Background: Implant-based breast reconstruction is becoming increasingly popular because of the widespread adoption of acellular dermal matrix (ADM), which allows surgeons to obtain good aesthetic results with fewer operations. To develop more conservative surgical techniques, a retrospective, three-centre, proof-of-concept study was performed to study the effectiveness of a new, immediate, muscle-sparing breast reconstruction technique using the patented Braxon (R) ADM, which enables subcutaneous positioning of the breast implant without detaching the pectoralis major. Methods: Ethics committee of the study coordinating centre approved medical record review on 19 women who underwent muscle-sparing breast reconstruction between November 2012 and January 2014. The first 10 implants were performed using 0.9-mm-thick porcine ADM, with preservatives. In the subsequent 15 implants, the product was changed to 0.6-mm-thick porcine dry ADM, without preservatives. Results: Nineteen patients (25 implants) received six bilateral and 13 unilateral muscle-sparing breast reconstructions. For the first type of ADM used (0.9-mm-thick with preservatives), the rate of implant loss was 12% (n = 3) because of seroma (8%, n = 2) and infection (4%, n = 1). Minor complications, such as seroma (8%, n = 2), occurred when using the 0.6-mm-thick Braxon (R) ADM and were treated by aspiration. Symmetrical and natural breasts with good shape, ptosis and softness to the touch were obtained. None of the patients reported experiencing pain. Conclusions: The preliminary results are encouraging from aesthetic and clinical viewpoints. Further studies are planned to evaluate long-term results.
Background: Because of specific methodological difficulties in conducting randomized trials, surgical research remains dependent predominantly on observational or non-randomized studies. Few validated instruments are available to determine the methodological quality of such studies either from the reader's perspective or for the purpose of meta-analysis. The aim of the present study was to develop and validate such an instrument. Methods: After an initial conceptualization phase of a methodological index for non-randomized studies (MINORS), a list of 12 potential items was sent to 100 experts from different surgical specialities for evaluation and was also assessed by 10 clinical methodologists. Subsequent testing involved the assessment of inter-reviewer agreement, test-retest reliability at 2 months, internal consistency reliability and external validity. Results: The final version of MINORS contained 12 items, the first eight being specifically for non-comparative studies. Reliability was established on the basis of good inter-reviewer agreement, high test-retest reliability by the κ-coefficient and good internal consistency by a high Cronbach's α-coefficient. External validity was established in terms of the ability of MINORS to identify excellent trials. Conclusions: MINORS is a valid instrument designed to assess the methodological quality of non-randomized surgical studies, whether comparative or non-comparative. The next step will be to determine its external validity when used in a large number of studies and to compare it with other existing instruments.
Background: Over recent years, Twitter has demonstrated an expanding role in scientific discussion, surgical news and conferences. This study evaluates the role of Twitter in urological conferences, with comparison to other surgical specialties. Methods: A retrospective analysis of Twitter metrics during the two largest recent English-speaking conferences for each surgical specialty was performed. Using www.symplur.com, all 'tweets' under the official conference hashtag from 0000 hour the first day to 24.00 hour the final day were assessed. The number of impressions, 'tweeters' and rates of 'tweeting' were analysed. Results: Nine of 18 conferences examined had official hashtags registered with Symplur Healthcare Hashtags. Plastic and urological surgery had both major conferences registered. Only one of two conferences for each cardiothoracic, general, orthopaedic, otolaryngology and paediatric was registered. Both major neurosurgical and vascular conferences were unregistered. Urological conferences were associated with significantly more Twitter activity than non-urological surgical conferences in all parameters, with greater than triple the number of impressions, tweets and 'tweeters'. Urological surgical conferences were associated with 337% more tweets and 164% more impressions per conference day, than non-urological surgical conferences. Conclusion: Twitter has been used to supplement surgical conferences. In this regard, the urological community leads the way compared to the remainder of surgical specialty communities.
