What's New in Surgery
Plight of Stranded Transplant Patient in Beirut Draws Worldwide Attention
The story of a 9-year-old American UCLA liver-transplant patient, whose family’s vacation to Lebanon stranded him in a Beirut war zone with a waning supply of anti-rejection medicine, was covered July 18-20 by the Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, ABC’s “Nightline,” CNN, CNN’s “Larry King,” KNBC-Channel 4, KABC-Channel 7 and KTLA-Channel 5, KNX-AM 1070, among others. Thanks to the efforts of his physician, Dr. Sue McDiarmid, director of the Dumont-UCLA Pediatric Liver Transplant Program, the boy was able to return home with his family on July 20. McDiarmid was interviewed and quoted by many of the news outlets spotlighting the story.
"“U.S. Rescue Bogs Down in Lebanon”"
"Southland Lebanese Americans Feel the Strain”"
"“Los Angeles Mom with Liver Transplant Son Begs to Leave Lebanon”"
"“L.A. Doctor Tries to Get Medicine to Boy Evacuated from Lebanon”"
"“Larry King Highlights” (Watch July 20: Man Awaits Family from Lebanon)
ABC’s ‘20/20’ Spotlights Brain Mapping on Neurosurgical Patient
A June 23 ABC “20/20” segment on memory and the brain featured brain mapping of a UCLA neurosurgical patient who speaks four languages. She underwent an awake craniotomy to enable surgeons to remove a brain tumor while leaving her language skills intact. Her physicians included Dr. Susan Bookheimer, professor in-residence at Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, and Dr. Linda Liau, associate professor of neurosurgery.
"“20/20 Busts 10 Body Myths”"
L.A. Times’ Society Column Highlights Surgery Gala
A photo of Dr. Barbara Levey, assistant vice chancellor of biomedical affairs; Dr. Gerald Levey, vice chancellor of medical sciences and dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine; JoAnn Busuttil, wife of honoree Dr. Ronald W. Busuttil; and actress Diane Keaton appeared in the June 25 edition of the Los Angeles Times Calendar section’s ‘Social Climes’ column. Themed “Future in Hand,” the June 10th gala honored Busuttil, executive chairman of the UCLA Department of Surgery, and raised funds for UCLA’s Surgical Endowment Fund.
"“A Most Successful Fund-raising Operation”"
Final Chapter of Twins’ Heart-Transplant Story Attracts High Media Interest
A June 22 press conference to bid farewell to the Draper family of Phoenix was attended by the Los Angeles Times, KCBS-Channel 2, KNBC-Channel 4, KTLA-Channel 5, KABC-Channel 7, KCAL-Channel 9, KTTV-Channel 11, CBS’ Early Show, ABC’s 20/20, KFWB 980AM, and KNX 1070AM. The Drapers arrived at UCLA 11 months ago when their identical newborn twins needed heart transplants. One twin received a new heart in February, while his brother’s heart recovered on its own. Both boys are doing well and were cleared to return home. The Arizona Republic and Associated Press also reported the story. Dr. Juan Alejos, medical director of the pediatric heart transplant at UCLA’s Mattel Children’s Hospital, was interviewed.
"“Twins Healthy Enough to Head Home”"
"At Last, Home is Where Their Hearts Will Be”"
"“Twin Heart Patients to Return Home"
"“Twin Babies Rebound from Heart Ailment”"
Story of Iraqi Girl Helped by UCLA Surgeons Attracts Widespread Attention
The Los Angeles Times, Reuters, Associated Press, La Opinion, CNN, KCBS-Channel 2, KNBC- Channel 4, KTLA-Channel 5, KABC-Channel 7, KCAL-Channel 9, KTTV-Channel 11, Telemundo, Azteca TV, KSCI-Channel 18, Voice of America, KABC 790 AM, KFI 640 AM, KFWB 980 AM, KNX 1070 AM and KPCC 89.3 FM covered a June 12 press conference featuring UCLA plastic surgeons who reconstructed the nose of a 12-year-old Iraqi girl who was injured in a blast near her Baghdad home. Dr. Timothy Miller, chief of plastic surgery, and Dr. George Rudkin, assistant professor of plastic surgery, were quoted.
