Recent Posts

Emory University Hospital – Recognized as Top-Performing Academic Medical Center 5th Year in a Row
Oct 2, 2015 By Emory Healthcare

The University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC®) has presented Emory University Hospital with their Bernard A. Birnbaum, MD, Quality Leadership Award for the fifth consecutive year! This award, formerly named the UHC Quality Leadership Award, recognizes top-performing academic medical centers. Emory University Hospital ranked No. 4 in the country among all UHC member institutions that were included in the 2015 Quality and Accountability Study. This is the 5th year in a row that Emory University Hospital has been a top 10 recipient of this award. The Bernard A. Birnbaum, MD, Quality Leadership Award is given to UHC member academic medical centers that have demonstrated superior performance in quality and safety as measured by the UHC Quality and Accountability Study, which has been conducted since 2005. This study uses the Institute of Medicine’s six domains of care: timeliness, safety, equity, effectiveness, efficiency, and patient centeredness, to structure the analysis criteria. The award was announced at the UHC Annual Conference 2015 on October 1, 2015. Emory University Hospital Midtown, our other hospital eligible for the UHC rankings, ranked 24 [...]

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Cosmetic Medicine
Fat Grafting 101: What You Need To Know
Oct 2, 2015 By Erica D. Anderson, MD

lovely-ladyIf you are like me, you spend hours at the gym trying to get rid of it and you diet to prevent it. You know what I am referring to…“love handles”, “saddle bags”, basically the accumulation of fat on certain areas of our bodies. But without fat, our faces would appear drawn and old, our breasts and butt would droop and our hands would look like skeletons. In other words, fat is a necessity and it has its benefits. In the right location and quantity, it is a sign of youth. I am not recommending you hang up those running shoes, but at the Emory Aesthetic Center, we can reorganize this necessary fat to improve your appearance, address early aging, and make you feel better about yourself. I am referring to a technique called autologous fat transfer or fat grafting. Let me answer some common questions to help you make an informed decision when considering undergoing this procedure.

What is autologous fat grafting and how is it done?

Some refer to it as fat transfer or fat grafting, but the concept is not new and has been reported as early as 1893. Modern fat grafting did not develop however until the 1980’s with the popularity of liposuction. Today, in a fat grafting [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
What is Orthopedic Trauma?
Oct 1, 2015 By Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center

ambulanceOrthopedic trauma is a severe injury to part of the musculoskeletal system, and often the result of a sudden accident requiring immediate medical attention. While not all orthopedic trauma is life-threatening, it is life altering. Therefore, your choice of doctors is extremely important. Orthopedic trauma physicians are unique in that they specialize in complex injuries to bones, joints and soft tissues (like muscles, tendons and ligaments) throughout the entire body. Many orthopaedic specialists specialize in just one body part. Others may provide more general care but won't treat more acute fractures, which are physically more difficult to fix. Orthopedic trauma physicians, however, receive training in the field of orthopaedic surgery with a special focus on the treatment of fractured bones and joint realignment to promote the safe recovery and return of functionality to injured body parts. So, they often treat patients with multiple broken bones, compound fractures and fractures near a joint (like a hip or knee). Orthopaedic trauma surgeons are able to follow patients through all stages of recovery and enlist the help of other specialists, if needed, to treat complex [...]

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Emory-led clinical trial tests microneedle skin patches as alternative to flu shot
Sep 30, 2015 By Emory Healthcare

An example of a microneedle patch. Photo by Gary Meek,

An example of a microneedle patch. Photo by Gary Meek,

A clinical trial at Emory University is currently underway to test whether microneedle patches applied to the skin are a safe and effective alternative to conventional flu shots. The patches, which are about the size of a quarter, contain very tiny (thin and short) needles, called microneedles, which are barely visible to the eye. Once the patch is applied to the skin, the microneedles begin to penetrate the upper layers of the skin and deliver the vaccine. Researchers plan to enroll up to 100 participants in the clinical study conducted at the Hope Clinic of the Emory Vaccine Center. Volunteers must be healthy adults between ages 18 and 49 who did not receive a flu shot in the 2014-2015 season will receive either one dose of the regular flu shot or one patch containing either the flu vaccine or containing placebo. The flu vaccine used in the study is the same as the FDA-approved flu vaccine from last season. The purpose of the study is to assess the safety of the microneedle patch, how the body's immune system responds to the vaccine delivered through a patch, and participants' opinions about using [...]

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Prostate Cancer: Is Active Surveillance an Option?
Sep 30, 2015 By Christopher P. Filson, MD, MS, Assistant Professor, Department of Urology

guys (1)For many years, most men with prostate cancer were given the option of either surgery or radiation. Over time, doctors saw many men had prostate cancer that was less aggressive and unlikely to spread to other parts of the body or shorten lifespan. Doctors were also learning that many of these men were experiencing the downsides of prostate cancer treatment (e.g. difficulty with erections, leakage of urine) without benefit. In response to “over treatment”, some centers offered men with low-risk prostate cancer prognosis were enrolled in a clinical trial of "active surveillance". After 15 years of follow-up, half of the patients were able to avoid prostate cancer treatment. Today, these studies—with nearly 20 years follow-up—show excellent results of active surveillance for low-risk prostate cancer. Men with low prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test results, low-grade tumors, and minimal abnormalities on the prostate exam are considered for the newer protocols. Active surveillance programs usually involve repeat biopsies every one to two years and PSA tests every three to six months. Treatment is recommended if the patient is found to have higher-risk [...]

