Over the past 30 years there has been a gradual increase of cesarean births, in which a baby is removed through an incision in the woman’s abdominal wall rather than through the vagina, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
A cesarean birth, typically known as a c-section, is a procedure in which a surgeon makes an incision in the abdominal wall and uterus to remove a baby from the mother. The average c-section takes 45 minutes to an hour. Having epidural analgesia or being induced into labor increase the chances of c-section.
While most c-sections in the past were conducted under extreme circumstances to save the life of the mother and/or child, today the procedure is becoming increasingly popular among more affluent women, who are choosing elective c-sections.
Elective c-sections are planned by both the obstetrician and the expecting mother, and occur prior to labor. These surgeries are usually not medically necessary, or are strongly suggested due to complication. Some women even request to have a “tummy tuck” following a C-section delivery.
The growth of c-section birth, both non-elective and elective, is recorded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The CDC has reported that the national rate of c-section delivery rose by 53 percent from 1996 to 2007, reaching 32 percent – the highest rate ever reported in the United States at that time.
A national law firm announced June 6 that Johnson & Johnson will withdraw its mesh vaginal implants from the marketplace.
Chaffin Luhana LLP, a national plaintiffs-only law firm, notified the public that Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson, will no longer sell the following pelvic floor repair systems: Gynecare TVT Secur, Gynecare Proisma, Gynecare Prolift and Gynecare Prolift +M.
These systems are made of surgical mesh, a medical device used to repair serious women’s health issues pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Pelvic organ prolapse occurs in women with weak pelvic muscles and tissues that can no longer hold up pelvic organs. Stress urinary incontinence is the unintentional loss of urine, such as when coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercising. Urinary incontinence happens to women more than men, and pregnancy, childbirth and menopause may contribute to symptoms.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there is little evidence that these and other vaginal implants actually improve pelvic prolapse. In fact, the FDA warns that patients who have had these pelvic repair system implants expose themselves to serious complications and risks that are not rare. The administration released a communication July 2011 warning of these complications. For more information, visit www.fda.gov.
Legislators in California are attempting to ban controversial therapies that offer patients the opportunity to change his or her sexual orientation.
On May 8, the California Senate Judiciary Committee approved SB 1172, a patient-protection plan written by Democratic Sen. Ted W. Lieu that would ban children under 18 years of age from sexual orientation change therapies and require adults to sign a consent form that outlines the potential dangers of such treatment and states the therapy has “no medical basis.”
“Some therapists are taking advantage of vulnerable people by pushing dangerous sexual orientation-change efforts,” Lieu said before the committee vote. “These non-scientific efforts have led in some cases to patients later committing suicide, as well as severe mental and physical anguish.”
Colorectal cancer is the second most lethal cancer among both men and women in the U.S. But experts say the disease’s fatal effects are preventable with regular screenings and lifestyle changes.
This colorectal cancer awareness month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) addresses issue of more than 140,000 Americans being diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year. About 50,000 of those succumb to the disease.
Risk factors for colorectal cancer include age, family history and personal history of inflammatory bowel disease.
People with type 2 diabetes, smokers, obese individuals and those who maintain a poor diet and don’t exercise have been identified as having an increased risk for colorectal cancer as well, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and L’oréal global cosmetic company announced a joint research project on March 12 to use the agency’s chemical toxicity forecaster for assessing the safety of chemicals in cosmetics.
Experts say this project could help void the use of animal testing in the future.
“Because of the high costs and length of time it takes for animal testing, not all chemicals in use have been thoroughly evaluated for potential toxicity,” Dr. David Dix, acting director of the EPA National Center for Computational Toxicology, said in a statement.
The Southern California Permanente Medical Group ranked above all other medical groups in the Torrance-South Bay region for the fifth year in a row, according to the California Office of the Patient Advocate (OPA) Annual Health Care Quality Report Card.
The report card, released February 22, ranks medical groups and health plans throughout California. Southern California Permanente received the highest ranking for quality patient care and service – seven out of eight stars – in the Torrance-South Bay area.
The medical group also earned four out of four stars on five of the report card’s nine clinical metrics. Those top scores were awarded for checking for Chlamydia, checking for cancer, diabetes care, heart care, proper care for children.
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin released her report called “Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults” on March 8 with details on the influences and consequences of the more than 3.6 million youth who use tobacco.
Tobacco use in all its forms is the leading cause of premature (and preventable) death. Tobacco is associated with the deaths of over 1,200 Americans each day.
At the same time one individual dies from tobacco use, two more youth or young adults become smokers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of those youth, 90 percent smoke their first cigarette before or at age 18.
The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2009, allows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco products through age and identification verification requirements, restrictions on the sale of single cigarettes, and bans on candy and fruit-flavored cigarettes.
Implant maker Sientra Inc. must conduct safety studies, FDA says
A new silicone filled breast implant made by Santa Barbara-based Sientra Inc. is the third such implant to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The approval, which was awarded on March 9, was conditioned with required studies to prove the implants’ safety and effectiveness, as well as risk of disease. The FDA used three years worth of data gathered from studying the effects of the implant on more than 1,700 participants.
On March 8, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced baby food brand Gerber has voluntarily recalled a batch of its Good Start Gentle infant formula that purportedly emits a strange odor and caused some gastrointestinal issues.
The batch, GXP1684, is a powdered formula packaged in 23.2-ounce containers with a March 5, 2013 expiration date.
“Consumers who have the product with the batch code and expiration date above should contact the Gerber Parents Resource Center at 1-800-487-7763 for replacement,” according to the FDA press release. “Additionally, Gerber is working with retailers to retrieve any remaining product from this batch.”
Eating a healthful, balanced diet is one way to help prevent cardiovascular disease – the No. 1 killer of women in the U.S. This National Nutrition Month, we remember that we are what we eat.
It’s widely known that certain foods and weight gain are associated with an increase in blood pressure. High blood pressure, known as hypertension, is when the force of blood pushing against arteries is above normal. Hypertension can lead to cardiovascular disease and heart attack.
Foods linked to high blood pressure tend to be high in sodium (salt), fat and caloric content. Examples include deli meats, pickled items, salad dressings, canned soups and fast foods. Whole milk products, butter and fried foods have also been tied to high blood pressure.