The latest medical research on General Surgery

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about general surgery gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Opioid Use Disorder is Associated With Complications and Increased Length of Stay After Major Abdominal Surgery.

Annals of Surgery

The objective of this study was to determine the impact of opioid use disorder (OUD) on perioperative outcomes after major upper abdominal surgeries.

OUD, defined as dependence/abuse, is a national health epidemic. Its impact on outcomes after major abdominal surgery has not been well characterized.

Patients who underwent elective esophagectomy, total/partial gastrectomy, major hepatectomy, and pancreatectomy were identified using the National Inpatient Sample (2003-2015). Propensity score matching by baseline characteristics was performed for patients with and without OUD. Outcomes measured were in-hospital complications, mortality, length of stay (LOS), and discharge disposition.

Of 376,467 patients, 1096 (0.3%) had OUD. Patients with OUD were younger (mean 53 vs 61 years, P < 0.001) and more often male (55.1% vs 53.2%, P < 0.001), black (15.0% vs 7.6%, P < 0.001), Medicaid beneficiaries (22.0% vs 6.4%, P < 0.001), and in the lowest income quartile (32.6% vs 21.3%, P < 0.001). They also had a higher rate of alcohol (17.2% vs 2.8%, P < 0.001) and nonopioid drug (2.2% vs 0.2%, P = 0.023) dependence/abuse. After matching (N = 1077 OUD, N = 2164 no OUD), OUD was associated with a higher complication rate (52.9% vs 37.3%, P < 0.001), including increased pain [odds ratio (OR) 3.5, P < 0.001], delirium (OR 3.0, P = 0.004), and pulmonary complications (OR 2.0, P = 0.006). Additionally, OUD was associated with increased LOS (mean 12.4 vs 10.6 days, P = 0.015) and nonroutine discharge (OR 1.6, P < 0.001). In-hospital mortality did not differ (OR 2.4, P = 0.10).

Patients with OUD more frequently experienced complications and increased LOS. Close postoperative monitoring may mitigate adverse outcomes.

Primary Open Versus Closed Implantation Strategy for Totally Implantable Venous Access Ports: The Multicentre Randomized Controlled PORTAS-3 Trial (DRKS 00004900).

Annals of Surgery

PORTAS-3 was designed to compare the frequency of pneumothorax or haemothorax in a primary open versus closed strategy for port implantation.

German Clinical Trials Register DRKS 00004900.

PORTAS-3 was a multicentre, randomized, controlled, parallel-group superiority trial. Adult patients with oncological disease scheduled for elective port implantation were randomized to a primary open or closed strategy. Primary endpoint was the rate of pneumothorax or haemothorax. Assuming a difference of 2.5% between the 2 groups, a sample size of 1154 patients was needed to prove superiority of the open group. A logistic regression model after the intention-to-treat principle was applied for analysis of the primary endpoint.

Between November 9, 2014 and September 5, 2016, 1205 patients were randomized. Of these, 1159 (open n = 583; closed n = 576) were finally analyzed. The rate of pneumothorax or haemothorax was significantly reduced with the open strategy [odds ratio 0.27, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.09-0.88; P = 0.029]. Operation time was shorter for the closed strategy. Primary success rates, tolerability, morbidity, dose rate of radiation, and 30-day mortality did not differ significantly between the groups.

A primary open strategy by cut-down of the cephalic vein, if necessary enhanced by a modified Seldinger technique, reduces the frequency of pneumothorax or haemothorax after central venous port implantation significantly compared with a closed strategy by primary puncture of the subclavian vein without routine sonographic guidance. Therefore, open surgical cut-down should be the reference standard for port implantation in comparable cohorts.

Esophageal Adenocarcinoma After Antireflux Surgery in a Cohort Study From the 5 Nordic Countries.

Annals of Surgery

We aimed to clarify the long-term risk development of EAC after antireflux surgery.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) increases EAC risk, but whether antireflux surgery prevents EAC is uncertain.

Multinational, population-based cohort study including individuals with GERD from all 5 Nordic countries in 1964-2014. First, EAC risk after antireflux surgery in the cohort was compared with the corresponding background population by calculating standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). Second, multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression, providing hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% CIs, compared EAC risk in GERD patients with antireflux surgery with those with nonsurgical treatment.

