World Hepatitis Day: knowing the viruses

Yesterday the world observed the “World Hepatitis Day” that was created to raise awareness about this condition. There are five different types of hepatitis: A, B, C, D and E. Viruses B and C are the deadliest ones. Nowadays, Portugal is one of the most successful countries in the world dealing with Hepatitis C.

An image of a doctor writing on a notepad. and a piece of text saying "world hepatitis day 2016"

Hepatitis viruses have different incubation periods and can be symptomless for many years. In fact, less than 5% of infected individuals with hepatitis B and C know that they are infected – even nowadays, when it’s possible to detect Hepatitis with a simple blood test. Among those who are aware that they have hepatitis, the vast majority does not get any type of treatment. In a recent press release by the World Health Organization (WHO), Director General Dr. Margaret Chan says: “The world has ignored hepatitis at its peril. It is time to mobilize a global response to hepatitis on the scale similar to that generated to fight other communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.”

The five virus’ types are very distinct and spread in different ways. Transmission of types A and E are linked to eating contaminated food and drinking contaminated water, and is most common in regions that lack access to safe water, as well as in poor sanitation conditions. Hepatitis B and C commonly spread when blood-to-blood contact occurs, through unsafe injections, syringe sharing and medical procedures, during childbirth (from mother to child), and through sexual contact. Hepatitis D is also transmitted via infected blood, however, it only occurs if the person is already infected with the hepatitis B virus.

Currently, Portugal has an unique approach against hepatitis C, offering universal treatment covering people in all stages of the disease, unlike other countries that only treat more advanced cases. Another example of Portugal’s leading expertise on the field is the participation of Dr. Ana Cláudia Miranda, a specialist in infectious diseases, who represents Portugal at “Committed to Cure”, an European initiative to help cure Hepatitis C – in which only countries with solid and renown expertise in Hepatitis C are invited to be part of. 

Like most diseases, it is helpful to keep in mind that prevention and an early diagnosis are the key to stay healthy. If you are planning on coming to Portugal this summer, take the opportunity and look after your health. We will gladly arrange the right check-up for you, based on your needs, preferences and availability.

Source: World Health Organization, World Hepatitis Day, World Hepatitis Alliance, SOS Hepatites, Committed to Cure

 

medicalport-banner-01

Click here

July 28 celebrates World Hepatitis Day

Hepatitis is the seventh leading cause of death and disability in the world according to a recently released report from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. Over 90% of deaths are linked to hepatitis B and C. Early diagnosis could save many lives.

A graphic explains that 400 million people are infected with hepatitis B and C, only 5% are aware they are infected and only 1 in 100 people gets treatment.

World Hepatitis Day was set up in 2010 by the World Health Organization to raise awareness about viral hepatitis and promote access to better treatment and prevention programmes.

Hepatitis is a liver inflammation caused by a virus. There are five hepatitis viruses: A, B, C, D and E. Treating hepatitis can be a simple process (or it can be untreatable), depending on the type of hepatitis, its stage of development and the damage already done to the liver. In the worst scenarios, acute or chronic hepatitis can lead to more serious problems such as cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure. Over 90% of hepatitis-related deaths are linked to viruses B and C.

Portugal is one of the countries that has registered a great progress against hepatitis. Earlier this year, a successful and innovative treatment for Hepatitis C in Portugal – with a healing rate of 95% – has been praised within the medical community.

An early diagnosis can make the difference. Hepatitis can be detected with a simple blood test that you can choose to include in your next check-up. If you are visiting Portugal, we can arrange a complete check-up for you, according to your needs.

In the next blog post we will explain the different hepatitis viruses and their transmission modes.

Source: World Health Organization, World Hepatitis Day, World Hepatitis Alliance, SOS Hepatites

 

medicalport-banner-01

Click here

Causes of hypertension

May is the month of Hypertension awareness at Health Abroad. It is estimated that 4 in 10 adults globally suffer from hypertension. Raising awareness to the disease is important to put the spotlight in the preventive measures that can be taken to lower these numbers.

According to UK’s National Health System (NHS), the cause of 90% of hypertension cases isn’t known and this is called primary hypertension. Only 10% of hypertension cases have known causes and it’s called secondary hypertension, meaning it is originated by other diseases or conditions.

Several factors can be responsible for the development of primary hypertension:

  • Age – hypertension risk increases with age
  • Hereditary – hypertension seems to be inherited from family members
  • Consume of daily excessive amounts of salt
  • Lack of physical exercise
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Smoking
  • Drink alcohol in excess.

