Post-Surgical Medications Are Major Cause Of New Chronic Opioid Use

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Chad M. Brummett, M.D. Associate Professor Director, Clinical Anesthesia Research Director, Pain Research Department of Anesthesiology Division of Pain Medicine University of Michigan Medical School Ann Arbor, MI  48109

Dr. Brummett

Chad M. Brummett, M.D.
Associate Professor
Director, Clinical Anesthesia Research
Director, Pain Research
Department of Anesthesiology
Division of Pain Medicine
University of Michigan Medical School
Ann Arbor, MI  48109 

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

Response: The opioid epidemic has received tremendous attention in recent years, but most of the focus has been on chronic pain, opioid abuse and overdose. Far less attention has been paid to the importance of acute care prescribing (e.g. surgical pain) in patients that are not chronic opioid users.

We found that 5-6% of patients not using opioids prior to surgery continued to fill prescriptions for opioids long after what would be considered normal surgical recovery. Moreover, the rates of new chronic use did not differ between patients having major and minor surgeries, suggesting that patients continue to use these pain medications for something other than simply pain from surgery. Building on other work by our group, and the few additional studies done on the topic to date, these data suggest that pain medications written for surgery are a major cause of new chronic opioid use for millions of Americans each year.

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Carotid Artery Stenting vs Endarterectomy: Similar Efficacies, Different Safety Profiles

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jay S. Giri, MD, MPH
Director, Peripheral Intervention
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
Penn Medicine

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

Response: We analyzed data from 6,526 patients in the 5 most recent randomized trials comparing carotid artery stenting to carotid endarterectomy.  These procedures are performed to prevent long-term stroke in patients with severe narrowings of their carotid arteries.  We learned that the procedures are equally effective in preventing stroke over the long-term.  However, the procedures have quite different safety profiles, defined as adverse events that the patients experienced within 30 days of their procedure.

Carotid artery stenting was associated with a higher risk of stroke in the initial 30 days after the procedure.  Carotid endarterectomy was associated with greater risks of myocardial infarction (heart attack) and cranial nerve palsy, a variable condition that most often results in difficulty with swallowing or speaking, over this timeframe.

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Myocardial Injury Not Uncommon After Non-Cardiac Surgery

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. PJ Devereaux MD, PhD, FRCP(C)</strong> Director of the Division of Cardiolog Scientific Leader of the Anesthesiology, Perioperative Medicine and Surgical Research Group at the Population Health Research Institute Professor and University Scholar in the Departments of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact and Medicine McMaster University

Dr. Devereaux

Dr. PJ Devereaux MD, PhD, FRCP(C)
Director of the Division of Cardiolog
Scientific Leader of the Anesthesiology, Perioperative Medicine and
Surgical Research Group at the Population Health Research Institute
Professor and University Scholar in the Departments of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact and Medicine
McMaster University
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Although the majority of patients undergoing noncardiac surgery benefit from surgery and do well, even when a small proportion of these patients have a serious complication it represents a major population issue. A recent publication in JAMA Cardiology established that >5 million Americans age ≥45 years undergo major in-patient noncardiac surgery annually, and 1.3% of these patients die in the hospital. This means 65,000 of these patients die, and cardiovascular causes are a dominant cause.

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Rate of Law Enforcement Associated Injuries Has Remained Stable Over Time

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Elinore J. Kaufman, MD, MSHP

Department of Surgery, New York
Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medicine
New York, New York

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

Response: Deaths of civilians in contact with police have recently gained national public and policy attention. However, we know very little about nonfatal injuries, which far outnumber deaths.

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

Response: Nonfatal injuries are much more pervasive than law enforcement-associated deaths, and rates have remained stable over several years, at approximately 51,000 emergency department visits and hospitalizations each year.

These injuries primarily affect young men, and mental illness is a common theme. As a physician, my goal is always to get to zero preventable injuries.

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Study Compares Appendectomy Outcomes Between General Surgeons and Surgical Residents

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Haggi Mazeh, MD, FACS
Endocrine and General Surgery
Department of Surgery
Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, Israel 91240

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

Response: The level of operating room autonomy given to surgical residents varies greatly between different institutions and different countries. On one hand, providing residents the opportunity to operate alone augments their confidence and their sense of responsibility, possibly accelerating their learning process. On the other hand, it may be argued that the presence of a senior general surgeon in every operation is a safer approach.

Before 2012, a large proportion of appendectomies at our institution were performed by surgical residents alone. After 2012, our institutional policy changed to require the presence of a senior general surgeon in every appendectomy case. This unique situation provided us the opportunity to compare the outcomes of appendectomies performed by residents alone to those performed in the presence of a senior general surgeon.

Our study demonstrated no difference in the complication rates between the two groups of patients. However, surgeries performed in the presence of senior general surgeons were significantly shorter than those performed by residents.

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Study Evaluates Effects of Calcification of Occluded Coronary Arteries During PCI

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Emmanouil S. Brilakis, MD, PhD Director, Center for Advanced Coronary Interventions Minneapolis Heart Institute Minneapolis, Minnesota 55407 Adjunct Professor of Medicine University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas

Dr, Brilakis

Emmanouil S. Brilakis, MD, PhD
Director, Center for Advanced Coronary Interventions
Minneapolis Heart Institute
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55407
Adjunct Professor of Medicine
University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas

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

Response: Calcification in the coronary arteries might hinder lesion crossing, equipment delivery and stent expansion and contribute to higher rates of in-stent restenosis, as well as stent thrombosis. In this project we sought to examine the impact of calcific deposits on the outcomes of chronic total occlusion (CTO) percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in a contemporary, multicenter registry.

We analyzed the outcomes of 1,476 consecutive CTO PCIs performed in 1,453 patients between 2012 and 2016 at 11 US centers. Data collection was performed in a dedicated online database (PROGRESS CTO: Prospective Global Registry for the Study of Chronic Total Occlusion Intervention, Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT02061436).

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Some Breast Cancer Patients With Complete Response To Neoadjuvant Therapy Can Avoid Further Surgery

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Audree Tadros, MD, MPH Chief Administrative Fellow, Breast Surgical Oncology Training Program Department of Breast Surgical Oncology MD Anderson Cancer Center and

Dr. Tadros

Audree Tadros, MD, MPH
Chief Administrative Fellow, Breast Surgical Oncology Training Program
Department of Breast Surgical Oncology
MD Anderson Cancer Center and

Henry M. Kuerer, MD, PhD, FACS Executive Director, Breast Programs MD Anderson Cancer Network PH and Fay Etta Robinson Distinguished Professor in Cancer Research Department of Breast Surgical Oncology Director, Breast Surgical Oncology Training Program

Dr. Kuerer

Henry M. Kuerer, MD, PhD, FACS
Executive Director, Breast Programs
MD Anderson Cancer Network
PH and Fay Etta Robinson Distinguished Professor in Cancer Research
Dept of Breast Surgical Oncology
Director, Breast Surgical Oncology Training Program

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

Response: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NCT) has the ability to confer a pCR (pathologic complete response-when no residual cancer is found) in both the breast and axillary lymph nodes. We know that this is most likely to occur in women with HER2 positive and triple negative disease. The high rate of pCR among these patients raises the question of whether surgery is still required, particularly among those who will receive adjuvant radiation therapy.

