Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research, Urology / 10.09.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Blayne Welk MD Assistant Professor in the Division of Urology The University of Western OntarioBlayne Welk MD Assistant Professor in the Division of Urology The University of Western Ontario Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Welk: Stress incontinence is a common problem among women. The most frequently used surgical treatment is a mesh-based midurethral sling. This procedure is commonly called a transvaginal sling, and is usually an outpatient procedure that takes about an hour in the operating room. However, there has been significant concern about some of the complications of this procedure, which include chronic pain, and mesh erosions into the urinary tract. This prompted the FDA and Health Canada to issue warnings regarding the use of transvaginal mesh, and numerous lawsuits have been launched against manufactures of transvaginal mesh products. This study by Dr Welk and colleagues identifies the long term rate of surgical treated complications among a group of almost 60,000 women who had mesh based incontinence procedures between 2002-2012. The rate of surgically treated complications at 1 year is 1.2%, however this increased to 3.3% after 10 years of followup. The FDA and Health Canada recommend that surgeons obtain training and experience in their chosen type of midurethral sling, and we demonstrated that patients of high volume surgeons (who frequently performed mesh based incontinence procedures) were 27% less likely to have one of these complications. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Orthopedics, Surgical Research / 04.09.2015

Dr. Gregory M.T. Hare MD PhD Department of Anesthesia St. Michael's HospitaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Gregory M.T. Hare MD PhD Department of Anesthesia St. Michael's Hospital Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Hare: While many randomized trials had demonstrated that tranexamic acid (TXA therapy) was effective at reducing surgical blood loss and red blood cell transfusion in patients undergoing hip and knee replacement surgery, our hospital and many other centers in Ontario were not fully utilizing this therapy. Part of the reason was a concern about drug safety and potential side effects. While no serious adverse events had been reported using TXA, we set out to assess the impact of a protocol designed to ensure that we administered TXA (20 mg/kg iv preoperatively) to all eligible patients undergoing hip and knee replacement and determining the effect on our red blood cell transfusion rate and adverse effects including blood clot, stroke, heart attack, kidney injury and death. We excluded patients at high risk of any thrombotic complication. After implementing our protocol, we increased utilization of the drug from 46% to 95% of eligible patients. With this increase in TXA use, we observed a 40% reduction in red blood cell transfusion. The impact was greater in patients with pre-operative anemia, but was also effective in non-anemic patients. The threshold for transfusion was not different after initiating our protocol and patients were discharged with higher red blood cell counts. Length of hospital stay remained constant and the incidence of adverse events did not increase. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Johns Hopkins, Outcomes & Safety, Surgical Research / 01.09.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jill A. Marsteller, PhD, MPP Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Baltimore, Maryland and Juan A. Sanchez, MD, MPA, FACS, FACC Associate Professor of Surgery Associate Faculty, Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality Johns Hopkins Medicine Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The culture of healthcare organizations with regards to safety has an impact on patient outcomes.  A strong culture serves as a platform for preventing medical errors. This study examines the culture of safety along several dimensions in cardiac surgical teams and compares this data to surgery of all types using a large database. In our study, cardiac surgery teams scored highest in teamwork and lowest in non-punitive responses to error.  In addition, there was substantial variation on safety climate perception across team roles. For example, surgeons and support staff had higher perceptions of a safety climate than other team members. Compared to all types of surgery teams, cardiac surgery teams scored higher in overall perceptions of safety except for anesthesiologists who reported lower scores on communication about errors and communication openness. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Surgical Research / 01.09.2015

