The Benefits of Having a Home Team Following Your Heart Surgery or Other Major Surgery

Whether you have time to plan ahead or you?re just getting home from the hospital after major surgery, it?s essential to organize a group of friends and family willing to assist you during your recovery. Maggie Lichtenberg offers advice on what to assign your home team.

It?s essential to organize a Home Team before you go in for heart surgery, even if you have little time before your surgery to plan it. On the other hand, if you have just gotten home from the hospital, don?t worry it?s not too late. A Home Team is a group of friends and family who are willing to assist you in your recovery following your surgery. Make a list of up to fifteen people, family and friends (but not your primary caregiver) who would be glad ? even honored ? to be called to help out. Pick a leader among these friends and engage her or him to contact the others about the tasks ahead. Set up a revolving schedule of assignments for your first three to four weeks at home.

Your Primary Caregiver Has The Most Important Role

Who will your primary caregiver be; your spouse, your partner, a friend, or another family member? In my new book, The Open Heart Companion: Preparation and Guidance for Open-Heart Surgery Recovery the following scenario is explained to help you better understand their importance: Suddenly your caregiver, your close personal ally, has the extended responsibility for all previously shared arrangements ? nursing aid, household tasks, transportation, medical and social plan coordination. It can become overwhelming and too much for one person. That is why it is essential that you line up a supportive Home Team to pitch in. Your primary caregiver needs assistance and taking care of too. Once you are home and recovering, he or she is now ?on? 24/7. He or she also needs continuing acknowledgment, appreciation and love from you. Plan to regularly express your gratitude. Find out how your loved one is feeling ? every day. Though sometimes you won?t feel like it, remember to smile, and show you care and appreciate all that is being done for you.

Five basic tasks to assign to your Home Team

1. Dinner nightly
Some friends will like to prepare a home cooked meal for both patient and caregiver, while others can pick up a heart healthy take-out meal. Since the reality of landing back home means the primary caregiver has antenna focused on you continuously, your caregiver loved one will appreciate the sit-down break at dinner time.

2. Buddy system
During the many hours and days of convalescence, neither patient nor primary caregiver wants to feel isolated at home. Anticipate a buddy system in advance. Is there a friend who has been though open-heart surgery who will agree to check in with the patient regularly? Is there someone that the heart patient can call spontaneously? Many basic questions can be answered this way, by a friend or family member. Naturally, any substantial recovery question requires picking up the phone and calling your designated medical professional. Maybe you know, or know of, a former heart patient who also is a medical professional? Arrange chat times (perhaps twice weekly) with him or her. Primary caregiver and patient should also plan regular phone time with a best friend independently, to be free to let their hair down to tell it like it is.

3. Running errands
Who ? friend or neighbor ? would be willing to be counted on to run to the pharmacy or to deposit or pick up laundry or dry cleaning? How about someone who will shop for staples at the supermarket or buy a box of thank-you notes? Recruit a list of volunteers beforehand. It?s critical to have this in place to enable you to focus on getting well.

4. Housekeeping
In the hospital take-home instructions, there are very specific physical directives that must be honored while the sternum (breastbone) is healing. You are not to lift more than five to ten pounds for four to six weeks. As well, you are to avoid pushing/pulling activities with your arms, and also avoid heavy one-armed lifting for three months. This eliminates carrying groceries, carrying a toddler, vacuuming, shoveling snow, mowing the lawn, raking leaves ? even wiping up a kitchen counter with a sponge can be challenging in the first couple of weeks. It is best to schedule others for regular housekeeping duties for at least four to six weeks and/or consider hiring a house cleaner for the short term.

5. Chauffeuring
An open-heart patient may not resume driving for six to eight weeks ? until the sternum is fully healed. Because you don?t want to risk re-injuring the sternum should a passenger airbag need to be deployed, you might be advised to ride in the back seat using the shoulder seat belt. That said, you can ride in a car as soon as you?re home ? to a medical appointment, to the store, to eat out. However, all these outings become a lot of driving for the primary caregiver, so line up chauffeur volunteers.

Recovering from heart surgery can be challenging, but with these tips and more tips on planning ahead found in The Open Heart Companion you can ensure that your recovery will go smoothly.

