Bypass Surgery by Robotics

Yes! In Odessa, Texas at Alliance Hospital, there is a heart bypass procedure unique to all in the United States!

In the first two years after its grand opening in June 2003, Alliance Hospital had already performed the largest volume of robotic cardiac surgical procedures done in a single institution to date.

A group of 11 physicians established Alliance Hospital with the primary purpose of establishing a center of medical excellence.

Can you imagine a heart bypass operation where no human hands ever touch the heart and the chest is never opened as in conventional heart surgery?

The closed-chest, minimally invasive procedure utilizes four fingertip-size incisions on the chest where special robotic instruments are inserted and manipulated remotely by a cardiac surgeon sitting away from the patient. The operation is performed on a beating heart.

The cardiac surgeon sits at a remote console and harvests arteries that run along the inside of the chest to use as grafts for the heart bypass surgery. Most of the time this means no leg wounds!

Because of this approach, most patients are out of the hospital in 24 to 48 hours. They are back to their normal lifestyle without the misery of healing a split sternum and recovery from a stopped heart or heart-lung machine.

Alliance Hospital does heart, orthopedic, vascular, urological, general and specialty surgeries. Interestingly, the insurance companies and Medicare pay on the same basis as for conventional operations.

Suresh Gadasalli, M.D., F.A.C.C., whom I consider highly professional and who devotes time and attention to each patient, treated me.

Sudhir Srivastava, M.D., is a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon. He has performed approximately more than 550 robotic assisted surgeries with no heart attacks, strokes or deaths.

Alliance Hospital has been rated number one in the Permian Basin area for overall cardiac care according to a study recently released by HealthGrades®, the nation’s leading provider of independent hospital ratings. The study ranked Alliance Hospital among the best hospitals in Texas for cardiology, and it received five-star ratings for the treatment of heart attack and heart failure. 

For more information, contact Alliance Hospital in Odessa, Texas. Tell this great health news to everyone you care about!

Ohio renter law requires collection of personal data, photo

Personal information is collected about tenants in a suburb of ClevelandA Maple Heights, Ohio law that requires landlords to collect personal information and photos of their tenants has attracted complaints about its privacy implications.

ACLU attorney Melvyn Durchslag said the measure was likely enacted to keep students from outside the school district from attending the suburb’s schools, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports.

The law at stake obligates landlords to provide the city with data on tenants, including names of adults, number of adults and children living in a residence, names and ages of children, which schools the children attend, residents’ signatures and photographs.

"In their zeal to search out a few people who may be improperly registered for school, city officials have jeopardized residents’ personal information and contributed to our ever-expanding surveillance society," Durchslag said, according to the news provider.

City officials told the Plain-Dealer they would seek to address the issue and that no one had ever complained about it before.

Durchslag said that the ACLU had battled Maple Heights previously over the use of personal data. In 2002, the organization won a lawsuit against the school district centering on the proof required for enrolling new students.
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Report questions policies on import of ‘frankenfoods’

GMO animals could be imported in the futureThe U.S. does not have an adequate import control policy on genetically modified animals, a USDA internal audit report suggests.

Additionally, the document advises that the country’s existing policy on GMO crops is in danger of becoming obsolete in the future, Reuters reports.

This is because more countries are following the lead of the U.S. and devoting funds to biotechnology and the development of GMO crops and animals.

Previously, the country’s policy was sufficient to cover food that was developed within the U.S. or used similar technology, so "it was unlikely that anything unfamiliar would be imported," the audit stated.

Recommendations from the Office of Inspector General include the development of a control policy for GMO imports and a plan to keep tabs on the development of new GMO crops and livestock in other countries.

Findings from a CBS News/New York Times poll reveal that 87 percent of Americans believe GMO food should be labeled as such – however, the U.S. does not currently have mandatory labeling for these products.

Meanwhile, 53 percent of respondents said they do not want to consume GMO ingredients at all.
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Coca-cola sued over vitamin claims

VitaminWater has 30 grams of sugar per bottleA consumer group has brought a lawsuit against Coca-Cola for the marketing of its VitaminWater products.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest says that the company is engaging in "deceptive" practices by selling the beverages as a healthier alternative to soda.

In fact, each bottle of VitaminWater contains 33 grams of sugar, the CSPI says, which "do more to promote obesity, diabetes and other health problems" than the advertised vitamins do good.