Dr. Rachel A Freedman MD MPH Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical SchoolMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Rachel A Freedman MD MPH Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Freedman: Despite a lack of medical benefit for most patients, the rates for bilateral mastectomy (double mastectomy) are on the rise in the U.S. Many factors have been cited as potential reasons for this increase, such as one’s race/ethnicity, education level, family history, and use of MRI. Cancer stage has not consistently been a factor in past studies. In this study, we surveyed 487 women who were treated for breast cancer in Northern California within the California Cancer Registry, we examined factors associated with the type of surgery a woman received. In our study, we found strong associations for stage III cancer with receipt of unilateral and bilateral mastectomy. In addition, higher (vs. lower) income and older age were associated with lower odds of having bilateral surgery. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Orthopedics, Surgical Research / 22.08.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sandrine Colas, MSc, MPH Department of Epidemiology of Health Products French National Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety (ANSM) Saint-Denis, France Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Total hip replacement (THR) is to replace a damaged coxofemoral joint with a prosthetic implant. Primary or secondary degenerative osteoarthritis of the hip joint is the main indication for THR (other indications are essentially trauma, which is more common in the elderly and mostly affects women over 80 years of age). The number of THR has increased in all industrialized countries, particularly on account of the ageng population.Total hip replacement is one of the most common and successful surgical procedures in modern practice. Although results are generally good, revision (consisting in changing one or all components of the implant) is sometimes necessary (about 1% per year). Prosthetic revision is a longer and more complex operation than primary implantation and it has a higher incidence of post-surgical complications. Several prosthetic revision risk factors have been highlighted recently in published studies, but results relating to prosthetic and/or patient characteristics and total hip replacement survivorship tend to vary. The existence of an association between the fixation technique and/or bearing surface and prosthetic survivorship has yet to be established. The main aim of our work was therefore to compare total hip replacement short-term survivorship according to cement type and bearing surface, in a large population of subjects who have undergone total hip replacement for reasons other than trauma (25%) and bone tumor (<0.1%), taking prosthetic revision risk factors (age, gender, comorbidities, concomitant medication, implanting center, etc.) into account. Total hip replacement characteristics are related to early implant survivorship. After 33 months of follow-up, antibiotic-impregnated cemented THRs have a better prognosis. MoM total hip replacemenst have a slightly worse prognosis. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Journal Clinical Oncology, Surgical Research / 19.08.2015

Jaclyn Bradley Palmer, MM, MT-BC University Hospitals Of Cleveland Cleveland, OHMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jaclyn Bradley Palmer, MM, MT-BC University Hospitals Of Cleveland Cleveland, OH  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Patients awaiting breast cancer surgery may be understandably anxious. While pharmacologic intervention may reduce anxiety, higher doses of preoperative drugs can depress circulation and respiration, making alternative measures a particular interest. Music therapy is the clinical use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a board-certified music therapist. While music in surgery has been researched under the label of "music therapy", many of the studied investigations illicit recorded music provided by non-music therapy staff, making it truly "music medicine" practices instead. In this investigation, the effect of both live and recorded music therapy on anxiety, anesthesia requirements, recovery time and patient satisfaction were studied perioperatively. Breast cancer surgery patients were engaged in a brief music therapy session which consisted of one live or recorded preferred song choice, followed by discussion and processing of emotions. Compared to usual care, both live and recorded music therapy groups experienced significantly greater reductions in anxiety (p<.001) with point reductions of 27.5 (42.5%) and 26.7 (41.2%), respectively. During surgery, both music groups listened to music-therapist selected recorded, instrumental harp music, chosen for it's evidence-based therapeutic value of smooth lines, consistent volumes and stable melodies. In measuring the amount of interoperative drug (propofol) needed to reach moderate sedation, the intraoperative music was not found to have an effect in this trial. Patient satisfaction was universally high in all three study groups. Those who received live music preoperatively were discharged an average of 12.5 minutes sooner than those who received recorded music preoperatively, although neither music group was dischanged significantly sooner than the control group. Subjective reactions to the music interventions relayed that music therapy in surgery was an enjoyable addition. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lung Cancer, Outcomes & Safety, Surgical Research, University of Michigan / 15.08.2015

Tyler Grenda, MD House Officer VI Section of General Surgery Department of Surgery University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tyler Grenda, MD House Officer VI Section of General Surgery Department of Surgery University of Michigan   Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Grenda: The main purpose for this study was to better understand the factors underlying differences in mortality rates for hospitals performing lung cancer resection.  The methodology we used included only the highest and lowest mortality hospitals (Commission on Cancer accredited cancer programs) so the sampling frame was specific. There are wide variations in mortality rates across hospitals performing lung cancer resection (overall unadjusted mortality rates were 10.8% vs. 1.6%, respectively. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lancet, Pain Research, Surgical Research / 14.08.2015

