Neuroscience SNI

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Treating Arteriovenous Malformations to Remove the Risk of Rupture

June 28, 2013

An arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in the brain is a relatively rare condition – occurring in less that 1 percent of the population. It can, however, be neurologically morbid in young adults ages 15 to 20, who are at the greatest risk for hemorrhage and least likely to exhibit symptoms. About 2 to 4 percent of all AVMs each year hemorrhage.

An AVM’s tangled mass of blood vessels, which forms in utero, produces multiple direct connections between arteries and veins without the normal, intervening capillaries. Symptoms often are not present until later in life or until after the AVM ruptures.

A small number of congenital syndromes, such as Sturge-Weber, Rendu-Osler-Weber, ataxia telangiectasia, and Wyburn-Mason, are associated with AVMs. Once formed, extrinsic factors, such as arterial shunting, growth factors and intracranial hemorrhage, may alter the size and shape of an AVM.

The most common types of AVMs are:

Facelift Surgery

June 27, 2013

What is a facelift ?

A 'facelift' is a relatively generic term that describes a set of procedures designed to rejuvenate the appearance of the face and neck. There are a variety of 'styles' of facelift procedures- some simple and others quite complex.

The basic idea behind a good facelift operation is to reposition facial soft tissues (fat) in a more youthful position, and correct laxity of the soft tissues that support facial and neck skin. While it might make sense intuitively to just tighten the skin, such a 'skin only' facelift does not have the lifting 'power' and longevity of a good bi-planar facelift.

What is a bi-planar facelift ?

In a quality facelift, the skin is ..

Fecal incontinence: New treatment options

June 03, 2013

If you have been living with incontinence, you may have modified your daily activities around bowel movements.  Some people become homebound, fearing an accident in public. 

The good news is that you don’t have to live with incontinence.  Over the last few years, more treatment options have become available which can provide additional ways of improving lifestyle.

What is the cause of incontinence?

Both men and women can be affected by incontinence.  There are several causes of incontinence.  The most common causes include damage to the anal muscles or nerves during childbirth.

After a thorough history and physical examination, you and your physician will formulate a treatment plan that is right for you.  One or more treatment options may be recommended to address your particular s...

Manage diabetes to help prevent stroke

June 02, 2013

Did you know that 6.2 million people in the U.S. are unaware that they have diabetes?

Stroke risk is two-and-a-half times higher in people with diabetes compared to those without diabetes and, in combination with heart disease, is the #1 cause of death and disability.

Here are some tips to help optimize your health:

  • Does anyone in your family have diabetes?  Talk to your healthcare provider, it may be necessary for you to be tested regularly. They will also have information about lifestyle changes that may help you stay healthy.
  • Do you have diabetes yourself?  Work with your healthcare provider to ....

The Real Deal with Omega 3s

June 01, 2013

It’s that season again! The time when Seattleites will shell out upwards of $30-40 per pound of the magnificent creature we know as the Copper River salmon. What’s so amazing about this humble little fish that keeps us coming back for more?

Fat.

Omega-3 fatty acids, to be precise. Copper River salmon is prized for its high body fat content, which is used to fuel their 300 mile trek to their spawning destinations. Omega-3 fatty acids not only provide delicious, rich flavor but are also essential for human health. These include EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are found almost exclusively in fish. EPA and DHA are labeled “essential” as the human body cannot manufacture them itself therefore they must be derived from our diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for vital functions of the human body to promote a longer and healthier life.

Do you know the symptoms of a brain aneurysm?

June 01, 2013

It’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day demands and ignore changes in our health. It may not be wise, however, to dismiss those changes as symptoms of a hectic life. Blurred vision, dizziness or headaches that don’t get better can signal something serious.

Anywhere from 1 to 6 percent of Americans have a brain aneurysm but don’t know it. An aneurysm is a blister-like bulge on the wall of a blood vessel. It can go unnoticed for a long time. If it’s not treated, the pressure of the blood weakens the vessel, and the aneurysm grows like a balloon filling with air. If the aneurysm bursts, it causes a stroke.

An aneurysm can put pressure on nerves or tissue in the brain, which may cause:

  • Headache or neck pain
  • Vision problems, enlarged pupil, drooping eye lid
  • Numb face
  • Severe drowsiness

If you have a brain aneurysm, your doctor may ...

iPad Loan Program at the Swedish Cancer Institute

May 10, 2013

Going through cancer treatment as a patient, family member or caregiver can take a lot of personal time. And we know that being in a hospital environment on a day-to-day basis can be exhausting. Here at the Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI), we aim to provide resources and access to services to help your mind, body and spirit heal.

One way we do this is through using innovative programs that help connect patients and family members to resources within the community. Recently, SCI has launched a new iPad Loan Program that puts interactive and educational resources right at your fingertips.

You can use the iPads while waiting in the lobby or even during treatment to:

International visitors to the Radiosurgery Center

May 06, 2013

The Swedish Radiosurgery Center was a featured stop for the nursing students from Kobe City College of Nursing during their recent visit to Seattle. The students toured the center where they learned about our CyberKnife and Gamma Knife programs.

I was very impressed that the patient care is personalized to respect the needs of every individual. I have a lot of respect for staff who sincerely work with patients regardless of their background and circumstances. We learned the importance of having confidence in our field as medical professionals and the great privilege of serving ones in need.”

- Keiko Kikuchi...

How to cure toenail fungus

April 28, 2013

I have been asked many times about toenail fungus and how to treat it. It is a common condition and distressing to look at, at least from the patient's perspective. There are theories abound as to the cause or causes, and I've heard of treatments from tea-tree oil soaks to surgery, but the really bedeviling part about this affliction is the generally high likelihood of recurrence no matter what you do. The medications and some of the other treatments available seem to work for a time, only to fail later on. But there may be a solution.

A curious observation is that exercise...

Thank you to a wonderful group of volunteers

April 23, 2013

Throughout Swedish’s history, volunteers have played a major role in building and nurturing the atmosphere at Swedish that has made it a place where patients who come for advanced medical care also know they are among people who feel a compassionate concern for them and their families. For more than half a century, one very special group of volunteers has been instrumental in creating this patient-friendly environment: the Swedish Medical Center Auxiliary at First Hill.

This small group of volunteers is made up of eight dedicated board members and Swedish supporters, each of whom also donates an impressive amount of time and energy participating in voluntary activities at the First Hill campus. These activities range from patient reception, assistance, caring and support roles in the hospital to event participation and work in the gift shop.

From its beginnings--dating all the way back to the founding of Swedish Hospital--the Auxiliary has ...