Author Interviews, Colon Cancer, Menopause, Surgical Research / 05.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Josefin Segelman MD, PhD Senior consultant colorectal surgeon Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery Karolinska Institutet Ersta Hospital Stockholm Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Segelman: Hormonal factors influence the development of colorectal cancer. Observational studies and clinical trials have reported a protective effect of hormone replacement therapy and oral contraceptives. Oophorectomy alters endogenous levels of sex hormones, but the effect on colorectal cancer risk is unclear. Removal of the ovaries alters levels of sex hormones in both pre- and postmenopausal women. In premenopausal women, bilateral oophorectomy is followed by surgical menopause as the endogenous estrogen levels drop. Both before and after natural menopause, bilateral oophorectomy promptly decreases endogenous androgen levels by half as the ovaries and adrenals are equally important for androgen production. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Dr. Segelman: The present nationwide cohort study explored the association between removal of the ovaries for benign indications and subsequent risk of colorectal cancer. Among 195 973 women who underwent the procedure from 1965 – 2011, there was a 30% increased risk of colorectal cancer compared with the general population. After adjustment for various factors, women who underwent bilateral oophorectomy had a higher risk of rectal cancer than those who had unilateral oophorectomy (HR 2.28, 95% CI 1.33-3.91). (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Gender Differences, Surgical Research / 04.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alison M. Fecher, MD Assistant Professor of Surgery Indiana University Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Fecher: It has long been known that female faculty are underrepresented in departments of surgery at U.S. medical schools. Our study wanted to identify obstacles women face in entering certain surgical subspecialties and in career advancement. We found that women are poorly represented in some of the most competitive subspecialties, including cardiothoracic and transplant surgery. We also found that women tend to advance more slowly up the career ladder, with many of them spending more years at the assistant professor level than their male counterparts. One reason for this may be that they tend to publish less peer-reviewed articles than male faculty; however, our results show that the publications of female faculty often has a greater impact on the field, as measured by citations and recentness of articles. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Duke, Geriatrics, Heart Disease, Surgical Research / 03.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jessica J. Jalbert PhD From the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA LASER Analytica New York, NY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Jalbert: Landmark clinical trials have demonstrated that carotid artery stenting (CAS) is a safe and efficacious alternative to carotid endarterectomy (CEA) for the treatment of carotid artery stenosis. Clinical trials, however, tend to enroll patients that are younger and healthier than the average Medicare patient. We therefore sought to compare outcomes following CAS and CEA among Medicare patients. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Dr. Jalbert: We found that outcomes among real-world Medicare patients undergoing CAS and CEA were similar. While our results were inconclusive due to small sample size, we also found some evidence suggesting that patients over the age of 80 and those with symptomatic carotid stenosis may have better outcomes following carotid endarterectomy than CAS. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Surgical Research / 03.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Desiree Ratner, MD Director, Comprehensive Skin Cancer Program, Mount Sinai Beth Israel and Professor of Dermatology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: How big is the problem of skin cancer in the US? Dr. Ratner: Skin cancer is an enormous problem in the United States and the numbers are increasing every year. There are over 2 million cases of basal cell carcinoma per year, over 700,000 cases of squamous cell carcinoma per year, and over 140,000 cases of melanoma per year in the U.S. alone. MedicalResearch.com: What type of patients do you evaluate and treat? Dr. Ratner: My practice is limited to skin cancer, so most of my patients are referred to me by general dermatologists for surgery. I see patients who require Mohs surgery for non-melanoma skin cancers, excisions for non-melanoma skin cancers, and other surgical procedures for a variety of other benign and malignant lesions. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Lung Cancer, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Surgical Research / 02.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Asal Mohamadi Johnson, PhD, MPH Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Integrative Health Science Stetson University DeLand, FL 32723 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Johnson: Public health research is primarily focused on neighborhood poverty and racial disparities by illustrating differences between white and black individuals or communities. For example, it has been established that African Americans have higher cancer mortality rates and are less likely to receive appropriate treatment that whites. What we wanted to know in this study was the impact of living in segregated areas apart from other area level characteristics such as poverty or education. Instead of solely looking at health disparities between whites and black patients, our study focused on differences in survival among black patients with early stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) living in different levels of neighborhood segregation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 20.