The News Journal from Wilmington, Delaware on January 13, 1992 · Page 15
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The News Journal from Wilmington, Delaware · Page 15

Wilmington, Delaware
Issue Date:
Monday, January 13, 1992
Page 15
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L ; wn!iJ.i-jH- ; MorMoriuflm on iimplaets raises quuestioiis MONDAY, JAN 13, 1992 THE NEWS JOURNAL B 3 By CINDY HALL Gannett News Service WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration says doctors should stop giving women silicone-gel breast implants until more safety studies are conducted a move that has left a lot of questions. Q: What exactly did the FDA do? Ailt issued a moratorium, asking doctors to stop using silicone-gel breast implants while the agency evaluates new information on the safety of such implants. The FDA cannot assure the safety of the implants. This action falls just short of a complete ban on the use of the implants. FDA Commissioner David Kessler has set no time limit on the moratorium. Q: What is this new information the FDA wants to evaluate? A: The FDA wants to look at evidence of ruptures of the implants, the increased risk of disorders of the autoimmune system and the unproved link to cancer and chronic inflammatory disease. Some of this information is anecdotal, but Kessler said he feels it is important to pursue. ChWho is going to evaluate this information? A: Kessler will reconvene an advisory panel within 45 days to make this evaluation and make recommendations to the FDA concerning the continued use of ,the silicone-gel implants. The panel consists of a chairman, 10 voting members who bring expertise to what is being reviewed and two non-voting members, one representing the consumer and the other representing the industry. Q:Are the saline-filled breast implants included in the moratorium? A: No, the saline-filled implants will continue to be available. Although these implants are encased in silicone, they are not believed to carry the same risk as the silicone gel. That's because a rupture or leak would release a saline solution, rather than silicone gel, into the body. However, saline implants are more apt to collapse from leakage. One option to implants By BILL KOLE Associated Press DETROIT More women who want their breasts reconstructed after mastectomies but who worry about artificial implants are considering using their own abdominal tissue, a surgeon says. "Women love it. They're my happiest patients," Dr. Herman P. Houin of Henry Ford Hospital said Thursday. "I've got five scheduled for this new procedure already this month." Surgeons at Henry Ford have performed about two dozen transverse rectus abdominus myocutaneous flaps procedures over the past two years. The operation, developed in 1980 by Dr. Carl Hartrampf of St. Joseph Hospital in Atlanta, involves using a woman's own abdominal muscle and fat tissue to reconstruct her breasts. The hospital says it has fielded many more inquiries about the procedure since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration asked doctors last week to temporarily stop using silicone-gel implants in breast surgery. Concerns have been raised that silicone can leak from the implants and cause serious health problems, in- eluding immune system, connective tissue diseases and cancer. The implants' makers maintain that they are safe. The hospital has stopped using the silicone-gel implants for now, Houin said, but continues to perform breast surgery using saline-gel implants, as well as doing the so-called TRAM flap surgery. In the TRAM flap procedure, a flap of tissue is taken from a woman's lower abdomen and inserted beneath the skin of the upper abdomen to create a new breast mound. Later, the patient returns to have the nipple reconstructed and tattooed to a natural color. The surgery leaves a hip-to-hip scar, but Houin said that can be concealed beneath the bottom of a two-piece bathing suit. Because the surgery is more extensive than for breast implants, patients face a longer, more painful recovery. Houin said the extra pain and scarring lead few women to choose the procedure for cosmetic breast enlargement, although it is available for that purpose. Q: How many women have received breast implants? A: The FDA estimates 1 million women have received breast implants during the past 30 years, with about 10,000 women receiving implants monthly. The FDA estimates that 80 percent of the implants are for cosmetic purposes, with the remaining for reconstruction because of disease or injury. Q: What companies produce and distribute silicone gel breast implants? A: Dow Corning Corp. of Midland,' Mich.; Mentor