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Dr. Namratha

Radiologist, Mumbai

500 at clinic
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Dr. Namratha Radiologist, Mumbai
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I believe in health care that is based on a personal commitment to meet patient needs with compassion and care....more
I believe in health care that is based on a personal commitment to meet patient needs with compassion and care.
More about Dr. Namratha
Dr. Namratha is a trusted Radiologist in Mumbai, Mumbai. You can visit her at Beams Hospital in Mumbai, Mumbai. Save your time and book an appointment online with Dr. Namratha on Lybrate.com.

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Plot No 674, 16th Cross Road, Khar,Landmark:Behind Khar Gymkhana, MumbaiMumbai Get Directions
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My husband is diabetic & his height is 5ft n 11 inch & weight 94 kg. From two months he is having edema in both foot. His blood reports of kidney I s. Cretenine 1.09. He is suffering from disc slip problem also so cant walk. I am worried about foot edema.

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Delhi
My husband is diabetic & his height is 5ft n 11 inch & weight 94 kg. From two months he is having edema in both foot....
Sleep on a hard bed with soft bedding on it. SPRING BEDS, FOLDING BEDS OR THICK MATRESS ARE HARMFUL Use no pillow under the head. DO HOT FOMANTATION. Paracetamol 250mg OD & SOS x 5days. Caldikind plus 1tab OD x10. Do neck, back & general exercises. It may have to be further investigated. You will need other supportive medicines also. Make sure you are not allergic to any of the medicines you are going to take. If it does not give relief in 4-5days, contact me again.. Do not ignore .It could be beginning of a serious problem. KINDLY CONSULT A PHYSICIAN FOR OEDEMA & RELTED PROBLEMS.
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Sir I have slip disk problem in l4 l5 Vert disk and pain in lower spine and pain goes to leg randomly both legs. This is from last 6 months What is easiest way to solve this problem.

BPTh/BPT, MPTh/MPT
Physiotherapist, Noida
Sir I have slip disk problem in l4 l5 Vert disk and pain in lower spine and pain goes to leg randomly both legs. This...
Postural correction- sit tall, walk tall. Extension exercises x 15 times x twice daily. Apply hot fomentation twice daily. Avoid bending in front.
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Dilation & Curettage Process - What To Expect From It?

MBBS, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Patna
Dilation & Curettage Process - What To Expect From It?

Dilation and curettage procedure which is commonly referred to as D&C is a minor surgical procedure where the cervix is dilated while a special instrument is used for scraping out the lining of the uterus. It is important to know what you can expect before, after and during the process so that you can stay ahead of unnecessary worries and help the process to be smooth and fruitful.

When do doctors recommend dilation and curettage process?
You may be required to undergo the dilation and curettage procedure for one of many reasons. It can be used for removal of tissues in the uterus during or after an abortion or miscarriage or to remove little pieces of placenta after delivery. This process aids in preventing infection as well as heavy bleeding. On the other hand, it can help in diagnosing and treating abnormal uterine bleeding including polyps, fibroids, hormonal imbalances and even uterine cancer. A sample of the tissues in the uterus is tested under a microscope to check if there is any abnormal cell present.

What can you expect during the dilation and curettage process?
The D&C procedure is a minor one and takes about 15 minutes even though you will have to spend about 4 to 5 hours in the healthcare facility. Before the procedure, your doctor would check complete history, and at this point, you should tell your doctor if you suspect that you are pregnant, you are sensitive to latex or any medicines or if you have a history of bleeding disorders. You will then be given anesthesia so that you don’t feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure. Before this procedure, you will have to empty your bladder.

The D&C procedure comprises two main steps, dilation, and curettage.
Dilation involves opening of the lower part of the uterus or the cervix for allowing insertion of a slender rod. This is done to soften the cervix so that it opens and allows curettage to be performed. Curettage involves scraping of the lining and removal of the uterine contents with the help of a spoon-like instrument known as a curette. This may cause some amount of cramping, and a tissue sample would be taken out for examination in the laboratory.