Dr Martin Hirsch  Clinical Research Fellow Women’s Health Research Unit Queen Mary University of LondoMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Martin Hirsch Clinical Research Fellow Women’s Health Research Unit Queen Mary University of London and Dr Jenny Hole Foundation Year 1 Doctor Kettering University Hospital Dr Jenny Hole Foundation Year 1 Doctor Kettering University Hospital   MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: As doctors we see medicines being prescribed on a daily basis and the benefit but also harm that they can cause. We wanted to assess the role of non pharmaceutical interventions which can benefit patients with a low or minimal potential for harm. We all have an interest in music of different genres and we agreed that we didn’t know anybody who did not like music of one sort or another. On the basis that we all have gained pleasure from music, we wanted to see if this pleasurable experience at the time of a difficult and painful stimulus could reduce the problems encountered as people recover from surgery. We searched all published medical literature and found 73 of the highest quality studies (randomised controlled trials) to compare and combine their findings in a meta-analysis. This technique aims to strengthen the validity by producing a combined result. We found that using music before during or after surgery reduced pain, reduced the requirement for pain killers, reduced anxiety, and improved satisfaction. (more…)
Author Interviews, Surgical Research / 12.08.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
 Sharon-Marie Weldon, MSc, RN Sharon-Marie Weldon, MSc, RN Department of Surgery and Cancer Imperial College London, UK Terhi Korkiakangas Dr. Terhi Korkiakangas, PhD, MSc, BSc UCL Institute of Education University College London, UK MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Response:  Our study draws on a broader video-based observational project on communication in the operating theatres. The effectiveness of team communication can be sometimes attributed to the working environment and the quality of information exchange between team members. Research on noise levels in the operating theatre has shown that the levels exceed World Health Organisation recommendations and thus can impact on teamwork. Interestingly, music is routinely played in an estimated 53-72% of surgical operations performed worldwide. Modern day operating theatre suites, like the ones in which we conducted observations, are often equipped with docking stations and MP3 players and music is played during surgical operations. Prior literature has addressed surgeons’ views on music through interviews, and some performance-based studies using background music have been conducted in controlled simulated settings. Some of the studies suggest that music is beneficial for the surgeons operating: it can improve their concentration. However, the ways in which music can impact on team communication have been relatively under researched, with little evidence on ‘real-time’ interactions. MedicalResearch:  What are the main findings? Response: We used quantitative and qualitative approaches to examine video recordings of a total of 20 surgical operations in which music was either played or not played. Each operation was logged for communication events, notably requests/questions issued by surgeons, and nurses’ responses to these. Statistical analysis explored the difference between the proportion of repetitions of these requests, and whether music was playing or not. The request/response observations (N=5203) were documented. Chi-square test revealed that repeated requests were five times more likely to occur in cases that had music playing. A repeated request can add 4-68 seconds to operation time and increase tension due to frustration at ineffective communication. The interactional analysis elaborated on the fragments of interaction in which information was exchanged while music was playing. These showed how nurses communicated their difficulties in hearing by prompting surgeons to repeat themselves. (more…)
Author Interviews, Orthopedics, Surgical Research / 08.08.2015

Frank R. Noyes, M.D. President and Medical Director, Noyes Knee Institute and the Cincinnati Sports medicine Research and Education Foundation Cincinnati, OhioMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Frank R. Noyes, M.D. President and Medical Director, Noyes Knee Institute and the Cincinnati Sports medicine Research and Education Foundation Cincinnati, Ohio MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Dr. Noyes: Meniscectomy, or removal of the meniscus in the knee, frequently leads to early arthritis – especially in younger active individuals. The meniscus provides a cushion between the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) and aids in keeping the knee stable. There are two menisci in the human knee; one on the inner portion (medial) and one on the outer portion (lateral). The problem is that once a meniscus is removed, there are no options for patients who experience knee pain other than a transplant. The operation uses human cadaver menisci from young donors that are implanted intact into the recipient’s knee. This operation has been performed at our Center for 25 years in patients who are typically under the age of 50 and who have some arthritis in their knee and experience pain with activity. There are few long-term clinical studies on meniscus transplantation that provide results in patients who are at least 10 years postoperative. MedicalResearch: What are the main findings? Dr. Noyes: This study reports the long-term results and survival analysis of 40 consecutive meniscus transplants, with a 100% follow-up obtained an average of 11 years postoperatively. The survivor analysis, which included magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and x-ray criteria in addition to symptoms and clinical examination, revealed transplant survival rates of 68% at 7 years and 48% at 10 years postoperatively. The results of the symptom and activity level analyses in patients without failure of the transplant showed that only 11% experienced pain with daily activities and 72% were able to participate in low-impact athletics many years after surgery. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, JAMA, Radiology, Surgical Research, UCSF / 28.07.2015

Quan-Yang Duh MD Endocrine surgeon UCSF Medical CenterMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Quan-Yang Duh MD Chief, Section of Endocrine Surgery UCSF Medical Center Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Quan-Yang Duh: At UCSF we have a monthly Adrenal Conference (involving surgeons, endocrinologists and radiologists) to discuss patients we are consulted for adrenal tumors. About 30% of these are for incidentally discovered adrenal tumors (versus those found because of specific indications such as clinical suspicion or genetic screening). Of these 15-20% has bilateral adrenal tumors. The evaluation of unilateral incidentaloma has been very well studied and many national guidelines have been published with specific management recommendations. So during our monthly adrenal conference, we have a routine "script" for evaluation and recommendations (rule out metastasis by looking for primary cancer elsewhere, rule out pheochromocytoma and Cushing, resect secreting tumors or large tumors, and if no operation recommended repeat scan in 6 months, etc.). This “script” has worked very well for patients with unilateral incidentaloma. However, we were less certain when we made recommendations about bilateral incidentalomas because there was very little literature or guidelines written about it. We had some gut feelings, but we were not sure that we were recommending the right things. We needed more data. That was the main reason for the study. What we found in our study was that although the possible subclinical diseases were the same – hypercortisolism and pheochromocytoma, the probabilities were different. The patients with bilateral incidentalomas were more likely to have subclinical Cushing’s and less likely to have pheochromocytomas than those with unilateral incidentalomas. (more…)
Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Heart Disease, Surgical Research / 27.07.2015