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Heart & Vascular
Can Men Get Varicose Veins?
Sep 29, 2015 By Mark Rheudasil, MD

male-legsYou bet! You may be surprised to know that almost 40% of men have some form of varicose veins. Though more common in women, abnormal veins can be a significant problem for men. Symptoms of larger veins may include:

  • Aching and heaviness
  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Leg swelling
Most men with varicose veins have a family history of similar problems. Obesity, prolonged standing and trauma or prior surgeries are also risk factors for varicose veins. Varicose vein evaluation includes a brief physical exam and often an ultrasound to look for underlying vein problems that may be a contributing factor. Patients with large varicose veins often have valve dysfunction in veins beneath the skin, which results in excess pressure in the veins. In general, abnormal veins are treated by shutting them down and redirecting blood into normal veins nearby. This may involve small injections (called “sclerotherapy”) or your doctor may use heat to cauterize and close “feeding veins” with abnormal valves. Almost all procedures are performed in the office with little or no down time, and insurance will often cover treatment of larger varicose veins that cause symptoms. If you [...]

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Weight Management
Required Supplementation Following Bariatric Surgery
Sep 28, 2015 By Kasey LaPointe, RD, LD

protein-shakes (1)Bariatric surgery is a major event in a patient’s weight-loss journey, but the event is best seen as a new beginning. Surgery with good aftercare and moderate lifestyle changes can give wonderful long-term results for health and weight. One of the requirements after surgery includes the need for lifelong daily supplements. Lifelong supplements are required to prevent nutrient deficiencies. The need for supplementation arises from the following:

  1. The bariatric procedure is restricting how much you are able to consume. This restriction results in an inability to consume all the necessary nutrients via your food.
  2. The bariatric procedure may be malabsorptive. This means that even though you are consuming nutritious food, your body’s ability to absorb all the nutrients is inhibited.
  3. A combination of the two above.
There are several supplements required and many others that may be recommended. Typically, the required nutrients are:
  • B-12: must be in one of these forms – sublingual (under the tongue), intramuscular (a shot) or intranasal (spray into the nostrils).
  • Calcium: must be in the citrate form.
  • Complete multivitamin/mineral supplement with iron:

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Cosmetic Medicine
Ensuring Safety with Dermal Fillers and Botox
Sep 25, 2015 By Dr. Anita Sethna

botox-injectionWith the prevalence of advertising injectables, and with specials running on every corner, it can be difficult to make a decision regarding where, when and who should be performing your nonsurgical facial rejuvenation. The most common question I get from my patients is whether or not Botox® and dermal fillers are safe to use in the long-term. This is a reasonable question – after all, there is no shortage of exposures these days that we later discover have been harmful to us all along. But I reassure my patients that Botox (and its counterparts, Dysport© and Xeomin©, which I will refer to under the heading of Botox for simplicity) has been used in the treatment of facial wrinkles since the 1980s and 1990s – although it was only approved in 2002 for cosmetic use. We have therefore been watching the effects and risks of this potent and effective treatment for over 30 years now. There are also few other medications that have been studied quite as much as Botox for both cosmetic and non-cosmetic uses. Dermal fillers, you may be surprised to know, have been used in their collagen form since the 1980s. The problem with using collagen fillers was that it required [...]

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Bicyclist with a mission comes to Emory
Sep 24, 2015 By Emory News Center

Cindy and Amy Giver

Cindy Giver, Emory researcher, with her sister Amy at the end of her long bicycle journey

Amy Giver estimates she rode her bicycle some 6,000 miles over the past five months on a mission to raise awareness and recruit new donors for the national bone marrow donor registry. The registry, operated by the Be The Match organization, matches unrelated donors to people with life-threatening blood cancers who need a bone marrow transplant. After traversing the country from the West Coast to the East Coast, Giver wrapped up her journey at Emory University Hospital, where she was greeted by her sister, Cindy Giver, a Winship Cancer Institute researcher, and taken up to the Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Center in the hospital to be welcomed and congratulated by staff and patients. Giver, a CrossFit trainer, says when she first learned how matched unrelated donors can save the lives of people with leukemia and other blood cancers, she took up the cause at her gym in Silicon Valley and signed up 80 members to the registry. That convinced her to combine a lifelong goal, cycling across the USA, with a mission to support Be The Match donor drives in communities around the [...]

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Brain Health Center
Takeaways from Dr. Rothbaum’s Live Chat on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and how it affects veterans
Sep 24, 2015 By Emory Brain Health Center

ptsd-cil-747Thank you to everyone who joined us on September 22, for our live chat on “Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: How It Affects Veterans and Treatment Options That Can Lead to a Better Life” hosted by Barbara Rothbaum, Ph.D., director of Emory’s Veterans Program. There were some great questions and we hope you found the discussion informative. If you missed the chat or are interested in reviewing all of Dr. Rothbaum’s answers, you can view the chat transcript here. Below are a few highlights:

Question: Can you have PTSD even though you didn’t see combat? Rothbaum_BarbaraDr. Rothbaum: Absolutely. PTSD can result from any event in which someone felt that they or someone they care about could be seriously injured or killed. Sexual assault survivors, motor vehicle crash survivors, natural disaster survivors, and many many others develop PTSD. Approximately 10% of the US population at any given time has PTSD, and most of this is not from combat.   Question: What treatment options do you offer besides talking to a counselor? Talking has got me no where. Rothbaum_BarbaraDr. Rothbaum: Good question. We offer what are known as evidence based treatments for PTSD, meaning that controlled studies have [...]

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