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Surgery News

Take Meds as Directed to Boost Survival After Heart Procedures

Posted 1 day 2 hours ago by

THURSDAY, Oct. 20, 2016 – Taking medications as prescribed improves outcomes for heart procedure patients, a new study finds. Researchers looked at 973 heart bypass patients and 2,255 patients who underwent angioplasty and stenting to reopen clogged heart arteries. Heart bypass surgery is when surgeons take a piece of blood vessel from somewhere else in the body to bypass a blocked portion of the heart's artery. Angioplasty is performed using a thin catheter that's threaded through the blood vessels to the heart. A balloon on the end of the catheter is inflated to open the narrowed blood vessel. Sometimes a stent (a mesh or wire tube) will be left in the blood vessel to keep it open. Prescribed medications in the study included cholesterol-lowering statins, blood thinners and beta blockers. Follow-up information was collected 12 to 18 months after the heart procedures. Overall, ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Aspirin, Metoprolol, Atenolol, Lipitor, Propranolol, Simvastatin, Crestor, Bystolic, Atorvastatin, Carvedilol, Pravastatin, Bisoprolol, Excedrin, Coreg, Inderal, Zocor, Sotalol, Lovastatin, Toprol-XL

Study Counters Notion That Heart Surgery Poses More Kidney Risks to Women

Posted 5 days ago by

THURSDAY, Oct. 20, 2016 – A new study challenges the belief that women are more likely than men to develop kidney damage after heart surgery. Researchers reviewed 64 studies that included more than 1 million patients to see the actual risk of acute kidney injury (AKI) after heart surgery. AKI is a sudden decrease in kidney function. This condition can occur when kidneys are deprived of normal blood flow during major surgery. The studies covered a period of more than 25 years. Previous research has shown that women are more likely than men to develop kidney damage after heart surgery, yet the opposite is true after general surgery. The new study found that women, in general, were more likely than men to develop kidney damage after heart surgery. But, this wasn't the case when patient characteristics and other factors were taken into account. For example, women having heart surgery were ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Heart Disease, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Renal and Genitourinary Disorders

Cartilage From Nose Used to Repair Damaged Knees

Posted 5 days ago by

THURSDAY, Oct. 20, 2016 – Using cells from the cartilage in patients' noses, Swiss doctors have successfully made patches to treat 10 adults whose knee cartilage was damaged by injury. Two years after the transplants, most of the patients grew new cartilage in their knees and reported improvements in pain, knee function and quality of life. "We have developed a new, promising approach to the treatment of articular cartilage injuries," said lead researcher Ivan Martin, a professor of tissue engineering at the University of Basel. The articular cartilage is the tissue that covers and protects the ends of the knee bones, and injuries to it can lead to degenerative joint conditions like osteoarthritis. Although the results of this preliminary trial are encouraging, more research is needed before this technique could become widely available, Martin stressed. "Before this can be offered to ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Knee Joint Replacement, Diagnosis and Investigation

Elective Surgeries on Fridays Are Safe: Study

Posted 7 days ago by

TUESDAY, Oct. 18, 2016 – People having elective surgery on Fridays are no more likely to die than people who undergo procedures any other weekday, a large Canadian study suggests. Prior studies have shown a higher risk of death among patients opting for surgery on Fridays, the authors behind the new study said. One British study found a 44 percent increase in death risk among patients who had surgery on a Friday as compared to a Monday. Canadian investigators wanted to determine whether this "weekday effect" was real. Are surgeons who operate on Fridays less experienced? Does that inexperience translate into worse outcomes? The researchers examined close to 403,000 elective, daytime surgical procedures performed by nearly 1,700 different surgeons at Ontario hospitals over a 10-year period – from 2002 to 2012. "Yes, surgeons who operate on Friday are less experienced than those that ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Hip Replacement, Orthopedic Surgery

Rates of Preventive Mastectomy Doubled in a Decade, and Fear Is a Factor

Posted 7 days ago by

TUESDAY, Oct. 18, 2016 – Fear of cancer recurrence seems to be a primary reason why breast cancer patients choose to have their cancer-free breast removed at the same time as their affected breast, a new study finds. The rate of this type of surgery – called contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) – doubled in the United States in the past 10 years. Recent data suggest that up to 25 percent of newly diagnosed breast cancer patients undergo this procedure, the study authors noted. The researchers wanted to find out why so many patients decide to have the surgery. They looked at breast cancer patient postings in an online health community. Along with fear of cancer recurrence, many women believe that a double mastectomy is the best treatment for breast cancer, the investigators found. Some patients had already had a breast cancer recurrence and decided on preventive mastectomy in ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Heart Surgery Devices May Have Been Contaminated: CDC

