More than 20 years ago Lindsay Washburn was dealt a hand she wasn’t expecting.
She was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease; an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of the digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition.
Take a look at the photo above. Does one photo automatically make you think that person is happier, friendlier and even more beautiful? Did you have a check list you went through to determine which photo one was more attractive than the other? Our minds subconsciously recognize aspects of people’s faces and bodies that allow us to make the decision that something is considered beautiful. It is the eyes, mouth, cheekbones- all in the right proportions and balanced….natural.
March is Colon Cancer Awareness month, and for those who are 50 and older, it’s a good time to have a conversation with your doctor about getting a colonoscopy.
For many, just the idea of a colonoscopy produces enough anxiety to keep them from having it done. But putting it off, even for just a year or two, could mean the difference between a simple procedure to remove small polyps and having to undergo serious treatment if a polyp progresses into cancer.
In a two-part series, KCAU’s Tim Seaman shares his personal experience with this potentially life-saving screening, and assures us all that there is no reason to avoid it.
In Part One, which you can find here, Seaman talks to his doctor about the procedure, and interviews a local barber who tells a cautionary tale about waiting too long to get screened for colon cancer.
Part Two, found here, follows Seaman as he sets up an appointment with Dr. Michalak and goes through with the entire procedure, including the “dreaded” prep. Throughout it all, he found no reason to avoid getting a colonoscopy, and encourages everyone who has been putting it off to start that conversation.
This October, Dr. Paul Johnson was recognized at a ceremony in Lincoln, Neb., for performing multiple surgeries on John Dunning, who survived a tornado in fall 2013 near Wayne, Neb.
Johnson, a general surgeon at Midlands Clinic and Mercy Medical Center – Sioux City, said of Dunning’s condition upon arrival, “I was amazed at the amount of injuries he had to the skin. It looked like he’d gotten sandblasted [from all the debris that assaulted his skin]. That was in addition to the large lacerations that he had and the fractures that he had.”
According to Johnson, Dunning required 38 procedures to treat his many injuries, including a tracheostomy and a feeding tube. Those procedures were completed slowly, over the period of several weeks, before Dunning was transferred to Madonna Rehabilitation Center, where he began a rigorous physical therapy regimen.
Madonna honored Dunning and three others with a GOAL award, and during the ceremony, the efforts of Johnson and other doctors were celebrated with a luncheon.
CORRECTION: The video states that the KYBELLA™ procedure costs “around $5,000.” The correct price is $1200.
There’s a new treatment to melt away “double-chin fat,” and you don’t have to go under the knife for it.
The Kybella procedure is an FDA approved non- surgical injection, which eliminates fat below the chin.
Midlands Clinic Dermatologist Dr. Indy Chabra is one of the first dermatologists in Siouxland to offer the fat removing treatment.
“The product works by dissolving fat cells and releasing the fat, so it works in a permanent manner. So the number of injections really depends on the degree of submental fullness, how much fat there is underneath the chin. So it varies person to person. In this patient, it was 20 injections.”
The procedure costs $1200. Chabra says his patients experience visible results around their chin and areas around the neck.
“We look at weight loss surgery as just a tool it is not a quick fix or an easy way out,” said Megan Cleveland, Midlands Clinic. “So to really help the patients be successful with this tool, the educational program is really necessary along with the support group.”
The Educational program team includes registered dieticians, registered nurses, psychologists and bariatric surgeons.
“And so we really work together as a multidisciplinary team to help the patients not only physically but emotionally mentally prepare for the life style changes that they will have to make,” said Cleveland.
Doctors also recommend these patients join support groups to help them through these major life changes.
“If you are on a typical diet, you have the decision of either following your diet that day or not,” said Cleveland. “They don’t have that decision any longer because weight loss surgery is a permanent change to your body.”
Each group includes 10 to 30 patients and they talk about good eating habits and avoiding bad habits.
“So we really try to teach them not only alternatives of things they can do other than rewarding with food but also coping mechanisms to not use foods for comfort or to celebrate or to mourn” said Cleveland. “But to try to rely on some other things.”
Though the Midlands Clinic is one place to find a weight loss support group, you can also find other groups in the community and online.
It is no surprise that obesity can lead to a lot of complications.
Dr. Keith Vollstedt of Mercy Medical Group said, “That excess weight that we carry also contributes to pain on the joints, pain in the back, contributes to high blood pressure, acid reflux disease and getting that weight off can improve people’s overall physical condition. And hopefully reduce the use of medications or pills, and maybe some further surgeries down the road.”
This is why doctors recommend surgeries that can help with weight loss for patients who are 100 pounds overweight and have other health problems.
“Mercy and our group Midlands Clinic Office, offers a gastric by-pass, we offer a gastric sleeve resection, and we offer the adjustable gastric band.”
Each surgery has its benefits over the other and you and your doctor can decide which is best for you.
The surgeries usually require one to two nights in the hospital and up to 3 weeks of recovery at home.
Doctors also recommend time with a dietician before the surgery to create good eating habits.
But the key thing is, “When the person is ready to change their life, when they are ready to eat differently, when they are ready to give up foods, certain foods, when they are ready to start exercising, then we can have a successful operation and people are successful with the surgery.”
But remember these surgeries are not permanent, when patients fall back into old habits they will regain the weight.
Colonoscopies can be uncomfortable to talk about. But regular checkups could save you from the second leading cause of cancer.
Siouxland News Reporter Katie Link went to Midlands Clinic to learn more about this life saving procedure.
Dr. Michalak, Gastroenterologist at Midlands Clinic said, “So colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer in the united states it accounts for over eight percent of all cancer deaths in the United States.”
Dr. Michalak is a Gastroenterologist at Midlands Clinic he says that many people still aren’t getting screened.
“Usually this occurs after the age of 50… about 90% of all cancers are diagnosed after the age of 50 which is why we recommend colorectal cancer screenings to begin at the age of 50 for the average risk person,” said Dr. Michalak.
Many may find it uncomfortable to do the screening but it could save your life.
“Colonoscopy is done specifically to find polyps, specifically abnormal polyps that will form into colon cancer … if we find these polyps early we can remove them and decrease the risk of developing colon cancer,” said Dr. Michalak.
Knowing your family history is important since cases of colon cancer in your family can increase your risk.
“There are risk factors though…family members that have had abnormal polyps, family members with colorectal cancer… Those patients should be screened sooner. 10 years before the time that their family member was diagnosed,” said Dr. Michalak.