"“Reversing Part of War’s Damage”"
"12-year-old Wounded Iraqi Girl Gets New Nose”"
"“Iraqi Girl, 12, Recovers from Surgery at UCLA”"
"“Girl Injured In Blast Will Return To Iraq”"
"“Iraqi Girl Has Plastic Surgery in Los Angeles”"
Tonsillectomy Expert Appears on Cable Health Show
Dr. Nina Shapiro, associate professor of head and neck surgery, appeared on a June 20 Adelphia Cable “Health Zone” program to discuss the coblation tonsillectomy procedure in children, which uses radio frequency energy to remove tissue through a significantly cooler process than traditional electrosurgery, or lasers.
Los Angeles Times Quotes UCLA Experts on Physician Shortage
Dr. Neil H. Parker, senior associate dean of student affairs and graduate medical education, and Dr. David A. Etzioni, a surgical resident and Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar in the Division of General Surgery, commented June 4 in the Los Angeles Times regarding a looming doctor shortage that threatens to create a national health care crisis. Dr. Etzioni is also featured in a photo.
"“Physician Shortage Looms, Risking a Crisis, as Demand for Care Explodes”"
CNN Headline News Spotlights ICU Robot
An intensive care robot used at UCLA Medical Center’s neurosurgery intensive care unit was featured May 30 by CNN Headline News. The RP-6 robot allows doctors to “virtually” consult with patients, family members and healthcare staff at a moment’s notice, even when miles away from the hospital. Chief of Neurosurgery Dr. Neil Martin was interviewed.
L.A. Times, Newswires Spotlight Infant Twin Who Beat the Odds
The Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA discharge of Nate Draper, a 10-month-old twin born with a life-threatening heart condition, whose heart miraculously recovered on its own, was reported May 25 by the Associated Press, City News Service and Los Angeles Times. Dr. Mark Plunkett, associate clinical professor of cardiothoracic surgery and surgical director of the Pediatric Heart Transplant Program at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, and Dr. Juan Alejos, associate clinical professor of pediatrics and medical director of the program, were quoted. The wire reports also appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, San Diego Union-Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, San Luis Obispo Tribune, Monterey County Herald, Arizona Republic, Riverside Press Enterprise and KPHO-Channel 5 (Phoenix), among others. News outlets covering the news conference included ABC’s “20/20,” Associated Press, CNN, KCBS-Channel 2, KNBC-Channel 4, KTLA-Channel 5, KABC-Channel 7, KCAL-Channel 9, KTTV-Channel 11 and KCOP-Channel 13.
"“Ailing Heart Grows Strong”"
"Twin Born with Deadly Heart Condition Dramatically Improves”"
"Miracle Baby Heart Patient to Be Released from L.A. Hospital”"
Prostate Cancer Research Highlighted
The prostate cancer findings of Jonsson Cancer Center researchers Dr. Hong Wu, professor of molecular and medical pharmacology; Dr. Charles Sawyers, professor of hematology/oncology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator; and Dr. Robert Reiter, professor of urology; were featured May 20 by Uro Today and Pharma.com; and May 23 by Medical News Today (UK). Their individual UCLA studies were detailed May 20 at the annual meeting of the Society of Urologic Oncology.
Riverside Press Enterprise Showcases Neurosurgery
The May 16 Riverside Press Enterprise focused on the asleep-awake-asleep tumor removal procedure performed at UCLA Medical Center. The article quotes Drs. Linda Liau, associate professor of neurosurgery, Susan Bookheimer, professor in residence at UCLA’s Ahmanson Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, and Barbara Van De Wiele, clinical professor of anesthesiology. A UCLA patient from Moreno Valley also is featured.
"“Operation: Wide Awake”"
SM-UCLA Surgeon Pens Article on Breast-Cancer Treatment Options
Dr. Nova Foster, a staff surgeon at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and assistant clinical professor of surgery, authored an article on breast-cancer treatment options in the May 4 Santa Monica Mirror.
Dr.Michael Yeh on KCAL9 News
KCAL-Channel 9 aired a May 5 report featuring Dr. Michael Yeh, assistant professor of surgery and director of the UCLA Endocrine Surgical Unit. He discussed hyperparathyroidism, or overactive parathyroid, an underreported and under-treated condition that can cause osteoporosis, kidney stones and other health problems, predominantly in women. Yeh performs a simple surgical procedure to remove the parathyroid gland and reverse the disorder.
"Doctors Want Women to get Screened for Hyper-Parathyroidism"
“Dateline NBC” Updates Neurosurgery Patient’s Story
NBC’s “Dateline” aired an April 30 update of the story of a musician who had successful surgery at UCLA Medical Center to remove a brain tumor a year ago. The patient was awake during surgery to enable doctors to map and protect his language and music skills. Dr. Linda Liau, associate professor of neurosurgery, performed the operation.
