Cost-effectiveness of Humanitarian Pediatric Cardiac Surgery

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Marcelo G. Cardarelli, MD A member of Inova Medical Group

Dr. Cardarelli

Marcelo G. Cardarelli, MD
Inova Children’s Hospita
Fairfax, Falls Church, Virginia

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

Response: Global Humanitarian Medical efforts consume a large amount of resources (nearly $38B in 2016) and donors (Countries, International organizations, WHO, Individuals) make the decisions as to where their funds should be allocated based on cost-effectiveness studies. Most resources go to prevent/treat infectious diseases, sanitation efforts and maternal/child care issues. An insignificant amount of resources is directed to satisfy the surgical needs of the populations in low and middle income countries (LMICs).

The idea behind our project was to find out if it was cost-effective to perform a tertiary surgical specialty (pediatric cardiac surgery) in this context and the answer (at $171 per DALY averted) was an overwhelming yes!

But most importantly, we believe, as many others do, that judging the cost/effectiveness of an intervention in order to decide resources allocation is valid for diseases that can be prevented, but not relevant when it comes to surgical problems that are not preventable.

Instead, we propose the use of another measure of effectiveness, what we call “The Humanitarian Footprint”.

The Humanitarian Footprint represents the long term benefits, as measured by changes in the life expectancy, extra years of schooling and potential lifetime earnings of patients treated surgically during humanitarian interventions.

To our surprise and based on the results, the effects on society of at least this particular surgical intervention were greater than we expected. We suspect this measure can be used in many other surgical humanitarian interventions as well.  Continue reading

Advanced Prostate Cancer: Risk of Mortality with Surgery vs Radiotherapy

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Anthony Victor D'Amico, MD, PhD Professor and Chief, Genitourinary Radiation Oncology Harvard Medical School

Dr. D’Amico

Anthony Victor D’Amico, MD, PhD
Professor and Chief,
Genitourinary Radiation Oncology
Harvard Medical School

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

Response: This study investigated whether surgery followed by the use of adjuvant low dose radiation and short course hormonal therapy as compared to high dose radiation and hormonal therapy could provide an equivalent low risk of death from prostate cancer amongst men presenting with aggressive and not infrequently fatal Gleason score 9 or 10 prostate cancer.

It has been shown previously (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2673969) and validated in the current study that surgery alone in such cases leads to a more then 2.5-fold increase in the risk of death from prostate cancer as compared to high dose radiation and hormonal therapy.  Continue reading

Who Does Better After Bariatric Surgery?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Alison E. Field, ScD Professor and Chair of Epidemiology Brown University School of Public Heath Providence, RI

Dr. Field

Alison E. Field, ScD
Professor and Chair of Epidemiology
Brown University School of Public Heath
Providence, RI

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

Response: In the United States, approximately 40% of adults are obese. There are a range of treatment options, but relatively few people are able to lose weight and maintain the loss. The most effective treatment is bariatric surgery, but even among patients who have undergone bariatric surgery, there is a range in weight change patterns after surgery. This suggests that not all people with obesity are similar. There may be different causes and optimal treatment plans that vary by obesity subgroup. Our goal was to identify subgroups and to examine if they differed in terms of weight loss after bariatric surgery.

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Racial and Gender Disparities in CABG Surgery After First Heart Attack

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Srikanth Yandrapalli New York Medical College NYMC · Cardiology

Dr. Yandrapalli

Dr. Srikanth Yandrapalli
New York Medical College
NYMC · Cardiology

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

Response: Selection of coronary artery bypass grafting over percutaneous coronary intervention during an acute myocardial infarction is influenced by the extent of coronary artery disease and patient comorbidities. Prior studies have shown sex and racial differences in coronary artery diseaseburden.

We sought to identify if there are any sex and racial differences in the utilization of  coronary artery bypass grafting over percutaneous coronary intervention during a revascularized first  acute myocardial infarction in the US.

We found that males had a higher coronary artery bypass grafting rate than women, and compared to Whites, Blacks had lower coronary artery bypass grafting rate and Asians had higher coronary artery bypass grafting at the time of a first myocardial infarction.