Gain Control and Lose Weight with Lap Band Surgery

Struggling with obesity? Tired of trying out new diets only to meet failure? Lap band surgery might be the route for you. Learn how you can lose weight and keep it off with lap band surgery…

Many people want and need to lose weight but can’t seem to make any progress. Having surgery to lose weight is good for seriously overweight patients who have tried and failed other treatments. Studies have shown that weight-loss surgery such as lap band surgery has helped patients to sustain their weight loss longer than non-surgical therapies. By having this surgery, you will be on the road to better health and improving your quality of life.

What is Lap Band Surgery?

The safest and least invasive weight-loss surgery is the lap band surgery. There is no stomach cutting, stapling, or gastrointestinal re-routing involved in the lap band surgery. This reduces post-operative pain and hastens recovery. The name “lap-band’ comes from the surgical technique, laparoscopic, and the name of the implanted device.

During the procedure, the lap band surgeon usually uses the laparoscopic technique. Instead of making a large incision, they make tiny incisions and use instruments to insert the lap band. There is less of a chance of side effects and nutritional deficiencies that are often associated with gastric surgeries.

Lap band surgery involves placing an adjustable gastric band around the upper stomach to create a smaller stomach pocket. This limits the amount of food a person can consume at one time. With a smaller stomach, you feel full faster, and the food moves more slowly between your upper and lower stomach. This helps you to eat less and lose weight.

Once the band is placed around the stomach, it is connected to an access port in the skin of your abdomen. The surgeon can then inject the inside of the stomach with saline solution. This adjusts the size of the stomach outlet to restrict the amount of food that can be moved through it. This process helps determine the rate of weight loss. It can be adjusted to individual needs as you lose weight or help speed up weight loss. It can be adjusted or removed without surgery.

Learning to Eat After Surgery

After surgery there are some dietary limitations that are advantageous for the patient. For the first three to four days following surgery, patients must have a clear liquid diet. This gives the patient time to adjust to the new stomach and avoid complications. For the first three months after surgery, no caffeine drinks such as coffee, tea, or soda are allowed. Carbonated drinks are not recommended because they can cause gas and bloating. They could also cause the stomach size to increase because of the carbonation.

The next phase is a modified liquid diet that helps you adjust to eating small meals. You will be given instructions on how much protein and vegetables to eat. The lap band diet does not include most bread, potatoes or starchy foods. You will be encouraged to eat a lot of protein to avoid a deficiency and side effects.

Lose Weight and Keep It Off

After lap band surgery, you will learn to eat small bites and eat slowly. There will be some foods that will be ruled out to avoid causing digestive problems. As you begin to lose weight these adjustments in diet will become a new way of life.

To save money, you can check on having the surgery in Mexico. There are websites that give information on doctors and clinics in both the U.S. and Mexico. There are new options available for people who cannot lose weight and keep it off. Find out if lapband surgery would work for you.

Obesity Surgery Is A Serious Decision

Obesity surgery is a serious decision to make if you are obese and wish to lead a healthier life. There are many complications that can occur in addition to the benefits. For example, if you have stomach stapling done you may pop a staple at some future point after the surgery. If you get a band it could slip. Either way you?ll need corrective surgery.

Obesity surgery is a serious decision to make if you are obese and wish to lead a healthier life. There are many complications that can occur in addition to the benefits. For example, if you have stomach stapling done you may pop a staple at some future point after the surgery. If you get a band it could slip. Either way you?ll need corrective surgery.

Beneficially your stomach will be much smaller in size and unable to hold as much food, which in turn should allow you dramatic weight loss. Just because your stomach is smaller doesn?t necessarily mean that your appetite will be smaller after you recover. Some people find that initially their appetite is dramatically reduced but after their bodies heal from the surgery old habits return. This can be especially difficult if you are used to eating quickly and ordering large amounts of food.

You should write a personal note to yourself or several copies of the same note that say something to the effect of ?Remember to chew slowly and pay attention to how much food you are eating.? After an obesity surgery you will fill up very quickly and can inadvertently make yourself sick.

