Summit Medical Center - Surgical Treatment Center Oklahoma City OK


Summit Medical Center Blog


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Information Dissection: What is the Thyroid?

With over 27 million people in America having thyroid disease, there are a lot of people wondering ... what exactly is the thyroid?  You can look it up in the dictionary, read a  journal article about it online, or read about it on Wikipedia; but, the truth is, these sources are either too simplistic (dictionary definition), too involved (journal articles), or visually distracting (like a Wikipedia entry with hundreds of links).

Here – right now – we're offering you an abridged version of what the thyroid is.  Whether you have a thyroid disease or are just curious about how the gland functions, this is good for learning the basics.

Appearance, Location, and Purpose

When many people picture the thyroid, they picture something big. Because of its important functions, people jump to this conclusion.  But the fact is: the thyroid is small.  It looks like two thinly attached butterfly wings and is about half the length of your neck. 

And that's exactly where it's located – in your neck.  The "wings" of it surround your Adam's apple on the bottom and sides, which means that it's located close to your skin.  Considering the important purpose it plays, it's actually in a fairly vulnerable spot.  Unlike the brain and heart,  it doesn't have a bone casing around it like they do.  After learning what its purpose is, you may think it deserves a more advanced protection system.

Just what is its purpose?  Well, its purpose is bigger than its size.  Although the thyroid gland is one of the bigger endocrine glands, it's fairly small given its function.  As the gland that regulates energy, produces protein and controls the body's reaction to hormones, its role is huge.  It manages the metabolism and also the growth rates of different areas of the body. 

In order to achieve these functions, it creates hormones itself – namely triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).  In addition to regulating growth rates with hormones, it's also the only part in the body capable of absorbing iodine found in food, salt and various supplements. 

Sensitive and Prone to Problems

Unfortunately, the thyroid is incredibly imperfect.  Just remind yourself of the number previously mentioned – 27 million.  That's right – 27 million people with thyroid problems.  And that's just in the United States.

The types of problems range from minor to severe and, in no particular order, include: hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, goiters, thyroiditis and thyroid cancer.  Like problems associated to other parts of the body, cancer is often the most severe thyroid problem.  Conversely, thyroiditis is often the least severe and stems from curable bacterial infections. 

Although all of these problems are individual problems themselves, a domino effect tends to happen with the thyroid.  In other words, when one thing goes wrong, other things go wrong.  One day you might have a singular problem like thyroiditis and the next day you might have two: thyroiditis and a goiter.  Really, any combination is possible.  Which is why it's imperative to get help quickly when you suspect you have a problem with your thyroid.

The general surgeons in Oklahoma City at Summit are always glad to help you with thyroid problems and other endocrine-related issues.  If your existing thyroid condition is worsening or you suspect you may have developed one, call 405-359-2400 today or contact us online.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Arthroscopy and Orthopedics: a Powerful Combination

Arthroscopy, a practice that started in Japan in the 1920's and evolved with modern technology, has been used to treat millions of patients with joint, muscle, cartilage and bone injuries.  The benefits it has over open surgery are impressive. 

No Direct Sight Needed: Just a Small Pair of Lens

One of the main reasons arthroscopy and orthopedics work so well together is because of the tool that gives arthroscopy its name, the arthroscope.  This tool – a fiber optic camera – replaces the need for the surgeon to see the source of the problem directly.  It slips through a small open hole in the body and acts as a small pair of eyes. 

This means that the surgeon can look at a screen that accurately depicts what's occurring inside the patient and not have to make direct contact.  In other words, a large open cut isn't needed.  Usually, only a small incision is needed to insert fine microscopic instruments.

Joints Move More

Although a large surgical cut isn't good in any case, it's especially hindering with orthopedic surgery.  The reason a small cut is preferred over a larger one in orthopedics is because there's a lot of movement in the body areas orthopedics deal with.

Think about it: knees, elbows, hips, ankles, shoulders and other actively moving body parts.  Because it's especially hard to keep these areas from moving – because that's what they do, move! – the healing process becomes more drawn out after open surgery.  With open surgery, it's easier for tears to occur in these areas since they are naturally attracted to movement.

Think in comparison to open heart surgery.  The chest area doesn't move like joint treated in orthopedics.  It remains stationary and doesn't swing like an arm or leg.  Open surgery is more conducive when dealing with areas like the chest, but, as mentioned above, hindering to areas prone to movement.

If you're having joint pain or muscle and bone problems, the orthopedics in Oklahoma City performed by the expert team at Summit Medical Center can help.  Call 405-359-2400 or contact us online.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

When Should You Seek Oklahoma Weight Loss Surgery?

Many patients who seek Oklahoma weight loss surgery do so because they have run out of options. They need surgical intervention after they’ve exercised all other means to lose weight and are at serious risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular issues, stroke, arthritis and the countless other diseases and conditions associated with obesity. What are these means that should be tried first?

·         Consult your doctor or a nutritionist to come up with a diet plan that fits with your lifestyle. US News and World Report devotes an issue each year to the healthiest diets, with the Dash Diet, Mediterranean Diet, and TLC Diet usually ranking among the best.

·         Living a more active lifestyle. This does not just mean hiring a trainer or buying P90X tapes. This could be dangerous if you haven’t exercised in a while. Always consult a doctor before starting an exercise program. It could just mean taking the stairs more or walking instead of driving. By getting off the couch, you’ll be able to start the path to the 150 minutes of exercise and twice a week strength training that the Mayo Clinic recommends for adults.

If you’ve tried to exercise and diet more and still have a BMI over 40 and are at risk, weight loss surgery may be in your best interest. They are very low-risk and highly effective. The NIH has done countless studies on weight loss surgeries and a large percentage of patients do find that their obesity-related health complications are resolved or diminished.

There are many different types of bariatric surgeries out there to consider, so be sure to consult a bariatric surgeon to get an idea of what options are available to you.