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Annemarie G. Hirsch, PhD, MPH Center for Health Research Geisinger Health System Danville, Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Bariatric surgery is currently the most effective treatment in reversing insulin resistance in patients with type 2 diabetes. However, the likelihood of remission or cure after surgery varies tremendously based on certain patient characteristics. The DiaRem score provides patients with a personalized prediction of whether or not they can expect long-term remission of their disease if they choose to have surgery. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 20.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: James E. Mitchell, MD President and Scientific Director Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, Fargo Professor and Chairman Department of Neuroscience University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings Dr. Mitchell: The amount of weight loss following bariatric surgery is widely variable. Eating behaviors and weight control practices after surgery are important in determining weight loss outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Surgical Research / 18.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Thomas J. Sandora, M.D., M.P.H. Senior Associate Physician in Medicine; Hospital Epidemiologist; Medical Director, Infection Control Boston Children’s Hospital Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Sandora: Giving antibiotics before certain types of operations results in lower rates of surgical site infections. However, there are limited data about which pediatric operations require antibiotic prophylaxis. We examined national variability in antibiotic prophylaxis for the 45 most commonly performed pediatric operations at children's hospitals in the U.S. We found that antibiotic use was considered appropriate for only 64.6% of cases, with a high degree of variability within procedures and between hospitals. (more…)
Author Interviews, NEJM, Pain Research, Surgical Research / 14.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Zoher Ghogawala MD FACS Department of Neurosurgery Lahey Hospital and Medical Center Burlington, MA 01805 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Ghogawala: There is enormous practice variation around the utilization of lumbar spinal fusion in the United States and across the world. In the United States, lumbar spinal fusion utilization has increased to 465,000 hospital-based procedures in 2011 according to a report from the AHRQ (published in 2014). Spinal fusion accounts now for the highest aggregate hospital cost (12.8 billion dollars in 2011) of any surgical procedure performed in US hospitals. What is problematic is that there are no top tier studies that address the question of whether or not adding a lumbar spinal fusion when performing a simple decompression is necessary or helpful. The question is whether we perform too many fusions in the United States. The SLIP study is the first class I study that demonstrates that the addition of a lumbar fusion when performing a lumbar laminectomy to decompress spinal nerves improves health-related quality of life for patients suffering from low back pain and sciatica from lumbar stenosis with spondylolisthesis - a very common cause of low back pain caused by nerve compression associated with one spinal bone being slightly out of alignment. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Dr. Ghogawala: 1) Adding a lumbar fusion when performing a lumbar laminectomy results in superior health-related quality of life at 2,3, and 4 years after surgery. 2) Patients with fusion obtained durable results but 14% required re-operation for problems adjacent to their fusion over the 4 year study period. 3) Lumbar laminectomy alone provided good results for 70% of patients. There was less blood loss and faster recovery for these patients. On the other hand, the outcomes were less durable. One in three patients who underwent a lumbar laminectomy alone required re-operation within 4 years because their back became unstable. These patients underwent fusion and their health-related quality of life improved. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hospital Acquired, JAMA, Outcomes & Safety, Surgical Research / 12.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christina A. Minami, MD Surgical Outcomes and Quality Improvement Center Department of Surgery, Feinberg School of Medicine, Center for Healthcare Studies, Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Minami: An earlier study by our group demonstrated a seemingly paradoxical relationship between hospital quality and hospital penalization in the Hospital-Acquired Condition, or HAC, Reduction Program. Basically, of those hospitals that were penalized more frequently were those that were major teaching hospitals, had more quality accreditations, and had better performance on process and outcome measures. When CMS released that surgical-site infections were going to be added to the HAC scoring, we decided to see if these additional measures might exhibit the same paradoxical association between quality and penalization. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Dr. Minami: The SSI measures follow the same trend as was previously illustrated. Basically, the hospitals who were in the bottom 25% (that is, those who were the worst performers) were more often those that were major teaching hospitals, with more quality accreditations, and offered more advanced services. It’s possible that this is due in part to surveillance bias, or “the more you look, the more you find” phenomenon. Also, what do we really call an infection? The National Healthcare Safety Network has specific definitions and guidelines, but there are still different data collections used by different hospitals. (more…)
