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Surgery Blog

Surgery Soon After Stroke Can Be Risky: Study

Posted 13 days ago by

TUESDAY, July 15, 2014 – People who've had a stroke face a significantly higher risk of serious complications if they have an elective surgery during the nine months following their stroke, according to a new Danish study. And, the sooner it is after the stroke, the greater the risk. The odds of another stroke, heart attack or cardiovascular death are 14 times higher for people who have elective surgery within three months of a stroke, the study found. If you wait until between three and six months post-stroke, the odds drop to about five times as high compared to someone who hasn't had a stroke. At six to 12 months after a stroke, the odds of a serious outcome are about three times higher versus those who've never had a stroke. About nine months after a stroke, the risks from surgery are still elevated but have stabilized, according to the study's lead author, Dr. Mads Jorgensen, a ... Read more

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Blood Thinners May Not Be Needed for Kids' Back Surgery

Posted 13 days ago by

TUESDAY, July 15, 2014 – Most children who have spinal surgery don't require anti-clotting drugs because blood clots occur so rarely in these procedures, a new study says. Instead of the risky and costly blood-thinning drugs, close monitoring after surgery is enough for most of these patients, according to the Johns Hopkins Children's Center researchers. Anti-clotting drugs should be considered only for young spinal surgery patients who are at increased risk for blood clots, the study authors said. These include those older than 18, kids with spinal curvatures present at birth, and those with spinal curvatures that are part of an overall condition and accompanied by other health problems that may interfere with normal blood clotting. The researchers analyzed the outcomes of nearly 22,000 children across the United States who had spinal fusion surgery between 2001 and 2010. This is the ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis

Delaying Kid's Knee Surgery Could Be a Bad Play, Study Finds

Posted 14 days ago by

FRIDAY, July 11, 2014 – Delaying surgery to repair damage to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) – the main ligament in the middle of the knee – could increase a young athlete's risk for further injuries, researchers report. They analyzed the medical records of 130 patients, aged 8 to 16, who had ACL reconstruction surgery. Of those patients, 62 had surgery less than six weeks after their injury, 37 had surgery six to 12 weeks after, and the others had surgery more than three months after their injury. The youngsters who had surgery later had higher rates of secondary knee injuries and more severe injuries, according to the study. Researchers presented the findings Thursday at the annual meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine in Seattle. One common type of secondary knee injury is a meniscal tear. The meniscus is a rubbery disc that cushions the knee. The ... Read more

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Young Pro Pitchers May Face Higher Risk of 'Tommy John' Surgery: Study

Posted 18 days ago by

THURSDAY, July 10, 2014 – Pitchers who start playing Major League Baseball at a young age may be at increased risk for requiring elbow surgery later in their career, according to a new study. Researchers looked at 168 pitchers who spent at least one season in the major leagues and subsequently had surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in the elbow of their throwing arm. These players were compared to 178 age-matched major league pitchers who did not undergo UCL reconstruction, widely referred to as "Tommy John" surgery. About 60 percent of the pitchers who required UCL reconstruction had the surgery within their first five years of being in the major leagues. Compared to pitchers who did not have the surgery, those who underwent the procedure had more major league experience at the same age, which suggests that arm stress from earlier major league experience ... Read more

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Less May Be More When It Comes to Gallbladder Surgery

Posted 8 Jul 2014 by

TUESDAY, July 8, 2014 – Less aggressive treatment will likely lead to better outcomes for people having their gallbladders removed, according to a pair of new studies. One study found that people with gallstones do better if doctors just remove their gallbladder, instead of first snaking a scope inside to assess the medical problem. "They were able to show that patients in this group did just as well without testing prior to having their gallbladder taken out," said Dr. Joseph Solomkin, a surgeon at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine who wrote an editorial accompanying the studies published July 9 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The other study found that doctors can skip ordering antibiotic treatment after gallbladder surgery without increasing patients' risk of infection. "They showed that post-surgical antibiotics simply aren't necessary, that one ... Read more

