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What Is a Hair Transplant?
It’s a type of surgery that moves hair you already have to fill an area with thin or no hair. Doctors have been doing these transplants in the U.S. since the 1950s, but techniques have changed a lot in recent years.
You usually have the procedure in the doctor’s office. First, the surgeon cleans your scalp and injects medicine to numb the back of your head. Your doctor will choose one of two methods for the transplant: follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS) or follicular unit extraction (FUE).
With FUSS, the surgeon removes a 6- to 10-inch strip of skin from the back of your head. He sets it aside and sews the scalp closed. This area is immediately hidden by the hair around it.
In a rare personal message, California’s 77-year-old governor provided insight into his deliberations before deciding to sign a bill allowing terminally ill Californians to legally take their own lives, reflecting on religion and self-determination as he weighed an emotionally fraught choice.
Gov. Jerry Brown, a lifelong Catholic and former Jesuit seminarian, said he consulted a Catholic bishop, two of his own doctors and friends “who take varied, contradictory and nuanced positions.”
“In the end, I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death,” wrote the Democratic governor, who has been treated for prostate cancer and melanoma. “I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill.”
Brown’s signature on the right-to-die legislation Monday capped an intensely personal debate that dominated much of this year’s legislative session and divided lawmakers. Many lawmakers also drew on personal experience to explain their decisions to support or reject legislation making California the fifth state to allow terminally ill patients to use doctor-prescribed drugs to end their lives.
At the center of the debate was Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old California woman with brain cancer who drew national attention for her decision to move to Oregon to end her life.
In a video recorded days before Maynard took life-ending drugs, she told California lawmakers that the terminally ill should not have to “leave their home and community for peace of mind, to escape suffering and to plan for a gentle death.”
Maynard’s husband and mother were regular visitors to the Capitol, testifying at committee hearings and meeting with undecided lawmakers. Maynard’s mother, Debbie Ziegler, said Brown “listened with a compassionate heart and a discerning mind.”
Ziegler said in a statement that Brown’s decision “allows true principles of mercy to guide end-of-life care for the terminally ill in California.”
The measure applies only to mentally sound people and not those who are depressed or impaired. The bill includes requirements that patients be physically capable of taking the medication themselves, that two doctors approve it, that the patients submit several written requests and that there be two witnesses, one of whom is not a family member.
Supporters hope that adoption of right-to-die legislation in the nation’s most populous state will spur approval elsewhere, although legislation introduced this year in at least two dozen other states stalled. Doctors in Oregon, Washington, Vermont and Montana already can prescribe life-ending drugs.
The Catholic Church and advocates for people with disabilities opposed the legislation, saying it legalizes premature suicide and puts terminally ill patients at risk for coerced death. Opponents targeted Catholic Latino lawmakers, urging them to block its passage.
Opponents said Monday that they were disappointed the governor relied so heavily on his personal experience in his decision and that they were considering options to stop it.
As someone of wealth with access to the world’s best medical care, “the governor’s background is very different than that of millions of Californians living in health care poverty without that same access,” the group Californians Against Assisted Suicide said in a statement.
The passage of the bill by Assemblywoman Susan Eggman, D-Stockton, was the latest attempt to advance such legislation in California. A proposal earlier in the year stalled and the measure was brought back as part of a special session on health care. The law cannot take effect until the session formally ends, which probably will not happen until at least mid-2016.
What Is a Hernia?
A hernia occurs when an organ or fatty tissue squeezes through a weak spot in a surrounding muscle or connective tissue called fascia. The most common types of hernia are inguinal (inner groin), incisional (resulting from an incision), femoral (outer groin), umbilical (belly button), and hiatal (upper stomach).
The basics on hernias from the experts at WebMD.
In an inguinal hernia, the intestine or the bladder protrudes through the abdominal wall or into the inguinal canal in the groin. About 96% of all groin hernias are inguinal, and most occur in men because of a natural weakness in this area.
In an incisional hernia, the intestine pushes through the abdominal wall at the site of previous abdominal surgery. This type is most common in elderly or overweight people who are inactive after abdominal surgery.
A femoral hernia occurs when the intestine enters the canal carrying the femoral artery into the upper thigh. Femoral hernias are most common in women, especially those who are pregnant or obese.
In an umbilical hernia, part of the small intestine passes through the abdominal wall near the navel. Common in newborns, it also commonly afflicts obese women or those who have had many children.
A hiatal herniahappens when the upper stomach squeezes through the hiatus, an opening in the diaphragm through which the esophagus passes.
What Causes Hernias?
Ultimately, all hernias are caused by a combination of pressure and an opening or weakness of muscle or fascia; the pressure pushes an organ or tissue through the opening or weak spot. Sometimes the muscle weakness is present at birth; more often, it occurs later in life.
Anything that causes an increase in pressure in the abdomen can cause a hernia, including:
Lifting heavy objects without stabilizing the abdominal muscles
Diarrhea or constipation
Persistent coughing or sneezing
In addition, obesity, poor nutrition, and smoking, can all weaken muscles and make hernias more likely.