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Head & Neck Surgery News

Surgery Not the Answer for Most Back Pain, Sports Doctor Says

Posted 3 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 2, 2016 – Back pain is a common problem, but most cases can be treated without surgery, a sports medicine specialist says. Sometime during their lives, up to 80 percent of people will have back pain that lasts more than three days. The first step in treating back pain is understanding it, according to Dr. Gregory Billy, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist with Penn State Sports Medicine. "A physician should ask about the history of your pain, including its exact location, what makes it feel better or worse and what may have caused it," Billy said in a university news release. "A physical exam helps isolate the cause of the pain – for example, what happens when you stand, sit, lift your leg or walk?" While an MRI can help with a diagnosis, it has limitations. "Because the back changes with age, MRIs of many older adults are likely to depict damage, but the ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Surgery, Back Pain, Chronic Pain, Orthopedic Surgery, Head & Neck Surgery

Babies With Cleft Lip Likely to Have Normal Adulthood: Study

Posted 27 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 27, 2016 – Cleft lip is a relatively common birth defect that can be surgically repaired, and new research suggests that parents don't have to worry about long-term health problems for these children. But the same may not hold true for cleft palate, the Norwegian researchers said. A cleft lip occurs if the tissue that makes up the lip doesn't join completely before birth, leading to an opening in the upper lip. A cleft palate occurs when the tissue at the roof of the mouth doesn't fuse completely during pregnancy. The researchers found that babies born with cleft lip, with or without cleft palate, had no greater risk for health problems and death than those born without clefts. But they found that infants born with cleft palate alone had a slightly increased risk of dying early and of having conditions such as intellectual disability, autism and severe learning ... Read more

Related support groups: Oral and Dental Conditions, Autism, Delivery, Head & Neck Surgery, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Removing Part of Skull After Severe Head Injury Brings Mixed Results

Posted 8 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 8, 2016 – Removing part of the skull to relieve pressure in the brain following a severe head injury can save a person's life, but the patient is often left permanently disabled, a new clinical trial has determined. Doctors frequently turn to craniectomy for patients who are suffering from brain swelling as a result of traumatic head injury, but little is known about whether the procedure spares these patients from long-term brain damage. The new trial found it can drastically reduce risk of death, with about 30 percent of patients dying following the procedure compared to 52 percent of those treated with standard medical care. However, people treated with a craniectomy were three times more likely to wind up in a vegetative state (6 percent vs. 2 percent), and often were as likely to suffer long-term disabilities as patients receiving standard medical care, the study ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Head Injury, Head & Neck Surgery, Neurosurgery, Head Injury with Intracranial Hemorrhage, Head Injury w/ Intracranial Hemorrhage and Loss of Consciousness, Seizure Prophylaxis During or Following Neurosurgery, Head Injury with Loss of Consciousness

Surgery Effective Against Immune Disorder That Weakens Muscles

Posted 11 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2016 – Removing the thymus gland is an effective treatment for myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disorder that causes life-threatening muscle weakness, researchers report. Since the 1940s, doctors have been surgically removing the thymus gland – a procedure called thymectomy – as a means of treating myasthenia gravis. But this has been done based on research indicating the gland might play a role in the development of the disease. "It has never been clearly shown to benefit patients beyond other medical therapies that have developed over time," said lead researcher Dr. Gil Wolfe. He's the chair of neurology for the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo in New York. "There has always been a question of how much favorable impact it actually provides," Wolfe said. Now, Wolfe and his colleagues have proven that thymectomy offers ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Myasthenia Gravis, Head & Neck Surgery

Researchers Find 8 Immune Genes in Aggressive Brain Cancer

Posted 25 May 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 25, 2016 – Researchers have identified immune genes that may affect how long people live after diagnosis with a common type of brain cancer. If confirmed in other studies, the researchers say their findings could lead to improved treatment in the future. The type of brain cancer in the study is glioblastoma multiforme, a fast-growing tumor. People with this type of cancer survive an average of less than two years, even after treatment with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, the study authors said. "We've had luck with other types of cancer in removing the brakes on the immune system to allow it to fight the tumors, but this has not been the case with glioblastoma," said study author Dr. Anhua Wu, of First Hospital of China Medical University in Shenyang, China. "If our discovery of these genes is validated in other studies, we could use this 'gene signature' to ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Brain Tumor, Nausea/Vomiting - Chemotherapy Induced, Glioblastoma Multiforme, Head & Neck Surgery, Diagnosis and Investigation, Malignant Glioma, Head Imaging