It is possible to find ways to cheat on your new weight loss plan and thus regain your weight. One of these is simply to ?graze? all day. Even if you can only eat small amounts at a time you can still gain weight if you constantly eat tiny portions of high calorie foods during the day. This is unfortunent and a common occurrence in patients with whom the obesity surgery doesn?t take.

Also continuing a sedentary lifestyle will hinder your efforts. Its important to start and stay active. One way to stay active and a suggested way for obesity surgery patients is walking.

What Does Cosmetic Surgery Typically Cost?

The costs for cosmetic surgery vary greatly throughout the United States. A number of factors contribute to these cost differences including the type of cosmetic surgery procedure performed, the level of complexity presented by the patient (in other words, how much work is needed), the location, and the surgeon?s individual fees. It is entirely feasible that two individuals visiting the same surgeon for a consultation on a procedure will be quoted two different prices. This i…

The costs for cosmetic surgery vary greatly throughout the United States. A number of factors contribute to these cost differences including the type of cosmetic surgery procedure performed, the level of complexity presented by the patient (in other words, how much work is needed), the location, and the surgeon?s individual fees. It is entirely feasible that two individuals visiting the same surgeon for a consultation on a procedure will be quoted two different prices. This is due to the fact that each individual presents a unique challenge to the doctor. Some surgeries require more work than others, even if the two individuals are seeking the same procedure. For this reason, it is nearly impossible for a doctor to quote a patient a set price for a procedure until he has had a chance to examine the patient in person.

Many health insurance companies will not cover the costs of cosmetic surgery, especially if the procedure is an elective one. There are a few circumstances under which your insurance may pick up a portion, perhaps even all, of your surgical bills. For example, many insurance companies will pay for rhinoplasty, which is a nose job, if the procedure is necessary to reduce a blockage that is unduly restricting a patient?s breathing. To determine if your cosmetic surgery is covered by your insurance plan, contact your health insurance provider. Keep in mind that even if the procedure is covered, you may be responsible for a deductible or co-payment.

The national average, as of December 2005, of a number of cosmetic surgeries is detailed below. As discussed above, the actual cost of your surgery will vary based on the extent of work needed, the surgeon?s geographical location, and the surgeon?s individual fees. In the United States, New York has the highest costs for plastic surgery. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Florida and Texas, which offer the most affordable procedures in the nation. The national averages listed below do not include anesthesiology costs, operating room charges, or related expenses.

Procedure Cost
Breast implants $3,043
Breast lift $3,503
Chin augmentation $1,488
Ear surgery $2,168
Eyelid surgery $2,544
Facelift $5,007
Laser hair removal $360 per treatment
Laser skin resurfacing $2,243
Liposuction $2,049 per area treated
Microdermabrasion $136 per treatment
Rhinoplasty $2,947
Tummy tuck $4,205

Due to the high costs of most cosmetic surgery procedures, most surgeons now offer a variety of payment options to patients. These may include cash, personal checks, and credit card payments. A number of surgeons also now offer plastic surgery financing plans. Financing plans allow patients to spread the cost of the surgery over an extended period of time, so that patients are not forced to pay for the entire surgery upfront.

If you are considering plastic surgery, talk to local surgeons to set up a consultation and inquire about specific pricing and financial options available to you.

Find Your Inner Slimness With Lap Band Surgery

Obesity drags down the quality of life on so many levels. It causes serious health problems and plays havoc with your daily life affecting everything from getting around to choosing clothes. Weight loss surgery is one way to claim your inner slimness that promises remarkable results. Read all about it here.

Obesity drags down the quality of life on so many levels. It causes serious health problems and plays havoc with your daily life affecting everything from getting around to choosing clothes. Weight loss surgery is one way to claim your inner slimness that promises remarkable results. Read all about it here.

Weight loss surgery promises remarkable results but it’s no quick fix. In fact it’s the procedure of last resort for those who are morbidly obese. This doesn’t mean the procedures are involved or risky, though. The most popular procedure is laparoscopic gastric band (lap band) surgery. It’s popular because it’s fast, easy and has few side effects. Here’s the lowdown on lap band weight loss surgery.

Lap band surgery is a type of restrictive weight loss surgery. As the name implies, it works by restricting the volume of food entering your digestive system. In this way, fewer calories reach the bloodstream.