Secondary hypertension, although less common, can be originated from several causes:

  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Narrowing the arteries supplying the kidneys
  • Hormonal conditions
  • Conditions like lupus
  • Use of oral contraceptive pill
  • Use of painkillers

As a reference for those who believe they might have high blood pressure, there are four different blood pressure levels:

  1. Normal: less than 120 over 80
  2. Prehypertension: 120-139 over 80-89
  3. Stage 1 high blood pressure: 140-159 over 90-99
  4. Stage 2 high blood pressure: 160 and above over 100 and above

When people reach levels of blood pressure above 120 over above 80, they should go see a doctor and start to treat and control the condition right away. While it can be a normal body response to increase blood pressure momentarily, increased continuous values of high blood pressure are indicative of a condition and not a body response.

If you would like to learn more about hypertension you can read our previous post that answers to 3 common questions about hypertension. Our next post will be about the World Hypertension Day and why this day is observed all over the world.

 

medicalport-banner-01

Click here

Gastric band surgery

Gastric band surgery is one of the most common weight-loss surgeries performed today. It is also known as laparoscopic gastric band or lap band surgery and consists of constricting the stomach to give a fuller feeling after eating less food than the person would normally do.

Those who undergo this type of weight-loss surgery are obese people who want to achieve weight-loss goals while going under minimally invasive surgery. According to Medical News Today, “it is a minimally invasive, quick, reversible and adjustable surgical procedure that decreases the size of the stomach to reduce food intake”.

According to Medical News Today these are some of the advantages of gastric band:

  • Potential for long-term weight loss, which leads to, increased mobility and decreased risk for chronic diseases.
  • Reversibility: the band can be removed and adjusted. Depending on the results the band can be tightened or loosened and even removed if the patient isn’t loosing enough weight or didn’t adapt to the band.
  • Since the stomach isn’t cut, the normal digestive process isn’t affected.
  • Short hospital stay: usually the hospital stay required is less than 24 hours and even same-day discharge is often possible.
  • Lower complications when compared to other weight loss surgeries and less demands of dietary changes.
Gastric Band Surgery
Gastric Band Surgery

Gastric band surgery is appropriate for those who are diagnosed with obesity by medical standards and after several exams. Medical Port developed an exclusive obesity diagnosis program, which includes a thorough examination of the causes of excess weight, includes exams and analysis and consultations from several medical specialities before a final diagnosis is issued. After being diagnosed, the patient starts a diet so that when the gastric band is in place, besides from having lost some weight already, the patient as also gain new eating habits and is ready to stick to a new healthy lifestyle.

If you would like more information about Medical Port’s obesity diagnosis program, click here.

 

medicalport-banner-01

Click here

Medical risk map for 2016 puts Portugal with low risk

International SOS releases every year a worldwide medical rating that rates countries by their health care risk.

Considering there is risk everywhere, due to many factors, many countries have a good standard of medical care and that means they pose a low risk for who goes under medical care there.

The medical rating is based on the standard of local medical and dental care available, the access to prescription drugs, the presence of serious infectious diseases and cultural, language or administrative barriers to access health care.

The rating divides countries by very high, high, medium, low medical risk and rapidly developing.

Most countries in Europe and North America have a low medical risk, including Portugal.

The low medical risk medical is defined by: “International standard of care throughout the country. Most specialist care widely available. High quality emergency and dental services and a wide range of prescription drugs available. Low risk of infectious diseases.”

Countries like Turkey, Poland, Hungary, and Mexico are considered medium risk countries for medical care. These countries are known for their low prices for health care and are popular among those who chose to go abroad for medical care. Although there are great health care facilities in these countries, a quality standard isn’t always met and in some cases the medical care goes wrong and patients get serious injuries.

In Portugal the access to medical care is widely available in both public and private facilities and Portuguese medical professionals are recognized internationally for their work.

Medical Port has partnered with the most outstanding health care facilities and doctors to give our clients the access to the best options and provide effective treatments.

Learn more about the Travel Risk Map here.

Learn more about Medical Port here.

 

medicalport-banner-01

Click here

Breast augmentation surgery

The most common way to perform a breast augmentation is to insert silicone gel implants into the breast.

This technique has been used for over 40 years and is proven to be both safe and with low complication rates.

The surgery for breast augmentation is usually simple and can be performed under local or general anesthesia, sometimes performed as an outpatient procedure.

There are several ways to insert the silicone gel implants into the breast (as you can see in the picture below), the incision can be made along the lower edge of the areola, in the axilla, or in the inframammary fold. The implant is inserted either in the submammary, or in the submuscular area.

Breast augmentation surgery incisions

 

Silicon gel implants can be filled with silicon itself or with saline, both implants carry advantages and disadvantages. Both ways are a safe way to perform the surgery and both work for breast augmentation and breast reconstruction.

