Will an op sort my weak chin?
Q I HAVE always had a very weak chin and have decided to do something about it. Can you tell me what happens during an operation to have it fixed and is it successful?
A THOUSANDS of chin augmentation ops are done very successfully every year. One approach is to make a cut inside the mouth along the lower gum. The surgeon makes a second cut through the jaw bone which is moved to the desired position and wired or screwed in place.
When only a little bit of augmentation is needed, the surgeon may use real bone or an implant made of silicone, Teflon, or Dacron. It is unusual for these ops to be done on the NHS so you will probably have to pay.
Q MY son has developed cancer and needs chemotherapy.
I have been told we need to get rid of his dog but he is heartbroken, and says he would rather die than lose her?
A CHEMOTHERAPY can leave patients vulnerable to infection but if you decide to keep the dog, there are a few things you can do to minimise the risk.
Keep your dog clean and healthy, make sure that all vaccinations are up-to-date and keep it indoors as much as possible. Only feed it bought pet food as animals can get infections from undercooked or raw meat so no bones from the butcher. Speak to your vet and your son's specialist for more advice.
Q MY husband has been increasingly irritable over the last few weeks. He sleeps poorly and hardly eats anything. He is retired so there are no pressures from work. Am I just being sensitive or should I be worried?
A YOU know your husband best and if you think there is a problem then there probably is. It could be many things but in men irritability is sometimes a sign of depression. I would speak to him about how he is feeling and suggest that he speak to his doctor if he is feeling low.
Q I HAVE to go for an IVP - intravenous pyelogram - to investigate a kidney problem. I am very worried about it as I hate hospitals. Can you tell me what it involves?
A IVP is a type of X-ray specifically designed to study the kidneys, bladder and ureters (the tubes which carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder).
An iodine-based dye is injected into a vein then a series of images are taken at timed intervals. The kidneys are responsible for removing the dye from the blood and collecting it in urine. You will need to urinate immediately prior the procedure to ensure the bladder is empty and intravenous access will be placed in a vein of an arm.
An initial X-ray will be taken with you lying face-up.
Once the injection of dye is complete you will have to remain still during the procedure, which may take up to one hour. I have had this done and I can assure you it is painless.
Q I AM a pretty heavy smoker and have been for years. I have always had a bad smoker's cough, but recently I have been noticing flecks of blood in the phlegm, especially in the mornings. My wife keeps on at me to go to the doctor, but I think this is pretty normal for a smoker. What should I do?
A YOU should definitely go to see the doctor.
Coughing up blood is never normal and whilst it may be due to an infection it could also be the sign of something more serious.
You need to have your chest X-rayed and you must also stop smoking, as it will only make matters worse if you continue.
Q DOES chicken soup help cure a cold or is it an old wives' tale?
A Chicken soup has been a popular home remedy for the cold since the 12th century.
The steam may open up congested noses and throats. Soup also provides fluid, which is important for fighting infection.