Yigal Abramowitz, MD Cedars-Sinai Heart InstituteMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yigal Abramowitz, MD Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Abramowitz: The number of elderly patients with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis (AS) that require aortic valve replacement has been significantly increasing in recent years. However, a decade ago, third of the patients were not referred to surgery, in particular because of advanced age, and /or multiple comorbidities. TAVR has emerged as a treatment option for elderly inoperable or high-risk surgical patients with severe aortic stenosis. There is scarce evidence on the feasibility and safety of TAVR in very old patients. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Abramowitz: We compared 136 patients that were at least 90 years old at the time of TAVR (mean age: 92.4years) to 598 younger patients (mean age: 79.7years). Device success was excellent in both groups (96% for both). All-cause mortality at 30-days and 1-year was 2.9% and 12.5% vs. 2.8% and 12.3%  in patients aged ≥ 90 and ˂ 90, respectively. All major complication rates were similar between groups. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Outcomes & Safety, Surgical Research / 27.07.2015

Riyaz Bashir MD, FACC, RVTProfessor of Medicine Director, Vascular and Endovascular Medicine Department of Medicine Division of Cardiovascular Diseases Temple University Hospital Philadelphia, PA 19140MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Riyaz Bashir MD, FACC, RVT Professor of Medicine Director, Vascular and Endovascular Medicine Department of Medicine Division of Cardiovascular Diseases Temple University Hospital Philadelphia, PA 19140 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Bashir: Catheter-based thrombus removal also known as Catheter Directed Thrombolysis (CDT) is a minimally invasive therapeutic intervention that has evolved over the past two decades to reduce the incidence of post thrombotic syndrome (PTS), a very frequent and disabling complication of proximal deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Catheter-based thrombus removal has been shown to reduce this lifestyle limiting complication of DVT and as a result we have observed a significant increase in the utilization rates of CDT across United States. Recent nationwide observational data suggests that higher adverse events such as intracranial hemorrhage rates and need for blood transfusions are seen with CDT use. Nonetheless specific reasons for these findings have not been explored prior to this study. Thread veins, also known as spider veins, are small veins which can appear on your face, thighs or calves and are an issue that many patients want help with. However, they are a cosmetic issue rather than a medical problem. People who suffer from the spider veins often feel that they affect their appearance and confidence and question why do we get thread veins? Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Bashir: This study showed a significant inverse relationship between the institutional Catheter-based thrombus removal volumes and safety outcomes like death and intracranial hemorrhage. The institutions with higher volume of CDT cases annually (greater than or equal to 6 cases) were associated with lower in-hospital mortality rates and lower intracranial hemorrhage rates as compared to institutions, which performed less than 6 cases annually. This study also showed that at high volume institutions there was no difference in terms of death or intracranial bleeding rates between CDT plus anticoagulation versus anticoagulation alone. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Outcomes & Safety, Surgical Research / 22.07.2015

Dr Scot Garg FRCP PhD (Hons) FESC Cardiology Department, Royal Blackburn Hospital United KingdomMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Scot Garg FRCP PhD (Hons) FESC Cardiology Department, Royal Blackburn Hospital United Kingdom Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Garg: In contrast to other countries, in particular the United States, the UK has seen a vast expansion in the number of PCI centres operating without on-site surgical support. Part of the reason for this is that outcome data from these centres are from modest populations at short-term follow-up; consequently the ACC/AHA have failed to give delivery of PCI in centres without surgical back-up a strong endorsement. The study was ultimately driven therefore to show whether any differences existed in mortality between patients having PCI in centres with- and without surgical support at long-term follow-up in large unselected population cohort. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Garg: The study included the largest population of patients treated in centres without off-site surgical support (n=119,036) and main findings were that following multi-variate adjustment there were no differences in mortality for patients treated at centres with- or without surgical support at 30-days, 1-year or 5-year follow-up irrespective of whether patients were treated for stable angina, NSTEMI or STEMI. Furthermore, similar results were seen in a sensitivity analysis of a propensity matched cohort of 74,001 patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Surgical Research, Yale / 17.07.2015

