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Telehealth or face-to-face appointment? The pros & cons of each


Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of patients utilizing telehealth solutions has increased significantly. But with telehealth set to remain a mainstay of healthcare going forward, it begs the questions of what are the pros and cons of telehealth? We’ve listed some of each below to help you make an informed decision. Advantages of telehealth for patients: - Patients can typically get an appointment sooner - Appointments are carried out in the safety of a patient’s home or workplace — saving time and money on gas and parking - Telehealth allows elderly patients and those with reduced mobility, as well as people in rural locations, continued access healthcare services - Telehealth services are designed to be easy to adopt - Recent Medicare rule changes in the United States mean that people in more states are covered and can take advantage of telehealth services as part of their health plans - Telehealth services can often be used via a smartphone - A great way to satisfy post-surgical follow-ups Advantages of telehealth for healthcare providers: - More free time to help the neediest patients - Less overcrowding in doctor’s practices - Easier to implement social distancing guidelines Disadvantages of telehealth: - Not suitable for emergency situations (although tele-ICUs are a thing) - Not suitable for when a clinician needs to physically interact with a patient - Unsuitable for routine vaccinations - Not as intimate as a traditional face-to-face appointment If you’d like to find out more about the telehealth services provided by France Surgery, please get in touch.  

World leaders pledge billions to help develop coronavirus vaccine


As the number of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) cases globally passes 3.5 million, world leaders have pledged more than $8bn (€7.3bn) to help with the development of a coronavirus vaccine and fund research into diagnosing and treating the disease. The donations came from more than 30 countries, as well as numerous UN and philanthropic bodies and research institutes. Pop singer Madonna was one of the donors, pledging $1.1m (€1m), while Norway matched the European Commission’s contribution of $1bn (€920m) and France, Saudi Arabia and Germany all pledged $500m (€458m). Japan promised to give more than $800m (€733). Russia and the United States, which has suspended funding to the World Health Organization, were notably absent from the online summit hosted by the European Union (EU). Meanwhile, China, where SARS-CoV-2 originated in December, was represented by its ambassador to the EU. The EU said that $4.4bn of the money raised will go towards developing a vaccine, $2bn on the search for a treatment and $1.6bn for producing tests. In an open letter published in newspapers over the weekend, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the pledged funds would “kickstart an unprecedented global co-operation between scientists and regulators, industry and governments, international organizations, foundations and healthcare professionals”. “If we can develop a vaccine that is produced by the world, for the whole world, this will be a unique global public good of the 21st Century,” they added. [Related reading: How long before there’s a coronavirus vaccine?]

Why COVID-19 poses a greater risk to men than women


Several studies have revealed that COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting men and the potential reasons include everything from biology to bad habits. According to the World Health Organization, men have accounted for 69% of COVID-19 related deaths in Europe. Meanwhile, reports suggest that in New York City men have been dying from COVID-19 at almost twice the rate of women. It is thought that both genetics and lifestyle choices play a part when it comes to COVID-19 outcomes in men. First and foremost, because of their extra X chromosome, women have stronger immune systems and respond better to infections than men. Then there is the fact that more elderly men suffer from heart disease than elderly women and that high blood pressure and liver disease are more prevalent in men too. All of these conditions are factors that are associated with more negative COVID-19 outcomes. In addition, men are statistically more likely to smoke than women. In fact, according to Our World in Data figures, more than one-third (35%) of men in the world smoke, compared to just over 6% of women. With smoking one of the biggest risk factors for chronic lung disease, men are at a much greater disadvantage should they get COVID-19. [Related reading: Can you catch the new coronavirus twice?]

The seven dementia risk factors: How many are you aware of?


A new study has revealed that half of UK adults cannot name a single dementia risk factor. If asked, how many could you name? The study by Alzheimer's Research UK found that just 1% of UK adults could name the seven known dementia risk or protective factors. Heavy drinking, smoking, genetics, high blood pressure, depression and diabetes are the six dementia risk factors, while physical exercise is a protective factor. According to the study, more than half of UK adults know someone with dementia, yet only half also recognised that the disease is a cause of death. Furthermore, a fifth of people quizzed for the report incorrectly said that dementia is an inevitable part of getting old. Right now, there are more than 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia and that number is expected to top one million by 2025. Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia, accounting for around two-thirds of all cases. Hilary Evans, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “It is a sad truth that more people are affected by dementia than ever before and half of us now know someone with the condition. Yet despite growing dementia awareness, we must work harder to improve understanding of the diseases that cause it.” You can read the full Alzheimer’s Research UK report here:

Blue Monday: What is it and how did it come about?


