Frank Vignola

Versatile jazz guitarist Frank Vignola was a hired gun for Madonna and Ringo Starr in the 80's before branching out into his own jazz game, which encompasses everything from Django swing to Wes hard bop and all sorts of Metheny fusions in between. He's also written tons of instructional materials over the years, and even his last proper album was published through Mel Bay, a company perhaps better known for educational products than its records.

Local Chapman Stick master Greg Howard opens with jazz standards and a whole slew of head-improv-head originals.

Frank Vignola - Luke


Greetings, Dr. Hook: Thank you for the article. I wanted to comment about lymphedema. So many medical professionals do not understand the condition. It's a battle for the patient who knows something is wrong but is told to take diuretics, elevate you legs (or other body part) and told to live with it. There is so much more patients can do. Complex/Complete/Combined decongestive therapy is a special type of bodywork done by trained, certified lymphedema therapists. It feels like a massage but it's very specific to move lymph fluid out of the body. Combined with special exercises to promote lymph flow, skin care tips, do's and dont's, skin brushing, and learning all you can about lymphedema can make a patient more able to live with the condition and have a quality lifestyle. So many times people are blown off and told to lose weight. Lymphedema can be primary (born with it) or secondary (something else triggers the condition such as surgery, cancer, etc). I'm glad you wrote the statement about diuretics in your article. Doctors are so quick to prescribe them when in fact for some edemas such as lymphedema it makes it worse. The diuretic pushes the water part of the fluid out so it seems better temporarily, but the other parts are left behind, debris such as plasma, proteins, hormones, cellular waste, germs, bacteria, etc and those thing harden and become fibrotic.

For any patient out there that need help, please feel free to contact me. I am the owner of website and Lymphland International Lymphedema Online (LILO) support group. My support group personally helps patient get the treatment they need and so rightly deserve.

Thanks again for the article!
Sincerely, Tina

Dr. Hook, I'm not sure what you are familiar with concerning lymphedema but I thought I would ask you the question anyhow.

I'm the content editor at ELymphNotes online magazine for lymphedema and also forums coordinator. We are having a medical debate concerning lymphedema.

I am a primary lymphedema patient who had cancer, a secondary trigger. My debate for the medical professionals is:

Why do some breast cancer patients acquire lymphedema and others do not? Also, could it be that all lymphedema patients are really primary, genetically prone to it, but have a secondary cause? I believe we are all primary but some of us have better systems that others so it stays in 1 area while others acquire it all over. I believe this since cancer surgery gave me the condition. I believed I was secondary until I broke my foot and acquired lymphedema in the leg as well, then again after jaw surgery, lymphedema in the face.

What are you feelings on this?

Sincerely, Tina Budde

PS I'm a New Yorker and I can't believe Spitzor's behavior but Patterson isn't any better, he admitted his wrongdoings after he was sworn in!

I too appreciate the article Dr. Hook as there is indeed a lack of knowledge about lymphedema. Most people with lymphedema goes years without a correct diagnosis. Afterwards more years may be wasted by tryin clinically unproven treatment modalities.

Skin brushing, while harmless is one such method. There is simply no clinical evidence to substantiate the claim that this is effective in the management of lymphedema.

Ms. Budde is correct however, in her description of how bad diuretics are for lymphedema. Unless there is a additional illness such as congestive heart failure, diuretics are to be avoided.

Included in proper treatment is the use of compression bandages and garments.

The National Lymphedem Network has the best paper available on lymphedema treatment and may be accessed at their website. This document represents a gold standard and was written by a world respect committee of medical professionals.

One comment on the decongestive massage therapy is that the treating therapist must be certified specifically on the treatment of lymphedema. Regular deep tissue massage and/or massage that is not for lymhedema can lead to disasterous complications.

Also, lymphedema from lymph node removal or lymphatic damage is correctly referred to as secondary lymphedema.

Primary lymphedema is different and may be congenital or hereditary.

Clinical evidence indicates that between 30 - 40% of breast cancer survivors will at one time or anotehr develop lymphedema. As cancer treatments become more successful, survivors of all types of cancer are also showing this predisposition.

A central debate of lymphatic research is asking the question "why do some get it" while otehrs don't.

Research indicates that there is a very probablility that those who do get lymphedema are born with an "at risk" lymph system in other words, there is an undetected abnormality or developmental problem with the lymphatics. Then when there is a triggering event such a node removal, damage from radiation, infection etc. the lymphedema then presents.

While lymphedema is not curable, it is managable and treatable so it is imperative that the patient learn all they can from evidence based medicine instead of folklore.

I have lived with severe primary (hereditary form)lymhphedema for 56 years and am also a thirteen year survivor of multiple lymphomas.

Thanks again, appreciate your interest in both edema and lymphedema.

Pat O'Connor, founder and director
Lymphedema People Global Support Network

About 7 yrs ago I was hospitalized with severe pneumonia and dehydration. I was given IV steroids for the pneumonia and approx 12 bags of fluids to rehydrate. Obviously I swelled up pretty badly. Since then I've been prone to swelling, especially on hot days, when I have too much sodium or during PMS. None of it is too troubling, and I treat it with rare doses of fosomax.

Lately, however, I have noticed it happening far more frequently, particularly after drinking wine (I haven't tested the theory so I don't know if beer and liquor have the same effect). Is it possibly just a coincidence, or is it something I should have checked out?

Thanks for the article.

hi dr.hook. im 47 years old and have had a problem for 2years now. and is abnormel for me to be able to see big buldgeing veins on the back side of my arms that are blueish and can a lot of salty foods be the culprit like chips and processed foods do it.otherwise i am doctor said i have a healthy hart and for me to lose weight.and i stoped smoking 2 months ago i dont the looks of my veins running all over the back of my arms and my hands swell and the veins pop up is this normal or what?

I am seeking for help due to my leg swollen no better yet.

hi i have a problem toob much sodium. i notice that the area on my hand between the first finger and the thumb i dont what to call it i just call it the web part.anyway it gets puffy and swells like a lump and it pushes the vein out really ugly! and the veins on the backside of my arms want to buldge out and get wide looking its gross! i mainly eat microwave foods i dont eat as i should can too much sodium do all this?