Thursday, 2 May 2013

How does Modern Healthcare touch lives?

Twitter link- #ApolloTouchingLives
Another amazing contest organized by Indiblogger in collaboration with Apollo Hospitals. Here's a link to their modern healthcare page- This topic is specially of interest to me because as a dental surgeon, I am directly associated with the healthcare machinery in India. The past decade and specially past 4-5 years have seen a radical change in our view toward common medical problems.

I have completed my BDS from Bapuji Dental College & Hospital, Davangere, Karnataka.

The region is considered a hub of medical and dental education and therefore, I was exposed to a lot of advancements as they were taking place in the region. Gone are the days when painful joints were things you just had to live with. Joint replacement surgeries have been made available at multiple hospitals and at a much affordable price all thanks to the torchbearers like Apollo hospitals. There are also big leaps in the field of heart surgeries like Total Endoscopic Coronary Bypass and Single Vessel/ Multi Vessel Small Thoracotomy and other fields too. The precision has increased manifold due to the availability of robotic surgery methods.

Live demonstrations are being arranged by senior professionals from metropolitan cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai and this knowledge is being soaked and spread in other cities where due to rising awareness of this scenario, more and more people are opting for these procedures.

Now, coming to my field of interest, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, I have been witness to a phenomenal change in the field of oral surgery during my years of graduation in college. Cancer treatments now have better prognosis. Patients of higher stages of oral cancer now go under the knife and there are more chances of survival. Cancer is not that dreaded a disease as it was say, a decade ago. We have better anti-cancer drugs, more accessible hospitals and access to the best oncologists nowadays.

There are orthognathic surgeries helping patients correct their facial profiles and I have seen tremendous awareness among the youth about them and a rise in demand for such corrective procedures.
Image Courtesy- Google Image Search

There are more and more people aware of the options available in front of them. To state an example in front of me, one of my colleagues met with an accident due to which his jaw was fractured and dislocated. The deformity caused his chin to protrude and made it difficult for him to chew and also was esthetically unpleasant. He went through the simple BSSO procedure and guess what! He started looking even better than before the accident.

There were also many young girls and boys coming to our hospital's surgery department, complaining about the jaw discrepancies which cannot be corrected by mere orthodontic braces. Today's patient is not going to take the options dished out to him by the doctor, he wants to know all his options and chooses wisely. This change in perspective is due to the remarkable developments in the field which have made the scenario much more competitive. Here is what Dr. Vinod Narayanan's page of Apollo Cosmetic Clinics has to say about the field of Oral and Maxillofacial surgery-
"The purpose of orthognathic surgery/ corrective jaw surgery is to correct functional and cosmetic problems that are due to underlying jaw deformities. Orthognathic surgery is often the treatment solution in cases where the bite problem is so severe that orthodontic braces alone aren’t enough to correct the problem, or where orthodontics alone would compromise your facial appearance.
One of the most rewarding aspects of orthognathic surgery is improved beauty and self-esteem.
Severe bony deformities caused by jaw mismatch in size and position may cause serious problems. For example, extremely small lower jaw may result in snoring and sleep apnea, which can consequently cause many health problems. In cases of short upper lip and vertical excess of the upper jaw, the lips are usually open as they fail to close without efforts due to increased lower third of the face. Consequently, it may stimulate undesirable mouth breathing which further worsens occlusion. Frequently malocclusion can have strong negative effect on speech function and often it can be accompanied by jaw joint pain.
And last but not least, occlusion and the position of jaws define the height of the lower third of the face to the greatest extent, hence the aesthetics of the facial profile as well. Convex ‘bird face’ or concave ‘mature face’ profiles are considered anaesthetic, therefore severe anomalies can cause social problems if left untreated.
Scientists have been on the way in seeking an answer to this question for years trying to find which part of the face is playing the greatest role in the attractiveness of the face, and surgeons – trying to “attack” those parts, thus hoping to make the face more attractive by changing particular features. Do we look at the eyes, at the smile, the symmetry of the face or at the combination of several features like nose, cheeks, eyebrows or eyes when assessing facial attractiveness?
Orthognathic surgery is surgery performed on the bones of the jaws to change their positions. Orthognathic surgery is corrective facial surgery where deformities of the jaw exist. It may be indicated for functional, cosmetic, or health reasons. It is surgery commonly done on the jaws in conjunction with orthodontic treatment, which straightens the teeth." The Link

Also, there is this field of Dental Implantology. A few years back, losing teeth meant going for a bridge or a removable denture and going for an implant was a thing of future. Well, that future is now! Patients in tier II cities are getting lured by the advantages that implant systems offer. Nowadays, it has become imperative for a dental practice to prosper, to learn and apply Implant systems in the practice. The patient wants to be given all the options these days.
Image Courtesy- Google Image Search

There are many such options which have made our lives much easier and longer. This revolution, is here to stay, ladies and gentlemen. Healthcare professionals, this is your time. Take a bow!

Dr. Abhyudaya Shrivastava, BDS.

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