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Diabetics Fare Worse After Heart Surgery, Study Finds

Posted 29 May 2014 by

THURSDAY, May 29, 2014 – People with diabetes have an increased risk of problems after heart bypass surgery, a new study finds. Researchers looked at more than 9,200 patients in China who underwent coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) between 1999 and 2008, and found that those with diabetes had worse outcomes after two years than those without the condition. Costs were also higher among patients with diabetes, according to the study in the June issue of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery. These expenses were mainly due to additional hospitalizations and medical procedures, and the use of insulin and other medications. "Based on the results of our study, we highly recommend an individualized treatment plan and a heart team approach for patients with diabetes who require CABG surgery," lead author Dr. Heng Zhang, of Fuwai Hospital in China, said in a journal news release. "We also ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Diabetes, Type 2, Diabetes, Type 1, Diabetes Mellitus

Air Travel Safe After Chest Surgery, Surgeon Says

Posted 25 May 2014 by

FRIDAY, May 23, 2014 – If you're returning home after having chest surgery at an out-of-town hospital, flying is as safe as driving, an expert says. It's widely believed that ground travel is safer than air travel after chest surgery, but a study by Mayo Clinic thoracic surgeon Dr. Stephen Cassivi found that isn't true. He also concluded there is no reason to wait for weeks after chest surgery to fly home. "In general, travel after surgery can be done if it's well-organized and thought out ahead of time," he said in a Mayo news release. Cassivi found that chest surgery patients heading home by air or by car had a similar low risk for complications such as pneumonia, blood clots and collapsed lung. "And that speaks to a very important question that's often managed by dogma or urban myth, hospital myth. We found that although it's not a zero risk, the risk is low, and the risk is the ... Read more

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Timing Influences Risk of Complications From Circumcision: Study

Posted 12 May 2014 by

MONDAY, May 12, 2014 – Circumcision during infancy has a low rate of complications, but the risk becomes much higher as boys get older, a new study reports. American researchers analyzed data from 1.4 million boys who underwent circumcision, about 93 percent of whom were circumcised as newborns. The overall rate of 41 possible complications was less than 0.5 percent. But the risk of complications was 20 times higher for those circumcised between ages 1 to 9, and 10 times higher for those circumcised at age 10 or older, than for boys circumcised when they were less than a year old, the researchers found. The study, from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle, was published online May 12 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. "Given the current debate about whether [circumcision] should be delayed from infancy to adulthood for autonomy ... Read more

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Surgical Treatments Equally Effective for Women With Poor Leg Circulation

Posted 7 May 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, May 7, 2014 – Minimally invasive treatment for narrowing of the arteries in the legs, hands and feet is as effective in women as in men. That's the main finding from a study that looked at the effects of artery-opening treatments such as angioplasty and stent placement in patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD is a condition where fat deposits build up in arteries outside of the heart, such as those that supply blood to the arms, legs and feet. "We found that women had excellent outcomes compared to men, even though they were older and had more severe disease," study senior author Dr. P. Michael Grossman, an interventional cardiologist at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center, and director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at the Veterans Administration Ann Arbor Healthcare System, said in a university news release. Researchers analyzed ... Read more

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Scientists Create First Living Organism From Artificial DNA

Posted 7 May 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, May 7, 2014 – Move over, Frankenstein! Your 21st-century counterpart has just been announced. In true sci-fi fashion, a team of researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in La Jolla, Calif., has created a brand-new bacteria based on a genetic structure found nowhere on Earth. According to lead researcher Floyd Romesberg, the feat involved artificially engineering a unique combination of DNA material – a combination not found in any living creature – and then successfully inserting it into a living cell that usually contains only natural combinations of DNA. "Life on Earth in all its diversity is encoded by only two pairs of DNA bases, A-T and C-G," Romesberg explained in an institute news release. "And what we've made is an organism that stably contains those two plus a third, unnatural pair of bases." "This shows that other solutions to storing [genetic] ... Read more