The third Monday in January (yesterday) is widely referred to as Blue Monday; so-called because it’s when Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and general winter blues are thought to be at their peak. But despite catching the popular imagination, is there any scientific or medical proof to support Blue Monday being the most depressing day of the year? In a nutshell, no, there isn’t. Blue Monday was actually invented by psychologist Cliff Arnall in 2005. It is said that Arnall came up with the idea of Blue Monday as part of a marketing campaign for British travel company Sky Travel (now defunct). Arnall used a mathematical equation that took into account a variety of factors to determine which was the saddest day of the year. One factor included was Northern Hemisphere weather data and Sky Travel used Arnall’s findings to persuade people that the only way to beat the winter blues on Blue Monday was by heading south of the equator. So, Blue Monday is nothing more than an elaborate marketing tool really, designed to encourage people to go on holiday. But that hasn’t stopped it becoming a phenomenon that’s talked about every year mid-January. In an interview with The Telegraph back in 2010, Arnall said people should ignore the most depressing day of the year label and try to be cheerful. “I was originally asked to come up with what I thought was the best day to book a summer holiday, but when I started thinking about the motives for booking a holiday, reflecting on what thousands had told me during stress management or happiness workshops, there were these factors that pointed to the third Monday in January as being particularly depressing," said Arnall. How did you feel yesterday? Any bluer than usual?  

A million French smokers quit in a year, study finds


It seems the slew of anti-smoking measures introduced in France have had a dramatic impact on the number of smokers in the country. According to a study conducted by Public Health France, one million people in France quit smoking in the space of a year, with initiatives such as neutral packaging, higher prices and anti-smoking campaigns being praised for attributing to the decline. In 2017, 26.9% of 18- to 75-year-olds smoked every day, compared to 29.4% a year earlier. This equates to a drop of a million smokers, from 13.2 million to 12.2 million over the period. Such a drop has not been seen in a decade and Public Health France says the results are “historic”. The study also revealed a notable decline in daily smoking habits “among the most disadvantaged”, including low-income earners and the unemployed for the first time since the year 2000. French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn welcomed the decline in smoking among those on low incomes, saying that "tobacco is a trajectory of inequality, it weighs particularly on the most disadvantaged and it gets worse". Buzyn plans to raise the price of a pack of cigarettes from around €8 today to €10 by 2020. [Related reading: Cleaning products as bad as 20-a-day cigarette habit for women – study]

Burgundy Vintages Tops List of World’s Most Expensive Wines


It was made by Henri Jayer, a visionary winemaker who sadly died in 2006 at the age of 84 and it’s now the world’s most expensive wine. It is a 1985 Richebourg Grand Cru and if you want to buy it you’ll need to part with $15,195 (€14,254). It tops this year’s WineSearcher list of expensive wines, which was compiled after the average price per bottle of some seven million vintages was analysed. In fact, the top three wines on the list are all Burgundies, as are 40 of the top 50. Doesn’t that say something about the quality of the wine from that part of the world? Second place on the list is occupied by Romanee-Conti ($13,314), also known as Burgundy’s most famous wine, while the third spot is taken by another Jayer wine, his Cros-Parantoux, Vosne-Romanee Premier Cru ($8,832). Despitee all its prestige, Bordeaux only has two wines on the list, both Pomerols: the Petrus and a Le Pin. The list also features four bottles from German winemakers Egon Müller and Joh. Jos. Prüm and the only other non-French wine is from Californian vintner Stanley Kroenke's Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon, which sits in 14th place. WineSearcher, founded in London in 1999, produces its most expensive wines list on an annual basis and with Burgundies dominating this year’s list, is it any surprise that the region was recently awarded UNESCO world heritage status for the uniqueness of its vineyards?

Gastric Banding Surgery


GASTRIC BANDING SURGERY Gastric Banding surgery (Lap band surgery) is one of the different bariatric surgery's techniques Principle: Restrictive technique that reduces the size of the stomach and slows the passage of food. Digestion of food is not affected. A lap band (adjustable in diameter) is placed around the upper part of the stomach, creating a small pouch. Only a small amount of food is required to fill this pouch and a feeling of fullness occurs quickly. Based on the same principle as an hourglass, foods will pass through the stomach very slowly. Characteristic: The only adjustable technique: Adjustable Gastric Banding Surgery is linked to a port placed under the skin via a small tube. This Gastric Banding can be tightened or untightened by injecting liquid into the port, through the skin. Radiological monitoring is necessary during follow-up. The Gastric Banding (or Lap band) can be removed through a new operation in the event of complications, lack of efficiency or at the patient's request. Expected weight loss: About 40 to 60 % excess weight loss, corresponding to a weight loss of approximately 20 to 30 kg1. If the Gastric Banding (Lap band) is removed, weight is usually regained. (studies with 10 years follow-up). Main operating time: about 15 minutes Main length of hospital stay: 1, 2 days All health facilities represented by France Surgery are recognized as Surgery Center of Excellence in obesity surgery by the EAC-BS European Accreditation Council for Bariatric Surgery.   CONSIDERING GASTRIC BANDING (LAP BAND) SURGERY IN FRANCE ? CLICK HERE FOR A FREE QUOTE To find out more about the advantages and disadvantages of Bariatric surgery in France: (French Society for Bariatric Surgery) (French National Nutrition Health Programme) (French National Health Autority)

