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  1. #1
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    Americans too fat for Xrays & Scans

    This is just amazing.

    Study: More Americans too fat for X-rays, scans

    Obesity hurting accuracy of images, doctors say.

    More and more obese people are unable to get full medical care because they are either too big to fit into scanners, or their fat is too dense for X-rays or sound waves to penetrate, radiologists reported Tuesday.

    With 64 percent of the U.S. population either overweight or obese, the problem is worsening, but it represents a business opportunity for equipment makers and hospitals, said Dr. Raul Uppot, a radiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

    ...

    The researchers looked more closely at the records of 200 of the patients, who weighed, on average, 239 pounds.

    "It is a major issue because ... the patient may still have a tumor, the patient may have appendicitis, the patient may have other inflammatory processes," Uppot said.

    "This is affecting radiologists all over the country."

    Ultrasounds are most affected, Uppot said.

    "In an obese person, because the ultrasound beam does not get to the organs or get to them adequately enough, we cannot get a picture. It looks like a snowstorm -- I don't know if you have seen those televisions where it is just whiteout? It looks like that."

    An MRI can get a good picture if the patient can fit into the tube or get onto the table, Uppot said. Some manufacturers have started to make MRI machines with larger-bore holes, but with the cost in the millions of dollars per machine, only large groups or institutions can afford them.

    ...

    One problem is with gastric bypass surgery, where the patients are by definition obese, Uppot said.

    "If there is some complication -- abdominal pain or an infection or fever -- they are invariably at higher risk of not being able to be imaged with a CT or MRI," Uppot said.

    "For the surgeon, he doesn't want to take the patient back to surgery to explore to see what the problem is," he added.

    "For the patient, not knowing what is going on is a big issue. If you tell a patient 'I am sorry -- we just can't sit you on our CT scanner,' that is devastating to hear."

  2. #2
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    Interesting--that doctor said its like looking thru a snowstorm--This is definitely not good news for the gastric bypass crowd since a recent article said 40% of them have complications from the original surgery

  3. #3
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    Well, my husband is a surgeon. You can't imagine what he says sometimes when he gets home; but it's not good in regard to "obese" folks. He takes literally hours cutting through layers of fat to help a person with gall bladder disease, or appendicitis.

    He does gall bladder surgery on people 300 lbs sometimes. It's not easy. Frankly, he gets paid little for it with the insurance guidelines. He only does it because he loves what he does, basically. The patients would recover so much better if they were thinner, and might not get the gall bladder disease altogether.

    But obese people feel they are discriminated against if people complain about making the chairs larger, and so forth. It seems like just like alcoholics, when you get to a certain point, it's time to seek help. Food addiction is a fatal disease also.

    Part of it is all the good food and fat we're used to in this country, but there needs to be self-discipline and help if we have a problem. IMO

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marthatex
    Well, my husband is a surgeon. You can't imagine what he says sometimes when he gets home; but it's not good in regard to "obese" folks. He takes literally hours cutting through layers of fat to help a person with gall bladder disease, or appendicitis.

    He does gall bladder surgery on people 300 lbs sometimes. It's not easy. Frankly, he gets paid little for it with the insurance guidelines. He only does it because he loves what he does, basically. The patients would recover so much better if they were thinner, and might not get the gall bladder disease altogether.

    But obese people feel they are discriminated against if people complain about making the chairs larger, and so forth. It seems like just like alcoholics, when you get to a certain point, it's time to seek help. Food addiction is a fatal disease also.

    Part of it is all the good food and fat we're used to in this country, but there needs to be self-discipline and help if we have a problem. IMO
    I have thought about all the HMO types of insurances. And too have thought, that doctors, must have felt the crunch. Being that they have to now follow certain guidelines for fees.
    So does Gall Bladder disease have a lot to do with being overweight? If a person, eats healthy and keeps their weight down. Can you be lucky enough, to hopefully not have GB problems? I am curious, because a few in my family have had GB problems.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilpony
    I have thought about all the HMO types of insurances. And too have thought, that doctors, must have felt the crunch. Being that they have to now follow certain guidelines for fees.
    So does Gall Bladder disease have a lot to do with being overweight? If a person, eats healthy and keeps their weight down. Can you be lucky enough, to hopefully not have GB problems? I am curious, because a few in my family have had GB problems.
    Here's a great link to info about gallbladder problems. A lady in my office is going through this now and will have surgery in the next few weeks to take it out.

    http://www.medicinenet.com/gallstones/page3.htm

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marthatex
    Well, my husband is a surgeon. You can't imagine what he says sometimes when he gets home; but it's not good in regard to "obese" folks. He takes literally hours cutting through layers of fat to help a person with gall bladder disease, or appendicitis.

    He does gall bladder surgery on people 300 lbs sometimes. It's not easy. Frankly, he gets paid little for it with the insurance guidelines. He only does it because he loves what he does, basically. The patients would recover so much better if they were thinner, and might not get the gall bladder disease altogether.

    But obese people feel they are discriminated against if people complain about making the chairs larger, and so forth. It seems like just like alcoholics, when you get to a certain point, it's time to seek help. Food addiction is a fatal disease also.

    Part of it is all the good food and fat we're used to in this country, but there needs to be self-discipline and help if we have a problem. IMO
    Perhaps surgeons should charge for time spent in surgery, rather than by the procedure. Or a combination. I guess I never thought about this perspective.