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Brain Metastases: Stereotactic Radiation vs Surgery Compared

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Stephanie E. Weiss MD FASTRO Chief, Division of Neurologic Oncology Associate Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology Director, Radiation Oncology Residency and Fellowship Training Program Fox Chase Cancer Center Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Dr. Weiss

Dr. Stephanie E. Weiss MD FASTRO
Chief, Division of Neurologic Oncology
Associate Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology
Director, Radiation Oncology Residency and Fellowship Training Program
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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

Response: Brain metastasis are the most common form of brain tumor.

Historically all patients received whole brain radiation as the primary therapy. Patients required neurosurgery to remove lesions if there was a question of diagnosis, what the diagnosis is and if there was a mass effect not relieved with steroids. Surgery was also indicated for patients with a single brain lesion because this offers a survival benefit over just receiving whole brain radiotherapy.

In 2003 a randomized trial proved that radiosurgery offers a similar benefit. So the question taxing patients and doctors at tumor boards since has been: which is better? If neurosurgery is superior, we are under-treating a lot of patients with radiosurgery. If radiosurgery is superior, we are subjecting a lot of patients to unnecessary brain surgery. Attempts to study this in a head-to-head randomized trial have failed. Patient and physician preference for one treatment or the other has proven to be a barrier to randomization and accrual. The EORTC 22952-2600 trial was originally designed to compare outcomes with and without whole brain radiation for patients receiving surgery or radiosurgery for brain metastasis.

We used this as the highest-quality source data available to compare local control of brain metastasis after surgery or radiosurgery, adjusted for by receipt or not of whole brain radiation.   Continue reading

Tonsillectomy Often Done When Not Indicated (and vice versa!)

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

A pair of tonsils after surgical removal Wikipedia image

A pair of tonsils after surgical removal
Wikipedia image

Tom Marshall, MSc, PhD, MRCGP, FFPH
Professor of public health and primary care
Institute of Applied Health Research
University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK

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

Response: Tonsillectomy is one of the most common childhood surgical procedures. There are two main indications: recurrent sore throat and sleep-related breathing problems (including obstructive sleep apnoea).

Jack Paradise’s 1984 study made clear tonsillectomy is modestly effective in children with frequent, severe sore throats: seven in one year, or five yearly in two successive years, or three yearly in three successive years. Sore throats must have symptoms: fever, pus seen on tonsils, lymphadenopathy or confirmed Streptococcal infection. With surgery, children average two sore throats in the next year, without surgery, three. Two years later there is no difference. Further research shows the benefits are too tiny to justify surgery in children with less frequent, less severe or undocumented sore throats. Subsequent randomised controlled trials have not changed the evidence. There isn’t enough good evidence to support surgery in children with obstructive sleep apnoea or sleep related breathing problems.

Tonsillectomy is not a trivial procedure, about 2% are readmitted with haemorrhage and about 1 in 40,000 dies. Childhood tonsillectomy is linked to risk of adult autoimmune diseases. It is important to be sure tonsillectomy is only undertaken in children where there are evidence-based indications.

Continue reading

No Detectable Developmental Issues in Children Exposed to Anesthesia and Surgery

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Anesthesia" by Liran Szeiman is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0James D. O’Leary, MD

Department of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine,
Child Health Evaluative Sciences
The Hospital for Sick Children
Department of Anesthesia, University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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

Response: There is substantial evidence from laboratory studies that the developing brain is susceptible to injury from general anesthetic drugs, which culminated in the US Food Drug Administration issuing a safety communication in 2017 stating that the use of general anaesthetic drugs “for lengthy periods of time or over multiple surgeries or procedures may negatively affect brain development in children younger than 3 years”. Considering the substantial number of children who require general anesthesia every year (almost 3 million in the US annually) even small differences in child development outcomes after surgical procedures that require general anesthesia may have significant public health implications.

Undertaking studies of anesthesia-related neurotoxicity in humans is difficult as adverse child development is a function of the complex interaction between many risk and protective factors. By examining differences between biological siblings in Ontario, Canada, this study seeks to mitigate differences in risk from biological vulnerability and environmental factors, to provide a more accurate estimate of the adverse effects of anesthesia and surgery on child development.