After the completion of the procedure, you may experience slight bleeding and cramping. In some rare cases, adhesions or scar tissues may start forming inside the uterus, and this condition is termed as Asherman’s syndrome which can cause changes in the menstrual cycle along with infertility. This problem, if arises, can be solved with the help of surgery and therefore, you should report any abnormality in your menstrual cycle to your doctor. Consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2601 people found this helpful

I am 33 years old my weight 69 kgs .l will take medicine to my disc problem before take medicine my weight 60 how to weight loss give me suggestion?

BHMS
Sexologist, Noida
I am 33 years old my weight 69 kgs .l will take medicine to my disc problem before take medicine my weight 60 how to ...
Mr. Lybrate-user I suggest you to take homoeoptahic medicine tuberculinum 200 and ars. Iod 30 tds for 1 month ok with take milk mixed with turmeric ok raise your immunity ok so solve your problem. Becouse of your immunity is very low ok.
1 person found this helpful
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I have diagnosed with infiltrating ductal carcinoma, NOS, in right breast (in biopsy report. Please suggest me what is my treatment option.

MD - Radiothrapy
Oncologist, Ahmedabad
hi, In ca breast, surgery is the primary treatment. Then chemotherapy and radiotherapy to prevent recurrence and metastasis . So go for surgery first then other treatments according to stage.
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Diseased Uterus - Can it be Replaced?

Health and Medical ARC Fertility
IVF Specialist, Chennai
Diseased Uterus - Can it be Replaced?

In case you have a diseased uterus, which makes you infertile, you can undergo a procedure known as uterus transplant or uterine transplant to get pregnant. In the process of sexual reproduction, a diseased uterus does not allow embryonic implantation. This factor is referred to as uterine factor infertility or UFI. As a result, you will not be able to get pregnant. Learn more about having healthy pregnancy.

Who requires a uterus transplant?
This procedure involves women who have UFI and women who had their uterus removed by hysterectomy. Women who have a damaged uterus on account of an injury or infection, which does not function anymore, can also undergo a uterus transplant procedure. Women from the age of 21 to 45 are eligible for this procedure. Many women are born without having a uterus. This condition is called Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome.

Procedure
Uterus transplantation begins with undertaking a uterus retrieval surgery on the uterus donor. The uterus, which is recovered has to be stored and transported to the location of the patient undergoing the transplant. An ischemic tolerance may last over 24 hours. Three major surgeries have to be carried out with the recipient. Firstly, a transplantation surgery is required in which the donor’s uterus gets transplanted. In case pregnancy develops, a caesarean section surgery has to be performed. The patient is given immune suppressive therapy. After childbirth, a hysterectomy is done in order to terminate the immune suppressive therapy.

Will the women be able to get pregnant after having sex?
Women receiving a uterus transplant will not be capable of becoming pregnant without undergoing fertility treatments. The transplanted uterus is not connected with the fallopian tubes, which is the location of the normal fertilisation process. The women will require to carry out IVF or in vitro fertilisation to become pregnant after a uterus transplant. IVF is a process in which the eggs are removed from the ovaries and get fertilised in a laboratory. Then, they are implanted in the uterus. After undergoing the uterus transplant procedure, a woman has to wait for a period of one year. The uterus requires time for healing and after recovery, the embryo may be implanted for pregnancy. After giving birth successfully, a woman will be able to keep the transplanted uterus. This is a reason why IVF is a popular procedure.

She has the option to get pregnant again. However, after giving birth twice, a hysterectomy must be carried out for the removal of the uterus. This is done so that the woman can stop using the immune suppressant drugs, which are associated with major risks. Uterus transplant is a relatively new technology. In October 2014, the first healthy baby was born to a woman who had undergone a uterus transplant. This surgery is kind of experimental in nature and is usually the last option for getting pregnant.

3818 people found this helpful

Important Questions You Must Ask Your Spine Surgeon?

FRCS - Neurosurgery(UK), M.Ch - Neuro Surgery, MS - General Surgery, MBBS
Neurosurgeon, Ahmedabad
Important Questions You Must Ask Your Spine Surgeon?

Spine surgeries are complicated and have serious repercussions if the procedure doesn’t go as planned. Probing your doctor is therefore very critical to ensure a safe operation and early post-op recovery. Questions can range from the type of treatment chosen for speedy recovery to side effects. Here is a list of questions that you need to ask your spine surgeon:

1. Why is the surgery recommended?
Typically, there could be more than one treatment option for a particular problem. Your doctor should be able to tell you very precisely as to why the surgery is recommended and how it is going to address the problem.

