In the News – Holiday 2010

Freezing fat might shrink it — “It’s not a replacement for liposuction, but it does provide another option,” said Dr. Jeffrey Kenkel, professor of plastic surgery, in a recent article in the Los Angeles Times describing new consumer products that purport to freeze fat away. The technique might seem like an odd concept, but carefully applied cold really can trim a waistline, said Dr. Kenkel, who also is president-elect of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Infection sidelines Fiorina on California campaign trail — When Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina was hospitalized for an infection related to her recovery from breast cancer, forcing her off the campaign trail a week before election day, USA Today turned to UT Southwestern’s News and Publications Office looking for an expert to comment on how common such infections are for women who undergo reconstructive surgery after breast cancer treatment. Dr. Michel Saint-Cyr, associate professor of plastic surgery, who specializes in breast reconstructive surgery, spoke with the reporter and was quoted in the story. “Radiation therapy can significantly increase the risk of infection” after reconstructive surgery, he said. “You can get a delayed infection.”

Aspirin may boost prostate cancer treatment: study — “Evidence has shown that anticoagulants may interfere with cancer growth and spread,” Dr. Kevin Choe, assistant professor of radiation oncology, said in a Reuters news service article describing research that he presented at the recent American Society for Radiation Oncology meeting in San Diego. His research showed that prostate cancer patients who had been treated with either surgery or radiation, and who took aspirin or other anticoagulant drugs such as warfarin, were far less likely to die of cancer. The story ran on more than 70 online media outlets, including FOX News,, Business Week and U.S. News & World Report.

Many obese people see no need to lose weight — Dr. Tiffany Powell, postdoctoral researcher in internal medicine, was interviewed by Reuters Health recently about a study she and her colleagues published in Archives of Internal Medicine that found a substantial proportion of obese people don’t think they’re too fat. The study “points to really a lack of understanding about the effects of obesity,” Dr. Powell said. The story appeared in more than 25 news outlets, including websites of Time magazine and The Washington Post.

CPR switch: Chest presses first, then give breaths — New guidelines issued by the American Heart Association switch up the steps for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, telling rescuers to start with hard, fast chest presses before giving mouth-to-mouth. In an interview with The Associated Press, Dr. Ahamed Idris, professor of surgery, said people are sometimes afraid that they’ll hurt the patient. “We want to make sure people understand they’re not going to hurt the person they’re doing CPR on by pressing as hard as they can,” he said. Dr. Idris, who directs the Dallas-Fort Worth Center for Resuscitation Research, said in the story that for the last two years, his group has been advising local paramedics to start with chest compressions and keep them up with minimal interruptions. That, along with intensive training, has helped improve survival rates. The wire service story ran worldwide, appearing in more than 300 media outlets.

Holiday 2010 /