John A. Elefteriades, MD William W.L. Glenn Professor of Surgery Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery Director, Aortic Institute at Yale-New Haven Yale University School of MedicineMedicalResearch.com Interview with: John A. Elefteriades, MD William W.L. Glenn Professor of Surgery Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery Director, Aortic Institute at Yale-New Haven Yale University School of Medicine Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Elefteriades: The race to map the human genome was declared completed in 2003, at a cost of 3 billion dollars for the international collaborative university group and 300 million dollars for Craig Venter at Celera. Whole exome sequencing can now be performed at a cost of only several thousand dollars per individual. So, whole exome sequencing (also called Next Generation Sequencing) can now be applied to understand and treat diseases of many organ systems. In this study, we applied whole exome sequencing to study over 100 patients with thoracic aneurysm. In the late 1990s, both Dr. Diana Milewicz in Texas and our group at Yale had determined that many thoracic aortic aneurysms were genetically transmitted. Dr. Milewicz went on to identify many of the causative mutations. In this study, we were able to look, by whole exome sequencing performed on saliva, for all 21 mutations known to cause thoracic aortic aneurysm--all at one time in one comprehensive genetic test. We were able to protect patients with the most serious discovered mutations by early surgery, the need for which could not otherwise have been apparent.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Orthopedics, Surgical Research / 13.07.2015

Brett D. Owens, MD Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery Brown University Alpert Medical School Providence, RIMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brett D. Owens, MD Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery Brown University Alpert Medical School Providence, RI Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Last year at this meeting we presented the results of a prospective multicenter study of collegiate contact athletes who experienced in-season shoulder instability events. While most were able to return to sport within a week, only roughly one quarter were able to successfully return without recurrent instability. We continued to follow this cohort and 39 athletes with additional eligibility the subsequent season. We found that 90% of the 29 who underwent arthroscopic stabilization successfully returned the next season compared with 40% of the 10 underwent nonoperative treatment (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Outcomes & Safety, Surgical Research / 10.07.2015

Judy A. Tjoe, MD, FACS Breast Oncology Surgeon Aurora Health Care Milwaukee, WIMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Judy A. Tjoe, MD, FACS Breast Oncology Surgeon Aurora Health Care Milwaukee, WI Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Tjoe: Numerous national health organizations have confirmed minimally invasive breast biopsy (MIBB), which uses a percutaneous core needle as opposed to open surgical techniques, as the biopsy procedure of choice when a patient’s diagnostic test reveals a breast lesion suggestive of malignancy. Unfortunately, despite the overwhelming evidence supporting use of MIBB, open breast biopsy rates in the United States remain as high as 24-39%. Our study was designed to determine if measuring individual practice patterns and providing subsequent feedback to surgeons across a large, multihospital healthcare system would improve their adherence to the quality metric of using minimally invasive breast biopsy to diagnose indeterminate breast lesions. We found that the proportion of studied surgeons (n=46) appropriately adhering to the MIBB quality metric in every instance (i.e. those who achieved 100% adherence) significantly improved from 80.4% to 95.7% (p=0.0196) after receiving feedback on not only their own practice patterns, but those of their blinded peers. As might be expected, the handful of breast-dedicated surgeons (n=4) who cared for nearly half of the analyzed patient population achieved perfect adherence throughout the study, but interestingly, the gains made in total adherence were driven by the general surgeons (n=42), showing that the study’s direct educational efforts were effective in changing practice patterns for the better. These efforts included sending letters describing adherence to the quality metric to individual surgeons and organizational leadership. (more…)
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, JAMA, Surgical Research / 10.07.2015

Robert J. Lewandowski, MD FSIRAssociate Professor of Radiology Director of Interventional Oncology Department of Radiology Northwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robert J. Lewandowski, MD FSIR Associate Professor of Radiology Director of Interventional Oncology Department of Radiology Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Retrievable inferior vena cava filters (rIVCF) were designed to provide temporary prevention from pulmonary embolism and then be removed when no longer needed. With permanent United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indication, these devices now account for the majority of IVC filters placed. Most rIVCFs placed are never removed because of poor clinical follow up, failed retrieval procedures, or patients not being offered the opportunity for filter removal secondary to prolonged dwell time; the latter has previously been correlated with retrieval failure. Retrievable IVCFs appear to be subject to greater device related complications (e.g., filter penetration of the IVC, filter migration, filter fracture) relative to permanent devices; furthermore, the rates of these complications appear to increase with filter dwell time. This prompted the FDA to issue a 2010 safety alert urging removal of rIVCFs once they are deemed no longer necessary. In the present study, we sought to determine whether rIVCF dwell time affects technical success of the retrieval procedure. Over a six-year period, 648 retrieval procedures were performed at our institution, with filter dwell times ranging from 0-108 months. We found that filter dwell time did not negatively impact IVC filter retrieval success nor did it increase our adverse events from the retrieval procedure. With advanced, adjunctive IVC filter retrieval techniques, rIVCFs can be safely and reliably removed despite long dwell times. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Johns Hopkins, Outcomes & Safety, Surgical Research / 08.07.2015