2. Is there any non-surgical option?
Many spine related issues can be treated with medicines and physiotherapy. Ask your doctor if such options exist.

3. Explain the surgical procedure in detail
Your doctor should explain the whole surgical procedure, explaining the minute details and help will help you to understand the implications.

4. What is the duration of the surgery?
Spine surgeries do not take more than 2 hours. It, however, depends on the procedure that is being performed.

5. How will the surgery address the pain?
It is important to know the source of the pain. Exploratory surgeries are not performed on the spine. Ask your doctor how he intends to address the pain through the surgery.

6. What are the risks involved?
Risks and side effects vary from patient to patient. For instance, a person with obesity, spondylitis and smoking has greater chances of complications associated with the operation.

7. Will the doctor perform the whole procedure or he will use practicing surgeons and intern for the job?
Many senior surgeons use interns and junior surgeons to perform a minor procedure. Get a clear understanding of the role of the doctor and his assistants. It is a good idea to know the background if the surgical team who is going to perform the procedure.

8. What is the success rate of the doctor for the procedure he is going to perform?
A successful spine surgeon should be able to give you valid data on his/her success rate and the overall success rate of surgeons all across the country.

9. How many days do you need to spend in hospital?
Your hospital stay is directly related to your insurance. It is essential to get a clear picture on the same.

10. Whether a back brace is necessary after surgery?
Limiting the spine movement speed the process of healing. Most Doctors suggest braces after a spine surgery.

11. What is the time required for recovery?
The recovery greatly varies from patient to patient. What you should ask your Doctor is the expected time required for you to join your job/school.

12. Will there be any physical limitation after the operations?
Many spine surgeries require you to refrain from strenuous jobs for a while. For instance, certain surgeries require you to stay away from driving for a while. Address all these apprehensions from your doctor.

6 people found this helpful

Peripheral Arterial Disease- A Serious Threat To Life Worth Being Concerned About!

MBBS, MD - Medicine, DM - Cardiology, Fellowship in Interventional Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology and Cardiac Electrophysiology
Cardiologist, Delhi
Peripheral Arterial Disease- A Serious Threat To Life Worth Being Concerned About!

Peripheral arterial disease or commonly known as PAD is a common cardiovascular disease. Despite having the power to cause painful symptoms and severe health risks, it is overlooked by many. This particular arterial disease may lead to life-threatening consequences if left untreated for long. Read on to know more about the condition.

What is PAD?
PAD refers to the situation where in the peripheral arteries to the arms, head, stomach, and legs become narrow. Often referred to as the peripheral vascular disease, here, the arteries start to grow narrower due to the slow but constant buildup of fatty deposits on the artery walls. Though it can affect all the arteries in a person’s body, except those that supply blood to the heart, in the majority of cases, it affects the arteries in the leg.

What are the threats it poses?
PAD is indeed a life-threatening disease, as the blockages, it creates in the peripheral arteries prevent normal blood circulation to the different organs, legs, and brain. And when the blood flow is restricted, or the vital organs of the body fail to receive necessary blood flow, then the legs, brain and all the vital organs suffer severe damage. And when PAD continues to harm the blood flow for a long time, then it leads to tissue infection or tissue death, which is known as gangrene.

Additional health issues it causes
PAD also creates various other health concerns, such as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a chronic disease of fatty materials’ build up. In the case of atherosclerosis, the entire blood circulatory system gets damaged, including the arteries leading to the heart. The risk of blood clot build ups and vascular inflammation are also common additional threats posed by the fatty deposits.

Probable symptoms
Depending on the part of the body that is affected, the PAD symptoms vary from one to another. However, painful cramping in the muscles of one’s legs is the most common symptom of this condition. The pain, originating in the legs often goes up to the muscles in the thighs or hips too. Except this, weakness or numbness in the legs, ulcers or open sores on the feet or legs, skin color changing into bluish or pale are some of the other symptoms of PAD.

Possible treatments
The peripheral arterial disease can be diagnosed easily, painlessly and straightforwardly under proper medical attention. Both prescribed medications and a lifestyle change are considered to be the best treatment for controlling PAD. Including a healthy diet and adopting a healthy lifestyle have often been successful in preventing PAD in its early stage.