Author Interviews, NYU, Radiology, Surgical Research / 09.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Eric T. Aaltonen MD, MPH Interventional Radiologist Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology Radiology NYU Langone Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Aaltonen: A few years ago we started placing Denali inferior vena cava (IVC) filters and noticed that these filters tended to not tilt and were subsequently more straight forward to remove when patients returned for filter retrieval. Subsequently, a retrospective study was performed comparing these Denali filters with ALN and Option filters that have also been placed and removed at our hospitals. The results demonstrate that Option filters have an increased rate of tilt at retrieval and increased retrieval time compared to Denali filters. No significant difference in tilt or retrieval time was found with ALN filters. Additionally, the presence of tilt correlates with more equipment use and increased fluoroscopy time during retrieval. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pain Research, Surgical Research, University of Pittsburgh, Weight Research / 06.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Wendy King, PhD Associate Professor of Epidemiology Epidemiology Data Center, Room 105 University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA 15213 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. King: Severe obesity is associated with significant joint pain and impaired physical function, such as difficulty bending, lifting carrying and walking. Excess weight can lead to joint damage and accompanying pain, resulting in activity restriction and walking limitations. Obesity can also contribute to pain and physical limitations through factors such as impaired cardiorespiratory function, systematic inflammation, reduced flexibility, low strength per body mass, and depression. Previous studies have reported significant improvements in mean values of bodily and joint specific pain, physical function, and walking capacity in the first 3-12 months following RYGB or LAGB. However, very few studies have examined the variability in response to surgery or reported on longer-term follow-up of these procedures. My colleagues and I followed 2,221 patients participating in the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery-2, a large NIH-funded prospective study of adults with severe obesity undergoing weight-loss surgery at one of 10 hospitals across the U.S. Through three years of follow-up, approximately 50 to 70 % of patients who underwent bariatric surgery reported clinically important improvements in bodily pain, physical function and usual walking speed. About three-quarters of the participants with symptoms indicative of osteoarthritis before surgery experienced improvements in knee and hip pain and function. In addition, over half of participants who had a mobility deficit prior to surgery did not post-surgery. Several baseline characteristics such as younger age, male sex, higher household income, lower body mass index, fewer depressive symptoms and no history of diabetes or venous edema with ulcerations, were associated with a higher chance of improvement in pain and physical function following surgery. In addition, pre- to post-surgery reductions in weight and depressive symptoms, and remission of diabetes and venous edema with ulcerations were associated with pre- to post-surgery improvements. Thus, our findings reinforce results from shorter-term studies by addressing the durability or response and expand our understanding of the variability in response, and what factors are related to chance of improvement. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Endocrinology, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 04.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ana Priscila Soggia Sirio Libanes Hospital, São Paulo, Brazil MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: For many years, bariatric surgery is performed to treat class II and III obesity with diabetes remission in 80-90% of cases, related to weight loss and change in the secretion of intestinal factors that control blood glucose, like GLP-1 and GIP. In 2010, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), proposed that diabetic patients with BMI between 30-35kg/m2 could be eligible, for bariatric surgery, in the case of no glycemic control with drug treatment. In this context, once glycemic control after bariatric surgery, was not related only to weight loss and also due to intestinal factors with physiological actions, the protocol was proposed. The objectives were to compare the clinical and surgical treatment in diabetics patients with class I obesity; and to compare the efficacy and security between two different surgical techniques. This study was