Among 942,071 GERD patients, 48,863 underwent surgery and 893,208 did not. Compared to the corresponding background population, EAC risk did not decrease after antireflux surgery [SIR 4.90 (95% CI 3.62-6.47) 1-<5 years and SIR 4.57 (95% CI 3.44-5.95) ≥15 years after surgery]. Similarly, no decrease was found for patients with severe GERD (esophagitis or Barrett esophagus) after surgery [SIR 6.09 (95% CI 4.39-8.23) 1-<5 years and SIR = 5.27 (95% CI 3.73-7.23) ≥15 years]. The HRs of EAC were stable comparing the surgery group with the nonsurgery group with GERD [HR 1.71 (95% CI 1.26-2.33) 1-<5 years and HR 1.69 (95% CI 1.24-2.30) ≥15 years after treatment], or for severe GERD [HR 1.56 (95% CI 1.11-2.20) 1-<5 years and HR 1.57 (95% CI 1.08-2.26) ≥15 years after treatment].

Surgical treatment of GERD does not seem to reduce EAC risk.

Nonoperative Treatment Versus Appendectomy for Acute Nonperforated Appendicitis in Children: Five-year Follow Up of a Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial.

Annals of Surgery

The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and feasibility of nonoperative treatment of acute nonperforated appendicitis in children during 5 years of follow-up.

A 4-year follow-up of a previous randomized controlled pilot trial, including 50 children with acute nonperforated appendicitis, was performed. The patients were initially randomized to nonoperative treatment with antibiotics or appendectomy with 1-year follow-up previously reported. Data were extracted from the computerized notes and telephone interviews.The primary outcome was treatment failure, defined as need for a secondary intervention under general anesthesia, related to the previous diagnosis of acute nonperforated appendicitis.

The children were followed up for at least 5 years [median 5.3 (range 5.0-5.6)] after inclusion. There were no failures in the appendectomy group (0/26) and 11 failures in the nonoperative group (11/24). Nine failures had occurred during the first year after inclusion, 2 of whom had histologically confirmed appendicitis. There were 2 further patients with recurrent acute appendicitis 1 to 5 years after inclusion. Both these patients had uncomplicated laparoscopic appendectomies for histologically confirmed acute appendicitis. There were no losses to follow-up.

At 5 years of follow-up 46% of children treated with antibiotics for acute nonperforated appendicitis had undergone an appendectomy, although acute appendicitis was only histologically confirmed in 4/24 (17%). Treatment with antibiotics seems to be safe in the intermediate-term; none of the children previously treated nonoperatively re-presented with complicated appendicitis.

A Novel Method to Improve Perfusion of Ex Vivo Pumped Human Kidneys.

Annals of Surgery

To determine if addition of the S-nitrosylating agent ethyl nitrite (ENO) to the preservation solution can improve perfusion parameters in pumped human kidneys.

A significant percentage of actively stored kidneys experience elevations in resistance and decreases in flow rate during the ex vivo storage period. Preclinical work indicates that renal status after brain death is negatively impacted by inflammation and reduced perfusion-processes regulated by protein S-nitrosylation. To translate these findings, we added ENO to the preservation solution in an attempt to reverse the perfusion deficits observed in nontransplanted pumped human kidneys.

After obtaining positive proof-of-concept results with swine kidneys, we studied donated human kidneys undergoing hypothermic pulsatile perfusion deemed unsuitable for transplantation. Control kidneys continued to be pumped a 4°C (ie, standard of care). In the experimental group, the preservation solution was aerated with 50 ppm ENO in nitrogen. Flow rate and perfusion were recorded for 10 hours followed by biochemical analysis of the kidney tissue.

In controls, perfusion was constant during the monitoring period (ie, flow rate remained low and resistance stayed high). In contrast, the addition of ENO produced significant and sustained reductions in resistance and increases in flow rate. ENO-treated kidneys had higher levels of cyclic guanosine monophosphate, potentially explaining the perfusion benefits, and increased levels of interleukin-10, suggestive of an anti-inflammatory effect.

S-Nitrosylation therapy restored the microcirculation and thus improved overall organ perfusion. Inclusion of ENO in the renal preservation solution holds promise to increase the number and quality of kidneys available for transplant.

Severe Hypocalcemia After Thyroidectomy: An Analysis of 7366 Patients.

Annals of Surgery

The aim of the study was to determine severe hypocalcemia rate following thyroidectomy and factors associated with its occurrence.

Hypocalcemia is the most common complication after thyroidectomy. Severe post-thyroidectomy hypocalcemia can be life-threatening; data on this specific complication are scarce.