In the current study, young children who had surgical procedures that require general anesthesia were not found to be at increased risk of adverse child development outcomes compared to their biological siblings who did not have surgery. These findings further support that exposure to anesthesia and surgery in early childhood is not associated with detectable adverse child development outcomes. Continue reading

Most Surgical Patients Only Use About 25% Of Their Prescribed Opioids

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Trump: 'The opioid crisis is an emergency'" by Marco Verch is licensed under CC BY 2.0Joceline Vu, MD

Resident, PGY-5
Department of Surgery
University of Michigan 

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

Response: This study examined how much opioid patients use after surgery, and looked at factors that might predispose some patients to use more or less.

Patient opioid use after surgery is an interesting question that’s gained a lot of attention recently, because it’s different from other uses for opioids. If you have chronic pain, you’re probably going to use all of your prescription. But if you have surgery, you may not take all of your pills, and this leaves people with leftover pills that can be dangerous later.

From this study, we found that patients only use, on average, about quarter of their prescription, meaning that a lot of them are left with leftover pills. Moreover, we found that the biggest determinant of how much they used wasn’t how much pain they reported, or any other factor—it was how big their original prescription was.

What this means is that opioid use after surgery isn’t just determined by pain, but also by what surgeons prescribe. It’s important to keep this in mind as we try to reduce unnecessary opioid prescribing after surgical procedures.  Continue reading

Treatment Delays Linked To High Mortality for Head and Neck Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Evan M. Graboyes is a otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon with the Medical University of South Carolina. CREDIT Emma Vought, Medical University of South Carolina

Dr. Graboyes

Dr. Evan M. Graboyes MD
Otolaryngologist: Head and Neck Surgeon
Medical University of South Carolina

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

Response: Unfortunately, there is no screening test for head and neck cancer like there is for colorectal, prostate, breast, lung, or cervical cancers. As a result, two-thirds of patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) present with loco-regionally advanced disease, making other aspects of timely treatment that much more critically important. We therefore sought to understand the association between treatment delay at different points along the cancer care continuum and oncologic outcomes for patients with head and neck cancer.

Continue reading

Atrial Fibrillation after Percutaneous Foramen Ovale Closure

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Akram Elgendy MD Division of Cardiovascular Medicine University of Florida  

Dr. Elgendy

Akram Elgendy MD
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
University of Florida  

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

Response: Recent clinical trials have demonstrated that percutaneous patent foramen ovale closure is associated with lower risk of stroke recurrence in cryptogenic stroke patients. However, new-onset atrial fibrillation (AF) has been reported as a safety concern. To better understand the risk of new-onset AF, we performed a meta-analysis of PFO closure trials in patients with cryptogenic stroke and migraine.

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Adolescent Gun Injuries Peak at Ages 15-17

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Me holding USP gun” by Nghị Trần is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Faiz Gani, PhD
Postdoctoral research fellow
Department of Surgery
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

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

Response: Firearm related injuries are a leading cause of injury and death in the United States, yet, due to combination of factors, limited data exist that evaluate these injuries, particularly among younger patients (patients younger than 18 years).

The objective of this study was to describe emergency department utilization for firearm related injuries and to quantitate the financial burden associated with these injuries.

In our study of over 75,000 emergency department visits, we observed that each year, over 8,300 children and adolescents present to the emergency department for the treatment / management of a gunshot injury. Within this sub-population of patients, we observed that these injuries are most frequent among patients aged 15-17 years and while these injuries decreased over time initially, were observed to increase again towards the end of the time period studied.

In addition to describing the clinical burden of these injuries, we also sought to describe the financial burden associated with these injuries. For patients discharged from the emergency department, the average (median) charge associated with their care was $2,445, while for patients admitted as inpatients for further care, the average (median) charge was $44,966.

Collectively these injuries resulted in $2.5 billion in emergency department and hospital charges over the time period studied. This translates to an annual financial burden of approximately $270 million. Continue reading

Patient Expect Opioids for Pain Control after Surgery

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Surgery" by Army Medicine is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr. Nirmal B. Shah
Anesthesia Resident PGY-IV (CA-III)
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

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

Response: With the ongoing opioid epidemic, we believe it is important to understand patients’ perceptions of pain medications and pain control after surgery. We believe patients’ expectations and perceptions regarding perioperative pain medications has not been well understood. We were hoping to understand patients’ knowledge, concerns, and biases of pain medication along with information to optimize acute pain management.

