Plastic Surgery is all the rage

Plastic surgery, order in its purest form, salve is a noble art. Most plastic surgeons have trained in general surgery initially and specialised in ‘plastics’. People all over the world are deeply traumatised when their looks are radically changed by accidents, viagra war and disease. It’s the plastic surgeon who can sculpt a new face, repair a damaged breast or remove an unsightly scar. The work is intricate and requires the most delicate of touches. These surgeons are the ‘boys and girls with the golden hands’. Now within plastic surgery there exists a slightly different discipline, called cosmetic surgery. And plastic surgeons doing cosmetic surgery seem to be all over the media at the moment. There is TV programme called Nip/Tuck that is very popular, but I seem to be seeing cosmetic surgery on almost every channel these days. Even I find I have to turn the telly off when watching some of this stuff. It seems that the public’s appetite for medical voyeurism knows no bounds. What is interesting is that cosmetic surgery seems to have become much more acceptable than before. People used to keep it to themselves and hide it, in much the same way as President Berlusconi is alleged to have done. But so many others are more than happy to parade in front of the public, not only the results of cosmetic surgery, but also the actual scalpel action! In one case on television a young man had an excellent looking stomach with strong abdominals. However he had a small ring of fat around his waist that just would not respond to diet and endless sit-ups. So he resorted to cosmetic surgery. Shloop and the fat ring was liposuctioned and hey presto he had his ideal abdomen! No embarrassment about it. Cosmetic surgery has become something that people talk openly about now. Is this good news? For cosmetic surgeons, a resounding ‘Yes!’.

Aspirin: a small blow to the magic drug

I’ve often praised aspirin in these pages. It has relieved pain for many decades now and when prescribed in low dosage (75 mg a day) for people at risk from heart attacks, has been proved to be effective. It has potential side effects, some serious, but these are relatively rare. Most people have taken this drug at some time in their lives and benefited from it. However this week the men/women in white coats in the hallowed corridors of no lesser institution than Harvard Medical School have linked regular aspirin consumption with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in women. (Actually the study was conducted on 86 000 female nurses so we don’t know if it applies to men or not.) The study showed that the women taking aspirin on a regular basis for a long time were 86% more likely to suffer from this very serious disease. This is not about people taking occasional aspirin for a headache. The people at risk were those taking more than 14 tablets for over 20 years. And these are the normal 300mg tablets, not the 75 mg tablets taken once a day for people relatively at risk for a heart attack. So this is not worrying news. In fact we have known for some time that to take two normal size aspirin tablets for that length of time is never a good idea and can be bad for the kidneys as well. Overall aspirin looks well set to survive this blip in its fortunes and remain a powerful, useful and cost-effective drug. If there is a moral to the story, it is to know that pain should not be treated blindly with pain killers. Long-lasting pain should be investigated by a doctor and even if pain killers are prescribed long term, the patient and his/her drug management should be monitored regularly.

Homeopathic Tip of the Week: Painful Injuries

Some useful first aid homeopathic remedies for painful injuries. All of these can be taken in 6c strength, one three times a day for a few days.

A painful bruise: Arnica

Crushed tips of fingers in door: Hypericum

A piercing injury with something sharp like a needle: Hypericum

A painful graze: Calendula cream

A painful burn: Apis or Combudoron cream