term mentions surgery, there is no cutting involved. The treatment method sends targeted radiation into the brain to attack just the lesions or tumors present. This treatment method has been successful and has helped save lives. Nevertheless, it hasn’t been without serious shortcomings.

    Conventional radiosurgery technologies aren’t very precise. Considerable radiation leaks into healthy tissue around the treated area. For this reason, radiosurgery only uses low doses of radiation, and as a result, is slow to work. Patients need to come in for dozens of treatments over weeks. Even with the low doses delivered, the imprecision of the treatment means that patients often feel the effects of the radiation. Fatigue, nausea, and pain are common side effects.

    Image credits:

    Gamma Knife radiosurgery, another conventional treatment option, is more precise. The precision, though, comes at the cost of patient comfort. Patients must submit to having their heads bolted to a head frame device to receive treatment.

    The Cyberknife: the modern alternative

    Scientists have worked on developing a more accurate and more versatile method of performing radiosurgery for decades. In 2001, the FDA approved a new device: the CyberKnife. This device uses an extremely accurate robotic arm mounting that is able to deliver precise doses of radiation into a tumor. The Cyberknife employs a robotic arm as a mounting for the radiation device to be able to keep track of patient movement. Patients no longer need to be strapped to a frame to allow the device to irradiate a tumor precisely.

    Patient comfort during the procedure isn’t the only benefit

     With Cyberknife robotic radiosurgery, the accuracy achieved is to high sub-millimeter levels. There is little radiation delivered to healthy tissue. For this reason, doctors are able to raise the strength of the radiation delivered. Patients only need to come in four to five times in all. Since healthy tissue isn’t affected, they feel fewer side effects.

    Cyberknife robotic radiosurgery is a remarkable development just for the way it improves treatment options for head and neck cancer.

    In 2001, the FDA cleared the technology for use in the treatment of cancers of the pancreas, prostate, spine, and other organs. The device has revolutionized the treatment of cancer.

    Alicia Madden is a health researcher and consultant. Her articles mainly focus on the latest technological advancements in disease prevention and screening. She enjoys sharing her research on health blogs.

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    Hip replacements are a commonplace medical procedure that can be found taking place at hospitals throughout the UK on a very regular basis, and it is also an operation that highlights the various stages of medical evolution we have experienced as techniques and technology have improved over time.

    As technology has helped to make hip and knee replacement surgery more effective, more patients do not approach the prospect of having this operation done with the same level of fear or dread that they used to.

    There are still certain risks and historical problems and unfortunately this means that some patients need to make a claim for medical negligence through a specialist company like Axiclaim. Here is a look at the history of hip replacement and some of the known dangers and problems that still need addressing.

    The first hip replacement

    The very first recorded hip replacement surgery to take place was in Germany was believed to be in 1891, when ivory was used as the material to replace the femoral head, which is the ball on the femur.

    Columbia Hospital in South Carolina, USA, in 1940 witnessed the first metallic hip replacement surgery, which was performed by Dr Austin Moore. A Burmese orthopaedic surgeon called Dr San Baw was the pioneer of ivory hip prostheses and his first of over 300 patients using this method was an 83 year old Buddhist Nun, who had a fractured hip bone.

    It has been reported that Dr San Baw’s success rate for being able to allow his patients the opportunity to walk and ride a bike within just a few weeks of surgery, was close to 90%. This paved the way for modern hip replacement surgery where most patients can expect to walk immediately post-operation.

    What we know now

    Hip replacement surgery encapsulates how human ingenuity can sometimes rival or surpass what nature seems to manage so easily. There is no argument that the human skeleton has to be considered a biomechanical wonder, with no less than 260 joints using basic designs to their maximum efficiency.

    The ball, hinge, pivot and socket are utilised in ingenious ways to provide maximum stability and mobility and hip replacements emulate those simple but effective components to give patients a new lease of life.

    The problem has been with the materials that have been used in the past for hip replacements and that is why certain types of metal-on-metal hip replacements are now banned in the UK. What we know now is that hip replacement surgery can be very effective and provide a positive outcome in terms of mobility, but the choice of materials used is crucial.


    Anyone who has already had a metal hip implant, should have annual health checks for the rest of their life according to NHS advice.