Local TV Feature EEG/Depression Study
KCAL-Channel 9 and KTLA-Channel 5 aired May 2 stories on a study at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior that uses quantitative EEG to determine the eventual efficacy of antidepressant medication within days of beginning treatment. Dr. Ian Cook, associate professor in residence and site investigator for the national study, was interviewed.
"UCLA Antidepressant Medication Trials"
Bakersfield Californian Highlights Breast Cancer Study
A UCLA study of the breast cancer drug Herceptin by a UCLA-affiliated oncology office in Bakersfield was featured April 29 in the Bakersfield Californian. The story focused on a group of women with a shared form of breast cancer who formed their own support group called the HER2 Sisterhood.
Olympic Skater Treated for Lung Cancer Featured in Japanese Newspaper
A story about an U.S. Olympic skater who was treated for early stage lung cancer at UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center appeared May 2 in the Japanese newspaper, Asahi Shimbun.
"Skater Rena Inoue Fought Lung Cancer Battle Alone, in Her Father's Memory"
UCLA Performs 4,000th Liver Transplant
On Feb. 13, UCLA's Dumont Liver Transplant Program, the world's largest such program, performed its 4,000th transplant on Maria de Lourdes Molina, a 39-year-old single mother of four from San Clemente, Calif. The surgery was performed by Dr. Ronald Busuttil, UCLA's chairman of the surgery department and the world's preeminent liver-transplant surgeon.
"UCLA Performs 4,000th Liver Transplant"
Local Media Turn Out for Event Honoring First Family of Organ Donation
The Orange County Register, KCBS-2, KNBC-4, KTLA-5, KCAL-9, Telemundo, Univision, KNX-1070AM and KABC-790AM covered a Oct. 1 event held at UCLA's Mattel Children's Hospital to honor the Green family for their work inspiring families to donate deceased loved ones' organs. Ten years ago, the Greens' 7-year-old son Nicholas was shot and killed by robbers during a family vacation in Italy. When his parents donated his organs and corneas to Italian patients, their generosity sparked a global phenomenon now known as "The Nicholas Effect." Dr. Juan Alejos, medical director of the pediatric heart transplant program; Dr. Gabriel Danovitch, medical director of kidney and pancreas transplantation; Dr. Robert Ettenger, head of the division of pediatric nephrology and director of the pediatric renal transplant program; Dr. H. Albin Gritsch, surgical director of the kidney transplantation program and associate professor in the division of urology; Caron Burch, a pediatric heart transplant coordinator; and transplant recipients joined the Greens in the English/Spanish-language celebration.
"Transplant Gave Him the Heart to Value Life"
Medical Website Looks at Heart Surgery Study
The Oct. 6 edition of News-Medical.net highlighted a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology by Dr. Gerald D. Buckberg, professor of cardiothoracic surgery, which describes surgery to reshape damage hearts.
"Surgery to Reshape Damaged Hearts may Provide Long-term Benefits for Certain Patients with Advanced Heart Failure"
E-Trade Spotlights Nurse's Volunteer Work
Sherry Goldman, a nurse practitioner in the Revlon/UCLA Breast Center at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center, talks about nurses who volunteer in a story posted Sept. 30 on NurseZone.com. Goldman chairs a volunteer organization called Friends of the Breast Center, which sponsors events that raise money for research.
"Nurses Volunteer to Conquer Breast Cancer"
KNBC Spotlights Innovative Endoscopic Brain Surgery
KNBC-4 aired a story Sept. 29 about Dr. John Frazee, professor of neurosurgery and director of endoscopic neurosurgery, who used endoscopic techniques to remove a cyst from the brain of a young Naval airman.
NPR Radio Profiles Gerontologist's Research on Supercentenarians
National Public Radio's Morning Edition interviewed Dr. L. Stephen Coles, M.D., Ph.D., assistant researcher in the Department of Surgery, on Sept. 30th about his work as Co-Founder of the Gerontology Research Group, which oversees and tracks a worldwide registry of Supercentenarians, or persons who live to be 110 or older. The group aims to understand why some people live longer.
"The Secrets of America's Supercentenarians"
Dr. Fardad Esmailian, associate clinical professor of cardiothoracic surgery, was quoted in a Sept. 21 Boston Globe story about post-surgical "neurocognitive deficits" after heart bypass surgery.