Background: Transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) is commonly used to treat advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but less is known regarding safety and efficacy of TACE in patients with HCC and portal vein tumour thrombosis (PVTT). The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of TACE treatment on 1-year survival in patients with HCC and PVTT. Methods: Medline, EMBASE, CENTRAL databases (until July 2013) were searched for studies that evaluated the efficacy of TACE with regard to survival in patients with HCC and PVTT. One-year survival rate, the primary end point, was compared between patients who received TACE and those who received control treatment. Results: Five prospective studies were identified that assessed the efficacy of TACE on survival. These studies included 600 patients: 335 received TACE therapy and 226 received control treatments. Three of the five studies reported 1-year survival data and were used in the meta-analysis. The combined odds ratio (3.079, 95% confidence interval = 1.094-8.662) indicated that patients who received TACE had a significantly better 1-year survival rate compared with patients in the control group (P = 0.033). Conclusions: There are several limitations to this analysis that should be considered when interpreting the findings. The studies used different treatment regimens as controls or with TACE. These differences across the studies may have altered the 1-year survival outcomes in each study and confounded our analysis. This metaanalysis showed that TACE improves the 1-year survival of patients with HCC and PVTT. However, additional prospective controlled trials are required to further substantiate these findings.
BackgroundAlthough current progress in surgical instruments is oriented towards stapler devices, minimally invasive instrumentation and advanced cautery tools, it definitely seems intriguing to determine what instruments were used in antiquity and to appraise their use. Most adequate information can be retrieved from manuscripts of early medical authors, of whom Paul of Aegina (AD 625-690), also being a most important surgeon, is the most recent. The aim of this study is to present surgical instruments used in his practice. MethodsSurgical instruments mentioned in the original Greek text of his monumental work named Epitome ofMedicine were sought using computer software. Further, similar research was performed on other significant manuscripts of earlier Greek medical writers to determine whether some of the instruments were exclusively mentioned by Paul of Aegina. ResultsIn total, 121 different surgical instruments were identified and described in detail in the Epitome ofMedicine. Thirty-three instruments (27%) were exclusively reported by Paul of Aegina. ConclusionsIn antiquity a large number of surgical instruments were already being used. Paul of Aegina described in detail a large variety of fine, as well as a substantial number of, original surgical instruments, which he himself used in a wide spectrum of surgical operations.
BackgroundStandardized perioperative care within an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) programme aims to reduce postoperative morbidity and length of hospital stay (LOS). This study evaluated the effect of ERAS in patients undergoing elective, primary total hip and knee arthroplasty (THA and TKA) in a New Zealand public hospital. MethodsData collected prospectively on patients who had undergone THA and TKA in an ERAS programme (ERAS: August-December 2013) were compared to a retrospective cohort of patients managed in a traditional perioperative care environment (control: June-August 2012). The Breakthrough Series Model for Improvement provided a framework to implement components of the ERAS protocol. The primary outcome was median LOS. Secondary outcomes included 30-day readmission rates, complications and cost. ResultsThere were 206 patients who met the eligibility criteria (106 ERAS, 100 control). There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics. After the implementation of ERAS, median LOS was reduced by 1 day (5 control versus 4 ERAS; P < 0.001). Short-term complications were similar (P = 0.372) as were readmission rates (P = 0.258). Cost analysis identified ERAS patients to have reduced cost overall. Conclusions ERAS in THA and TKA has been shown to be safe and effective in improving recovery through shorter hospital stay.
Background: Hepatitis B virus (HBV)-associated intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) was reported to have a favourable prognosis. We investigated the clinicopathological features of patients with HBV-associated ICC and compared post-resection survival outcomes of ICC patients with and without hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) to assess the prognostic impact of HBV infection. Methods: A single-institution cohort of 292 patients who underwent macroscopic curative resection for ICC were divided into HBV (n = 37) and non-HBV (n = 255) groups. Their medical records were reviewed retrospectively. Results: In comparison with the clinicopathological features, patient age, proportion of anatomical resection, perineural invasion and lymph node (LN) metastasis were different between the two groups. Antiviral therapy was administered to 15 (40.5%) and 27 (73.0%) patients before and after surgery, respectively. Univariate analyses revealed that risk factors were tumour size > 5 cm, anatomical resection, perineural invasion, lymphovascular invasion and LN metastasis for tumour recurrence and HBV infection, tumour size > 5 cm, anatomical resection, perineural invasion, lymphovascular invasion and LN metastasis for patient survival. Multivariate analysis revealed that independent risk factors were tumour size > 5 cm, perineural invasion and LN metastasis for both tumour recurrence and patient survival. HBV infection showed statistically marginal significances only in univariate analysis, thus not being an independent risk factor. Conclusions: We observed that ICC patients with HBV infection often showed favourable tumour features probably due to early diagnosis, but their post-resection outcomes were not significantly different from those of patients without HBV infection. Therefore, the same treatment and surveillance policies should be applied regardless of HBV serology.