The goal of this survey study was to understand patient expectations regarding pain medications including opioids and non- opioids.  In the United States, over 100 million surgical procedures are performed every year. Nearly 80% of these patients will experience post-operative pain. Adequate treatment of post-operative pain has been shown to improve clinical and economic outcomes, thus there has been an increased effort towards improving post-operative pain control.

Through our research, we demonstrated that patients expect to experience postoperative pain after a surgical procedure and expect to be prescribed a pain medication. Patients believe that opioid medications will be most effective in treating postoperative pain compared to non-opioid medications, which could be contributing to the opioid epidemic.

503 patients presenting for elective surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA were sampled during this survey. 76% of patients expected to be prescribed an opioid pain medication at discharge, 47% of patients expected to be prescribed acetaminophen (Tylenol) pain medication at discharge, while 30% of patients expected to be prescribed an NSAID (Motrin) pain medication at discharge. 94% of patients expecting to receive an opioid pain medication believe it would be effective in controlling their post-operative pain. This difference was not observed in patients expecting prescriptions for non-opioid pain medications. Overall, patients expect to experience pain after surgery and be prescribed analgesics they perceived to be most effective, opioids. Continue reading

Why Are Children Not Receiving Adequate Treatment For Obesity?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Janey Pratt, MD Clinical Associate Professor, Surgery Stanford UniversityDr. Janey Pratt, MD
Clinical Associate Professor, Surgery
Stanford University

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

Response: In 2013 obesity became recognized as a disease.  The rate of pediatric obesity continues to rise.  Severe pediatric obesity is rising at a even faster rate than obesity in pediatrics.  Despite this Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (MBS) remains underutilized in the treatment of severe pediatric obesity.  There is a significant amount of adult data and now pediatric data about effective treatments for severe obesity.  These support the use of MBS as a primary treatment for severe obesity in children. (BMI > 120% of 95th percentile with a comorbidity or BMI > 140% of 95th percentile).

Continue reading

Mild Cognitive Decline 2-6 Months After Heart Valve Surgery

MedicalResearch.com Interview with

Mark Oldham, M.D. Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Medical Director, PRIME Medicine Proactive Integration of Mental Health Care in Medicine University of Rochester Medical Center

Dr. Oldham

Mark Oldham, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Medical Director, PRIME Medicine
Proactive Integration of Mental Health Care in Medicine
University of Rochester Medical Center

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

Response: Patients who have undergone coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery and, specifically, those who have been placed on cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) have received attention for the potential effects of such procedures on brain health. Heart valve surgery patients have received far less attention, which often leaves clinicians to extrapolate the data from CABG cohorts to their patients preparing to undergo valve surgery. However, there are many reasons why this is far less than ideal, especially as the CABG literature increasingly points to person- and procedure-specific factors as the determinants of postoperative cognitive outcomes.

Continue reading

Animal Study Supports Concern Antibiotic Ciprofloxin Increases Risk of Aortic Rupture

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Segments of the aorta, including: Thoracic aorta Ascending aorta Tortic arch Descending thoracic aorta Abdominal aorta Suprarenal abdominal aorta Infrarenal abdominal aorta Wikipedia Image

Segments of the aorta, including: Thoracic aorta Ascending aorta Tortic arch Descending thoracic aorta Abdominal aorta Suprarenal abdominal aorta Infrarenal abdominal aorta Wikipedia Image


Scott A. LeMaire, MD
Jimmy and Roberta Howell Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery
Vice Chair for Research, Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery
Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
Director of Research, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Baylor College of Medicine
Department of Cardiovascular Surgery
Texas Heart Institute
Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center
CHI St. Luke’s Health
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Surgical Research

