Basketball

Ways to Improve Your Basketball Skills and Techniques

Karim Sarhane
Karim Sarhane, MD MSc

Basketball is a thrilling sport, but it’s also one that requires plenty of skill and technique. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, there’s always room for improvement in your basketball skills. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to enhance your game and take your skills to the next level. Basketball is a dynamic sport that requires players to possess various skills to succeed. There are five main types of basketball skills: dribbling, passing, shooting, rebounding, and defense. Dribbling involves controlling the ball with your hands while moving around the court. Passing is the act of transferring the ball to a teammate. Shooting requires good hand-eye coordination and accuracy to score points. Rebounding is the ability to grab the ball when it bounces off the rim or backboard. And the defense is the skill of preventing the opposing team from scoring. Ball control is one of the most critical aspects of basketball. To improve your ball-handling skills, start by practicing dribbling drills. You can use cones or other obstacles to simulate game situations and improve your ability to maneuver around defenders. Focus on keeping your eyes up and your head steady while dribbling, as this will help you maintain control of the ball while scanning the court for passing opportunities. Hand alignment is crucial for accurate shooting and passing. When shooting, spread your fingers apart; the ball rests on your fingers’ pads, not your palm. Use your fingertips to control the ball’s trajectory and spin when passing. Practicing at game speed is essential to improving your basketball skills. Instead of going through the motions, simulate game situations during practice. This means practicing at full speed, with defenders and other obstacles present. Practicing consistently is the most effective way to improve your basketball skills. Not only will regular training help build muscle memory and fine-tune your movements, but it will also help you gain confidence on the court. Try setting aside a specific time slot each day or week for practice, and focus on specific areas you want to improve, such as ball handling or shooting accuracy. Watching professional basketball games or highlight reels can be a great way to learn new techniques and gain inspiration for your game. Pay attention to the moves and strategies of your favorite players, and try to incorporate them into your routine. Additionally, watching yourself play on video can help identify areas to improve and give you a new perspective on your game. Similarly, improve your footwork and reaction time if you have difficulty with defense. A key component of basketball is the physical demands placed on players. Improving your stamina, strength, and agility can significantly impact your overall performance on the court. Incorporating proper conditioning exercises, such as agility drills, weight training, and cardiovascular training, into your routine can help increase your endurance and reaction time while reducing the risk of injury. Mental toughness can help you stay focused and confident, even in high-pressure situations. Building mental resilience includes meditation, visualization, positive self-talk, and developing routines to prepare for games and practices. Finally, don’t be afraid to seek feedback and coaching from others. Whether it’s a more experienced teammate, a coach, or a specialized training program, receiving guidance and constructive criticism can help you identify areas where you need to improve and set goals.

