surgical complications

Physicians, especially surgeons, to provide meaningful information to patients continue to look for risk factors associated with complications and death. Everyone has a story of successfully operating on a 90-year-old, “but there were a ‘good’ 90-year-old.” As the population ages, defining a ‘good 90-year-old’ becomes more critical. A meta-analysis in BMC Medicine suggests, age is too coarse a measure, but dimensions of cognitive and physical impairment are more predictive.

The authors used a literature review of English language articles on risk factors and subsequent complications, deaths, loss of functional abilities and post-discharge care identifying 44 studies involving 12,281 patients...

Those in Hollywood are in a unique position to do tremendous good given their substantial platform. Unfortunately, with that megaphone comes immense responsibility. While many take that very seriously and share meaningful messages that can spread awareness about disease and its prevention, the speed of the news cycle and the endless modes of social media connection can disseminate misinformation in an instant-- with a global reach.

So, let’s take a look back this year at what we learned from Tinseltown--good, bad and indifferent.


Health Outreach

Jack Black and Ed Sheeran are among those who had the right idea because their efforts stemmed from an authentic and caring place.   


According to Reuter’s World News, “Panamanian former dictator, CIA spy and convicted cocaine trafficker Manuel Noriega was in a coma on Tuesday after suffering a hemorrhage from an operation to remove a benign brain tumor, representatives for the 83-year-old said.” 

Here, we will address some basic tenets in neurosurgery (aka brain surgery) and how operating in this area of the body is often a delicate dance. It all comes down to real estate.

First, it is important to understand that tumors in the brain can be benign or malignant (aka cancerous). It is the location and ease of accessibility that dictates the level of surgical resection complexity. A benign tumor tickling the brain stem, for...

Sadly, the news outlets just reported the seemingly untimely passing of actor, Bill Paxton, at the age of 61. Losing a loved one is a devastating event and we wish his family peace during this especially difficult time.   

In a family statement, it was revealed he suffered surgical complications. 

Thankfully, with modern medical advances so many procedures that once carried great risk can be performed today with minimally invasive techniques that are safer and prompt speedier recoveries. And, most of the time, people —especially when otherwise healthy— do quite well.

Unfortunately, for all of us no matter our health status, there can still be a consequence or adverse event whenever surgery and anesthesia are involved. Even in the hands of the best surgeon, staff...