Background: Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) programmes have been used in elective surgery since the 1990s to optimize peri-operative care, reducing post-operative complications, length of stay and overall costs. Following the local introduction of an ERAS programme for colorectal elective patients, it was suggested an increase in the use of ERAS-type principles in emergency patients may have occurred. The aims of this study were to determine whether management changes could be demonstrated and if there was a difference in outcomes. Method: A retrospective cohort study comparing emergency patients undergoing major abdominal surgery October 2008 to May 2010 (pre-ERAS) and January 2011 to December 2012 (post-ERAS) was performed. Details collected included admission and operative details, post-operative management and outcomes. Results: A total of 370 patients were studied. Baseline variables were comparable. Post-ERAS, intra-operative (P < 0.001) and post-operative 48 h totals (P < 0.001) of intravenous fluids were significantly reduced. Significantly fewer patients in the post-ERAS group had a catheter (P < 0.001), drain (P = 0.001) and patient controlled analgesia (P = 0.01) for more than 2 days. Major complications (P = 0.002) and individual minor complications such as urinary tract infections (P = 0.02), urinary retention (P = 0.001) and chest infections (P = 0.001) were all significantly reduced in the post-ERAS period. Conclusion: This study demonstrates a significant change in management towards ERAS principles in emergency patients following the introduction of such a programme in elective patients. The lack of increased complications in the second period suggests the use of ERAS principles is not harmful. The wider application of ERAS principles could improve outcomes in emergency surgery and deserves further study.
BackgroundThe American Thyroid Association (ATA) management guidelines for thyroid cancer were revised in 2009. The aim of this study was to determine if management of thyroid cancer in our institution has changed in accordance with the introduction of the revised ATA guidelines (ATA(2009) ), and to compare the characteristics and management of thyroid cancer in a Melbourne endocrine surgery unit over a 7-year period. MethodsAll patients treated by the Monash University Endocrine Surgery Unit for thyroid cancer between 2007 and 2013 were divided into two groups - the pre-ATA(2009) group (2007-2010) and the post-ATA(2009) group (2011-2013). Comparisons were made of the demographics, cytology, pathology, surgical outcome and adjuvant therapy using t-test and chi-squared tests. ResultsThere were 333 patients in the pre-ATA(2009) group and 342 patients in the post-ATA(2009) group. Fewer non-diagnostic fine-needle aspiration cytology results were identified in the post-ATA(2009) group (4% versus 0.9%; P=0.01), while the rates of other fine-needle aspiration cytology categories were similar. There was a reduction in the use of radioactive iodine ablation in the post-ATA(2009) group, both in the proportion of patients being treated (66% versus 48%; P<0.001) and the dosages used (mean 96 mCi versus 80 mCi; P<0.01), despite similar tumour size in both groups. ConclusionThe key changes in practice thought to be attributable to the 2009 revised ATA guidelines were the reduction in the use and dosage of radioactive iodine in the management of differentiated thyroid cancer.
Background Presently, the worldwide experience with robotic pancreatic surgery (RPS) is increasing although widespread adoption remains limited. In this study, we report our initial experience with RPS. Methods This is a retrospective review of a single institution prospective database of 72 consecutive robotic hepatopancreatobiliary surgeries performed between 2013 and 2017. Of these, 30 patients who underwent RPS were included in this study of which 25 were performed by a single surgeon. Results The most common procedure was robotic distal pancreatectomy (RDP) which was performed in 20 patients. This included eight subtotal pancreatectomies, two extended pancreatecto-splenectomies (en bloc gastric resection) and 10 spleen-saving-RDP. Splenic preservation was successful in 10/11 attempted spleen-saving-RDP. Eight patients underwent pancreaticoduodenectomies (five hybrid with open reconstruction), one patient underwent a modified Puestow procedure and one enucleation of uncinate tumour. Four patients had extended resections including two RDP with gastric resection and two pancreaticoduodenectomies with vascular resection. There was one (3.3%) open conversion and seven (23.3%) major (>Grade II) morbidities. Overall, there were four (13.3%) clinically significant (Grade B) pancreatic fistulas of which three required percutaneous drainage. These occurred after three RDP and one robotic enucleation. There was one reoperation for port-site hernia and no 30-day/in-hospital mortalities. The median post-operative stay was 6.5 (range: 3-36) days and there were six (20%) 30-day readmissions. Conclusion Our initial experience showed that RPS can be adopted safely with a low open conversion rate for a wide variety of procedures including pancreaticoduodenectomy.
