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August 2008 Briefing - Surgery

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Surgery for August 2008. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Lancet Supports WHO Report on Health Inequality

FRIDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The final report by the World Health Organization's Commission on Social Determinants of Health contains a strong mandate for reducing global inequalities in health care, according to an editorial published in the Aug. 30 issue of The Lancet.

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Bunion Patients Brake Faster Six Weeks After Surgery

THURSDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Six weeks after undergoing a unilateral first metatarsal osteotomy for bunion correction, patients showed similar emergency braking times as healthy individuals, suggesting that these patients can resume driving at six weeks, according to research published in the August issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Deep Brain Stimulation Blunts Addiction Response in Rats

THURSDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Deep brain stimulation blunts the addictive response in an animal model and may be a useful therapeutic approach in severe cocaine addiction, according to an article published in the Aug. 27 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

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New Pain Guidelines Released

THURSDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) has released new medical treatment guidelines for the care of workers with chronic pain syndromes, representing the latest chapter in Occupational Medicine Practice Guidelines, available online. A print version of the guidelines will be available in September.

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New Test to Help Manage Heart Transplants Approved

THURSDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved AlloMap, a non-invasive test based on molecular expression techniques, to help doctors manage heart transplant patients during the post-transplant phase.

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Nurses Should Play Key Role in DVT Prevention

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Perioperative nurses should be aware of the threat of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and play a role in reducing patients' risk before, during and after surgery, according to an article in the August AORN Journal.

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Laser Treatment May Minimize Surgical Scars

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with fresh surgical scars, the thermal action of laser treatment may significantly improve the wound healing process and minimize the scars' appearance, according to a pilot study published in the September issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Laser Repetition Rate Could Be Increased in Corneal Ablation

TUESDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Corneal tissue ablation performed with a 193-nm excimer laser light at a repetition rate of up to 400 Hz produces comparable results to those of typical clinical refractive procedures, according to the results of an animal study published in the September issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Fractional Laser Rejuvenation Repairs Sun Damage

TUESDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- In women with sun-damaged skin, fractional skin rejuvenation may significantly improve wrinkles, skin texture and mottled pigmentation, according to research published in the September issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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New Pre-Surgical Cleansing Procedure May Reduce Infections

TUESDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The chlorhexidine shower recommended for reducing the risk of surgical site infections is often impractical for vascular patients due to comorbidities, but an intraoperative surgical site precleansing technique can still help protect them from infections, according to an article published in the August issue of AORN Journal.

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Perioperative Care Must Be Adapted to Preschoolers' Needs

TUESDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Perioperative care for preschoolers must take into account their stage of emotional and psychological development as well as their unique physical and medical needs, according to an article published in the August issue of AORN Journal.

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Artery Grafting and Stent Have Similar Outcomes

TUESDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Outcomes for stenting and left internal mammary artery grafting are similar except for the need for additional early revascularization following stenting, according to research published in the Sept. 2 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Lumbar, Cervical X-Ray Radiation Exposure Studied

MONDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who undergo routine anteroposterior and lateral radiographs of the lumbar spine are exposed to radiation doses that are a magnitude of order greater than patients who undergo comparable radiographs of the cervical spine, according to research published in the August issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.

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Novel Treatment for Platelet Deficiency Approved

MONDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new treatment for patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). Nplate (romiplostim) is the first bone marrow stimulator to gain FDA approval for the condition, which leaves patients at risk of life-threatening bleeding and easy bruising.

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Ramosetron Can Help Control Postsurgical Nausea

FRIDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Ramosetron may be superior to ondansetron in controlling the vomiting and nausea associated with opioid analgesia following surgery, according to research published in the Aug. 1 issue of Spine.

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Two Facial Transplants Deemed Short-Term Successes

FRIDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Facial transplantation is feasible for patients with disfigurement due to trauma or genetic disorders, according to two case studies published in the Aug. 23 issue of The Lancet.

Abstract - Guo
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Abstract - Lantieri
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Obesity, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Link Reviewed

THURSDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity is clearly associated with the development of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which may be alleviated by weight loss through caloric restriction or surgery, according to a review in the August issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Outlook Mixed on US Presidential Candidates' Health Plans

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The health care plans proposed by John McCain and Barack Obama would have uncertain effects on health care coverage in America, but potential problems with each plan are evident, according to a perspective piece in the Aug. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Behavioral Counseling Technique Reduces Back Pain

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Teaching patients with chronic or recurrent back pain to improve their posture and neuromuscular coordination significantly reduces pain, in some cases without exercise, according to research published online Aug. 19 in BMJ.

