Health Watch Blog - Part 4

Doctors Grow Nose on Man’s Forehead

Doctors Grow Nose on Man's Forehead

A 22-year-old man in China named Xiaolian is more “nosy” than most people, thanks to doctors who have grown a second nose on his forehead. You see, his original nose — the one in the middle of his face — was irreparably damaged when he neglected treatment for injuries suffered during a car accident in August 2012 and subsequently developed an infection that ate away at his nasal cartilage.

The medical treatment formulated by doctors at Xiaolian’s hospital in Fuzhou, Fujian province, called for growing a new nose by placing tissue expanders — implants designed to stretch the skin and muscle to make room for a permanent implant — under the skin. The expanders were cut into the shape of a nose, and then surgeons transplanted cartilage from the patient’s ribs to fill in the new nose. Next, it will be moved – cartilage, blood vessels and all — into the old nose’s location.

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Mustache Transplants: The New Middle Eastern Medical Trend

Mustache Transplants: The New Middle Eastern Medical Trend

Tom Selleck and Borat, eat your hairy hearts out. More and more men in the Middle East are sporting bigger, fuller mustaches, thanks to the latest trend in medical procedures: mustache transplants. Thick mustaches are valued in Middle Eastern cultures as a sign of masculinity, maturity, stateliness, wisdom and virility, so men who feel their lip foliage is too thin, wispy and otherwise not up to snuff are increasingly resorting to having hair taken from other parts of their body (use your imagination as to which ones) and surgically implanted above the lip — a process known as “follicular unit extraction.”

Turkey has become the mecca of facial follicle transplants, with some plastic surgeons there performing as many as 60 such procedures a month. Most of the patients reportedly come from other parts of the Middle East — such as the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Iraq and Lebanon — spending upwards of $5,000 beef up their ‘staches as part of a booming Turkish “medical tourism” industry that has seen the number of people visiting Turkey specifically for surgical procedures jump from 156,000 in 2011 to 270,000 in 2012. (Ironically, a recent study showed that the percentage of Turkish men sporting mustaches actually dropped from 77% in 1993 to 34% in 2011.)

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Some Medical Assistants Work With Robot Doctors

Some Medical Assistants Work With Robot Doctors

As we move closer to the inevitable apocalyptic war between machines and humans that The Terminator predicted, robots continue to take on bigger and more impressive tasks — and this time, medical assistants are on the front line. You see, more and more hospitals have begun using “telepresence robots” when there aren’t enough doctors to go around.

These robots are basically “virtual doctors,” built to be human height (over five feet tall) with a monitor that displays a remote doctor’s face and cameras, microphones and speakers that allow the doctor to have real-time interaction with patients and other medical personnel. The remote physician can also access patients’ medical data and imagery, and the robots even have the ability to “drive” themselves to destinations — like a patient’s room — without user guidance, using sensors to avoid colliding with people or objects.

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Could a Poop Transplant Help You Lose Weight?

Could a Poop Transplant Help You Lose Weight?

There have been a lot of outrageous weight loss strategies over the years, but a recent scientific discovery might take the cake. And eat it. And poop it into somebody else’s body. Sorry for that visual.

In a study published in Science Magazine, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found sets of twins in which one was obese and one was thin (an accomplishment in and of itself). They then transplanted fecal bacteria from both siblings into mice test subjects. The findings? The mice with the obese twin’s bacteria became obese (15-17% more body fat than their counterparts), while those with the thin twin’s bacteria remained thin.

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Boy Finds Snail Growing Inside His Leg

Boy Finds Snail Growing Inside His Leg

We’ve all heard of having a frog in your throat, but what about a snail in your leg? Believe it or not, that’s the medical situation that happened to Paul Franklin, a 4-year-old boy from Aliso Viejo, California whose parents were shocked to find that a sea snail had been living in their son’s knee for nearly a month.

It all started with a family trip to the beach during which Paul fell and scraped his knee. His parents, Ken and Rachael, thought little of it and simply washed off the wound and put a bandage on it. A couple of weeks later, however, the wound not only hadn’t healed, but it had gotten worse. It had swollen to the size of an orange and was hot to the touch. On top of that, Paul was limping and had developed a fever.

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