TAVR Linked To Improved Quality of Life Even After Two Years

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Suzanne J. Baron, MD, MSc Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute School of Medicine University of Missouri, Kansas City

Dr. Baron

Suzanne J. Baron, MD, MSc
Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute
School of Medicine
University of Missouri, Kansas City

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) has emerged as a viable treatment option for patients with severe aortic stenosis in patients at high and intermediate surgical risk.  Prior studies have demonstrated that both TAVR and surgical AVR (SAVR) results in substantial quality of life benefit in patients at high surgical risk.

Whether these results applied to an intermediate risk population was unknown and so we performed a prospective study alongside the PARTNER 2A trial to compare both short- and long-term health status outcomes in intermediate-risk patients with AS treated with either TAVR or SAVR.   The analysis included 1833 patients (950 TAVR, 833 SAVR), who were evaluated at 1 month, 1 year and 2 years post procedure.  By 1 month, quality of life had improved in both the TAVR and SAVR groups, although the gain was significantly greater in patients treated with TAVR via the transfemoral approach as opposed to patients treated with SAVR or with TAVR via the transthoracic approach (i.e. direct aortic access or transapical access).   At 1 and 2 years, both TAVR (via either approach) and SAVR were associated with similarly large, clinically meaningful improvements from baseline in both disease-specific and generic health status scales at 2 years.

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Sweat Sensors Can Guage Surgical Residents’ Confidence With Procedures

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jacob Quick, M.D.</strong> Assistant professor of acute care surgery University of Missouri School of Medicine Dr. Quick also serves as a trauma surgeon at MU Health Care.

Dr. Quick

Jacob Quick, M.D.
Assistant professor of acute care surgery
University of Missouri School of Medicine
Dr. Quick also serves as a trauma surgeon at MU Health Care.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: During five to seven years of surgical training, surgical faculty determine the level of clinical competency, confidence and decision-making skills of each resident physician through personal observations. This skill evaluation is based on a subjective assessment, which essentially is a gut feeling.

We monitored electrodermal activity, or EDA, using dermal sensors on the wrists of residents while they performed laparoscopic cholecystectomies. Our initial findings indicated that at crucial points during the procedures, residents’ EDA increased as much as 20 times more than experienced faculty performing the same surgery. However, over the course of the study, and as their proficiency developed, surgical residents’ EDA levels began to lower in accordance with their experience. Continue reading

Dramatic Increase in ACL Injuries and Surgery in Adolescent Girls

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Mackenzie M. Herzog, MPH PhD Candidate, Injury Epidemiology The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 

Mackenzie Herzog

Mackenzie M. Herzog, MPH
PhD Candidate, Injury Epidemiology
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: In 1999, a study by Arendt et al. reported that women were more likely to tear their ACL than men while playing the same sport. Since then, numerous studies have investigated this sex difference in ACL injury, and many prevention programs targeting youth athletes have been developed and tested. Although randomized trials have demonstrated the value of injury prevention programs in reducing the risk of ACL injury, the overall impact of these programs has not been examined in the general population. Our study investigated the net impact of research and prevention efforts over nearly 20 years in reducing ACL injuries by assessing time trends of ACL reconstruction, a consequence of ACL injury, among commercially-insured individuals in the United States.

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Wireless Monitoring Feasible Both Before and After Surgery

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Virginia Sun, RN, PhD Assistant Professor Division of Nursing Research and Education Department of Population Sciences Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program City of Hope Duarte, CA 91010

Dr. Sun

Virginia Sun, RN, PhD
Assistant Professor
Division of Nursing Research and Education
Department of Population Sciences
Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program
City of Hope Duarte, CA 91010 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Surgery is one of the most effective and important treatment strategies for cancer. Surgical procedures are by definition invasive, and patients are at risk for unpleasant symptoms, impaired functional status, and poor quality of life. Traditionally, mortality has been the sole measure to assess the risk of most surgical procedures. However, as surgical mortality has sharply declined, focus has shifted toward other endpoints, including patient-centered outcomes. There are critical gaps to assessing and integrating patient-centered outcomes into the surgical oncology workflow.

We conducted this proof-of-concept study to assess the feasibility and acceptability of a wireless monitoring approach for patient-centered outcomes before and after a major abdominal cancer surgery.

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Guidelines Linked to Reduced Surgery After Lumpectomy for Breast Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Monica Morrow, MD, FACS Chief, Breast Service Department of Surgery Anne Burnett Windfohr Chair of Clinical Oncology Memorial Sloan Kettering

Dr. Morrow

Monica Morrow, MD, FACS
Chief, Breast Service
Department of Surgery
Anne Burnett Windfohr Chair of Clinical Oncology
Memorial Sloan Kettering

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Although we know that bigger surgery does not result in better patient outcomes in breast cancer, since 2005 rates of lumpectomy have been decreasing accompanied by an increase in bilateral mastectomy for unilateral cancer.

High rates of second surgery after initial lumpectomy are one deterrent for patients. In 2013 the SSO and ASTRO developed an evidence based consensus guideline endorsing no ink on tumor as the standard negative margin width for women with stage 1 and 2 cancer having breast conserving surgery with whole breast irradiation. The purpose of our study was to examine time trends in the use of additional surgery after lumpectomy before and after guideline dissemination and to determine the impact of these trends on final rates of breast conservation.