Until recently, we lacked the ability to pre-operatively predict patients who achieved a breast pCR. Recently, we completed a clinical feasibility trial examining the ability of image-guided biopsy to predict a pCR after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Our biopsy technique was able to accurately predict a pCR in 98% of patients with only a 5% false negative rate. Based upon these findings, we believe we can accurately determine which patients achieve a breast pCR. This led us to develop a clinical trial to see if breast surgery is redundant in patients who achieve a pCR. An important question that remained was if we are going to omit breast surgery in these exceptional responders, can we also omit axillary surgery?

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Millions of Americans Become Chronic Opioid Users After Surgery

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Chad M. Brummett, MD Division of Pain Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology University of Michigan Medical School Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Dr. Brummett

Chad M. Brummett, MD
Division of Pain Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology
University of Michigan Medical School
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 

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

Response: The opioid epidemic has received considerable attention, but most of the focus has been on chronic pain and primary care. However, surgeons prescribe ~40% of the opioids in the US, and little attention has been given to the importance of prescribing after surgery.

In this study, we found that among patients not using opioids in the year prior to surgery, ~6% of patients continued to use opioids long after what would be considered normal surgical recovery. Furthermore, there was no difference between patients undergoing minor and major surgeries, thereby suggesting that some patients continue to use opioids for reasons other than pain related to surgery.

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Determining the 2-Dimensional Threshold for Perception of Artificial-Appearing Lips

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sang W. Kim, MD Diplomate, American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Diplomate, American Board of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Natural Face Clinics East Syracuse, NY

Dr. Sang W. Kim

Sang W. Kim, MD
Diplomate, American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Diplomate, American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
Natural Face Clinics
East Syracuse, NY

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

Response: There are extensive volume of studies and descriptions in literature describing ideal proportions and measurement of facial features, objective measurements for what constitute “artificial” and “overdone” facial appearance have not been studied extensively.

But as elective and cosmetic treatment for face become more mainstream and push its limits, we felt it is important to investigate objective measurement to determine when certain facial features appear to be “artificial” and “overdone”.

We decided to study the lips because compared to other features of the face, it is more practical to translate in 2-dimension and alter objective measurements such as the height of the lips or the shapes of the curvature.

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Effect of Centralization on Health Disparities in Lung and Bladder Cancer Surgery

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Emanuela Taioli MD PhD Professor, Population Health Science and Policy, and Thoracic Surgery Director, Institute for Translational Epidemiology Director, Center for the Study of Thoracic Diseases Outcome Director, Division of Social Epidemiology Icahn Medical Institute, New York, NY 10029

Dr. Taioli

Emanuela Taioli MD PhD
Professor, Population Health Science and Policy, and Thoracic Surgery
Director, Institute for Translational Epidemiology
Director, Center for the Study of Thoracic Diseases Outcome
Director, Division of Social Epidemiology
Icahn Medical Institute,
New York, NY 10029 

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

Response: Extensive literature documenting the relationship between hospital volume and clinical outcomes has resulted in the centralization of cancer care advocating patients to seek cancer surgical procedures at high-volume (HV) hospitals. Lung resection and cystectomy have been specifically recommended for centralization, but improvements in outcomes are not shared equally among racial groups. It has also been reported that black patients more commonly undergo surgery at low-volume and lower-quality hospitals, despite living in close proximity to higher quality hospitals.

We investigated the effects of centralization on HV hospital utilization and surgical outcomes for lung (n = 28,047 White; n = 2,638 Black) and bladder (n = 7,593 White; n = 567 Black) cancer patients over a 15 year time span (1997-2011) in New York State. We hypothesized that centralization has improved utilization of HV hospitals and outcomes for both black and white patients, but significant disparities remain between black and white patients.

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Affordable Care Act Linked To Marked Increase in Surgery for Thyroid Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Benjamin James, MD MS Assistant Professor of Surgery Adjunct Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology Section of Endocrine Surgery IU Division of General Surgery Indiana University Hospital Indianapolis, IN 46202

Dr. Benjamin James

Benjamin James, MD MS
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology
Section of Endocrine Surgery
IU Division of General Surgery
Indiana University Hospital
Indianapolis, IN 46202

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

Response: Over the few decades, there has been a substantial increase in the incidence of thyroid cancer. It is the fastest growing cancer and a recent study in JAMA found that the mortality rate has been rising.

In 2006, Massachusetts passed healthcare reform, which expanded Medicaid, created new subsidized insurance programs for those ineligible for Medicaid and extended young adults eligibility on parental plans until the age of 26.

The aim of our study was to evaluate the impact this has had on the treatment of thyroid cancer. To address this question, we used the Hospital Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases for Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Florida, which included a cohort of 56,581 inpatient admissions from 2001 to 2011. We then compared these states before and after the healthcare reform in Massachusetts to evaluate the effect the healthcare reform had on the treatment of thyroid cancer.

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Rate of Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy Varies Among States

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Ahmedin Jemal, DVM, PHD

Vice President, Surveillance and Health Services Research
American Cancer Society, Inc.
Atlanta, GA 30303

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

Response: Previous studies reported that Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy (CPM) increased in the United States among women diagnosed with unilateral early-stage breast cancer with surgery without evidence for survival benefit. Previous studies also reported that receipt of this procedure is more common in younger than older patients, in white than in black patients, and in privately insured than uninsured patients. However, the extent of variation in receipt of CPM by state of residence was unknown.

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Large Regional Variations in Rates of Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Rebecca Nash, MPH
Rollins School of Public Health
Emory University

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

Response: Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) in women with invasive early-stage unilateral breast cancer has significantly increased in the U.S. over the past decade, despite the lack of evidence for a survival benefit. This procedure is particularly common among patients younger than 45 years old. It is also more common in whites compared to blacks, and in privately insured patients compared to uninsured or Medicaid insured patients. However, the extent of regional variation across the United States was unknown.