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

Response: We performed this study because of concerns about the potential association between fluoroquinolones and aortic aneurysms and dissection raised in two large clinical studies. This concern was noted by the US Food and Drug Administration in May 2016, but the evidence was not deemed sufficient to warrant a warning. Hence, there was a clear need for additional studies to evaluate the problem. Our study was designed to determine whether there is biological evidence that ciprofloxacin—the most commonly prescribed fluoroquinolone—exacerbates aortic disease in a well-established mouse model. The model uses high-fat diet and angiotensin II infusion to stress the aorta and cause aneurysm and dissection. Using this model, we compared mice that received ciprofloxacin to control mice that received only vehicle, and we found that mice that received ciprofloxacin had significant increases in the incidence of aortic dilatation, severe aortic aneurysm and dissection, and aortic rupture and premature death. Importantly, these findings were consistent in male and female mice. Further, we investigated the potential underlying mechanisms and found that the aortas from mice that received ciprofloxacin had decreased levels of lysyl oxidase, increased levels of matrix metalloproteinases, and increased levels of apoptosis and necroptosis. Continue reading

More Patients With Bariatric Surgery Admitted for Gallstone-Related Biliary Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Violeta Popov, MD PhD FACG Assistant Professor of Medicine Director of Bariatric Endoscopy, NY VA Harbor Healthcare(Manhattan) Division of Gastroenterology NYU Langone Medical Center 

Dr. Popov

Violeta Popov, MD PhD FACG
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Director of Bariatric Endoscopy, NY VA Harbor Healthcare(Manhattan)
Division of Gastroenterology
NYU Langone Medical Center 

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

Response: Bariatric surgery is the most effective method currently available for durable weight loss. In the first few months after surgery, patients typically experience significant weight loss. Rapid weight reduction though can lead to the development of gallstones and biliary disease, described in up to 40% of post-bariatric patients. To avoid these complications, the gallbladder was removed during open bariatric procedures in the past. However, with the advent of laparoscopic surgery, concomitant cholecystectomy with bariatric surgery is no longer performed for many reasons.  The aim of is study is to assess if biliary diseases such as acute pancreatitis, acute cholecystitis, acute cholangitis, and cholecystectomy have increased with this change in practice. This is a retrospective cohort analysis of the National Inpatient Sample (NIS), the largest publicly available inpatient database in the United States of nonfederal institutions, with approximately 1000 hospitals participating and information on over 7 million inpatient admissions.

We found that from 2006 to 2014 there has been an approximately 10-fold increase in hospital admissions for biliary diseases, as well as similar increase in cholecystectomies, in patients who have a history of bariatric surgery. There was no significant change in admissions in patients without bariatric surgery between 2006 and 2014 admitted for the same biliary diseases.  Continue reading

In Non-Locking Meniscal Knee Tears, Physical Therapy May Be As Good As Surgery

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Meniscus adalah tisu/rawan berbentuk huruf C yang berfungsi mencegah dua tulang bergesel di antara satu sama lain di bahagian lutut. Tisu meniscus yang koyak berpunca kebiasaannya daripada bersukan yang melibatkan pergerakan lutut yang banyak. Warga emas" by Rawatan Alternatif Shah Alam is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Victor A. van de Graaf, MD
OLVG Ziekenhuis
Amsterdam

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

Response: Although meniscal surgeries are among the most frequently performed surgical procedures in orthopedic surgery, until just recently there were hardly any randomized trials proving its superiority over conservative treatment.

In this randomized clinical trial, including 321 patients with non-obstructive (e.g. no locking of the knee joint) meniscal tears, we found physical therapy non-inferior to arthroscopic partial meniscectomy. 

Continue reading

Two Studies Evaluate OviTex Reinforced BioScaffolds for Hernia and Soft Tissue Repair

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Maarten Persenaire, MD Co-founder, Chief Medical Officer TELA Bio

Dr. Persenaire

Maarten Persenaire, MD
Co-founder, Chief Medical Officer
TELA Bio

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

Response: OviTex Reinforced BioScaffolds (RBSs) are a novel distinct class of surgical implants that combine biologic and synthetic materials in a unique embroidered construction and design for hernia repair and soft tissue reconstruction. The two recent publications reported clinical results of OviTex RBS performance in inguinal and hiatal hernia repair.

