For nearly two years, a 50-year-old man in North Carolina has suffered mysterious coughing fits, fatigue, and pneumonia. Now he’s back to normal after doctors removed a 1-inch piece of plastic from his lungs, which he apparently inhaled while enjoying a soft drink.
A saleswoman for Zales who had earned 5 diamonds and almost a dozen commendations over the past 4 1/2 years—she’s the area’s first employee to earn a million dollars in sales in one year—was terminated last month, one week after she requested time off to have surgery for a life-threatening aortic aneurysm.
What part of “circumcision” was unclear? That’s basically what a Kentucky man and his wife are asking of two doctors who cut off the man’s penis while he was under the knife. The doctors say they discovered cancer and made an emergency decision. The man says, dude, wtf, you cut off my penis. It doesn’t grow back, and it was kind of important to me.
A surgical team at Park Nicollet Heath Services in Minnesota removed the healthy kidney from a patient last week, and left behind the possibly cancerous kidney.
Aetna Insurance doesn’t want to cover propofol anesthesia during colonoscopies. They say general sedation works just as well and is cheaper. Doctors says that propofol lets them tell their patients that they won’t experience any pain, which is important to calm their fears and get them into the needed surgery. Coolorectal cancer is the number two cancer killer in the US. Wonder if health insurance executives ever have to pay for their medical costs using their own insurance system.
Laura used Picasa to share photographs of her mastectomy with members of her support group, as well as family and friends. Now they’re gone, deleted without warning because some anonymous jackass flagged them as inappropriate. [Update: Pics are back up! Google apologized and reinstated the entire album, along with comments.] The first problem with this is that it’s hard to figure out which category of “inappropriate” surgical pictures fall under: obscenity, pornography, promotions of hate, incitement of violence, spam, malicious code, or viruses?
For most people, when you’re at a point in life where you need surgery, you’re not feeling exactly empowered or willing to grill your doctor on his or her exact qualifications. But you should, says—of all groups—the American College of Surgeons. Thomas Russell, the organization’s executive director and a surgeon, says, “Patients should feel free to ask their surgeon anything they want answered about the operation or the surgeon’s competency to perform it. There are no questions that should be off the table.”
Nothing says “I love you, Mom,” like some more medicine for her diabetes, or “You’re the best, Dad,” like a refill of nitro tablets. That’s why the health insurance company Highmark is offering new Healthcare Visa Gift Cards—for about $5 plus an unspecified shipping and handling fee, you can load it with anywhere from $25 to $5,000 to be used exclusively on medical expenses. After the first 9 months, the card emerges from the womb of “I already paid for this!” and starts charging you a monthly $1.50 maintenance fee. Won’t your kid be excited come Christmas morning when she finds out her staph infection is going to get treated?!