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Computerized Clinical Decision Support Systems Can Reduce Rate of Venous Thromboembolism

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Zachary Borabm, Research fellow

Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery
NYU Langone Medical Center

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

Response: Recent studies have shown that health care providers perform poorly in risk stratifying their patients for venous thromboembolism (VTE) which leads to inadequate VTE prophylaxis delivery, especially in surgical patients. Computerized Clinical Decision Support Systems (CCDSSs) are programs integrated into an electronic health record that have the power to aid health care providers. Using a meta-analysis study technique we were able to pool data from 11 studies, including 156,366 patients that either had CCDSSs intervention or routine care without CCDSSs.

Our main outcome measures were the rate of prophylaxis for VTE and the rate of actual VTE events. We found that CCDSSs increased the rate of VTE prophylaxis (odds ratio 2.35, p<0.001) and decreased the risk of VTE events (risk ratio 0.78, p<0.001).

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TAVR for Bicuspid Vs. Tricuspid Aortic Valve Stenosis

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Sung-Han Yoon MD
Clinical Trials, Cardiology, Developmental Biology
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles

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

Response: Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) has become the standard treatment in inoperable patients in high surgical risk patients with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis (AS). However, major randomized trials excluded congenital bicuspid AS due to its unique morphological features. The indication of TAVR is expanding into a younger population, in which the frequency of bicuspid AS is higher. Therefore, we will encounter TAVR for bicuspid AS more frequently. However, the experience of TAVR in bicuspid AS is limited to small series. Therefore, we aim to evaluate the clinical outcomes of TAVR in bicuspid AS and compare them to tricuspid AS.

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iFR Can Assess Need For Coronary Revascularization Without Adenosine

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Justin Davies PhD Senior Reserch Fellow and Hononary Consultant Cardiologist National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College Londo

Dr. Davies

Dr. Justin Davies PhD
Senior Reserch Fellow and Hononary Consultant Cardiologist
National Heart and Lung Institute,
Imperial College London

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

Response: We know from the FAME study that compared to angiography alone, FFR guided revascularization improves long-term clinical outcomes for our patients. Despite this, adoption of FFR into everyday clinical practice remains stubbornly low. One major factor for this is the need for adenosine (or other potent vasodilator medications) in order to perform an FFR measurement. Adenosine is expensive, unpleasant for the patient, time consuming and even potentially harmful.

iFR is a newer coronary physiology index that does not require adenosine for its measurement. In the prospective, multi center, blinded DEFINE FLAIR study, 2492 patients were randomly assigned to either FFR guided revascularisation or iFR guided revascularization and followed up for a period of 1 year.
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Cardiovascular Procedures That Push the Line: High-Risk or Futility of Care?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Adam Skolnick, MD Cardiologist Associate professor of medicine NYU Langone Medical Center

Dr. Adam Skolnick

Adam Skolnick, MD
Cardiologist
Associate professor of medicine
NYU Langone Medical Center  

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

Response: I am privileged to serve on the ACC Program Planning Committee and helped to design this important session that seeks to determine the line between when a cardiovascular procedure is high risk and when it is futile.    I am co-chairing the session with the incoming chair of the section on Geriatric Cardiology for the ACC, Dr. Karen Alexander from Duke.

We are practicing medicine at one of the most extraordinary times when there are so many devices and procedures to prolong and improve quality of life.    It is critical to assess a patient’s goals of care for a given intervention.   In some patients, particularly those who are multiple degenerative chronic conditions, are frail and/or have cognitive impairment it is difficult to know when a given procedure multiple medical conditions will achieve a patient’s goals.   When is a procedure high risk, and when is it simply futile?    This is the fine line upon which many cardiologists often find themselves.

The speakers present case examples of high risk patients considering TAVI, high risk PCI or CABG and mechanical support devices and with interaction from the audience work through when each procedure is high risk and when it is unlikely to achieve a patient’s goals of care.   We also have a dedicated talk on high risk procedures in patients with cognitive impairment, such as advanced dementia.

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Patients Who Quit Smoking Had Fewer Adverse Events After Knee Replacement

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Amy Wasterlain, MD

Fourth-year orthopaedic surgery resident
NYU Langone Medical Center who led the study with Dr. Richard Iorio 

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

Response:  We looked at smoking habits and outcomes for 539 smokers undergoing primary total hip or knee arthroplasty, 73 of whom participated in a pre-operative smoking cessation program. Patients who participated in program were 4.3 times more likely to quit than smokers who tried to quit on their own. Program participants also reduced their tobacco intake dramatically (10.6 fewer cigarettes/day) compared to smokers who didn’t participate (2.3 fewer cigarettes/day), even if they weren’t able to quit completely. Patients who completed the program before undergoing total knee arthroplasty had about 24% fewer adverse events (readmission, venous thromboembolism, stroke, urinary tract infection, pneumonia, and surgical site infection) than smokers who didn’t participate in the program.

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Laypeople Perceive Facelift To Give More Youthful, Healthier Appearance

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Lisa E. Ishii, MD, MHS
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
John Hopkins Medicine

Lisa Earnest Ishii, M.D. Associate Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Johns Hopkins Medicine

Dr. Ishii

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

Response: There was a gap in our knowledge about what the average lay person thought about the impact of a facelift.  We had information about what experts thought, and some about what patients themselves thought, but nothing about lay people.
Patients who choose to have a facelift are typically concerned about the opinions of:

1) Themselves when they look in the mirror, and

2) Laypeople they encounter socially in society.

Our study showed for the first time that laypeople find people who have had a facelift to appear more attractive, more youthful, healthier and more successful than they were before their facelift.

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Stretta Procedure Improves GERD Symptoms, Reduces Need for PPIs

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Ronnie Fass, MD Professor, School of Medicine Case Western Reserve University

Dr. Ronnie Fass

Dr. Ronnie Fass, MD
Professor, School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University

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

Response: The endoscopic radiofrequency procedure (Stretta) has been used for more than a decade to treat patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Over time, there were several Meta-analyses with variable designs of the Stretta procedure providing conflicting results. Thus, the purpose of the current systematic review and meta-analysis was to determine the efficacy of the Stretta procedure using all currently available controlled and cohort studies.

