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Surgery Blog

Surgery Patients Might Not Need Sedative Before Anesthesia

Posted 3 Mar 2015 by

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 – A new French study questions the need for giving a sedative to surgical patients to calm them down before anesthesia is administered. The investigators found that the sedative lorazepam (Ativan) did not improve patients' experience, and was tied to a lower rate of early mental recovery. "I was not surprised with these results," said Dr. J.P. Abenstein, president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, who had no part in the study. "Lorazepam is a long-acting sedative lasting about 12 hours." Abenstein said lorazepam is not generally used for surgery in the United States, but is used to treat people who have serious anxiety problems and for alcoholics to help them deal with alcohol withdrawal. "It is not the common drug used for sedation before surgery," he said. When a sedative is called for, the most commonly used drug is midazolam, which is a ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Ativan, Lorazepam, Lorazepam Intensol

New Techniques Outline Tumors' Location in the Brain

Posted 15 Feb 2015 by

FRIDAY, Feb. 13, 2015 – Brain tumors are notoriously tricky for surgeons, who may leave too much cancerous tissue behind or cut into vital, healthy brain tissue. However, two new studies describe devices that help surgeons and nonsurgical physicians better understand the outline and location of cancerous tissue in the brain, potentially improving outcomes for patients. One device, a handheld fiber optic probe, could help surgeons see cancer cells lying at the margins of brain tumors in real time, so they can be removed with more accuracy. The other device is a PET scan that allows doctors to gauge the size and area of a brain tumor. Seeing the outlines of tumors more accurately might help physicians better assess the benefits of chemotherapy or radiation treatment, the researchers explained. Both studies came as welcome news to experts. "We are always happy to see new research that is ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Brain Tumor, Diagnosis and Investigation

Internal Tissue Adhesive Approved

Posted 4 Feb 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4, 2015 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first tissue adhesive for internal use. Known as TissuGlu, surgeons can use the urethane-based adhesive to connect tissue flaps created during surgery to remove extra fat or skin, or to restore weak or separated abdominal muscles (abdominoplasty). The new adhesive may reduce or eliminate the need for surgical drains to remove fluid between such flaps, the agency said in a news release. "The FDA's approval of the first synthetic adhesive for internal use will help some abdominoplasty patients get back to their daily routine after surgery more quickly than if surgical drains had been inserted," Dr. William Maisel, deputy director for science at FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in the news release. The product was evaluated in a clinical trial of 130 people who had elective ... Read more

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Medicare Patients Aren't Benefitting From Surgical Report Cards: Study

Posted 3 Feb 2015 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 3, 2015 – Report cards on the quality of surgical care provided by hospitals don't appear to benefit Medicare patients, a new study finds. The report cards have been issued under the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) since the early 2000s. Trained nurses at participating hospitals record and submit data about every operation. The goal is to prompt hospitals to make improvements in areas where they perform poorly. But this study found this approach is doing little to help older patients. Researchers analyzed data from 1.2 million Medicare patients who had one of 11 major types of surgery over a decade. The operations were performed at more than 250 hospitals receiving report cards and more than 500 hospitals not involved in the program. There was no differences in surgical safety or cost savings between the two groups of ... Read more

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Infection Most Likely Cause of Hospital Readmission After Surgery

Posted 3 Feb 2015 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 3, 2015 – Infections are the most likely reason people end up back in the hospital after surgery, a new study finds. Of nearly 500,000 operations studied, 6 percent of the patients were readmitted for surgical complications within a month after their surgery, researchers found. The number one complication leading to readmission was surgical wound infection, said lead researcher Dr. Karl Bilimoria, an assistant professor of surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. "Readmissions after surgery are not due to mismanagement or poor care. They are related to well-known and well-accepted complications after surgery," Bilimoria said. He added that knowing why readmissions happen is the first step in reducing them. Currently, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services can penalize hospitals for excessive readmission rates. "We don't have ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Bacterial Infection

Breast Reconstruction Complications Similar for Older, Younger Women

Posted 31 Jan 2015 by

FRIDAY, Jan. 30, 2015 – The overall risk of complications from breast reconstruction after breast removal is only slightly higher for older women than for younger women, a new study indicates. Researchers looked at data from nearly 41,000 women in the United States who had one breast removed between 2005 and 2012. Of those patients, about 11,800 also underwent breast reconstruction. Patients aged 65 and older were less likely to have breast reconstruction than younger women. About 11 percent of older women chose to have the surgery compared to nearly 40 percent of women under 65, the study found. Women who had breast reconstruction had more complications – such as longer hospital stays and repeat surgeries – than those who did not have breast reconstruction. However, overall complication rates after breast reconstruction were similar. About 7 percent of older women had complications, ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Breast Cancer