Sleeve Gastrectomy


SLEEVE GASTRECTOMY Sleeve Gastrectomy is a restrictive technique which consists of removing approximately two thirds of the stomach and, in particular, the part containing the cells that secrete the hormone that stimulates appetite (ghrelin). The stomach is reduced to a vertical tube and food passes quickly into the intestine. Appetite is also reduced. This technique does not interfere with the digestion process. Sleeve gastrectomy is sometimes the first step in a biliopancreatic diversion procedure. Expected Weight Loss: Around 45 to 65 % excess weight loss after 2 years, corresponding to a weight loss of approximately 25 to 35 kg. (studies with 2 years follow-up, for a person of average height (1.7 m) with a BMI of 40 kg/m) Mean operating time: 2 hours (Provided there are no complications during the operation). Mean length of hospital stay: 3 to 8 days (Provided there are no complications after the operation). Main complications risks : Ulcers, leakage or stenosis of the remnant stomach. Early postoperative bleeding. Possible nutritional deficiencies (to be monitored). Gastrooesophageal reflux (acids and foods coming back up the oesophagus) and inflammation of the oesophagus.Dilation of the stomach.   French health facilities represented by France Surgery are all recognized Surgery Center of Excellence in European obesity surgery by the EAC-BS European Accreditation Council for Bariatric Surgery.   CONSIDERING SLEEVE GASTRECTOMY IN FRANCE ?  CLICK HERE FOR A FREE QUOTE   To find out more about the advantages and disadvantages of the different Bariatric surgical techniques: Société française et francophone de chirurgie de l’obésité (French National Nutrition Health Programme) (French Health Authority)  

Gastric Bypass


GASTRIC BYPASS SURGERY Gastric Bypass technique is used to reduce the stomach’s size and the food absorption in the digestive tube in order to trigger a significant weight loss. Often described as 'more comfortable' than Lap Band surgery by patients, this surgery is irreversible and implies a lifelong medical follow up and potential vitamins’ intake. The digestive bypass created during surgery leads to food derivation directly to the middle part of the small intestine. This surgery exists since 1990 and is performed on thousands of patients every year in France. We then have significant medical data to access its risk and benefits. GASTRIC BYPASS is conducted under general anaesthetic, usually via laparoscopy. This technique is recommended because it reduces the amount of pain experienced and allows the patient to return to normal activity quickly. In some cases, during the operation it is necessary to open up the abdomen (laparotomy) for safety reasons. The time spent in hospital will vary from 2 to 10 days depending on the type of operation and the general health of the patient. It may be extended. You should plan to have at least 2 weeks off work when you come out of hospital. Expected Weight Loss: Around 70 to 75 % excess weight loss, corresponding to a weight loss of approximately 35 to 40 kg (studies with 20 years follow-up for a person of average height 1.7 m with a BMI of 40 kg/m2). Mean operating time: 1,5 to 3 hours (Provided there are no complications during the operation). Mean length of hospital stay: 4 to 8 days (Provided there are no complications after the operation). Mean complications risk : Surgical complications: ulcers, leakage or stenosis at the junction between the stomach and the intestine, bleeding, occlusion of the intestine. Nutritional deficiencies. Functional complications: hypoglycaemia after meals, dumping syndrome, constipation French healthcare facilities represented by France Surgery are all recognized Surgery Center of Excellence in European obesity surgery by the EAC-BS European Accreditation Council for Bariatric Surgery. CONSIDERING GASTRIC-BYPASS IN FRANCE ? CLICK HERE FOR A FREE QUOTE   To find out more about the advantages and disadvantages of the different Bariatric surgical techniques: French Society for Bariatric surgery (French National Nutrition Health Programme) (French Health Autority)

