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Surgery Blog

Age a Big Factor in Colon Surgery Complications, Study Finds

Posted 7 days ago 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 10 days ago 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 17 days ago 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

Related support groups: Surgery, Aspirin, Ecotrin, Bayer Aspirin, Bufferin, Low Dose ASA, Easprin, Ascriptin Enteric, St Joseph Aspirin, ZORprin, Aspergum, Buffered Aspirin, Entercote, Tri-Buffered Aspirin, Aspiritab, Bufferin Extra Strength, Medi-Seltzer, Miniprin, Acetylsalicylic Acid, Fasprin

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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Getting Teeth Pulled Before Heart Surgery May Pose Serious Risks

Posted 27 Feb 2014 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 27, 2014 – If you're a heart patient, you might be wise to wait to have any infected teeth pulled if you're about to have cardiac surgery, a new study suggests. In a small, retrospective study, Mayo Clinic researchers found that 8 percent of heart patients who did not wait to have teeth pulled suffered major adverse health outcomes, such as a heart attack, stroke, kidney failure or death. "Guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association label dental extraction as a minor procedure, with the risk of death or non-fatal heart attack estimated to be less than 1 percent," study co-author Dr. Mark Smith said in a statement. "Our results, however, documented a higher rate of major adverse outcomes [with the extractions]." Such extractions are commonly done ahead of some types of heart surgery to lower the chances of infection during the ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Oral and Dental Conditions

Many Patients Have Pain After Heart Surgery, Study Finds

Posted 24 Feb 2014 by

MONDAY, Feb. 24, 2014 – About one in 10 heart surgery patients has persistent pain for up to two years after the operation, a new study reveals. The study included more than 1,200 patients aged 18 and older who had heart procedures – such as bypass or valve replacement – at four cardiac surgery centers in Canada. Postoperative pain was felt by 40 percent of patients after three months, 22 percent of patients after six months, 17 percent after one year, and 10 percent of patients after two years, according to the study in the current issue of the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). "These prevalence rates are not negligible given that more than 400,000 patients undergo [heart bypass] annually in the U.S.," wrote Dr. Manon Choiniere, a researcher with the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre, and colleagues. The researchers also found that those with increased risk ... Read more

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Scientists Use Fishing Line, Thread to Make Artificial Muscles

Posted 20 Feb 2014 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 20, 2014 – Fishing line and sewing thread can create powerful artificial muscles that could be used to help disabled people or to build incredibly strong robots, a new study says. Compared to human muscle of the same weight and length, the artificial muscles can lift 100 times more weight and make 100 times more mechanical power, the international team of researchers claimed. The artificial muscles – which are created by twisting and coiling high-strength polymer fishing line and thread – generate 7.1 horsepower per kilogram. That's about the same mechanical power as a jet engine, according to the study published Feb. 21 in the journal Science. Temperature changes power the muscles and these changes can be produced a number of ways: electrically, by the absorption of light or by the chemical reaction of fuels, the scientists said. "The application opportunities for ... Read more

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Experimental Eyewear Helps Surgeons 'See' Cancer, Study Says

Posted 11 Feb 2014 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 11, 2014 – Experimental glasses that seem to improve a doctor's ability to see cancer cells during surgery may help reduce cancer patients' need for follow-up operations, according to a new study. The researchers said that cancer cells can be extremely hard to see, even under high-powered magnification. When viewed through this new high-tech eyewear, cancer cells glow blue and are apparently easier to distinguish from healthy cells. This means stray tumors are less likely to be left behind after surgery, the researchers said. The new system was developed by a team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis that was led by Samuel Achilefu, a professor of radiology and biomedical engineering. Dr. Julie Margenthaler, a breast surgeon and associate professor of surgery at the university, was the first to use the technology during surgery, on Monday. "We're in ... Read more

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Kidney Injury During Surgery Tied to Risk of Heart Problems

Posted 6 Feb 2014 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 6, 2014 – People who suffer acute kidney damage due to surgery are at increased risk for developing heart problems. And the level of risk is comparable to that caused by diabetes, a new study finds. Patients sometimes suffer acute kidney injuries after major surgery because the kidneys can be deprived of blood flow during the operation, according to background information in the study. For the research, scientists looked at data from thousands of hospitalized patients who recovered from acute kidney injuries that required dialysis. They compared these patients to a group of hospitalized patients without acute injuries using data collected from patients in Taiwan between 1999 and 2008. The rate of heart problems in the group with acute kidney injuries was nearly double that of the non-injury group, the study found. The findings were published recently in the Journal of ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Chronic Kidney Disease, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders