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Age a Big Factor in Colon Surgery Complications, Study Finds

Posted 10 Apr 2014 by

THURSDAY, April 10, 2014 – Patients older than 65 are more likely to die and have more complications after colon cancer surgery than younger patients, a new study finds. Researchers led by Dr. Mehraneh Jafari of the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine examined data on more than 1 million patients, aged 45 and older, in the United States who had undergone colon cancer surgery between 2001 and 2010. Nearly 64 percent of the patients were 65 and older and more than 22 percent were 80 and older, the researchers noted. Patients 85 and older were 70 percent more likely to require urgent hospital admission after the surgery than those younger than 65, Jafari's team reported April 9 in the online issue of JAMA Surgery. Patients 65 and older had higher death and complication rates than younger patients. The researchers also found that the average hospital stay was 2.5 days ... Read more

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Complication Rate After Adult Tonsillectomy Higher Than Thought

Posted 7 Apr 2014 by

MONDAY, April 7, 2014 – Twenty percent of adults who get their tonsils removed develop complications, a new study shows. The complication rates are much higher than those reported in previous research, according to the authors of the study in the April issue of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. Of those with complications, 10 percent had to visit an emergency department and about 1.5 percent were hospitalized, according to the study. The figures are based on an analysis of data from U.S. patients with employer-sponsored insurance who had outpatient tonsillectomy between 2002 and 2007. Within 14 days of having their tonsils removed, 6 percent of patients with complications were treated for bleeding, 2 percent for dehydration, and 11 percent for ear, nose or throat pain. On average, the cost of tonsil removal without complications was $3,832, compared with $6,388 for a ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Tonsillitis/Pharyngitis

Aspirin May Not Protect Heart After Non-Cardiac Surgeries: Study

Posted 31 Mar 2014 by

MONDAY, March 31, 2014 – Giving aspirin to patients around the time of surgery may do them more harm than good, a large new study finds. Surgery of any kind – not just heart surgery – may raise a person's risk for having a heart attack, research has shown. Doctors often start patients on a low dose of aspirin shortly before and after their procedures to help prevent those events. But the new study, which pitted aspirin against a dummy pill ("placebo") in over 10,000 patients who were having major surgeries that didn't involve their hearts, found that not only did aspirin fail to prevent heart attacks, it also significantly increased the risk of major bleeding. The authors pointed out that many patients were already taking other drugs meant to prevent blood clots. The most common surgeries in the study were orthopedic procedures like joint replacements. The study was presented Monday ... Read more

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Video Glasses May Ease the Anxiety of Minor Surgery

Posted 25 Mar 2014 by

TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 – Wearing special video glasses while undergoing certain types of outpatient procedures may help reduce patients' anxiety, a new study suggests. "Whether they were watching a children's movie or a nature show, patients wearing video glasses were successful at tuning out their surroundings," said lead author Dr. David Waldman, chair of the department of imaging sciences at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y. "It's an effective distraction technique that helps focus the individual's attention away from the treatment," he added. The study included 33 men and 16 women, ages 18 to 87. They either underwent a biopsy – removal of tissue for examination – or placement of a catheter in the arm or chest to receive medication to treat cancer or infection. About half of the patients wore video glasses and watched TV shows or movies during their ... Read more

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Safety Checklists for Surgery May Not Lower Deaths, Complications: Study

Posted 12 Mar 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 – Surgical safety checklists have been hailed as powerful tools that help reduce deaths and complications, but these lists may not be all they're cracked up to be, Canadian researchers report. Despite earlier studies that showed a 50 percent reduction in deaths by using such checklists for surgeries, these researchers found no significant difference in the rate of deaths and complications before and after the checklists were introduced. The checklists were designed to get the surgical team to work together and to take the time to be sure of the patient's identity, the procedure to be done and what equipment will be needed. Also included was an accounting of all the surgical instruments after the operation. "We couldn't identify a measurable improvement with checklists," said lead researcher Dr. David Urbach, a professor of surgery and health policy at the ... Read more

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