Award-winning Dr Hala Elgmati reveals the benefits of hair transplants


The introduction of innovative hair transplants in Scotland is closely associated with the acclaimed Seneca Medical group.

The team of highly-qualified doctors at the clinic offer customers hair transplant services using the latest technology available. Seneca’s Medical Director, Dr Hala Elgmati is a hair transplant surgeon by profession, with more than 8 years of experience.

Dr Hala Elgmati has won the 2018 whatclinic award in recognition of excellence in the  field of customer communication and here, she will answer some of our questions regarding hairloss.

HeraldScotland:

Why is my hair falling out? Causes of hair loss

We lose hair continuously and often we don’t notice. It’s normal to lose hair. We can lose up to 100 hairs a day without causing any thinning. hair follicles go through cycles of growth (Anagen) followed by regression (Catagen), resting or shedding (Telogen) and finally evacuation (Exogen).

This is then followed by the growth of a new hair and the cycle goes on.  No hair therefore grows non-stop.

Hair loss however can be permanent, like male and female pattern baldness. This type of hair loss tends to run in the family. Few genes have already been identified as a marker for this type of hair loss.

Other types of boldness can be associated with scalp disease such as Alopecia areata, and some other skin autoimmune conditions.

Other types of hair loss may be temporary. They can be caused by an illness, stress, cancer treatment, weight loss, iron deficiency.

HeraldScotland:

Best ways to stop hair loss?

Difficult question to answer! This will ultimately depend on the cause and stage of the hair loss. Most temporary hair loss improve once the cause is treated. Hair regrowth can be boosted by using Minoxidil and PRP in these cases.

Androgenic alopecia once established is permanent and one can only have hair again if they undergo hair transplantation. It’s important however to use retention treatment to slow down or even stop the process of thinning in the untrasplanted areas for as long as possible. Minoxidil, Finasteride and PRP have all been proven effective.

Hair transplantation provides permanent results over the treated areas, however further hair loss outside these areas is possible and should be prevented. The procedure is done under local anesthesia and is painless.

Using implanters requires high level of skills and experience but using them enable us to fully control depth, direction, and angle of placement for every graft we place. This is crucial for natural looking results.

HeraldScotland:

FUE vs. FUT: Which Is the Better Hair Transplant Method?

The main disadvantages of FUT:

FUT or strip surgery leaves a long visible scar. Not possible to control the exact number of grafts extracted.  It doesn’t allow us restoring small areas when only small numbers of grafts are needed.  We can only do one or two FUT surgeries in a lifetime. FUT requires longer recovery time and tends to be more painful.

There is always a significant number of follicles wasted when taking the strip out which is unfortunately unavoidable. There is no place for FUT in body hair extraction. 

The FUE advancement has propelled the field of hair transplant surgery to achieving the elite minimally invasive status. The advantage of having an almost scarless surgery is enticing to both patient and the surgeon.

SENECA Direct FUE hair transplantation technique is a minimally invasive procedure where hair follicles, are extracted from the donor area (back and sides of the head) and implanted directly to the affected area (recipient area). The entire procedure is performed only by doctors trained and certified by Seneca Training & Research Centre, and under strict Seneca Quality Standardization Protocols, to ensure great results every time.

During the implantation phase we use the Implanter, a specially designed tool which allows a full control of the depth, direction, and angle of placement of each hair follicle. After the placement, the hair follicles follow their normal course of life and grow naturally.

The transplanted hairs continue to grow for a lifetime and do not fall out, providing an 100% natural result.

HeraldScotland:

How can someone sick advice by a hair loss expert in the UK?

Our main clinic is in 15 Royal Crescent, Glasgow, G3 7SL. We also, have a diagnostic center in 30 Melville St, EH3 7HA, Edinburgh and in 16 Carden Place, Aberdeen, AB10 1FX. Patients can also reach us via email: info@senecamd.com or call us at 01413321745

senecamd.com





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Fears mount of NHS strikes as Unison rejects pay offer



THE crisis facing the Scottish NHS looks set to escalate after one of the country’s largest unions has rejected a pay deal for healthcare staff.

