What's Ahead for Health in 2008
Experts predict medical trends in the new year.
Plastic Surgery: Less Is More continued...
Overall, "men and women will be opting for less in terms of the result
and going with injectables because there is no downtime and no recovery
time," he says.
"The other thing that we will see is growth in products to use at
home," he says. "Eventually there may be an effective cream or
treatment that would match the injectables and fillers."
Still, plastic surgeons won't be going out of business anytime soon.
"There are still lots of things that the knife can do that needles and
creams can't," he says. For example, plastic surgeons will use 2008 as time
to work on refining the proper sequencing for body-contouring following weight loss surgery. When
people experience such dramatic weight loss, they are often left with loose,
and opt to undergo multiple body-contouring surgeries such as tummy tucks, arm
lifts, and/or breast lifts to tighten and tone. Plastic surgeons are now trying
to determine the best order to perform such surgeries.
And one more thing, he adds. Just because pop star Britney Spears reportedly
underwent lipodissolve, don't expect this fat-dissolving technology to become
all the rage in 2008.
"We just don't have large studies looking at how effective it is and how
safe it is," Nahai says. "We should wait until we have studies that
prove its safety and then it will rapidly become very popular." There may
be some short-term results on lipodissolve published in 2008.
Rheumatology: New Drug Alert
Leslie J. Crofford, MD, the Gloria W. Singletary Professor of Rheumatology
and the chief of rheumatology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, has
her eye on the prize in 2008. "I hope we will see another new biologic
approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in
2008," she tells WebMD. Specifically, she is referring to tocilizumab
(Actemra). This drug blocks an inflammatory chemical known as interleukin-6
(Il-6), and is in final stages of clinical trials.
Crofford says she is "really excited" about this drug for people who
may not respond to similar drugs. Biologic drugs block substances that cause or
worsen joint inflammation in RA. They copy the effects of chemicals made
by the immune system, which block inflammatory substances such as tumor
necrosis factor (TNF).