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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The Effect of Facility Volume on Survival Following Proctectomy for Rectal Cancer.

Gastrointestinal Surgery

Prior studies assessing colorectal cancer survival have reported better outcomes when operations are performed at high-volume centers. These studies have largely been cross-sectional, making it difficult to interpret their estimates. We aimed to assess the effect of facility volume on survival following proctectomy for rectal cancer.

Using data from the National Cancer Database, we included all patients with complete baseline information who underwent proctectomy for non-metastatic rectal cancer between 2004 and 2016. Facility volume was defined as the number of rectal cancer cases managed at the treating center in the calendar year prior to the patient's surgery. Overall survival estimates were obtained for facility volumes ranging from 10 to 100 cases/year. Follow-up began on the day of surgery and continued until loss to follow-up or death.

A total of 52,822 patients were eligible. Patients operated on at hospitals with volumes of 10, 30, and 50 cases/year had similar distributions of grade, clinical stage, and neoadjuvant therapies. 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival all improved with increasing facility volume. One-year survival was 94.0% (95% CI: 93.7, 94.3) for hospitals that performed 10 cases/year, 94.5% (95% CI: 94.2, 94.7) for 30 cases/year, and 94.8% (95% CI: 94.5, 95.0) for 50 cases/year. Five-year survival was 68.9% (95% CI: 68.0, 69.7) for hospitals that performed 10 cases/year, 70.8% (95% CI: 70.1, 71.5) for 30 cases/year, and 72.0% (95% CI: 71.2, 72.8) for 50 cases/year.

Treatment at a higher volume facility results in improved survival following proctectomy for rectal cancer, though the small benefits are less profound than previously reported.

The Role of Adjuvant Chemotherapy Following Right Hemicolectomy for Non-metastatic Mucinous and Nonmucinous Appendiceal Adenocarcinoma.

Gastrointestinal Surgery

Appendiceal adenocarcinoma (AA) represents a heterogenous group of neoplasms with distinct histologic features. The role and efficacy of adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) in non-metastatic disease remain controversial. The aim of this study was to ascertain the role of AC in non-metastatic AA in a national cohort of patients.

The National Cancer Database (NCDB) was queried to identify patients diagnosed with stage I-III mucinous and nonmucinous AA who underwent right hemicolectomy between 2006 and 2016. Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses were used to evaluate the impact of AC on overall survival (OS) stratified by each pathologic stage.

A total of 1433 mucinous and 1954 nonmucinous AA were identified; 578 (40%) and 722 (40%) received AC respectively. In both AC groups, there was a higher proportion of T4 disease, lymph node metastasis, pathologic stage III, and poorly/undifferentiated grade (all P<0.05). On unadjusted analysis, there was no significant association between AC and OS for stage I-III mucinous AA. For nonmucinous AA, AC significantly improved OS only for stage II and III disease. On adjusted analysis, AC was independently associated with an improved OS for stage III nonmucinous AA (HR: 0.61, 95%CI 0.45-0.84, P=0.002), while for mucinous AA, AC was associated with worse outcomes for stage I/II disease (HR: 1.4, 95%CI 1.02-1.91, P=0.038) and had no significant association with OS for stage III disease.

This current analysis of a national cohort of patients suggests a beneficial role for AC in stage III nonmucinous AA and demonstrates no identifiable benefit for stage I-III mucinous AA.

Reporting guideline for interventional trials of primary and incisional ventral hernia repair.

Br J Surg

Primary and incisional ventral hernia trials collect unstandardized inconsistent data, limiting data interpretation and comparison. This study aimed to create two minimum data sets for primary and incisional ventral hernia interventional trials to standardize data collection and improve trial comparison. To support these data sets, standardized patient-reported outcome measures and trial methodology criteria were created.

To construct these data sets, nominal group technique methodology was employed, involving 15 internationally recognized abdominal wall surgeons and two patient representatives. Initially a maximum data set was created from previous systematic and panellist reviews. Thereafter, three stages of voting took place: stage 1, selection of the number of variables for data set inclusion; stage 2, selection of variables to be included; and stage 3, selection of variable definitions and detection methods. A steering committee interpreted and analysed the data.

