QUESTION: Some time ago a doctor injected silicone into my nose just above the left nostril. Then the silicone started to come out.
I went back to the doctor and he removed an inch of hard white substance hanging out of a pore in my right nostril. But he couldn’t remove the rest of it.
My nose is now both uncomfortable and unbecoming. What should I do?
ANSWER: Silicone injections are still experimental procedures in this country. Even the experimental work was stopped for a time while the Food and Drug Administration investigated possible dangers.
Permission was recently granted to resume the experiments in all parts of the body except the breasts. Breasts were excluded because the presence of silicone makes cancer diagnoses more difficult.
Silicone injections are thought to be useful in correcting certain cosmetic imperfections, but any experimental procedure may backfire. Your physician has undoubtedly consulted with other researchers in this field regarding your case. Or he may wish to refer you to another plastic surgeon for a second opinion.
QUESTION: My girlfriend had a very unfortunate pregnancy before I met her.
She had a Caesarian section and because of complications her uterus had to be removed. She does have her ovaries, however.
I would like to impregnate my girlfriend but obviously can’t. Can you advise me on the pros and cons of her getting a uterine transplant or similar ‘therapy?
ANSWER: I’m sorry to tell you that no operation for a uterine transplant yet exists. But adopting a child can be as fulfilling to a couple (and the child) as one born to them.
Adopted children even come to resemble their adoptive parents because of similar facial mannerisms and body movements.
QUESTION: I have a friend who smokes marijuana almost every day and has fallen behind in his school work.
What can I tell him to make him smoke less?
ANSWER: You can tell him any drug can be abused, including marijuana.
“Thinking About Using Pot” is a booklet containing scientific facts about marijuana prepared by Tod Mikuriya, M.D. and Kathleen Goss. Copies cost $1 each and are available from the San Francisco Psychiatric Medical Clinic, 1840 Grove Street, San Francisco, California, 94117.
QUESTION: Whenever I eat in a Chinese restaurant the upper part of my body feels numb, I feel weak all over and my heart seems to pound.
What could be wrong?
ANSWER: Chinese Restaurant Syndrome came to public attention last year with the publication of a letter in the “New England Journal of Medicine” from a Chinese Physician. Dr. Robert Ho Man Kwok noted these symptoms when dining in Chinese restaurants but not when eating home-cooked Chinese food.
Even before Dr. Kwok’s letter appeared a Yale gastroenterologist had found a connection between Chinese food and headaches in some individuals. Dr. Martin Gordon and seven brave volunteers (all of whom had previously been victims of Chinese Restaurant Syndrome) ate in a Chinese restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut. You know they’re brave.
Halfway through the meal they noticed headaches, numbness of the face, palpitation of the heart, sweating, clenched jaws and flushed faces.
The culprit seems to be monosodium glutamate which is generously used in such delicacies as won ton soup. Most people are not sensitive to this seasoning but those who are suffer from the dread Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.
Don’t worry too much about it. One or two hours after the symptoms begin they disappear and you’ll be hungry again.
Dear Dr. Hippocrates is a collection of letters and answers published by Grove Press. $5 at your favorite bookstore.
Dr. Schoenfeld welcomes your letters. Write to him c/o P.O. Box 9002, Berkeley California 94709.