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Technology has impacted, not only the way we live our lives, but even more importantly, our ability to stay alive. Through the power of the Internet and medical advancements, a South Florida woman saved herself from a potentially deadly condition. Local 10's Kristi Krueger has the story.

Kristi: For years, 31-year-old Josie Lapidot lived what many would call a charmed life as a wife, mother and successful doctor. Then late last year, her health started to fail.

Josie: I started feeling very, very tired all the time. I...I was having headaches.

Kristi: When she started to notice physical changes, including joint pain, bone growth and an enlarged tongue, she became more concerned. Researching medical journals on the Internet, Dr. Lapidot diagnosed herself with a tumor of the pituitary gland, which sits at the base of the brain. When tests confirmed Lapidot's suspicions, she faced another hurdle - finding a doctor to treat her.

Josie: Everybody says, 'No, don't do anything. It's a very risky surgery.

Kristi: In fact, the standard surgical procedure is both aggressive and invasive. It involves removing the face and a section of the skull to access the hard-to-reach pituitary gland. Fortunately, Lapidot found another option - once again, through the Internet.

Using advanced medical technology, a California doctor has developed a way to surgically remove brain tumors with fiber optic tools threaded right through the patient's nose.

Dr. Hrayr Shahinian: This is much less invasive and patients have a very short hospitalization time, mainly 23 to 24 hours before they go home.

Josie: And I was wondering if they actually did the surgery, because I didn't feel anything.

Kristi: Lapidot is grateful that information and innovation have given her a second chance at life.

Advances in medical technology and patient awareness have had a dramatic impact on mortality rates from the very young to the very old. Since 1980, deaths from heart attacks have fallen by almost half. Death among premature babies has decreased by one-third since the 1950's. And a study published in a British medical journal found that the more informed patients were about their conditions and their treatment options, the better their outcomes. With this health report, I'm Kristi Krueger, Local 10 News.


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