Doctors May Be Ordering Too Many Neck Artery Scans: Study

Posted 18 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 18, 2016 – A new study suggests that many heart patients are scanned for potential blockages in their carotid arteries for uncertain or inappropriate reasons. The carotid arteries, which run up both sides of the neck, deliver blood to the brain. If they become blocked, that can cause a stroke. Once spotted, a blockage can be treated with surgery or medication, the researchers said. But among more than 4,000 VA patients in the study, scans for uncertain reasons happened more than 83 percent of the time, while scans for inappropriate reasons happened 11 percent of the time. Only slightly over 5 percent of these patients were screened for appropriate reasons, the study found. "The vast majority were done for uncertain or inappropriate reasons," said Dr. Larry Goldstein, chairman of the department of neurology at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine. He wrote a ... Read more

Related support groups: Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Acute Coronary Syndrome, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Head & Neck Surgery, Diagnosis and Investigation, Body Imaging, Head Imaging

Doctors Report on Success of Throat Reconstruction

Posted 9 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 8, 2016 – An American man who underwent throat reconstruction seven years ago has no swallowing problems and can eat normal food, researchers report. The man's severely damaged esophagus was reconstructed using commercially available metal stents and donated skin tissue. The stents – approved in the United States to help esophageal cancer patients with a throat obstruction to swallow – provided a scaffold for the tissue to grow on. "This is a first in human operation and one that we undertook as a lifesaving measure once we had exhausted all other options available to us and the patient," said study author Dr. Kulwinder Dua. He is a professor in the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee. The stents were removed four years ago, according to the study published April 8 in The Lancet. "The approach we used is novel ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Head & Neck Surgery

Surgeons' Experience Matters With Thyroid Removal

Posted 28 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 25, 2016 – If you need your thyroid gland removed, choosing a surgeon who performs more than 25 thyroid removals a year might minimize your risks, a new study suggests. "This is a very technical operation, and patients should feel empowered to ask their surgeons how many procedures they do each year, on average," said study senior author Dr. Julie Sosa, chief of endocrine surgery at Duke University, in Durham, N.C. "Surgeons have an ethical responsibility to report their case numbers. While this is not a guarantee of a positive outcome, choosing a more experienced surgeon certainly can improve the odds that the patient will do well," Sosa said in a university news release. The thyroid, located at the base of the throat, produces hormones that regulate your metabolism. Thyroid removal (thyroidectomy) is not uncommon and often done due to cancer or enlargement, Sosa and her ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Thyroid Disease, Thyroid Cancer, Head & Neck Surgery, Thyroid Storm, Myxedema Coma, Thyroid Tumor

New Cooling Technique Might Aid Brain Surgery: Study

Posted 25 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 25, 2016 – A new cooling technique appears to safeguard a patient's speech centers during brain surgery, a small, preliminary study suggests. This approach, combined with verbal checks, also helped improve understanding of brain areas involved in word formation and speech timing, the researchers said. The technique used in the study is called focal cooling, in which miniature devices are used to cool quarter-sized areas of the brain by as much as 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) in less than one minute. For the study, 16 patients received local anesthesia for the first part of their surgery, which left them awake and able to speak. This enabled the surgeons to map the areas where specific functions – including speech – occur in the brain. Once the brain mapping was done, the patients received general anesthesia for the operations, some of which involved tumor ... Read more

Related support groups: Brain Tumor, Head & Neck Surgery

Surgery, Stents Equally Effective for Opening Neck Arteries: Study

Posted 19 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 18, 2016 – Surgery to open narrowed neck arteries and stenting to keep the arteries open are equally safe and effective at reducing stroke risk, a new study reveals. About 5 percent to 10 percent of all strokes in the United States are caused by narrowing of the so-called carotid arteries – the major arteries in the neck, explained lead investigator Dr. Thomas Brott. He is a neurologist and professor of neurosciences at the Mayo Clinic in Florida. "Since there are about 800,000 strokes a year, we're talking about 40,000 to 50,000 strokes a year. If we can find the best way to prevent those strokes, then we will have provided a service to those patients," Brott said in a clinic news release. Plaque buildup in the neck arteries can reduce blood flow and cause clotting, increasing the risk of stroke. Surgery removes the narrowed segment of the artery. Stenting involves ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Ischemic Stroke, Transient Ischemic Attack, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Head & Neck Surgery, Vascular Surgery