Corp. of Santa Barbara, Calif.; Bioplasty Inc. of St. Paul, Minn.; McGhan Medical Corp. of Santa Bar bara, Calif., and Inamed Corp. of Car-pinteria, Calif., are the five companies that produce and distribute the implants. Dow Corning Corp., Mentor Corp. and Bioplasty Inc. have announced they will comply with the moratorium. Q: How does this affect doctors? A: Dr. Norman Cole, president of The American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, has said its members will comply with the moratorium. Cole has asked Kessler to release the new information that precipitated the moratorium. Q: What happens to doctors who do not Assessing the risks These are among complications that can follow silicone breast implant surgery: The surgery itself, like any surgery, can result in infection . and bleeding problems. Scar tissue will form around any foreign object in the body. Sometimes, the fibrous tissue around a breast Implant will I contract, causing pain, wrinkling and excessive firmness. i Surgeons can sometimes break up the scar tissue manually, in a proceaure some women utsst-nue u ijuh ycuinui, iwjiiiwihitoo additional surgery is needed. The implants can rupture, releasing gel that may travel to other parts of the body, causing inflammation, scar tissue or other problems. Even without a rupture, some of the gel may bleed Into surrounding tissue. KX u 1 V'X. V In some studies, patients report decreased nipple sensation; sometimes the loss is permanent. 3 The implants can make a mammogram difficult to read. I especially if the technician isn't aware the patient has implants. A cancer link, suspected by some scientists, hasn't been proven. Some patients report immune : reactions leading to serious illnessa such as lupus ana meumatoia 5 arthritis, but studies haven't established that link either. Source USA TODAY research comply? A: The FDA says it doesn't anticipate problems, but cases where doctors ignore the moratorium will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Penalties have not been determined. Q: What should women do if they already have implants? A: Kessler said women who have the implants but are not experiencing problems should do nothing; if problems exist, doctors should be consulted immediately. Q: What are the alternatives for women USA TodayJULIE STACEY who are planning to have implants? A: These women have two alternatives to implants the saline-filled implants or their own tissue, usually from the abdomen, thighs or buttocks. The tissue ' implants make for a more complicated operation, and some women may not have enough tissue to spare. Q:What should women who are scheduled to have the silicone-gel implants " do? A: They should talk with their physicians to determine a course of action. 1 FLU EASES: The severity of this year's flu season eased a bit in the last week of December, the latest period for which data is available. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 17 states reported widespread outbreaks and 11 reported regional outbreaks, compared with 20 and 10, respectively, in the previous week. However, deaths from pneumonia and flu in 121 major cities hit 7 percent, the first above-average week in the current season. Lab tests showed influenza A was most often present in patients from Middle Atlantic, Midwest and West Coast states. A CDC network of 150 family doctors reported 9 percent of patients came in with flu symptoms in the week ending Dec. 21, compared with 2 percent in the week of Oct. 1. The figure was even higher in the Middle Atlantic (10 percent), East North Central (15 percent) and Mountain (21 percent) states. EXERCISE WONT STOP COLD: Regular exercise offers many benefits, but protection from cold and flu viruses isn't one of them, according to Kathy Walker, an Ohio State researcher. Reviewing several dozen studies of exercise's effects on the immune system, she found little evidence that regular workouts help the body ward off infection. BLACKS AND STROKES: Doctors have known for years that blacks face a greater risk of getting strokes than whites, but a new study shows for the first time that blacks also may suffer worse impairment. Researchers from the Department of Veterans Affairs and Duke University made the discovery in following 145 stroke patients, 41 of whom were black. After six months, blacks did significantly worse on tests of physical ability despite getting the same care and therapy as whites in the study. The researchers, reporting in the December issue of the journal Stroke, suggest racial differences may exist in the blood vessels that become blocked and trigger a stroke. LETHAL LAKE: In 1986, a volcanic lake