Pressure! Pain! Poison ivy! Don’t panic -- The Doctors shows you how to survive your worst P-word predicaments.
Plastic Surgery: The 360 Facelift
It’s the most popular P-term on The Doctors: plastic surgery. Janet says she is self conscious about her aging neck, and hides it with her vast collection of scarves. Plastic surgeon Dr. Brent Moelleken turns back the clock on Janet’s look with the 360 Facelift.
Bell’s palsy is a paralysis, or weakness, of the muscles on one side of the face. It is caused by damage to the facial nerve that controls those muscles, making the affected side droop. Sleep expert Dr. Lisa Shivessuffers from Bell’s palsy, and joins The Doctors todiscuss its effects and how her patients react to her appearance.
“I woke up one morning, started drinking my coffee and noticed it dribbling down my shirt,” Dr. Shives says. “At that moment, all my medical knowledge went out the window and I thought I was having a stroke.
“I went and got a work up, and they called it Bell’s palsy,” she says. “It’s a relative paralysis of all the muscles in the face, and it [actually] doesn’t hurt.”
Due to the condition's effect on her appearance, Dr. Shives says she scaled back her workload at first, for fear of facing her patients.
“Then I just faced it,” she said. “I started explaining the condition [to my patients].
“People are actually very supportive,” she adds.
Two years since her diagnosis, Dr. Shives says her symptoms have improved by 50 percent.
“I think the best thing is for people to ask [about the condition] because it helps them understand what’s really going on with [your appearance],” OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson says.
“Bell’s palsy can also be common after pregnancy,” Dr. Lisa adds. “People tell you it resolves itself, but it takes time.”
E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says that if you wake up with paralysis on one side of your face, see your doctor as soon as possible.
• Dr. Shives shares her number one sleep tip!
Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy
After a successful surgery on her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), Casey, a 25-year-old soccer player, developed chronic patella tendonitis in her knee, leaving her in excruciating pain. To alleviate the pain, Casey tried a number of non-surgical solutions including cortisone shots, ultrasounds and physical therapy, but nothing improved her condition. But before turning to a second surgery, Casey underwent one last treatment: platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP). Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Ralph Venuto explains that when you injure yourself, your body naturally sends blood platelets to the site of the injury to help it heal. PRP therapy involves drawing a patient’s blood, placing it in a centrifuge to separate the platelets, then injecting the concentration of platelets into the injured area to expedite the healing process and alleviate pain.
“PRP does everything your body tried to do, but couldn’t,” Dr. Venuto says. “It was first developed for tennis elbow, and is being used for lots of [sports-related injuries], but is best for chronic tendonitis.”
“People are using [PRP] for anything and everything, but the data still mixed,” Dr. Travis says. “It seems to work wonderfully for some people, but it’s not a cure-all.
“The good news is, it’s a relatively simple procedure, not a big operation,” he adds.
Candidates for PRP therapy are those who have chronic tendonitis, and like Casey, have exhausted all other non-surgical options.
A week since the surgery, Casey says she feels a difference.
“It's great now, it’s only been a week and I’m not allowed to engage in any [strenuous] activity just yet,” Casey says. “It feels great when I’m walking stairs and everything, but once I get active [we’ll see how I feel].”
Proper Preschool Vision
Michelle says her 4-year-old daughter, Tiffany, recently started preschool, and her teacher noticed that she held her worksheets very close to her face. Concerned, Michelle took Tiffany to the optometrist, and she was ultimately was diagnosed with astigmatism: a condition where the eye is abnormally shaped, causing objects to appear blurry both at a distance and close-up.
“Most kids don’t know they’re not seeing well, since they can’t compare their vision to anyone else’s,” optometrist Dr. Elise Brisco says. “Lots of kids come into my office with blurry vision or double vision and their parents didn’t know they were seeing that way.”
Dr. Brisco explains that nine out of 10 children have never had their eyes examined while in school, and that eye exams are essential to keep possible vision impairments from affecting their studies and extracurricular activities.
“The reason your child may be subdued at school is because of their vision,” Dr. Travis says.
“We recommend a child’s first exam at 6 months old,” Dr. Brisco says. “Some conditions are preventable if we treat them early.”
Tiffany now wears glasses by Miraflex, designed specifically for the comfort, look and durability children need.
“Tiffany is now more engaged in the classroom,” Michelle says. “She has really flourished at school.”
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