Check out the best Health Insurance

                                        Dr RICHARD's Desk - September 2010
Reviewed   3  May  2021      

                             Obesity and Surgical Treatment

WE HAVE discussed Lap Band Surgery for Obesity before. With currently 13,000 of these operations per year in Australia compared with almost nil in 2000 more evidence supporting this surgery is now available. Australia has almost 4 million obese citizens with obesity now being second only to smoking as a preventable cause of death. In some smaller towns a whopping 62% of citizens are obese.Lap band surgery Obesity accounts for 14% of all deaths in the USA per year.

Obesity is poorly understood so Obesity is difficult to treat and prevent. We have all met an obese person who has genuinely and unsuccessfully tried every weight reduction method known to man, and who may not eat to excess. Most weight reduction programs end with little or no weight loss. You will notice marketing information for any of the many weight loss programs cluttering pharmacies rarely include weight loss results for longer than about 16 weeks. It is worth remembering that "dieting makes you fat": On a diet you will almost certainly weighing more than you did when you started.

Lap Band Surgery for obesity is not an instant fix and implies associated lifelong compliance with relevant exercise and diet, but it is effective. About 40% of excess weight should be lost after one year and 55% after 4 years. The aim is to lose about 1kg per week, The benefits of weight reduction are very real. After one year post surgery there is a 30%improvement in Asthma, 40% in Blood Pressure control, 60% in Type 2 Diabetes, 75% in Acid reflux and 90% in Sleep Apnoea.

Lap Band Surgery for Obesity is a safe procedure with few operative side effects. The surgery can be reversed. One of our patient who had lost 40kg post op had the procedure reversed for relationship reasons and just a few months later the 40kg excess weight had reappeared.

Do your homework if you have a Body Mass Index of >35 and are thinking of Lap Band Surgery.

>>top of page

                              Marijuana Use and Psychotic Illness
MELBOURNE RESEARCH confirmed users of Marijuana have twice the probability of developing a psychotic illness as non users. Ask someone who has had a psychotic episode and they will tell you they never want to go there again.Woman smoking marijuana

This psychosis problem is most frequent in those who start using Marijuana at 15 years and is aggravated by heavy use. Alcohol and amphetamines used with Marijuana make psychosis even more likely. Two strong indicators of excessive Marijuana use seem, to me, to be job performance and academic achievement. A slow but steady deterioration in either should ring alarm bells e.g. we have had brilliant students drop out of university and one lawyer became unemployable. The deterioration is usually insidious but often first noticed or suspected by family and friends.

The source of the Marijuana is relevant. Hydroponically grown Marijuana is often much more potent than plantation grown Marijuana with worse side effects.

>>top of page

                             I Reckon I need Antibiotics . . . .
YOU FEEL AWFUL so you go off and visit your friendly GP. You are certain you need antibiotics. Your GP does not prescribe antibiotics. He just tells you don't worry, you will get better . . . . and by the way . . . . lose some weight, stopAnti-biotic hedgehog smoking, reduce your stress levels and take more exercise.
Great. You feel let down and ripped off!    You are unhappy!

Sore throat or acute cough only occasionally need antibiotics. These illnesses might be shortened by one day only with antibiotics but antibiotics frequently cause side effects. Similarly on average 15 children with earache need to be treated with antibiotics to prevent one child from having some ear pain after just two days. Hence the reluctance to prescribe antibiotics without good reason.

Most adult infections are viral for which antibiotics are an expensive and possibly harmful waste of time . . . and be honest, when did you ever faithfully complete a course of antibiotics especially if three or four doses per day were required!

Keep reminding yourself your grandmother used to tell you these common infections are usually better in one or two weeks and if not will certainly be better in 14 days! Grandma was pretty close to the mark. In Jakarta other infections e.g. Dengue Fever need to be suspected if you feel really sick or have concerns.

>>top of page

                              Youth and Driving Skills and Road Accidents
ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS are one of the most significant causes of deaths worldwide with about 750,000 - 880,000 deaths per year. Asia contributes about 45% of those deaths.

During the week long "Water Festival" in Thailand there are about 700 deaths and 30,000 injuries from traffic accidents. Most of these are alcohol and bike related.

Australian drivers 17 - 24 years cause 30% of fatalities and 30% of hospital admissions. Probationary drivers are involved in crashes at triple the rate of more experienced drivers.

>>top of page

Shaving Hair causes it to Grow Back Faster, Darker & Courser . . True?
A COMMON BELIEF is that shaving hair will cause hair to grow back in a darker or courser form or grow backChewbacca & Han Solo faster. Sadly this is just another urban myth often reinforced by popular media and perhaps by people blearily contemplating the quick re appearance of stubble on their own chin.

Shaving has no effect on the rate or thickness of hair growth. Shaving just removes the dead portion of hair, not the living section below the skin's surface. Shaved hair does lack the finer taper seen at the ends of unshaved hair giving an impression of coarseness.

Similarly, the colour of new hair has not yet been made lighter by sun or other chemical exposure resulting in an appearance that seems darker than existing hair. So happy shaving!

>>top of page

     Is there any hope for humanity ? Young intern
A SELF IMPORTANT young Obstetrics Intern was urgently advised a woman was having a baby in a taxi outside Accident & Emergency.

The Intern raced outside and immediately tried to remove the woman's underclothes.

A great struggle followed with a very uncooperative woman - much to the Intern's amazement.
      Wrong taxi. !!!          True story !

If you have any suggestions or topics you would like discussed please contact me:
Dr Richard Tomlins

>>top of page

      Dr Richard - Ramadam                             Dr Richard - Computer DiagnosisNext

Dr Richard Tomlins
If you have any suggestions or topics you would like discussed, please contact me:
     Dr Richard Tomlins


Obesity & Surgical Treatment

Marijuana Use & Psychotic Illness

I Reckon I need Antibiotics

Youth & Driving Skills & Road Accidents

Shaving Hair Causes it to grow back Faster . . True?

Is there any hope for humanity ?