in Cameroon released a huge cloud of carbon dioxide that smothered 1,700 people in villages up to 15 miles away. Since 1987, carbon dioxide levels have risen 40 percent in Lake Nyos' bottom waters, and a recurrence is only a matter of time, according to George Kling of the University of Michigan, one of the scientists studying the lake. This month he is testing how close the lake's water is to saturation with carbon dioxide, and hopes the data will convince the U.S. government to help fund a massive project to pump water from deep in the lake. That would vent carbon dioxide safely into the atmosphere. IMPROVING ON PAP SMEAR: The early warning provided by a Pap smear has helped cut the toll from cervical cancer sharply in the last 30 years. But a simpler, faster method may be possi ble, according to researchers from New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and Canada's National Research Council. They have shown that shining infra- -red light on cancerous cervical cells " produces a different pattern than the ' one produced by health cells. A prema-1.. lignant stage also shows a characteristic C pattern. Unlike Pap smears, which must be interpreted by a skilled human ob- server, spectra could be read by a ma-... chine within minutes. More research is . needed but the method looks promising, the researchers reported last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Gannett News Service BURKE SHORT TAKES FROM LA.: Out-of-work Delta Burke has officially got a TV home. Bob Iger, president of ABC Entertainment, announced Saturday at a meeting of television critics in Los Angeles that his network has signed a commitment with the former "Designing Women" co-star for a comedy series that could air as early as next fall. The series will be produced by Burke's production company, Perseverance Inc. . . . Former "thirtysome-thing" star Ken Olin told critics Saturday he's not going to be working as an actor from now on. He will be directing instead. Olin is busy promoting his latest directorial effort, "Broken Cord," an upcoming TV movie featuring former "L.A. Law" star Jimmy Smits. . . . Barbara Walters has R.S.V.P.'d to the baby shower for "Murphy Brown" and regrets that she'll be unable to attend the party, scheduled for taping March 20. ODDS-ON FAVORITES: A Las Vegas, Nev odds-maker has rated Warren Beatty, Nick Nolte and Anthony Hopkins as even-money favorites for best actor winner at the Academy Awards. Beatty's picture, "Bugsy," was tied with Oliver Stone's "JFK" as even-money favorites for best picture in Lenny Del Genio's annual Oscar nomination tip sheet Friday. Del Genio listed Jodie Foster, Hopkins' co-star in "The Silence of the Lambs," as even-money favorite for best actress. Laura Dern of "Rambling Rose" trailed at 6-5 and Michelle Pfeiffer of "Frankie and Johnny" at 3-1. Del Genio set best picture odds at 6-5 for "The Silence of the Lambs" and 3-1 for Nolte's "The Prince of Tides." Del Genio is race and sports book director at Bally's Las Vegas. Oscar winners will be announced March 30. A HIT IN CUBA: Superstar Michael Jackson, proving music knows no borders, topped the Cuban hit parade for the second consecutive week n with his "Black or White" single from the album "Dangerous." Jackson and two other American singers were in the Top 10 in the weekly music poll done by the government-run Radio Progreso. The Cuban news agency, Prensa Latina, carried the results Saturday. Michael Bolton was No. 8 with "When a Man Loves a Woman," and Marian Carey's "Emotions" No. 9. TRUTH IS UGLY: Film director Ernest Dicker-son Jr. says his urban drama "Juice," a tale about inner-city youth, is ugly because it tells the truth. "It's becoming more and more dangerous to grow up in the city," Dickerson told the Boston Sunday Globe. "We've got a whole generation of black kids who just can't be kids." "Juice" chronicles the lives of four buddies in New York City, each searching for a way to earn "juice," or respect. It opens Friday. A DREAM COMES TRUE: Former hostage Thomas Sutherland read a lesson Sunday at the 12th-century church he dreamed of during 6V years of captivity in Lebanon. The Scots-born Sutherland, who attended services at the Both-kennar Church In Edinburgh, Scotland, while growing up, thanked the congregation, including his two brothers and three sisters, for their prayers. "I felt great solace thinking about this church. I had no idea of what was going on on my behalf," he said. Sutherland, a naturalized U.S. citizen who lives in Fort Collins, Colo., was dean of agriculture at the American University in Beirut when he was kidnapped June 9, 1985. He was released Nov. 18. TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Actor Robert Stack is 73. Hollywood columnist Army Archerd is 70. Actor-director Charles Nelson Reilly is 61. Compiled by Valerie Helmbreck and Karen White VCR tapes have limited life: SUTHERLAND Q: My two VCRs have developed the same problem. After using the same tape daily for more than a year to record from TV, the VCR will not record clearly on a new tape. I've had the heads cleaned and I tried adjusting the tracking, but neither helped. A friend told me I should throw a tape out after three months. Why is this necessary if the picture recorded on it is clear? Can my VCRs be repaired? M.D., Georgetown A: Amazing you still have any picture at all after that many passes through the machine. Your friend is right. A videotape shouldn't be run through a VCR more than about 200 times. That's 100 days if you're recording and playing back the tape every day. If you rent a lot of tapes, that time should be shortened. After a lot of use, videotapes start to flake, depositing oxides on the tape heads. (People who rent a lot of tapes should be aware of this.) You can help keep the VCRs heads clean by occasionally running a brand new, unrecorded tape .through the machine. It will pick up some of the oxides from the heads. We know it might pain you to throw it out after only one use, but it's cheap insurance. It also isn't good to leave a videotape in the VCR for months. Videotapes should be stored upright or they can warp. We can't say if your clogged VCRs are salvageable or not. Take them to the service center recommended by the manufacturer. But get an estimate first. In many cases, it is not worth the price to repair a VCR. Can't part with the old car Q:Some time ago you gave the name of a place in Pennsylvania where you could get parts for old cars. Would you please print that again? J.S., Penn Acres A: We're not sure which one you remember. We've mentioned different sources over the years, depending on what make of car the reader asked about. There are many places that sell parts for old cars listed in Hemmings Motor News, a specialty publication available at some larger news stands. HELPING HAND But you'll find many parts for old cars at Jess Auto Supply at 119 Market St. in Wilmington. Jess has been in business since 1919 and we swear some of the parts he bought back then are still in the store. But seriously, there are parts there for cars made in the 1920s. Silver and gold long gone Q: What's the difference between a one dollar "Federal Reserve Note" and a "Silver Certificate"? ; D.Y., Wilmington A: Federal reserve notes are what we have in circulation today. They were authorized in 1913 as legal tender instead of lugging gold around. In 1934 the option of redeeming them for gold was dropped. Silver certificates came into being in 1878 when the demand for money was growing faster than silver coins could be produced. The government started issuing paper dollars that could be redeemed for silver. In June 1968, the redemption for silver was discontinued and so were the silver certificates. But, like all U.S. currency ever produced, they are still legal money for their face value. '. Brewing a neat, potted plant When repotting a plant, put a coffee filter in the bottom of the pot. It will keep the potting soil from drifting down through the drainage holes. Helping Hand solves problems, gets answers, cuts red tape, stands up for your rights and investigates complaints. Write a brief description of your problem to: Helping Hand, co The News Journal, P.O. Box 15505, Wilmington, Del. 19850. Your name and address must be in the letter. Include copies (not originals) of canceled checks andor receipts if your problem involves something you paid for, but did not receive. All letters are subject to publication. No phone calls, please. ff I 1 r I . 1 New in. town? Need a doctor? Call us. Moving day. A time of happiness, excitement and uncertainty. Finding the right doctor is a common concern, especially if you need one in a hurry. Now, the Medical Center of Delaware makes it easy to find the doctor you need. Just call our no-cost, no-obligation Need-A-Physician referral service at (302) 428-4100. Whether you need a family doctor, a specialist or a second opinion, our experienced registered nurse will computer match physicians and dentists to your specific needs. NEED-A-PHYSICIAN? (302) 428-4100 Need-A-Physician is brought to you by the Medical Center of Delaware, the region's Premier health care resource. 4 MEDICAL CENTER Christiana Hospital Eugene du Pont Memorial Hospital (Pfllcport) Wilmington Hospital

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