Surgeon's Experience Tied to Success of Thyroid Removal: Study

Posted 8 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 8, 2015 – Patients who undergo thyroid removal may be less likely to suffer complications if their surgeon performs many such surgeries each year, a new study says. Removal of the thyroid gland, located at the base of the neck, is a common operation. More than 72,300 total thyroidectomies are performed in the United States annually, usually to treat thyroid cancer or benign thyroid diseases, the study authors said. The authors examined data from nearly 17,000 American adults who had their thyroid removed between 1998 and 2009. About half these patients had cancer, and the other half had thyroid disease. Overall, 6 percent of the patients had complications after their surgery, such as damage to voice box nerves, excessive bleeding, poor wound healing, breathing or heart problems, hormone deficiency and death. Complication rates were 4 percent among patients whose surgeon ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Thyroid Disease, Hypothyroidism, Underactive Thyroid, Hashimoto's Disease, Hypothyroidism - After Thyroid Removal, Hyperthyroidism, Thyroid Cancer, TSH Suppression, Goiter, Thyroid Suppression Test, Head & Neck Surgery, Graves' Disease, Thyroid Storm, Chronic Lymphocytic Thyroiditis, Myxedema Coma, Thyroid Tumor, Thyrotoxicosis, Myxedema, Thyroid Hemorrhage/Infarction

Tonsillectomy for Sleep Apnea Carries Risks for Some Kids: Study

Posted 21 Sep 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 21, 2015 – Children who have their tonsils removed to treat sleep apnea are more likely to suffer breathing complications than kids who have the procedure for other reasons, a new review shows. Researchers found that across 23 studies, about 9 percent of children undergoing a tonsillectomy developed breathing problems during or soon after the procedure. But the risk was nearly five times higher for kids with sleep apnea, versus other children. Experts said the findings, reported online Sept. 21 in the journal Pediatrics, should not scare parents away from a procedure that could help their kids. Instead, they said, doctors should be aware that children with sleep apnea have higher odds of respiratory complications, such as low oxygen levels in the blood, during and shortly after the procedure. Parents also need to be aware – since breathing difficulties can arise later ... Read more

Related support groups: Tonsillitis/Pharyngitis, Sleep Apnea, Head & Neck Surgery, Respiratory Tract Disease, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome

Sinus Surgery May Also Ease Sleep Apnea

Posted 10 Sep 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 10, 2015 – Struggling to breathe with sinus troubles can keep you from getting a good night's sleep. But a new study suggests that surgery to deal with chronically stuffed sinuses can help people breathe and sleep better, including people with sleep apnea. The study found that 15 percent of people with chronically stuffed sinuses also had the sleep disorder obstructive sleep apnea. After surgery to clear the sinuses, people reported better quality of life and improved sleep, regardless of whether or not they had a sleep disorder. "Poor sleep, feeling tired, and fatigue are all frequent complaints of patients with chronic sinus disease," said study author Dr. Jeremiah Alt, an ear, nose and throat surgeon at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. According to Dr. Jordan Josephson, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, "Sinus and ... Read more

Related support groups: Sinusitis, Flonase, Sleep Apnea, Nasonex, Nasacort, Afrin, Veramyst, Omnaris, Oxymetazoline, Astelin, Sinus Symptoms, Azelastine, Nasacort AQ, Head & Neck Surgery, Otrivin, Dymista, 4-Way, Tetrahydrozoline, Olopatadine, Rhinocort

Tuning Into Your Favorite Music May Boost Post-Op Recovery

Posted 12 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 12, 2015 – Mozart, Madonna or Eminem: Whatever your taste, music may help you recover from a surgery, according to a new review of data on the subject. "More than 51 million operations are performed every year in the U.S.," lead author Dr. Catherine Meads, of Brunel University in the United Kingdom, said in a news release from The Lancet, which published the findings Aug. 12. "Music is a non-invasive, safe, cheap intervention that should be available to everyone undergoing surgery," she said. "Patients should be allowed to choose the type of music they would like to hear to maximize the benefit to their well-being." The only caveat: "Care needs to be taken that music does not interfere with the medical team's communication," Meads said. In their research, her team reviewed data from 72 studies that included nearly 7,000 patients. The investigators found that listening ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Hip Replacement, Knee Joint Replacement, Orthopedic Surgery, Head & Neck Surgery, Surgical Prophylaxis, Vascular Surgery, Gastrointestinal Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery

When New Doctors 'Train' During Surgery, Risks Don't Rise: Study

Posted 6 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 6, 2015 – People undergoing brain or spine surgery are at no greater risk if doctors-in-training – called residents – assist during the operation, a new study suggests. Researchers found that residents are supervised and their assistance doesn't increase the risk for complications or death. "Patients often ask whether a resident is going to be involved in their case, and they're usually not looking to have more residents involved," Dr. Mohamad Bydon, a resident in neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, said in a hospital news release. "Some people have a fear of being treated in a hospital that trains doctors." To see if there was any basis for the concern, the researchers looked at results of more than 16,000 brain and spine surgeries performed between 2006 and 2012. The information was from the database of the American College of Surgeons National ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Head & Neck Surgery, Neurosurgery, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital

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