Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Leaks: Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions

Guest post by Satish Govindaraj, MD, Chief of the Division of Rhinology and Sinus Disorders, Mount Sinai Health System

Chances are likely that you may never have a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak, but this condition affects approximately 5 in 100,000 people each year, and for many of them, it goes undiagnosed or may be misdiagnosed as a headache disorder or sinusitis. You may know someone or have a family member who is affected by a CSF leak, so it’s helpful to get informed in case you hear an individual say, “I’ve had clear fluid coming out of one side of my nose, and I don’t believe it’s a cold.” Read more

Questions to Ask Your Doctor about HPV-related Oral Cancer

Guest post by Raymond Chai, MD, a Head and Neck Surgeon at Mount Sinai Beth Israel. To make an appointment with Dr. Chai, call 212-844-8775.

Over the past decade, the human papillomavirus or HPV has been linked to cancer of the tonsil and the base of the tongue. The incidence of HPV-positive throat cancer has grown 225 percent from 1988 to 2004. In the United States, it is expected that the number of HPV-positive throat cancers will exceed that of cervical cancers by the year 2020. These cancers typically show up in younger patients that are non-smokers and are otherwise healthy. The most common presenting sign for this disease is a neck mass and throat pain. Fortunately, patients with HPV-related throat cancers have much better survival rates than those with other head and neck cancers. Read more

It Takes a Team–Reflections from a Post-Transplant Coordinator

Guest post by Sara Geatrakas, RN

As a post-kidney/pancreas-transplant coordinator I have been charged with helping patients thrive after transplant surgery. Healthcare providers can provide all the best medical advice, make all the proper medication adjustments and order all the newest and fanciest tests, but staying strong and healthy after a kidney transplant requires a dedicated and hard-working team, which doesn’t stop at Mount Sinai’s Recanati/Miller Transplant Institute (RMTI). Patients and their families are the most important, vibrant and vital part of this process. Read more

Patient Story: Donating My Kidney

Guest post by Cathy Bavaro, living kidney donor.

It was just about a year ago now when I heard my brother Joey say the words, “My doctor is putting me on the Kidney Transplant List.” It was on of the scariest things I had ever heard. What was even scarier to me was the possibility that I may not be a match to give my brother a kidney. All I knew in my heart was if I was lucky enough to be a match, I would be giving my brother my kidney so that this nightmare could be over. Read more

A Letter to My Kidney Donor’s Family

Guest post by Sharyn Kreitzer, MSW, Director of Outreach for the Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute and Greta Deerson, LMSW, Kidney Transplant Social Worker. 

Organ donation recipients are encouraged, through their transplant centers, to contact donor families (even though they do so anonymously) to say thank you. The Donor Family Services team from LiveOnNY acts as an intermediary to determine when both the donor and the recipient are ready to reveal identifying information and they often assist in coordinating a meeting when both donor and recipient are ready. Read more

Throat Cancer: “What’s Love Got to Do with It?”

Guest post by Dr. Neil Gildener-Leapman from the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai.

When the epidemic started to be recognized by doctors, I can remember diagnosing my first patient with human papilloma virus (HPV)-related throat cancer. The patient was a very easy-going, jovial family man, and an active athlete in a community sports league. He came to the visit with his wife and adult daughter, wanting to have his family’s support as we gave him the details of his diagnosis he laughed and said: “Ahh, that makes sense! You know…back in my day… I used to be a very popular guy!” His wife and daughter giggled and shook their heads in unison. Read more

The Gift of Pediatric Organ Donation

Guest post by Kelly Smith, donate life advocate and Cloudy Day Gray blogger.

Before Matilda was born, I didn’t know anything about pediatric organ donation. I had never really considered the fact that children even experienced organ failure. And, I certainly had never considered the fact that the organ donors may need to be children themselves. These aren’t the things that parents want to think about. Read more

Spring Allergy Season Has Sprung

Guest post by Lisa Ellman-Grunther, MD, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai

Don’t be fooled by the small amount of snow still on the ground and the chilly temperatures. The spring allergy season in the New York City metropolitan area has arrived and the trees have started pollinating! The super harsh winter has created an outdoor environment which is expected to lead to very high pollen counts this season. Read more

Free Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Screening: Early Detection is Key

Guest post by Brett A. Miles, DDS, MD, FACS, Co-Chief of the Division Head and Neck Oncology at the Mount Sinai Health System.

April marks Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month with a dedicated week, April 12-18, highlighted by the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance. As part of the organization’s educational and preventive components of its mission, the Department of Otolaryngology (ENT)-Head and Neck Surgery at Mount Sinai will be hosting its annual Oral, Head and Neck Cancer free screening event on April 16th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at:

The Mount Sinai Hospital
Guggenheim Pavilion Atrium
1468 Madison Avenue (at 100th St.)
212-241-9410 (for questions – no registration required) Read more

Is a Vegetarian Diet During Pregnancy Healthy?

During pregnancy, a woman is encouraged to follow a healthy lifestyle, including making dietary changes as needed. Women who are vegetarian may become confused about whether continuing their vegetarian diet is actually healthy. Many such women will hear from friends, family, and health care professionals that being vegetarian is “unsafe” for both mother and baby. This can leave them feeling seriously conflicted. For long-time vegetarians, it can be especially disheartening when being vegetarian is not simply a diet, but a lifestyle. Read more