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Jennifer Heisler, RN

Surgery Blog


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What Exactly Is Top Surgery?

Thursday May 29, 2014

Top surgery, also known as a bilateral mastectomy, is a surgical procedure designed to masculinize the chest.

Was that as clear as mud? Ok, let me try again.  For transgender individuals who are transitioning from female to male, one of the biggest hurdles in being seen as male by the general public is the presence of breasts.  For those individuals, a bilateral mastectomy is a surgical remedy to the problem of how one is perceived by the general public, as well as making the body match the brain.

There are several types of top surgery available.  Learn more about the surgical procedures, ways to reduce scarring, payment options and more in this article:

Top Surgery: Female to Male Gender Reassignment Surgery

Malnutrition After Weight Loss Surgery

Thursday May 29, 2014

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and this is absolutely true of weight loss surgery patients and malnutrition.

It is easy to discount the serious nature of malnutrition after having a bariatric procedure, after all, isn't the whole point to lose weight? For some, malnutrition can sound like a dream come true, but the reality is that malnutrition can kill.

Here's the good news: preventing malnutrition after surgery is as easy as taking supplements once or twice a day and should have no negative effects on your weight loss.  In fact, feeling good may lead to more activity, which can mean more weight loss.

Learn more about malnutrition after weight loss surgery, how to spot the signs and symptoms, how to prevent it and how it is treated once it develops.

Bariatric Surgery and New Addictions-Cross Addiction

Wednesday May 28, 2014

Bariatric weight loss surgery isn't the easy way to anything.  It isn't the easy way to lose weight, and it isn't the easy way to happiness. Weight loss is hard work, whether it is done with the help of surgery or not. Keeping weight off is even harder.

For many bariatric surgery patients, weight loss leads to a whole new world of problems, including drug and alcohol addiction.  This phenomenon is referred to as "cross addiction", which is when an individual gives up one addiction (in this case food) for another.

Alcoholism is a particularly bad addiction to acquire after bariatric surgery because the surgery can increase the body's ability to absorb alcohol, resulting in faster higher peaks in blood alcohol levels.  This faster peak, followed by a rapid fall, can increase the patient's ability to consume larger amounts of alcohol.  The smaller stomach sizes associated with most weight loss surgeries impedes the consumption of large amounts of food, but does not inhibit the consumption of fluids.

One of the best ways to combat cross addiction is by acknowledging the potential for a problem exists and seeking support groups or counseling both before and after the surgical procedure.

Man Amputates Own Feet After Frostbite

Wednesday May 28, 2014

A Chinese man amputated his own feet after frostbite led to severe injuries and he could not afford to pay for surgery.

According to Fox news, the man used shards of glass to amputate his feet after learning the fee for surgery at a local hospital. After the feet were removed, his village became aware of the problem and helped raise $3700 for his care.  He received additional surgery at the hospital and has been enrolled in a health insurance plan.


Baseball Spat Leads To Ear Bitten Off, Surgery

Wednesday May 28, 2014

A scuffle between two members of the Albuquerque Isotopes--the Dodgers farm team--led to surgery after a vicious bite.

That wasn't a typo.  It seems their fight ended with catcher Miguel Olivo biting part of Alex Guerrero's ear off.  The prospect could miss up to 5 weeks of the season recovering from surgery to reattach the missing flesh.  As for Olivo, he's no longer part of the team.

Rand Paul, Politician, Surgeon For the Poor

Wednesday May 28, 2014

Rand Paul was a practicing ophthalmologist for 17 years before he became a Republican Senator for Kentucky.

Senate ethics rules prevent Paul from practicing medicine for money while in Congress, but he is permitted to perform pro bono work as he sees fit.  For Paul, providing free eye surgery to those in need serves a dual purpose, it keeps his surgical skills in fine form and helps those who cannot afford surgery.

This year he used part of the spring recess to perform cataract surgery on four patients at a Paducah, Kentucky and has plans to do a medical mission trip to Guatemala later this year.

Former President George W. Bush Has Surgery

Wednesday May 28, 2014

Former President George W. Bush had surgery at Chicago's Rush University Medical Center this holiday weekend.

The former president had knee replacement surgery that was apparently successful, as he has already returned to his home in Texas.  This is not his first surgery, he had a stent placed in 2013 for a blocked coronary artery.

Don't expect this surgery to slow the former president down, in fact, with less pain he may even become more active.  He was known to run during his presidency, and is now an avid cyclist, and has helped awareness for veterans with his annual W100k

We Have It Good In The United States

Wednesday May 28, 2014

Surgery is outrageously expensive in the United States, especially if you don't have insurance, but in so many ways Americans are truly blessed when it comes to our access to healthcare.

I am guilty of forgetting how lucky we are, then I will stumble across an article about doctors without borders, or this one in National Geographic Emerging Explorer about a piece of equipment we take for granted in hospitals across the country.  I read stories about people dying in other countries for lack of something that is absolutely taken for granted, like penicillin or a doctor in a 100 mile radius.

So for today, I am thankful that we, as Americans, have access to clean operating rooms, Emergency rooms, retail clinics and urgent cares.  We are so lucky to have access to care that lets us live long enough to complain about the monstrous bill a month later.


Thigh Gap Surgery Newest Plastic Surgery Trend

Wednesday April 30, 2014

Thigh gap,  a space between the thighs when standing with the feet and knees together, is behind the newest trend in plastic surgery.

The thigh gap is a thing both loved and hated by women.  Some women say it is unrealistic, so much so that Target had to photoshop advertisements to give already thin models a thigh gap, and encourages women to be underweight.  For other women, a thigh gap is an achievement, a sign that they have reached the pinnacle of sexy legs.

Now women are having surgery to make sure they have a thigh gap, leaving me wondering what the next trend in plastic surgery might be.

Johnson and Johnson Suspends Sales of Fibroid Surgery Device

Wednesday April 30, 2014

A device used in tens of thousands of fibroid surgeries each year will be temporarily taken off the market, but the device will remain in use across the country

The device, called a morcellator, is often used to surgically remove fibroids from a woman's uterus.  The problem is that 1/350 women having fibroid surgery also have cancer, and the use of the morcellator will cause that cancer to spread more quickly.

The decision is a mixed bag: the device allows for fibroids to be removed with a minimally invasive procedure, but the risk to a small percentage of women is extremely high.

Supermodel With Fibroids:  an interview about her myomectomy and subsequent hysterectomy


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