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Gastrointestinal Surgery Blog

'Wiser' Surgeries for Those With Terminal Cancers

Posted 18 days ago by

MONDAY, May 11, 2015 – While surgery rates for patients with late-stage, terminal cancers have stayed about the same in recent years, complications and deaths for these patients have fallen because surgeons are more selective about who has surgery, a new study finds. "Surgeons are becoming wiser," study author Dr. Sarah Bateni, a surgery resident at the University of California, Davis, said in a university news release. "Our research suggests that surgeons may be operating on healthier patients who are more likely to recover well from an operation," she said. "These are patients who can perform activities of daily living without assistance, for example." As Bateni explained, there are a number of reasons why surgeons might operate on late-stage cancer patients. "Some of it has to do with the patients and families," she said. "If the patient is uncomfortable, the family wants a ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Head & Neck Surgery, Neurosurgery, Surgical Prophylaxis, Gastrointestinal Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Solid Tumors, Biliary Tract Surgery

Patients Urged to Watch for Trouble After Colon Surgery

Posted 13 Feb 2013 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13 – Patients who have had bowel surgery should be made aware that there are 12 important post-surgery signs of complications, a new study suggests. Researchers asked a panel of experts to develop a list of warning signs that colon or rectal surgery patients should watch for after they leave the hospital and what they should do if these problems occur. The panel advised that patients who have had bowel surgery to treat tumors, cancer or bowel obstruction, including those who have had an "ostomy" of any type – a surgically created opening in the body for the discharge of body waste – to watch for these 10 symptoms and contact their surgeons if these occur: Wound drainage, opening or redness: all three of these symptoms can indicate an infection. No bowel movement or a lack of gas/stool from an ostomy for more than 24 hours. High ostomy output and/or dark urine or no ... Read more

Related support groups: Gastrointestinal Surgery

Wound Infections From Colon Surgery May Raise Risk for Blood Clots

Posted 18 Jan 2013 by

FRIDAY, Jan. 18 – Colorectal surgery patients who develop surgical-site infections are at increased risk for potentially deadly blood clots, a new study says. Researchers examined the medical records of 615 adults who had colorectal surgery and found that 25 of them (4 percent) developed blood clots known as venous thromboembolisms within one month after surgery. Fourteen (56 percent) of those patients also had surgical-site infections, compared with 168 of patients (28.5 percent) without venous thromboembolism. In nine of the 14 patients with those blood clots (64 percent), the surgical site infection occurred before or on the same day. Patients with a surgical-site infection were four times more likely than infection-free patients to develop either a blood clot in the legs called deep-vein thrombosis or a potentially deadly pulmonary embolism, which occurs when a blood clot in ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Gastrointestinal Surgery

Coffee May Speed Up Bowel Recovery From Colon Surgery

Posted 12 Oct 2012 by

FRIDAY, Oct. 12 – Drinking coffee instead of water may restore normal bowel function more quickly among people who have had surgery to remove part of their colon, a new study suggests. Researchers at University Hospital Heidelberg, in Germany, also found that these patients were able to tolerate solid food sooner after their operation than people who didn't drink coffee. The study was published in the November issue of the surgical journal BJS. "Postoperative bowel obstruction is a common problem after abdominal surgery, and the aim of this study was to test our theory that coffee would help to alleviate this," study lead author Dr. Sascha Muller, who is now based at Kantonsspital St. Gallen, in Switzerland, said in a journal news release. The researchers recruited 80 patients with colon cancer, diverticular disease (a structural problem in the wall of their colon), inflammatory bowel ... Read more

Related support groups: Gastrointestinal Surgery

Esophageal Cancer Surgery Can Leave Lingering Health Problems, Study Says

Posted 6 Apr 2012 by

FRIDAY, April 6 – Surgery for esophageal cancer can result in lingering health problems for long-term survivors, a new study finds. Common complaints among patients who survived for five years after esophageal cancer surgery include breathlessness, fatigue, insomnia and eating problems, according to researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Patients who experienced a serious complication after surgery reported worse symptoms. The study was published online April 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. "Patients who suffer serious post-operative complications after surgery for esophageal cancer need very close, long-term monitoring so that any problems that arise can be identified and targeted quickly," said study research team member Maryam Derogar, a doctoral student at the department of molecular medicine and surgery, in a journal news release. The operation for esophageal ... Read more

Related support groups: Gastrointestinal Surgery, Esophageal Carcinoma

Colon Surgery Linked to High Readmission Rates

Posted 18 Nov 2011 by

FRIDAY, Nov. 18 – Although one in four patients ends up back in the hospital within three months of colon surgery, new research reveals these readmissions – which cost $300 million every year – are often preventable. The most common reason colorectal surgery patients return to the hospital: complications from surgical-site infections, according to the study published in the December issue of the journal Diseases of the Colon & Rectum. The researchers said many of these infections could be avoided. "Readmissions after surgery are common and they burden the health care system with exorbitant costs," study senior author Dr. Martin Makary, an associate professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in a Hopkins news release. "While readmissions are sometimes unavoidable, many times they result from poor coordination of medical care. Everyone knows you can't get ... Read more

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