Posted 12 days ago by

THURSDAY, Oct. 13, 2016 – Special devices used during open heart surgery may have been contaminated with bacteria that puts patients at risk for life-threatening infections, U.S. health officials warned Thursday. Some LivaNova PLC (formerly Sorin Group Deutschland GmbH) Stockert 3T heater-cooler devices, which are used during many open heart surgeries, might have been contaminated with Mycobacterium chimaera bacteria during manufacturing, the officials said. People who have had open heart surgery should seek medical care if they have infection-related symptoms, such as night sweats, muscle aches, weight loss, fatigue or unexplained fever, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a news release. The agency also said that hospitals and doctors should identify and inform patients who might have been put at risk. "It's important for clinicians and their patients to be ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery

When Complications Arise, Some Hospitals Get Paid a Lot More

Posted 13 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 12, 2016 – Medicare pays some U.S. hospitals two to three times more than others to care for older adults who experience complications after major surgery, a new analysis finds. Those higher payments aren't always associated with better clinical care, the study authors said. The findings suggest that some hospitals deal with surgical complications, such as serious bleeding, infection and kidney failure, more efficiently than others, the authors noted. "If we had found that they're spending more money, but they're actually saving people's lives, it's worth it, right?" said Dr. Hari Nathan, the study's senior author. "But that's actually not what we found," said Nathan, an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Michigan Medical School. "They're not actually getting any better outcomes," he said. Hospitals with the highest "cost of rescue" – the costs of ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Bleeding Disorder, Blood Transfusion, Orthopedic Surgery, Renal and Genitourinary Disorders, Postoperative Albumin Loss

Back Surgery Doesn't Knock All NFL Players Out of the Game: Study

Posted 16 days ago by

SUNDAY, Oct. 9, 2016 – Most professional football players who have surgery for an injured disc in the upper spine return to play and perform at a high level, a new study contends. Researchers looked at 53 National Football League players who had surgery for a herniated disc in the upper (cervical) spine between 1979 and 2013. Most returned to play after surgery and rehabilitation, including 67 percent of those who had upper-level injuries and 72 percent with lower injuries. Recovery time was about nine months. On average, players continued playing for about three years and 44 games after surgery, the study authors said. Results of the study may help guide decisions for players who suffer these potentially career-ending injuries, according to researcher Dr. Harry Mai and colleagues. Mai is with the department of orthopaedic surgery at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery

Older Surgery Patients Should Be Screened for Frailty: Study

Posted 19 days ago by

THURSDAY, Oct. 6, 2016 – Screening older surgery patients for frailty could improve their outcomes and chances for survival, researchers say. But frailty often goes unrecognized in these patients, according to a study published online Oct. 6 in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. "Patients with frail health have less ability to overcome stressors such as illness, falls and injury, and have a higher risk of adverse effects from medications, procedures and surgery," study co-author Dr. Angela Beckert said in a journal news release. Beckert is an assistant professor in the division of geriatrics and gerontology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee. "If a patient is more robust, with better physical performance and vigor – in other words, less frail – then I believe surgical outcomes would be better," she added. Beckert's team screened 125 patients for signs of frailty; their ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Fatigue, Weight Loss, Weight Loss/Failure to Thrive, Surgical Prophylaxis, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Prevention of Falls

Delaying Breast Reconstruction After Cancer May Raise Patients' Anxiety

Posted 4 Oct 2016 by

TUESDAY, Oct. 4, 2016 – Breast reconstruction immediately after breast removal surgery due to cancer may help reduce a patient's mental distress, a new study suggests. This approach isn't always an option. However, the study finding suggests that immediate breast reconstruction "may protect breast cancer patients from a period of psychosocial distress, poor body image, and diminished sexual well-being, compared to those waiting" for delayed reconstruction, said Dr. Toni Zhong and colleagues at the University of Toronto. The study included 106 breast cancer patients who underwent breast removal surgery followed by breast reconstruction. Thirty patients had reconstruction during the same surgery as breast removal, while 76 had delayed breast reconstruction, an average of three years after the mastectomy. Before mastectomy, 26 percent of study participants had increased levels of anxiety ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Surgery, Anxiety and Stress, Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant

Encouraging Surgical ICU Patients to Get Moving Pays Off

Posted 2 Oct 2016 by

FRIDAY, Sept. 30, 2016 – Getting out of bed and moving around as soon as possible benefits surgical intensive care unit patients, a new study shows. Among 200 surgical ICU patients in the United States, Germany and Austria, those encouraged to move around sooner than usual were discharged from the ICU and the hospital earlier than others, researchers found. "We have become much more successful in making sure patients hospitalized after serious injury or major surgery survive their stays in surgical ICUs," said study leader Dr. Matthias Eikermann, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "But many patients who spend a long time in the ICU develop muscle weakness that can lead to prolonged rehabilitation requirements, with some being unable to walk or take care of themselves up to a year after hospital discharge," he said in a hospital news release. Setting daily goals for each ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Hip Replacement, Knee Joint Replacement, Orthopedic Surgery, Surgical Prophylaxis

Countless Opioid Pills Unused by Dental-Surgery Patients

Posted 27 Sep 2016 by

TUESDAY, Sept. 27, 2016 – More than half of the narcotic painkillers prescribed after wisdom teeth removal go unused, according to a new study that suggests this could contribute to the U.S. opioid epidemic. "When translated to the broad U.S. population, our findings suggest that more than 100 million opioid pills prescribed to patients following surgical removal of impacted wisdom teeth are not used, leaving the door open for possible abuse or misuse by patients, or their friends or family," said study author Dr. Brandon Maughan. Previous studies have shown that many painkiller abusers take extra pills that were prescribed for friends or relatives, Maughan and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine, noted in a school news release. For the study, the researchers examined painkiller use by 79 patients who had their ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Surgery, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Oral and Dental Conditions, Opana ER, Roxicodone

New Type of Radiation Treatment May Up Survival for Older Lung Cancer Patients

Posted 26 Sep 2016 by

MONDAY, Sept. 26, 2016 – Cutting-edge radiation therapy seems to provide a significant survival advantage for older people with early stage lung cancer who aren't strong enough for surgery, a pair of new studies suggests. The therapy is called stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and it's been available for about a decade. The first study reviewed national cancer data and found that survival rates for older lung cancer patients treated with radiation therapy increased dramatically between 2004 and 2012. Those are the years during which SBRT use became widespread in the United States, said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Farach, a radiation oncologist at Houston Methodist Hospital. A second study based on Veterans Affairs cancer treatment data appears to corroborate the national findings, directly linking increased use of SBRT with improved survival rates in elderly patients. Farach ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, History - Radiation Therapy, Bronchogenic Carcinoma

'Medical Tattoos' Help Hide Surgical Scars

Posted 23 Sep 2016 by

FRIDAY, Sept. 23, 2016 – Patients with unsightly scars from cancer surgeries may benefit from "medical tattoos" that can help restore some of the skin's natural appearance, Dutch researchers report. The researchers surveyed 56 patients who got medical tattoos on their head and neck, and found they were pleased with the results. "The mystery until now was how well patients appreciated the technique," said study co-author Dr. Rick van de Langenberg, an ear, nose and throat surgeon at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. In addition to saying their scars looked better, "patients were less stressed about the appearance of the scar and thought less about it," he said. U.S. experts noted that the procedure is common in the United States. In a general sense, "medical tattooing had been performed in the U.S. for decades," said Dr. Fred Fedok, president-elect of the American Academy of ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Cancer, Skin and Structure Infection, Keloids

More Breast Cancer Patients Should Get Radiation, New Guidelines Say

Posted 21 Sep 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21, 2016 – New guidelines issued by three leading cancer organizations suggest that more breast cancer patients should get radiation therapy after a mastectomy. Overall, the guidelines say there's enough evidence to show radiation treatment after a mastectomy decreases the risk of breast cancer recurrence, and that even women with smaller tumors and three or fewer lymph nodes involved can benefit from the therapy. "The new guidelines say there is clear evidence that the benefit of [post-mastectomy radiation therapy] extends to women with limited lymph node involvement," said Dr. Stephen Edge. He is vice president for health care outcomes and policy at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. Edge was co-chair of the panel that developed the new guidelines. One radiation treatment expert welcomed the updated recommendations. "The guideline is timely," said Dr. ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Surgical Prophylaxis, Breast Cancer - Palliative, History - Radiation Therapy

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