Case series published in the International Journal of Surgery Open evaluated the role of OviTex RBSs in inguinal hernia repair to reduce the incidence of chronic postoperative pain. Thirty-one consecutive patients who had inguinal hernia repaired with OviTex RBSs were followed for an average of 12.6 months, during which time there were no reported recurrences, complications requiring surgical intervention or infections. None of the patients reported postoperative inguinal pain beyond the first days after surgery and none required a narcotic pain medication refill.

The second study published in the Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons is the first reported series describing the use of OviTex RBSs in hiatal hernia repair. A retrospective chart review of 25 consecutive patients undergoing laparoscopic or open hiatal hernia repairs with mean follow-up of 14.2 months showed no recurrences. The hiatal hernia repairs with OviTex RBSs resulted in good to excellent control and resolution of symptoms, including heartburn, dysphagia, regurgitation, nausea and vomiting, dyspnea, and chest pain or discomfort.  Continue reading

Factor in Quality of Life When Deciding Radiotherapy vs Surgery in Patients With Oropharyngeal Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. David Sher MD MPH Radiation Oncology, Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center UTSouthwestern Medical Center Associate Senior Editor International Journal of Radiation Oncology

Dr. Sher

Dr. David Sher MD MPH
Radiation Oncology,
Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center
UTSouthwestern Medical Center
Associate Senior Editor International Journal of Radiation Oncology

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

Response: The prevalence of oropharyngeal cancer is rising rapidly, and the two primary therapeutic approaches – upfront radiation therapy or surgery resection – have both been improving in terms of acute and late toxicity profiles. There is significant debate as to which therapy is better, and comparative data are necessary to help physicians and patients decide which paradigm is preferred for a given clinical scenario. Although there is a lot of anecdotal experience in comparing the two treatments, there really is a lack of published data on the question, and this is where our study fits in. 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Were there significant quality-of-life differences between the two treatment modalities?

Response: The main findings were comparable outcomes in long-term survival, toxicity and even cost between primary radiation therapy and primary surgery. This equivalence highlights the importance of patient-centered decision-making and engaging patient preferences in their optimal treatment approach. There was clearly an increase in stomach tube use in patients receiving primary chemoradiotherapy, which may be an important consideration in some patients, depending on the expected functional outcome of initial surgery. This difference became non-significant after a short period of time, but it was real and may influence decision-making.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Readers should take away that there are no particularly large differences between these treatments. Survival, toxicity and cost are all comparable in the long-run. It was quite clear, though, that primary surgery was associated with a lower risk of gastrostomy tube use. Although the difference in tube use was negligible within a few months, the use of any feeding tube may be a deciding factor for some patients. We showed here this difference was due to concurrent chemotherapy during radiotherapy. This result echoes our clinical experience, but we were able to show this finding quite clearly. On the other hand, we also found that the increased dependence with radiation therapy was clearly short-lived, so patients should absolutely not consider this difference as a long-term problem preferentially associated with radiotherapy.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: It is critical for future research to consider the functional and quality-of-life outcomes in future comparisons of these different treatment approaches. Claims-based analyses such as this can uniquely show the “big picture” with respect to complications that require a medical treatment. However, more granular and subtle patient-reported outcomes are not included in this study, and they will be essential to help patients and physicians in the decision-making process.   

The study was funded by the Radiation Oncology Institute.

Citation:

Sher DJ, Agiro A, Zhou S, Day AT, DeVries A. Commercial Claims–Based Comparison of Survival and Toxic Effects of Definitive Radiotherapy vs Primary Surgery in Patients With Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Published online September 20, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2018.1929

Sep 21, 2018 @ 3:05 pm 

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Why Do Surgical Mesh Products Fail?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Polypropylene (PP) mesh is currently used in both hernia and pelvic organ prolapses - Wikipedia Image

Polypropylene (PP) mesh is currently used in both hernia and pelvic organ prolapses – Wikipedia Image

Professor David Taylor
Trinity Centre for Bioengineering
Trinity College Dublin
The University of Dublin, Ireland

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

Response: The study was motivated by the emerging clinical problem of the failure of surgical mesh products used for transvaginal operations. Increasing numbers of women are experiencing the failure of mesh used to treated vaginal prolapse, urinary incontinence and other pelvic organ conditions.