Study Finds Tonsillectomy Just as Safe for Adults as Kids

Posted 30 Jan 2014 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 30, 2014 – A new study offers reassurance for adults who need to have their tonsils removed – the procedure has low complication and low death rates. Tonsil removal (tonsillectomy) is a common type of surgery, but there is little information about the safety of the operation in adults, the researchers noted. The new study was published online Jan. 30 in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery. Researchers analyzed data from more than 5,900 U.S. adults who underwent tonsillectomy between 2005 and 2011. Of these patients, 1.2 percent had complications, 3.2 percent required another operation, and 0.03 percent died within 30 days after surgery, according to a journal news release. The most common complications were pneumonia (27 percent of complications), urinary tract infections (27 percent) and surgical site infections (16 percent). The findings show that ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Tonsillitis/Pharyngitis

Many Women Still Have Pain One Year After Breast Cancer Surgery

Posted 2 Jan 2014 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 2, 2014 – One year after breast cancer surgery, many women continue to experience pain, according to a new study. Researchers revealed that the factors associated with the women's pain included chronic pain and depression before surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. "Persistent pain following breast cancer treatments remains a significant clinical problem despite improved treatment strategies," Dr. Tuomo Meretoja, of Helsinki University Central Hospital, and colleagues wrote in the report. "Data on factors associated with persistent pain are needed to develop prevention and treatment strategies and to improve the quality of life for breast cancer patients," the study authors added. The research, published in the Jan. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, involved 860 women younger than 75 years of age who had undergone surgery for breast ... Read more

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FDA Medwatch Alert: Baxter 5 Percent Dextrose Injection, USP And 0.9 Percent Sodium Chloride Injection, USP Intravenous (IV) Solutions: Recall - Particulate Matter In Solution

Posted 27 Dec 2013 by

Product Name Product Code NDC Container Size Lot # Exp. 5% Dextrose Injection, USP 2B0089 0338-0017-38 100 mL P285288 Nov-13 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP 2B1308 0338-0049-31 50 mL P297283 Aug-14 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP 2B1302 0338-0049-18 100 mL P292326 Apr-14         P293993 May-14 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP 2B1309 0338-0049-38 100 mL P293514 Apr-14   [Posted 12/27/2013]  ISSUE: Baxter International Inc. initiated a voluntary recall to the hospital/user level of one lot of 5% Dextrose Injection, USP and four lots of 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP due to particulate matter found in the solutions. Injecting a product containing particulate matter may result in blockages of blood vessels, which can result in stroke, heart attack or damage to other organs such as the kidney or liver. There is also the possibility of allergic reactions, local ... Read more

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Many Women Suffer Persistent Pain After Mastectomy

Posted 14 Nov 2013 by

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 – Although breast cancer treatments have dramatically improved outcomes for women with the disease, ongoing pain continues to trouble many survivors long after they undergo a mastectomy, a new study finds. In conducting the study, researchers examined 611 women who had a partial or total mastectomy to determine which factors contributed to their pain following the surgery. Those factors included tumor size, stress or demographics. The women had also received chemotherapy and radiation with or without hormone therapy. One-third of the women reported persistent pain in their breast, underarm, side or arm that had not improved in the three years following their surgery. Researchers Dr. Inna Belfer, an associate professor of anesthesiology at the University of Pittsburgh, and her colleagues found no evidence that the type of mastectomy a woman had, the size of her tumor ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Surgery, Breast Cancer

New Research May Help Spare Patients 'Accidental Awareness' During Surgery

Posted 23 Oct 2013 by

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 23 – A new study offers insight into what happens in the brain when a person is given anesthesia, and the finding could help spare patients the traumatic experience of becoming aware of their own surgery. The British researchers suspect they've found a type of brain activity that marks the point when patients truly go under, and are no longer conscious. If further research confirms that this is the point where people lose awareness, "it may change the way that anesthetics are delivered worldwide," said study co-author Katie Warnaby, a research fellow at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. At issue: Patients who aren't fully anesthetized when they undergo an operation or who begin to regain consciousness before the surgery is finished. Physicians believe so-called "accidental awareness" is rare, with one survey of anesthesiologists suggesting that the rate of ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Anesthesia

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