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Mountain sickness

Mountain sickness or altitude sickness occurs as a result of lower oxygen at higher altitude along with reduced air pressure. It is a series of symptoms such as dizziness, headache, nausea and loss of appetite.

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a mild form of Altitude sickness which is caused by climbing to greater than 8000 feet (2400 meters above sea level). Hypoxemia - the hypoxia resulting from high altitude, in susceptible individuals can occur owing to poor acclimatization. High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) is a serious condition that may affect people prone to Acute mountain sickness. This edema is the accumulation of fluid from pulmonary blood vessels in lungs. This results in shortness of breath, rapid pulse and cough with bloody sputum. If not treated in time, coma and then death might be a possibility.

High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE), though rare is the most life threatening form of Altitude sickness where cerebral edema occurs with symptoms other than those of Mountain sickness can include severe headache, loss of coordination, speech abnormalities, altered level of consciousness and seizures. This condition is fatal unless treated in time. Treatment begins with descent to a lower altitude and oxygen therapy. It is suggested to take Dexamethasone to reduce cerebral edema.

Mountain sickness happens with those who have tried to reach faster. If a person suffering from a severe episode of altitude sickness, problems such as shortness of breath, cyanosis, chest constriction and inability to walk might be noticed. It is easier to treat the early signs of mountain sickness. Returning to lower altitude is the safest step. Additional oxygen must be given. Severe symptoms that might arise are pulmonary edema, cerebral edema or retinal hemorrhage. Rest and oxygen usually helps most persons suffering mountain sickness. Aspirin can be taken for headache but sleeping medications must not be taken as they can slow down breathing. A diuretic like Acetazolamide is prescribed. High altitude edema is best treated with Nifedipine.


Thoracentesis or pleural fluid aspiration is a procedure that involves removal of fluid from the space between the lining of the pleura and the chest wall. Fluid is withdrawn with the aid of a needle passed through the skin of the chest wall into the pleural space. An analysis of the pleural effusion can indicate pulmonary embolism, hemothorax, Pancreatitis, pneumonia, heart failure or thyroid disease. Thoracentesis can aid in relieving pressure caused by accumulation of excess pleural fluid. A chest x-ray is taken before and after the Thoracentesis process. Do not move or cough while the diagnostic test is being conducted. Patients who have had lung surgery or lung disease such as emphysema may have difficulty with Thoracentesis. Pneumothorax, pulmonary edema or respiratory distress are rare complications associated with thoracentesis. It is essential to keep the doctor posted of any medications such as blood thinners or known allergies.


Liposuction surgery uses high vacuum attached to special probes known as cannula into the fleshy parts of the body. The fat cells are then sucked out thereby creating a contour to the body part. Liposuction surgery is also referred to as lipoplasty or lip sculpture. This procedure is often resorted to by those suffering from morbid obesity. Some persons are at higher risk of complications due to liposuction surgery. Those with a history of lupus, clotting disorders, diabetes, heart or lung disease or hypertension or endocrine disorders must take suitable medical guidance before resorting to liposuction surgery.

Tumescent liposuction

Tumescent liposuction was a major advancement in the liposuction surgical process. This breakthrough process involves filling the fatty layer of skin with a diluted solution of local anesthesia (lidocaine) and other medication prior to the surgical process. The liquid causes the compartments of fat to become swollen or 'tumescent'. This process allows the plastic surgeon to safely and effectively remove the excess layers of fat with little discomfort. Large volumes of a local anesthetic along with epinephrine drug are used to shrink capillaries and thereby minimize blood loss. The skin is helped in the contraction and healing process by an elastic compression garment. Tumescent liposuction can be power-assisted by a mechanical cannula so that fatty tissues are removed with increased precision. This type of precision liposuction is generally used on the face, neck, arms and calves.

Benefits of tumescent liposuction are reduced bleeding, fewer skin irregularities and consequently faster recovery. This surgical liposuction procedure can be done sans costly hospital stays and therefore exorbitant charges can be avoided. Sometimes side effects such as lumpiness and dimpling of the skin are seen. Another rare complication is pulmonary edema, which results in fluid accumulation in the lungs.

Tags: #Mountain sickness #Thoracentesis #Liposuction
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: July 23, 2024