Coronary Bypass Preferable To Stenting For Diabetes With LV Dysfunction Interview with:

Dr. Jayan Nagendran MD, PhD, FRCSC Director of Research, Division of Cardiac Surgery Associate Professor, Department of Surgery Division of Cardiac Surgery University of Alberta

Dr. Nagendran

Dr. Jayan Nagendran MD, PhD, FRCSC
Director of Research, Division of Cardiac Surgery
Associate Professor, Department of Surgery
Division of Cardiac Surgery
University of Alberta What is the background for this study?

Response: The primary modalities of treatment of symptomatic coronary artery disease (coronary heart disease) are either percutaneous coronary intervention (coronary stunting) or coronary artery bypass grafting surgery. There are well designed clinical trials that guide clinical practice for the treatment of patients with diabetes requiring coronary revascularization and there are trials that examine the best modality of coronary revascularization in patients with left ventricular dysfunction. However, there is a lack of evidence for patients with both diabetes and left ventricular dysfunction. As such, we performed a propensity matched study of patients with diabetes and left ventricular dysfunction undergoing either percutaneous coronary intervention compared to coronary artery bypass grafting surgery. We used our provincial database that captures >100,000 patients undergoing coronary angiography to attain our two cohorts for comparison.

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Bariatric Surgery Associated With Reduced Need For Diabetes Medications at Six Years Interview with:
Dr Jérémie Thereauz
Praticien Hospitalier
Chirurgie viscérale et digestive What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Bariatric surgery has been proved to reduce type 2 diabetes in morbid obese patients. However, results of bariatric surgery at a nationwide level are lacking.

The aim of our study was to assess the 6-year antidiabetic treatment continuation, discontinuation or initiation rates after BS compared with matched control obese patients.

This large-scale nationwide study confirms that bariatric surgery is responsible for a significant 6-year postoperative antidiabetic treatment discontinuation rate compared to baseline and compared to an obese control group without surgery, and a low treatment initiation rate, with gastric bypass being the most effective procedure. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: This long term study confirms at a nationwide level, previous mid term randomized studies finding effiicency of bariatric surgery in type 2 diabetes for patients with morbid obesity associated. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Patients and physicians must be aware that morbid obesity still remains a chronic disease even after bariatric surgery, as 50% of patients with pre-existing antidiabetic treatment remained on treatment 6 years after surgery. Our study highlights the message that these patients require careful lifelong follow-up to monitor obesity complications. Complementary medico-economic study would be helpful to determine the relevance of such treatment in a national health care system.

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Thereaux J, Lesuffleur T, Czernichow S, Basdevant A, Msika S, Nocca D, Millat B, Fagot-Campagna A. Association Between Bariatric Surgery and Rates of Continuation, Discontinuation, or Initiation of Antidiabetes Treatment 6 Years Later. JAMA Surg. Published online February 14, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2017.6163

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Hemophilia B: Rebinyn® Now Available To Treat Acute Bleeds and Surgical Bleeding Interview with:

Stephanie Seremetis, M.D. Corporate Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Biopharmaceuticals at Novo Nordisk

Dr. Stephanie Seremetis

Stephanie Seremetis, M.D.
Corporate Vice President and Chief Medical Officer
Biopharmaceuticals at Novo Nordisk
What is the background for this announcement?

Response: We’re proud and excited to make Rebinyn® (Coagulation Factor IX (Recombinant), GlycoPEGylated) available as a new extended half-life treatment for hemophilia B management.

Rebinyn® is an injectable medicine used to treat and control bleeding in adults and children with hemophilia B. It can be used to treat bleeds when they occur and to manage bleeding during surgery. Rebinyn® is not used for routine prophylaxis or for immune tolerance induction in patients with hemophilia B.

Hemophilia B is a serious, chronic, inherited bleeding disease that affects about 5,000 people in the U.S. People living with hemophilia B have low levels of clotting Factor IX protein in the blood, often resulting in prolonged or spontaneous bleeding, especially into the muscles, joints or internal organs.  Continue reading

With or Without Reconstruction, Hard To Predict How You Will Feel After Mastectomy Interview with:
Dr. Clara Nan-hi Lee, MD Comprehensive Cancer Center The Ohio State UniversityDr. Clara Nan-hi Lee, MD
Comprehensive Cancer Center
The Ohio State University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The decision about breast reconstruction is very challenging because it’s unfamiliar, involves complex risk information, affects very personal concerns, and happens at a stressful time. One of the challenges is to predict how one will feel after the surgery. We know from psychology research that people often mis-predict their future emotions. So we were interested to see how well women predict their future well being after surgery.