Karim Sarhane, MD

Karim Sarhane

An Overview of Thyroid Cancer

Karim Sarhane
Karim Sarhane, MD

Thyroid cancer is a condition where malignancy grows in the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ that sits at the base of the trachea (windpipe) and has a right and left lobe. A thin body of tissue called the isthmus connects these lobes. Malignancy is a condition where cell division occurs abnormally and may invade and infect nearby cells. The thyroid gland uses iodine to synthesize several essential hormones, including triiodothyronine, tetraiodothyronine, and calcitonin. These hormones control and regulate various physiological functions such as body weight, heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. Within the thyroid gland, there may be nodules. A doctor may discover these abnormally grown thyroid gland cells during a patient’s check-up. These nodules may be solid or filled with liquid. Over 90 percent of these nodules are benign, while 10 percent are malignant. Initially, thyroid cancer may not exhibit symptoms. However, as the malignant cells invade more nearby cells, signs and symptoms will eventually appear. The most common of these include neck swelling, difficulty swallowing food and breathing, and voice changes. As a result, healthcare professionals recommend regular check-ups due to the silent nature of the condition’s onset. About 53,000 Americans get thyroid cancer treatment yearly. While most treatments are successful, around 2,000 patients die annually due to the disease. Women are at three times the risk of getting thyroid cancer than men. For women, most cases involve those between 40 and 50 years old, while in men, most of those affected are from 60 to 70 years old. The condition may also affect children, but only in rare cases. The condition’s risk factors include a diet low in iodine, gene mutations, a family history of the disease, an enlarged thyroid (also known as goiter), and obesity. Other risk factors are radiation therapy in the head and neck, especially for children, and exposure to radioactivity, such as that experienced during a nuclear power plant accident. There are different types of thyroid cancer, including anaplastic, follicular, medullary, and papillary. Accounting for about 2 percent of all thyroid cancer types, anaplastic thyroid cancer, though rare, is the hardest to treat. The malignant cells grow quickly and may spread to surrounding tissues and other parts of the body. Medullary thyroid cancer also accounts for around 2 percent of all cases. It is caused by a genetic mutation leading to a faulty gene. As a result, this condition is primarily hereditary, with a quarter of those infected having a family history of the disease. Similar to anaplastic thyroid cancer, follicular thyroid cancer is metastatic. This is a condition where the cancer cells spread from the original tumor and enter the lymphatic system or bloodstream, infecting other body parts. Follicular thyroid cancer is also hard to treat, since it may spread to the bones and organs such as the lungs. It accounts for about 15 percent of all cases. Diagnosis for thyroid cancer may be through blood tests, biopsy, radioiodine scans, and imaging scans. Blood tests check whether the thyroid is functioning properly and hormone levels. A biopsy involves removing the suspect tissue and observing it in a laboratory for cancer cells. Radioiodine scans involve a patient swallowing a safe amount of radioactive iodine and using a special device to measure radioactivity in the thyroid gland. The areas that emit less radioactivity require more testing to ascertain if there is cancer. Last, imaging diagnosis techniques, including computed tomography (CT) scans and positron emission tomography (PET) scans, can be used to detect cancerous growths. Treatment depends on the tumor’s size and if it has spread. Common treatment methods include chemotherapy, hormone therapy, radiation therapy, radioiodine therapy, and surgery. Chemotherapy involves administering drugs to the patient that kill the cancerous cells. Hormone therapy stops the release of hormones that spread cancer or may cause it to recur. With radiation therapy, a machine emits targeted radiation that only kills the cancerous cells, while in radioiodine therapy, the patient takes a higher dose of radioactive iodine than that used in radioiodine scans to shrink and destroy the cancerous cells. Last, surgery involves physically removing the tumor. The surgeon may perform lobectomy, where they remove part of the thyroid gland, or thyroidectomy, where they remove all of the thyroid gland.

Karim Sarhane, MD

Karim Sarhane surgery
karim sarhane

A Look at Windsurfing

Karim Sarhane

Windsurfing, also known as boardsailing, is a water sport combining surfing and sailing using a craft called a sailboard to travel over water and glide over waves. The sailboard has a sail rig and a long board with fins attached to help steer it. The sail rig harnesses wind power to move the sailboard and rider. While the sailboard usually measures from six to nine feet in length, the sail rig will vary in size depending on the the windsurfer’s preferences and skills. The sport is done both recreationally and competitively. It dates back to the 1950s when Jim Drake and Hoyle Schweitzer thought of how they could combine their individual sports (surfing and sailing, respectively) into one, leading them to make several sailboard prototypes. They patented their first sailboard in 1968, and by the 1970s, Schweitzer was mass-producing them. It soon quickly spread in popularity in North America. By the late 1970s, it had spread to Europe and became as popular as in North America. In fact, today Europe is one of the leading regions in sailboard manufacturing. As a competitive sport, windsurfers compete in slalom races, regattas, and wave sailing events. In a slalom race, the windsurfer follows a winding course and must pass between pole pairs with flags. Regattas feature sailing, speedboat, and rowing races of various types. Wave sailing is a sport where the surfer rides into waves using special gear. A windsurfer may do the sport on various water bodies and conditions, including oceans, lakes, estuaries, harbors, and large rivers. Initially, windsurfers could only surf close to the shore at slow speeds. However, sailboards have advanced in design and functionality such that windsurfers can now go into deep waters. In fact, experienced windsurfers have successfully crossed the Atlantic Ocean, often reaching speeds of 40 knots using specialized sailboards. Wherever the windsurfer chooses to surf, there must be sufficient wind to drive the sailboard across the water. Importantly, the windsurfer must also follow the rules and regulations set for varying water surfaces, since some areas may be suitable for surfing but may be reserved for other activities such as swimming. Also, the individual will need to choose the right sailboard for the chosen body of water. For instance, due to stronger winds on oceans and lakes, the recommended sailboards have sturdier and heavier sails compared to those used in rivers and estuaries where the wind is not as strong. Specialized sailboards such as those used by experienced windsurfers may not be a good choice for beginners. This is because they are difficult to control due to their specific design features. There are also different windsurfing objectives. Freeriding is done mostly for recreation and is when an individual surfs just to enjoy the ride. Other objectives are often for competition. An example is focusing on speed to win a race, or maneuverability for slalom races. Another is where windsurfers ride waves, perform acrobatic skills, and perform other creative acts to display their skills. Judges award them points based on trick mastery and finesse. Windsurfing rules and regulations help avoid accidents on water. Among them, a windsurfer must maintain a three-mast distance from other surfers and swimmers. They should also never head to the waters when there are excessively strong winds or thunderstorms, and a windsurfer sailing downwind has the right of way over a surfer moving upwind. In addition, a windsurfer sailing perpendicular to the shore has the right of way over a surfer traveling parallel to the shore. Moreover, the surfer must keep the boom, the equipment that gives the sail structural support and that the individual grips onto to steer the sailboard, at shoulder height. When combined with bending the knees rather than the waist, they can then properly control the sailboard.