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Seniors Likely to Find Medicare Health Web Site Unusable

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Even older adults with computer skills may have difficulty using the Medicare.gov Web site to determine eligibility for services and enroll in a drug plan, according to a research letter published in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Urologist Caseload Volume May Affect Patient Outcome

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Urologists who perform more transurethral resections of the prostate (TURP) may have lower rates of patient in-hospital mortality, according to an article published in the August issue of Urology.

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Older Patients Less Likely to Be Taken to Trauma Center

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Emergency medical service providers are less likely to transport elderly trauma patients to a designated trauma center than younger patients, according to research published in the August issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Public Has Divergent Views on End-of-Life Care

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The general public and trauma professionals don't always agree about care preferences in cases of life-threatening or fatal injury, and such differences should be taken into account in practice guidelines for comprehensive end-of-life care for trauma victims, according to the results of a study published in the August issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Chewing Gum Can Speed Intestinal Recovery After Surgery

MONDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Chewing gum can speed intestinal recovery after abdominal surgery, reducing the time to have a bowel movement and reducing the length of hospital stay, according to study findings published in the August issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Nurses Commonly Report Adverse Job-Related Outcomes

FRIDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Increased patient load, increased frequency of nursing care activities and decreased numbers of nurses per patient all result in more self-reported nursing adverse outcomes, according to a report in the August issue of Applied Nursing Research.

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Zimbabwe Health Care in Shambles Due to Atrocities

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The recent violence and human rights abuses in Zimbabwe have resulted in the breakdown of the country's health system, according to an editorial published online Aug. 12 in BMJ, which says the international medical community should condemn the atrocities, support human rights and help rebuild the country's health infrastructure.

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Arteriovenous Malformation Size Affects Treatment Outcome

MONDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with cerebral arteriovenous malformations who are treated with a reduced dose of radiation during gamma knife surgery, outcomes differ according to malformation size, according to the results of a study published in the August issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery.

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Epidural Anesthesia Link to Postop Survival Examined

MONDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Although epidural anesthesia modestly increases short-term survival in patients undergoing non-cardiac surgical procedures, the magnitude is small and therefore does not provide compelling evidence that epidural anesthesia should be used specifically to improve postoperative survival, according to a report published online Aug. 11 in The Lancet.

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Thromboembolism Prophylaxis Urged for Caesarean Deliveries

FRIDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- The maternal death rate in the United States could be systematically reduced if all women undergoing Caesarean delivery received thromboembolism prophylaxis, according to research published in the July issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Metal-on-Metal Hip Resurfacing Growing More Popular

FRIDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Since its introduction a decade ago, metal-on-metal hip resurfacing has become increasingly popular because it may conserve femoral bone, increase functional ability and be easier to revise than other procedures, according to an article published in the August issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Physical Therapy May Prevent Deformational Plagiocephaly

THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Among infants with positional preference, treatment with physical therapy may reduce the risk of developing severe deformational plagiocephaly, and in infants with deformational plagiocephaly, molding helmet therapy may be a more effective non-surgical intervention than repositioning therapy, according to two studies published in the August issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Over 1 Billion U.S. Doctor, Hospital Visits Logged in 2006

THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In 2006, patients made an estimated 1.1 billion visits to physician offices and hospital emergency and outpatient departments in the United States, which was an average of four visits per person, according to health care statistics released Aug. 6 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Percutaneous Vertebroplasty Fracture Risks Uncovered

THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of subsequent fractures after percutaneous vertebroplasty can be divided into two types, each with their own predictive risk factors, researchers report in the August issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.

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Lack of Female Neurosurgeons Needs to Be Addressed

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Gender inequities are hampering the recruitment and promotion of women into the field of neurosurgery, according to a paper released online this week in advance of publication in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery.

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International Issue of Torture Complicity Analyzed

FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- More than 100 countries condone the use of torture and have often recruited the medical community as participants without consequence, according to an editorial published online July 31 in BMJ.

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Work Time Regulations Adversely Affect British Care

FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The European Working Time Regulations -- which reduced the maximum working week to 56 hours in 2007, will further reduce it to 48 hours in 2009, and require a minimum of 11 hours rest in any 24-hour period -- have adversely affected clinical care, and the quality of life and training for junior medical staff in the United Kingdom, according to an editorial published online July 31 in BMJ.

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