New procedure offers hope for aortic aneurysm patients

Frank Korany is back to enjoying life’s adventures after minimally invasive fenestrated endograft procedure

Frank at oxford tap blog

Frank is back to playing his saxophone.

Frank Korany knew something was very wrong when he was transferred from one hospital near his home to the University of Michigan emergency room in 2013. As it turned out, the aortic aneurysm he had been diagnosed with in 2007 (and which his doctors were monitoring) had grown so large that only a team of specialists like those at the U-M Frankel Cardiovascular Center had the necessary expertise to treat him.

Frank was no stranger to heart issues. He had experienced congestive heart failure, which led to a pacemaker in 2008, followed by surgery to insert two stents and then a serious infection that required removal of the pacemaker and impacted his joints and teeth. “I had to learn to walk again,” Frank says, due to the severity of the joint infection.

When he was admitted to U-M for treatment of the seven-centimeter aneurysm growing in his aorta, Frank jokingly posted this message on his Facebook page: “Vacationing in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan.” Continue reading


Cell hunters: the quest to diagnose pancreatic cancer early

Part 1: Diane Simeone, M.D.

pancreatic cancer cells

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of blogs that focus on members of the Pancreatic Cancer Research Center. Led by an inter-disciplinary team of scientists and clinicians, the Center holds the promise to significantly change the bleak statistics associated with this disease by revolutionizing pancreatic cancer care. One diagnostic tool they are advancing involves detecting pancreatic cancer cells in the bloodstream before any sign of cancer is obvious through current diagnostic techniques. The successful hunt for these cells would result in a tool for earlier detection, when treatment is more likely to be successful.

The first thing you notice about Diane Simeone, M.D., the Lazar J. Greenfield Professor of Surgery and director of the Pancreatic Cancer Research Center, is her tireless passion for finding better ways to detect and treat pancreatic cancer. So far, the survival prospects for this disease are dismal, she’ll tell you. Continue reading


Preparing for daylight saving time

How to avoid feeling sleep deprived come Monday morning

clock blogThis week is National Sleep Awareness Week, which concludes on Sunday, March 8, the same day we will “spring forward” for daylight saving time and lose one hour of precious sleep. The week is not just intended to talk about how to make the daylight saving transition smoother, but also to highlight the importance of sleep and the damaging effects of sleep deprivation.

It may sound trite to be concerned about losing just one hour of sleep, but with so many Americans juggling a full schedule and a growing dependence on technology that keeps us up late, many people are already struggling to get the full seven to nine hours we need. When we lose that extra hour, we put ourselves at risk of sleep deprivation, which can impair our daytime performance and have consequences like increased weight gain and improper glucose utilization.

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Daylight saving time impacts timing of heart attacks

Heart attacks rise the Monday after setting clocks ahead one hour

iStock_000021010980_Medium blogHeart attacks occur most often on Monday mornings, but research shows a 25 percent jump in the number of heart attacks occurring the Monday after we spring forward compared to other Mondays during the year.

It seems the hour of lost sleep during daylight saving time may play a bigger, perhaps more dangerous role in our body’s natural rhythm than we think, according to a study led by the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center.

The hospitals included in the study admitted an average of 32 patients having a heart attack on any given Monday. But on the Monday immediately after springing ahead there were, on average, an additional eight heart attacks. Cardiac events tapered off over the other days of the week.

Although researchers cannot say what might be driving the shift in heart attack timing after the start of daylight saving time, they have a theory.

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National Sleep Awareness Week, March 2-8, 2015

National Sleep Foundation calls for greater awareness of the importance of sleep

To call attention to the importance of sleep, the National Sleep Foundation created National Sleep Awareness Week, March 2-8, 2015. We are providing some facts about sleep to show our support for this important issue.  

Are you feeling sleepy?

Are you feeling sleepy?

Are you feeling sleepy? Do you feel exhausted after a meal or just generally tired during the day? Even worse, have you ever nodded off while driving or operating machinery? You’re not alone. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 50 to 70 million Americans are affected by chronic sleep disorders, and intermittent sleep problems that can harm health, alertness and safety.

When it comes to sleep, we all need a wake-up call. Here is some food for thought:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has named sleep deprivation a public health risk increasingly linked to motor vehicle crashes, industrial disasters, and medical and other occupational errors.

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Pneumonia vaccine: What is it, and why do I need it??

pneumonia vaccineThe numbers of pneumonia cases are on the increase. You can blame the weather, our aging population, or the fact that this is one of the more common side effects that can occur as a result of having chemo or radiation therapy as part of cancer treatment. No matter which factor you choose, pneumonia affects millions of people worldwide each year.

Pneumonia is a severe acute respiratory infection, a condition where fluids fill the lungs and disrupt how oxygen is absorbed. Breathing can become very difficult, along with several other key symptoms including: Continue reading