Judy Huang, M.D. Professor of Neurosurgery Program Director, Neurosurgery Residency Program Fellowship Director, Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery Johns Hopkins HospitalMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Judy Huang, M.D. Professor of Neurosurgery Program Director, Neurosurgery Residency Program Fellowship Director, Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery Johns Hopkins Hospital Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Huang: Residents are medical school graduates who are in training programs working alongside and under supervision of more senior physicians, known as attendings. Patients are sometimes wary of having residents assist in their operations, but an analysis of 16,098 brain and spine surgeries performed across the United States finds that resident participation does not raise patient risks for postoperative complications or death. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Surgical Research / 08.07.2015

Paul M. Sethi, MD Orthopaedic & Neurosurgery Specialists Greenwich, CT MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Paul M. Sethi, MD Orthopaedic & Neurosurgery Specialists Greenwich, CT MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Dr. Sethi: Propionibacterium acnes is one of the most significant pathogens in shoulder surgery; the cost of a single infection after shoulder arthroplasty may be upwards $50,000. Residual P. acnes may be found on the skin 29% of the time immediately after surgical skin preparation and in 70% of dermal biopsy specimens. Identifying more ideal skin preparation may help reduce the risk of infection. MedicalResearch: What is the purpose of this study? Dr. Sethi: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of topical benzoyl peroxide (BPO) cream, along with chlorhexidine skin preparation, to reduce the chance of identifying residual bacteria after skin preparation. Our hypothesis was that adding topical benzoyl peroxide to our skin preparation would reduce the number of positive P. acnes cultures identified during surgery. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Gastrointestinal Disease, Surgical Research / 30.06.2015

John Maret-Ouda  MD,  PhD candidateMedicalResearch.com Interview with: John Maret-Ouda  MD,  PhD candidate Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery Department of Molecular medicine and Surgery Karolinska Institutet Stockholm, Sweden MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Maret-Ouda : This review is part of the BMJ series “Uncertainties pages”, where clinically relevant, but debated, medical questions are highlighted and discussed. The present study is assessing treatment of severe gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, where the current treatment options are medical (proton-pump inhibitors) or surgical (laparoscopic antireflux surgery). The clinical decision-making is often left to the clinician and local guidelines. We evaluated the existing literature to compare the two treatment options regarding reflux control, complications, future risk of oesophageal adenocarcinoma, health related quality of life, and cost effectiveness. The main findings were that surgery might provide slightly better reflux control and health related quality of life, but is associated with higher risks of complications compared to medication. A possible preventive effect regarding oesophageal adenocarcinoma remains uncertain. Regarding cost effectiveness, medication seems more cost effective in the short term, but surgery might be more cost effective in the longer term. Since medication provides good treatment of severe gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, but with lower risks of complications, this remains the first line treatment option. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research, Technology / 25.06.2015

Vanita Ahuja, MD, MPH  Department of General Surgery York Hospital, York, PennsylvaniaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Vanita Ahuja, MD, MPH  Department of General Surgery York Hospital, York, Pennsylvania MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Ahuja: Robotic-assisted surgery has been slowly accepted within the medical community. Felger et al. (1999), Falk et al. (2000), and Loumet et al. (2000) state that specific to cardiac surgery, the advantages of the robot in coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and valvular operations were demonstrated with increased visualization, ease of harvest, and quality of vascular anastomoses as early as 1999. However, Giulianotti, et al. (2003), Morgan et al. (2005), and Barbash et al. (2010) suggest that although safety and efficacy are supported, it is not conclusive yet that robot-assisted surgery is cost-effective, given the high cost of the robot itself, longer operating times, and the short life of the robotic instruments. The purpose of our paper was to compare outcomes of complications, length of stay (LOS), actual cost, and mortality between non-robotic and robotic-assisted cardiac surgery. In general surgery and subspecialties, the use of the robot has increased significantly over the past few years. It has been noted that robotic surgery improves on laparoscopic surgery by providing increased intra-cavity articulation, increased degrees of freedom, and downscaling of motion amplitude that may reduce the strain on the surgeon. The biggest growth in robotic surgery has been seen in the fields of gynecology and urology. Recently, Wright et al. reported an increase in robotic assisted hysterectomy from 0.5 percent of the procedures in 2007 compared to 9.5 percent in 2010 for benign disease. In their study, robotic assisted surgery had similar outcomes to laparoscopic surgery but higher total cost of $2,189 more per case. In urologic surgery, Leddy et al. reported in 2010 that radical prostatectomy remains the biggest utilization of robotic assisted surgery in urology with 1% in 2001 to 40% of all cases in 2006 performed in the United States. Utilizing a nationwide database from 2008-2011, subjects were propensity matched by 14 patient characteristics to reduce selection bias in a retrospective study. The patients were then divided into three groups by operation types: valves, vessels and other type. Univariate analysis revealed that robotic-assisted surgery, compared to non-robotic surgery, had higher cost ($39,030 vs. $36,340), but lower LOS (5 vs. 6 days) and mortality (1% vs. 1.9%, all p<0.001). For those who had one or more complications, robotic-assisted cardiac surgery had fewer complications (27.2%) to non-robotic cardiac surgery (30.3%, p < .001). (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, BMJ, Surgical Research / 24.06.2015