    There are concerns that all-metal devices wear down at an accelerated rate for some patients and this could potentially leak traces of metal into the bloodstream. This one of a number of known risks associated with hip replacement surgery that you have to be aware of.

    Problems with cement used in hip surgery

    Another issue that has come to light is the cement that has been used in thousands of hip operations has been linked to a number of deaths in the UK. There were 62 cases of a rare reaction called bone cement implantation syndrome (BCIS) which occurred during a seven year period.

    BCIS has been known to occur as a result of the cement managing to disrupt circulation in the hip joint, which in turn, causes the patient’s blood pressure to drop. This has had fatal consequences in some situations by causing the heart to stop working.

    The risk of BCIS is estimated to be around one person in every 2,900 patients and when you look at hip replacement surgery numbers overall, it still has to be said that the majority of operations and outcomes are positive and have no subsequent complications.

    Death rates linked to hip replacement surgery have actually fallen by nearly 50% between 2003 and 2011 according to a study carried out by The Lancet and it is believed that better physiotherapy and improved fitness of the patients undergoing the procedure, have been contributing factors to the decrease.

    There are always risks associated with any major surgery, but hip replacement is a very commonplace procedure these days and hopefully the number of deaths will continue to decline as post-operative practices continue to improve.

    Scott Thomas is a health industry researcher and consultant. He enjoys keeping up with the latest health research and sharing his insights online. His articles mainly focus on tackling common health misconceptions.

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    So you have been told that you have a tumour of some kind in your brain or another brain issue. That is a scary thing and something that will leave most people thinking about the bad effects of what will happen. Picturing full brain surgeries, loss of hair and an overall bad thought of what can happen during an invasive surgery. Luckily modern medicine has come a long day and for some surgeries you can instead turn into gamma knife surgery.

     So what is the Gamma Knife?

     The name of the device is a little conflicting, it may be called the Gamma knife, but it is not a type of knife at all. In fact the therapy device delivers one single very focused high dose of radiation directly to the target. You do not have to risk the healthy tissue around the abnormality while you attack the abnormality itself in full. The size of what is being treated will depend on how many times you might have to use the Gamma knife or how effective it will be, those items that are 1.5 inches or smaller are the most responsive to the treatment but not the only ones that will respond.

     How does radio surgery work?

    The process of radio surgery really starts with the process of finding the abnormality, if it is a relatively small one the process used to find it within the brain is called stereotaxy. This means that Stereotactic radio surgery is performed with the help of a stereotactis head frame that is placed on the skull while the patient is under local anesthesia. Imageingtechniques are then used, including CT scanning, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, and angiography. When these images are used along with special instruments that are computerized it gives the Doctors the ability to localize the abnormality that must be targeted. When the abnormality has been properly targeted the Gamma beams that are used for the Gamma Knife surgery can be pin pointed perfectly during the procedure.

    When a patient comes in for Gamma Knife treatment they will be laid on a couch and made as comfortable as possible. Once they are fully comfortable the procedure can begin. It does not take long and you will not feel any pain or discomfort throughout. If you have any questions about your procedure beforehand make sure you speak with your Doctor directly.

    What can be treated with Gamma Knife radio surgery?

    Every patient and every abnormality is different but there is a general list of what can be treated and what is easily helped by Gamma Knife

    • Benign brain tumors that grow slowly and do not tend to invade surrounding normal brain tissues, such as meningiomas, acoustic neuromas, pituitary adenomas, craniopharyngiomas, and low-grade astrocytomas
    • Primary or recurrent malignant brain tumors, including glioblastoma and anaplastic astrocytoma
    • Multiple or Solitary brain metastases
    • Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), dural AV fistulas
    • Recurrent trigeminal neuralgia
    • Epilepsy (some cases)

    Any patient who is interested in Gamma knife surgery must meet criteria and be referred by their Doctor. Most patients who are referred are done so initially by their Doctor before they themselves even know what Gamma Knife surgery is. However in the rare case that you have done research before speaking with your Doctor about a treatment plan, keep your information ready. There is never anything wrong with suggesting your own idea for treatment to your Doctor. You want to be as healthy as you can when taking on cancer, so that you can heal your body and mind. If Gamma knife is something that will work for you whether alone or in conjunction with something else you can create the plan.


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