Saline breast implants contain a silicone outer shell filled with sterile saline before the surgery or filled when the implant is placed during the surgery. They are available in different sizes and have smooth or textured surfaces. They are less costly than silicone-filled products and implant ruptures are quickly detectable. Silicone gel-filled breast implants have a silicone outer shell filled with silicone gel of varying consistencies and features. Available in different sizes, they have smooth or textured surfaces and are more costly than saline-filled implants.

In order to ensure your breast augmentation surgery is done safely and by certified plastic surgeons, you should chose facilities not only for price, but most importantly chose doctors for their skill, training and the certification of the clinic or hospital.

With the increasing trend of travelling abroad for medical care and elective surgery, many decide based on overall price and not based on the doctors’, clinics’ or countries’ reputation.

Medical Port partnered with certified hospitals like Hospital Lusíadas Lisboa and Hospital Lusíadas Porto, which are certified by Joint Commission International to perform breast augmentation surgeries with top plastic surgeons using the latest techniques.

 

medicalport-banner-01

Click here

How to rejuvenate mature skin

As we age, different approaches should be taken in order to smooth the appearance of wrinkles and expression lines.

While some treatments are directed at the first signs of aging, others are especially targeted for mature skin. As time passes by, skin loses it fill and becomes saggy and wrinkles appear. Hyaluronic acid is a natural ingredient present in the skin matrix that tends to get lost over time.

A less invasive option than plastic surgery is the treatment with Skinboosters. Instead of going through an operation, people can opt for treat the signs of aging with a less painful and costly treatment that tries to fill the skin from the inside, giving it the volume the skin used to have. Skinboosters is a brand of hyaluronic acid injections to restore the skin hydration, increasing its smoothness, elasticity and firmness.

Hyaluronic acid injections reduce effectively the visible signs of volume loss, giving the skin a natural look after the treatment.

Since Skinboosters are aimed at a more mature skin, the areas where they can be applied goes beyond the face. It can be used in the neck, décolletage, and hands since these areas are also very much affected by sun exposure which causes premature aging skin. Skinboosters help revitalize and hydrate the skin.

Treatment with Skinboosters is a well-known method of rejuvenating mature skin in need of additional hydration, aimed at its rejuvenation and at a dermal fill similar to the one displayed during youth. The initial treatment plan should start with 3 treatments, 4 weeks apart between them. The treatment should be repeated every 6 months to maintain results.

The application of Skinboosters with hyaluronic acid should be made in certified facilities, so that the patient is totally confident. That is why Medical Port partners exclusively with the top healthcare providers in Portugal. Hospital Lusiadas Lisboa and Hospital Lusiadas Porto are two of the best private hospitals in Portugal, with international accreditation from Joint Commission International. You can be totally confident that your dermatological treatment will be successful and performed by the best specialists in the field. The clinical body in these hospitals has extensive experience in dermo-cosmetics, guaranteeing the best results.

 

medicalport-banner-01

Click here

Botox injections – 5 things to know about wrinkle treatment

Aging is transversal to every human being. Some wish to get around those visible signs of by doing dermo-cosmetic treatments, in order to look younger and better about their appearance.

The face is usually the most visible place where signs of aging appear. The face is exposed to several external factors that accelerate the process of aging like gravity, sun exposure, and environmental damage, among others.

The application of Botulinum Toxin is one of the most common treatments used to relieve the visible signs of wrinkles and expression lines. Differing from wrinkles caused by sun exposure, expression lines in the face have their origin in muscular contraction, a voluntary or involuntary reflex of the way we convey feelings.

A common brand of this toxin is called Botox, although many other brands are authorized to produce Botulinum Toxin in order to soften expression lines.

Before considering having this rejuvenating treatment abroad, here are 5 things you should know:

  1. Ensure you’re getting to treatment done by a medical professional.

    This is a medical procedure that should only be performed by a medical professional, neither by a cosmetic expert nor by a nurse.

  2. The application of Butolinic Toxin should be done in certified facilities in which the patient can have total confidence.

    Ask for certification references.

  3. Make sure the communication between you and the medical staff runs smoothly and start the treatment only when all your doubts are clarified.

    Usually a pre-assessment consultation is the best way to know the doctor and to get the doctor to know you.

  4. The treatment isn’t permanent.

    You should repeat the injections every 3 to 4 months.

  5. The three most common areas for injections are in the glabella (the space between the eyebrows), the area around the eyes known for “crow’s feet” and the forehead.

    This treatment can also be applied to the entire face and neck.