Patients who underwent thyroidectomy in the American College of Surgeons-National Surgical Quality Improvement Program thyroidectomy-targeted database (2016-2017) were abstracted. A severe hypocalcemic event was defined as hypocalcemia requiring intravenous calcium, emergent clinic/hospital visit, or a readmission for hypocalcemia. Multivariable regression was used to identify factors independently associated with occurrence of severe hypocalcemia.

Severe hypocalcemia occurred in 5.8% (n = 428) of 7366 thyroidectomy patients, with 83.2% necessitating intravenous calcium treatment. Rate of severe hypocalcemia varied by diagnosis and procedure (0.5% for subtotal thyroidectomy to 12.5% for thyroidectomy involving neck dissections). Overall, 38.3% of severe hypocalcemic events occurred after discharge; in this subset, 59.1% experienced severe hypocalcemia despite being discharged with calcium and vitamin D. Severe hypocalcemia patients had higher rates of recurrent laryngeal nerve injury (13.4% vs 6.6%), unplanned reoperations (4.4% vs 1.3%), and longer hospital stay (30.4% vs 6.2% ≥3 days (all P < 0.01). After multivariate adjustment, severe hypocalcemia was associated with multiple factors including Graves disease [odds ratio (OR) = 2.06], lateral neck dissections (OR: 3.10), and unexpected reoperations (OR = 3.55); all P values less than 0.01.

Severe hypocalcemia and suboptimal hypocalcemia management after thyroidectomy are common. Patients who experienced severe hypocalcemia had higher rates of nerve injury and unexpected reoperations, indicating surgical complexity and provider inexperience. More biochemical surveillance particularly a parathyroid hormone-based protocol, fine-tuned supplementation, and selective referral could reduce occurrence of this morbid complication.

Tradition Versus Value: Is There Utility in Protocolized Postoperative Laboratory Testing After Elective Colorectal Surgery?

Annals of Surgery

Determine if routine ordering of postoperative day 1 (POD 1) serum laboratory tests after elective colorectal surgery are clinically warranted and valuable given the associated costs of these lab tests.

Routine postoperative serum laboratory tests are a part of many colorectal surgery order sets. Whether these protocolized lab tests represent cost-effective care is unknown.

Patients undergoing elective colorectal surgery between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2017 at our institution were identified. The protocolized POD 1 lab tests obtained as part of the postoperative order set were reviewed to determine the rate of abnormal values and any intervention in response. Costs associated with protocolized laboratory testing were calculated using dollar amounts representing 2017 outpatient Medicare reimbursement.

A total of 2252 patients were identified with 8205 total lab test values. Of these, only 4% were abnormal (3% of hemoglobin values, 6% of creatinine values, 3% of potassium of values, and 3% of glucose values), and only 1% were actively intervened upon. The total aggregate cost of the protocolized POD 1 laboratory tests in these years was $64,000 based on Medicare outpatient reimbursement dollars.

Routine POD 1 lab tests after elective colorectal surgery are rarely abnormal, and they even less frequently require active intervention beyond rechecking. This results in increased resource utilization and cost of care without appreciable impact on clinical care, and is not cost-effective. Protocolized POD 1 laboratory testing should be replaced with clinically-based criteria to trigger serum laboratory investigations.

Five Year Follow-up of a Randomized Controlled Trial of Laparoscopic Repair of Very Large Hiatus Hernia With Sutures Versus Absorbable Versus Nonabsorbable Mesh.

Annals of Surgery

To determine whether absorbable or nonabsorbable mesh repair of large hiatus hernias is followed by less recurrences at late follow-up compared to sutured repair.

Radiological recurrences have been reported in up to 30% of patients after repair of large hiatus hernias, and mesh repair has been proposed as a solution. Earlier trials have revealed mixed outcomes and early outcomes from a trial reported previously revealed no short-term advantages for mesh repair.

Multicentre prospective double-blind randomized controlled trial of 3 methods of hiatus hernia repair; sutures versus absorbable mesh versus nonabsorbable mesh. Primary outcome - hernia recurrence assessed by barium meal X-ray and endoscopy at 3-4 years. Secondary outcomes - clinical symptom scores at 2, 3, and 5 years.