"Heart patients' mental decline baffles doctors"
UCLA Expert Addresses Female Sexual Medicine on the Air
Dr. Jennifer Berman, assistant professor of urology and director of the UCLA Female Sexual Medicine Center, was featured Sept. 22 on "Age Management Medicine in the 21st Century," an hour-long live Internet radio program on VoiceAmerica.com. She also discussed women's sexual health Sept. 20 on CNN's "Flip Side" program, and addressed menopause and sexual desire Sept. 21 on KUSI-9 in San Diego and KMPH-Fox in Fresno.
Innovative Brain Surgery Featured in Local Media
The development of a new endoscope for brain surgery by Dr. John Frazee, professor of neurosurgery and director of neuroendoscopy, was featured in the Ventura County Star. The story profiled Frazee's patient, Paul Santos, a naval airman who was grounded with a brain cyst and who can hope to fly again as a result of Frazee's minimally invasive surgical technique.
Endoscope for Brain Surgery
Dr. Jennifer Berman was quoted in an article in the October issue of Cosmopolitan about sexual techniques women can use on men.
"Sex Tricks He's Never Been Treated To."
Dr. Ramin Beygui, assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery, was interviewed by KCAL Ch. 9 news on Sept. 9 for a story about the type of rare heart disease that the late actor John Ritter suffered from.
Research on How Newborns' Ears Hear Differently Attracts Global Attention
New research by Dr. Yvonne Sininger, professor of head and neck surgery, demonstrating that our left and right ears hear differently from birth, received broad international and national coverage. Holding profound implications for the rehabilitation of persons with hearing loss in one or both ears, her findings were featured in news reports Sept. 9 by Health Day News and WebMD Medical News; Sept. 11 by the Los Angeles Times and Daily News; Sept. 13 by Scientific American and Agençe France-Presse; Sept. 14 by the New York Times and Hartfourd Courant; and in the Sept. 20 issue of Newsweek. The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, ABC Science Online (Australia), The Discovery Channel's Daily Planet (Canada), Channel News Asia (Singapore), The South African Star, Independent Online (South Africa), News 24 (South Africa), Gulf Daily News (Bahrain), Xinhua (China), Hindustan Times (India), Central Chronicles (India), India Abroad (India), Times of India, India Abroad and Reduff (India) also covered the findings. The story also was featured by the Web sites of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Forbes, Dr. Koop, Health Central and Innovations Report (Germany).
"The Right Ear Is From Mars" (NYT)
"Hearing: How ears differ" (US News)
"One Ear Is Not Like the Other, Study Finds" (Sci Am)
"Left, right ears attuned to different sounds" (AFP)
Runners World Magazine Spotlights Lung Transplant Patient's Marathon Goal
The Oct. issue of Runners World magazine featured the story of UCLA double-lung transplant recipient Ted Ball, who completed the 2004 Los Angeles Marathon. The article also mentioned Ball's pulmonologist, Dr. David Ross, medical director of the UCLA Lung Transplant Program, and his surgeon Dr. Abbas Ardehali, director of the UCLA Lung Transplant Program.
Dr. Gerald Finerman, professor and chairman of orthopedic surgery, was quoted in a Sept. 8 Los Angeles Daily News article about two UCLA football players' recovery from severe injuries.
"Healing, Helping Hands"
UCLA Heart Experts Tapped During News Coverage of Clinton's Operation
Dr. Hillel Laks, professor and chief of cardiothoracic surgery and Dr. Abbas Ardehali, associate professor of surgery, offered their expertise on heart bypass surgery in news interviews related to President Bill Clinton's Sept. 3 quadruple heart bypass surgery. Laks appeared on MSNBC on Sept. 3 and on KTLA-Channel 5 on Sept. 6. Ardehali appeared on KCAL-Channel 9 on Sept. 3. Additionally, Dr. Benjamin Ansell, director, UCLA Comprehensive Health Program, and co-director, Cholesterol, Hypertension & Atherosclerosis Management Program, appeared on MSNBC on Sept. 7 to discuss heart health and diet.
KTLA-5 Airs Report on the Two Marias
On Sept. 1, KTLA-5 news broadcast an update on Maria Teresa and Maria de Jesus Quiej Alvaraz. The formerly conjoined Guatemalan twins were separated at UCLA Medical Center in 2002. Dr. Jorge Lazareff, director of pediatric neurosurgery, was interviewed.