developed and conducted by a research team from Sirio-Libanês Hospital in partnership with Ministry of Health through its philanthropic program PROADI. It is a clinical trial, with 42 class I obese diabetic type 2 patients with inadequate glycemic control that were randomized to tree arms: clinical treatment, gastric bypass surgery or sleeve with ileal transposition (sleeve-IT) surgery. The results showed that the sleeve-IT procedure is more effective for the treatment of diabetes in these patients compared with treatment with medication and with bypass surgery, currently considered the first choice of treatment. Among patients who underwent sleeve-IT, 100% achieved glycemic control after 1 year (HbA1c<6,5%) compared to 46% for bypass and 8% in the case of medication therapy. In addition, diabetes remission, that was defined as adequate glycemic control without any anti-diabetic medication, occured in 75% of sleeve-IT patients had versus 30% in bypass group. (more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Pulmonary Disease, Surgical Research, Technology / 18.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Ariel Drori MD Hadassah Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for the ThoraXS device? Dr. Drori: The initial recognition of the need for a device like ThoraXS first came to me on an operational deployment during my reserve service where I serve as a military doctor. While serving on the Gazan border, I was called to a battle scene to treat a soldier who was suffering from pneumothorax after being shot in the chest. A quick evacuation by helicopter meant that I didn't have the time to perform the entire procedure and I was forced to hand over a partially-treated patient whose condition was unstable. The reality of constant combat injuries mixed with a rising number of daily civilian terror attack casualties led us to understand that we need to provide a cheap, easy to use, robust and reliable solution that on the one hand can withstand the most extreme combat conditions and on the other, be used by any paramedic and in any pre-hospital and hospital setting. This line of thought eventually led to the adoption of ThoraXS's simple yet sophisticated mechanical mechanism that ticks all the boxes. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, Kaiser Permanente, Surgical Research, Vaccine Studies / 16.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sara Y. Tartof, PhD, MPH Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Tartof: The flu is a highly contagious respiratory infection that can cause serious complications, hospitalizations and, in some cases, even death. Some people, such as older adults, young children and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious complications. In addition to recommending annual flu vaccination for people 6 months of age and older, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that hospitalized patients who are eligible receive the flu vaccine before discharge. Historically, inpatient rates of vaccination have been low. There has been concern among surgeons that vaccinating patients while they are in the hospital can contribute to increased risk of vaccine-related fever or muscle pain, which might be incorrectly attributed to surgical complications. However, there have been no data to support that concern. The objective of this study was to provide clinical evidence that would either substantiate or refute concerns about the safety of perioperative vaccination. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, PLoS, Surgical Research / 16.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Mairead Black MBChB, MRCOG, MSc Clinical Lecturer, Obstetrics and Gynaecology School of Medicine and Dentistry, Division of Applied Health Sciences University of Aberdeen Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, Cornhill Road Aberdeen MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Black: The commonest reason for performing a planned Cesarean Section (CS) in high-income countries is a history of a previous CS. However, there is very little information available on childhood health outcomes of birth after a previous . MedicalResearch.com: Why might vaginal birth be beneficial? Dr. Black: If a baby is born naturally, it is exposed to various processes of labour and birth which may help their immunity and ability to avoid or fight future illness. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Johns Hopkins, Surgical Research / 15.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shaun C. Desai, MD Assistant Professor Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Desai: Estimates of the rate of revision septorhinoplasty and the risk factors associated with revision are unknown because the current published literature is limited to small, retrospective, single-surgeon studies with limited follow-up time. The purpose of this study is to determine the overall revision rates of patients undergoing a septorhinoplasty procedure (for functional or cosmetic reasons) and to determine risk factors for the revision. We found that the overall revision rate was 3.3% (5,775 patients of a total of 175,842 patients undergoing the procedure) with an average time to revision at 1 year. Risk factors for revision surgery included female gender, younger age, a history of anxiety or autoimmune disease, cosmetic indications, and more complicated initial surgery (i.e. cleft rhinoplasty). (more…)
