Monday, 27 February 2017

Don't let your scars define your life

In a world that reveres perfection in every form, living with scars can be quite difficult. Very often, scars are caused by accidents and can be a depressing reminder. It is not necessary to live with this memory. With a little help, most scars can be removed easily and efficiently.  Most people view plastic surgery as an all cosmetic procedure used to pander to vanity. That isn’t so. Plastic surgery is a boon to people who have lived with scars that have made them shun social contact and lead reclusive lives. 

Why do we get scars?

Scarring is actually the skin’s way of healing and is a good thing. Unfortunately some of us scar worse than others. There are a few lucky people for whom scars fade away without leaving a mark, but for most of us, scars are an ugly reminder.

Types of scars

  • Keloids: When your skin heals aggressively, this is the type of scar that you could end up with. These scars not only cover the area of the wound but may extend over it, making the scar larger, darker and bulbous. Sometimes, in particularly large scars, keloids can even hamper movement.
  • Contracture scars: These are caused by burns and when healing, contract tightening the skin. The area around the skin also gets wrinkled due to the stretching of the skin.
  • Hypertrophic scars: These are like keloids but are not bigger than the injury.
  • Acne scars: There are a variety of acne scars and the scars depend on the severity of the acne. They can range anywhere between deep pit like holes, to blackish facial blemishes, depending on the type of acne.
Procedures to remove scars

Many over the counter treatments promise to remove scars, but these work mostly on mild facial scars caused by pimples. These usually fade away over time with or without the help of topical creams. But most deep scars need more aggressive procedures. Some of the most common procedures include:
  • Dermabrasion: This is basically like exfoliating your skin. The procedure peels away old skin, so that fresh healthy skin replaces it. Along with the peeled skin, surface scars can be removed. This is used mostly for superficial scars.
  • Laser surgery: If the scars have penetrated several layers of skin, laser surgery could be the solution. It is painless and quick and once the skin heals, your skin will be unblemished.
  • Plastic surgery: If you have very bad scarring, you may need to have plastic surgery, which may include skin grafts, where layers of healthy skin from other parts of the body are used to cover the scars. This is a more complicated procedure, but is well worth it.
Plastic surgery for scar removal
The type of surgery for scar removal would depend on the scar.

  • Scars may be raised or recessed
  • They could be different in color or texture from surrounding healthy tissue
  • They could be particularly noticeable due to their size, shape or location.
  • Your general health and age would also be considered when making a decision.
Usually, plastic surgery will be an in-patient procedure, though if you are responding well, your hospital stay won’t be too long.

Before making the decision to have plastic surgery, do some research, talk to the doctors to get all your questions answered, so that you know what the procedure is and what to expect. With the right hospital, experienced doctors and safe procedures, you can kiss your scars goodbye.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

The Importance Of Choosing The Right Hospital After An Accident

Before calling the hospital:

  • The first thing you should do if you are involved in an accident is to check if you are unhurt and can move without much pain.
  • If there are others in the vehicle who may be injured, try not to move them, but check to see if they are responding by calling out to them.

    (If the accident has occurred in a populated area, there will probably be people around whom you can approach for help. If you are in a remote area, you may have to flag down a passing car for help) 

The next task and an important one is choosing the right hospital.

Many people mistakenly call doctors they know or their general physician after an accident. Most of the accident victims need a hospital even if they seem uninjured and this includes you. In a well-equipped hospital, the medical staff would be able to assess the injuries with the required equipment and decide on the best course of action. This is why the hospital you pick is important.

Some hospitals specialize in certain departments. So, if there is a head injury, a hospital with a neurosurgery department is important. For badly broken bones, a good orthopedic department is necessary. If there are kids involved, they should be taken to a hospital with a good pediatric wing. If a pregnant woman was one of the injured, a neonatal wing in the hospital is a wise idea.

Why a multi-specialty hospital?

  • Multi-specialty hospitals deal with a variety of issues.
  • These hospitals have many departments, each with experienced doctors, who are specialists in their field.
  • Another advantage of multi-specialty hospitals is that specialists can consult with one another.

    (For example, if the accident victim has heart problems and a head injury, they may need to consult with a cardiologist and a neurologist. The patient does not have to be moved to consult the different doctors)
  • The tests done on a patient are also available on the hospital database and the doctor can pull them up on their screen to study them. 
  • In the OR, if an emergency consult is needed due to some unforeseeable problem, a specialist is only minutes away and can get to the operating room in no time at all, to pitch in. 