Dr. James Bradley, associate professor of plastic surgery, commented in an Aug. 25 Los Angeles Daily News article about Nuvo International Laser Skin Centers.
"Shopping the years away"
Trades Cover Jonsson Cancer Center Study on Green Tea
On Aug. 28, Angiogenesis Weekly, Drug Week, Genomics & Genetics Weekly, Biotech Week, Cancer Weekly, Health & Medicine Week and Medicine & Law Weekly reported on a Jonsson Cancer Center study by Dr. Mai Brooks, associate professor of surgical oncology, that tested green tea for cancer prevention. The International Journal of Oncology published the study.
"Green Tea Suppresses Several Growth Pathways in Endothelial Cells"
KABC-TV Features Latest Spinal Surgery Procedure to Alleviate Back Pain
KABC-TV on Aug. 12 broadcast a news segment highlighting an innovative approach to spinal surgery. Instead of an invasive open back fusion procedure, UCLA Neurosurgeon Dr. Langston Holly, assistant professor of neurosurgery, opted to rebuild the patient's disc and reinforce the spine through a few tiny incisions about one inch in length. Surgeons insert a tube, which allows them to repair the damage without cutting through the back muscles.
"Cutting Down the Recovery Time for People Who Need Back Surgery"
Plastic Surgeon Discusses Cosmetic Surgery on FOX News Live
Dr. James Bradley, associate professor of plastic surgery, appeared Aug. 8 on FOX News Live in a segment about the growing popularity of cosmetic surgery and the types of procedures sought by increasing numbers of Americans.
Dateline NBC Reports Latest Progress of Guatemalan Twins
Dateline NBC aired an Aug. 1 report on the progress of the "little Marias," formerly conjoined twins from Guatemala who continue to battle a long series of complications following separation surgery. Maria de Jesus and Maria Teresa Quiej Alvarez continue to stay with Healing The Children volunteers in Southern California. Maria de Jesus talks and walks with assistance and has developed a charming personality, but Maria Teresa remains more challenged because she developed meningitis last year in Guatemala. Dr. Jorge Lazareff, director of the pediatric neurosurgery program at UCLA's Mattel Children's Hospital, was interviewed.
KVEA Airs Story on Brain-Tumor Patient
KVEA- 52 aired a report July 23 about a brain-tumor patient treated by Dr. Donald Becker, professor of neurosurgery, at UCLA Medical Center.
Chicago Tribune Explores UCLA Doctoring Program
Dr. Mark Litwin, professor of urology and public health, and Elizabeth O'Gara, standardized patient coordinator for the David Geffen School of Medicine, were cited in a July 18 Chicago Tribune story that explored UCLA medical school's "doctoring" program as part of an overall look at the teaching of bedside manner skills to medical students.
"Med Students Now Must Learn People Skills, Too"
Dr. Prosper Benhaim, associate professor of orthopedic surgery, commented in a July 15 KCOP-UPN 13 story about the rise in youngsters developing hand and finger disorders due to playing video games.
Dr. Helena Chang, director of the Revlon/UCLA Breast Center at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center, commented in the July 22 Los Angeles Times about a process that freezes breast cancer tumors to kill them.
Dr. Prosper Benhaim, associate professor of orthopedic surgery, commented July 13 in the Riverside Press-Enterprise about the rise in repetitive stress injuries among youngsters who play video games.
"Ease Grip on Video Games"
Head & Neck Surgical Chairman Appears Live on NPR Affiliate
Dr. Gerald Berke, chair of head and neck surgery, was interviewed live July 7 on National Public Radio-affiliate KPFK 90.7 FM about the causes and treatment for spasmodic dysphonia, a vocal-cord disorder that makes the voice sound strangled, hoarse and fluctuating in volume.
Dr. Gerald Finerman, professor and chairman of orthopedic surgery, was mentioned in a July 2 Los Angeles Daily News story about Bruins tight end Keith Carter.
"Carter Is Cleared To Play For Bruins"
Surgical Transplant Pioneer Remembered in Newspaper Obituaries
A profile of Dr. Kenneth Ramming, professor emeritus of surgery, who died June 29 at 65, was featured in the July 4 Los Angeles Times, July 5 Washington Post and July 6 Montreal Gazette. He pioneered cryosurgical treatment for prostate, liver and pancreatic cancer and helped to launch the liver transplant program at UCLA Medical Center.
"Dr. Kenneth P. Ramming, 65; Was a Top Cryosurgeon"