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Submitted by Admin on Mon, 02/10/2014 - 16:19

Smoking and Surgery

Many patients wonder- what is the big deal about smoking after surgery? The main issue surgeons worry about is how smoking decreases the blood supply to the affected area and can lead to skin necrosis.

Although skin necrosis is rare, smokers have at least a 12x higher risk of complications. The most common complication for a smoker after surgery is a higher rate of infections. The Center for Surgery at Birmingham Veterans Affairs Hospital performed a study on the healing process of smokers. They studied more than 350,000 patients, comparing smokers and non-smokers. The results showed that smokers had a higher incidence of infections at the incisions and development of postoperative pneumonia.

So what is a patient to do? The recommendation is to avoid smoking 4 weeks prior to a procedure and 4 weeks afterwards. Keep in mind that second hand smoke can have negative consequences as well.

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Submitted by Admin on Tue, 01/07/2014 - 06:33

Dr. Anil Shah is the first surgeon to use Google Glass in a Rhinoplasty. He is also the first surgeon in Chicago to use Google Glass in the operating room. He has been featured on NBC Chicago and many of the NBC affiliates nationwide for his expertise on both technology and as an authority on facial plastic surgery.

Here are some questions on google glass and answers by Dr. Shah.

How will Google Glass change medicine?

First of all, it is important to realize that Google Glass is a beta product. It represents a way for its users to access information easily by visualizing it in the upper right corner of the field of view. Google Glass also allows its users to record and document information rather easily. Some potential uses for this would be facial recognition, telemedicine, accessing x-rays, accessing patient data and ability to map out the face. In addition, due to its first person point of view it will allow others to view what the surgeon sees, a potential game changer in teaching institutions.

What is telemedicine and how will Google Glass change this?

Telemedicine is communication via phone or electronically with patients or other physicians from all over. Since a large percent of my patients come from all over the world, telemedicine offers these patients an easier way to follow up with the office to track their progress and recovery.

In addition, other physicians may wish to refer a patient for their management. Sometimes a visualization of the patient can save both the patient and the physician time and money.

Is facial recognition applicable in medicine?

Facial recognition can help physicians with large databases of patients recognize patients and access data more easily. This fortunately is not a problem in my office but in situations where there is more than one physician, it can serve as another check in the system.

Is Google Glass distracting?

Google Glass is not distracting since it is in the upper right hand corner of your point of view. In surgery, your focus is on what you see straight ahead in a fairly narrow window. You often don't even look up to grab an instrument as a scrub nurse will place it in your hand. 

What are some of the short comings of Google Glass?

Since it is a beta product there are several areas which would benefit the product for medical purposes. First of all, the ability to take macro photographs would enhance the overall quality of the photographs. The battery life is somewhat limited, particularly when live streaming video content. Finally, uploading data to the device at this stage is somewhat cumbersome. 

However, when looking at this product, it is hard not to believe that future additons of this product will not be more robust versions of the current product with possible variations for specific fields like "Surgeon Glass". 

How was it doing the first rhinoplasty with Google Glass? Was it Difficult?

No, the procedure was not due to the narrow field of view and tight focus used during the procedure. 

Do you use Google Glass in your personal life?

I do wear Google Glass occasionally in my personal life. The main area is capturing spontaneous moments with my children (I have 3 of them). The time to take a picture or video is incredibly fast and effortless.

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Submitted by Admin on Thu, 12/12/2013 - 06:25

Music and Plastic Surgery

Some patients have commented on how they hear such a wide variety of musical selections in Dr. Shah's office ranging from Beethoven to Lorde to Scooter.  Who is picking the music and why such a broad range of selections? 

The answer is musical selections are chosen by both patients and staff.  Whenever a patient is having a procedure in the office, the staff lets the patients select a song that they feel comfortable listening to.  For some patients this could be a musical concerto from Bach or could be a jazz selection from Todd Clouser.  The benefits of music during procedures have been well documented.  Several researchers have found that the listening of music decreased individual neuron activity of the deep brain with some patients reaching relaxation and sleep.  Several other studies have found that patients recovered more quickly and had less pain. 

Dr. Shah encourages the use of relaxing music but has found that some patients do not universally find "relaxing music" calming.  Each of us have our own musical preferences and those preferences can influence what we deem relaxing.  So when you are in the waiting room and you hear an unlikely selection being played, it might be a patient's musical preference to relax having an in office procedure.

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Submitted by Admin on Wed, 12/11/2013 - 15:13

Christmas tree

The answer surprisingly is yes.  A real live Christmas tree is a great place for mold to grow, which can inflame nasal passages.  The mold spores, which are invisible, like moist trees which have been cut for an extended period of time. 

The best answer is to use the fake tree.  Mold cannot grow on these trees. If you really want to use the live tree, do a few things.  First make sure the tree was recently cut to avoid a buildup of mold. Second of all, keep the tree on the drier side as mold does not like drier environments.  Finally, keep the tree for as short a period of time as possible.

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