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Better Communication Linked To Reduced Racial Disparities in Breast Reconstruction Surgery

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Elham Mahmoudi, PhD, MS Section of Plastic Surgery, University of Michigan Medical School Ann Arbor, Michigan

Dr. Mahmoudi

Elham Mahmoudi, PhD, MS
Section of Plastic Surgery, University of Michigan Medical School
Ann Arbor, Michigan

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: About one-third of all women diagnosed with breast cancer undergo mastectomy. In recent years, owing to advancements in screening and treatment, life expectancy after being diagnosed with breast cancer has increased. Research has shown that for patients who undergo mastectomy, breast reconstruction offers many psychological benefits such as improved self-esteem, reduced sexual dysfunction, decreased anxiety, and overall improvement in quality of life. After the passage of the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act in 1998, the coverage of post-mastectomy breast reconstruction (PBR) by any type of health insurance became mandatory. However, there are large and widening racial and ethnic disparities in PBR, with White women having a higher rate of PBR than women from other racial and ethnic groups.

In 2011, the State of New York enacted a law mandating that surgeons advise their patients undergoing mastectomy about available breast reconstruction options, insurance coverage, and referral to a plastic surgeon. We evaluated the effect of this law on racial/ethnic disparities in immediate PBR.

Our results did not show any effect on the overall rate of immediate  post-mastectomy breast reconstruction or on disparities between white and African-American women; however, we found that White-Hispanic and White-other racial/ethnic group disparities in immediate PBR were reduced by 9 and 13 percentage points, respectively. This is a substantial reduction in disparity within only a year after the passage of the law, which demonstrates the importance of physician-patient communication.

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Modified Hospital Elder Life Program Reduces Post-Op Delirium and Length of Stay

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Cheryl Chia-Hui Chen, RN, DNSc

Vice Dean for Student Affairs
Professor of Nursing
National Taiwan University
Nurse Supervisor at National Taiwan University Hospital
Taipei, Taiwan

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Older patients undergoing abdominal surgery often experience preventable delirium, which greatly influences their postoperative recovery and hospital length of stay. The modified Hospital Elder Life Program (mHELP) utilizes nurses to reduce postoperative delirium and LOS among older patients undergoing abdominal surgery for resection of malignant tumor. The mHELP consisted of 3 protocols: oral and nutritional assistance, early mobilization, and orienting communication, researchers say.

Researchers at the National Taiwan University Hospital randomly assigned 377 patients undergoing abdominal surgery for a malignant tumor to an intervention (n = 197) or usual care (n = 180).

Postoperative delirium occurred in 6.6 percent of mHELP participants vs 15.1 percent of control individuals (odds of delirium reduced by 56 percent). Intervention group participants received the mHELP for a median of 7 days, and they had a median LOS that was two days shorter (12 vs 14 days).

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Risks of Surgery For Thyroid Cancer Higher Than Expected

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Megan Rist Haymart MD Assistant Professor University of Michigan

Dr. Haymart

Megan Rist Haymart MD
Assistant Professor
University of Michigan

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Thyroid cancer is typically treated with thyroid surgery. It is common practice for physicians to inform patients that the risk of vocal cord paralysis or hypoparathyroidism with thyroid surgery is 1-3%.

However, most of these estimates are based on single institution studies with high volume surgeons. In our study we evaluated surgical risks in a population-based cohort. Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare database, we found that 6.5% of thyroid cancer patients developed general post-operative complications (fever, infection, hematoma, cardiopulmonary and thromboembolic events) and 12.3% developed thyroid surgery specific complications (hypoparathyroidism/hypocalcemia, vocal cord/fold paralysis).

Older patient age, presence of comorbidities, and advanced stage disease were associated with the greatest risks of surgical complications.

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Re-Operations After Gastric Band Surgery Are Common and Costly

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Andrew Ibrahim, M.D., M.Sc</strong> Institute for HealthCare Policy and Innovation University of Michigan

Dr. Ibrahim

Andrew Ibrahim, M.D., M.Sc
Institute for HealthCare Policy and Innovation
University of Michigan

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The laparoscopic gastric band was approved by the FDA in 2001 and widely adopted for the surgical treatment of morbid obesity. Reported rates of reoperation to revise or remove the device ranged from 4 to 60 percent in small scale studies, but no population estimates in the United States existed.

In a review of Medicare Claims data between 2006 and 2013, we observed that reoperation was common with 18% of patients requiring at least one reoperation. More over, we found that on average, patients who did need a reoperation often underwent an average of 3.8 additional procedures. Taken together, nearly half (47%) of the $470 million paid by Medicare for device related procedures was for reoperations.

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Vena Cava Filter Use in Trauma and Rates of Pulmonary Embolism, 2003-2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Alan Cook, MD, FACS
Director, Trauma Research Program
Chandler Regional Medical Center
Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery
University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix
Chandler, AZ 85224 and
Frederick B. Rogers MD, MS, FACS
Trauma Surgeon
Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine
Adjunct Professor of Surgery University of Pennsylvania College of Medicine
Department of Surgery

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The morbidity and mortality from pulmonary emboli (PE) are considerable. They range in severity from a problem amenable to outpatient medical management to fatal. Trauma patients are often ineligible for chemoprophylaxis due to the risk for life-threatening bleeding.

Yet traumatic injury can increase a person’s likelihood of having a pulmonary embolus via an array of mechanical and humoral pathways. The vena cava filter (VCF) offered the possibility of PE prophylaxis for patients otherwise vulnerable to PE risk. Use of VCF grew and the rate of use increased even more after the introduction of the retrievable VCF. Our study sought to determine if any temporal variation in VCF use has occurred and investigate if an contemporaneous change in the diagnosis of PE has taken place.

We used three databases to allow a telescoping window of observation from a single state, Pennsylvania (PTOS), to a convenience of sample of trauma centers across the country (NTDB), and finally a national, population-based sample of all hospital discharges in the US (NIS).

A temporal trend was observed in all three datasets with differing magnitudes and time points of change. The variation of vena cava filter use was most pronounced in the PTOS and least dramatic in the NIS, The rate of PE was essentially unchanged during the same period.

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