Blood Transfusions During Heart Surgery May Up Pneumonia Risk

Posted 27 Jan 2015 by

TUESDAY, Jan. 27, 2015 – Receiving a blood transfusion during heart bypass surgery may raise a patient's risk of pneumonia, researchers report. "The ability to store and transfuse blood is one of medicine's greatest accomplishments, but we are continuing to see that receiving a blood transfusion may alter a patient's ability to fight infection," Dr. James Edgerton, of The Heart Hospital, Baylor Plano in Texas, said in a Society of Thoracic Surgeons news release. He was not involved in the study. For the current study, investigators looked at data on more than 16,000 patients who had heart bypass surgery. The surgeries took place at 33 U.S. hospitals between 2011 and 2013. Nearly 40 percent of those surgical patients received red blood cell transfusions, the findings showed. Just under 4 percent of the entire group developed pneumonia. People given one or two units of red blood cells ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Blood Transfusion

Morphine After Tonsillectomy Tied to Breathing Problems in Study

Posted 26 Jan 2015 by

MONDAY, Jan. 26, 2015 – Using morphine at home to treat pain in children after tonsil and/or adenoid removal may cause life-threatening respiratory problems, according to a new study. "The evidence here clearly suggests children with obstructive sleep apnea should not be given morphine for postoperative pain. We already know that they should not get codeine either," Dr. Gideon Koren, one of the study's authors and a senior scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, said in a McMaster University news release. "The good news is that we now have evidence that indicates ibuprofen [Motrin, Advil] is safe for these kids, and is just as effective in controlling their pain, so there's a good alternative available for clinicians to prescribe," he added. In recent years, many doctors began prescribing morphine to young tonsillectomy patients after Canadian and U.S. health officials ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Morphine, Tonsillitis/Pharyngitis, MS Contin, Kadian, Avinza, M O S, Roxanol, MSIR, Morphine IR, Statex, MS/S, Oramorph SR, Morphine Sulfate ER, Morphine Sulfate SR, M-Eslon, Morphine LP Epidural, Duramorph, Roxanol-T, Roxanol 100

FDA Medwatch Alert: 0.9 Percent Sodium Chloride Injection USP in 100 mL MINI-BAG PLUS Container by Baxter: Recall - Particulate Matter

Posted 16 Dec 2014 by

ISSUE: Baxter International Inc. initiated a recall in the United States of two lots of 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection USP in 100 mL MINI-BAG PLUS Container to the hospital/user level. The recall is being initiated as a result of two complaints (one per lot) of particulate matter that was identified as a fragment of the frangible from the vial adapter. The issue was identified upon standard visual inspection prior to patient administration. This recall affects lot numbers P317842 and P317891.   Intravenous administration of a solution containing sterile particulate matter may lead to adverse health consequences. The extent and severity of harm depends on the size, number, and composition of the foreign material, and the patient's underlying medical condition. In the absence of in-line filtration, particles may cause: local vein irritation, inflammatory reaction, aggravation of ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Sodium Chloride, Hyper-Sal, NebuSal, Thermoject, Normal Saline Flush

Patients Given Less Blood During Surgery Do Fine, Study Reports

Posted 12 Dec 2014 by

FRIDAY, Dec. 12, 2014 – Heart disease patients who receive smaller amounts of blood during surgery do as well as those who get more blood, a new study finds. The research included more than 2,000 heart disease patients who were followed for as long as four years after surgery. Half received larger amounts of blood during surgery and half received up to two-thirds less blood. Those who received less blood did not have an increased risk of death from heart disease, cancer or severe infection, according to the findings published online Dec. 9 in The Lancet. "There has been a steady decline in the amount of blood in transfusions given to patients in the past three to five years," study leader Dr. Jeffrey Carson, chief of the internal medicine division at Rutgers University Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, said in a university news release. "I think it is very reassuring that we have ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Blood Transfusion

