The Medical City Offers Non-Invasive Test to Assess Liver Disease

hospital,The Medical City, press release, medical treatment, liver healthMore and more people are suffering from liver disease due to unhealthy diet and lifestyle.The liver is one of the largest and most vital organs and it performs many important jobs, including protein production, changing food into energy and removing toxic or poisonous substances from the blood. One cannot live without a functioning liver. Hence, it goes without saying that we all should take extra measures to ensure the health of our liver in order to live a long and healthy life. 

There are a number of diseases that can injure the liver and stop it from working correctly. One of these is hepatitis or the inflammation of the liver. With hepatitis, the liver stops working well. It can lead to scarring (cirrhosis) or cancer. Viruses cause most cases of hepatitis. Viral hepatitis is the most common cause of liver disease in the world.

A person with a liver problem may not be symptomatic in the early stages of the disease. Sometimes the disease may be identified during routine tests for other reasons. However, once liver problems reach a certain point, symptoms will start showing up. The most common symptoms of liver disease include weakness and fatigue, weight loss, nausea, vomiting and yellow discoloration of the skin or jaundice.

According to the doctors at The Medical City (TMC) Center for Liver Disease Management and Transplantation (CLDMT), if you wait for these warning signs or symptoms before caring for your liver, it might be too late. An effective way of keeping track of your health is through regular health screening.

There are also liver function tests which are blood tests that help determine the health of your liver by measuring the levels of proteins, liver enzymes, or bilirubin in your blood.

Your doctor may order a liver function test if you’re more likely to have liver damage or disease, like if you are a heavy drinker, or if you come from a family with a history of liver disease, if you are overweight and have diabetes or high blood pressure or if you are taking medicine that can harm your liver.

FibroScan Probe at The Medical City

In 2010, CLDMT introduced the first FibroScan probe in the Philippines. The FibroScan probe is a non-invasive, painless, and speedy alternative to biopsies used for assessing fibrosis, or the formation of scar tissue due to injury or long-term inflammation. The early detection of fibrosis is the key to preventing chronic liver disease, which is associated with conditions such as Hepatitis B, alcoholic liver disease, and fatty liver disease.  Continue reading

The Medical City’s Robotic Surgery Offers Less Invasive Treatments

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The Medical City (TMC) recently showcased to the media its robotic surgery capabilities, all featuring advanced robotic technologies that enable surgeons to perform surgical procedures even in difficult and hard-to-reach areas. Its robotic surgery program also cements TMC’s position as one of the most technologically advanced health institutions in the country that is at par with leading centers in the world. Shown in photo is a member of the TMC Robotics Surgery team showing the robotic arms that perform complex surgical procedures.

Anyone who’s had a medical operation knows that it can be such a source of pain. Traditional surgical procedures are invasive in nature, causing certain amount of trauma to implement a course of treatment. Many internal complaints require long incisions that take time to heal, not to mention an increase in the chances of infection. Rather than offer a quick remedy for an illness, the patient is left to recuperate on his sickbed for a period of time.

However, latest advancements in medical technology allow individuals to opt for a less traumatic approach to their care. The introduction of robotic surgery easily avoids all the complications brought about by most operations.

Now hailed as the future of surgical procedures, The Medical City (TMC) has been offering robotic surgeries since 2010 for procedures that target difficult and hard-to-reach areas. This signals its position as one of the most technologically advanced health institutions in the country, at par with leading centers in the world.

Doctors at The Medical City have been using this innovation for urological, colorectal, and gynecological procedures, which focus on sensitive parts of the human body.

 Dr. Julius Cajucom, TMC Urologist and head of the Robotics Surgery Program of The Medical City, says prostate surgeries target a “tight area” in the body.

“The degree of difficulty is so great,” explains Cajucom. “The area is very tight, and movements are so limited.” The use of the robot makes the operation in the said areas more convenient and easier.

The advantages of robotic surgeries are manifold. Compared to open surgeries, it only makes tiny incisions on the patient’s body where holes are made, as in laparoscopic procedures. Through these holes, the arms of the machine are inserted to perform the needed operation within the patient’s body. The doctor operates the robot through a console that allows him to see the inside of the patient without having to open him up. Since the patient has smaller incisions, the chances of infection from external causes are minimized.

“It is less traumatic, less bloody, causes less pain post-operatively, and promotes faster recovery,” says Cajucom.