Karim Sarhane, MD

Body Contouring Has Minimal Sustained Weight Loss Impacts, Study Says

Karim Sarhane
Dr. Karim Sarhane

Body contouring helps patients who have experienced significant weight loss because of diet, post-pregnancy weight, and bariatric surgery tighten loose and saggy skin. A study published in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ June 2023 issue of the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery reported that body contouring has long-term impacts on weight loss for people who have it after bariatric surgery. Those who undergo body contouring can immediately see improvements. Sometimes, skin condition improvements are immediately compared to non-surgical options that might take longer. Incidentally, most common body contouring procedures focus on the thighs, arms, back, belly and flanks, buttocks, neck, and skin. Most studies on the effectiveness of this procedure in encouraging long-term weight loss are mixed. This study, however, focused on 2,531 patients who underwent bariatric surgery from 2009 to 2012 and saw small gains in long-term weight loss. Researchers separated the patients into three groups. The first group of 350 patients had body contouring a median of two years after bariatric surgery. The second group comprised 364 patients who participated in a consultation about body contouring but did not follow through with the procedure. Finally, 1,817 patients neither had the surgery nor the consultation. Researchers found that those who had the body contouring did experience more sustained weight loss than those who did not have the procedure using body mass index (BMI) as a measure. BMI measures how much fat is in the body and is calculated by taking a person’s weight in kilograms and dividing it by their height in meters squared. The study found that those who underwent body contouring after a year had a lower average body mass index (BMI) than those who elected not to have the surgery. Seven years later, patients with the body contouring procedure saw their BMI reduced even further to 5kg/m2, on average. Interestingly, patients who sat for a body contouring consultation but did not undergo the procedure also saw positive impacts. One year after their bariatric procedure, their BMI was, on average, 1.5 kg/m2 lower compared to those who had no consultation. After seven years, their BMI was, on average, 2.3 kg/m2 lower than those who did not have a consultation. In addition, the study compared patients with body contouring with 259 patients in the consultation group who experienced enough weight loss to qualify for a consultation. After seven years, the study found that each group had a comparable BMI, with the body contouring procedure group having an average BMI of 31 kg/m2 compared to the consultation group with a BMI of 30 kg/m2. Incidentally, those who did not have the consultation or the contouring procedure had an average BMI of 35 kg/m2. However, the study mentioned that researchers found that the type of bariatric surgery and the patient’s race impacted weight loss long-term. Those who had sleeve gastrectomy (involving several small incisions in the upper abdomen) sustained a lower BMI than those who had gastric bypass surgery, with the former experiencing an eight percent difference in weight loss on average after seven years. Also, African American patients experienced a lower sustained weight loss than other racial groups. Ultimately, researchers concluded that while those who had the surgery or participated in a consultation saw improvement, the impact on body contouring was minimal. They also said that body contouring impacts were secondary to individual factors improving body weight loss outcomes.