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“Spillover” of Transfusion Practice from Trauma to Non-trauma Patients Without Strong Supporting Evidence

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Daniel Dante Yeh, MD FACC Assistant Professor of Surgery Harvard Medical School Course Director General/GI Surgery sub-internship Associate Course Director, Surgery Core Clerkship Associate Director, Surgical Intensive Care Unit Co-Director, Nutrition Support Unit Department of Surgery Division of Trauma, Massachusetts General Hospital Emergency Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care Boston, MA 02114

Dr. Yeh

Daniel Dante Yeh, MD FACC
Assistant Professor of Surgery Harvard Medical School Course Director
General/GI Surgery sub-internship Associate Course Director, Surgery Core Clerkship Associate Director, Surgical Intensive Care Unit Co-Director, Nutrition Support Unit Department of Surgery Division of Trauma,
Massachusetts General Hospital
Emergency Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care Boston, MA 02114

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

Response: High Fresh Frozen Plasma to Red Blood Cells FFP:RBC transfusion ratio is a strategy which has emerged in the trauma literature as the preferred method of resuscitation for massively bleeding injured patients.  However, this strategy has now spread to other patient populations which have never been formally studied.   These populations include elective operations and even non-surgical patients.  Giving excess FFP when it is not needed is not only wasteful, but may be harmful, as other studies have reported that FFP can cause problems with lung function, heart function, and immune function.

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Plastic Surgeons Define Ideal Female Lip Dimensions

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Brian J. F. Wong, MD, PhD Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic Department of Biomedical Engineering University of California, Irvine

Dr. Brian Wong

Brian J. F. Wong, MD, PhD
Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery
Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic
Department of Biomedical Engineering
University of California, Irvine

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

Response: Research in facial attractiveness is difficult because of the inherent subjectivity of rating. Most people can look at a face and instinctively tell you whether that face is attractive or not, by subconsciously picking up on biologic cues like fertility, coloration, and proportions.

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Alcohol-Based Skin Preps Can Fuel Surgical fFres

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Edward L Jones, MD MS

Assistant Professor
Department of Surgery, Denver VA Medical Center and
University of Colorado, Denver, CO 

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

Response: Operating room fires continue to be an underreported source of sometimes catastrophic injuries to our patients and we could find no recent data evaluating common surgical skin antiseptics as a potential fuel for these flames. Manufacturers continue to recommend waiting at least 3 minutes for “drying” of an alcohol-based prep prior to a surgical start but cite no searchable studies to support this timeframe. We were curious if these alcohol-based preps were flammable and what impact a 3 minute delay had on their flammability. Thus we decided to study them in rigorous fashion.

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Is the Benefit of Arthroscopic Meniscus Surgery a Placebo Effect?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jonas Bloch Thorlund Associate Professor (MSc, PhD) Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics Research Unit for Musculoskeletal Function and Physiotherapy University of Southern Denmark

Dr. Jonas Thorlund

Jonas Bloch Thorlund
Associate Professor (MSc, PhD)
Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics
Research Unit for Musculoskeletal Function and Physiotherapy
University of Southern Denmark

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

Response: Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy is a very common knee surgery. Research evidence has seriously questioned the effect of this type of surgery for degenerative meniscal tears in middle-aged and older patients. Most young patients with traumatic meniscal injury (from sports or similar) also undergo this type of surgery. There is a general understanding that young patients with traumatic tears experience larger improvements in patient reported pain, function and quality of life. However, evidence for this presumption is sparse.

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Variable Effects of Vitamin C on Post-Operative Atrial Fibrillation

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr-Harri-Hemilae.jpg

Dr. Harri Hemilae

Harri Hemilä, MD, PhD
Department of Public Health
University of Helsinki

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

Response: I have a long term interest in vitamin C. Previously I have shown that it alleviates exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) (http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1710-1492-10-58 ) and shortens the duration of colds ( http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0020168 ). Now I had been following the literature and I noted that a number of randomized trials were being published about vitamin C for preventing post-operative atrial fibrillation (POAF). Therefore I reasoned that it is worthwhile to analyze that set of trials

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Donated Tissue Provides Surgeons Improved Ways to Repair and Reconnect Damaged or Severed Nerves

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Karen Zaderej

Karen Zaderej

Karen Zaderej
CEO, AxoGen

Karen Zaderej joined AxoGen in May 2006. She has served as President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of AxoGen, Inc. since May 2010. Prior to her current role, she served as Chief Operating Officer from October 2007 to May 2010 and as Vice President of Marketing and Sales from May 2006 to October 2007. From October 2004 to May 2006, Karen worked for Zaderej Medical Consulting, a consulting firm she founded that helped medical device companies build and execute successful commercialization plans. From 1987 to 2004, Karen worked at Ethicon, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, where she held senior positions in marketing, business development, research & development, and manufacturing. Karen is a Director of SEBio, a non-profit supporting the life science industry in the southeastern United States. Karen earned an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Business at Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University.

MedicalResearch.com: Please tell us about yourself and how you became CEO at AxoGen.

Response: I met Jamie Grooms, co-founder of AxoGen, in 2005 and we had one of those meetings that change your life. Jamie is a serial entrepreneur and loves to start businesses. He had tried to make nerves in the past but had been unsuccessful. When he saw new technology at the University of Florida that explained some of the issues in regenerating nerves, he decided to found a company focused on nerve repair. In parallel, I had been in business development and strategic marketing for Johnson & Johnson and we had looked at the nerve repair market. We determined there was a significant unmet need in nerve repair, but we could not find any technology at that time that solved the surgical need. Several years later, I left J&J and started a consulting business focused on market development and commercialization of early stage med tech companies. Jamie and I met, and I found the technology I had been looking for years earlier. We had an exciting conversation about the potential to improve the lives of patients with nerve injuries. I saw the possibility to create an entire new segment in med tech, one dedicated to nerve repair. With that great potential in front of me, I closed my consulting business, moved to Florida, and joined the AxoGen team.

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Best Case/Worst Case Framework Helps Surgeons Communicate With Frail Seriously Ill Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Margaret L Schwarze, MD, MPP Associate Professor Division of Vascular Surgery University of Wisconsin

Dr. Margaret Schwarze

Margaret L Schwarze, MD, MPP
Associate Professor
Division of Vascular Surgery
University of Wisconsin

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

Response: Surgery can have life-altering consequences for frail older adults, yet many undergo an operation during the last year of life. Surgeons commonly rely on informed consent to disclose risks of discrete complications; however, this information is challenging for patients to interpret with respect to their goals and values.

Our research group developed a communication framework, called Best Case/Worst Case, to change how surgeons communicate with patients facing serious illness.  Surgeons use the framework to describe the best, worst, and most likely scenarios to present a choice between valid treatment alternatives and help patients imagine how they might experience a range of possible treatment outcomes.