ACL Reconstruction


ACL RECONSTRUCTION in FRANCE The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four knee ligaments. There are two collateral ligaments (MCL and LCL) and 2 ligaments called central cross as they intersect in the middle of the knee. The ligaments are stretched from one guy to another bone. They allow joint surfaces remain in contact during movement and thus ensure the stability of the joint. Cruciate ligaments and especially the anterior cruciate ligament provides most of the stability of the knee. Breach of the lateral ligaments, one speaks of mild sprain, but in case of infringement of the anterior cruciate ligament sprain is serious talk, for then the stability of the knee is compromised. Consequence of the ACL rupture Rupture of anterior cruciate ligament thus causes a decrease in the stability of the knee. Fortunately, the anterior cruciate ligament is not necessary in everyday life sedentary. It is involved in activities where the legs are involved significantly in particular in gestures of twisting the knee, such as ball games or combat ... How can we make an ACL sprained? Several mechanisms may lead to an ACL rupture. Most often, this is a twisted knee during a reception of a jump or during a change of direction while running, the foot still stuck in the ground. The skiing accident during a turn or fall without detaching is also conventional. Other mechanisms exist especially hyperextension of the knee during a shoot in the air for example.   What are the signs to suspect an ACL ruptured ? The classic triad of ACL rupture is "Cracking - dislocation - immediate swelling. The athlete feels a cracking or tearing sensation in the knee. The dislocation is felt either as a sensation that the knee by the side then back up is that the knee was rotated (torsion). Shortly after injury, the knee began to swell significantly. Walking is difficult or impossible. Unfortunately, in some cases, these signs do not exist, the knee does not swell barrier example. Pain is not a good sign because in some breaks, it is minimal or absent. That is why a specialist consultation is necessary when knee sprain.   ACL rupture diagnosis The ACL rupture diagnosis is a clinical diagnosis. The ACL can be compared to a rope that holds the knee. If the cord is intact, the knee is stable, if it is broken, we say the knee is lax (moves abnormally when examined). Thanks to specific tests (Lachman test), the specialist can usually tell if there is a breach or not. Very often, the diagnosis is focused on MRI, but these images are only a picture of ACL. MRI can only say if ACL presente a lesion or not. How to treat? It does exist two treatments : functional treatment and surgical treatment. 1. Functional treatment : Objective : compensate the absence of an ACL and muscle proprioceptive rehabilitation. That will allow the knee to remain stable. The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the stability of the knee, but other structures will contribute in particular muscles. Rehabilitation grants will be developed in a hand muscle strength of knee muscles (quadriceps in front and rear hamstring) and secondly, the overall functioning of the knee position (standing, jumping, running) to improve equilibrium and stability of the knee.   Surgical treatment : Surgical treatment is to reconstruct the anterior cruciate ligament with an other tendon. The tendon most used is the patellar tendon. Another technique uses the tendons of the crow's feet.   Functional treatment Benefits : Avoids surgery No complication Possible surgery secondary Disadvantages ACL is not repaired Do not allow the resumption of all sports Muscles have to be trained regularly Surgical treatment Benefits : Repair of the ACL Allows recovery of all sports Definitive treatment Disadvantages : Surgery with operative risks Possible complications In case of failure, complex surgery   Who can be operated ?   Fortunately, ACL is not part of the vital organs of the human being. The vast majority of people can live normally without anterior cruciate ligament. For these individuals, the functional treatment is enought. Patients who need a perfect stability in their lives or because of sports or job should choose surgical treatment. Surgical treatment is indicated when there are significant lesions associated with anterior cruciate ligament rupture causing instability in everyday life.  

Keyhole Surgery Explained


When it comes to surgical procedures, advances in technology and greater skillsets of surgeons has meant that keyhole techniques are used more and more. What is keyhole surgery? In the past, large cuts to a patient’s abdomen would be necessary for surgical procedures to be carried out. This is simply no longer the case, with minimally invasive ‘keyhole’ surgery offering numerous benefits. Now, a range of surgical procedures can be performed through very small stab incisions using special plastic tubes called ports. Surgeons can perform entire operations through these plastic tubes using long thin instruments. What are the advantages of keyhole surgery? The most notable benefit is the lack of a huge scar, which in itself has other advantages. No big scar means less pain; a lesser chance of complications like infection; and, of course, a better cosmetic result is achieved. Furthermore, there is a reduced risk of adhesions forming inside the stomach, which can lead to bowel blockages and incisional hernias. Lastly, keyhole surgery often affords a much quicker discharge from hospital and reduced recovery period. What are the disadvantages of keyhole surgery? As it is a lot more complex, keyhole surgery can often take longer to perform. Also, if any complications arise, a conventional procedure may be needed and will result in a large abdominal scar. Finally, the cost of such procedures is higher compared to conventional surgery as specialist equipment is needed. So, if you’re due to have surgery in the near future, why not enquire as to whether a keyhole procedure could be the right choice for you. Photo credit: © Grzegorz Kwolek -