Karim Sarhane, MD

Karim Sarhane

ACS Says, AI Offers Surgical Benefits for Healthcare Organizations

Karim Sarhane MD
Dr. Karim Sarhane

A physician for more than 12 years, Karim Sarhane, MD, is a General and Advanced Laparoscopy at the Burjeel Royal Hospital in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. In addition to his role as a surgeon, Dr. Karim Sarhane is a fellow with the American College of Surgeons (ACS). The organization seeks to improve the quality of surgical care. A June 2023 ACS press release reported that AI has positive outcomes for surgical care. Using algorithms as a part of AI will allow healthcare organizations to manage a vast amount of data. More significantly, the article mentioned the different ways that AI, and the algorithms used with it, will make surgery and healthcare organizations run more efficiently. The technology can help surgeons to estimate how long it’ll take to complete procedures. It also will allow them to organize hospital bed availability better. Also, AI’s ability to integrate information will enhance surgical decision-making because the information is in one place, whether on the operating table or at the patient’s bedside. The latest surgical guidelines, research insights, and the patient’s charts are all within reach. Finally, chatbots can assist patients who have questions after surgery. This particular tool allows healthcare organizations to use nurses more productively.

Karim Sarhane, MD

Karim Sarhane
Karim Sarhane

What Are Clinical Trials and Why Are They Important?

Karim Sarhane
Dr. Karim Sarhane

Medical treatments are evolving quickly, and nowadays, the new alternatives that offer hope to individuals suffering from various illnesses come in the form of clinical trials. Clinical trials investigate the advantages and dangers of new therapies, interventions, and medications. Clinical trials are scientific investigations assessing the efficacy and safety of potential new medical therapies or interventions before their widespread distribution. They involve healthy volunteers and people diagnosed with a disease or disorder for which the standard treatments may not be effective. Clinical trials are usually conducted in four phases, each building on the previous one. Phase 1 trials are the earliest stage of human testing that involve a small group of people who are healthy or who have the condition under study. During phase 1, the primary goal is to determine the safety of the new intervention and the correct dosage. Phase 2 of clinical trials involve a larger group of people with the condition under study. Studying and assessing the intervention’s efficacy is the main focus of this phase. During Phase 3 trials, a larger group of people enrolled to participate in the study to test the new intervention’s effectiveness and safety. Phase 3 clinical trials are randomized, double-blind, and controlled. This means that people are assigned to different groups randomly to receive either the experimental intervention or a placebo treatment. Both the subjects nor the researchers are unaware of which group they are in. After the study, researchers compare both groups’ values. Following regulatory approval, researchers undertake phase 4 trials called post-marketing studies to make the treatment safe and effective. Patients may access innovative therapies and procedures not available to the general public by participating in a clinical study. Patients may also receive specialized medical care and attention from a team of healthcare professionals. However, there are risks to participating in clinical studies, such as getting sick or having unpleasant side effects. Additionally, patients assigned to receive the placebo may become frustrated due to seeing zero improvement in their condition. Placebos are essential to clinical trials because they show how well a new drug works compared to a placebo or standard care. In clinical trials, researchers ensure that their testing results accurately demonstrate a treatment’s safety and effectiveness. They often use a “randomized, placebo-controlled” clinical trial as the gold standard to achieve this. This trial randomly assigns volunteers to a test group that receives the experimental intervention or a control group that receives a placebo or routine care. A placebo is an inactive substance that looks like the drug or treatment being tried. Researchers can tell if improvements seen in the test group are the product of the intervention or simply coincidental by comparing the two data sets. In some trials (double-blind, placebo-controlled), the research team is unaware of which participants receive the treatment, the placebo, or another intervention. Several resources are available to participate in a clinical trial for a medical condition. ClinicalTrials.gov and the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Trials Support Unit can assist in identifying appropriate clinical trials. Additionally, consulting with a doctor or healthcare provider can provide information about ongoing clinical studies. Support groups and advocacy groups for patients may also know of ongoing clinical trials that could help treat your disease.