It works by forming a pouch out of the top part of the stomach by putting an inflatable band around it and attaching the band to the stomach with staples. When eating, this pouch fills quickly and sends a signal to the brain to indicate it’s full. Thus you stop eating. The food then gradually passes through a small opening into the rest of the stomach and hence into the small intestine in the normal way.

A few weeks after the operation and the sutures have healed, the doctor inflates the band using a reservoir attached to the band by a tube. This inflation causes the restriction. The reservoir is located just under the skin allowing the doctor easy access. Adjusting the band to its optimum size is critical and many adjustments may be needed over a period of several months.

Lap band surgery is popular for many reasons. Firstly, lap band procedures are done using keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery. This type of non-invasive operation leaves minimal scarring. The whole procedure takes around 30 minutes. Another plus is that in lap band surgery, the food passes through the whole digestive system, albeit in reduced quantities. This means that nutrients are absorbed normally.

So how can you decide if lap band surgery is for you? The main criteria are that you have been severely weight for over five years and have failed to lose weight using conventional methods. (You should have made a sustained effort for at least six months to lose weight by diet and exercise).

Another factor is whether your health is at serious risk resulting from your weight. This is a condition known as morbid obesity and can mean a body mass index (BMI) of over 40 or a BMI of over 35 with an attendant medical condition such as diabetes.

In addition, you should not be suffering from any psychological or physical condition that precludes the weight loss operation. Consult your doctor for detailed information.

If you feel these conditions apply to you, the next step is to consult with a doctor specialising in bariatrics (obesity cure). He will be able to advise you on whether lap band surgery is for you. If so he will advise you on the procedure and make arrangements for you.

Losing excess weight can be a life-transforming experience working wonders on physical, social and emotional levels. If you’re obese and want to makeover your health and life, call a lap band surgery specialist and inquire today.

Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome without Surgery

Millions of Americans suffer from the pain and disability of carpal tunnel syndrome. Most do not know that conservative measures provide relief in the majority of cases.

Millions of Americans suffer from the pain and disability of carpal tunnel syndrome. Most do not know that conservative measures provide relief in the majority of cases.

Almost all people with the pain, numbness and weakness in the hands and wrists can be helped with manual medicine. The osteopath evaluates the nerves, blood vessels, and muscles first for any abnormality. Next is a structural exam to check for decreased range of motion of the wrist and hand. This is almost always abnormal. By opening up the canal where the median nerve and blood vessel travels, more oxygen can get to the tissue. Stretching the ligament that crosses transversely at the wrist also releases the joint and decreases pain and swelling. This is all part of osteopathic manipulative therapy.

The D.O. may also check lab work for hypothyroidism or autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. If you have a job involving repetitive motion or a large amount of computer work he/she will look at your mechanics and make suggestions. Less stress and better positioning of the wrist increases its strength and flexibility. A nutritional approach has shown 50 mg. of B6 to be effective in some cases. Of course traditional methods of splints, anti-inflammatory medicines, and exercises are also used.

Surgery and further testing of the nerves and muscles may be necessary if you do not improve with conservative measures. Shrinking of the muscles of the thumb or coldness of the tips of the fingers are serious findings.

References:

1. Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, January 1993; 93:92.
2. Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, August 1994; 94:647.

Fix Your Face: Plastic Surgery

Facial plastic surgery is one of the most prevalent forms of cosmetic surgery. Though a multitude of women opt for facial surgery, even men are not lagging in the race for beauty and superb looks.

Plastic surgery is the most common avenue for personal enhancement. It can be used to enhance the original features that a person may find unattractive. It instills a sense of confidence and self-esteem in the patient. Facial plastic surgery is one of the most prevalent forms of cosmetic surgery. Though a multitude of women opt for facial surgery, even men are not lagging in the race for beauty and superb looks. Surgeons are often confronted with strange requests from patients, who crave for facial surgery so they may acquire the gorgeous looks of their favorite Hollywood star.

Facial plastic surgery is not solely used to impart drop-dead good looks; its use extends much more than that. Reconstructive surgery, a type of plastic surgery, can be used to reshape certain facial features, which might have been disfigured due to congenital defect, accident, trauma or disease. The key intent of such a facial surgery is to improve function, impart a normal appearance, and to help the patient lead a normal life.

