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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Gender Affirming Surgery: A Comprehensive, Systematic Review of All Peer-Reviewed Literature and Methods of Assessing Patient-Centered Outcomes (Part 1: Breast/Chest, Face, and Voice).

Annals of Surgery

: To perform the first systematic review of all available gender-affirming surgery (GAS) publications across all procedures to assess both outcomes reported in the literature and the methods used for outcome assessment.

Rapidly increasing clinical volumes of gender-affirming surgeries have stimulated a growing need for high-quality clinical research. While some procedures have been performed for decades, each individual procedure has limited data, necessitating synthesis of the entire literature to understand current knowledge and guide future research.

A systematic review was performed following PRISMA guidelines to identify all outcomes measures in GAS cohorts, including PCOs, complications, and functional outcomes. Outcome data was pooled to assess currently reported complication, satisfaction, and other outcome rates.

Overall, 15,186 references were identified, 4,162 papers advanced to abstract review, and 1,826 underwent full-text review. After review, there were 406 GAS cohort publications. Of non-genitoplasty titles, 35 were mastectomy, 6 mammoplasty, 21 facial feminization, and 31 voice/cartilage. While 59.1% of non-genitoplasty papers addressed PCOs in some form, only 4.3% used instruments partially-validated in transgender patients. Overall, data were reported heterogeneously and were biased towards high-volume centers.

This study represents the most comprehensive review of GAS literature. By aggregating all previously utilized measurement instruments, this study offers a foundation for discussions about current methodologic limitations and what dimensions must be included in assessing surgical success. We have aggregated a comprehensive list of outcome instruments; this offers an ideal starting basis for emerging discussions between patients and providers about deficiencies which new, better instruments and metrics must address. The lack of consistent use of the same outcome measures and validated GAS-specific instruments represent the two primary barriers to high-quality research where improvement efforts should be focused.

Exploring Emotional Responses After Postoperative Complications: A Qualitative Study of Practicing Surgeons.

Annals of Surgery

This qualitative study explored the impact of postoperative complications on surgeons and their well-being.

Complications are an inherent component of surgical practice. Although there have been extensive efforts to reduce postoperative complications, the impact of complications on surgeons have not been well-studied. Surgeons are often left to process their own emotional responses to these complications, the effects of which are not well characterized.

We conducted 46 semi-structured interviews with a diverse range of surgeons practicing across Michigan to explore their responses to postoperative complications and the effect on overall well-being. The data were analyzed iteratively, through steps informed by thematic analysis.

Participants described feelings of sadness, anxiety, frustration, grief, failure, and disappointment after postoperative complications. When asked to elaborate on these responses, participants described internal processes such as feelings of personal responsibility and failure, self-doubt, and failing the patient and family. Participants also described external pressures influencing the responses, which included potential impact to reputation and medicolegal issues. Experience level, type of complication, and the surgeon's individual personality were specific factors that influenced the intensity of these responses.

Surgeons' emotional responses after postoperative complications may negatively impact individual well-being, and may represent a threat to the profession altogether if these issues remain inadequately recognized and addressed. Knowledge of the impact of unwanted or unexpected outcomes on surgeons is critical in developing and implementing strategies to cope with the challenges frequently encountered in the surgical profession.

Effects of Community-based Exercise Prehabilitation for Patients Scheduled for Colorectal Surgery With High Risk for Postoperative Complications: Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial.

Annals of Surgery

To assess the effects of a 3-week community-based exercise program on 30-day postoperative complications in high-risk patients scheduled for elective colorectal resection for (pre)malignancy.

Patients with a low preoperative aerobic fitness undergoing colorectal surgery have an increased risk of postoperative complications. It remains, however, to be demonstrated whether prehabilitation in these patients reduces postoperative complications.

This 2-center, prospective, single-blinded randomized clinical trial was carried out in 2 large teaching hospitals in the Netherlands. Patients (≥60 years) with colorectal (pre)malignancy scheduled for elective colorectal resection and with a score ≤7 metabolic equivalents on the veterans-specific activity questionnaire were randomly assigned to the prehabilitation group or the usual care group by using block-stratified randomization. An oxygen uptake at the ventilatory anaerobic threshold <11 mL/kg/min at the baseline cardiopulmonary exercise test was the final inclusion criterion. Inclusion was based on a power analysis. Patients in the prehabilitation group participated in a personalized 3-week (3 sessions per week, nine sessions in total) supervised exercise program given in community physical therapy practices before colorectal resection. Patients in the reference group received usual care. The primary outcome was the number of patients with one or more complications within 30 days of surgery, graded according to the Clavien-Dindo classification. Data were analyzed on an intention-to-treat basis.