Karim Sarhane, MD

karim sarhane
Karim Sarhane

Advances in Thyroid Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

Karim Sarhane
Dr. Karim Sarhane

Thyroid cancer affects endocrine glands that regulate crucial bodily processes via hormone production. Tumor growth in the neck region, which characterizes thyroid cancer, can result in discomfort, difficulty swallowing, and inflamed lymph nodes. Previously, radiation was the go-to treatment option. However, recent advancements have enabled the medical community to understand the disease better, leading to more advanced diagnoses and treatments. Overdiagnosis, which refers to detecting small, slow-growing nodules or tumors that may not be cancerous, is а significant issue when diagnosing thyroid cancer. Studies from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) reveal that in one-third of instances where а questionable nodule (tumor) is removed from the thyroid, it is not cancerous. Researchers backed by the NCI have devised novel genomic tests to identify if these dubious nodules are cancerous, reducing unwarranted surgeries and enabling the selection of the most suitable treatment alternatives. Optical diagnostic imaging (OI) is a new technology that utilizes light to observe cellular, tissue, or organ structure and function, assisting in diagnosis. Compared to traditional imaging methods like x-ray, OI provides molecular specificity, flexibility, and safety, potentially mitigating issues of overdiagnosis and enhancing diagnostic efficacy. Additionally, it supports precise and non-invasive treatments for thyroid cancer. Fluorescence imaging (FI) is another promising modality for cancer diagnosis. It involves intravenous injection of a fluorescent dye before the operation. Upon exposure to а specific light wavelength, the dye emits fluorescence that helps highlight the parathyroid glands and other cancerous tissues. This technique offers several advantages over conventional imaging methods, including reduced invasiveness, cost-effectiveness, and superior spatial and temporal resolution. FI has demonstrated clinical potential in various applications, such as image-guided surgery. Doctors typically recommend radioactive iodine therapy (RIT) to treat differentiated thyroid cancers, such as papillary cancer originating from follicular cells in thyroid glands. RIT involves the patient taking a pill or liquid containing high doses of radioactive iodine, which collects in the thyroid gland and targets cancerous cells. Before treatment, doctors may conduct tests to determine if the cancer will likely respond to RIT. Targeted therapy is another thyroid cancer treatment involving drugs that specifically attack certain targets on cancer cells. Kinase inhibitors and anti-angiogenesis drugs are examples of drugs used in targeted therapy. Kinase inhibitors help treat thyroid cancer cells with mutations in specific genes, while anti-angiogenesis drugs disrupt the formation of new blood vessels supplying tumors with nutrients and enabling them to grow. An alternative treatment for thyroid cancer is ethanol ablation, whereby a doctor injects alcohol into the targeted nodule to shrink or kill tumor cells by changing the structure of their proteins. The procedure involves inserting a thin needle, guided by ultrasound, into the nodule to inject alcohol. It is one of the safest therapeutic profiles and has successfully been used to treat toxic and benign cystic nodules. Alcohol ablation is a good alternative for patients unwilling or unable to undergo surgery. RNA therapy is another innovative approach to treating thyroid cancer. It involves using small interfering RNA (siRNA) to target and silence genes associated with cancer cells. Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC), a difficult-to-treat form of thyroid cancer, can now be targeted with novel nanotechnology that allows for the precise delivery of RNA therapy to ATC cells. Animal testing has demonstrated RNA therapy’s effectiveness in halting tumor growth and preventing cancer from spreading to other body parts.