Background Presently, the adoption of laparoscopic hepatectomy is rapidly increasingly worldwide. However, the application of robotic hepatectomy (RH) remains limited and its role remains undefined today. Methods A retrospective review of 43 consecutive patients who underwent RH at two institutions in the Singapore Health Services Group. Results Forty-three consecutive patients underwent 48 resections during the study period. Seven (16.3%) patients underwent major resections and seven (16.3%) underwent right posterior sectionectomies. Nineteen (44.2%) patients had tumours located in the difficult posterosuperior segments, five had multiple resections and three underwent repeat resections for recurrent tumours. RH was performed for malignant tumours in 32 (74%) patients and 16 (37.2%) had cirrhosis. Seven RH was performed with other concomitant procedures including three colectomies, three hilar lymphadenectomies and one portal vein ligation. The median operation time was 360 min (range 75-825) and the median blood loss was 300 mL (range 25-4500). There was one (2.3%) open conversion for bleeding. The median post-operative stay was 4 days (range 2-33) and there was one (2.3%) readmission. There was one (2.3%) major (>grade 2 morbidity) in a patient with concomitant anterior resection who underwent reoperation for anastomotic leak. There was no 90 day/in-hospital mortality. Comparison between RH for tumours in the anterolateral segments versus posterosuperior segments demonstrated no significant difference in perioperative outcomes. Conclusion Our initial experience demonstrated that RH is safe, feasible and associated with excellent post-operative outcomes. It can be performed successfully with low morbidity even for complex resections such as major hepatectomies, posterior sectionectomies, tumours in difficult posterosuperior segments and repeat liver resections.
BackgroundSymptomatic cholelithiasis accounts for a significant burden of emergency general surgical presentations in Australia and the Western population. Access to hepatobiliary ultrasonography to facilitate diagnosis can lead to delays in timely treatment. Surgical ultrasonography at the bedside (SUB) can mitigate this barrier to patient care. This study assessed the diagnostic accuracy of SUB by trainees versus formal ultrasonographer or computed tomography examination for suspected symptomatic cholelithiasis. MethodsA prospective non-inferiority study of emergency patient admissions with abdominal pain in two tertiary referral hospitals during July 2017 to October 2018 was performed. Results of SUB were compared with accredited radiographer ultrasonography or computed tomography and histopathological assessment. Positive findings at SUB for symptomatic cholelithiasis included: cholelithiasis, gallbladder wall thickness ?3mm, pericholecystic fluid or sonographic Murphy's sign. ResultsOne hundred patients with epigastric or right upper quadrant pain underwent SUB. Mean patient age was 49years (range 20-90years), with 61 females and 39 males. Sensitivity and specificity for diagnosis of symptomatic cholelithiasis was 94.9% and 100% for SUB and 98.7% and 100% for accredited radiographers. Diagnostic accuracy was 96% for SUB and 99% for radiographer ultrasonography. Positive predictive value and negative predictive value were 100% and 84.6% for SUB and 100% and 96% for radiographers. The inter-rater reliability for features compatible with the diagnosis of symptomatic cholelithiasis was good with a kappa of 0.758 (95% confidence interval 0.587-0.929, P<0.001). ConclusionThis first Australian experience demonstrates that general surgical trainees can accurately diagnose cholecystitis with SUB and this assessment is not inferior and has substantial agreement with accredited radiographer ultrasonography.
This is an article setting out the introduction of National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) into New South Wales. There are a large number of authors all of whom have contributed to the project and I would ask that they all be included.