Between February 2014 and December 2018, 57 patients [30 males and 27 females; mean age 73.6 years (standard deviation 6.1), range 61-88 years] were randomized to either prehabilitation (n = 28) or usual care (n = 29). The rate of postoperative complications was lower in the prehabilitation group (n = 12, 42.9%) than in the usual care group (n = 21, 72.4%, relative risk 0.59, 95% confidence interval 0.37-0.96, P = 0.024).

Exercise prehabilitation reduced postoperative complications in high-risk patients scheduled to undergo elective colon resection for (pre)malignancy. Prehabilitation should be considered as usual care in high-risk patients scheduled for elective colon, and probably also rectal, surgery.

Preventing Recurrence in Clean and Contaminated Hernias Using Biologic Versus Synthetic Mesh in Ventral Hernia Repair: The PRICE Randomized Clinical Trial.

Annals of Surgery

The aim of this study was to evaluate which mesh type yields lower recurrence and complication rates after ventral hernia repair. Identifier: NCT02041494.

Single-blind, randomized, controlled, pragmatic clinical trial conducted from March 2014 through October 2018; 165 patients enrolled with an average follow up of 26 months. Patients were randomized 1:1 to have their ventral hernias repaired using either a biologic (porcine) or synthetic (polypropylene) mesh. The primary study outcome measure was hernia recurrence at 2 years.

A total of 165 patients (68 men), mean age 55 years, were included in the study with a mean follow-up of 26 months. An intention-to-treat analysis noted that hernias recurred in 25 patients (39.7%) assigned to biologic mesh and in 14 patients (21.9%) assigned to synthetic mesh (P = 0.035) at 2 years. Subgroup analysis identified an increased rate of hernia recurrence in the biologic versus the synthetic mesh group under contaminated wound conditions (50.0% vs 5.9%; P for interaction = 0.041). Postoperative complication rates were similar for the 2 mesh types.

The risk of hernia recurrence was significantly higher for patients undergoing ventral hernia repair with biologic mesh compared to synthetic mesh, with similar rates of postoperative complications. These data indicate that the use of synthetic mesh over biologic mesh to repair ventral hernias is effective and can be endorsed, including under contaminated wound conditions.

Conflicts of Interest in Studies Related to Mesh Use in Ventral Hernia Repair and Abdominal Wall Reconstruction.

Annals of Surgery

To examine the accuracy of the reporting of conflicts of interest (COI) among studies related to mesh use in ventral hernia repair and abdominal wall reconstruction.

Accurate declaration of COI is integral to ensuring transparency of study results. Multiple studies have demonstrated undeclared COI are prevalent in surgical literature.

Studies with at least one American author accepted between 2014-2018 in 12 major, peer-reviewed general surgery and plastic surgery journals were included. Declared COI were compared with payments listed in the "Open Payments" database (maintained by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS]) during the year of acceptance and one year prior. Studies and authors were considered to have a COI if they received payments from any of 8 major mesh companies totaling > $100.00 from each company. Risk factors for undeclared COI were determined at the study and author levels.

126 studies (553 authors) were included. 102 studies (81.0%) had one or more authors who received payments from industry and inaccurately declared their COI. 248 authors (44.8%) did not declare their COI accurately. On multivariate analysis, last authors were found to be at highest risk for undeclared payments (OR 3.59, 95%CI 2.02-6.20), while middle authors were at significantly higher risk for undeclared payments than first authors (OR 1.64, 95%CI 1.04-2.56).

The majority of studies investigating the use of mesh in ventral hernia repairs and abdominal wall reconstructions did not accurately declare COI. Last authors are at highest risk of undisclosed payments. Current policies on disclosing COI seem to be insufficient to ensure transparency of publications.

Postdischarge Virtual Visits for Low-risk Surgeries: A Randomized Noninferiority Clinical Trial.

JAMA Surgery

Postdischarge video-based virtual visits are a growing aspect of surgical care and have dramatically increased in the setting of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

To evaluate the outcomes of all-cause 30-day hospital encounter proportion among patients who have a postdischarge video-based virtual visit follow-up compared with in-person follow-up.

Randomized, active, controlled noninferiority trial in an urban setting, including patients from a small community hospital and a large, tertiary care hospital. Patients who underwent minimally invasive appendectomy or cholecystectomy by a group of surgeons who cover emergency general surgery at these 2 hospitals were included. Patients undergoing elective and nonelective procedures were included.