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Younger Colon Cancer Patients Receive More Chemotherapy But No Greater Survival Benefit

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kangmin Zhu, PhD, MD

John P. Murtha Cancer Center, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in the
Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics
Bethesda, Maryland

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

Response: An article published on JAMA Surgery in 2015 showed more utilization of chemotherapy among young colon cancer patients.  To demonstrate the study findings, we analyzed the data from the Department of Defense healthcare system, in which all members have the same level of access to medical care and therefore the potential effects of insurance status and types on research results can be reduced.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: The main findings were that young and middle-aged colon cancer patients were 2 to 8 times more likely to receive postoperative chemotherapy and 2.5 times more likely to receive multiagent regimens, compared with their counterparts aged 65 to 75 years.  However, no matched survival benefits were observed for the young and middle-aged among patients who received surgery and postoperative chemotherapy.

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Non-Surgical Stretta Therapy For Recalcitrant GERD

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Mark Noar Director of The Heartburn and Reflux Study Center Towson, MD

Dr. Mark Noar

Dr. Mark Noar
Director of The Heartburn and Reflux Study Center
Towson, MD 

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

Response: The background for this study was developed out of a need to know whether the Stretta procedure was effective in both the short and long-term in all forms of reflux. This included standard refluxing patients who had never had surgery but also in the subpopulation of patients who had recurring reflux after having had reflux corrective surgery. The question to be answered was whether the Stretta procedure would be less effective, more effective, or just as effective in the patient who had had prior surgery compared to patients who did not have surgery.

The main findings were that independent of whether a patient had had surgery for the correction of reflux or just had standard reflux without prior surgery, the Stretta procedure was equally effective in all patient subgroups both in the short-term and the long-term.

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New Guidelines for Prevention, Detection and Management of Surgical Site Infections

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Kristen A. Ban, MD Loyola University American College Surgery Clinical Scholar

Dr. Kristen Ban

Kristen A. Ban, MD
Loyola University
American College Surgery Clinical Scholar

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: The American College of Surgeons previously released surgical site infections (SSI) guidelines, and we wanted to update them with the most recent literature to give surgeons a concise, comprehensive document of recommended practices to reduce SSI. We were very fortunate to partner with our colleagues and content experts at the Surgical Infection Society for this update. There are a few areas where we had additional literature to support new or different guidelines.

Blood glucose control is now recommended for all patients regardless of diabetic status. SSI reduction bundles have become very popular, and we emphasize that compliance must be high with all parts of these bundles to obtain the maximum benefit.

Finally, we recommend cessation of prophylactic antibiotics at incision closure with some exceptions (mainly in regard to implanted material/hardware).

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New Scoring System Guides Surgical Risks During Pregnancy

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Adam Sachs MD

Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
University of Connecticut School of Medicine

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

Response: When women undergo appendectomy or cholecystectomy during pregnancy they are obviously concerned about the well being of their fetus. Unfortunately, the majority of the data available to council pregnant women is outdated and medical practice has significantly changed since their publication.

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tPA Plus Mechanical Thrombectomy in Acute Ischemic Stroke?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Vitor Mendes Pereira MD MSc Division of Neuroradiology - Joint Department of Medical Imaging Division of Neurosurgery - Department of Surgery Toronto Western Hospital - University Health Network Associate Professor of Radiology and Surgery University of Toronto

Dr. Vitor Mendes Pereira

Vitor Mendes Pereira MD MSc
Division of Neuroradiology – Joint Department of Medical Imaging
Division of Neurosurgery – Department of Surgery
Toronto Western Hospital – University Health Network
Associate Professor of Radiology and Surgery
University of Toronto 

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

Response: Our study is a pooled analysis of two large prospective stroke studies that evaluated the effectiveness of mechanical thrombectomy (MT) using one of the stent retrievers (Solitaire device ) in patients with acute ischemic stroke related to large vessel occlusion(LVO). It is known (after 5 randomized controlled trials in 2015) that IV rtPA alone failed to demonstrated benefit when compared to MT associated or not to rtPA. A question is still open: what it is the real benefit of IV rtPA in the context of LVO, particularly in centres that can offer mechanical thrombectomy within 60 minutes after qualifying imaging?

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Complex Surgical Equipment Can Make Cleaning and Sterilization Difficult

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Alex Carignan, MD, MSc

Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Université de Sherbrooke,
Quebec, Canada 

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

Response: Although reports of iatrogenic transmission directly linked to surgical power tools (SPTs) are rare, the decontamination of such instruments is challenging due to their complex designs, which may restrict access to cleaning and sterilization agents, and because they often become contaminated after use. Most studies on infection risk with ultrasonic surgical power tools include patients who underwent phacoemulsification surgeries,but it is logical to assume that lumen contaminants, including bacteria and proteinaceous material from previous operations, may be found in neurosurgery SPTs as well.

During June 2015, the infection control department at our institution was notified of an increase in the number of surgical site infection cases following craniotomy since January 2015. We investigated an outbreak of neurosurgical SSIs at a tertiary care hospital in Quebec, Canada, to identify the outbreak’s cause, and our investigation strongly suggests that modifying the reprocessing procedure of an ultrasonic surgical aspirator caused the outbreak.

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Cangrelor With and Without Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa Inhibitors in Patients Undergoing PCI

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, FACC, FAHA, FSCAI, FESC Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart & Vascular Center Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02115

Dr. Deepak L. Bhatt

Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, FACC, FAHA, FSCAI, FESC
Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs,
Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart & Vascular Center
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA 02115

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

Response: Cangrelor is a potent, fast on, fast off, intravenous ADP receptor antagonist that is now available for use during PCI. Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors are intravenous antiplatelet agents that work by a different mechanism. Doctors have asked whether there is any advantage to combining them or whether one class is preferable to the other during PCI.

We analyzed close to 25,000 patients from the CHAMPION trials. Cangrelor’s efficacy in reducing peri-procedural ischemic complications in patients undergoing PCI was present
irrespective of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor administration. However, glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor use resulted in substantially higher bleeding rates, regardless of whether the patient was randomized to cangrelor or to clopidogrel.

Thus, in general, cangrelor and glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors should not routinely be combined. If an operator wishes to use a potent intravenous antiplatelet during PCI, cangrelor is similarly efficacious as glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors, but with less bleeding risk.

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Gastric Bypass Surgery Improves Quality of Life For Obese Teenagers, But Complications Not Rare

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Thomas H. Inge MD

University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine
Aurora, CO 80045

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

Response: Gastric bypass surgery helps severely obese teenagers lose weight and keep it off, according to the first long term follow up studies of teenagers who had undergone the procedure 5-12 years earlier. However, the studies show some patients will need further surgery to deal with complications or may develop vitamin deficiencies later in life, according to two studies published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
Severe obesity is classified as having a BMI of 40 or over (around 100 pounds overweight) and affects around 4.6 million children and teenagers in the USA. It causes ill health, poor quality of life and cuts life expectancy.

