How This Heart Surgery Recovery Went From Six Weeks to One Day

For two decades, Dallas has been home to a heart conference that pushes the envelope for heart surgery worldwide, and this year’s Dallas Leipzig International Valve Meeting was no different. Founded by Dr. Michael Mack and Dr. David Brown, the conference targets cardiologists and cardiac surgeons and partners with the heart center in Leipzig, Germany. The December conference provided physicians a look at new techniques, procedures, and technology that advance the cardiac field, and the German partnership allowed participants to view surgical techniques that are not yet approved in the states. This year, 10 surgeries were broadcast at the conference… Full Story

Just How Much Does a Knee Replacement Cost in North Texas?

One of healthcare’s greatest challenges is determining exactly how much an operation is going to cost. While a patient’s unique body and medical history can make it difficult for providers to predict the exact price, consumers are applying pressure to make healthcare more like retail, with open and transparent pricing. We acquired some research from healthcare consultants Holmes Murphy about how different hospital systems price for a major joint replacement. According to Holmes Murphy, $40 billion is spent in Dallas-Fort Worth every year on healthcare. In order to combat costs, they were employed by regional municipalities to form the North… Full Story

Dr. Death’s Life Sentence Upheld in Appeals Court

Dr. Christopher Duntsch’s life sentence was upheld by the Fifth District Court of Appeals earlier this week, confirming the aggravated assault charges for operations conducted in the operating room, a legal first. Duntsch was charged with with five counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of injury to an elderly individual, though there are reports about dozens of patients who were left in pain, paralyzed, or dead after he operated on them. The trial focused on just one patient, Mary Efurd, an elderly patient whose back was left mangled after Duntsch was done with her. The… Full Story

Texas’ First Custom Hip Replacement Patient Says “Every Day is Like a Birthday”

Wanda Shelling’s hip pain built for years. As her cartilage wore down, her mobility suffered. Over time, she couldn’t stand up straight, bend over to pick things up, or even put socks on. But after a 50-minute procedure, she was up walking in just 7 hours. “For the first time in years, I could stand up straight and walk with normal gait,” she says. On November 28, Dr. Donald Hohman performed our region’s first ever custom hip replacement surgery at Texas Health Center for Diagnostics & Surgery, Plano. Rather than choosing the prosthetic from a variety of pre-made sizes, improved… Full Story

Texas’ First Single-Incision Robotic Surgery at UTSW

Single-incision robotic surgery made its Texas debut at UT Southwestern Medical Center this week. Dr. Jeffrey Cadeddu performed the new technique, which allows for all the surgical tools to enter the body through one small incision rather than five or six, reducing scarring and overall risk. Cadeddu, a Professor of Urology and Radiology at UTSW, performed the laparoscopic surgery. “Every hole you create in a patient has a risk associated with it. Every incision means increased pain, increased risk of hitting a blood vessel,” he said via release. The robotic device is called Single Port SP Robot, which has four arms… Full Story

Park Cities Oral Surgeons Using Opioid Alternative to Fight Addiction

In the face of rising opioid addiction, local oral surgeons are offering patients an alternative to addictive painkillers. Drs. Michael Ray and William Phillips of Park Cities Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates often prescribe Exparel, an opioid free painkiller, following surgery. The New York Times reports that 72,000 people died in 2017 from opioid overdose nationwide, with Texas opioid overdose deaths tripling over the last two decades. Many of these addictions begin with the 3.5 million young adults who are prescribed painkillers following wisdom teeth surgery, but the Park Cities surgeons are hoping to curb the rise with an alternative treatment.… Full Story

Plastic Surgeon in Colleyville Accused of Solo Liposuction Procedure While Watching Football

The Texas Medical Board made a number of accusations against Colleyville plastic surgeon Peter Van Halen, including watching football during a procedure, performing it without any support staff in an inappropriate facility, and prescribing drugs to a woman with whom he was having an affair, the Dallas Morning News reports. One patient described her “botched” liposuction procedure as being performed on a Sunday when no support staff was in the office, even though the facility is only for consultations and not equipped for surgeries, DMN says. DMN reports that Medical Board’s complain says that Van Halen’s practice was “inconsistent with… Full Story

The First Spina Bifida Open Fetal Surgery in North Texas

North Texas’s first spina bifida open fetal surgery occurred this summer at The Fetal Care Center in Medical City Children’s Hospital, when Dr. Timothy Crombleholme operated on Uriah Powell while he was still his in his mother’s womb. Shawn Shinneman wrote about Crombleholme’s journey to Dallas and how fetal surgery arrived in North Texas in October’s D Magazine. When Uriah was born, his kicking legs signaled a successful spina bifida surgery. When Uriah’s mother Sarah was 18 weeks pregnant, she found he had spina bifida, a birth defect caused when the spine and spinal cord do not form properly, exposing a… Full Story