A comprehensive surgical facelift involves a series of operations, which may entail work on ears, nose, lips, eyes, chin, and forehead, among others. For instance, women may opt for lip enhancement to make the lips look more pronounced. An eyelid surgery creates the impression of permanent beautiful eyelids. Nearly every aspect of the face can be altered using facial plastic surgery. Those who can bear the expense do crave for a celebrity look that emulates their favorite actor.

The increasing number of facial surgery procedures is strong evidence to the fact that both men and women benefit from plastic surgery. It widens their horizon as far social activities are concerned. Moreover, with unprecedented advances in technology, sophisticated software tools are available at a surgeon?s disposal. These tools enable the surgeon to achieve a more predictable result. With such a favorable scenario, facial plastic surgery is set to achieve immense worldwide popularity.

Night Vision Problems Caused By LASIK Eye Surgery

According to research studies conducted in recent years, several patients who underwent LASIK reported problems seeing at night. These night vision problems are typically transient and wear off in a few days.

According to research studies conducted in recent years, several patients who underwent LASIK reported problems seeing at night. The induced night vision defects included halos, starbursts and glare around brightly lit objects at night. These night vision problems signify deterioration in quality rather than quantity of vision. Though these night vision problems are typically transient and wear off in a few days, in some patients, the symptoms might persist long after the eye heals.

LASIK is a refractive surgery technique that involves reshaping of the cornea via precise ablation. Night vision problems are known to be caused by the irregularity between the untouched part of the cornea and the reshaped part. It is a known fact that the pupil dilates in darkness and contracts when faced with bright light. However, it is impractical to perform LASIK such that it covers the expansion of the pupil at full dilation at night.

Daytime post-LASIK vision is optimal, since the pupil is smaller than the LASIK flap. But at night, the pupil may expand such that light passes through the edge of the LASIK flap into the pupil. This is what gives birth to night vision anomalies.

Studies have also shown that the possibility of night vision problems increases in patients who have undergone some sort of enhancement LASIK surgery. It might be the case that the desired refraction is not accomplished in the foremost surgery, and hence, patients typically require enhancement surgeries. These patients are generally less happy with the outcome than those patients who have had LASIK surgery only once in life. Moreover, patients who have flatter corneas at the outset are more likely to suffer from starbursts and other night vision problems after surgery.

LASIK technology has advanced over time and the surgeons have gained loads of experience in the pertinent field. As a result, the number of patients reporting night vision problems has dropped significantly. Expert surgeons carry out a comprehensive preoperative examination to determine if the patient has large sized pupils. They make use of advanced contemporary equipment to accomplish the same, and therefore, rule out the possibility of long-term night vision defects.

Finding a LASIK surgery that you are confident about will be able to give you more information about night vision problems.

Lasik Eye Surgery: Is It Right For You?

If you have poor eyesight and you have worn eyeglasses or contact lenses all your life, then you might want to consider LASIK eye surgery.

If you have poor eyesight and you have worn eyeglasses or contact lenses all your life, then you might want to consider LASIK eye surgery.

LASIK is the acronym for Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileuses. This is a procedure where the patient has to undergo surgery to reduce or totally eliminate a person’s poor eyesight.

There are certain eye imperfections that cause poor eyesight. Examples of these are:

– Astigmatism

A person with astigmatism sees ‘distorted’ imaged which is a result of deformities or irregularities on the lenses of the eyes.

– Nearsightedness

A person who is nearsighted has a condition called myopia. Here, the patient experiences difficulties seeing objects at a distance.

– Farsightedness

On the other hand, a person who is farsighted sees far objects without difficulty but the same does not apply to near objects. This condition is
also called hyperopia.

To treat these ailments, LASIK eye surgery is used, and this is the most common method of refractive surgery performed for patients nowadays.

‘The Procedure’

In LASIK surgery, there is a knife-like tool that is mainly used for the procedure: the microkeratome.

This is used to produce a very thin and rounded flap in the clear, outer layer covering the front or the eye which is the cornea. A more technologically-advanced way to create this flap is by the use of laser.

