THIRD QUARTER 2001, VOLUME 15, NO 3

Ask the Surgeon | What’s New | Health Tip

IN THIS ISSUE

Teens turn to facial plastic surgery to improve self-esteem

More than just hearing: ear refinement and reconstruction

Ask the Surgeon / Health Tip / Whats New

Tanning salons equal double damage for your skin

Ask the Surgeon
I am coaching a baseball team this summer and I am concerned about injuries to the face. Could you give me some advice about recognizing a facial fracture?

When a ball hits a slugger to the upper face, delicate bones around the sinuses, eye sockets, bridge of the nose, or cheekbones can fracture. A direct blow to the eye may cause a fracture, as well. The most common symptoms of a fracture include swelling, bruising, pain or numbness, double or blurred vision, nosebleeds, and difficulty breathing through the nose. If the jaw or lower face is injured there may be changes in teeth structure or the ability to close the mouth properly. With any injury to the face you should first apply an ice pack and keep the head elevated to reduce swelling. Secondly, see a physician to get x-rays and confirm any fractures. If there is loss of consciousness, obvious deformity, persistent bleeding or deep skin cuts seek medical attention immediately.

Whats New
Who is behind the counter dividing up pills for your prescription? At over 250 hospitals nationwide there is a high-tech robot, suitably named Robot-Rx, who has been tagged as speedy and accurate. Robot-Rx uses bar code technology to find, track, and dispense medications from drug wholesaler to patient. Accessible 24 hours a day, the robotic arm retrieves medications and deposits them into patient specified cassettes. This technologically advanced equipment can process 350 different items with 100 percent accuracy. Is there anything that Robot-Rx can’t do? It does not pour and measure liquid medications yet, and you won’t find it easy to engage in a conversation about the weather either.

Health Tip
If you are outside–come rain or shine–you are being exposed to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UVA and UVB) rays. Protect your skin from overexposure by generously applying a sunscreen or sunblock with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15. The SPF number indicates how many times longer a person can stay in the sun with the sunscreen before beginning to burn than they could without any protection.

Is it water-resistant or waterproof? A water-resistant sunscreen indicates that a product maintains its degree of protection after 40 minutes of water exposure. A waterproof sunscreen sustains its degree of sunburn protection after 80 minutes of water exposure. To be on the safe side, reapply sunscreen every two hours throughout the day and directly after sweating or swimming.

Other smart tips include:

  • Protect your eyes with sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays.
  • Wear lip balm that contains sunscreen.
  • Sport a wide-brimmed hat and protective clothing.