Unison, which represents 50,000 nurses, midwives, cleaners, porters and administrative staff, made the announcement today following a two-week consultative ballot.

It said that 61 per cent of members voted to reject the offer which was for a flat pay raise of £2205, meaning pay rises of between 5 per cent and 11 per cent.

Unison Scotland’s health committee will meet this week to discuss next steps.

The result of the ballot comes less than a week after members of the Royal College of Nursing voted in favour of strike action in protest over pay and staffing shortages for the first time in the union 106 year history.

Wilma Brown, chair of Unison Scotland’s health committee, said: “Our members have voted in their thousands and their message is loud and clear – the Scottish government’s pay offer just isn’t good enough.

“Ministers need to understand the anger of health staff who are working in an under-funded, under-staffed NHS. These are unprecedented times and NHS staff are struggling to make ends meet.

“This should be a massive wake-up call to the Scottish government. They need to come back to the negotiating table with an improved offer or prepare themselves for the first strikes in the NHS since devolution.”

Matt McLaughlin, Unison Scotland’s head of health, said: “Nobody wants to take strike action but without an improved pay offer, our members will be left with no choice.

“The ball is the Scottish Government’s court. We are calling on Humza Yousaf to come forward with an improved offer so our dedicated health workers can get on with delivering services.”

Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie said: “This announcement is yet another hammer-blow for this out-of-touch SNP government.

“We now face a Winter of Discontent due to the intransigence of this SNP government and their complete failure to deliver for Scotland’s key workers.

“The SNP need to get a grip before Scotland grinds to a halt. They must get back round the negotiating table as a matter of urgency.

“From hospitals to schools to our railways, the SNP’s disastrous incompetence will leave us with strike chaos and a broken Scotland.

“The people of Scotland deserve so much better than this.”

The Royal College of Nursing in Scotland last weekk threatened strike action within weeks and Unite, which represents about 1,500 Scottish Ambulance Service staff, has said that “continuous action short of strike”, including an overtime ban and work to rule, will be enforced from November 25.

Ambulance staff represented by the GMB union plan a 26-hour strike from 6am on November 28 until 7.59am the following morning.

Ministers have insisted that there is no more money to fund public sector pay rises and warned that a nurses’ strike would be “catastrophic”. 

Mr Yousaf has written to the UK health secretary to seek more money to fund the pay rises.

The Scottish Conservative health spokesman, Dr Sandesh Gulhane, has called for Mr Yousaf to be sacked.

Some 6000 nursing and midwifery posts are currently unfilled in Scotland with nurses reporting staff concerns that patient safety is at risk because of insufficient staff.





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Buckfast sales soared by 40% after minimum pricing


Sales of Buckfast soared by 40% in the year after minimum unit pricing was introduced in Scotland, figures show.

There was a 2.4% drop in alcohol sales in Scotland in the first year following MUP, while consumption increased in England and Wales and the biggest decreases tended to be in “cheap strong” lower priced drinks.

Five out of six high-strength ciders, including Frosty Jack’s, showed a substantial drop in sales, ranging from 66% to 98%.

Buckfast tonic wine was one of the few drinks that decreased in price, from 67p per unit in 2017-18 to 65p the year after, which was accompanied by a significant rise in consumption.

Scotland made history in May 2018 by becoming the first country in the world to mandate that alcohol cannot be sold for less than 50p per unit.

Public Health Scotland looked at sales data between May 2016 and April 2019 as part of its investigation into MUP, which will expire unless MSPs vote to renew it before May next year.

Analysis found the average price of alcoholic drinks in shops increased north of the border to a greater extent than in England and Wales over the same period.

READ MORE: Scotland’s death toll from alcohol highest in over a decade 

Average prices in Scotland increased in the first year of the law from 60p per unit to 66p, while in England and Wales it grew from 60p to 61p.

