Tags
Blog

'surgery' posts

Why you should have your hernia repaired

Do you have a groin bulge that seems to come and go, often absent upon waking in the morning? Or perhaps you already know you have a hernia? Hernias are very common and occur in approximately 1 in 4 males (less common in women), so chances are you or someone you know has or has had an inguinal hernia. The main question I always get asked is "should it be fixed?"  

As a general surgeon, I see 4-5 patients every week with a newly diagnosed inguinal hernia. Many are self-referred after discovering a lump in the groin, while many others are referred from their primary care provider after the hernia is discovered during the physical exam. After verifying that a hernia is the correct diagnosis (other possibilities are a groin strain, swollen lymph node, etc.), I have a discussion which addresses the aforementioned question. As an aside, these are very common and also found in the pediatric population (see a similar discussion by one of our pediatric surgeons)

To understand hernias...

Becoming a Breast Surgeon

Surgeons are often Type A personalities, the ones who sit in the front of the class, who volunteer for everything, who stay scrubbed in the OR all day with appendicitis and do a post-op check before checking themselves into the emergency department (yes, that was me.) As such, surgeons are often dismissive of the subspecialty of breast surgery. The surgeries are not as complex as cardiac bypass surgery or Whipple procedures for pancreatic cancer. In fact, it’s often a rotation for interns. I was a Type A personality. I had no plans to do breast surgery.

Then, a funny thing happened. I had my first son during residency. Planned with military precision, of course, to coincide with the beginning of my designated research years, as I had hoped to squeeze another baby in there somewhere. After his birth, I would breastfeed, because that is what Type A mothers do these days. It’s the best! Of course, I would do the best! However, like many mothers out there, we had an incredibly rocky start. Poor latch with inadequate weight gain. Triple feeding with pumped milk. Cracked nipples leading to mastitis. As a Type A person, I threw myself into research in an effort to solve the problems. Not just the many, many baby books out there, but Medline searches on breastfeeding management. I learned more than I ever had in my surgery textbooks about the breast, the physiology of lactation that is both incredibly simple and enormously complex, and most importantly, miraculous. I was reminded constantly in my reading of the importance of preserving this ability to breastfeed my son, for his and my health, and how challenging that could be.

I would sit in my office, working on surgical infections research, as I pumped and read about normal breasts and infected breasts and cancerous breasts. Antibiotic rotations in ICUs and glucose control became less exciting than being able to offer targeted medical advice to a frustrated friend in Boston, whose refractory mastitis was being met with shrugs from some of her local doctors until we correctly identified MRSA as the source. Maybe it wasn’t saving lives, but it saved her breastfeeding relationship with her child. Who knows, maybe in the end it would be saving lives! I read more ....

Two Seattle TV Stations to Tell Story of Women from Anchorage Taking Part in a Living, Unrelated Kidney Transplant

SEATTLE, Oct. 4, 2012 - A living, unrelated kidney transplant involving two former co-workers - and now grandmothers - from Anchorage, AL, will take place at Swedish/First Hill on Monday, Oct. 8. The two women - Judie Wolfe (donor) and Terri Teas (recipient) - recently shared their compelling story with the Anchorage Daily News.

Live-tweeting and Instagram Cochlear Implant/Hearing Restoration Surgery on October 2, 2012

You may have seen a post (Forbes) or two (CNET) in your various newsfeeds recently about the fact the Swedish is live-tweeting and Instagramming a cochlear implant (hearing restoration) surgery tomorrow, on October 2, 2012. (Check it out at www.swedish.org/swedishhear.)

A question we've gotten is why live-tweet or Instagram a surgery? Haven't you done that already? (Yes, we've used Twitter and video before (to educate patients about deep brain stimulation and knee replacement procedures, among others), but not Instagram.)

We're learning from our patients how hard it is to access information if you are deaf or have hearing loss, and, per a study in The Lancet, how this impacts the quality of healthcare. And so we decided to create additional resources to help raise awareness about the option of cochlear implants. (In this Mashable postDr. Backous said only 10% of people who qualify for cochlear implants end up receiving them.)

Here's an example of one of the many stories that inspired this series:

(For closed captioning press the CC button located in the middle of the action bar that appears at the bottom of the video when it is playing. For the best results, watch the video in full screen by pressing the full screen button located in the right hand corner of the action bar.)

People with hearing loss are not able to call on the phone to get more information or ask questions, so we decided to document via text (tweets) and images (Instagram photos) the cochlear implant procedure.

We're also hosting two text-based chats next Wednesday on October 10, 2012 (at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Pacific Time). The chats will enable patients and interested viewers to talk directly via the chat (text based - no audio) to Dr. Backous, audiologists, patients who have had the procedure, and patient advocacy groups. If you have unanswered questions about hearing loss or cochlear implants, we hope you'll join us for the discussion. (You can ...

(Click 'read more' to see a full recap from the live event)

Hernias: why are some watched while others are repaired?

The most common thing that I see as a pediatric surgeon is a child with a lump that is thought to be a hernia. A hernia is a bulging of tissue through an opening in the muscle layers that isn’t normally present. In children, these openings are usually the result of a developmental process that just didn’t quite reach completion. Some hernias need surgery emergently, while others are observed for years with the expectation that they will close on their own.

Here are some pointers to help understand this wide range of approaches to hernias:

Location is very important in considering how aggressive to be with hernias. Belly button (umbilical) hernias are...

Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute Begins Offering a New, Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Replacement Procedure

SEATTLE, Sept. 11, 2012 - For patients too sick to undergo open-heart surgery, a new, FDA-approved, minimally invasive aortic valve replacement procedure - now being performed by Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute (SHVI) providers - is offering new hope to patients whose life-threatening heart condition was previously inoperable.

Rib Fractures: Essentials of Management and Treatment Options

Rib fractures are the most common chest injury accounting for 10 to 15 percent of all traumatic injuries in the U.S. Nearly 300,000 people are seen each year for rib fractures and 7 percent of this population will require hospitalization for medical, pain, and/ or surgical management.

Rib fractures can cause serious complications including: bleeding in the chest (hemothorax), collapse of the lung (pneumothorax), or result in a fluid accumulation in the chest (pleural effusion), just to name a few. As well, rib fractures may contribute to the development of a lung infection or pneumonia. These problems are important to diagnose following chest trauma and even more importantly, when present, they need to be followed closely in the early post-traumatic period.

The most common symptom that people experience with rib fractures is....

Results 22-28 of 48