Q&A – Fall 2014

Have a question for our doctors? Drop us a line at editor@utsouthwestern.edu and we may address your query in a future issue.

How effective is hormone therapy in women?

“There’s a misconception that most problems in women are the result of hormonal imbalances. While hormonal imbalances can cause disease, there are numerous symptoms that are not related to hormones. Yet there is a tendency of some physicians (and ‘Wellness Clinics’) to prescribe hormone regimens that are not beneficial. Instead, a physician must understand the patient’s ovarian hormonal status in the context of her symptoms to determine if there is a true cause-and-effect relationship. Only then can a treatment be formulated that will be in her best interest. Additionally, it’s important for patients to fully understand what normal hormone production should be throughout the various life stages. Gynecologists should talk to patients about these issues, to educate them and help them understand their bodies and make the appropriate decisions.”

Ann Lutich, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology

What are some things that people should be aware of when considering a facial cosmetic procedure?

“You should schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. In advance of your appointment, identify specific areas you would like to discuss having improved. Keep in mind that there are many nonsurgical options that can help restore facial volume and a more youthful appearance, such as facial fillers and Botox. You should also consider seeing an aesthetician to optimize the quality of your skin prior to any procedure. They are a great adjunct to any invasive procedure.”

Keep in mind: Regardless of your interest in facial cosmetic procedures, the Texas sun can be especially damaging to your skin. Find the right sunscreen for you and be sure to wear it, no matter what age you are.

Tae Chong, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery

Can genetic factors predict the risk of developing an aneurysm?

“Some studies show that patients with first-degree family members (parents, siblings, and children) who have experienced an aneurysm are at greater risk for developing aneurysms themselves. This is true especially if that patient is female or has a history of tobacco use or hypertension. If an aneurysm is found, the risk for bleeding is higher than in the general public. The most effective and safe screening method for patients who are considered more likely to have an aneurysm is an MRA (magnetic resonance angiogram). UT Southwestern Neurological Surgery has built one of the largest databases on aneurysms in the world, evaluating not only the pathology of the disorder but also the effectiveness of neurological treatments.”

Babu Welch, M.D.
Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery and Radiology