Patients were randomized in a 2:1 fashion to video-based virtual visit or in-person visit.

The primary outcome is the percentage of patients with 30-day hospital encounter, and we hypothesized that there would not be a significant increase in the 30-day hospital encounter proportion for patients who receive video-based virtual postdischarge care compared with patients who receive standard (in-person) care. Hospital encounter includes emergency department visit, observation, or inpatient admission.

A total of 1645 patients were screened; 289 patients were randomized to the virtual group and 143 to the in-person group. Fifty-three patients crossed over to the in-person follow-up group. The percentage of patients who had a hospital encounter was noninferior for virtual visits (12.8% vs 13.3% for in-person, Δ 0.5% with 1-sided 95% CI, -∞ to 5.2%). The amount of time patients spent with the clinician (mean of 8.4 minutes virtual vs 7.8 minutes in-person; P = .30) was not different, but the median overall postoperative visit time was 27.5 minutes shorter (95% CI, -33.5 to -24.0).

Postdischarge video-based virtual visits did not increase hospital encounter proportions and provided shorter overall time commitment but equal time with the surgical team member. This information will help surgeons and patients feel more confident in using video-based virtual visits. Identifier: NCT03258177.

Racial Disparities in the Use of Surgical Procedures in the US.

JAMA Surgery

The largest US federal action plan to date for reducing racial disparities in health care was implemented in 2011 and continues today. It is not known whether this program, along with other initiatives, is associated with a decrease in racial disparities in the use of major surgical procedures in the US.

To analyze whether national initiatives are associated with improvement in racial disparities between White and Black patients in the use of surgical procedures in the US.

In this case-control study, the national rates of use for 9 major surgical procedures previously shown to have racial disparities in rates of performance between White and Black adult patients (including angioplasty, spinal fusion, carotid endarterectomy, appendectomy, colorectal resection, coronary artery bypass grafting, total hip arthroplasty, total knee arthroplasty, and heart valve replacement) were analyzed from January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2017. Data analysis was conducted from May 1 to June 30, 2020. Population- and sex-adjusted procedural rates during the study period were examined and standardized based on all-payer insurance status. Racial changes were further analyzed by US census division and hospital teaching status for 4 selected procedures: coronary artery bypass grafting, carotid endarterectomy, total hip arthroplasty, and heart valve replacement.

Population- and race-adjusted procedural rates by year, US census division, hospital teaching status, and insurance status.

This study included national inpatient data from 2012 to 2017. In 2012, the national incidence rate of all 9 major surgical procedures was higher in White than in Black individuals. For example, the incidence rate of total knee arthroplasty in 2012 for White males was 184.8 per 100 000 persons and for Black males was 79.8 per 100 000 persons. By 2017, these racial disparities persisted for all 9 procedures analyzed. For example, the incidence rate of total knee arthroplasty in 2017 for White males was 220.5 per 100 000 persons and for Black males was 95.6 per 100 000 persons. Although the disparity gap between White and Black patients narrowed for angioplasty (-20.1 per 100 000 persons in males, -4.2 per 100 000 persons in females), spinal fusion (-7.7 per 100 000 persons in males, -15.0 per 100 000 persons in females), carotid endarterectomy (-4.3 per 100 000 persons in males, -4.6 per 100 000 persons in females), appendectomy (-12.3 per 100 000 persons in males, -12.2 per 100 000 persons in females), and colorectal resection (-9.0 per 100 000 persons in males, -12.7 per 100 000 persons in females), the disparity remained constant for coronary artery bypass grafting and widened for 3 procedures, total hip arthroplasty (11.6 per 100 000 persons in males, 20.8 per 100 000 in females), total knee arthroplasty (19.9 per 100 000 persons in males, 12.0 per 100 000 persons in females), and heart valve replacement(12.4 per 100 000 persons in males, 9.2 per 100 000 persons in females). In 2017, racial differences persisted in all US census divisions and in both urban teaching and urban nonteaching hospitals. When rates were adjusted based on insurance status, Black patients with Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance underwent lower rates of all procedures analyzed compared with White patients. For example, rate of spinal fusion in Black patients was 70.2% of the rate in White patients with Medicare, 56.5% to that of White patients with Medicaid, and 61.2% to that of White patients with private insurance.

Results of this study suggest that despite national initiatives, racial disparities have persisted for all analyzed procedures and worsened for one-third of the analyzed procedures. These disparities were evident regardless of US census division, hospital teaching status, or insurance status. Renewed initiatives to help diminish racial disparities and improve health care equality are warranted.

