Tuberous Sclerosis Surgery
Cindy and Rob’s 2-year-old son, Thomas, suffers from tuberous sclerosis, a genetic disease that causes benign tumor growths in multiple organs in the body, particularly the brain. Thomas’ brain is riddled with tumors, which cause constant seizures that interfere with normal brain growth and causes developmental delays.
“We had all the child development books, and we kept pace until about six months, and then we were a month behind, and then several months behind and now…” Rob pauses, “we’ve just thrown the book away.”
“There are little heartbreaks every day,” Cindy admits. “It’s a daily struggle.”
Pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Howard Weiner explains that a seizure is uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain that often causes physical convulsions, thought disturbances, or a combination of symptoms.
The normal brain is a mirror image of itself, split evenly into hemispheres. In most cases of epilepsy, only one trouble area, or hotspot, causes a seizure. Once that area is identified, it can be removed or sedated. However, in the case of tuberous sclerosis, the tubers, or tumors, are scattered throughout the brain, which makes the standard treatment virtually impossible -- until now.
Dr. Weiner performs a groundbreaking surgery at New York University Langone Medical Center. The procedure is performed in stages: electrodes are placed throughout Thomas’ brain to map the problem areas and identify which particular tumors, or hotspots, are causing the major seizures. The tumors are then removed to alleviate the electrical misfirings.
Thomas is recovering from his surgery and Rob and Cindy, now seven months pregnant, are hopeful for his future. Joining the show via web cam, Cindy says that Thomas has started to laugh, smile and walk again. “We’re really encouraged,” she says, visibly relieved.
You’ve Got a Friend
Jennifer and her husband, Pat, are seated in the audience with their 11-year-old son, Reid, who underwent a similar procedure five years ago. Jennifer remembers that Reid would constantly seize, but thanks to the surgery, is now a happy, healthy boy who plays tennis and football. “He’s seizure-free and medication-free,” his father says jubilantly.
Jennifer tears up as she recalls their ordeal. “I know that what you’re going through right now is so difficult and as a mom, I feel so much for you.” She offers Cindy her support, “I’d love to get your number and e-mail and stay in constant contact with you. Whatever you need – I’d like to be there for you.”
SKIP, an organization dedicated to the support and treatment of families of chronically ill and developmentally disabled children, pledges its support to Cindy and her family.
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From A to C
Anonda, 21, visited the show several months ago. Embarrassed by her A-cup breasts, she said she wouldn’t even remove her shirt or bra when she was intimate, and was desperate for help. “I just want to look like a woman, not a seventh grader,” she explained.
Dr. Ordon demonstrated the Axis 3 Portrait 3-D imaging machine and showed Anonda what she would look like with a B, C and D cup. The state-of-the-art technology helped her decide on a C-cup silicon breast enlargement, and Dr. Ordon performed the surgery. He explains that he used a “dual plane” technique, which inserts 80 percent of the implant below the muscle and 20 percent above the muscle. He adds that he also released the tissue above the muscle, so the breast looks more natural; and allows for unencumbered mammograms and breast exams.
Anonda returns to the stage to show off her results and smiles, “I feel great – I love looking in the mirror!”
Dry Skin Care
Caroline, 32, has suffered from dry skin for the last 10 years. The Doctors send her to cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Mary Lee Amerian, who performs a hydrating treatment on Caroline using Eucerin Soothing Essentials lotion. Dr. Amerian explains that the lotion’s humectants and alphahydroxy acids help lock in moisturize, and she recommends applying it frequently.
Tips for a Healthy Glow:
• Use lotion every 24 hours
• Take short, warm showers or baths -- no more than 10 minutes*
• Moisturize directly after toweling off
• Replace bubble baths with bath oils
• Use a gentle, mild cleanser
• Use a humidifier at night
• Drink lots of water
• Eat a well-balanced diet
• Wear sunscreen every single day
*Dr. Amerian explains that too much water on the skin is actually drying.
Spreading Holiday Cheer
The Doctors pay a visit to the Ronald McDonald House to spread season’s tidings.