The maximum data set contained 245 variables. The three stages of voting commenced in October 2019 and had been completed by July 2020. The final primary ventral hernia data set included 32 variables, the incisional ventral hernia data set included 40 variables, the patient-reported outcome measures tool contained 25 questions, and 40 methodological criteria were chosen. The best known variable definitions were selected for accurate variable description. CT was selected as the optimal preoperative descriptor of hernia morphology. Standardized follow-up at 30 days, 1 year, and 5 years was selected.

These minimum data sets, patient-reported outcome measures, and methodological criteria have allowed creation of a manual for investigators aiming to undertake primary ventral hernia or incisional ventral hernia interventional trials. Adopting these data sets will improve trial methods and comparisons.

Survival Outcomes for Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma at Academic Versus Community Hospitals.

Gastrointestinal Surgery

Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare disease with poor outcomes. Cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy is the cornerstone of therapy. We aim to compare outcomes of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma treated at academic versus community hospitals.

This was a retrospective cohort study using the National Cancer Database to identify patients with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma from 2004 to 2016. Patients were divided according to treating facility type: academic or community. Outcomes were assessed using log-rank tests, Cox proportional-hazard modeling, and Kaplan-Meier survival statistics.

In total, 2682 patients with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma were identified. A total of 1272 (47.4%) were treated at an academic facility and 1410 (52.6%) were treated at a community facility. Five hundred forty-six (42.9%) of patients at academic facilities underwent debulking or radical surgery compared to 286 (20.2%) at community facilities. Three hundred sixty-six (28.8%) of patients at academic facilities received chemotherapy on the same day as surgery compared to 147 (10.4%) of patients at community facilities. Unadjusted 5-year survival was 29.7% (95% CI 26.7-32.7) for academic centers compared to 18.3% (95% CI 16.0-20.7) for community centers. In multivariable analysis, community facility was an independent predictor of increased risk of death (HR: 1.19, 95% CI 1.08-1.32, p = 0.001).

We demonstrate better survival outcomes for malignant peritoneal mesothelioma treated at academic compared to community facilities. Patients at academic centers underwent surgery and received chemotherapy on the same day as surgery more frequently than those at community centers, suggesting that malignant peritoneal mesothelioma patients may be better served at experienced academic centers.

Improved outcomes for patients undergoing colectomy for acute severe inflammatory colitis by adopting a multi-disciplinary care bundle.

Gastrointestinal Surgery

Severe inflammatory colitis as a consequence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may not be amenable to medical management, and surgery is often required. The optimal timing of surgery and perioperative therapeutic care requires a formal link between surgical department and gastroenterology which is often lacking. In this study, we assess the impact of adopting a multidisciplinary care bundle on complication rates of subtotal colectomy in IBD patients.

This is a single-centre retrospective observational study. Patients were identified through clinical discharge ICD10 codes. Clinical notes of patients who underwent subtotal colectomies from 1 January 2006 to 31 December 2019 were analysed. Socio-demographics, diagnosis, and medical and surgical management data were collected. A multimodule bundle, including weekly MDT discussions, was started in our unit on 1 April 2014. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed on these data.

A total of 296 patients were identified with 113 patients of these (38.2%) experiencing a complication post operation. The overall complication rate improved over time (p = 0.023). Those patients treated after the initiation of the MDT bundle had reduced complication rates (44.6% versus 33.7%, p = 0.045). On multivariate analysis, increasing age (1.023 OR; 95% CI 1.004, 1.041) and procedure performed before MDT bundle (3.1 OR; 95% CI 1.689, 5.723) were independent predictors for post-operative complications.

Closer links between gastroenterology and colorectal specialties have improved patient outcomes in our unit. Whilst IBD MDTs have previously been shown to improve outcomes for patients managed medically, we demonstrate that this interaction, implemented as a multidisciplinary care bundle, also improves surgical outcomes.

Impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on severe trauma trends and healthcare system reassessment in Lombardia, Italy: an analysis from the regional trauma registry.

World J Emerg Surg

The COVID-19 pandemic drastically strained the health systems worldwide, obligating the reassessment of how healthcare is delivered. In Lombardia, Italy, a Regional Emergency Committee (REC) was established and the regional health system reorganized, with only three hospitals designated as hubs for trauma care. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of this reorganization of regional care, comparing the distribution of patients before and during the COVID-19 outbreak and to describe changes in the epidemiology of severe trauma among the two periods.

A cohort study was conducted using retrospectively collected data from the Regional Trauma Registry of Lombardia (LTR). We compared the data of trauma patients admitted to three hub hospitals before the COVID-19 outbreak (September 1 to November 19, 2019) with those recorded during the pandemic (February 21 to May 10, 2020) in the same hospitals. Demographic data, level of pre-hospital care (Advanced Life Support-ALS, Basic Life Support-BLS), type of transportation, mechanism of injury (MOI), abbreviated injury score (AIS, 1998 version), injury severity score (ISS), revised trauma score (RTS), and ICU admission and survival outcome of all the patients admitted to the three trauma centers designed as hubs, were reviewed. Screening for COVID-19 was performed with nasopharyngeal swabs, chest ultrasound, and/or computed tomography.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, trauma patients admitted to the hubs increased (46.4% vs 28.3%, p < 0.001) with an increase in pre-hospital time (71.8 vs 61.3 min, p < 0.01), while observed in hospital mortality was unaffected. TRISS, ISS, AIS, and ICU admission were similar in both periods. During the COVID-19 outbreak, we observed substantial changes in MOI of severe trauma patients admitted to three hubs, with increases of unintentional (31.9% vs 18.5%, p < 0.05) and intentional falls (8.4% vs 1.2%, p < 0.05), whereas the pandemic restrictions reduced road- related injuries (35.6% vs 60%, p < 0.05). Deaths on scene were significantly increased (17.7% vs 6.8%, p < 0.001).

The COVID-19 outbreak affected the epidemiology of severe trauma patients. An increase in trauma patient admissions to a few designated facilities with high level of care obtained satisfactory results, while COVID-19 patients overwhelmed resources of most other hospitals.

Long-term sensibility outcomes of secondary digital nerve reconstruction with sural nerve autografts: a retrospective study.

Eur J Trauma Emerg Surg

Recovery of sensibility after digital nerve injury is crucial for restoring normal hand function. We evaluated long-term outcomes of digital nerve reconstruction with autografts.

This retrospective study included patients who underwent secondary reconstruction of digital nerves with nerve autografting. Recovery of sensibility was evaluated based on the following: patient self-assessment, two-point discrimination (2PD), and a total sensation score (sum of proprioception, temperature sensation, and sharp/dull discrimination). Mixed models regression was used to study predictors of sensibility outcomes. The predictors analyzed were age, sex, smoking status, number of fingers involved in a patient (as a measure of injury severity), time to reconstruction, and time to follow-up.

In 61 patients, 174 digital nerves in 126 fingers were reconstructed after an average of 33.1 weeks from injury. The mean follow-up was 6.4 years from reconstruction. The mean graft length was 3.6 cm. Self-rated sensibility in the affected area was very good in 13% of patients, good in 33%, satisfactory in 40%, and poor in 24%. 2PD at 6 mm was present in 17% of patients, at 10 mm in 12%, and at 15 mm in 18% (mean 2PD was 10.8). Proprioception was preserved in 107 (85%) fingers, sensation of temperature was preserved in 99 (75%) of fingers, and sharp/dull discrimination in 88 (70%) fingers. Time from injury to reconstruction was the only significant predictor of the total sensation score.

Our data indicate that earlier reconstruction is associated with a favorable outcome.

Full-body MR imaging: a retrospective study on a novel diagnostic approach for children sustaining high-energy trauma.

