Penn Medicine News Blog Archive: Surgery

Reduce the Use: One Patient’s Experience with Opioids

By Abbey Anderson | August 29, 2016 | Comments Pump

The biggest concern for some patients awaiting surgery is going under anesthesia and the intense and often uncontrollable pain they may experience after the procedure. But for one woman, the concern was about the potential side effects of the post-operative pain medications she would be prescribed. In 2014, south Philadelphia... Read more

A Dose of Music

By Greg Richter | July 14, 2016 | Comments Operating-room

The world of music has been embraced by medicine since 4000 BC, when "hallelujah to the healer" was played as a contribution to payment for medical care. The ancient Greeks referred to Apollo as the father of healing and music. While music as payment stopped long ago, it continued to... Read more

The Skinny on the Weight Loss Balloon

By Abbey Anderson | July 6, 2016 | Comments Balloon

With beach season now in full swing, it’s not surprising that the latest weight loss balloon has been making headlines. The newest balloon, known technically as an intragastric balloon, is a space-occupying device which is placed in the stomach by swallowing a pill, and then inflated – a new design... Read more

Precision Medicine Takes Center Stage at Penn

By John Shea | June 27, 2016 | Comments image from

What once was called “personalized medicine” at Penn used to be practiced primarily by individuals or small groups of researchers and clinicians drawn to its possibilities. But as the cover story in the Summer 2016 issue of Penn Medicine demonstrates, the ability to harness vast amounts of information and apply... Read more

Bombs, Bugs, and Bodies: A Curious Interview with Mary Roach

By Robert Press | June 20, 2016 | Comments Mary-Roach-(c)-Jen-Siska

Mary Roach | | Photo by Jen Siska Perhaps it’s because I don’t have any specific beat to cover, or perhaps it’s because I just get bored writing about one thing over and over, but going through my post history on this blog reveals a bit of a wandering... Read more

Time Keeps on Slipping

By Robert Press | May 25, 2016 | Comments Untitled-1

Working at Penn Medicine does weird things to your perception of time, and not in the way that involves staring at the clock. When I was very little, I remember walking with my parents through the Shore Mall in Egg Harbor Township and passing over a bronze plaque on display... Read more

Mind Over Matter: Mental Health Conditions in Bariatric Surgery Patients

By Abbey Anderson | April 20, 2016 | Comments image from

Many would argue that more attention needs to be paid mental health issues in the United States. In recent months, this topic has been picking up steam with attention from the Chicago Tribune in an article that stresses the need to end mental health stigma. More pop culture-focused outlets are... Read more

Penn Medicine Year in Review 2015

By Greg Richter | December 23, 2015 | Comments Year_in_review

Before we celebrate the New Year – perhaps by experiencing the ball drop in Times Square or the always entertaining Mummers Parade on New Year’s Day in Center City – let’s reflect on a few of the many ways that Penn Medicine advanced patient care, research, and medical education in... Read more

Debunking Hospital Lore (Again)

By Steve Graff | November 11, 2015 | Comments Landing-education

It seems to come up every July, when the new batch of residents, most fresh out of medical school, begins their hospital rotations. Will the quality of health care decrease during this changeover, as less-experienced doctors move in and start to treat patients? Results from hundreds of studies over the... Read more

It’s Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day!

By Katie Delach | October 21, 2015 | Comments BRA Day

It’s BRA Day! Yes, you read that right. While much of October is focused on raising awareness around research and education for patients or families at risk for breast cancer, today is the day we pause to promote education, awareness, and access regarding post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day... Read more

Zion Harvey's Visit with Dr. Levin

By Robert Press | September 10, 2015 | Comments

If you follow the news at all, chances are that you've heard the name Zion Harvey. In the beginning of the summer, the eight-year-old made headlines around the world as the first pediatric patient to ever receive a bilateral hand transplant. The transplant team, which included nearly two dozen individuals... Read more

What E3 Can Teach Us About the Future of Medicine

By Robert Press | June 17, 2015 | Comments

If you follow technology with any kind of regularity, chances are you’re keeping your eyes on Los Angeles this week for the 21st annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). It’s an event that always keeps me glued to a bunch of different news outlets for a few days — but because... Read more

Ask an Expert: Dr. Puneet Masson, MD, Talks Vasectomies

By Greg Richter | November 4, 2014 | Comments Masson_Puneet_MD_32

Two years ago, a filmmaker and a physician created World Vasectomy Day, an annual observance on November 7 to increase patient awareness regarding vasectomies and make them more available in remote parts of the world. Now in its second year, this day has the support of more than 200 physicians... Read more

Penn Medicine News: Now in Video Form!

By Robert Press | August 11, 2014 | Comments

One of the things I love most about technology — and specifically, the Internet — is that it has made the dissemination of information easier than ever before. I’m typing this on a laptop that is only slightly larger than a textbook but could, in no time at all, download... Read more

Behind the Scenes of Bloodless Medicine and Surgery

By Olivia Fermano | June 6, 2014 | Comments image from

Annual spring symposium reenacts bloodless patient visit In May, the Center for Bloodless Medicine & Surgery (CBMS) at Pennsylvania Hospital welcomed over 100 guests to their annual spring symposium for a behind the scenes look at what it’s like to be and treat a bloodless patient. Yes, bloodless. The term... Read more

Breast Reduction Not a Magic Fix for Weight Loss

By Kim Menard | May 27, 2014 | Comments image from

A new trend has started emerging in an unlikely area: Penn Plastic Surgeons have encountered an influx of women looking for a breast reduction surgery as a primary tool for weight loss. While there may be no magic solution to mastering the scales, experts suggest going back to the basics, and recommend that people dedicate time and energy to taking good care of themselves. Read more

PPMC's Take Your Child to Work Day 2014 — in photos!

By Robert Press | May 9, 2014 | Comments

Penn Presbyterian Medical Center (PPMC)’s annual Take Your Child to Work Day — wherein hundreds of children are led through various stations in the hospital, learning about the inner workings and interesting aspects of a daily job at the hospital — fell on April 24 this year, and featured stations... Read more

Another Wound Bites the Dust - All-Star Team Treats Chronic and Complex Wounds

By Kim Menard | March 7, 2014 | Comments

The new Penn Center for Wound Healing and Reconstruction – to treat people dealing with unrelenting wounds – aims to simplify the process by bringing a cadre of specialists together, centering around patient needs.

Master Clinicians, Then and Now

By John Shea | February 24, 2014 | Comments

Last year, all three of the University of Pennsylvania Health System’s hospitals were recognized by U.S. News & World Report as among the top 10 hospitals in Pennsylvania. To achieve that kind of recognition, it follows that Penn Medicine has plenty of highly skilled clinicians. A new program, supported by... Read more

Knee-Deep in the 2014 Winter Olympics

By Katie Delach | February 20, 2014 | Comments image from

Image courtesy of Alessando Trovati/AP For six days, the world has watched, waited, and celebrated as their countries’ preeminent athletes have competed for medals, records, and ultimately a place in history among Olympic greats. The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi have unfolded with every bit of excitement and glory that... Read more

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