The studies are the first to look at long-term effects of gastric bypass surgery in teenagers. Until now, it has been unclear how successful the surgery is in the long-term and whether it can lead to complications. Thousands of teenagers are offered surgical treatment each year.

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C-Section Rate Varies Across China from 4% to 64%

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jianmeng Liu, PhD, MD
Professor in Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Director, Institute of Reproductive and Child Health/key Laboratory of Reproductive Health Ministry of Health
Director, Office for National Maternal and Child Health Statistics of China
Peking University Health Science Center
Beijing, China

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

Response: Cesarean overuse can jeopardize maternal and child health. It has been widely concerned that cesarean rate in China is at an extremely high level. Concerns about “alarming” rates increased after a World Health Organization (WHO) report that 46.2% of births were delivered by cesarean in 2007-2008, based on analysis of deliveries in 21 hospitals of 3 provinces of China.

Since 2002, reducing the cesarean rate has been a national priority, and a variety of policies, programs and activities have emerged at both the central and local governments. Previous national estimates of cesarean rates have been based on surveys with limited geographical coverage. Given the marked diversity of geography, economy, and life circumstances throughout China, survey estimates are likely to be sensitive to the area sampled.

By analyzing county-level national data on cesarean rates that have been collected since 2008, this study aimed to determine the overall rate and change in rate of cesarean deliveries, examine geographic variation, and, in areas where declines occurred, assess changes in maternal and perinatal mortality.

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Gastric Bypass Surgery Found Safe and Effective in Adolescent Severe Obesity

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Torsten Olbers PhD

Department of Gastrosurgical Research
Institute of Clinical Sciences
University of Gothenburg, Sahlgrenska University Hospital
Gothenburg Sweden 

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

Response: The background to study was the lack of effective treatments for adolescents with severe obesity and the observation that many adults undergoing gastric bypass regret that they didn’t´t do it earlier.

The medical indication is to hopefully prevent development of diseases and organ damage due to cardiovascular risk factors and to enable them to have normalised psychosocial development (education, relation etc).

In fact most of the adolescents undergoing surgery had parents having undergone surgery.

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Study Supports Mesh Surgery for Incontinence But Not for Bowel or Bladder Prolapse

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Rachael Wood PhD

Consultant in Public Health Medicine – women and children’s health
NHS National Services Scotland
Information Services Division
Edinburgh

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

Response: Mesh surgery for female stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse is currently controversial.

Mesh surgery was introduced to overcome recognised limitations of traditional, non-mesh, surgery for these conditions, in particular extensive surgery and long hospital stays for incontinence and high failure/recurrence rates for prolapse. Mesh surgery may therefore offer additional benefits over traditional surgery. Mesh surgery may also carry additional risks however, with patient advocacy groups highlighting cases of severe, long term, mesh-related complications in some women who have undergone mesh surgery.

We therefore used routinely available, population based hospital discharge records from Scotland to identify women having mesh and non-mesh procedures for incontinence and prolapse. We then followed the women up for up to 5 years to assess how often they were readmitted for complications or further incontinence or prolapse surgery.

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Study Finds No Clear Benefit of Mesh For Prolapse Surgery

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Prof. Cathryn Glazener PhD Health Services Research Unit University of Aberdeen Aberdeen,UK

Prof. Cathryn Glazener

Prof. Cathryn Glazener PhD
Health Services Research Unit
University of Aberdeen
Aberdeen,UK

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

Response: Prolapse is a condition that affects up to half of all women after childbirth. Women notice a bulge or discomfort in their vaginas due to pressure from the bladder, bowel or womb moving downwards. Women who have surgery for their prolapse have a 3 in 10 chance of needing at least one more operation, so the success rate is not great. Gynaecologists hoped that by reinforcing their repairs the success rate would get better.

PROSPECT was a pragmatic, multicentre randomised controlled trial conducted in 35 centres across the UK. Women undergoing their first operation for prolapse were randomised to having a standard repair of the front or back wall of the vagina, or a repair reinforced by synthetic non-absorbable mesh, or a biological graft.
We found that, in contrast to previous research, women were just as likely to be cured after standard surgery rather than reinforced repairs. They were just as likely to have other symptoms such as bladder or sexual problems, and other adverse effects such as infection, bleeding or pain.

However, about 1 in 10 of the women who had mesh did have mesh exposure when a small portion of the mesh becomes visible through the vaginal wall. Although many women did not have symptoms, about half of those women needed a small operation to remove or bury the exposed mesh.

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Annual Report of Transcatheter Valve Therapy Registry

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Frederick L. Grover, M. D. Professor, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery Past Chair, Department of Surgery  University of Colorado School of Medicine-Anschutz Medical Campus Aurora, CO Past President, Society of Thoracic Surgeons Vice Chair, Society of Thoracic Surgeons/American College of Cardiology Transcatheter Valve Therapy Registry

Dr. Frederick Grover

Frederick L. Grover, M. D.
Professor, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Past Chair, Department of Surgery
University of Colorado School of Medicine-Anschutz Medical Campus
Aurora, CO
Past President, Society of Thoracic Surgeons
Vice Chair, Society of Thoracic Surgeons/American College of Cardiology Transcatheter Valve Therapy Registry

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

Response: Following approval of the first transcatheter aortic heart valve late in 2011 the TVT-R was established and data entry was mandated by CMS for all patients who were undergoing transcatheter valve therapy.  Data is currently collected on transcatheter aortic valves (TAVR) from two companies, transcatheter mitral clip procedures (TMC), transcatheter mitral valve in valve or valve in ring procedures and aortic valve in valve procedures.  A report is published annually jointly in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) and the Annals of Thoracic Surgery (ATS).  This report contains data from the beginning of 2012 through December 31, 2015.  Peoperative risk factors, operative details and outcomes data are collected prior to procedures, during the hospitalization, 30 days post procedure and at one year and later data can be collected by linking to CMS administrative data.

For this annual report we concentrated on touching on some of the highlights since the length of the manuscript is limited. We discussed the trends in TAVR, since this is the most common procedure performed, the last two years’ experience in mitral clips since a very detailed paper was published on this last year, and the mitral valve in valve and ring since the results for this procedure were impressively good.

In regard to TAVR, 418 sites perform this procedure and the number of cases in 2015 increased from 16,295 in 2014 to 24,808.  Very importantly, mortality and complications have been decreasing each year, probably related to improvements in the technology with smaller catheter and sheath sizes leading to less vascular complications, greater experience of those doing the procedures, a less sick group of patients going initially from those too ill to do an open operation on, to very high risk to high risk according to approval criteria.    The age of the patients however is most often in the 80s.

