Category Archives: Disease

Retinal Implant

Recently, an electronic chip measuring 3mm square was implanted behind the retina of patients left blind by retinitis pigmentosa.

Blind people have described smiles on friendly faces, the food on their plates, and household objects from telephones to dustbins, after surgeons fitted them with electronic chips to partially restore their vision.

Image from (link). X-ray of a patient fitted with the retinal implant. A dial on the outside of the head controls brightness levels. Photograph: Robert MacLaren/Oxford Eye Hospital

Results from the first eight patients to enrol in a clinical trial of the retinal implants show that five found the chips improved their eyesight enough to be useful in everyday life.

All those involved – men and women aged 35 to 62 – had lost their sight to retinitis pigmentosa, a hereditary disease that destroys the light-sensitive cells in the eye. The chip stands in for the defunct cells by detecting light rays and converting them into electrical pulses, which are sent along the optic nerve to the brain.

Each patient spent up to 10 hours in surgery to have the 3mm by 3mm chip implanted in one eye. The chip is studded with 1,500 light-sensitive elements that pick up light falling on the macula, the most light-sensitive part of the retina. (from the guardian – link)

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17 October 2012

Conakry, Guinea

Makone Soumaoro, 30, goiter. “I don’t have pain, but I am worried that my neck swells that much. I hope it it is not a tumor because I am a housewife and my man and three children need me.”

Guinea is one of the least developed countries in the world. More than 60 percent of the population lives on less than one dollar per day. Three quarters of the population is illiterate. Health care is substandard and unaffordable for most people. Some get help with their health problems from NGO Mercy Ships aboard the hospital ship ‘African Mercy’ docked in the capital Conakry. They are treated by volunteer surgeons, doctors and nurses with such health issues as cataracts, teeth problems, and skin diseases to more complex orthopedic or tumor surgeries. (from world press photos- link)

Stephan Vanfleteren of Belgium, a Panos photographer working for Mercy Ships/De Standaard,  won the first prize in the People – Staged Portraits Stories category of the World Press Photo Contest 2013 with the series ‘People of Mercy, Guinea’. The picture shows Makone Soumaoro, 30, who has a goiter. (Reuters) link

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Multiple Enchondroma

Enchondroma is one type of benign (noncancerous) cartilage tumor that appears on the inside of the bone. These tumors usually begin and grow in childhood, then stop growing but remain present throughout adulthood. They are often found in patients between 10 and 20 years of age. Some cases become dormant or burned out.

These tumors are very common and often occur in the small bones of the hand and feet. In fact, they are the most common tumor of the hand. They also occur in the long bones of the upper arm and thigh.

In rare cases, multiple tumors can appear as part of a syndrome. These syndromes are Ollier’s disease and Maffucci’s syndrome. (

Image from (writing on card digitally removed) link.

G.T. Williams & Bros.
Multiple Enchondroma
Albumen print
Collection of the Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia

The child above likely has a condition called Ollier Disease.

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Ovarian cyst

24 year old woman presents with a 4 year history of increasing abdominal distention and a feeling of fullness.  A CT scan of the abdomen revealed a mass measuring 20 x 24 cm.  At a different level there appeared to be a septum.

Image from AnatomyBox.

The patient was discharged to home from the emergency department and was to follow up in the surgical clinic.

Similar case reported NEJM (here)

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