The shape of the cornea is changed permanently once this surgery is performed.

After the flap on one side of the eye is produced, this is folded back to reveal the stroma. The stroma is the mid-section of the cornea.

Afterwards, the microkeratome or the laser beam will vaporize a part of the stroma by producing computer-controlled pulses.

Then, the flap is put back into place after making the necessary corrections.

There are other types of refractive surgery that may be performed on a patient,depending on the degree of visual disability.

‘The Pros & Cons’

This type of surgery that aims to correct poor vision is very popular. Why do you think this is so? Here is a list of the advantages of LASIK eye surgery:

1. You will not feel pain while undergoing the procedure.

2. The results are immediate. Right after the surgery, you will experience an improvement with your eyesight. At the very least, you will get to literally “see” results a day or two after the operation.

Still, there is a downside to this type of medical procedure. Take a look at some of them and decide for yourself if undergoing the surgery is worth the risk:

1. Complications may arise.

Different patients respond differently to treatment. If there are certain health issued that your doctor is not aware of, the procedure may not have positive results.

2. There are certain jobs or profession which prohibit an employee undergoing LASIK eye surgery.

Be sure to check with your employer first if you think that this surgery might in any way inhibit you from doing your work.

3. The procedure is quite costly.

Over the years and because of its gaining popularity, the costs have gone down considerably.

However, it is still quite a hefty amount to squeeze out of your pocket if you are on a budget.

If you plan to undergo this type of surgery, ask your doctor about the
rates.

‘Should You Do It?’

If you are not the type of person to boldly take risks,LASIK eye surgery may not be right for you.

Before deciding to undergo the procedure, make sure that you know about the costs, health risks and take all the necessary precautions.

Also, talk with your doctor about what you should do before, during and after the surgery.

Ask them what you can expect to feel and the results that you will get right after the procedure.

What Are Your Chances Of 20-20 Vision After LASIK Eye Surgery?

With the latest technological advancements in laser eye surgery, the conventional LASIK procedure has been augmented with superlative techniques like wavefront LASIK, and its add-on, iris registration.

You might have come across eye centers touting outrageous offers of “20/20 vision or your money back”. The whole concept of 20/20 vision has been ballyhooed immensely when it comes to laser eye surgery. In essence, the value 20/20 refers to a way of measuring visual acuity via the Snellen eye chart ? the same old alphabet chart that you might have seen at a nearby eye care center. As an instance of Snellen measurement, people with 20/40 vision can see clearly at 20 feet what people with 20/20 vision can see clearly at 40 feet.

With the latest technological advancements in laser eye surgery, the conventional LASIK procedure has been augmented with superlative techniques like wavefront LASIK, and its add-on, iris registration. With such enhancements there is an even greater chance of 20/20 vision relative to that with conventional LASIK. By wielding wavefront technology there is a great, around 95%, chance of 20/20 vision. However, with the iris registration technology, the possibility of 20/20 vision skyrockets to an overwhelming 99%.

20/20 vision is what you aim for while undergoing any type of refractive surgery ? it’s used as a benchmark. However, some people hold a somewhat dissenting opinion about 20/20 vision, as far as laser eye surgery is concerned. The argument put forth is that visual quality matters more than visual acuity. As is evident from a number of cases, laser eye surgeries, for instance LASIK, have potential complications. A patient might experience blurry vision, halos, ghost vision or double vision, glare, and starbursts surrounding light sources at night.

Normal vision is crisp and sharp. But after laser eye surgery, a person might have to deal with debilitating side effects, which typically diminish vision quality. Though the patient might still be able to decipher a 20/20 line on the Snellen chart, the vision might be blurry. Unless the complications subside, eye surgeons’ famous promise of 20/20 vision is merely a myth.

In general, the degree of refractive error and the pupil size are the only criteria while determining the candidature of a patient for laser eye surgery. Most patients are not tested on other grounds, such as contrast sensitivity, glare and depth perception. The data pertinent to such aspects is fairly anecdotal. A comprehensive preoperative test regime is necessary for achieving authentic 20/20 vision (with enhanced vision quality) after laser eye surgery.

If you find a LASIK surgery that you are confident with, you will be able to get more information about 20/20 vision.