The moment any signs or symptoms of PAD is noticed one should not be late in seeking immediate medical attention.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2047 people found this helpful

Lung Cancer: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

MD PULMONARY, DTCD
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
Lung Cancer: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs. These abnormal cells do not carry out the functions of normal lung cells and do not develop into healthy lung tissue. As they grow, the abnormal cells can form tumors and interfere with the functioning of the lung, which provides oxygen to the body via the blood.

Lung cancer is the most common cause of death due to cancer in both men and women throughout the world. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, approximately one out of every 14 men and women in the U.S. is diagnosed with cancer of the lung at some point in their lifetime. Lung cancer is predominantly a disease of the elderly; almost 70% of people diagnosed with lung cancer are over 65 years of age, while less than 3% of lung cancers occur in people under 45 years of age.

What Causes Lung Cancer?

The development of lung cancer is strongly associated with cigarette smoking, approximately 90% of lung cancers are attributable to use of tobacco. Pipe and cigar smoking can also cause lung cancer, but the risk is not as high as with cigarette smoking. Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemical compounds, many of which are cancer causing (carcinogens). Passive smoking, i.e. the inhalation of tobacco smoke by non-smokers who live or work with smokers, is also an established risk factor for the development of lung cancer.

Genetic susceptibility (i.e. family history) may play a role in the development of lung cancer. Other causes of lung cancer include air pollution (from vehicles, industry, and power generation) and inhalation of asbestos fibres (usually in the workplace).

Lung Cancer Symptoms:

Early symptoms and signs of lung cancer:

There may be no symptoms at the onset of the disease. When present, common symptoms of lung cancer may include:

  1. Coughing: This includes a persistent cough that doesn't go away or changes to a chronic smoker's cough, such as more coughing or pain.
  2. Coughing up blood: Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm) should always be discussed with your doctor.
  3. Breathing Difficulties: Shortness of breath, wheezing or noisy breathing (called stridor) may all be signs of lung cancer.
  4. Loss of Appetite: Many cancers cause changes in appetite, which may lead to unintended weight loss.
  5. Fatigue: It is common to feel weak or excessively tired.
  6. Recurring infections: Recurring infections, like bronchitis or pneumonia, may be one of the signs of lung cancer.

Signs of advanced stages of lung cancer: Advanced stages of lung cancer are often characterized by the spread of cancer to distant sites in the body. This may affect the bones, liver or brain. As other parts of the body are affected, new lung cancer symptoms may develop, including:

  1. Bone pain
  2. Swelling of the face, arms or neck
  3. Headaches, dizziness or limbs that become weak or numb
  4. Jaundice
  5. Lumps in the neck or collar-bone region

Treatment: Treatment for cancer involves a combination of surgery to remove cancer cells, chemotherapy and radiation therapy to kill cancer cells. Lung cancer is incurable unless complete surgical removal of the tumour cells can be achieved. Surgery is the most effective treatment for lung cancer, but only a few percentage of lung cancers are suitable for surgery i.e. Stage I and II NSCLC and cancer that has not spread beyond the lung.

Radiation therapy may be used for both NSCLC and SCLC and is a good option for people who are not suitable for surgery or who refuse surgery. Chemotherapy is used for both NSCLC and SCLC. Chemotherapy drugs may be given alone or in combination with surgery or radiation therapy. Chemotherapy is the treatment of first choice for SCLC since it has usually spread extensively in the body by the time it has been diagnosed.

Also used in the treatment of lung cancer are targeted therapies. These are drugs (gefitinib and erlotinib) or antibodies (cetuximab, bevacizumab) that block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with specific molecules involved in tumor growth and progression. They are used in some patients with NSCLC that does not respond to standard chemotherapy.

3097 people found this helpful

Lupus Disease

MD - Bio-Chemistry, MF Homeo (London), DHMS (Diploma in Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery), BHMS
Homeopath, Kolkata
Lupus Disease

This is a form of epithelial cancer and is a lose called eating cancer
Symptoms:- it first appears on the nose as a hard, dusky red sore and spreads in ulcerative form destroying the tissues till the bones are exposed. This affect women 10 time more than men. It usually appears in women between the age. Nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain may accompany. It is an ulcerative skin disease and requires a very long-term treatment. Sensitivity to sunlight is usually present. Lupus is caused by disruption of body waste disposal system from failure of special enzyme d nasil, which fails to remove wastes from the body.
Diagnostic tests
The disease is easily noticeable as it is outside the body on the the skin and biopsy is performed to confirm it.
If possible, the affected portion of the body is cut out.
I suggest homoeo doctor consult and homoeo treatment best.