Mastectomy Rates Rising Among Women Eligible for Lumpectomy

Posted 19 Nov 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 19, 2014 – When confronted with early stage breast cancer, surgical removal of the tumor alone (lumpectomy) – which conserves the breast – can be a less drastic option than total mastectomy. However, a new study shows that a rising number of early stage breast cancer patients who are eligible for lumpectomy are nonetheless undergoing mastectomy. Researchers led by Dr. Kristy Kummerow, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, tracked data from the National Cancer Data Base. They found that the percentage of early stage breast cancer patients who were eligible for breast conservation surgery but underwent mastectomy rose from just over 34 percent in 1998 to nearly 38 percent in 2011. The largest increases were among patients with lymph node-negative, contained cancers – tumors that did not show evidence of spreading, according to the study published online ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Breast Cancer

3-D Model of Heart May Help Surgeons Fix Defects

Posted 19 Nov 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 19, 2014 – Being able to examine a 3-D model of the heart may boost surgeons' ability to treat patients born with complex cardiac defects, a new study suggests. Heart surgeons typically rely on 2-D images taken by X-ray, ultrasound or MRI to plan their surgery on a patient. But these images may not reveal complex structural defects in the heart present at birth, the researchers explained. But now, advances in technology are enabling surgeons to build and print detailed 3-D models of patients' hearts from plaster, ceramic or other materials in order to gain a full understanding of what they'll face during surgery. Researchers used the new technology in treating three patients who were born with complex heart defects. In each case, the 3-D model provided important information that wasn't available from traditional imaging and that influenced how the surgery was performed. ... Read more

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Guidelines Aim to Reduce 2nd Surgeries After Breast Cancer Lumpectomy

Posted 12 Nov 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 12, 2014 – In a study of more than 240,000 women who had breast conservation surgery for breast cancer, nearly 25 percent needed a second operation, a new study finds. "There are very few operations where you would expect to have a second surgery," said lead researcher Dr. Lee Wilke, director of the section of surgical oncology at the Breast Cancer Center at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison. "This is traumatic for women from a psychological standpoint and can result in poorer cosmetic outcomes." Removing all of a tumor is the best way to reduce the odds of it returning, but until recently there hasn't been agreement on how much breast tissue needs to be removed at the edges of a tumor during the breast-conserving procedure, commonly called a lumpectomy. This lack of consensus has led to the high rate of second surgeries, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Breast Cancer

Pain, Depression Tied to Delirium Risk After Surgery for Seniors

Posted 11 Nov 2014 by

TUESDAY, Nov. 11, 2014 – Pain and depression before an operation may increase seniors' risk for delirium after surgery, a new study suggests. Rates of delirium after surgery are highest among older patients, occurring in up to 51 percent of those aged 65 and older. Previous research has also shown that depression is a major risk factor for delirium, which is a disoriented state marked by a sharp decrease in attention and mental abilities. This study included 459 patients without dementia, aged 70 and older, who had orthopedic surgery. The patients' pain and depression levels were assessed before surgery. Twenty-three percent of the patients experienced delirium after surgery, the investigators found. Delirium occurred much more often in patients who had depression and pain before surgery, according to the study published recently in The Lancet Psychiatry. Further analyses found that ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Depression, Surgery

FDA Medwatch Alert: 10 Percent Neutral Buffered Formalin by Richard-Allan Scientific: Class I Recall - May Contain Incorrect Concentration of Formalin

Posted 31 Oct 2014 by

ISSUE: Richard-Allan Scientific discovered defective products returned from several customers were found to have from 0 percent to 3 percent Formalin content instead of the required 10 percent.  A too-low or too high concentration of Formalin will not properly preserve or can damage tissues. BACKGROUND: This recall was initiated on September 17, 2014 and includes 10 percent Neutral Buffered Formalin manufactured on July 18, 2014 and distributed between July 18 - September 17, 2014.  Richard-Allan Scientific sent an Urgent Medical Device Recall letter dated September 10, 2014 to all customers followed by a second letter dated October 3, 2014 with additional information. RECOMMENDATION: Richard-Allan advises customers/users to: Immediately stop using the defective product. Upon identifying the defective lots, notify Richard-Allan Scientific of the quantity and the preferred d ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Lazerformalyde, Formadon, Formaldehyde, Formalyde-10 Spray, Forma-Ray, Formalaz

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Ophthalmic Surgery, Surgical Prophylaxis, Neurosurgery, Head & Neck Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Gastrointestinal Surgery, Postoperative Albumin Loss, Vascular Surgery, Genitourinary Surgical and Other Conditions, Biliary Tract Surgery, Extracorporeal Perfusion