* Bad news for Hollywood wives. People who have their nose sizes reduced for cosmetic reasons could be causing unseen damage. A study of 37 patients who had the surgery found that, on average, the internal cross-sectional area had been reduced by 22 per cent. This was causing breathing problems for four of the 37 examined (Laryngoscope 1995; 105: 429-31).
* Dow Corning, the major US manufacturer of silicone breast implants, has filed for bankruptcy. The company had been faced with lawsuits from women in America and Britain who were claiming the implants were causing health problems. About 36,000 women have reported injuries, and lawyers were seeking a minimum of lb131,000 ($200,000) in damages.
* About one in 3,000 patients undergoing surgery can recall the experience and some suffer pain. Recent cases have been associated with the use of neuromuscular blockers as anesthetics. Afterward, awareness of sounds, the sensation of paralysis, but an inability to communicate it, was reported by 85 per cent of those cases (BMJ, May 13, 1995).
* Women who have hysterectomies will not necessarily go on to suffer osteoporosis. Researchers have discovered that the endocrine function of the ovaries is not impaired by the operation. Endocrine glands affect metabolism and growth. Women who had had hysterectomies had similar bone densities to other women who had not had the operation. Neither group was taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) (American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 1995; 172: 891-5).