4 people found this helpful

I am suffering from slip disc problem can you suggest some precaution it is in first stage and can you give tips for exercising .as of now I am taking bed rest since 2 weeks as suggested by rheumatologist dr.

BPTh/BPT, MPTh/MPT
Physiotherapist, Noida
Apply Hot Fomentation twice daily. Avoid bending in front. Postural Correction- Sit Tall, Walk Tall. Extension Exercises x 15 times x twice daily - lying on tummy, take left arm up for 3 seconds, then bring it down, right arm up for 3 seconds, bring down. Bring right leg up, hold for 3 seconds, bring it down. Then right leg up and hold for 3 seconds and bring it down. Repeat twice a day- 10 times.
1 person found this helpful
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Dear doctor, One of my relative suffered due to minor brain stroke She gave birth to baby by cesarean just a week before the stroke. Is there any relation between delivery and stroke. Kindly let me know. Note She is 30 years old female.

MS - General Surgery, MBBS, MCh - Neuro Surgery
Neurosurgeon, Hyderabad
Some strokes can occur due to dehydration even. One of the common causes of strokes after or around childbirth is cerebral venous thrombosis. This is can be easily identified and precautions can be taken to prevent recurrent episodes.
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Sir I am 62 l have got disc prolapse of my spine spine. Backpain- radiated toy right leg causing severe pain please give remedy.

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Delhi
Sleep on a hard bed with soft bedding on it. Use no pillow under the head. Kindly take BioD3 Max 1 tab dailyx10 Paracetamol 250mg OD & SOS x5days Do back(spine)/shoulder/knee exercises Make sure you are not allergic to any of the medicines you are going to take Do not ignore it. It could be beginning of a serious problem. If no relief in 4_5 days,then contact me again.
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I am 36 year old having problem of of disc slip in lumbar spine Dr. Asked for the surgery is only surgery is the option please suggest me other treatment.

DNB (Radiodiagnosis), DMRD, MBBS
Radiologist, Bangalore
Hi, thanks for writing in to us. It is possible that the disc bulge might have increased in severity recently. Please get a repeat mri scan done and discuss the findings please. It is possible that you might get relief through physical therapy or mild pain relief medications. If there is no relief with medicines then there is the option of steroid injection and radio frequency nerve block procedure. Surgery is the last resort and done only in extreme cases. Please do not worry. Regards,
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Just recovered from slip disc. What exercises can I do now? Is walking or Treadmill is recommended?

B.P.T, M.P.T(ORTHO), Certification in Gym Instructor & Prenatal and Post natal
Physiotherapist, Gurgaon
Dear sir, You need to strengthen your back first with floor exercises. Then you cn start with treadmill with simple walking fr 20 min at a stretch with no running no inclination. Back exercises you hv to do fr 3mths religiously U cn further contact us
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I have slipdisk problem from 11 months no improvement should I have go for operation.?

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Delhi
Never go in for surgery in haste. Not all patients of backache need surgery. Most of them can be managed without operation kindly show me a photograph of the affected part. Rule out diabetes & vit. D deficiency or any other metabolic disorder. Sleep on a hard bed with soft bedding on it. Spring beds, folding beds or thick matress are harmful Do hot fomantation. Paracetamol 250mg od & sos x 5days. Caldikind plus 1tab od x10. Do neck, back & general exercises. It may have to be further investigated. You will need other supportive medicines also. Make sure you are not allergic to any of the medicines you are going to take. If it does not give relief in 4-5days, contact me again. Do not ignore. It could be beginning of a serious problem.
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Am 24 years old and facing disc bulge from past 4 years (L4, l5, l6) I have taken treatment with exercises, massages and Physio therapy. Which is best way to cure in a quick time.

