Embarrassing Old Bodies Special
Sunday 22nd November 2009, 9pm Channel 4
The Embarrassing Bodies clinic has opened its doors for a one off special looking at the conditions and problems that affect older people. It’s a fact that we’re going to have to get used to living longer in older bodies, and the EB doctors are here to show that there’s nothing embarrassing about getting old.
First through the clinic doors is Derek who is suffering from a condition that is very common in women, but is much less understood in men. The condition is called andropause, and is where a man’s testosterone levels dip, causing irritability, lack of energy and a lowered sex drive. Fortunately the condition is simple to treat using a testosterone replacement therapy.
Dr Christian takes his dad with him on a visit to the clinic to find out how the body ages, as we get older. Both of them are scanned using an MRI scanner, allowing Dr Christian to compare how the body changes internally as we get older.
The doctors have set up a free clinic for the over 65s in Benidorm, where Dr Christian meets Patricia, whose foot has become mangled by an enormous bunion that has left her in constant pain. Dr Christian thinks that the situation has got so bad that surgery is the only option. Fortunately for Patricia, the new techniques are so effective that she will be in and out of the clinic within a day.
Patricia’s Operation was a 3 Dimensional Osteotomy of the MTI Joint which is done in 3 important steps:
1. Realignment of the big toe to a 10-15 degree angle
2. Reconstruction of the square and the longitudinal arch by uplifting; using the existing ligament structure
3. De-rotating the big toe to a normal position of the nail showing upright again
All is done in one procedure without additional incisions.
The diagnosis is not so simple for another lady who’s come to the clinic with a resumption of her periods, four years after she had finished the menopause. Dr Pixie is concerned enough to send her for further tests, as this a potentially serious problem.
Our next patient is Jagjivan who is suffering from an extremely common problem – poor hearing. Jagjivan is suffering from presbycusis, which is an age related problem that destroys the small hairs in the inner ears. Following a series of hearing tests, specialist audiologist Mr Paul Checkley diagnoses the specific frequencies that Jagjivan is having problems with, allowing him to be fitted with a digital hearing aid that just amplifies these frequencies.
71-year-old Colin visits the EB clinic because he is suffering from heat and pain in his ankle as a result of a varicose vein. This is even more of a problem for Colin, as he spends all day on his feet as a full-time restaurant manager. Dr Pixie thinks that if the varicose veins are not removed, he may well suffer some ulceration in the future. Fortunately these veins are not important, and can be removed with a simple operation.
Another visitor to Dr Pixie is David, who has suffered with a problem foreskin for most of his adult life. This condition is known as phimosis, where the foreskin cannot retract back over the head of the penis properly. The result is discomfort, and possible infection due to difficulty in cleaning the penis. On seeing a specialist, the best course of action is a prepuceplasty where the foreskin is sliced laterally down to allow more room for the penis to expand.
The Benidorm clinic sees Malcolm come through the door to talk about his problem knee. He is suffering from osteoarthritis, which is where the knee joint is grinding against itself. Long term, a new knee might be required, but until that point Malcolm just needs to keep active, and occasionally take anti-inflammatories.
Wendy visits the clinic with one of the most embarrassing problems that a person can have, double incontinence. She’s determined not to have to suffer any more with this condition that totally dominates her life. Dr Christian recommends a revolutionary new treatment that involves a nerve implant into the base of the spine. Surgeon Mr Andrew Clarke performs the operation and the result is fantastic, as Wendy regains almost total use of her bowel and urinary muscles.
If you’re suffering from continence problems then you can watch a special webchat with Mr Andrew Clarke on Thursday 10th December at 2pm (GMT). Go to www.webchats.tv to submit your questions ahead of the live chat.
And finally through the clinic door is Richard, who thought he was suffering from a simple case of prostatitis which turned out to be a far more serious form of prostate cancer. Richard determines to undergo keyhole surgery from Mr Alan Doherty, which will involve the removal of the whole prostate. The operation is a success and a few weeks later he finds out the news he and his wife had been hoping for.
The EB team would like to thank:
Benidorm Tourist Board
Sunrise Senior Living
European Foot Institute
Dr Dieter F.O Nollau, Orthopaedic Surgeon at Clinic Nine
Mr Manu Nair, Consultant Urologist at Spire Parkway Hospital
Mr Andrew Clarke, Consultant Surgeon at BMI Harbour Hospital
Mr Alan Doherty, BMI Priory Hospital, Birmingham
Mr Paul Checkley, Audiologist at Harley Street Hearing Clinic
Dr Malcolm Carruthers, Andropause Specialist at The Centre for Mens Health
Mr Mo Baguneid, Consultant Vascular Surgeon at Spire Manchester
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