Eur J Trauma Emerg Surg

Severe accidents are the leading cause of long-term impairment and death in children. A common diagnostic procedure for children exposed to high-injury trauma is full-body contrast-enhanced CT (fbCT). However, the number of fbCT without detected injuries is relevant. In 2007, full-body MRI (fbMRI) was implemented as a diagnostic approach for children sustaining high-energy trauma. The aim of this cross-sectional retrospective study was to analyze fbMRI as a diagnostic tool for children after high-energy trauma focusing on feasibility, radiological findings, and limitations.

Case series, level of evidence V.

Mean time between arrival in the emergency department and fbMRI was 71 min (± SD 132 min). Two scans were discontinued and changed to a faster diagnostic procedure. 45% of children had additional X-rays and 11% CT scans. The MRIs showed intracranial abnormalities in 27%, extremities injuries in 26%, spinal injuries in 18%, pelvic, and thoracic injuries in 7% of the cases.

Overall fbMRI is a diagnostic alternative for hemodynamically stable, conscious children after high-energy trauma with the advantages of a radiation-free technique. However, MRI diagnostics take longer than CT scans. Prospective studies will be needed to identify the limiting factors of fbMRIs as primary diagnostic procedure compared to CT scans.

German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS; DRKS00017015).

Adrenalectomy for incidental and symptomatic phaeochromocytoma: retrospective multicentre study based on the Eurocrine® database.

Br J Surg

Phaeochromocytoma is sometimes not diagnosed before surgery and may present as an adrenal incidentaloma. The aim of this study was to investigate differences in clinical presentation and perioperative outcome in patients with subclinical and symptomatic phaeochromocytoma, and in patients operated with and without preoperative α-blockade.

This was a retrospective observational study of patients with a histopathological diagnosis of phaeochromocytoma registered in Eurocrine®, the European registry for endocrine tumours, between 1 January 2015 and 31 March 2020. Patient characteristics, clinical presentation, tumour detection, and perioperative variables were analysed.

Some 551 patients were included. Of these, 486 patients (88.2 per cent) had a preoperative diagnosis of phaeochromocytoma. Tumours were detected as incidentalomas in 239 patients (43.4 per cent) and 265 (48.1 per cent) had a preoperative diagnosis of hypertension. Preoperative α-blockade was more frequently used in patients with a known phaeochromocytoma (350, 90.9 per cent) than in patients with other indications for adrenalectomy (16, 31 per cent). Complications did not differ between patients who had surgery because of catecholamine excess compared with those who had other indications for surgery (19 (3.9 per cent) versus 2 (3 per cent); P = 0.785), nor did the conversion rate from minimally invasive to open surgery differ between the groups. There were no obvious differences in complications, according to the Clavien-Dindo classification, based on preoperative α-blockade or not.

Subclinical phaeochromocytoma detected incidentally is common. A significantproportion of patients with phaeochromocytoma did not have α-blockade before surgery, without an apparent effect on complications.

Local Control and Survival after Induction Chemotherapy and Ablative Radiation Versus Resection for Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma with Vascular Involvement.

Annals of Surgery

We sought to compare overall survival (OS) and disease control for patients with localized pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) treated with ablative dose radiotherapy (A-RT) vs. resection.

Locoregional treatment for PDAC includes resection when possible or palliative RT. A-RT may offer durable tumor control and encouraging survival.

This was a single-institution retrospective analysis of patients with PDAC treated with induction chemotherapy followed by A-RT (≥ 98Gy biologically effective dose (BED) using 15-25 fractions in 3-4.5 Gy/fraction) or pancreatectomy.