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Technical and Clinical Considerations for Facial Feminization Surgery

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Raúl J. Bellinga, MD, FEBOMS

FACIALTEAM Surgical Group, Marbella High Care International Hospital, Marbella, Málaga, Spain

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

Response: Feminization rhinoplasty is one of the most common and important procedures in Facial Feminization Surgery. In this study our surgical group has evaluated 200 consecutive feminization rhinoplasties in male to female transgender patients, paying special attention to the frontonasal angle and nasolabial angle. The degree of satisfaction was much better using the Nose Feminization Scale (4 of 5 points).

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

Response: As the nose plays a crucial role in facial aesthetics, feminization rhinoplasty in combination with the forehead reconstruction is key to modify the gender identity or recognition.

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

Response: It is important to create protocolized guidelines of treatment for people diagnosed of gender dysphoria. Surgical reassignment of facial gender or Facial Feminization Surgery must be considered as a vital part of the transitioning process in combination with hormonal treatment and Sex Reasignment Surgery (SRS).

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Many negative stereotypes and prejudices exist with regard to this group and, in general, transgender people are met with an attitude that is frivolous or whimsical and ignores the true underlying question of gender identity. Trans people want to be recognized for themselves, to have the gender identity they identify with be accepted, and to fulfill a social role in the gender they feel, not the sex assigned to them at birth. For this reason, Facial Feminization Surgery must be considered as an essential part in this process. Fortunately, political and legislative steps are beginning to be taken, although substantial progress needs to be made before full social acceptance is reached. 

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Bellinga RJ, Capitán L, Simon D, Tenório T. Technical and Clinical Considerations for Facial Feminization Surgery With Rhinoplasty and Related Procedures. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. Published online December 15, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamafacial.2016.1572

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Surgery Versus 5% Imiquimod for Nodular and Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Hywel C. Williams DSc, FMedSci, NIHR Senior Investigator

Director of the NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme
http://www.nets.nihr.ac.uk/programmes/hta
Professor of Dermato-Epidemiology and Co-Director of the Centre of Evidence-Based Dermatology,
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/groups/cebd/index.aspx
University of Nottingham,
Queen’s Medical Centre,
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust,
Nottingham UK

Hywel C. Williams

Basal Cell Skin Cancer-Wikipedia image

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

Response: Our clinical trial of 5% imiquimod cream versus surgery for low risk basal carcinoma (BCC) of the skin was first prompted by a shocking lack of randomised controlled clinical trials for what is the commonest form of human cancer.

We had conducted a Cochrane systematic review prior to starting the study and found very few long term studies. An emerging literature on imiquimod cream at the time suggested that it might have a clinically useful effect for low risk BCC. All the studies were short term and industry supported, so with the support of Cancer Research UK (UK largest cancer charity), we undertook a large independent study to see how the cream compared to the reference standard of excision surgery with a 4mm margin for low risk superficial and nodular BCC.

Our three year results, published in Lancet Oncology, showed that surgery is clearly superior to imiquimod cream, with a success rate (absence of initial failure and no signs of recurrence at 3 years) of 98.4% compared to 83.6% for imiquimod. Nevertheless, the 83.6% success rate is still potentially useful, so we wanted to see whether these 3 year results were sustained. So we followed up your study participants for a total of 5 years and found that the response rates at 5 years were almost the same as those at 3 years (97.7% and 82.5% for surgery and imiquimod respectively).

Most treatment failures with imiquimod occurred early on ie in the first year of treatment. Our study shows that if initial treatment works, the benefits are sustained.

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Women Leave General Surgery Residencies For Better Lifestyle Specialties

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Mohammed Al-Omran, MD, MSc, FRCSC Head, Division of Vascular Surgery St. Michael’s Hospital Professor, Department of Surgery University of Toronto

Dr. Mohammed Al-Omran

Mohammed Al-Omran, MD, MSc, FRCSC
Head, Division of Vascular Surgery
St. Michael’s Hospital
Professor, Department of Surgery
University of Toronto

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

Response: General surgery residency is among the most demanding clinical training programs in medicine. Several studies have suggested surgical residents have a relatively high attrition rate; however, no study has systematically reviewed the overall prevalence and causes of attrition among general surgery residents.

We included over 20 studies representing 19,821 general surgery residents in our review. Most studies were from the US. We found the pooled estimate of attrition prevalence among general surgery residents was 18%. Female residents were more likely to leave than male (25% versus 15%), and residents were most likely to leave after their first training year (48%). Departing residents most commonly switched to another medical specialty (such as anaesthesia, plastic surgery, radiology or family medicine) or relocated to another general surgery program. The most common causes of attrition were uncontrollable lifestyle (range of 18% to 88%) and transferring to another specialty (range of 18% to 39%).

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Image-Guided Biopsies May Reduce Need For Surgery in Breast Cancer Patients Who Respond to Chemotherapy

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Henry M. Kuerer, MD, PhD, FACS</strong> Executive Director, Breast Network Programs MD Anderson Cancer Network PH and Fay Etta Robinson Distinguished Professor in Research Department of Breast Surgical Oncology Director, Breast Surgical Oncology Training Program

Dr. Henry M. Kuerer

Henry M. Kuerer, MD, PhD, FACS
Executive Director, Breast Network Programs
MD Anderson Cancer Network
PH and Fay Etta Robinson Distinguished Professor in Research
Department of Breast Surgical Oncology
Director, Breast Surgical Oncology Training Program

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

Response: Worldwide, triple negative and HER2 positive breast cancers, combined, account for about 370,000 women diagnosed annually. With recent advances in neoadjuvant systemic therapy (NST, chemotherapy and targeted therapy given before surgery) for both subsets, the pCR (pathologic complete response- when no residual cancer is found) rates found at the time of surgery in these populations can be as high as 60 percent. This high rate of pCR naturally raises the question of whether surgery is required for all patients, particularly those who will receive adjuvant radiation.

We believe surgery may potentially be redundant – at least for these two subtypes of breast cancer – because of such a high chance for no evidence of disease at the time of pathological review. If there’s no cancer left after the patient has received chemotherapy and the patient is going to receive local radiation therapy, is surgery actually needed?

The challenge has been that standard breast imaging methods cannot accurately predict residual disease after NST. However, by doing the same image-guided percutaneous needle biopsies after neoadjuvant systemic therapy that we do at time of diagnosis, our preliminary research reveals that we may be able to accurately predict which women will have cancer or not.

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Patients Prefer Online Portal To Receive Skin Biopsy Results

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

sophia-akhiyatSophia Akhiyat
M.D. Candidate, Class of 2017
The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
METEOR Fellowship

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

Response: Our study was inspired by one of Choudhry et al,1 in which patients’ preferences for skin biopsy result disclosure was surveyed at melanoma clinics affiliated with several academic institutions. We sought to broaden participant inclusion criteria by evaluating patients’ preferences at a general dermatology clinic at an academic center.