Karim Sarhane, MD

Karim Sarhane MD
Karim Sarhane

A Comparison of Laparoscopic and Open Surgery

Karim Sarhane
Dr. Karim Sarhane

Surgeons utilize two distinct methods for diverse surgical interventions: laparoscopic and open surgery. It is important for preoperative patients to understand these treatment alternatives, including the surgical processes, benefits and drawbacks, and ensuing discomfort after operation. While clinicians are the ideal experts to determine the preferred surgical approach, patients’ comprehension of the two techniques enables meaningful treatment decisions. Laparoscopic or keyhole surgery involves a small abdominal incision of less than one centimeter. Through this opening, a laparoscope (a slender instrument equipped with a high-resolution camera) is introduced to enable visualization of the body’s internal structures without the need for open surgery. Surgeons then use a magnified view on a video monitor to perform the procedure. Various surgeries can be performed laparoscopically, including abdominal procedures to treat Crohn’s disease or inflammation of the colon, rectal prolapse (where а part of the rectum sticks out), chronic constipation, and duodenal perforation (holes in the intestine). Other surgeries that can be performed laparoscopically include gallbladder procedures, gynecological surgeries, and hernia surgeries to repair weak tissues in the abdomen. Laparoscopic surgeries are characterized by their minimally invasive nature, resulting in decreased pain, blood loss, and surgical trauma. The approach also reduces postoperative complications, promotes faster wound healing, and minimizes the duration of hospital stays. Less exposure to internal organs also reduces risks for external contaminants. That being said, trocar or instrument insertion, a key process in laparoscopic surgery, may lead to abdominal wall hematoma or bleeding, as well as umbilical hernia characterized by bulging tissue around the navel region. In some cases, doctors may recommend against laparoscopic surgery due to factors such as prior surgery in the area or excessive weight, which can impede surgical access and visibility. Emergency open access may be necessary in cases of significant bleeding or infection. Additionally, individuals with certain cardiopulmonary conditions may be at a higher risk of negative reactions to compounds like carbon dioxide used during laparoscopic procedures. Open surgery may be a safer alternative in these scenarios. Open surgery, a time-honored approach to surgical procedures, involves using a scalpel to make а large incision up to 10 inches in length on the skin to reach the intended surgical area. This technique provides surgeons with access to sizeable organs and facilitates the performance of intricate procedures like heart surgery, organ transplantation, and the elimination of kidney stones. Compared to laparoscopic surgery, open surgery is good for treating conditions like large tumors, complex fractures, and spinal tumors or severe scoliosis, which minimally invasive approaches cannot address. Open surgery also affords surgeons a clearer view of the operative site, facilitating more efficient tissue and organ manipulation. That being said, due to the need for extensive incisions, this type of surgery mаy cause increased post-operative discomfort, complications, and prolonged healing periods. Medical costs depend on several variables, such as the type of procedure, the patient’s medical history, and the health care facility. Typically, laparoscopic surgery incurs а higher cost due to additional equipment expenses. However, the quick recuperation and shorter hospital stay associated with laparoscopic surgery can offset costs. In the same vein, open surgery may seem cheaper at first glance, but а prolonged hospital stay and greater likelihood of complications may ultimately increase expenses. Patients should carefully weigh various factors when choosing between laparoscopy and open surgery. Consulting a medical professional is crucial to understand the nuances of one’s unique medical situation, rather than simply relying on personal judgment or non-expert opinions. A skilled surgeon will evaluate each patient before making recommendations, empowering them to make well-informed decisions.

Karim Sarhane, MD

Karim Sarhane

Karim Sarhane

Benefits of Robot-Assisted Surgery

Karim Sarhane
Dr. Karim Sarhane

Surgical robots have transformed how surgeons deliver medical solutions. Robot-assisted surgery allows doctors to perform complex surgical procedures faster and with more precision and control than was previously possible with conventional surgical techniques. Today, many surgeons frequently use robot-assisted surgery for various medical procedures. Among others, robotic surgery is used by general surgeons, urologists, gynecologic surgeons, colorectal surgeons, and cardiothoracic surgeons. Also known as robotic surgery, robot-assisted surgery comes with numerous benefits for both the patient and the surgeon. Doctors, through robotic technology, make tiny incisions that allow complex surgical procedures. Surgical robots are computer-controlled, self-powered devices programmed to aid surgeons in the positioning and manipulation of surgical instruments. During the procedure, three to four tiny robotic arms are inserted through a small incision on the patient’s body. One robotic arm holds a small camera while two arms assume the role of a surgeon’s hands. A fourth arm may help move tissue out of the way. Through a small console, the physician controls the robotic arms with a standby surgical team nearby for any needed assistance during the procedure. Because the robot’s “hands” are very dexterous, surgeons can operate in very tight body spaces that they would normally find very challenging to access through open surgery. The robotic arm’s reach is also greater than that of a human hand. In addition, robotic arms can rotate and maneuver the small surgical instruments in tight spaces in ways human hands cannot. A sophisticated high-definition camera provides enlarged 3D views of the surgical area that a human eye couldn’t possibly generate. Robot-assisted surgery is a great option when the surgeon needs to access hard to reach parts of the body. The tiny surgical instruments help avoid the necessity of the large incisions made when using conventional surgical tools. Since robotic surgery involves the use of smaller instruments, it becomes much easier to navigate around healthy tissue or organs. This reduces the potential impact the surgery can have on the patient’s body, as less tissue is touched or damaged. It also contributes to less pain and a more comfortable recovery journey. Robotic surgery is considered minimally invasive, and compared to conventional surgery tends to have a shorter recovery period. However, because people are very different, the healing times will of course vary for the same procedure. Also, patients can save on the cost of hospital stays, since most robot-assisted surgeries can be performed on an outpatient basis, which also saves time. Because of the greater precision and smaller incisions, the chances of surgical site infection are also reduced. Smaller incisions may also mean less bleeding and swelling after surgery. This can translate to requiring less pain-relieving medication that is typically associated with conventional surgery. Compared to conventional surgery, incidences of a patient requiring a blood transfusion or experiencing major complications after robot-assisted surgery are generally much fewer. However, it’s important to point out that robot-assisted surgery may not be an option for every procedure or patient. The suitability of the procedure will depend on the particular medical case. Therefore, patients should talk with their healthcare providers about the benefits, risks, and how robot-assisted surgery compares with conventional open surgery and other minimally invasive surgery options.