I carried out a survey of all existing research, including medical case reports, meta studies of clinical outcomes and biomechanics research on the material, which is a knitted plastic mesh. A phenomenon known as “mesh erosion” causes damage to surrounding tissues and organs and can leave the person in severe and lasting pain.  Continue reading

Access to Treatment for Head/Neck Cancer Patients Improved with Medicaid Expansion

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Richard B. Cannon, MD Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery School of Medicine University of Utah, Salt Lake City 

Dr. Cannon

Richard B. Cannon, MD
Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery
School of Medicine
University of Utah, Salt Lake City 

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

 Response: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a nationwide effort to reduce the number of uninsured individuals in the United States and increase access to health care. This legislation is commonly debated and objective data is needed to evaluate its impact.  As a head and neck cancer surgeon, I sought to evaluate how the ACA had specifically influenced my patients.  Main findings below:    

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: This population-based study found an increase in the percentage of patients enrolled in Medicaid and private insurance and a large decrease in the rates of uninsured patients after implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).  This change was only seen in states that adopted the Medicaid expansion in 2014. The decrease in the rate of uninsured patients was significant, 6.2% before versus 3.0% after. Patients who were uninsured prior to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act had poorer survival outcomes.

Continue reading

Patients Most Often Receive Breast Cancer Diagnosis By Phone

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Emily Albright, MD Surgical Oncology Missouri University Health Care

Dr. Albright

Dr. Emily Albright, MD
Surgical Oncology
Missouri University Health Care

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

Response: Traditional medicine had a paternalistic approach but more recent changes have transitioned into shared decision making and a patient centered approach. However, current research has not addressed the mode of communicating bad news to patients.

This study was designed to look at trends in modes of communication of a breast cancer diagnosis. This study identified a trend for patients to receive a diagnosis of breast cancer over the telephone in more recent years. Also noted was that of those receiving the diagnosis in person 40% were alone.

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High Burden of Trauma and Avoidable Surgical Deaths in US Prisons

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Tanya L. Zakrison, MHSc MD FRCSC FACS MPH Associate Professor of Surgery University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Dr. Zakrison

Tanya L. Zakrison, MHSc MD FRCSC FACS MPH
Associate Professor of Surgery
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

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

Response: Over 2 million people in the United States are incarcerated, the highest rate in the entire world.  To date no national statistics on surgical outcomes have been reported in this vulnerable patient population.  We examined 301 medical examiner’s reports from prisoner deaths in Miami-Dade County.  Excluding those with confounding medical conditions such as cirrhosis and cancer, we still found that one in five deaths were being attributed to trauma and reversible surgical diseases.   

Continue reading

Invasive Procedures For Chronic Pain Have Not Been Proven to Work

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Wayne B. Jonas, MD Clinical Professor of Family Medicine Uniformed Services University and at Georgetown University School of Medicine

Dr. Jonas

Wayne B. Jonas, MD
Clinical Professor of Family Medicine
Uniformed Services University and at
Georgetown University School of Medicine

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

Response: The search for non-drug approaches to chronic pain is a major recommendation in many recent guidelines for both pain management and reduction in the use of opioids. Surgical and invasive procedures are non-drug approaches often used for pain conditions like back pain and arthritis, so good evidence is needed to determine the safety and efficacy of these procedures. Properly done randomized, placebo controlled trials are the best way (the gold standard) to get that evidence, so we did a thorough evaluation of such research, using standard systematic review and meta-analysis methods.

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Active Shooter Incidents Involving Semi-automatic Rifles More Deadly

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Adil Haider, MD, MPH, FACS Kessler Director for the Center for Surgery and Public Health Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Deputy Editor of JAMA Surgery

Dr. Haider

Adil Haider, MD, MPH, FACS
Kessler Director for the Center for Surgery and Public Health
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Deputy Editor of JAMA Surgery

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

Response: Firearm-related mortality is a public health issue. However, in the US, due in part to lack of funding, there is not enough research to inform the debate about firearms.

The question our group sought to answer was to understand if the presence of a semi-automatic weapon increased the number of victims killed or hurt during an active shooter incident. We chose to focus on these incidents given the availability of an FBI database detailing these active shooter incidents based on a strict definition and the similarities between such incidents that make a comparison valid.

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