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Advancing Care for Patients with Liver Disease

April 01, 2015

The burden of liver disease continues to increase in the USA and worldwide. An estimated 5-7 million people have chronic hepatitis B and C and more...

What Does a Cake Represent?

March 30, 2015
On any given day at the Swedish Thoracic Surgery and Interventional Pulmonology Clinic, a patient will arrive with a very significant cake. This setting may seem like a strange place for such things but for the patient and the treatment team, this cake signifies 5 years of survival. It also represents the relationship the patient has with his or her doctor, nurses and care team in the clinic.

Medical Mission in Ethiopia: Month 7

March 30, 2015
It rained today, yesterday too.  I understand better Toto’s “I bless the rains down in Africa” lyrics.  Yesterday Sonja’s American friends and she were playing in her room.  The rains started, then pelted down.  I heard an interruption in the play, and then three faces peered around the corner, “is that rain?!?!?”   The next moment Sonja had dressed her two friends in rain jackets and all three rushed outside to just stand in the rain. 

Your Unconscious Brain Deals with Stress

March 29, 2015

Your unconscious brain processes data at an estimated one million times per second than your conscious brain and it evolved around avoiding anxiety. Every second of your body’s existence revolves around minimizing it regardless of what action is required. Lack of air, food, water, protection, and shelter all elicit a strong response, as well as many other lesser stresses. The chemical link is adrenaline and cortisol. They affect every one of the over 50 trillion cells in your body.

What You Should Know about Recent Studies on Pathology Diagnoses

March 25, 2015

If recent media coverage questioning the accuracy of pathology diagnoses on breast biopsies has you worried, you’re not alone.

A recent study published by Elmore et al investigated diagnostic agreement for breast biopsies between individual pathologists and “consensus-derived reference diagnoses” rendered by a panel of three pathologists. While variable rates of diagnostic disagreement were identified, it is important to realize that the strict study design and methodology are not applicable to the daily practice of pathology.

Choosing a Specialty Center for Colonoscopy and Complex Polypectomy Instead of Surgery for Large Colon Polyps

March 20, 2015
It is widely known that colonoscopy not only detects colon cancers but enables the removal of pre-cancerous polyps. Large polyps are sometimes detected during a colonoscopy that the physician feels are too large to safely remove by standard polypectomy techniques. Many patients with large benign polyps are sent for surgery because their physicians feel they cannot remove them through the colonoscope. 

Move over Angry Birds and Words with Friends… make room for hearing apps!

March 20, 2015
Smartphone technology has led to an explosion of cell phone apps.  Originally created as games and entertaining diversions, hearing assistance technology is climbing on the app bandwagon with the creation of helpful apps to assist those with hearing loss. 

Many hearing assistance apps exist, ranging from traditional amplifiers and tinnitus maskers to devices designed to control hearing aids.

Worried about Getting a Colonoscopy?

March 19, 2015

Are you worried or anxious about getting a colonoscopy? Have you been putting off getting a colonoscopy? If so, no need to worry, you are not alone because most individuals are nervous, too. However, it is important to remember that a colonoscopy may be a lifesaving procedure.

It is recommended that beginning at 50 both men and women start being screened for colon cancer. A common screening for colon cancer is a colonoscopy which searches for polyps. An early detection of colon cancer increases survival rates.

Medical Mission in Ethiopia: Month 6

March 16, 2015

We are now in Zanzibar, Tanzania.  This is our first week-long family vacation since venturing to Ethiopia.  It is a tropical paradise. 

A New Approach in the Treatment of Achalasia

March 13, 2015
One of the most rewarding aspects of surgery is that there is constant innovation to improve the operations we do to help patients. Last July, we introduced a new innovative procedure at Swedish called Per Oral Endoscopic Myotomy or POEM.

The POEM procedure is used primarily to treat patients with achalasia. Achalasia is a disorder of the esophagus where the nerve fibers deteriorate leaving the esophagus without its propulsive power and the sphincter at the end of the esophagus that prevents reflux to remain closed.
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