surgery | KERA News

surgery

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Technology continues to transform operating rooms, and community colleges in North Texas that train surgical technologists must evolve, too. 

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President Trump called the opioid crisis in the United States a national emergency last week, and Texas has joined a coalition of states to investigate the role pharmaceutical companies have played in creating and prolonging the epidemic.

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At one point, a heart surgical procedure required opening your chest. Technology’s now made it possible in some cases to avoid open heart surgery in favor of minimally invasive procedures that are actually better for some patients. 

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The Forest Park Medical Center campuses were supposed to be more like spas than hospitals.  And they were —  from the hand cut stone and sculptures to the lavish trees and fancy menu.

Wendi Bates

When Caitlyn Jenner shared her story of transition from male to female she put the transgender community in the spotlight. She also focused attention on a specific surgery, known as facial feminization.

Have you ever thought about what makes a face feminine? I’m not talking lipstick here, but something deeper.

According to one of the surgeons who pioneered facial feminization surgery, what makes a face feminine isn’t easy to define.

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144,000 Texans sustain a traumatic brain injury each year—that’s one every 4 minutes. For those who survive there’s often cognitive and psychological difficulties, like depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.

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The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports a 49 percent increase between 2013 and last year in what’s known as vaginal rejuvenation surgery. It’s the subject of growing controversy.

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Cancer of the pancreas – an organ that lies behind the lower part of your stomach - accounts for only two percent of cancers diagnosed in the U.S. each year. But it’s the fifth-leading cause of cancer deaths in this country. 

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For those who suffer frequent back pain, it was a promise of relief.  Dallas-based North American Spine spent years building a business with a procedure called AccuraScope. Some swear by it. But others had disastrous results. Doug Swanson, an investigative reporter for the Dallas Morning News, spent months investigating North American Spine and talks about what he learned.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

A robot named da Vinci was born a decade and a half ago. And since then, doctors have used the system to perform more than a million surgeries worldwide. It has revolutionized the way surgeons remove tumors. The next big leap? Da Vinci’s cousins nipping out those tumors before they become a problem.

Bolstered by a recent study that found doctors performing hysterectomies performed using a pricey robot didn't produce better results for patients than ordinary — and cheaper — procedures, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recently threw down a latex gauntlet against the use of robots.

Courtesy of Herring Family

Emylee Herring, of Denton, is one of 12 young people whose songs are being aired on Kiss FM (106.1) from now until May 4th. She’s competing in a music competition highlighting young artists in North Texas. Emylee is also in the final stages of recovery from a major surgery for scoliosis.

The Da Vinci surgical robot is now a part of the Texas Health Denton team -- helping remove patients' gallbladders through a small incision right below the navel. There are thousands of da Vinci systems world-wide, and they aren't cheap. The machines cost over one million each, with an additional cost for annual maintenance. Still, the machines give surgeons an enhanced range of motion and ultimately leave the patient with minimal scarring.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

PART 2 OF A KERA NEWS SERIES: Imagine heading into surgery. Instead of a doctor’s soothing voice, you hear the whirs and beeps of R2D2. OK, so Star Wars droids aren’t holding the scalpel, but robotic techniques are radically changing the world of medicine. And North Texas hospitals are harnessing the power of robots.

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Scrub nurses straight out of The Jetsons, telecommuting surgeons and other medical advances driven by robotic technology -- here's what's on the horizon for robotic surgery.

Most surgeries involve a doctor’s hand working inside the body. But each year more doctors and patients are opting for a robotics-assisted approach. There’s more precision and greater visibility for doctors with 3-D imaging, plus less scarring and faster recovery for patients.  But the approach has its critics.