The blog team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital would like to close out 2012 with a selection of our most popular posts.  We’d also love to read about your favorites in our comments section.

We wish you a safe and happy New Year and look forward to sharing more health stories with you in 2013.


1.  What’s in a Face?

After suffering a disfiguring injury, Dallas Wiens receives the gift of a new face – the first full face transplant in the U.S. – at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  The life-giving surgery, performed by a team of more than 30 physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists, and residents , provides Wiens with the typical facial features and function of any other man.


2.  Prostate Cancer Screening – Should I or Shouldn’t I?

Dr. Anthony D’Amico, Professor and Chief of Genitourinary Radiation Oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Chief of the Prostate Cancer Radiation Oncology Service at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, discusses the benefits of prostate cancer screening, particularly for younger men.


3. Bariatric Surgery – Losing Weight is Just the Start

Dr. Scott Shikora, Director of the Center for Metabolic Health and Bariatric Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, wants patients to know about the benefits of bariatric surgery beyond weight loss. Weight loss surgery may improve health conditions such as heart disease, depression, asthma, infertility (in women), arthritis, gout, and Type 2 diabetes.


4. Sleep Research:  Is the Night Shift Bad for Your Health?

A recent study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Sleep Medicine shows that a combination of insufficient sleep and sleep patterns that go against the grain of our body’s biological clock (circadian rhythm) may lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity. This research is important for workers who rotate shifts and sleep at abnormal times.


5.  The Triumph of Living with Cystic Fibrosis – as an Adult

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a chronic, inherited disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 U.S. patients. Just 50 years ago, most CF patients rarely lived past elementary school. But new treatments have helped many CF patients live into their thirties, forties, and beyond. Beth Peters shares her story about living with CF as an adult.


6. Spine Surgery – When is it Right for You?

Dr. Christopher Bono, Chief of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery’s Spine Service at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, believes that most patients with back pain can be treated effectively without surgery. Spine surgeons in Dr. Bono’s practice perform surgery on less than 25 percent of the more than 800 patients they see each year.


7.  How Much Can Two Hands Hold?

Richard Mangino lost his arms below the elbows and his legs below the knees after contracting a bacterial infection in 2002.  Today he can mow the lawn, swim, and even drive after he received the first bilateral (double) hand transplant in New England, performed by a transplant team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.


8.  Berries Keep Your Brain Sharp – Is that News to You?

Research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital has found that a high intake of flavonoid-rich berries, such as strawberries and blueberries, can delay memory decline in older women by 2.5 years.  This large-scale clinical trial studied 16,000 women over more than fifteen years.


9. Partnering with Technology to Reduce Medical Errors

Brigham and Women’s Hospital pioneered the development of the computerized physician order entry system (CPOE), which enables physicians, physicians’ assistants, and nurse practitioners to enter medication or lab orders into a computer instead of using a handwritten form. CPOE is expected to reduce medication errors in hospitals.


10. A Tiny Cancer Medicine with Mega Potential

A team of scientists, engineers, and physicians from eight institutions, including Brigham and Women’s Hospital, created BIND-014, an innovative nanomedicine (microscopic-sized medicine) that may revolutionize cancer treatment. A BIND-014 nanoparticle is so small, it would take about 1000 of them lined up side-by-side to equal the width of a single human hair.



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