126 patients were enrolled - 43 sutures, 41 absorbable mesh, and 42 nonabsorbable mesh. Clinical outcomes were obtained at 5 years in 89.9%, and objective follow-up was obtained in 72.3%. A recurrent hernia (any size) was identified in 39.3% after suture repair, 56.7% - absorbable mesh, and 42.9% - nonabsorbable mesh (P = 0.371). Clinical outcomes were similar at 5 years, except chest pain, diarrhea, and bloat symptoms which were more common after repair with absorbable mesh.

No advantages were demonstrated for mesh repair at up to 5 years follow-up, and symptom outcomes were worse after repair with absorbable mesh. The longer-term results from this trial do not support mesh repair for large hiatus hernias.

Coaching as a Mechanism to Challenge Surgical Professional Identities.

Annals of Surgery

The "surgical personality" is a mostly negative academic and cultural image of the surgeon as egotistical, paternalistic, and inflexible. Because of this image, surgeons have been viewed as resistant to change and some behaviors, vulnerability, for example, are viewed as "suspect" because they seemingly threaten professional competency. We report on exit interviews of surgeons who participated in a coaching program and demonstrate how their narratives challenge the surgical "personality" and forge an evolving and more open professional surgical identity.

We interviewed n = 34 bariatric surgeons at the end of a 2-year surgical coaching program. Transcribed interviews were analyzed in NVivo, computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software. Coding of transcripts was approached through iterative steps. We utilized an exploratory method; each member of our team independently examined 3 transcripts to evaluate emergent themes early in the investigation. The team met to discuss our independent themes and develop the codebook collectively. We created a descriptive framework for our first round of coding based on emerging themes and employed an interpretive framework to arrive at our themes.

Three major themes emerged from our data. Participants in this study discussed the ways that participation in the coaching program initially conflicted with their identity as a competent professional. Surgeons were acutely aware of how participation might have destabilized their surgical identity because they might be viewed as vulnerable. Despite these concerns about image, surgeons found impetus for improvement because of poor outcome scores or because they desired early career affirmation. Finally, surgeons report that the safe spaces of intentional coaching contributed to their ideas about how surgeons, and ultimately surgery, can change.

Participation in a coaching program challenged how surgeons thought of themselves in relationship to social and peer expectations. Our results indicate that surgeons do feel peer and social pressures related to identity but are much more complex and nuanced than has been previously discussed. The safe space of intentional coaching allowed participants to practice vulnerability without the pressures of sometimes caustic professional norms. Participants in this study viewed coaching as the way to improve the culture of surgery.

Detecting the Near Infrared Autofluorescence of the Human Parathyroid: Hype or Opportunity?

Annals of Surgery

With the recent approval of 2 NIRAF-based devices for label-free identification of PG by the Food and Drug Administration, it becomes crucial to educate the surgical community on the realistic scope of this emerging technology. Here, we have compiled a review of studies that utilize NIRAF and present a critical appraisal of this technique for intraoperative PG detection.

Failure to visualize PGs could lead to accidental damage/excision of healthy PGs or inability to localize diseased PGs, resulting in postsurgical complications. The discovery that PGs have NIRAF led to new avenues for intraoperatively identifying PGs with high accuracy in real-time.

Using the following key terms: "parathyroid, near infrared, autofluorescence" in various search engines such as PubMed and Google Scholar, we identified various publications relevant to this review of NIRAF as a technique for PG identification. Articles were excluded if they focused solely on contrast agents, served as commentaries/overviews on NIRAF or were not written in English.

To date, studies have investigated the potential of NIRAF detection for (i) identifying PG tissues intraoperatively, (ii) locating PGs before or after dissection, (iii) distinguishing healthy from diseased PGs, and (iv) minimizing postoperative hypocalcemia after total thyroidectomy.

Because NIRAF-based identification of PG is noninvasive and label-free, the popularity of this approach has considerably surged. As the present limitations of various technologies capable of NIRAF detection are identified, we anticipate that newer device iterations will continue to be developed enhancing the current merits of these modalities to aid surgeons in identifying and preserving PGs. However, more concrete and long-term outcome studies with these modalities are essential to determine the impact of this technique on patient outcome and actual cost-benefits.

The Prognostic Role of β-Catenin Mutations in Desmoid-type Fibromatosis Undergoing Resection Only: A Meta-analysis of Individual Patient Data.

Annals of Surgery

This meta-analysis (PROSPERO CRD42018100653) uses individual patient data (IPD) to assess the association between recurrence and CTNNB1 mutation status in surgically treated adult desmoid-type fibromatosis (DTF) patients.