Author Interviews, Prostate Cancer, Surgical Research / 11.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Naveen Pokala, MD Division of Urology University of Missouri Columbia, MO 65212 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Pokala: The main purpose of the study was to determine survival outcome following salvage prostatectomy in men that fail radiation therapy. Radiation and surgery are the main modalities utilized to treat localized prostate cancer. When patients fail radiation treatment, traditionally, only hormonal treatment was offered. With refinements in surgical techniques, a select few of these patients that have recurrence after radiation may benefit with salvage surgery. Salvage prostatectomy is a complex procedure because prior radiation makes this procedure tenuous, but this procedure is offered in most major tertiary medical centers. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hospital Readmissions, JAMA, Orthopedics, Surgical Research / 11.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ronald S. Chamberlain, MD, MPA, FACS Chairman and Surgeon-in-Chief Department of Surgery Saint Barnabas Medical Center Professor of Surgery New Jersey Medical School Rutgers University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Chamberlain: With the rapidly growing arthritic, aging, and obese population, total hip replacement (THR) has become the most commonly performed orthopedic procedure in the United States (US). The Affordable Care Act signed by President Barack Obama imposed financial penalties for excess readmissions following certain procedures and diagnoses. While the initial program aimed to reduce readmissions for heart failure, pneumonia, and acute myocardial infarction (AMI), the program expanded to include THR in 2015. With current research estimating a 10%, 30-day readmission rate following a total or partial hip replacement, this study sought to identify factors associated with readmission and to create a scale which could reliably stratify preoperative readmission risk. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Surgical Research / 09.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Unni Dokkedal, M.P.H. Unit of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Biodemography University of Southern Denmark MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Response: Early (seven days) postoperative cognitive impairment is common in adult surgical patients of all ages, but elderly patients are at higher risk for this complication. Previous studies have shown that these impairments are detectable up to three months after surgery in patients older than 60 years. Furthermore, the condition may persist for longer than six months in some patients with potential long-term implications of the surgery leading to impaired quality of life and increased mortality risk. We wanted to investigate the contribution of surgery, anesthesia, preexisting conditions and other factors on the postoperative cognitive functioning of elderly patients. MedicalResearch: What are the main findings? Response: For a sample of 4,299 middle-aged twins younger than 70 years and 4,204 elderly twins over 70 years, all of whom were residents of Denmark, medical records were reviewed from 1977 and until the accomplishment of cognitive tests in the period from 1995 to 2001. Results from five cognitive tests were compared in twins exposed to surgery, classified as major, minor, hip and knee replacement, or other, with those of a reference group without surgery. A statistically significant lower composite cognitive score was found in twins with at least one major surgery compared with the reference group (mean difference, −0.27; 95% CI, −0.48 to −0.06), which is a negligible effect size. None of the other groups differed from the reference group except the knee and hip replacement group that tended to have higher cognitive scores (mean difference, 0.35; 95% CI, −0.18 to 0.87).To consider genetic and shared environmental confounding and to take preoperative cognition into account, intrapair analyses were performed in same-sexed pairs in whom one had a history of major surgery and the other no surgery. No difference was found in the intra-pair analysis. The results suggest that preoperative cognitive functioning and underlying diseases were more important for cognitive functioning in mid- and late life than surgery and anesthesia. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Surgical Research / 06.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Seung-Whan Lee, MD, PHD Associate professor, Asan Medical Center University of Ulsan College of Medicine on behalf of our investigators. Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: Survival benefit of successful coronary Chronic Total Occlusion (CTO) recanalization has been a rationale behind PCI for CTOs. However, this knowledge is based on many observational studies that predate the widespread use of dedicated devices or techniques, drug-eluting stents (DESs), and current standards of medical management, making them low-quality evidence from the current perspective. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Response: Our study showed that successful PCI using DES was not associated with a lower risk for mortality compared with failed CTO-PCI. The revascularization strategy for non-CTO vessels, high frequency of subsequent CABG in patients with failed PCI, and high procedural success with low life-threatening complication rate may all have contributed to our study finding. (more…)
Author Interviews, Erectile Dysfunction, Prostate, Prostate Cancer, Surgical Research, Urology / 29.02.2016

