Queries from readers

Can tubal ligation be reversed?


Ligation of the fallopian tubes, performed for birth control, can be reversed to allow pregnancy to take place, depending on how long a segment of the tubes were cut in the original operation. If the segments removed are too long to precluded re-anastomosis (re-connection or bridging), then it can’t be done. The factors that will affect the success rate of pregnancy, following “reversal,” are: how old and healthy the patient is, the pregnancy history of the patient, whether the tubes were initially cut by a knife or electrocoagulation (the latter burns and injures the cut ends of the tubes and lessens the success rate), the experience and skill of the gynecologist in microsurgery, etc. The highest success rate (65%), according to Chief Ob-Gynecologist Anthony Gentile, M.D., Ph.D., of Munster, Indiana, “is with reversal of tubes ligated with the thin Hukla clip, and the lowest (less than 40%) with electrocautery.” Practically he same medical facts and limitations apply to vasectomy reversal, which can be done by a urologist to enable vasectomized men to be fertile again. Of course, pregnancy can be achieved without the use of the fallopian tubes, but using IVF (InVitro – “test tube”- Fertilization.

Can appendicitis recur?

No, once the appendix is removed properly, appendicitis  (inflammation of the appendix) will not recur, because there is no more appendiceal tissue left to get inflamed. Sometimes, though, the patient may feel right lower quadrant abdominal discomfort similar to appendicitis pain days, or months, after appendectomy, but these pains could be due to post-operative adhesions or other causes brought on by other conditions. The prudent thing to do if pains recur is to visit the surgeon who performed the procedure.

Why is it dangerous to shake babies?

Shaking or jarring infants and babies could lead to broken bones and disruption of the spinal cord in that area, leading to sudden death. The neck of infants and babies is quite limp, literally weak, and unstable, that jarring or shaking the baby often lead to fatal neck injury due to severe hyperextension of the neck and severing the cervical spinal cord at the base of the brain. When holding an infant or a child, the head and neck should always be supported as “one piece” with the hand holding the back of the head, the neck and the upper back, acting as a “brace” that prevents the heavy head from falling back.

What to do when a child chokes?

When a child, or even an adult, chokes, there is only about 4 minutes to act to save the victim. Sudden gasping for air and extreme anxiety during a meal or while the child has an object in the mouth are the telltale sign that should alert us to the possibility of foreign body as the cause of the problem. If the foreign body in the throat is accessible, it should be removed instantly. If the foreign body is not obvious, Heimlich Maneuver should be done immediately, without wasting time trying to decipher what the problem is. This is accomplished by going behind the victim, putting your arm around his upper abdominal area and applying repeated pressure against the abdomen towards you, like giving the victim a forceful bear hug. The idea is to press the stomach and let the air in the stomach push the foreign body upward and outward of the breathing pipe where the foreign body is lodged. In the case of a baby or small infant, put them on their tummy, with the face turned to one side, and put your hand underneath their upper abdomen and press against the stomach repeatedly until the foreign body jumps out of their throat. Another person, if available, should call for emergency medical help. If you are alone, do the Heimlich right away, as you shout at the top of your lungs for help.

Can I take my friend’s blood pressure pill?

No, absolutely not, unless your physician, after interviewing and examining you, recommends the same pill to control your high blood pressure. It is not only illegal for your friend to “prescribe and dispense” medications if he was not a licensed physician but also very dangerous for you. There are many types of high blood pressure pills. What is good for him may not be good or tolerated by you. Your friend’s good intention may backfire and do disservice to you by causing serious complications from taking the pills he gives you or advises you to take without consulting with your physician. This caveat goes true with any and all medications, even as “simple” as aspirin.

Is heartburns a form of heart attack?

No, heartburns is a misnomer, misleading and confusing. It has nothing to do with the heart, so it is not a form of heart attack. Heartburns has been loosely used, even in medical circles, to denote stomach hyperacidity, gastric upset, or indigestion, especially following intake of spicy foods or drinking alcoholic beverages.

Does exercise increase appetite?

Contrary to popular belief or what we call “common sense,” exercise does not increase the appetite, more than what is normal for the person. As a matter of fact, regular exercise reduces appetite to a healthy level. This is a proven finding among those trying to lose weight, where exercise plays a vital role in the success of the regimen and the long term maintenance of healthier weight. Not exercising could lead to weight gain.

Why are my toes are burning with severe itchiness?

Obviously you have what we call Tinea Pedis (Athletes’ Foot) which is a form of fungus infection of the plantar aspect (bottom) of the feet and the toes. One of the latest medications very effective for this condition, which could drive people crazy with severe itchiness of the feet and toes, is terbinafine Hydrochoride cream or tablets. Consult with your physician to help end your misery.

Can one get fungus infection from mani- or pedicure?

Yes, most definitely, and especially in the toes. The Tinea Pedis we talked about earlier can affect the fingernails, when a nail cutter and other instrument to remove cuticle are contaminated by the fungus in the toes or toenails of people with the infection. It is the responsibility of the beauty shops to prevent infection and the spread of infection among their customers. Washing the “instruments” and soaking them in recommended medical antiseptic solutions, or even in diluted form of chlorine use for laundry, can minimize, if not prevent contamination. Chlorine solution, for one, also kills the AIDS virus on contact. When beauty shops do not follow these safe and hygienic procedures, it behooves any of us customers to report them to the bureau of health or other appropriate governmental agency to protect the public. We must always be on our toes!

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