The report also found evidence that consumers switched to smaller sized packs and lower strength products.

Experts described the findings as “good news for public health” saying the policy had done exactly what it was expected to do in prompting “a decline in sales of cheap, strong drinks”.

Buckfast, which costs around £7.99 a bottle, is twice as alcoholic as Frosty Jack’s, which saw a 90% reduction in sales. 

HeraldScotland:

Supermarket prices rose by almost 18%, from 56p to 66p per unit, while in convenience stores they went from 63p to 67p.

The analysis found the volume of alcohol sold in larger containers or multipacks declined, with around 4.5% of products sampled changing alcohol by volume (ABV) between February 2018 and February 2019 and around twice as many decreasing rather than increasing it.

The biggest decrease in sales of spirits (40%) was observed in own-brand vodka sold through supermarkets.

READ MORE: Heaviest drinking men ‘drank more’ after minimum pricing was introduced 

Despite a 2.4% decline in alcohol sales overall, the monetary value increased by 7.8% in the first year of MUP – more than in England and Wales.

Colin Angus, a researcher at Sheffield University’s Alcohol Research Group, which provided modelling to the Scottish Government in relation to MUP said: “MUP had the expected impacts on the prices of alcoholic products – with cheap, strong drinks such as Frosty Jack’s cider seeing the biggest increase in prices – and that these increases were followed by a fall in alcohol sales. 

“The figures for Buckfast are certainly eye-catching, although it’s worth noting that Buckfast was generally sold at above the 50p/unit MUP threshold prior to MUP being introduced, so we wouldn’t have expected to see it increase in price. Buckfast sales were also rising prior to MUP being introduced.

“This makes it very hard to establish whether the 40% increase in sales is a response to Buckfast cutting their prices, or drinkers switching to Buckfast from other products whose prices did increase when MUP was introduced.”

READ MORE: Has minimum unit pricing failed or been derailed by Covid

Mr Angus has said previously that despite Buckfast’s toxic reputation in the west of Scotland it was less commonly consumed among those struggling with alcoholism.

A spokesman for Aston Manor, which produces Frosty Jack’s cider, said it was important to note that the total white cider market accounted for around 0.2% of all alcohol prior to the policy.

He added: “We have been consistent in our view that this policy is a flawed approach to tackling the harm from the alcohol misuse of a small minority of people. 

“One clear reason being that MUP prompts many drinkers to simply switch purchases – the exceptional growth in sales, just in Scotland, of products like Buckfast Tonic Wine would appear to be evidence of this.”

Paul Waterson, media spokesman for the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA), said it remained concerned that supermarkets were “manipulating prices to keep volumes high” and called for the MUP to be increased.

HeraldScotland:

Alison Douglas, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, said “Increasing the price of alcohol is one of the most effective and cost-effective policy measures to reduce alcohol consumption and harm. 

“This research shows that people in Scotland respond to price. Now that we know the policy has reduced consumption in Scotland, the Scottish Government must optimise its impact to save and improve more lives. 

“This is particularly important given the significant increase in alcohol specific deaths of 22% over the last two years.”

Scotland’s Public Health Minister Maree Todd said:“This report shows that the introduction of a minimum unit pricing has driven down consumption of cheap high-strength alcohol which is often drunk by people drinking at harmful levels.

 “Alcohol harms cause misery for not just the drinker but also for families, friends and the wider community, but we recognise that it is often a consequence of wider societal issues which is why we are doing all we can to help people get the support they need.

“We are currently reviewing minimum unit pricing and will soon consult on restrictions on the marketing of alcohol.”





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Staff shortages and rising demand could close Scottish GP surgeries



Scotland’s GP surgeries face demand exceeding capacity with a senior doctor warning some could collapse under the pressure. 

A BMA survey has revealed staff shortages and significant demand is putting practices at “tipping point”, the BBC reports. 

A staggering 81% of the practices questioned said demand was exceeding capacity while more than a third reported at least a single GP vacancy.