The majority of sporadic DTF tumors harbor a CTNNB1 (ß-catenin) mutation: T41A, S45F, and S45P or are wild-type (WT). Results are conflicting regarding the recurrence risk after surgery for these mutation types.

A systematic literature search was performed on June 6th, 2018. IPD from eligible studies was used to analyze differences in recurrence according to CTNNB1 mutation status using Cox proportional hazards analysis. Predictive factors included: sex, age, mutation type, tumor site, tumor size, resection margin status, and cohort. The PRISMA-IPD guideline was used.

Seven studies, describing retrospective cohorts were included and the IPD of 329 patients were used of whom 154 (46.8%) had a T41A mutation, 66 (20.1%) a S45F mutation, and 24 (7.3%) a S45P mutation, whereas 85 (25.8%) patients had a WT CTNNB1. Eighty-three patients (25.2%) experienced recurrence. Multivariable analysis, adjusting for sex, age, and tumor site yielded a P-value of 0.011 for CTNNB1 mutation. Additional adjustment for tumor size yielded a P-value of 0.082 with hazard ratio's of 0.83 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.48-1.42), 0.37 (95% CI 0.12-1.14), and 0.44 (95% CI 0.21-0.92) for T41A, S45P and WT DTF tumors compared to S45F DTF tumors. The effect modification between tumor size and mutation type suggests that tumor size is an important mediator for recurrence.

Primary sporadic DTFs harboring a CTNNB1 S45F mutation have a higher risk of recurrence after surgery compared to T41A, S45P, and WT DTF, but this association seems to be mediated by tumor size.

Association of Treatment Inequity and Ancestry With Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Survival.

JAMA Surgery

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has a higher incidence and worse outcomes among black patients than white patients, potentially owing to a combination of socioeconomic, biological, and treatment differences. The role that these differences play remains unknown.

To determine the level of survival disparity between black and white patients in a modern PDAC cohort and whether treatment inequity is associated with such a disparity.

This cohort study used data on 278 936 patients with PDAC with database-defined race from the National Cancer Database from January 1, 2004, to December 31, 2015. The median follow-up for censored patients was 24 months. The National Cancer Database, comprising academic and community facilities, includes about 70% of new cancer diagnoses in the United States. Race-stratified receipt of therapy was the primary variable of interest. Multivariable analyses included additional demographic and clinical parameters. Data analysis was initially completed on November 30, 2018, and revised data analysis was completed on June 27, 2019.

Overall survival was the primary outcome, analyzed with Kaplan-Meier and multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression modeling.

The cohort included 278 936 patients (137 121 women and 141 815 men; mean [SD] age, 68.72 [11.57] years); after excluding patients from other racial categories, 243 820 of the 278 936 patients (87.4%) were white and 35 116 of the 278 936 patients (12.6%) were black. Unadjusted median overall survival was longer for white patients than for black patients (6.6 vs 6.0 months; P < .001). Black patients presented at younger ages than white patients (15 819 of 35 116 [45.0%] vs 83 846 of 243 820 [34.4%] younger than 65 years; P < .001) and with more advanced disease (20 853 of 31 600 [66.0%] vs 135 317 of 220 224 [61.4%] with stage III or IV disease; P < .001). Black patients received fewer surgical procedures than white patients for potentially resectable stage II disease (4226 of 8097 [52.2%] vs 39 214 of 65 124 [60.2%]; P < .001) and slightly less chemotherapy for advanced disease (2756 of 4067 [67.8%] vs 17 296 of 25 227 [68.6%] for stage III disease [P = .001]; 8208 of 16 104 [51.0%] vs 58 603 of 105 616 [55.5%] for stage IV disease [P < .001]). Decreased survival for black patients persisted in multivariable modeling controlled for sociodemographic parameters (hazard ratio, 1.04 [95% CI, 1.02-1.05]). Conversely, modeling that controlled specifically for clinical parameters such as disease stage and treatment revealed a modest survival advantage (hazard ratio, 0.94 [95% CI, 0.93-0.96]) among black patients. Resection was the factor most strongly associated with overall survival (hazard ratio, 0.39 [95% CI, 0.38-0.39]).

Black patients with PDAC present at younger ages and with more advanced disease than white patients, suggesting that differences in tumor biology may exist. Black patients receive less treatment stage for stage and fewer surgical procedures for resectable cancers than white patients; these findings may be only partly associated with socioeconomic differences. When disease stage and treatment were controlled for, black patients had no decrease in survival.