Karim Sarhane, MD

Karim Sarhane

Karim Sarhane

An Overview of Laparoscopic Surgery

Karim Sarhane
Dr. Karim Sarhane

Laparoscopic surgery is a revolutionary surgical technique that utilizes innovative methods to deliver improved surgical outcomes. Through the insertion of short, narrow tubes known as trochars into the abdomen via small incisions, this procedure paves the way for transformative medical possibilities. Surgeons skillfully employ long and narrow instruments within these trochars to manipulate, cut, and suture tissue, granting them great precision. In stark contrast to traditional open abdominal surgery, which necessitates substantial incisions ranging from 6 to 12 inches, laparoscopic surgery embraces a more precise approach. With a mere two to four small incisions measuring half an inch or less, the benefits can be substantial. This technique allows for enhanced visualization and optimal surgical maneuvers. These incisions serve distinct purposes: one acts as an entry point for a camera, while the others accommodate the surgical instruments. A vast array of common surgeries can now be accomplished through laparoscopy, heralding a new era of medical advancement. The procedure entails using a laparoscope, a slender tube equipped with high-intensity light, and a high-resolution camera at its forefront, granting doctors a clear view of the abdominal organs. Guided by these live images projected onto a video monitor, physicians gain invaluable information without resorting to extensive incisions. Moreover, they can extract biopsy samples and perform surgical interventions, all during the same procedure. Eligibility for laparoscopic surgery hinges upon the complexity of an individual’s condition. This technique is rapidly emerging as the preferred choice for an expanding range of common operations, driven by its cost-effective nature and improved patient outcomes. Doctors now recommend laparoscopy to examine various organs, including the liver, appendix, stomach, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, small and large intestines, and reproductive organs. Exceptional advantages associated with laparoscopic surgery include reduced bleeding, accelerated healing, and diminished pain and scarring. Unlike standard open surgery, recovery time after laparoscopic surgery can be remarkably reduced from several weeks to a few days. A vital aspect contributing to these favorable outcomes is the minimal manipulation of abdominal contents during laparoscopic procedures. Before undergoing most laparoscopic surgeries, patients typically receive general anesthesia. Adequate preparation is vital, and doctors typically advise patients to abstain from eating or drinking for approximately eight hours before the procedure to minimize the risk of anesthesia-induced nausea. In addition, it’s essential to arrange for a reliable means of transportation home considering the potential disorientation resulting from the anesthesia’s effects. Specific instructions regarding medications may also be provided by the attending physician. While laparoscopy generally carries a low-risk profile, it is important to remain vigilant for any potential complications. Although rare, instances of bleeding, infection, or organ damage may occur. If symptoms such as fevers or chills, escalating abdominal pain, redness or discoloration, bleeding, and shortness of breath persist, consult the doctor. Other signs that might warrant a doctor’s attention include swelling, bleeding, continuous nausea or vomiting, inability to urinate, or lightheadedness. There is a minor threat of organ injury during a laparoscopy, which might result in the leakage of blood or other fluids into the body if an organ is accidentally pierced. In such circumstances, additional surgical intervention is required to repair the damage and restore function. Less prevalent risks of laparoscopic surgery include issues from general anesthesia, inflammation of the abdominal wall, and the formation of blood clots that could spread to the pelvis, legs, or lungs. While these dangers are rare, it is critical to be aware of them and get proper medical assistance if any of these symptoms occur.

Karim Sarhane, MD

Karim Sarhane