The survey consulted around half of the GP surgeries in Scotland.

Dr Andrew Buist, chair of the Scottish GP committee at the BMA, told the broadcaster this could force some surgeries to shut.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland he confessed he “sadly” does not believe the NHS is a “first-class service anymore”.

He added: “We are absolutely doing our best. Our figures show that 500,000 appointments are given out every week in Scotland.

“We feel for our patients.

“We understand that they are frustrated by this and understandably they get anxious about their health. As indeed, I should say, doctors get about their own families and how they’re going to cope with the situation.”

The BMA estimates there are currently 312 full-time equivalent vacancies across GP practices in Scotland.

The senior doctor urged for more commutation from the government about staff shortages.

Mr Buist warned that we may be headed towards a “two-tier health service” but emphasised he wanted to avoid it reaching that point. 

But resources must be invested in primary care, or the whole system could “come tumbling down”, he said in a stark warning. 

“We’re not putting the resources into primary care, into general practice, where it’s most needed. It is the foundation of the National Health Service.

“If we undervalue it and under-resource it, it will crumble and the rest of the healthcare system will come tumbling down.”

“We need more openness from our government to explain what is going on,” he added.

“This conversation cannot be left to the reception desk or the consulting room. From the very top, we need the government to explain to the public that we’re doing everything we can.

“In these difficult circumstances, we must prioritise the most sick and that means sometimes people will have to wait or they might not get seen at all.”

Speaking on the vacancies, Dr Buist added that the career has loss its appeal to many.

He said: “It’s a great job being a GP, it should be, but it’s a really tough job and you’re maybe seeing 60 people in a day.

“People towards the end of their careers are leaving earlier because they’re getting burnt out, and younger doctors are not coming in sufficient numbers to replace them. It’s lost it’s sparkle.”

But staff shortages are not the only issue with demand contributing to the perfect storm. 

With the age of Scotland’s population rising, more people need the service.

“Excessive workload is the single biggest thing. The number of people over 65 and Scotland has increased by a third since the year 2000. Age is what drives needs in the healthcare system.” 

The warning comes as some healthcare workers, including Scotland’s nurses for the first time in history, have announced intentions to strike.





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Nicola Sturgeon encourages Scots to get their Covid-19 booster


Nicola Sturgeon has urged all Scots eligible for another Covid-19 jab to go get the vaccine.

The First Minister, 52, received her booster against the virus and the flu jab at Glasgow Central Mosque on Monday. 

She is among the group of over-50s who are eligible for another round of the vaccine to protect them in the winter months. 

Priority groups for the jab include residents and staff in care homes, frontline health and social care workers, all adults above the age of 50, and carers between the age of 16-49. 

The Scottish Government has sent out letters to eligible groups, with the latest group being over-50s.

After receiving her booster, Ms Sturgeon warned Covid circulation within communities was high in recent weeks and encouraged others to attend their appointment. 

HeraldScotland:

She said: “Covid is still circulating, we’ve had high levels of community circulation in recent weeks (and) a slight tailing off into the last week or so,” she said.

“As we get deeper into winter, a virus like this is always going to have the potential to circulate, and obviously we have concerns about flu circulating.

“My message to people is if you’re in one of the eligible groups for vaccination make sure you get vaccinated.

“It is, just as much this year as it was last year, the best way of protecting yourself.”

The First Minister also stressed the importance of measures that were commonplace during the pandemic continuing to be the norm.

“We can all continue to take the basic steps to reduce transmission as much as possible – good hand hygiene, wearing face coverings if you’re in a crowded place and think others around you might be vulnerable.

“Common sense remains our best friend as we try to counter this virus.”

The Scottish Government said that 2,726,478 Covid-19 and flu vaccines have been delivered to adults in Scotland since this year’s winter vaccine programme launched.

The Covid-19 vaccine is being given at the same time as the flu jab where possible, with 92.8% of those getting a Covid vaccine also getting their flu vaccine.