Dr. Andrea Tricco Ph.D Dalla Lana School of Public Health University of TorontoMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Andrea Tricco Ph.D Dalla Lana School of Public Health University of Toronto Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Tricco: We were commissioned by Health Canada to assess the safety and effectiveness of serotonin (5-HT3) receptor antagonists in patients undergoing surgery. In order to examine this research question, we conducted a systematic review and network meta-analysis including >450 studies. We found that more patients receiving granisetron plus dexamethasone experienced arrhythmia compared to all other interventions and placebo. No differences were observed regarding mortality and QT prolongation in meta‐analysis; no studies reported on PR prolongation or sudden cardiac death. Granisetron plus dexamethasone was often the most effective antiemetic, with the number needed to treat ranging from two to nine. We found that ondansetron plus droperidol intravenous (IV) was also a highly effective antiemetic for decreasing the risk of vomiting and post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV). (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Dermatology, Nature, Surgical Research / 23.06.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Alexander Golberg Ph.D. Center for Engineering in Medicine Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School, and Shriners Burns Hospital Boston, MA, 02114 Porter School of Environmental Studies Tel Aviv University, Israel MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Golberg: Well, the population grows and becomes older. Degenerative skin diseases affect one third of individuals over the age of sixty. Current therapies use various physical and chemical methods to rejuvenate skin; but since the therapies affect many tissue components including cells and extracellular matrix, they may also induce significant side effects, such as scarring. We report on a new, non-invasive, non-thermal technique to rejuvenate skin with pulsed electric fields. The fields destroy cells while simultaneously completely preserving the extracellular matrix architecture and releasing multiple growth factors locally that induce new cells and tissue growth. We have identified the specific pulsed electric field parameters in rats that lead to prominent proliferation of the epidermis, formation of microvasculature, and secretion of new collagen at treated areas without scarring. Our results suggest that pulsed electric fields can improve skin function and thus can potentially serve as a novel non-invasive skin therapy for multiple degenerative skin diseases. (more…)
Author Interviews, Surgical Research, UCSF, Weight Research / 22.06.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Leslee L. Subak, MD University of California, San Francisco Professor, Departments of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, Urology and Epidemiology & Biostatistics Chief of Gynecology, SF Veterans Affairs Medical Center UCSF Women's Health Clinical Research Center MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Subak: Urinary incontinence is very common, affecting an estimated 30 million adults in the U.S., and may account for as much as $60 billion in annual medical costs. Incontinence can cause significant distress, limitations in daily functioning, and reduced quality of life. Obesity is an important risk factor, with each 5-unit increase in body mass index – a ratio of someone’s weight divided by the square of their height – above normal weight associated with far higher rates of incontinence.   The prevalence of incontinence has been reported to be as high as 70 percent among severely obese women, and 24 percent among severely obese men (BMI greater than 40, or more than about 100 pounds greater than ideal body weight). Since obesity is a risk factor for incontinence, several studies have examined whether weight loss is a treatment for incontinence among obese people with the condition.  Clinical trials have shown the low calorie diets, behavioral weight reduction, and bariatric surgery are associated with improvement in incontinence in obese women and men through one year, but evidence on the durability of this effect is lacking. We performed this study to examine changes in urinary incontinence and identify factors associated with improvement among women and men in the first 3 years following bariatric surgery. This study included 1987women and men in the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery-2 (LABS-2) study performed at 10 hospitals at 6 clinical centers in the U.S. who underwent bariatric surgery between 2005 and 2009.  The study participants ranged in age from 18 to 78 years old – the median age was 47. The analysis controlled for factors such as age, race, smoking status and recent pregnancy.  Nearly 79 percent of the participants in the study were women with 49% reporting at least weekly incontinence, compared with 2% of men reporting incontinence. Following surgery and large weight loss of 29% for women and 26% for men, substantial improvements in incontinence were observed, with a majority of women and men achieving remission at 3 years post-surgery. The more weight lost, the higher the chances of improvement. While the risk of relapse rose with each gain of about 10 pounds, overall there was substantial improvement for both women and men. People who were older, had severe walking limitations or were recently pregnant showed less improvement. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Surgical Research, University Texas / 21.06.2015