Amenities the hospital should have:

1. Testing equipment like scans, MRI etc. So, all tests can be done in the hospital, minimizing moving the injured patient. (Since the testing is in-house, the results will be given swiftly in case of an emergency if the consulting specialist requests for it. Any follow up tests can also be done in the same place, making sure there is no location discrepancy.)

2. Well-equipped Operation Theatres.

3. Well-equipped and well-staffed ICU (This is vital because most accident victims more often than not need to be kept in an ICU till they are stable.)

4. A good laboratory (Microbiology, Biochemistry, Pathology) Department
As you can see, it is absolutely important to get an accident victim to a good hospital to make sure that they receive the best possible care.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Medical Emergency - What To Do

In an emergency, keep calm and assess the situation.

In case of a fall 

  • Don’t move the injured unless absolutely necessary.
  • Apply an ice pack if there is swelling.
  • If you have to move the injured, use a splint to keep the broken joint area immobile.
  • If the person is bleeding, staunch the bleeding and if necessary tie a tourniquet.
In case of a heart attack
  • Call Ambulance.
  • Keep the person calm.
  • Loosen any tight clothing.
  • Do not give any water or food.
  • Perform CPR (if you are trained) if the person isn’t breathing.
In case of a stroke
  • Identify by adopting FAST.
  • Drooping face, Weak arms, Speech difficulty, Don’t lose Time.
  • Call Ambulance.
  • Avoid moving the position of their heads.
  • If the person is conscious but seems to be losing consciousness, keep them awake by talking to them.
In case of an allergic reaction
  • Make the person lie down.
  • Find out if they have allergy medication with them. (Usually, people prone to allergies will have their medicines with them.)
  • Raise their feet above the level of their head.
  • Keep them on their side in case of vomiting.
  • Loosen their clothing.
In any emergency
  • Call for an ambulance from a hospital that you know is prepared for emergency situations, 24/7.
  • Call a hospital that has multiple specialties.
  • At the hospital, supply doctors info: cause of the injury, and what steps were taken till then.
  • Notify the family.

Monday, 13 February 2017

The Difference between Plastic Surgery and Cosmetic Surgery

Image Courtesy -

Most people think that Plastic Surgery constitutes the most popularly known surgeries that film artists have had, so that they can retain their youthful appearance. However even though they are closely related specialties, technically, there is a fine divide between Plastic Surgery and Cosmetic Surgery. 

Focus of Cosmetic Surgery
  • The goal of the Cosmetic Surgeon is to aesthetically enhance a patient’s appearance and hence the procedures, principles and techniques used focus entirely on this outcome. The goal is to improve the proportion, aesthetic appeal and symmetry of the body part on which a procedure is being performed. 
  • Cosmetic surgery can be performed on all areas of the body, including the head and neck. 
  • It is a voluntary choice made by the patient to have cosmetic surgery.
  • Cosmetic surgery can be performed by plastic surgeons as well as doctors from various medical fields. 
Cosmetic Surgery Procedures include:
  • Body contouring – this includes Gynecomastia treatment, Liposuction and Tummy Tuck
  • Breast enhancement – Enlargement, Reduction and Lifting 
  • Facial contouring – Cheek enhancement, Chin and Rhinoplasty 
  • Facial rejuvenation – Brow lift, Eyelid lift, Face lift and Neck lift
  • Skin rejuvenation – Botox, Filler treatment and Laser resurfacing
Focus of Plastic Surgery Procedures 
  • The main focus of Plastic surgery is to set right defects so as to reconstruct to provide a natural appearance and restore normal functions of the body part that is being operated upon. 
  • It is defined as a surgical specialty that involves the reconstruction of facial and body flaws due to birth, burns, diseases and trauma. 
  • The goal of plastic surgery is to reconstruct and enable dysfunctional body parts to function in their normal and natural mode. 
Some Plastic Surgery Procedures
  • Burn Repair Surgery
  • Hand Surgery
  • Reconstruction of Breasts (after a mastectomy; also involves enhancement and reduction) 
  • Repair of Congenital Defects – reconstruction and repair of cleft palate, repair of extremity defects (extra digital appendages and so on)
  • Reconstruction of Lower Extremities
  • Scar Revision Surgery
Though both plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery procedures are performed to improve a patient’s body, the overall philosophies that guide their goals, training and research for patients’ end results are different. Each have specific goals that are built to envelop distinct set of procedures. 

Friday, 3 February 2017

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