The Better-Than-Botox Smile

My smile has stayed largely the same over the years — think dimples and skinny lips — but age and a bajillion cups of tea have undeniably stained and diminished the effect. Fortunately, my husband is a cosmetic dentist, and his care has improved my smile and brightened my teeth. (At breaking my caffeine addiction, however, he seems powerless.) Kourosh Maddahi, a Beverly Hills dentist and the author of Anti-Aging Dentistry, believes “de-aging your smile” to be a better solution …

Medicare Lifts Ban on Sex-Change Surgery

By Lisa Leff of The Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO – Medicare can no longer automatically deny coverage requests for sex-reassignment surgeries, a federal board ruled Friday in a groundbreaking decision that recognizes the procedures are medically necessary for people who don’t identify with their biological sex. Ruling in favor of a 74-year-old transgender Army veteran whose request to have Medicare pay for her genital reconstruction was denied two years ago, the agency’s Departmental Appeals Board said there was no justification …

Medicare Lists Best, Worst Hospitals for Hip and Knee Replacements

By Jordan Rau, Senior Correspondent, Kaiser Health News Medicare has begun tracking the outcomes of hip and knee replacement surgeries, identifying 95 hospitals where elderly patients were more likely to suffer significant setbacks. The government also named 97 hospitals where patients tended to have the smoothest recoveries. The analysis, which was released last week, is the latest part of the government’s push to improve quality at the nation’s hospitals instead of simply paying Medicare patients’ bills. Medicare already assesses hospital …

In Surgery, Failing ‘No Sponge Left Behind’

Here’s a scary statistic: A surgeon in the U.S. leaves a foreign object, such as a sponge or towel, inside a patient’s body after an operation 39 times a week. Even scarier, surgeons perform the wrong procedure on a patient 20 times a week and operate on the wrong body site 20 times a week, according to an analysis of national malpractice claims by patient-safety researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Researchers also found that patients 60 or older …

Isolation Hinders Recovery Process and Raises Stress Levels, Says Dr. Oz

By Becky Squires, a writer-editor for AARP Foundation || In an interview with ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer, medical expert Dr. Mehmet Oz said he now insists that all the patients he operates on bring someone who loves them with them to the hospital. “If you don’t have a reason for your heart to keep beating, it won’t,” the well-known heart surgeon explained, adding that there is a lot of evidence that being isolated breeds illness in our modern world. “When …

Prostate Surgery: For Older Men, Waiting May Be Better

For men in their 60s who are diagnosed with early-state prostate cancer, surgery doesn’t help them live significantly longer than those who wait and monitor the slow-growing disease, a landmark new study finds. Prostate cancer affects one in six men, but surgery often causes serious side effects, including urinary incontinence and sexual dysfunction. The results of the federally funded study suggests that a more conservative approach might be better, especially for men with a PSA reading under 10 ng per …