BackgroundCurrent surgical practice often leads to excision of all papillary lesions of the breast diagnosed on percutaneous biopsy. This study aims to identify a subset of patients with papillary lesions who may be able to avoid surgery. MethodsBetween January 2000 and December 2015, 157 cases of papillary lesions with complete surgical excision pathology results were reviewed retrospectively to compare the clinical, imaging and pathology features. Of these, 50 patients with benign papillary lesions without atypia and 19 patients with benign papillary lesions with atypia on needle biopsy were analysed to determine the rate of upgrade to malignancy after surgery. ResultsOf the 50 patients with benign papillary lesions without atypia on biopsy, two (4%) were upgraded to low grade ductal carcinoma in situ after surgical excision. Both these patients had suspicious features on imaging. Of the 19 patients with papillary lesions with atypia diagnosed on needle biopsy, eight (42%) were upgraded to malignancy after surgery. The differences between benign, atypical and malignant papillary lesions were further compared. Malignant lesions were more suspicious radiologically (P = 0.001), more likely to have architectural distortion (P = 0.001), more peripherally located (P = 0.001) and were larger in size (P = 0.01). Patients diagnosed with malignant lesions were also older (P = 0.001). ConclusionYounger patients diagnosed with small central benign papillary lesions without atypia on needle biopsy, and without suspicious imaging, may be managed conservatively with surveillance.
BACKGROUNDThe purpose of this study was to evaluate the correlation between serum albumin level change (ΔALB) and post-operative complications in patients with normal preoperative serum albumin after gastrectomy of gastric cancer.METHODSA total of 193 patients undergoing curative (R0) gastrectomy from September 2015 to May 2017 were enrolled in this study. The risk factors for predicting post-operative complications were identified by univariate and multivariate analysis. The cut-off value and diagnostic accuracy of ΔALB were measured by receiver operating characteristic curves. ΔALB was defined as: (albumin level before surgery - albumin on post-operative day (POD) 1)/albumin level before surgery × 100%.RESULTSA total of 60 patients (31.0%) had post-operative complications. Our results showed that the cut-off value of ΔALB was 19.0%. Using a cut-off value of 19.0%, multivariate analysis identified that ΔALB was able to predict post-operative complications as an independent factor (odds ratio 13.98, 95% confidence interval 6.048-32.32, P < 0.001). In addition, the area under the curve of ΔALB is higher than C-reactive protein on POD 3 (0.773 versus 0633). Compared with patients with ΔALB <19.0%, patients with ΔALB ≥19.0% have higher risk of post-operative complications suffered (62.3 versus 13.7%, P < 0.001) and longer post-operative stay (22.1 ± 13.5 versus 17.5 ± 4.2, P < 0.001).CONCLUSIONΔALB acted as an independent predictor in short-term complications for patients with normal preoperative serum albumin and its diagnostic accuracy was higher than C-reactive protein on POD 3. It is promising to be a precise and straight predictor for incidence of post-operative complications to patients with normal preoperative serum albumin.
BACKGROUNDThe incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in neurosurgical patients ranges 3-24%. VTE is potentially fatal, and prophylactic anticoagulation is recommended worldwide. However, anticoagulation poses a risk of haemorrhage, which can be devastating. We aim to determine the incidence of VTE and risk of haemorrhage following anticoagulation.METHODSBetween 1 May 2014 and 1 May 2016, all patients who underwent elective neurosurgery were recruited into our study. All patients had bilateral lower limb ultrasound to screen for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) between post-operative days 3 and 7. These patients are also monitored for manifestations of pulmonary embolism (PE). If present, a computed tomography pulmonary angiogram will be performed. Patients with VTE will either receive conservative treatment or anticoagulation.RESULTSDuring this period, 170 of 610 patients were included. Of the 170 patients, 17 patients (10.0%) developed DVT. Fifteen patients had cranial surgery and two patients had spinal surgery. Two patients (1.2%) developed PE and both patients had concurrent DVT. Of these 17 patients, nine patients received anticoagulation. Of these nine patients, six patients (66.7%) developed surgical site bleeding following anticoagulation and all of them required surgical intervention. Patients who were managed conservatively did not suffer haemorrhage.CONCLUSIONOur results show an overall 10.0% incidence of DVT and 1.2% incidence of PE following elective neurosurgery within this Asian cohort of neurosurgical patients. There is also a high risk (66.7%) of significant surgical site bleeding following anticoagulation.