Kolkata: The remarkable ability of the human foetus to heal wounds without scars is still a mystery to scientists even after 30 long years. This yet unsolvable mystery if solved, with the help of stem cell research, would hugely impact India with its disease burden but has to be balanced with the need to fight poverty, said a globally prominent regenerative medicine expert.
“A clinical observation that has stood the test of time is that human fetal wounds from surgery performed in the second trimester (early fetal stage) heal without scarring.”
“Unlocking the secret would make Bill Gates look relatively poor,” said Andrew Burd, centenary professor, department of regenerative medicine and translational science, School of Tropical Medicine, here.
Burd explained for over 30 years, the biological secrets of scarless healing in the fetus have eluded researchers and at the same time the fascination for regeneration – salamanders and newts regenerating entire organs – has grown.
Advances in molecular biology and stem cell technology have spurred research and introduction of technologies to generate new tissues and replace diseased cells.
“By unlocking the secret, we can remove the diseases related to scarring and we won’t have lung, kidney or heart disease etc..”
“But for India, pumping in money to boost infrastructure for stem cell research is “a question of balance”.
“It is fighting poverty and illiteracy but it can’t ignore its burden of disease,” Burd told reporters at the ‘Frontiers in Translational and Regenerative Biology’ conference here on Sunday.
While the US is “far ahead”, China is “storming along” and Europe shows “exceptional quality of research”, India is a “late starter” in the domain, said Burd an expert in plastic and reconstructive surgery.
“There is a lack of understanding and political difficulties. What people need to understand is that we are not taking away human embryosa we are taking placentas and umbilical cords which are supposed to be thrown away,” said Burd, who was earlier associated with the Chinese University of Hong Kong and in the healthcare sector in Britain. (IANS)
There is a lot of care that one needs after a surgery
There are some certain ways of taking care after surgery which are more effective than the others
Have you recently gone through the unpleasant but necessary process of Surgery? Are you one of those went through the painful process of being under the knife multiple times? It is definitely a process that no matter how many times you are explained of the benefits, the possibility of the risks during and after the process dances before your eyes, more than the benefits.
Even though the period starting from the pre-operative to the recovery phase is specified and measurable in most of the cases, it might still seem like an indefinite period of suffering. Even though the patient is supported by the love and care of his dear ones and the healthcare providers, the agony of the process in its entirety is borne and understood by only by the patient.
Of course, the anxiety of the procedure is shared by even those within the medical field, who understand and can anticipate it well in advance. Your pain is your own. And it does not spare anyone.
But like Gautam Buddha quoted, ‘Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional’. One option is to prepare yourself to go through the pain, but it is wiser to follow some simple rules to free yourself from enduring the moments of agony and confusion.
Most of us spend every waking moment of the pre-operative period wondering the consequences of the surgery, be it a complicated procedure or a simple one. Every hospital has its own protocol for educating the patients about the procedure. Some of the medical staff explain them personally while some send written instructions. There are some others who are much more cautious and do both. But, not in all cases, the information is imbibed in the patients to the fullest. It is lost in the web of anxiety spun within the patient’s mind.
Even with all the efforts taken by your healthcare provider, if the purpose of the mission is lost, it is unfair to blame anyone. But, there is a way to avoid the situation. If the surgery is a pre-planned procedure, always approach your consultant, well in advance, before the day of the surgery, to clear your mind of some of those doubts that have clouded your ability to stay untroubled. Do not willingly withhold any medical history, known to you, about you. It is for the safety and well-being of the provider as well your own self. Make sure you arrive at the hospital early to complete your paperwork and do not procrastinate in this regard. The hassles of filling up the paperwork can amplify your stress levels. Do not ignore any symptom that you might have before the procedure. In your estimation, it might only be a slight fever or a rash, but for the success of the surgery, it is a huge detrimental factor. Report to your consultant immediately.
You might now be wondering that these might sound good enough for a preplanned, non-emergent surgery, but what about the emergency surgeries. As a member of the medical fraternity, I would suggest you stay calm and trust your provider. If you are still strong enough to converse, do ask and clear yourself of any doubts and hesitations regarding the procedure about to be performed. The community always holds the best interests for their patients.
Once the procedure is completed, then comes the phase of post-operative recovery. All is well that ends well and that end is not signaled at the end of the surgery but only after the successful sailing through the post-operative period. The period of post-operative care does not end with your stay at the hospital but continues well after your discharge. Although every effort is made by your provider, there might still be pain, once the anesthesia starts to wear off. The reactions of the human body to the medications is not always universal. Every patient requires a certain level of customization of care, due to the very fact that no one person is entirely like another. Their threshold levels do differ. It is hence safer to assume that you might not have the same symptoms as your neighbors.
Most of the procedures, do require a certain amount of effort to be invested, also by the patients in the post-operative period. It might be as simple as being cent percent complaint to the consumption of medications or performing the stipulated exercises in physiotherapy. Never fail to follow your Doctor’s instructions to the dot. Deviations can well cost you much more than you can recognize. Appropriate and “advised” postoperative care, is the only way you can make a complete and satisfying recovery.
There are some who take multiple consultations. It is alright to double check, cross-check with other consultants, but before the procedure. It is advisable to follow the instructions of your consultant after the procedure, to avoid confusions. Remember, you always receive some degree of tailored care. Your consultant knows more about what has been done. If in doubt, always report back to your consultant.
You have the right to enjoy good health. It does not matter if the right is entitled via your constitution or not. And the right can be made a reality partly by the effort of your healthcare provider and partly by you. The instructions given are not to torment you and the risks explained are not to scare you. If in doubt, always approach your Physician. Never leave aside those nagging doubts “for later”. It is wise to take an informed decision and to accomplish that, the ideal behavior as a patient would be to engage with your Physician in your treatment.