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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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