Double Arm Transplant Recipient Gives Thanks

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 25, 2014

Double arm transplant recipient Will Lautzenheiser demonstrates what he can do with his new arms.

Befitting the spirit of this week’s holiday, today’s story exemplifies both gratitude and giving.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) announced at a press conference today that Will Lautzenheiser, 40, a former professor of film production and screenwriting at Boston University and Montana State University, is the recipient of a bilateral (double) arm transplant. Last month, a team of 35 clinicians, including 13 surgeons, worked for nearly nine hours to transplant a donor’s arms – above the elbow on his left side and below the elbow on his right side. The team precisely joined bones, arteries, muscles, tendons, veins, and nerves of the donor’s arms together with Will’s.

Will became a quadruple amputee in 2011when doctors in Montana removed his limbs to save his life, which was in jeopardy due to necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease), a life-threatening Group A streptococcal infection. Since that time, Will has struggled to manage with prosthetic (artificial) limbs. With his transplanted arms, however, Will expects to be able to perform everyday tasks quicker and without the aid of others, and to gradually regain his sense of touch.

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Great American Smokeout – An Important Challenge

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 20, 2014

Today marks the American Cancer Society’s 38th annual Great American Smokeout, a day in which we encourage smokers to go without smoking for one day and to start making a plan to quit smoking for good.

Quitting is a difficult but worthwhile challenge. This year alone, an estimated 224,000 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S., and 159,000 Americans will die from the disease. Most, but not all, of these cases of lung cancer will be attributable to smoking. Read the following posts to learn more about smoking and lung health.

Public Smoking Bans Associated with Health Benefits in Children

Nearly half of the world’s children are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke. Passive smoking is linked to premature births, birth defects, asthma, and lung infections.

 

 

 

Lung Cancer Screening Helps Current and Former Smokers

For current or former long-term smokers, lung cancer screening should be a priority. Research has shown that new screening guidelines for the use of low-dose computed tomography (CT)  should significantly reduce the number of deaths from lung cancer by improving early detection.

 

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Stepping Strong Innovator Awards – Determining the Course of Trauma Research

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 17, 2014

Gillian Reny nearly lost her limbs and her life during the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

Everyone is welcomed and encouraged to vote in this year’s first annual Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Stepping Strong Innovator Awards, a competition that supports innovative advances in bone regeneration, limb transplantation, stem cell technology, orthopedic and plastic surgery, and bioengineering.

The competition is one of three Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Fund initiatives that have been developed to promote trauma-related research and improve trauma care. Established by the Reny family last February, the fund was inspired by their daughter Gillian, a young student and aspiring dancer who nearly lost her limbs and her life during the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Gillian not only survived, but also recovered the use of her legs through her own commitment and a collaborative effort among dedicated BWH physicians, rehabilitation therapists, nurses, and other specialists.

This year’s Stepping Strong Innovator Awards finalists are Indranil Sinha, MD, E.J. Caterson, MD, PhD, and Matthew Carty, MD. Their innovative research concepts include a new surgical approach to help patients with lower limb amputations achieve normal function; a wound healing technology that promotes tissue regeneration while preventing infection; and a technique that uses the body’s own stem cells to help muscles heal after traumatic injuries.

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Women and Lung Cancer

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 13, 2014

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women in the United States. For women, it accounts for more deaths than breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer combined. Consequently, medical researchers have been working hard to increase our understanding of lung cancer and help us better prevent, diagnose, and treat the condition.

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Cast Your Vote to Support Medical Research and Innovation

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 11, 2014

The Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) third annual Research Day is Thursday, November 20, 2014. A highlight of the BWH Research Day is the announcement of the winner in the BRIght Futures Prize competition.

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Five Reasons to Get Your Flu Shot

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 6, 2014

We have five reasons why you should get your flu shot this year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 42 percent of adults (aged 18 years and older) received a flu vaccine during the 2013-2014 flu season. Obviously, some of us still need convincing about the need for flu vaccination.

Here are five reasons why you should get your flu shot this year:

1. The flu is more serious than you may realize.

According to a study by the CDC, more than 200,000 people in the United States, on average, are hospitalized each year for illnesses associated with seasonal influenza virus infections. The flu also can be deadly. From 1976 to 2006, estimates of annual flu-associated deaths in the United States ranged from 3,000 to nearly 49,000 people.

Certain groups of adults are at higher risk for serious illness and complications from the flu, including:

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Lung Cancer Screening Helps Current and Former Smokers

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 5, 2014

Dr. Francine Jacobson

Lung cancer, the most frequent cause of cancer death in this country and around the world, continues to be an important public health epidemic. The American Cancer Society projects that by the end of this year alone, there will have been 224,000 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed in the U.S., and 159,000 Americans will have died from the disease.

Most, but not all, cases of lung cancer are attributable to smoking. Thus, the most important thing that people can do to reduce their risk of developing lung cancer is to quit smoking, or better yet, never start.

For current or former long-term smokers, lung cancer screening should be a priority. Research has shown that new screening guidelines for the use of low-dose computed tomography (CT)  should significantly reduce the number of deaths from lung cancer by improving early detection. In the following video, thoracic radiologist Dr. Francine Jacobson provides more details about the benefits of low-dose CT scans and who should get screened.

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OR of the Future – Merging Precise Imaging with Precise Surgery

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 4, 2014

AMIGO houses a vast array of advanced imaging equipment and interventional (minimally invasive) surgical systems.

The Advanced Multimodality Image Guided Operating (AMIGO) suite at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is a state-of-the-art medical and surgical research environment that houses a vast array of advanced imaging equipment and interventional (minimally invasive) surgical systems. Multidisciplinary teams of specialists use the suite’s advanced technology and unique design to efficiently and precisely guide treatment — before, during, and after surgery — without the patient or medical team ever leaving the operating room.

The AMIGO suite gives physician-researchers an optimized setting for innovatively merging imaging and surgery to improve standard clinical procedures and to develop new therapeutic approaches. With the primary goal of improving the effectiveness of patient care, success already has been demonstrated in several treatment areas, including: image-guided therapy in open brain surgery, radiation treatment of prostate cancer and gynecological tumors, breast-conserving therapy, MRI-guided cryoablation (destroying diseased tissue via extreme cold), treatment of atrial and ventricular fibrillation, and brain tumor laser ablation (destroying diseased tissue with focused heat). In the following video, Dr. Steven Seltzer, Chair of the Department of Radiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Dr. Michael Zinner, Chair of the BWH Department of Surgery, offer an inside look at the AMIGO suite and detail its potential for improving the effectiveness of image-guided therapy.

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Ebola Preparedness at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital October 31, 2014

We're conducting extensive training to prepare for the unlikely arrival of a patient with Ebola at one of our sites.

Ebola continues to be a public health concern. As of this posting, no Ebola cases have been reported in Massachusetts; however, to ensure the safety of our patients and our staff, clinical leaders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital (BWFH) are conducting extensive training and preparation for the unlikely arrival of a patient with Ebola at one of our sites.

Eric Goralnick, MD, Medical Director of Emergency Preparedness, and Deborah Yokoe, MD, Hospital Epidemiologist and Medical Director of Infection Control, describe our Ebola preparedness plans.

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Five Things Young Women Should Know about Breast Cancer

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital October 29, 2014

Cancer experts from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) work together to provide cancer patients the latest therapies, including access to innovative clinical trials through Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center. Today’s post originally appeared on Insight, the blog of DFCI.

While the majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer are age 55 or older, about 14,500 women age 45 and younger are diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. each year. Here are some facts about breast cancer all young women should know.

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