This anti-aging treatment is performed through small injections in the skin muscles with a fine needle. When injected in the muscles, it blocks the nerve activity, smoothing the appearance of hyper-functional lines. Through the inhibition of neurotransmission between the peripheral nerve endings and muscle fibres, Botulin Toxin weakens or paralyzes skeletal muscle. The procedure takes around 20 minutes and no anesthesia is needed.

By partnering with the top private facilities in Portugal, Medical Port ensures to its customers access to the best medical care. Hospital Lusíadas Lisboa and Hospital Lusíadas Porto are two of the most modern health care providers in Portugal, with accreditation by Joint Commission International plus an experienced Dermo-cosmetics Team. This way we make sure your Botox treatment benefits from the bests professionals in the field, an adequate medical follow-up and appropriate facilities, facts that contribute decisively to successful results.

 

medicalport-banner-01

Click here

Most common plastic surgery procedures

Plastic surgery is increasingly popular all over the world. The number of procedures done increases every year and no signs of deceleration emerge.

There are two types of plastic surgery patients: the ones who always wanted it, and the ones who only realize the need for plastic surgery at a certain point in their lives.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of procedures in the United States in 2014 rose 3%, with a total of 16.5 million surgeries performed.

Although some surgeries see increased popularity from year to year, other procedures are always on trend. The most common procedures are: liposuction, breast augmentation, nose reshaping (also known as “nose job”), abdominoplasty (commonly known as “tummy tuck”), and facelift.

Weight-loss surgeries are also on the rise due to obesity, which is a global issue. After weight-loss surgeries, many patients want plastic surgery to correct the sagging and excess skin. Only after the complete weight-loss period the person should look for plastic surgery, as the weight must be stabilized. The reshaping surgeries are abdominoplasty, breast lift, upper arm lift, and tight lift. These surgeries are beneficial both for the psychological and physical wellness of the patient.

Recurring to plastic surgery is no longer only accessible to wealthy people, it is widely available all over the world. Some prefer to do it at a local hospital or clinic and others prefer to do plastic surgery abroad. Those who decide to have a surgery abroad do so because they are looking for the expertise of a well-known practitioner or hospital reputation, for money saving reasons, and even for privacy concerns. To decide where to have your plastic surgery done, three variables need to be taken into consideration: the expertise of the doctor – that needs to have a specialization in plastic surgery, the quality of the materials used in the surgery, namely the implants, and the safety of the environment where the surgery is going to be performed. The price of the surgery is conditioned by these three variables, so take care when the prices are very very low – some things might have been cut. In Portugal, plastic surgery is a common practice and the Portuguese plastic surgeons are known for their skill and experience.

Medical Port offers surgery options in hospital context in various procedures like breast augmentation, liposuction or facelift. If you like to know more about plastic surgery abroad, contact us.

Weight loss surgery abroad

For the past few years, weight loss surgeries have seen great evolution, allowing those who suffer from excess weight to find the most adequate solution to lose the unhealthy mass and start a new life.

Weight loss surgery is performed not only for weight loss itself (the visible aspect and the most immediate one), but also for disease prevention and overall health improvement. Those who suffer excess weight can develop several diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol, heart diseases, high blood pressure, and joint problems, among others. Lose weight is a struggle for those who suffer from excess weight and have a history of unsuccessful tries.

According to Stanford Health, “Obesity has a far-ranging negative effect on health. Each year obesity-related conditions cost over 150 billion dollars and cause an estimated 300,000 premature deaths in the US.”

Patients for weight loss surgery are subject to careful evaluation from several specialists, including nutritionists and psychologists.

The nutritionist will be interested in reviewing with the patient the bad eating habits and creating new ones. The psychologist will be reviewing the possible causes of the excess weight, and work with the patient to overcome and control them before the surgery. The psychologist will also help the patient deal with the uncertainty of the final outcome and the struggles associated to weight loss. Along with psychological support and nutritional advice, health professionals guide patients during several months before and after the surgery in order to guarantee the success of the procedure lasts for the long term. For those considering weight loss surgery it is important to keep in mind that a change in lifestyle is the first step to the successful outcome of the surgery. Individuals who undergo this kind of surgery must be prepared to eat well, exercise often and maintain healthy habits after the surgery so that there is an actual long-term change. These individuals will need to be always on track of their goals and stay motivated.

No long-term results can be achieved without a change in the individual mind-set.

Medical Port developed programs for those who would like to have weight loss surgery abroad, including the initial assessment and diagnosis of obesity, the surgery and the overall treatment. If you would like to learn more about these programs, click here. In order to contact us, please send an email or call us at +351 220 973 751.

 

medicalport-banner-01

Click here