Medicalresearch.com Interview with: Dr. Pedro Recabal, MD and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Department of Surgery, Urology Service New York, NY Urology service, Fundacion Arturo Lopez Perez, Santiago, Chile Dr. Vincent P. Laudone, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Department of Surgery Urology Service New York, NY Medicalresearch.com What is the background for this study? Response: One of the most concerning adverse events that may arise following surgery for prostate cancer (radical prostatectomy) is postoperative erectile dysfunction. The loss of erectile function after surgery is most frequently caused by intraoperative injury to the neurovascular bundles, tiny packages of blood vessels and nerves that conduct the impulses responsible for erection. It is known that if both bundles are removed, patients seldom recover erectile function. Accordingly, neurovascular bundle preservation during Radical prostatectomy has proven benefits in terms of erectile function recovery. However, as these bundles are intimately associated with the posterolateral aspects of the prostate, they must be carefully separated from the surface of the prostate without cutting them, applying excessive traction, or using cautery, all of which could produce irreversible damage and the consequent loss of function. During this dissection, the surgeon risks cutting into the prostatic capsule , which could result in leaving tumor behind. In some cases, the tumor extends beyond the prostate into the neurovascular bundles, and an attempt to preserve these structures could also result in incomplete tumor removal, defeating the purpose of radical prostatectomy. Therefore, many urologists treating patients with “aggressive” tumors (such as the patients in our cohort) would try to avoid leaving cancer behind by removing not only the prostate but also the tissue around it, including the neurovascular bundles. In other words, if you had to chose between removing all the cancer but loosing erectile function, or preserving erectile function but risking an incomplete cancer removal, most patients and surgeons naturally lean towards the first option. Also, in many centers, patients with aggressive prostate cancers are managed with combined treatments (multimodal therapy), by adding hormonal therapy and/or radiotherapy, which could also result in erectile dysfunction. As such, many surgeons believe that there is no rationale for attempting to preserve the neurovascular bundles in these “high-risk” patients because most will end up with erectile dysfunction . However, with the advent of MRI (and integrating other clinical information such as location of the positive biopsies, and intraoperative cues), surgeons can now have a better idea of where the cancer is located, which may aid in surgical planning. For instance, if a tumor is located in the anterior prostate, removing the neurovascular bundles (located on the posterolateral aspects) would provide no oncologic benefit, regardless of the aggressiveness of the tumor. Similarly, if the tumor compromises only the left side, removing the right neurovascular bundle is unlikely to help the patient, but can instead result in harm. Moreover, neurovascular bundle preservation is not an all-or-none procedure; on each side, these bundles can be completely preserved (meaning dissecting exactly along the border between the prostate and the bundle); partially preserved (meaning preserving some of the nerves that are further away from the prostate, and removing the ones that are closer to the prostate); or completely removed along with the prostate (This has been graded in a scale from 1 to 4, where 1 represents complete preservation, and 4 represents complete removal of the neurovascular bundle, with 2 and 3 being partial preservation. This grade is recorded by the surgeon for each side, at the end of the procedure.) As such, sometimes it’s possible to preserve part of the bundle, even if there is a tumor on the same side We designed a retrospective study to look at how high volume surgeons at MSKCC performed radical prostatectomy in high risk patients (how frequently and to what extent where the neurovascular bundles preserved), and what were the outcomes in terms of positive surgical margins (a surrogate for “leaving tumor behind”); use of additional oncologic treatments such as hormone therapy or radiotherapy, and finally, erectile function recovery in patients with functional erections before the operation. The patients in our cohort had at least one NCCN-defined high risk criteria (Gleason score ≥ 8; PSA ≥ 20 ng/ml; Clinical stage ≥ T3). (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology, Surgical Research, Toxin Research / 27.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yu-Chih Hou, MD Department of Ophthalmology National Taiwan University Hospital Taipei, Taiwan MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Dr. Yu-Chih Hou: We have encountered 3 patients with right eye pain and corneal edema after left orofacial surgery under general anesthesia since December 6. 