Isabelle Bedrosian, M.D., F.A.C.S. Associate Professor, Department of Surgical Oncology, Division of Surgery, Medical Director, Nellie B. Connelly Breast Center The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TXMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Isabelle Bedrosian, M.D., F.A.C.S. Associate Professor, Department of Surgical Oncology, Division of Surgery, Medical Director, Nellie B. Connelly Breast Center The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Bedrosian: There have been a number of reports on the rates of Breast Conserving Therapy (BCT) and mastectomy among women with early stage breast cancer. These reports have been discordant, with some suggesting that index mastectomy rates have increased and others suggestion Breast Conserving Therapy rates have actually increased. We hypothesized that these differences in reporting may be due to data source (ie tertiary referral centers vs population based studies) and turned to the NCDB, which captures 70% of cancer cases in the US and as such provides us with the most comprehensive overview on patient treatment patterns. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Infections, Surgical Research / 13.06.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mariusz Kowalewski, MD Department of Cardiac Surgery, Dr Antoni Jurasz Memorial University Hospital Bydgoszcz, Systematic Investigation and Research on Interventions and Outcomes Medicine Research Network, Poland Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kowalewski: Sternal wound infections occurring after heart surgery performed via median sternotomy, and in particular, after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), although rare, still pose serious postoperative complications that increase the length of hospital stay and healthcare costs. One of many ways to prevent them from happening, except from optimal glucose control, tight-fixed closure of the sternum at the end of surgery and perioperative iv. antibiotics, is to insert a gentamicin collagen sponge between two sternal edges, just before wiring them together. High local concentrations of gentamicin were shown to eliminate any microbial growth in the area, in the same time, not affecting the kidneys, as would be the case with systemic administration. Gentamicin sponges are widely used in orthopadic, gastro-intestinal and vascular surgery and were shown to reduce postoperative infection rates. Although extensively tested in the field of heart surgery, findings of one recent multicenter study have questioned their true benefit. We aimed to perform a comprehensive meta-analysis of studies assessing the efficacy of implantable gentamicin-collagen sponges in sternal wound infection prevention. After screening multiple databases, a total of 14 studies (N = 22,135 patients, among them 4 randomized controlled trials [N = 4,672 pts]) were included in the analysis. Implantable gentamicin-collagen sponges significantly reduced the risk of sternal wound infection by approximately 40% when compared with control (risk ratio [RR], 0.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.39-0.98; P = .04 for randomized controlled trials and RR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.42-0.89; P = .01 for observational studies). A similar, significant benefit was demonstrated for deep sternal wound infection (RR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.42-0.88; P = .008) and superficial sternal wound infection (RR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.43-0.83; P = .002). The overall analysis revealed a reduced risk of mediastinitis (RR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.45-0.91; P = .01). The risk of death was unchanged. In addition, we investigated, by means of meta-regression, the correlation between sternal wound infections and extent to which the bilateral internal thoracic artery (BITA) was harvested. We found that the benefit provided by the gentamicin sponge was attenuated when BITA was harvested; these results suggest that another potentially preventive measure must be taken in such patients, as with severely reduced blood supply to the sternum (as is the case with BITA), sponge itself might not be enough to prevent wound infection. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, NYU, Surgical Research / 12.06.2015

Joseph A. Ladapo, MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Medicine Section on Value and Effectiveness Department of Population Health NYU School of MedicineMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joseph A. Ladapo, MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Medicine Section on Value and Effectiveness Department of Population Health NYU Langone School of Medicine Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Ladapo: Routine tests before elective surgery are largely considered to be of low value, and they may also increase costs.  In an attempt to discourage their use, two professional societies released guidance on use of routine preoperative testing in 2002. We sought to examine the long-term national effect of these guidelines from the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association and the American Society of Anesthesiologists on physicians' use of routine preoperative testing. While we found that overall rates of routine testing declined across several categories over the 14-year study period, these changes were not significant after accounting for overall changes in physicians’ ordering practices. Our findings suggest that professional guidance aimed at improving quality and reducing waste has had little effect on physician or hospital practice. (more…)