Dr. Joshua Wynne
Q. My young child needs open-heart surgery soon. I'm worried enough about the surgery itself, but what about the anesthesia? Should I be concerned about long-term effects? A. The medical profession has been concerned about the possible toxicity of anesthetic agents — those used to put a young child to sleep so an operation or procedure can be performed — for a long time.
Q. Many of my friends have diabetes, and I was wondering if there is any new treatment for it.
Q. What screening tests are available to look for hardening of the arteries in a person like me who has no symptoms? A. Let's start with what we mean by "hardening of the arteries." This occurs as we age when cholesterol and similar substances get deposited in the walls of blood vessels (the arteries) in the body. Calcium, the mineral in bone, also gets deposited, and the combination of the two leads to thickening and stiffening of the arteries — that is, hardening.
Q. I thought strokes occurred mainly in older people; especially senior citizens. But I've heard more and more about strokes occurring in younger folks. What's the story? A. You are correct that most strokes occur in older people but, fortunately, their risk of stroke actually has been decreasing over the past few decades.
Q. I need to have heart bypass surgery. My cardiac surgeon mentioned the procedure could be done "on-pump" or "off-pump." What does that mean, and does it make a difference?
Q. I've noticed that my hand shakes when I'm drinking from my coffee mug. I was concerned about Parkinson's disease, but my doctor said I have an essential tremor. How can she be so sure, and what is essential tremor by the way?
Q. Recently I developed severe pain in my belly and I turned out to have pancreatitis. Just what is it, what causes it, and what can I do to prevent a recurrence? I don't want to go through that kind of pain again.
Q. I recently read in the newspaper about a young former baseball pitcher who died suddenly of natural causes and was found to have an inflammation of his heart. What can you tell me about this condition?
Q. I was in for my annual physical recently, and my doctor recommended I be screened for diabetes and prediabetes. What does that mean and should I do it?
Q. I've gained a lot of weight recently, but I haven't changed my diet or activity. What might be the cause? A. Weight gain is caused by either liquid or solid material accumulating in the body. When fluid accumulates, it typically is because either the kidneys and their associated tubing aren't working correctly and are not eliminating the fluid from the body, or the heart isn't functioning normally and isn't getting the fluid to the kidneys to be eliminated.