Likewise, Dr. Kristine Katimbang, TMC Robotic Gynecologic Surgeon, says robotic surgery is beneficial for many gynecological procedures, such as hysterectomies, myomectomies, and excising ovarian cysts, endometrial cancer and cervical cancer.

 Katimbang adds that many patients who undergo robotic surgery leave the hospital in just a day or two.

“Since there is no pain, they can move easily. They can eat well after a procedure, which isn’t the case compared with an open surgery,” she says. “Since there are no long incisions, there is less pain, less stress, and less agony. You cannot imagine how doctors feel when they see their patients with smiles on their faces after robotic surgery.”

 The Medical City has highly-qualified personnel to perform robotic surgeries, from doctors to nurses. All of them trained with the leading health institutions abroad.

While the procedure is presently available for urologic, colorectal, and gynecological operations, Katimbang says it can also be utilized for head and neck, trans-oral, thoracic, and vascular surgeries.

Patients no longer need to fear surgeries and their after effects on their bodies with robotic surgery. Robotics surgery provides an alternative to both traditional open and conventional laparoscopic surgery, putting the doctor’s hands at the controls of a state-of-the-art robotic platform. It enables physicians to perform even the most complex and delicate procedures through very small incisions with unmatched precision.

For more information about The Medical City’s Robotics Program, you may call the Department of Surgery at 9881000 or 9887000 ext. 6288 or visit themedicalcity.com.

The Medical City Unveils Its New Technology For Early Detection Of Lung Cancer

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The Medical City speakers for the day: Dr. Christine Chavez, Dr. Ramy Roxas, and Mr. Roberto Posadas Jr.

The Medical City recently hosted a talk to unveil its latest technology acquisition and I am glad to be part of the occasion. Endobronchial Ultrasound {EBUS} is a state of the art minimally invasive procedure used in lung cancer diagnosis, infections, and other chest inflammatory diseases, it is the first of its kind in the country and The Medical City is the first and the only hospital in the Philippines to offer this kind of procedure.

All about EBUS

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EBUS is a procedure that incorporates ultrasound technology in bronchoscopy. Simply put, with a small video device, it allows bronchoscopists to view lung abnormalities through and beyond the surface of the airways for real-time image guidance during procedures, thereby a higher degree of diagnostic accuracy and safety is possible.

Dr. Christine Chavez, interventional pulmonologist and head of the Lung Unit of The Medical City Center for Cancer Care and Research said that they are expecting to increase detection rates of early stage lung cancer, that may also be salvageable by surgery and has good prognosis with EBUS as an additonal diagnostic option for high-risk patients.

EBUS assists patients and doctors by shortening the time from diagnosis to treatment, and with real-time imaging and ultrasound guidance, doctors can effectively map and evaluate biopsy tumors and lymph nodes.

The Anatomy of Cancers

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the world in both men and women with more than one million deaths annually. In the Philippines, it is also the leading cause of death from cancer, with a reported death of 9,184 out of 11,458 cases {for the year 2010}. Most of these cases leading to deaths were detected at a much later stage of cancer, making the treatment all the more difficult and lowering the patient’s chance to survive the illness. Studies show that an estimate of 10,000 deaths from cancer could have been prevented with early diagnosis and treatment.

Colorectal cancer, a cancer that starts in either the colon or the rectum, on the other hand, ranks 4th among cancer-related deaths in Filipinos and recent studies showed that the Philippines has a higher colorectal cancer mortality compared to other countries. The Philippine Cancer Society, Inc statistics shows that about 75% of the people affected were 50 years old and above. It is also estimated that 1 out of 1,800 Filipinos will develop this cancer yearly.

The Importance of Screening and Early Detection

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Dr. Chavez stressed the importance of early detection and diagnosis in treating lung cancer. She also stressed the significance of screening people who they termed high risk for the disease. These people are those who have been smokers for a prolonged period of time, those who are exposed to second-hand smoke, and has a lung cancer history in the family. Age, lifestyle or environment, and genetics are the factors medical practitioner take into consideration to determine these high risk individuals.

Dr. Manual Francisco “Ramy” Roxas, head of The Medical City Colorectal Clinic said that with good screening and early diagnosis, 90% of colorectal cancers are curable. A multi-modality treatment that includes chemotherapy, pre-operative radiotherapy, and surgery, are also responsible in improving colorectal cancer outcomes. Continue reading