2010. The first patient underwent a left tongue tumor excision by an ENT doctor. Postoperative day one, corneal epithelial defect and edema with mild anterior chamber reaction were noted in the right eye. Because his presentation was different from corneal abrasion which was the most common eye injury after general anesthesia, we suspected this ocular complication could be due to toxic reaction to antiseptic. Although corneal edema decreased, corneal endothelial cell density decreased and cataract developed later in the first patient. Two months later, the second patient had a similar toxic keratopathy but with severe corneal edema in his right eye after wide tumor excision of left lower gingival cancer by dentist surgeons. We found the antiseptic they used contained alcohol. We recommended not to use alcohol-containing antiseptics in oral surgery. Unfortunately, more severe toxic keratopathy occurred in the third patient after a left nasal tumor excision by other ENT doctor one year later. Because these severe ocular complications may occur again, it raised us to do detail study and we found all antiseptics they used contained alcohol. We hope to prevent occurrence of this toxic keratopathy in nonocular surgery by reporting our findings to other clinicians. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, PAD, Surgical Research, University of Pennsylvania / 26.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Grace Wang MD FACS Assistant Professor of Surgery Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Wang: PAD is a major source of morbidity and mortality resulting in functional impairment, limb loss, as well as death. Despite epidemiologic studies which have contributed to our understanding of PAD prevalence and its association with traditional atherosclerotic risk factors, there have been conflicting studies published on the incidence of PAD and differences in treatment outcomes in women versus men. Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are at particularly high risk for PAD. We set out to to define how the incidence of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in chronic kidney disease (CKD) differs according to sex and age. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Esophageal, Lung Cancer, Radiology, Surgical Research, University of Michigan / 25.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mark A. Healy, MD Department of Surgery Center for Healthcare Outcomes & Policy, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Healy: In our study, we found high overall use of PET as a primary study for recurrence detection in lung and esophageal cancers, with substantial hospital-based variation in the use of PET. Despite this, there was not a significant difference in survival for patients across high and low PET use hospitals. (more…)
Author Interviews, Emergency Care, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 19.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Junaid A. Bhatti, MBBS, MSc, PhD Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Research Institute Toronto, Canada Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Bhatti: Weight loss surgeries are consistently increasing in the US. While the positive impact of surgery on patient’s health are undebatable, limited information is available about long-term healthcare utilization, especially, emergency care utilization in bariatric surgery patients. This study compared emergency care utilization in bariatric patients three years following surgery to that of three years prior to surgery. Overall, we found that emergency care utilization increased by about 17% following surgery compared to the before surgery period. While complaints related to cardiovascular, ear, respiratory, and dermatology decreased, the complaints related to gastrointestinal, genitourinary, mental health, and substance misuse increased following surgery. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, NEJM, Surgical Research / 18.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. William A Gray, MD Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Disease Main Line Health President of Main Line Health’s Lankenau Heart Institute Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Gray: The basis for this study was two-fold: the ACST-1 trial had shown, in asymptomatic patients with severe carotid disease, that immediate Carotid Endarterectomy reduced subsequent stroke as compared to deferred Carotid Endarterectomy---so the next logical question was, could Carotid Artery Stenting (CAS) compare as an equal alternative to Carotid Endarterectomy (CEA) in this same, standard risk, population with severe carotid stenosis. The CREST trial, as originally constructed and at the time ACT 1 was conceived did not include this population (although it later expanded to encompass asymptomatic patients as well), so it was an open question. The second reason had to do with Abbott Vascular, the study sponsor, achieving FDA regulatory approval for their stent system in this population---as well as in the symptomatic population being studied n CREST (which they were also the device sponsor). The main findings were that the primary endpoint of death/stroke and MI at 30 days plus ipsilateral stroke out to 1 and 5 years was not different between CAS and CEA in asymptomatic patients with severe carotid stenosis on good medical secondary prevention therapy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, Outcomes & Safety, Surgical Research / 17.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Art Sedrakyan MD PhD ScD Professor of Healthcare Policy and Research in Cardiothoracic Surgery Department of Public Health Weill Cornell Medical College Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Sedrakyan: In the most recent years available to us for research(2011-2013) one in four women underwent repeat surgery within 90 days after breast conserving approach to cancer removal. Patients operated by higher volume physicians had lower chance of undergoing repeat surgery.Uniform guidelines and increased surgical training are needed to standardize the breast conserving surgery to reduce the high rate of repeat surgery. (more…)