Among the "unsubstantiated" claims made by Coca-Cola mentioned in the suit are the products’ potential to reduce the risk of chronic disease, promote healthy joints and support optimal immune function.

"While it is true that vitamins do play various roles in the human body, the statements on VitaminWater labels go far beyond even the loose, so-called ‘structure/function claims’ allowed by the FDA and cross the line into outright fraud," the CSPI says.

The news comes after the FDA scolded Coca-Cola in December over the labeling of its fortified drink Diet Coke Plus, saying it did not contain enough health benefits to use the term "plus."
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Libertarian Party: Spending will lead to waste and debt

More spending on the horizon - but is it a good idea?If President-elect Barack Obama’s stimulus package goes ahead, the country will eventually be left with a "flat economy" and increased debt, according to the Libertarian Party.

The party’s national chairman, William Redpath, said that spending trillions of dollars will do little or nothing to pull the economy out of a recession and will, in fact, cause further problems down the road.

He pointed out that Presidents Hoover, Roosevelt and Ford had all attempted to stimulate the economy by spending on projects in the past, but these efforts were not successful, instead leaving the country with a burden of debt.

"This debt is later repaid with magic money borrowed from foreign countries, printed out of thin air or from tax increases," Redpath explained.

Fraud and pork spending also plague typical big government plans for funding projects around the country, he said.

"So, much of the money taken out of the economy, in order to jump-start the economy, is lost, leaving American taxpayers with a flat economy and even more debt to pay," he added.

The Libertarian Party, along with a number of economists, think tax cuts would be a better path to economic recovery.
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Federal budget deficit reaches $485b

The deficit is rising Amid talk about the multi-billion dollar stimulus package proposed by President-elect Barack Obama, new Treasury figures reveal that the federal budget deficit has already reached a record $485.2 billion for the first three months of fiscal 2009.

This number sets a new high for a first-quarter deficit and is also greater than the figure for all of fiscal year 2008, which stood at $455 billion.

There are a number of factors at play that have contributed to the rise. Spending on bailouts, economy recovery programs and capital investments began during this period, while income tax revenues have gone down due to job cuts.

According to the Associated Press, Peter Orszag, who has been nominated to lead the White House Office of Management and Budget, predicted large deficits to continue for years.

He told the Senate Budget Committee that the U.S. was likely to face deficits equaling approximately 5 percent of the economy for up to a decade.

In December alone, the country’s deficit grew by $83.6 billion, the Treasury said. Since bailout spending began, it has been issuing bonds extremely quickly to pay for the spending, CNN Money reports.
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People turning to herbal remedies to save money

Conventional medicine can be costlyAs the economy has faltered, sales of herbal remedies and vitamins have been increasing, as people look for less expensive ways to treat health conditions.

That is according to an Associated Press investigation, which found many Americans looking to avoid filling costly prescriptions or making doctors’ visits.

According to an AP analysis of data, nationwide retail sales of vitamins and supplements rose by nearly 10 percent during the three months ending December 28th, compared with the same period in 2007.

That data includes New Jersey mom Kristen Kemp, who told the news provider she has been treating her kids’ illnesses with home remedies such as tea and honey, as well as with Chinese herbs.

"Just going to the doctor will cost me $20 per kid – and I have three kids," she explained. "Just in case something bad happens to our jobs, I want more money in the bank."

A government survey released late last year showed that more Americans have been turning to natural supplements to treat their health problems. Among that group, approximately one-quarter cited cost as a factor for avoiding conventional medicine.
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What About Fat?

Since everybody is getting fat, establishment media has started a campaign to make fat beautiful and healthy.

Yes, splashed on the cover of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) bulletin was an obese female (not sure) with a Mona Lisa smile over the caption:  “Good news on fat and health.” This is a real twist for the public mind.

The article started under a picture of the same bizarre fat character as appeared on the front. “How dangerous are those extra pounds? A new study shows that being pleasantly plump may actually be good for you.” Well, the article did quote the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warning that, “obesity and overweight were causing 400,000 deaths a year.”

This new fat movement appears to have a nationwide syndication. In The Birmingham News in Birmingham, Ala., this article appeared, “Study: Being a Little Fat Reduces Risk of Death.”