The 50-64 year-old cohort is currently being invited to book an appointment, following the rapid vaccination of frontline healthcare staff and the country’s most vulnerable, over-65s and those at high-risk, and care home residents.

Anyone who has missed an appointment can reschedule through the NHS Inform online booking portal.

 





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Diagnosis delays risklives of Scots lung condition patients


PATIENTS with an incurable lung condition are having their lives threatened as over one in ten (11.5%) wait more than a decade for a diagnosis, a study has found.

Less than a fifth of those with Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which hits more than 130,000 people in Scotland, are receiving recommended levels of care.

Based on a survey of 607 Scots, the study reveals that the average wait for COPD diagnosis in Scotland is just over four years.

Experts say delays of over four years can result in people with the condition which causes severe breathlessness, losing lung function.

This leads to extreme breathlessness and difficulties performing everyday tasks like walking to the shops, housework, and socialising.

The study, carried out by Asthma + Lung UK Scotland warned that the late diagnosis means people are living with a “poorer quality of life and are much more likely to have life-threatening flare-ups of the disease”.

Almost a third (30%) of Scots surveyed said they were unable to recognise the signs of COPD and over 1 in 10 (12%) said they were misdiagnosed as their doctor thought they had a chest infection or cough.

Other key problems included access to care, with more than 1 in 4 (27%) saying they couldn’t get an appointment and over 1 in 10 (15%) being unable to access diagnostic tests (including spirometry, a breathing test which is a key method of diagnosing COPD).

The analysis highlights significant health inequalities surrounding COPD, with poorer people more likely to have flare-ups, where they struggle to breathe, than their wealthier counterparts.

Someone from the most deprived 20% of households in Scotland is more than six times more likely to be admitted to hospital for COPD compared to someone from the least deprived 20% of households.

Joseph Carter, head of Asthma + Lung UK Scotland, said: “Across Scotland, far too many people are waiting in limbo for a diagnosis of COPD and access to treatment and support. There also needs to be a greater awareness of the condition and the signs and symptoms to look out for. We have heard from people struggling to breathe, who, because they are left unaware of their condition, aren’t getting the right treatment and support quick enough.

HeraldScotland:

“To achieve this, we are calling on the Scottish Government to ensure everyone can access spirometry in their local area. Far too many surgeries stopped providing the vital diagnostic test during COVID and we need to get it back. We welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to the Respiratory Care Action Plan, but it is vital that health boards locally are able to fund spirometry testing and other basic services people with COPD need.”

One woman who had to give up her job and use a mobility scooter after doctors took six years to diagnose her with a chronic lung condition has called for lung health to be taken more seriously.

Vivienne Gaynor, 60, from Edinburgh, took around six years to get a diagnosis with COPD.

“I developed asthma as an adult and was given inhalers. But when I was 45, my breathing changed, and I noticed that my inhalers were less effective, and I kept getting chest infections and was wheezy all the time,” she said.

“Over the next six years, I lost count of the number of times I went to see my GP with a chest infection or trouble breathing, but all I was told was: It’s just asthma or keep using the inhalers,” she added.

Ms Gaynor said she struggled to get up the stairs and always felt tired. She said she we never given a formal diagnosis and was simply told to pick up an inhaler.

“There was no explanation and no support,” she said.

“I swapped surgeries straightaway, and since then, the treatment I have received has been pretty good, and I realise I’m lucky for that.

“But it still makes me angry that I was so easily dismissed, and the impact of the delayed diagnosis meant that I had to give up the job I loved as a mental health advocate, and now have to use a mobility scooter to get around.

“Lung health isn’t taken seriously enough, and nobody seems to understand what COPD is, and that it’s a very chronic condition with no cure.

“If I had been suffering with cancer or a heart problem, I don’t think I’d have had to wait so long for a diagnosis and would probably have received much more empathy and support.”

The charity is calling for lung health to become an “urgent priority” ahead of World COPD Day on Tuesday.





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