The main findings are that patients having mastectomy without reconstruction believed they would be less satisfied than they turned out to be. And patients having mastectomy with reconstruction believed they would be more satisfied than they turned out to be. Continue reading

HoloLens Uses Mixed Reality To Facilitate Reconstruction in Trauma Patients Interview with:
Dr. Dimitri Amiras, FRCR
Consultant radiologist
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
Dr. Philip Pratt PhD
Research Fellow
Department of Surgery & Cancer
Imperial College London at St Mary’s Hospital What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We have used the Microsoft HoloLens to assist with complex reconstructive surgery on several patients at a major trauma centre at St Marys Hospital. We believe this is the first report of such a use in reconstructive surgery.

From dedicated CT scans we have been able to construct patient specific 3D models of the vascular channels supplying the skin to help the surgeon plan their surgical approach for the harvest of these skin flaps. These 3D models are then projected onto the patient as holograms using the Microsoft HoloLens making the information available and directly relevant at the time of the procedure.

The technique helps the surgeon in planning his approach for the patient as well saving time locating the correct vessels at the time of surgery. 

The surgeon's view. Credit: Philip Pratt, et al. Eur Radiol Exp, 2018

Surgical View Using Mixed Reality Image Created By HoloLens
Credit: Philip Pratt, et al.

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Rate of Breast Biopsy After Cancer Treatment Relatively Low, and Most Are Benign Interview with:

Dr-Henry M Kuerer.jpg

Dr. Kuerer

Henry M. Kuerer, MD, PhD, FACS
Executive Director, Breast Programs
MD Anderson Cancer Network
Endowed Distinguished Professor in Cancer Research
Division of Surgery Why did you undertake this study?

Response: Many of our patients feel very overwhelmed with their new cancer diagnosis and have concern over the future need for biopsies. Many think that complete removal of the breast is a good way to prevent future cancer-related biopsies.  We did not have any good comprehensive data on the incidence of needing biopsies during follow-up for breast cancer.

As a surgeon this information is something that I can use daily when discussing breast cancer treatment options regarding future expectations following breast cancer treatment.

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Appendicitis: Some Patients Prefer Antibiotics to Surgery Interview with:

Marc D. Basson, MD, PhD, MBA Professor of Surgery, Pathology, and Biomedical Science Senior Associate Dean for Medicine and Research University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences Grand Forks, ND 58202

Dr. Basson

Marc D. Basson, MD, PhD, MBA
Professor of Surgery, Pathology, and Biomedical Science
Senior Associate Dean for Medicine and Research
University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences
Grand Forks, ND 58202 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: There are now several studies that describe the use of antibiotics without surgery to manage acute uncomplicated appendicitis.

This entails a prolonged treatment course and has a substantial rate of failure and recurrence, but in patients in whom it succeeds surgery can be avoided. Many surgeons resist offering this choice because they perceive it as substandard compared to surgery, which is rapid, and when it goes well (as it usually does) has no failure or recurrence rate. Instead of debating the statistics, we decided to ask people what they would prefer if they had appendicitis and why.

We found that about nine tenths of people would choose surgery, but about one tenth would choose antibiotics, with some subtle distinctions depending on the characteristics of the people we asked.  (For instance, surgeons, doctors in general, and people who knew someone who had previously had appendicitis were all a bit more likely to opt for surgery.)  Furthermore, we found that the key issue for most people was not the prolonged treatment course but the rates of failure and recurrence with antibiotics.

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Teaching Deep Breathing Before Abdominal Surgery Reduced Post-Op Pneumonia Interview with:
Ianthe Boden

Titled Cardiorespiratory APAM, PhD Candidate, MSc, BAppSc
Manager Abdominal Surgery Research Group
Clinical Lead – Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy, Physiotherapy Department
Allied Health Services
Tasmanian Health Services – North |
Launceston General Hospital
Launceston TA What is the background for this study?

Response: Major upper abdominal surgery involves opening up the abdomen – mainly to remove cancer or damaged bowel, liver, stomach, pancreas, or kidney.  It is, by far, the most common major surgical procedure performed in developed countries with millions of procedures performed per annum. Unfortunately a respiratory complication following these operations occurs relatively frequently with between 1 in 10 to almost a half of all patients getting some type of respiratory complication after surgery. Respiratory complications included problems such as pneumonia, lung collapse, respiratory failure, and an acute asthma attack. These complications, especially pneumonia and respiratory failure, are strongly associated with significant morbidity, mortality, increased antibiotic usage and longer hospital stay.