Our findings support that the highest ranked patient-preferred method for receiving skin biopsy results was through an online portal. Patients also reported that the most important factors when selecting a modality for communication were the amount of information given and time available to discuss results. We also observed a relationship between a younger patient age range and online portal experience as well as a preference for biopsy notification via online portal.

1Choudhry A, Hong J, Chong K, et al. Patients’ Preferences for Biopsy Result Notification in an Era of Electronic Messaging Methods. JAMA Dermatol. 2015;151(5):513-521.

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Only High Risk Patients May Require Anticoagulation After Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Suzanne C. Cannegieter, M.D., Ph.D. Einthoven Laboratory  Leiden University Medical Center  The Netherlands

Dr. Suzanne Cannegieter,

Suzanne C. Cannegieter, M.D., Ph.D.
Einthoven Laboratory
Leiden University Medical Center
The Netherlands

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

Response: Patients who undergo arthroscopic knee surgery and patients who are treated with casting of the lower leg are at increased risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE). It is uncertain whether thromboprophylaxis is effective in these situations to prevent VTE. For both indications, several trials have been performed to evaluate the effectiveness of anticoagulant prophylaxis. However, an overall risk–benefit balance could not be established because of methodologic shortcomings; hence, there has been reluctance to establish international guidelines regarding the use of anticoagulant therapy for either of these indications.

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Teledermatology Can Triage Many Post-Operative Skin Surgery Concerns

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Rajiv Nijhawan MD Department of Dermatology The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dallas

Dr. Rajiv Nijhawan

Rajiv Nijhawan MD
Department of Dermatology
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas

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

Response: From a healthcare perspective, we are constantly working to improve access to patients, and telemedicine has proved to be an excellent platform for this goal especially in the field of dermatology. In regards to surgical dermatology, the role of telemedicine has been limited. The ubiquity of smartphones with photograph capability has provided an opportunity for patients to take self-acquired photographs (selfies) easily. Our experience has been that few patients who call with post-operative concerns have major issues (e.g. infection, bleeding, etc.) while the majority of concerns are minor in nature, and patients are often seeking reassurance.

Our study shows that the majority of concerns can easily be triaged and managed through patient-directed photography without burdening the patient to take time off work for another appointment, find transportation/travel (many of our patients travel hours for their visits), wait to see the provider, etc. This option of triaging a post-operative concern essentially immediately through the use of patient-directed photographs provides the opportunity for immediate feedback on the patient’s concerns and likely reduces anxiety while making the process as patient-centered as possible. In addition, it allows the physician to be as efficient as possible by not having to overbook his/her schedule to accommodate these often non-urgent concerns.

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Key Barriers To Development of Artificial Red Blood Cells Overcome

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Allan Doctor, MD Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Professor of Pediatrics and (Associate) Biochemistry Washington University School of Medicine & Saint Louis Children’s Hospital St. Louis, Missouri

Dr. Allan Doctor

Allan Doctor, MD
Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
Professor of Pediatrics and (Associate) Biochemistry
Washington University School of Medicine &
Saint Louis Children’s Hospital
St. Louis, Missouri

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

Response: Our research team has developed the first nanoscale artificial cells designed to emulate vital functions of natural red blood cells. If ultimately confirmed safe for use in humans, this nanotechnology-based product, called ‘ErythroMer’, could represent a new and innovative alternative to blood transfusions that would be especially valuable in situations where stored blood is needed, but difficult to obtain or use, such as in pre-hospital or battlefield settings. The artificial cells are designed to be freeze-dried, stored for extended periods at ambient temperatures, and simply reconstituted with water for immediate use.

This year, the National Academy of Sciences estimated that 30,000 civilian trauma deaths/year are preventable and of these, two-thirds arise from hemorrhage in the pre-hospital phase of care. One key goal for our team is to advance treatment for trauma victims or soldiers in austere environments by initiating resuscitation in the field, particularly when transport is prolonged. ErythroMer could be a blood substitute that medics carry in their pack and literally take it out, add water, and inject. There are currently no simple, practical means to bring transfusion to most trauma victims outside of hospitals. Delays in resuscitation significantly impact outcomes; it is our goal to push timely, effective care to field settings.

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Frailty Screening Can Predict Postoperative Survival

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Daniel E. Hall, MD, MDiv, MHSc, FACS Associate Professor of Surgery University of Pittsburgh Staff Surgeon VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System Core Investigator VA Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion. PIttsburgh, PA

Dr. Daniel E. Hall

Daniel E. Hall, MD, MDiv, MHSc, FACS
Associate Professor of Surgery
University of Pittsburgh Staff Surgeon
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System Core Investigator
VA Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion.
PIttsburgh, PA

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

Response: A growing body of research demonstrates that frailty is a more powerful predictor of postoperative outcomes than risk-prediction models based on age or comorbidity alone. However, it has not been clear if surgeons could intervene on frailty to improve outcomes.

This study reports what we believe to be the first ever demonstration that it is not only feasible to screen an entire health system for frailty, but that it is possible to act on that information to improve outcomes. Every patient evaluated for elective surgery was screened for frailty with a brief tool that takes 1-2 minutes to complete. Those identified as potentially frail and thus at greater risk for poor surgical outcomes received an ad-hoc administrative review aimed at optimizing perioperative care. After implementing the frailty screening initiative, we observed a 3-fold increase in long-term survival at 6 and 12 months—even after controlling for age, frailty, and predicted mortality.

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STEMI Outcomes Improve For Both Genders, But More So For Men

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Stefano Savonitto 

Director, Division of Cardiology
Manzoni Hospital

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

Response: Over the last 15 years, there has been a shift from fibrinolytic therapy for STEMI to primary angioplasty, which required a re-organization of the whole STEMI treatment network. Besides the higher reperfusion efficiency of primary angioplasty, as compared to lytic therapy, it has been a global upgrade of the STEMI care system that has reduced the rate of no reperfusion.

Elderly patients and women (who are, on average, also older than men) had theoretically the most to gain from this shift, but little data were available to assess this benefit.

In the present paper, we have shown that “lack of reperfusion” was reduced dramatically across all age groups and in both sexes, with a progressive and uniform increase in primary angioplasty, and a significant reduction in mortality. Almost as expected, elderly women were the category with the most relevant mortality benefit.

Nevertheless, after adjustment for age and other confounders, women continue to experience a higher mortality as compared to men. In the discussion of the paper, we propose some hypotheses for this persistently higher mortality in women.

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