MASSDEVICE ON CALL — The revamped breast implant is safer than the last generation, which was pulled off the market in 1992 over fears of leakage, but the silicon prosthetics still come with risks, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration warned.
The implants are safe in general, the agency said, but complications are common and the implants aren’t going to last forever.
"The longer a woman has silicone gel-filled breast implants, the more likely she is to experience complications," the report noted, adding that 20 percent of implants used for augmentation will require removal within 10 years, as will half of implants used for reconstruction.
Other common complications include hardened skin around the implant, wrinkled or ruptured implants, scarring, pain and infection, NPR reported.
The report, released in late June, also noted that there was no established link between the silicon gel-filled breast implants and breast cancer, reproductive problems or connective tissue disease, but added that additional studies enrolling more women and running longer than the existing studies are needed to explore the possibility.
Reform advocates to GOP: Give back your government health benefits
A liberal pro-health care reform group is publicly challenging Republican lawmakers from eight states to give up their government health insurance, Healthwatch reported.
"Anyone who voted for the Republican budget that ends Medicare should put their money where their mouth is by signing our ‘return receipt’ for their government insurance and go out on their own into the private market," spokesman Eddie Vale of the health reform advocacy group Protect Your Care said in a statement. "If they refuse to sign, it’s proof they’re blatant hypocrites who would take away Medicare from seniors while keeping their own government insurance."
The group plans to stage events in state capitols and district offices in Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Docs don’t follow the rules on stents
Despite new treatment guidelines published in 2007 steering physicians away from using balloon and stents to open completely blocked coronary arteries in the days after a heart attack, doctors continue to choose the surgical procedures over recommendations for more conservative treatments.
"Our new finding is disappointing," said senior author Dr. Judith Hochman, the Harold Snyder family professor of cardiology at NYU Langone Medical Center. "A lot of painstakingly gathered clinical trial evidence is being disregarded a few years after its publication and guideline changes."
Researchers examined stent procedures performed in nearly 29,000 patients at about 900 hospitals and found that the monthly rate of late stenting and balloon procedures stayed steady from 2005 to 2008.
"There continues to be reimbursement for the late procedure, and many patients expect their physicians to open their arteries, regardless of the delay, so these physicians may be concerned about malpractice suits if they don’t comply," said Hochman in the release. "However, the existence of national clinical guidelines should protect physicians from that liability."
First ever double-leg transplant performed at Spanish hospital
An accident victim was the first person to receive a double-leg transplant yesterday after a 14 hour surgery to connect bones, nerves and muscles. It’ll be at least a month before the surgical team can determine whether the procedure was a success.
Dr. Pedro Cavadas, who led the surgery, was also the first surgeon to perform a face transplant that included a jaw and tongue in the procedure, the LA Times reported.
The unidentified patient had lost both legs above the knee in an accident, leaving him with too little to successfully use prosthetic legs.
Hospital marketers expect digital media use to quadruple by 2013
Hospital marketers expect their reliance on digital media to increase 400 percent by 2013, according to a recent national survey.
While the perceived adoption level was high, those surveyed weren’t quite sure how to make the transition to digital communications. Health care marketers also indicated that they aren’t prepared to adapt to the new business model revolving around digital media.
The survey is to be distributed free of charge to U.S. medical centers, EMR Daily News reported.