    My father-in-law weighs over 400 pounds...diabetic...does not follow his diet at all.....he would get gastric bypass, but doesn't qualify. He has to have special accommodations when he goes for medical tests. One grandkid (not my son, thank goodness) asked him why he was so fat and he replied, "Because I love to eat." It's sad.
    Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest. ~ Mark Twain

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jules
    Here's a great link to info about gallbladder problems. A lady in my office is going through this now and will have surgery in the next few weeks to take it out.

    http://www.medicinenet.com/gallstones/page3.htm
    Thanks Jules

  8. #8
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    I read an article (sorry no link) about how hospitals and nursing homes are having to buy larger and stronger beds and wheelchairs and special lifting equipment because higher a percentages of their patients are obese. They said injurues in employees have gone way up, what with trying to lift and assist heavier and heavier patients. It was a financial article and actually recommended investing in equipment manufacturers that sell larger size nursing care equipment because of the aging boomer population and their increasing size.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljwf22
    Perhaps surgeons should charge for time spent in surgery, rather than by the procedure. Or a combination. I guess I never thought about this perspective.

    My father-in-law weighs over 400 pounds...diabetic...does not follow his diet at all.....he would get gastric bypass, but doesn't qualify. He has to have special accommodations when he goes for medical tests. One grandkid (not my son, thank goodness) asked him why he was so fat and he replied, "Because I love to eat." It's sad.
    They can't charge by time. They are paid by insurance companies and Medicare, and it is by procedure and by which insurance company or HMO you belong to.

    Fees are regulated according to area. Nice idea tho'.

    My husband is thin at least, running along the hospital corridors, over to the office and standing on his feet all day. He has high blood pressure, though, from it all. I guess you can't win.

  10. #10
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    That's a good article about gallbladder disease

    Actually most of that surgery is done laparoscopically now; less invasive, less risk and easier on recovery.

    (don't know if I spelled that right; used to do medical transcription but not so much now)


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marthatex
    That's a good article about gallbladder disease

    Actually most of that surgery is done laparoscopically now; less invasive, less risk and easier on recovery.

    (don't know if I spelled that right; used to do medical transcription but not so much now)
    I had mine done laproscopically in 1995. I had one small stone that kept trying ot pass through the common bile duct. Hurt like a B*TCH!!! I was back to work 4 days later. No problems at all. It's amazing what they can do with laproscopy now.

    My daughter is having a laproscopic procedure done on the 10th to remove cysts from her ovaries and uterus. Absolutely amazing how far things have come.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marthatex
    Well, my husband is a surgeon. You can't imagine what he says sometimes when he gets home; but it's not good in regard to "obese" folks. He takes literally hours cutting through layers of fat to help a person with gall bladder disease, or appendicitis.

    He does gall bladder surgery on people 300 lbs sometimes. It's not easy. Frankly, he gets paid little for it with the insurance guidelines. He only does it because he loves what he does, basically. The patients would recover so much better if they were thinner, and might not get the gall bladder disease altogether.

    But obese people feel they are discriminated against if people complain about making the chairs larger, and so forth. It seems like just like alcoholics, when you get to a certain point, it's time to seek help. Food addiction is a fatal disease also.
    Part of it is all the good food and fat we're used to in this country, but there needs to be self-discipline and help if we have a problem. IMO
    I have never met a POOR doctor, nor have I EVER seen a low medical bill.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by csds703
    I have never met a POOR doctor, nor have I EVER seen a low medical bill.
    Why should he be poor? He trained 9 years after college; and was quite poor then and worked 100 hour weeks.

    No, medical and hospital bills aren't low. But the fact is that at this time doctors are not being reimbursed well by insurance companies. Many are having trouble keeping their doors open, especially family practice doctors. They have employees, rent, malpractice insurance before they can take home pay. They have to save their own retirement and health insurance.

    Medical care is a problem these days, but don't just blame the doctors. We'll be lucky to even see one in a few years, because there aren't going to be as many.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypros
    If you tell a patient 'I am sorry -- we just can't sit you on our CT scanner,' that is devastating to hear."
    I worked at an MRI facility in Tallahassee several years ago (before the big conglomerates got bigger machines) and we were the only open bed scanner in this entire area. We got overweight people driving 4 hours or more to get to us and we STILL had to tell some of them there was just no way. My boss would ask before they got there if they were "squishy" because you literally could squish some people in there and others you could not. It was horrible.

    Many of those people had horrible problems that could not be treated because there was no way to tell what was wrong. :-(
    FUN... is a renewable resource!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marthatex
    Why should he be poor? He trained 9 years after college; and was quite poor then and worked 100 hour weeks.

    No, medical and hospital bills aren't low. But the fact is that at this time doctors are not being reimbursed well by insurance companies. Many are having trouble keeping their doors open, especially family practice doctors. They have employees, rent, malpractice insurance before they can take home pay. They have to save their own retirement and health insurance.

    Medical care is a problem these days, but don't just blame the doctors. We'll be lucky to even see one in a few years, because there aren't going to be as many.
    I am not saying he should be poor. I am just saying that doctors are STILL one of the highest paid professions out there as they should be. I agree that the healthcare system in this country is broken but unfortunately alot of docs have lost their heart. Their fight is with the insurance companies not with the patients. In my experience, too many doctors have forgotten that.

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