These breathing problems occur quite quickly after surgery, becoming evident usually within the first two to three days after surgery. In an effort to ameliorate these complications in developed countries it is common for physiotherapists/respiratory therapists to see a patient for the first time on the day after surgery and start patients doing breathing exercises. However as respiratory dysfunction starts occurring immediately following surgery it is debated that these breathing exercises are being provided too late. Initiating prophylactic treatment more than 24 hours after the end of surgery may not be as effective as starting prophylaxis immediately. Unfortunately, immediately after surgery patients are either very sleepy, in pain, feeling sick, or delirious. It may not be possible to effectively teach patients at this point on the importance of breathing exercises and get good performance.

One method to overcome this would be to meet patients before the operation to educate them about their risk of a postoperative chest infection and to motivate and train them to perform breathing exercises to do immediately on waking from surgery. Previous trials have indicated that this may help prevent postoperative respiratory complications, although evidence is inconclusive and weak.

We set out to robustly and conclusively see if respiratory complications could be prevented after major upper abdominal surgery if patients were taught breathing exercises to do as soon as they woke up after the operation. We ran this trial in two countries (Australia and New Zealand) and three different types of hospitals.  All patients were met by a physiotherapist at our hospitals’ scheduled pre-admission clinic appointment and either provided with an information booklet (control) or provided with an additional 30 minute education and training session with the physiotherapist. At this preoperative session the patient was educated about respiratory complications, their risk, and how to prevent them with breathing exercises. These exercises were then taught and practiced for just three repetitions. Patients were instructed to do these breathing exercises for 20 repetitions as soon as they woke from surgery and then 20 times every hour after surgery until they were up and out of bed frequently.

Following surgery each patient had a standardised rehabilitation program and no respiratory therapy of any type was provided to the patients after surgery.

For the first two weeks after surgery patients were assessed daily for a respiratory complication by research assistants unaware of what treatment the patient had received before surgery.

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Medicaid Expansion Led To Better, More Timely Surgical Care Interview with:

Andrew Phillip Loehrer MD MPH Fellow in Surgical Oncology Department The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Loehrer

Andrew Phillip Loehrer MD MPH
Fellow in Surgical Oncology Department
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: A growing number of studies have examined the effects of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion.  But none to date have looked at effects on surgical conditions, which are both expensive and potentially life-threatening.  We examined data for nearly 300,000 patients who presented to hospitals with common and serious surgical conditions such as appendicitis and aortic aneurysms.

We found that expansion of Medicaid coverage was linked to increased insurance coverage for these patients, but even more importantly, Medicaid expansion led patients to come to the hospital earlier before complications set in, and they also received better surgical care once they got there.

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Unnecessary Routine Preoperative Cataract Testing Costs Medicare Millions Interview with:
Catherine L. Chen, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor
UCSF Department of Anesthesia & Perioperative Care What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Routine preoperative medical testing (such as common laboratory tests looking at a patient’s blood cell counts and kidney function, or cardiac tests like an EKG) are not recommended in patients undergoing cataract surgery, but these tests still occur quite frequently among Medicare cataract surgery patients because these patients tend to be older and sicker than the general population. In the past, researchers have used a 30-day window counting backwards from the date of surgery to determine whether a given test should be categorized as a routine preoperative test. However, we know that testing often takes place outside this window and therefore, the frequency and cost of routine preoperative medical testing has generally been underreported.

In our study, we used a new method to figure out how to determine the start of the routine preoperative testing period. In cataract patients, ocular biometry is a diagnostic test that is performed in anticipation of cataract surgery, and this test is only performed in cataract patients who will be having cataract surgery in the near future. For each patient, we calculated the elapsed time between the ocular biometry and cataract surgery dates to get a better idea of when to start looking for unnecessary routine preoperative testing. Our goal was to identify all the routine preoperative medical testing that occurs once the decision has been made to operate and better estimate the cost to Medicare of this unnecessary testing.

In a previous study that we published in the New England Journal of Medicine, we reported a significant spike in the rate of routine preoperative medical testing that occurs in the 30 days before surgery compared to the baseline rate of testing. In our current study, we discovered that there is a second spike in testing that occurs in the 30 days after ocular biometry. In fact, even if you exclude the testing that takes place during the 30 days before surgery, there is still a 41% increase in testing rates during the interval between ocular biometry and cataract surgery over the baseline rate of testing. In addition, we found that the cost of routine preoperative testing was 47% higher when looking at the entire biometry to surgery timeframe compared to testing that occurs just in the 30 days before surgery.

We estimate that the cost to Medicare of all of this unnecessary testing approaches $45.4 million annually. Continue reading