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics, DNB (Orthopedics)
Orthopedist, Mumbai
Continue your physiotherapy and avoid bending forward and lifting heavy weights, do regular back and core strengthenin exercise, take a healthy diet of calcium and vitamin d usually slipped discs regress on their own in a period of 6 to 8 months.
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Brain Surgery - What Should You Know About It?

IFAANS, DNB (Neurosurgery), MBBS
Neurosurgeon, Ghaziabad
Brain Surgery - What Should You Know About It?

Brain surgery involves several medical procedures, which incorporate fixing issues with the brain, including changes in the tissues of the brain, cerebrospinal fluid and brain blood flow. Brain surgery is quite a complicated method of surgery and the type of surgery to be conducted depends on the underlying conditions.

Reasons for Brain Surgery:
Brain surgery is performed for the correction of physical brain abnormalities. These abnormalities could occur because of diseases, birth defects and injuries. A brain surgery is required when the following conditions arise in the brain:

  1. Abnormal blood vessels
  2. Aneurysm
  3. Bleeding
  4. Blood clots in the brain
  5. When the protective tissue or dura is damaged
  6. Epilepsy
  7. Due to nerve damage
  8. Parkinson's disease
  9. Any kind of pressure after an injury
  10. Abscesses
  11. Skull fractures
  12. In case of stroke and tumors

A surgery may not be required for all the above mentioned conditions, but in case of many, a brain surgery is very important as the conditions may worsen health problems.

Types of brain surgeries:

  1. Craniotomy: During this open brain surgery, an incision is made in the scalp, and a hole is created in the skull, near the area, which is being treated. After this process is complete, the hole or bone flap is secured in its place using plates or wires.
  2. Biopsy: This form of brain surgery helps in the removal of a small amount of brain tissues or tumors. After removal, the tissues or tumors are examined under a microscope. The creation of a small incision and a hole in the skull is indicated as a part of this process.
  3. Minimally invasive endonasal endoscopic surgery: This form of brain surgery enables the removal or lesions and tumors via the nose and sinuses. Private parts of the brain can be accessed without creating an incision. An endoscope is utilized in the process which is used to examine tumors all across the brain.
  4. Minimally Invasive neuroendoscopy: This process is similar to the minimally invasive endonasal endoscopic surgery. This method also involves the use of an endoscope for removal of brain tumors. Small, dime sized holes may be made in the skull to access some brain parts.

Risks:
Brain surgeries may be associated with several risks. They may be:

  1. Allergic reactions to anesthesia
  2. Bleeding
  3. Blood clot formations
  4. Swelling of the brain
  5. A state of coma
  6. Impairment in speech, coordination and vision.
  7. Problems in memory
  8. Strokes and seizures
  9. Infections in the brain

A brain surgery is a serious and very complex surgery. There are different kinds of brain surgeries, which are conducted depending on the condition and severity of the disease. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Neurosurgeon.

1861 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - Signs That Help You Spot It!

MBBS, DNB - Surgery, Fellowship in Breast Surgical Oncology
Oncologist, Gurgaon
Breast Cancer - Signs That Help You Spot It!

Breast cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the tissues of the breast. Mainly it occurs in females but less than 1% of all the breast cancer cases develop in males. The majority of breast cancers start in the milk ducts. A small number start in the milk sacs or lobules. It can spread to the lymph nodes and to the other parts of the body such as bones, liver, lungs and to the brain.

With more reliable early detection methods as well as the trend towards less invasive surgery, there is hope that even more women with breast cancer will be treated successfully and will go on to resume their normal lives.

Signs & Symptoms 
It is painless, especially, during the early stage. Watch out for the following changes in the breast:

  1. A persistent lump or thickening in the breast or in the axilla. 
  2. A change in the size or shape of the breast. 
  3. A change in the colour or appearance of the skin of the breast such as redness, puckering or dimpling. 
  4. Bloody discharge from the nipple. 
  5. A change in the nipple or areola such as scaliness, persistent rash or nipple retraction (nipple pulled into the breast).

Consult a doctor immediately if you notice any of these changes.

