Rebuilding the Body
You know the drill: exercise, eat well, take care of yourself and you’ll lead a long and healthy life, right? But there are twists, turns and breaks in the road of life and sometimes you find yourself in need of an oil change, replacement parts or even a major overhaul. The Doctors reveal ways to rebuild the body.
Black Market Organs
It’s the bone-chilling stuff of horror films and urban myths: black market trading of human organs is on the rise and kidneys are especially high in demand. This insidious and burgeoning industry exploits the poor and disenfranchised by offering a few thousand dollars for their organs and then selling them to wealthy Westerners for upwards of $35,000.
The problem, Dr. Jim explains, is that there aren’t enough organs to go around. The average wait time for organ donation is five years; and for some patients, desperate times call for desperate measures. Dr. Travis implores viewers to consider becoming an organ donor to save lives and help alleviate the shortage.
The E.R. physician explains that people are often wary of signing up to be an organ donor because they fear doctors might be more eager to pull the plug if they are lying comatose in the hospital. “Nothing could be further than the truth,” Dr. Travis says. He explains that organ donors are kept on life support longer to preserve the integrity of the organs before they’re harvested.
The Future of Organ Transplants
Research points to a future that harvests pig organs for placement in humans. Dr. Ordon explains that the porcine species is more closely linked to the human genome than any other species. The surgeon says that pig organs have been used for heart valves and replacement tissue for burn victims for many years. Dr. Travis demonstrates the anatomical similarities between a human and porcine heart, which look nearly identical. He outlines the future of stem cell research that includes infusing human DNA into animal DNA to create transplantable organs and tissues.
Mystery Ingredient Face Lift
Dr. Ordon performs his latest “Mystery Ingredient Face Lift” with the next generation of fillers, a porcine collagen product called Evolence. Sue, 44, has recently quit smoking, but the lines on her face still show the many years she smoked. She turns to Dr. Ordon for help and the plastic surgeon injects her nasolabial folds with Evolence. He explains that since pigs have similar DNA to humans, the tissue will last longer and has a decreased chance of causing an allergic reaction.
Heidi led an active life until one day, everything changed in an instant. She was thrown from her horse, knocked unconscious and woke up with severe head and neck injuries. Now in recovery, Heidi, like millions of others, suffers chronic pain and seeks a solution.
Chiropractor Patrick Kerr describes Atlas Orthogonal, a procedure that corrects the skull’s alignment with the spine. Dr. Kerr explains that the Atlas procedure is different from other chiropractic methods because it uses an instrument to gently vibrate the spine into alignment, as opposed to jarring manipulations. He performs the alignment on Heidi and she exclaims, “I feel much, much better!”
To avoid neck pain, Dr. Kerr recommends:
• Using a headset when on the phone
• Not sleeping on your stomach
• Not trying to stretch or crack your neck
Wendi underwent knee replacement surgery but failed to heal properly. Grappling with a limited range of motion and a tremendous amount of pain, she underwent HydroWorx warm water therapy.
Physical Therapist Angee explains that one of the initial benefits of water rehabilitation is that the force of gravity is taken away. The lack of gravity, or weight, allows the patient to perform more exercises while experiencing less pain. The HydroWorx underwater treadmill allowed Wendi to regain her strength and flexibility while reducing her pain.
Benefits of water therapy include:
• Increased resistance
• Increased flexibility
• Increased range of motion (ROM)
• Increased muscle and joint strength
• Decreased inflammation
• Decreased pain
Dr. Jim undergoes a restorative hot and cold stone massage that promises to reduce inflammation, stress and blood pressure, lengthen muscles and increase blood flow. The pediatrician declares, “It’s the best massage I’ve ever had!”
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Vivian in Long Beach, California, has suffered carpal tunnel syndrome for the last five years. She explains that she sits at a computer eight hours a day and although she wears a wrist brace, her wrists still hurt. She wonders if there are any options other than surgery.
Dr. Travis assures Vivian that she is not alone. More than two million people suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs when the median nerve that runs from the forearm into the hand is compressed. The pressure creates pain and a tingling sensation that travels up the arm and causes a great deal of discomfort.
Dr. Ordon acknowledges that most people don’t want surgery, but it’s a fairly straightforward procedure. The carpal ligament is cut and subsequently released over the nerve. Most of the time it works but sometimes the surgery can cause more complications, the surgeon admits.
Dr. Travis suggests a simple exercise called the Phalen Sign that entails pressing the backs of the wrists together for 60 seconds to alleviate the symptoms. Another technique involves the Microlight ML830 Laser, recently approved by the FDA. The E.R. doctor demonstrates the device on Dr. Ordon and explains that when applied to different pressure points, the laser is supposed to reduce inflammation of the nerve.
Amy from Witchita, Kansas, writes in that she has always had a flat bottom and asks how she can get a round and shapely booty. Dr. Ordon describes the Brazilian buttock lift procedure, which entails liposuction of an individual’s body fat and subsequent placement of the fat in the upper portion of the buttocks. American doctors prefer to use buttock implants instead, but the outcome is virtually the same: a round, ample rump! The plastic surgeon recommends trying exercise that targets the gluteal muscles before resorting to surgery. “You can make that butt look better!” he says.
Sardines in a Can
One of the healthiest foods you can eat comes in a can. Can you guess what it is? Sardines! Sardines are small herring fish that contain less mercury than other fish. Dr. Jim advocates keeping a tin on hand when traveling. “They’re a cheap, portable protein,” he explains.