Surgical Plating vs Closed Reduction for Fractures in the Distal Radius in Older Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Surgery

The burden of injury and costs of wrist fractures are substantial. Surgical treatment became popular without strong supporting evidence.

To assess whether current surgical treatment for displaced distal radius fractures provided better patient-reported wrist pain and function than nonsurgical treatment in patients 60 years and older.

In this multicenter randomized clinical trial and parallel observational study, 300 eligible patients were screened from 19 centers in Australia and New Zealand from December 1, 2016, until December 31, 2018. A total of 166 participants were randomized to surgical or nonsurgical treatment and followed up at 3 and 12 months by blinded assessors. Those 134 individuals who declined randomization were included in a parallel observational cohort with the same treatment options and follow-up. The primary analysis was intention to treat; sensitivity analyses included as-treated and per-protocol analyses.

Surgical treatment was open reduction and internal fixation using a volar-locking plate (VLP). Nonsurgical treatment was closed reduction and cast immobilization (CR).

The primary outcome was the Patient-Rated Wrist Evaluation score at 12 months. Secondary outcomes were Disabilities of Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire score, health-related quality of life, pain, major complications, patient-reported treatment success, bother with appearance, and therapy use.

In the 300 study participants (mean [SD] age, 71.2 [7.5] years; 269 [90%] female; 166 [81 VLP and 85 CR] in the randomized clinical trial sample and 134 [32 VLP and 102 CR] in the observational sample), no clinically important between-group difference in 12-month Patient-Rated Wrist Evaluation scores (mean [SD] score of 19.8 [21.1] for VLP and 21.5 [24.3] for CR; mean difference, 1.7 points; 95% CI -5.4 to 8.8) was observed. No clinically important differences were found in quality of life, wrist pain, or bother at 3 and 12 months. No significant difference was found in total complications between groups (12 of 84 [14%] for the CR group vs 6 of 80 [8%] for the VLP group; risk ratio [RR], 0.53; 95% CI, 0.21-1.33). Patient-reported treatment success favored the VLP group at 12 months (very successful or successful: 70 [89%] vs 57 [70%]; RR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.07-1.48; P = .005). There was greater use of postoperative physical therapy in the VLP group (56 [72%] vs 44 [54%]; RR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.04-1.69; P = 0.02).

This randomized clinical trial found no between-group differences in improvement in wrist pain or function at 12 months from VLP fixation over CR for displaced distal radius fractures in older people. identifier: ACTRN12616000969460.

Ultrasound-guided hydrostatic reduction versus fluoroscopy-guided air reduction for pediatric intussusception: a multi-center, prospective, cohort study.

World Journal of Emergency Surgery

Intussusception is the most common abdominal emergency in children. The first line treatment of uncomplicated pediatric intussusception is enema reduction. Until now, there have been no multi-center studies comparing the effectiveness and safety of UGHR and FGAR in the treatment of pediatric intussusception. The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness and safety of the two most commonly used enema methods of pediatric intussusception: ultrasound-guided hydrostatic reduction (UGHR) and fluoroscopy-guided air reduction (FGAR).

Level II.

A total of 2124 cases met the inclusion criteria (UGHR group: 1119 cases; FGAR group: 1005 cases). The success and recurrence rates in the UGHR group were higher than in the FGAR group (95.80%, 9.28% vs. 93.13%, 10.65%) (P < 0.05, P > 0.05), respectively. The perforation rate in the UGHR group was 0.36% compared with 0.30% in the FGAR group (P > 0.05). Subgroup analysis showed the success rates in the UGHR group were higher than in the FGAR group of patients with onset time between 12 and 24 h (95.56% vs. 90.57%) (P < 0.05). Of patients aged 4 to 24 months, the success rates in the UGHR group were also higher than in the FGAR group (95.77% vs. 91.60%) (P < 0.05). Stratified analysis showed the success rates in the UGHR group were higher than in the FGAR group in patients with the symptom of bloody stool (91.91% vs 85.38%) (P < 0.05).

UGHR and FGAR are safe, nonsurgical treatment methods for acute pediatric intussusception. UGHR is superior to FGAR, no radiation risk, its success rate is higher, without a difference in perforation rate, especially for patients aged 4-24 months.

Whole-Exome Sequencing Identifies SLC52A1 and ZNF106 Variants as Novel Genetic Risk Factors for (Early) Multiple-Organ Failure in Acute Pancreatitis.

Annals of Surgery

The aim of this study was to identify genetic variants associated with early multiple organ failure (MOF) in acute pancreatitis.