Risk Factors 
Being a woman puts you at risk of getting breast cancer. There are certain factors that increase the risk of breast cancer. Some of them have been listed below:

  1. The risk increases with age; most cases of breast cancer develop after the age of 50 
  2. Genetic alterations in certain genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 
  3. Family history of breast cancer 
  4. Being overweight 
  5. Early menarche (onset of menstruation before the age of 12) 
  6. Late menopause (after the age of 55) 
  7. Never had children 
  8. Late childbearing 
  9. No breast feeding 
  10. Excessive consumption of alcohol 
  11. Use of hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) for a long period of time

However, most women who have breast cancer have none of the above risk factors. Likewise, not having any of these risk factors does not mean that you will not get breast cancer.

Early Detection and Screening

More treatment options are available when breast cancer is diagnosed at an early stage and hence the chances of recovery is also higher. So regular breast screening is important for early detection even if there are no symptoms. Following are the ways of screening:

  1. Breast Self-Examination (BSE): Perform BSE once a month about a week after your menses are over. If you no longer menstruate, choose a date each month which is easy to remember e.g. your date of birth or anniversary.
  2. Clinical Breast Examination: Get a breast specialist to examine your breast once a year if you are 40 years and above.
  3. Mammogram: Go for a screening mammogram once a year if you are 40 to 49 years old and once every two years if you are 50 years and above even if you do not have any symptom. It is not recommended for younger women (less than 40 years of age) as they have dense breasts, making it difficult for small changes to be detected on a mammogram. So ultrasonography of the breasts is advisable to them.

Types of Breast cancer

  1. Non-Invasive Breast cancer: These are confined to the ducts within the breasts. They are known as Ductal carcinoma in-situ (DCIS).
  2. Invasive Breast cancer: It occurs when cancer cells spread beyond the ducts or lobules. Cancer cells first spread to the surrounding breast tissue and subsequently to the lymph nodes in the armpit (Axillary lymph nodes). These cells can also travel to the other parts of the body such as bones, liver, lungs or brain and hence known as metastatic breast cancer.

Making A Diagnosis 

If you notice any unusual changes in your breasts, you should see a doctor immediately. He will examine you clinically and may ask you to undergo some tests so that a definitive diagnosis can be made. Further, the staging work up is done to find out the stage of the disease and management accordingly.

Treatment options 
Treatment of breast cancer may include various methods such as surgery with or without breast reconstruction, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapy. Treatment options offered, depend upon the number of factors such as the stage of cancer and likelihood of cure, your general health and your preference. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an oncologist.

1932 people found this helpful

All About Breast Cancer

MS, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Delhi
All About Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a type of cancer, which occurs due to the development of cancerous cells in breasts. Women are usually affected by breast cancer and breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer after skin cancer. Usually fatal if not diagnosed in its early stage, breast cancer is a very serious medical ailment. Read on more to find all about the different symptoms, causes, preventive measures and treatment of breast cancer.

Symptoms: Breast cancer has few distinct characteristics and if you have a few or all the following symptoms you could be more likely to suffer from breast cancer. 

  • The formation of a lump in your breast, which is different from the surrounding tissue and usually more thickened.
  • The discharge of bloody fluid  material from the nipples.
  • Sudden change of the size, shape and appearance of the breast.
  • Certain distinct changes to the skin over the breast for example an indentation in the skin similar to that of a dimple.
  • Appearance of an extra nipple which is inverted.
  • If the darkened area around the nipples known as the areola is flaking or peeling off. 

Causes: Studies and researches remain inconclusive on what causes breast cancer. Breast cancer occurs due to abnormal division of the cells located in the breast, which over time accumulate and form lumps. They
might spread to other parts of the body. Breast cancer is caused mainly due to a complex interaction of personal genetics, environment and lifestyle choices. Breast cancer can also be caused due to genetics as about 5% to 10% of cases are due to gene mutations which pass onto generations.

Risk factors: There are certain factors, which increase the probability of contracting breast cancer. Increasing age, personal and family history of breast cancer, obesity, radiation exposure, pregnancy at an older age, postmenopausal hormone therapy are some of the factors that increase the chances of breast cancer.

Treatment: Several forms of surgical methods exist to treat breast cancer. Depending on the condition and spread of the disease a suitable surgery is performed. These include mastectomy, lumpectomy, axillary lymph node dissection and removal of both breasts. Other forms of treatment include chemotherapy or the use of high doses of drugs to destroy cancerous cells. Radiation therapy where X-rays are used to destroy the cancer cells is also effective.

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