One hundred and four patients received A-RT (49.8%) and 105 (50.2%) underwent resection. Patients receiving A-RT had larger median tumor size after induction chemotherapy [3.2 cm (undetectable-10.9) vs. 2.6 cm (undetectable-10.7), P < 0.001], and were more likely to have celiac or hepatic artery encasement (48.1% vs. 11.4%, P < 0.001), or superior mesenteric artery encasement (43.3% vs. 9.5%, P < 0.001); however, there was no difference in the degree of SMV/PV involvement (P = 0.123). There was no difference in locoregional recurrence/progression at 18-months between A-RT and resection; cumulative incidence was 16% (95% CI 10%-24%) vs. 21% (95% CI 14%-30%), respectively (P= 0.252). However, patients receiving A-RT had a 19% higher 18-month cumulative incidence of distant recurrence/progression (58% [95% CI 48%-67%] vs. 30% [95% CI 30%-49%], P= 0.004). Median OS from completion of chemotherapy was 20.1 months for A-RT patients (95% C.I. 16.4-23.1 mo.) vs. 32.9 months (95% C.I. 29.7-42.3 mo.) for resected patients (P < 0.001).

Ablative radiation is a promising new treatment option for PDAC, offering locoregional disease control similar to that associated with resection and encouraging survival.

Effect of Thoracic Surgery Regionalization on 1- and 3-Year Survival after Cancer Esophagectomy.

Annals of Surgery

The aim of this study was to investigate whether our previously reported improvements in short-term cancer esophagectomy outcomes after large-scale regionalization in the U.S. translated to longer-term survival benefit.

Regionalization is associated with better early postoperative outcomes following cancer esophagectomy; however, data regarding its effect on long-term survival is mixed.

We retrospectively reviewed 461 patients undergoing cancer esophagectomy before (2009-2013, N = 272) and after (2014-2016, N = 189) regionalization. Kaplan-Meier curves and χ2 tests were used to describe 1- and 3-year survival in each era. Hierarchical logistic regression models examined the adjusted effect of regionalization on mortality.

Compared to pre-regionalization patients, post-regionalization patients had significantly higher 1-year survival (83.1% versus 73.9%, p = 0.02) but not 3-year survival (52.9% versus 58.2%, p = 0.26).Subgroup analysis by cancer stage revealed that 1-year survival benefit was only significant among mid-stage (IIB-IIIB) patients, whereas differences in 3-year survival only approached significance among early-stage (IA-IIA) patients.In multivariable analysis, only regionalization was a predictor of lower mortality at 1 year (OR 0.54, 95%CI:0.29,1.00), and only thoracic specialty at 3 years (OR 0.62, 95%CI:0.38,0.99). Older age, more advanced stage, and complications were associated with higher 1- and 3-year mortality. Comorbidity, minimally invasive approach, surgeon volume, facility volume, and neoadjuvant treatment were not significant in this model.

Regionalization was associated with improved 1-year survival after cancer esophagectomy, independent of factors such as morbidity or volume in our adjusted models. This survival benefit did not persist at 3 years, likely due to the aggressive nature of the disease.

The Incidence and Cumulative Risk of Major Surgery in Older Persons in the United States.

Annals of Surgery

The objective of this study was to estimate the incidence and cumulative risk of major surgery in older persons over a 5-year period and evaluate how these estimates differ according to key demographic and geriatric characteristics.

As the population of the United States ages, there is considerable interest in ensuring safe, high-quality surgical care for older persons. Yet, valid, generalizable data on the occurrence of major surgery in the geriatric population are sparse.

We evaluated data from a prospective longitudinal study of 5,571 community-living fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries, aged 65 or older, from the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) from 2011 to 2016. Major surgeries were identified through linkages with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services data. Population-based incidence and cumulative risk estimates incorporated NHATS analytic sampling weights and cluster and strata variables.

The nationally-representative incidence of major surgery per 100 person-years was 8.8, with estimates of 5.2 and 3.7 for elective and non-elective surgeries. The adjusted incidence of major surgery peaked at 10.8 in persons 75-79 years, increased from 6.6 in the non-frail group to 10.3 in the frail group, and was similar by sex and dementia. The 5-year cumulative risk of major surgery was 13.8%, representing nearly 5 million unique older persons, including 12.1% in persons 85-89 years, 9.1% in those ≥90 years, 12.1% in those with frailty, and 12.4% in those with probable dementia.

Major surgery is a common event in the lives of community-living older persons, including high-risk vulnerable subgroups.