So the latest establishment poke at a dumbed-down population is that “fat may actually be good for you and being a little fat reduces the risk of death.”  I couldn’t believe it!

Boy, this is what obese people are waiting for. They are already in denial and now they don’t have to be. I know—I’ve been there.

But knowing people, they will take off on this “okay to be fat” message and use it as an excuse to add unlimited pounds.

Don’t you believe it! Fat is a killer. All people who study nutrition that I have ever read agree on this point without exception.

Food consumption properly understood is a science. We should consider that what we daily eat is our natural medicine and choose our food carefully. Then reestablishing proper weight is just a matter of time.

Few people really think about what they poke into their mouths. The commercial food manufacturers dictate what is “good” and what we should eat. The result is a nationwide addiction to trans fatty acids like crackers, breads, cakes, French fries and anything made from white flour.

Other deadly trans fats are the vegetable cooking oils like soy bean oil, soy oil, cottonseed oil or any oil that is not certified organic. Watch for the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated.” The oils have a long shelf life but they shorten yours.

The point is that our diet of trans fatty acids is making us fat while killing us with heart disease and cancer. But know the difference between the bad fats and the good fats. It’s as important for us to consume good fats as to avoid bad fats.

If we want to lose pounds and be healthy, we need to eat good fats. In fact, to have a good lipid profile, we have to consume good fats. Likewise, trans fats destroy health.

Let me say again that fat (food fat) does not make fat. Eating BAD fat makes us fat. People just can’t seem to grasp this. They associate gaining weight with eating fat. This is a brainwash!

Instead, gaining pounds is directly related to eating sugar and/or carbohydrates.  When we are young, it is no problem. But as we age, we become insulin resistant and it takes less and less sugar to balloon us up. This makes losing pounds very difficult, as you already know.

So bad fats cause weight gain and increasing inflammation, leading to obesity, diabetes, vascular disease and cancer.

To sum up, avoid all trans fatty acids like fast foods, cookies, crackers, pastries and any and all junk foods. Avoid like the plague hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated shortening, margarine and vegetable oils.

Be doubly sure to eat the good fats like fish, fish oil, cod liver oil, olive oil, coconut oil and real unprocessed butter. These good fats will rebalance your omega 6 fatty acids by increasing your omega 3 fatty acids.

See how quickly you will begin to lose those pounds! Feel how quickly your inflammatory joint problems will disappear! See now your lipid profile will correct and you will avoid degenerative disease and all without drugs.

Report: FDA lax on potential financial conflicts of interest

The FDA does not properly explore financial tiesJust days after scientists within the FDA accused managers in the administration of corrupt practices, a new report raises concerns about disclosure of financial conflicts.

According to the Health and Human Service Department’s inspector general, 42 percent of marketing applications approved by the FDA did not contain required information about any financial connections between companies and researchers.

Without this documentation, it would be impossible to determine if there was a financial conflict of interest in a clinical trial.

The FDA has required financial documentation of this type for nearly a decade, but the report reveals that compliance with this requirement has been lax.

In 31 percent of applications reviewed, the agency did not document that it had reviewed any financial data at all.

Meanwhile, in 20 percent of applications that contained disclosures that may have raised questions, the FDA did not act, according to the report.

The inspector general made a number of recommendations for improvement to the process. The FDA accepted all but one, which suggested it should investigate conflicts of interest before a trial even began.

The agency said this would add to its workload without producing meaningful results for the public.
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Privacy advocates seek limits on mobile marketing

Mobile phone technology is developing quicklyPrivacy advocacy groups have said they will file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission urging it to adopt rules and safeguards related to the mobile advertising industry.

In particular, the Center for Digital Democracy and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group have pointed to Google’s new Android platform as a "sleeping giant" that could threaten people’s privacy by surreptitiously collecting user data.

Android has the ability to collect cookies, which are identifiers of particular users and their browsing history. If installed on a phone with geolocation technology, the groups argue that Google could potentially track users’ locations, as well as internet habits.

Jeffrey Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy told Forbes he does not have a specific complaint about Google’s behavior, but he feels the company has not fully addressed privacy concerns before rolling out their new product.

"People don’t really understand what’s about to emerge: A new kind of data collection and advertising, with huge implications for privacy," he told the news provider.

It remains to be seen how the Obama administration will respond to privacy concerns in an age of rapidly developing technology.
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