Body fat enhances breasts 'naturally'
Until recently, women undergoing breast augmentation were limited to silicone or saline implants. But a policy reversal by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons has paved the way for a third, "natural" alternative that's gaining popularity.
The procedure involves injecting liposuctioned fat from the thighs, butt or stomach into the breasts.
"You get your waistline slimmed and your breasts enlarged at the same time," says Dr. Thomas E. Young, owner of Young Medical Spa in Center Valley, Pa.
Young says the side effects are low, but some plastic surgeons, including Dr. Mary Herte who has a highly rated practice in Las Vegas, are leery of the procedure, which was previously banned over concerns the injected fat would interfere with mammograms.
"I don't believe we have adequate data to support it as a practice," she says.
ICU stay increases risk
About one in two patients in U.S. intensive care units are fighting infections that increase their chances of dying.
"The longer you spend time in the ICU, the more likely you are to get infected," says Dr. Steven Opal, who co-authored an editorial accompanying a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Opal emphasizes many infections are brought into the ICU by patients. But, he adds, infections also are acquired in the hospital. While catheter-associated infections caused by MRSA — a harmful bacteria — in ICUs have declined, the latest findings show hospitals have much work left, like reducing the overuse of antibiotics.
"People are very ill in the hospital ICU to begin with," says Dr. David W. Keller, an infectious disease clinician and hospital epidemiologist at highly rated Highline Medical Center in Burien, Wash. That makes them especially susceptible to infection.
Keller says Highline has protocols for prescribing antibiotics, it promotes hand washing, screens for MRSA, and requires masks, gloves and gowns be worn around potentially infected patients.
A personal H1N1 profile? Nope, just another scam
Piggybacking on a public health push, new phishing e-mails ask recipients to provide personal information, including Social Security number, to register for a government H1N1 vaccination program.
"Don't do it," says Jeff Dimond, a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is investigating the scam with the FDA and FBI. He says the agency uses public means to communicate important information — not unsolicited e-mails.
Unwind with chocolate
Sherry Belcher gets lots of questions from patients wanting to know if chocolate can improve their health. The short answer, according to the highly rated, Chicago-based clinical nutritionist: In small doses, maybe a little.
Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, antioxidants that can help keep blood flowing, blood pressure down and aid in cell repair. And recent research indicates a small morsel of dark chocolate could help people with high stress unwind.
"Chocolate has an opioid type of effect that can improve your mood a little," Belcher says. But, she adds, don't overdo it. Lay off milk chocolate, which doesn't have the same effects, and try to eat it with other good-for-you foods like cherries.
Liberating the mind
Patients with "locked-in" syndrome — who are conscious but unable to move, talk or gesture — might someday have another way to share what's on their minds.
A new technology using infrared light to detect brain activity allowed able-bodied experiment participants to will a computerized circle larger with their minds, says Tom Chau, a senior scientist at Bloorview Research Institute in Toronto.
Chau, who is developing the technology, says improvements are still needed but he hopes eventually it will help "liberate the mind" of locked-in patients.
Find a Doctor in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Hartford, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Nashville, New Orleans, New York City, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Sacramento, San Francisco, Washington DC, See All Cities