Must-Know Medical Procedures

Show Synopsis

Brain Surgery for Weight Loss?
Neurosurgeon Dr. Donald Whiting at West Virginia University implanted a stimulator deep in a woman’s brain to help curb her appetite. Dr. Whiting says the treatment is still highly experimental, but explains that deep brain stimulation has been used for the past 12 years on patients afflicted with Parkinson’s disease. The frequency or intensity of the deep brain stimulator can be adjusted; there are 64,000 different combinations of settings to choose from.


Acid Reflux

Do you find yourself reaching for antacids more than you’d like? The Bravo chip, a tiny computer chip, is breaking new ground in the diagnosis and treatment of heartburn. The chip measures the pH levels, or acidity, in the esophagus over a period of two days.

Acid Reflux Treatment

Dr. Jorge Rodriguez implants a Bravo computer chip in Jacob's esophagus to measure pH levels.  WATCH NOW...

“The stomach makes acid,” gastroenterologist Dr. Jorge Rodriguez explains. “The pH level of the esophagus should be only around six. When acid abnormally comes up to the esophagus, it’s not supposed to be there, so it obviously burns the esophagus.”

Jacob, 27, has suffered from acid reflux for the past nine years. Dr. Rodriguez implants a Bravo chip in Jacob’s esophagus to measure his pH levels. The chip reveals that in 48 hours, Jacob had 142 bouts of reflux.

Dr. Rodriguez comments, “Since he is not responding to treatment -- I mean, he has been on every medication -- and even on the medications, the acid still comes up. So that chip gave us a lot of information.”

To avoid heartburn:
Modify your diet
Lose weight
Eliminate fatty, spicy and acidic foods


CyberKnife Technology
The latest in brain surgery doesn’t require surgery at all. CyberKnife is a non-invasive, robotic radio-surgery technique that is blowing minds -- literally!

“It’s the culmination of the development and technology of robotics,” Dr. Paul Pagnini, director of the Radiation Oncology Residency Program at USC Medical Center, explains. “It combines image guidance and sophisticated computer software so that we can track tumors in real-time, and pinpoint and treat them with sub-millimeter accuracy. It’s really phenomenal.”

 CyberKnife Surgery

Fernando undergoes the CyberKnife procedure to treat his brain tumor. WATCH NOW...

Carlos, 38, was diagnosed with a brain tumor the size of a walnut that, due to its location, could not be surgically removed. He underwent the CyberKnife procedure to treat the tumor.

Dr. Pagnini narrates the procedure, stating, “There are about 241 beams that are all entering and exiting [Fernando’s brain], but the thing they have in common is that they overlap just on the tumor. That’s where we’re really able to stunt the growth of this tumor so that it won’t grow and become a problem for Fernando’s vision in the future.”

If the CyberKnife technology was not available, Fernando would have had to undergo a six week course of daily radiation treatments. Instead, just one CyberKnife treatment later, the tumor is under control and Fernando reports he feels great.

CyberKnife can treat tumors in the:
• Lung
Prostate
Spine
Liver
Pancreas

“A good candidate for CyberKnife is one with a discreet tumor, Dr. Pagnini explains. “Or one that needs precision targeting, as it may be near a critical structure.”

Dr. Pagnini adds that signs of a brain tumor may be persistent, worsening symptoms such as headache or visual disturbances that continue over time.


Increase Your Odds of Conception
A new device, the OV-Watch, promises to dramatically increase conception rate. A biosensor on the OV-Watch measures the changes in chloride treatment in the sweat on your skin during a woman’s menstrual cycle. To use, a woman wears the watch at night over a period of five days, and the watch predicts the best times to have intercourse.

OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson explains that the best time to get pregnant is one to two days before ovulation. “You kind of want to romance that egg,” Dr. Lisa says with a smile. “So you want to start early if you really want something to happen later on.”

Other ways to check ovulation:
• Track LH surge with over-the-counter strips
• Track basal body temperature
• Track chloride treatment/salt content of skin
• Track hormonal changes with ovulation kits
• Cervical mucous will become thicker


Sweat Too Much?
Kim suffers from hyperhydrosis, or excessive sweating, and asks The Doctors if there’s anything she can do besides having Botox injections in her armpits.

Plastic surgeon Dr. Warren Hankins explains that doctors have found that Accusculpt, a YAG laser used for liposuction procedures, also works to reduce sweating. The laser works by targeting fat with heat, but the relatively new application of the laser -- targeting sweat glands – produces a 75 percent reduction in the amount of armpit sweating in patients.

Dr. Hankins demonstrates the Accusculpt procedure on pig tissue.

E-Matrix

Read more about the E-Matrix skin treatment on Dr. Ordon's blog. READ MORE...

  
E-Matrix Skin Resurfacing
Rigina, 33, has tried everything to treat her acne scarring, but to no avail. She has suffered from acne since she was a teenager, but because she has dark skin, treating its discoloration has proven difficult.

Dermatologist Dr. Tess Mauricio says that E-Matrix skin resurfacing is a new, FDA-approved skin resurfacing technique that uses radio frequency waves instead of light or laser energy, which is not absorbed by the pigment cells. The difference between E-Matrix and traditional laser treatment is that darker-pigmented skin absorbs the laser energy, causing trauma to the skin.

E-Matrix creates only a pinpoint trauma on the skin, lessening the pain and improving results, and is the only approved treatment option for people with darker complexions. It is also ideal for acne scars, wrinkles around the eyes, and skin rejuvenation.

Dr. Mauricio performs the E-Matrix procedure on Rigina, noting that unlike traditional lasers, the E-Matrix procedure causes minimal discomfort, and the recovery time is a mere 24 hours.


Zap Acne Away
ThermaClear, a new, at-home acne treatment device, was recently approved by the FDA. The device uses a controlled, two-second pulse of heat that targets the pimple below the surface of the skin, neutralizing acne-causing bacteria and stimulating the body’s acne-fighting proteins. The device costs $150.00 and promises to heal pimples in half the time!


Ask Our Doctors | Show Page |Talk About the Show
OAD 4/23/09