MOF is a life-threatening complication of acute pancreatitis, and risk factors are largely unknown, especially in early persistent MOF. Genetic risk factors are thought to enhance severity in complex diseases such as acute pancreatitis.

A 2-phase study design was conducted. First, we exome sequenced 9 acute pancreatitis patients with early persistent MOF and 9 case-matched patients with mild edematous pancreatitis (phenotypic extremes) from our initial Dutch cohort of 387 patients. Secondly, 48 candidate variants that were overrepresented in MOF patients and 10 additional variants known from literature were genotyped in a replication cohort of 286 Dutch and German patients.

Exome sequencing resulted in 161,696 genetic variants, of which the 38,333 nonsynonymous variants were selected for downstream analyses. Of these, 153 variants were overrepresented in patients with multiple-organ failure, as compared with patients with mild acute pancreatitis. In total, 58 candidate variants were genotyped in the joined Dutch and German replication cohort. We found the rs12440118 variant of ZNF106 to be overrepresented in patients with MOF (minor allele frequency 20.4% vs 11.6%, Padj = 0.026). Additionally, SLC52A1 rs346821 was found to be overrepresented (minor allele frequency 48.0% vs 42.4%, Padj = 0.003) in early MOF. None of the variants known from literature were associated.

This study indicates that SLC52A1, a riboflavin plasma membrane transporter, and ZNF106, a zinc finger protein, may be involved in disease progression toward (early) MOF in acute pancreatitis.

Treatment of Inguinal Hernia: Systematic Review and Updated Network Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.

Annals of Surgery

Despite the advent of innovative surgical platforms and operative techniques, a definitive indication of the best surgical option for the treatment of unilateral primary inguinal hernia remains unsettled. Purpose was to perform an updated and comprehensive evaluation within the major approaches to inguinal hernia.

Systematic review and network meta-analyses of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) compare Lichtenstein tension-free repair, laparoscopic transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP) repair, and totally extraperitoneal repair (TEP). Risk Ratio (RR) and weighted mean difference (WMD) were used as pooled effect size measures while 95% Credible Intervals (CrI) were used to assess relative inference.

Thirty-five RCTs (7,777 patients) were included. Overall, 3,496 (44.9%) underwent Lichtenstein, 1,269 (16.3%) TAPP, and 3,012 (38.8%) TEP repair. The Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) was significantly lower for minimally invasive repair at <12-hour, 24 hours, and 48 hours. Postoperative chronic pain [TAPP vs. Lichtenstein (RR = 0.36; 95% CrI 0.15-0.81) and TEP vs. Lichtenstein (RR = 0.36; 95% CrI 0.21-0.54)] and return to work/activities [TAPP vs. Lichtenstein (WMD = -3.3; 95% CrI -4.9; -1.8) and TEP vs. Lichtenstein (WMD = -3.6; 95% CrI -4.9; -2.4)] were significantly reduced for minimally invasive approaches. Wound hematoma and infection were significantly reduced for minimally invasive approaches while no differences were found for seroma, hernia recurrence, and hospital length of stay.

Minimally invasive TAPP and TEP repair seem associated with significantly reduced early postoperative pain, return to work/activities, chronic pain, hematoma, and wound infection compared to the Lichtenstein tension-free repair. Hernia recurrence, seroma, and hospital length of stay seem similar across treatments.

A Computer Vision Platform to Automatically Locate Critical Events in Surgical Videos: Documenting Safety in Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy.

Annals of Surgery

To develop a computer vision platform to automatically locate critical events in surgical videos and provide short video clips documenting the critical view of safety (CVS) in laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC).

Intraoperative events are typically documented through operator-dictated reports that do not always translate the operative reality. Surgical videos provide complete information on surgical procedures, but the burden associated with storing and manually analyzing full-length videos has so far limited their effective use.

A computer vision platform named EndoDigest was developed and used to analyze LC videos. The mean absolute error (MAE) of the platform in automatically locating the manually annotated time of the cystic duct division in full-length videos was assessed. The relevance of the automatically extracted short video clips was evaluated by calculating the percentage of video clips in which the CVS was assessable by surgeons.

155 LC videos were analyzed: 55 of these videos were used to develop EndoDigest while the remaining 100 were used to test it. The time of the cystic duct division was automatically located with a MAE of 62.8 ± 130.4 seconds (1.95% of full-length video duration). CVS was assessable in 91% of the 2:30 minute long video clips automatically extracted from the considered test procedures.

Deep learning models for workflow analysis can be used to reliably locate critical events in surgical videos and document CVS in LC. Further studies are needed to assess the clinical impact of surgical data science solutions for safer laparoscopic cholecystectomy.