Dec. 2005 Briefing - Surgery

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Surgery for December 2005. 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.

Aggressive Approach Identifies Heart Disease in Diabetics

FRIDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- An aggressive diagnostic approach including angiography can identify subclinical coronary artery disease (CAD) in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a study in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Aspirin-Resistant Patients May Not Respond to Clopidrogel

FRIDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Aspirin-resistant patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) often have a decreased response to clopidrogel as well, according to a study in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. This distinctive group of dual drug-resistant patients may be at higher risk for thrombotic complications after PCI.

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Femara Approved as First-Line Therapy After Breast Cancer

FRIDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced on Thursday that is has approved letrozole (Femara) as a first-line therapy for postmenopausal women with hormone-sensitive breast cancer who have undergone surgery.

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Top 10 Advances in Cardiac Research in 2005

THURSDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The use of stem-like cells from a patient's own bone marrow to restore heart function is top on the list of the 10 major advances in heart disease and stroke research in 2005, according to the American Heart Association. The second most important advance was an experimental new drug, varenicline, which may help more smokers kick the habit. In a clinical trial of about 2,000 patients evaluating a placebo, bupropion or varenicline, quit rates were 17.7%, 30% and 44%, respectively.

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Wernicke Encephalopathy A Risk After Bariatric Surgery

THURSDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Bariatric surgery for obesity can result in Wernicke encephalopathy, which may have an atypical clinical presentation, according to a case study published in the Dec. 27 issue of Neurology.

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Amiodarone Halves Post-Op Atrial Tachyarrhythmias

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Results of a large multicenter trial of patients undergoing elective heart surgery shows that a 13-day perioperative course with amiodarone cuts the incidence of sustained atrial tachyarrhythmia in half, according to results of PAPABEAR, published in the Dec. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Eosinophils Activated During Ulcerative Colitis Remission

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- High eosinophil activation during inactive ulcerative colitis (UC) suggests that eosinophils may help repair the injured epithelium, according to research in the December issue of Gut.

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Smaller Instruments Lead to Better Outcomes After Surgery

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC), the use of 10-mm umbilical, 5-mm epigastric, 2-mm subcostal and 2-mm lateral ports is safe and can result in decreased postoperative pain, do away with late incisional discomfort and yield better cosmetic results, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Coma Outcomes on Soap Operas Too Good to Be True

TUESDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Coma patients in soap operas experience significantly rosier outcomes than their real-life counterparts, according to a study published in the Dec. 24 issue of the British Medical Journal.

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Thromboembolism Syndrome After Surgery on the Rise

TUESDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Surgical patients are becoming more vulnerable to perioperative acute thromboembolism syndrome because of the increasing incidence of comorbid conditions, including cardiac and cerebrovascular diseases, metabolic diseases and cancer, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Sorry, Celebrants: Hangover Cures Don't Work

MONDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that there is no conventional or complementary intervention that will prevent or treat a hangover, according to a study published in the Dec. 24 issue of the British Medical Journal.

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Short Drinks May Have More Kick Than Tall Ones

MONDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Because of human perceptual bias, alcoholic beverages mixed in short, wide tumblers may be more potent than those mixed in taller and more slender highball glasses, according to a study published in the Dec. 24 issue of the British Medical Journal.

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Harry Potter's Talents Include Protecting Kids from Injury

FRIDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Simply by materializing in bookstores, Harry Potter appears to have a magical ability to protect accident-prone muggle children from traumatic injury, according to a study published in the Dec. 24 issue of the British Medical Journal.

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Age No Barrier to Cochlear Implant Success

FRIDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Patients aged 65 and older who have profound hearing loss receive similar benefits from cochlear implants as younger patients, according to a study in the December issue of Archives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery.

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Lymphatic Growth Associated with Laryngeal Cancer Spread

THURSDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with laryngeal cancer, the development of intratumoral lymphatics is associated with metastasis to the regional lymph nodes, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.

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Primary Anastomosis Valid for Infants with Enterocolitis

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Infants who weigh less than 1,000 grams and have necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) have similar outcomes whether they are treated with resection and primary anastomosis or with stoma formation, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery. However, mortality in these patients is high, regardless of treatment, the authors say.

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NSAIDs Can Result in Small Bowel Disease, Resection

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Small-bowel diaphragm disease caused by the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be more common than thought, and can lead to difficult-to-diagnose gastrointestinal tract bleeding and obstruction, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery. In some cases, the condition may require laparotomy and small-bowel resection, the authors say.

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Pyloromyotomy Success Linked to Hospital, Surgeon Volume

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Surgeons and hospitals with higher volumes generate better results when treating infants with pyloric stenosis, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Chest X-Ray Screening Finds Early-Stage Lung Cancer

TUESDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- About 44% of lung cancers detected by chest X-rays are early-stage tumors, according to the findings of a large screening study reported in the Dec. 21 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The overall detection rate was 1.9 per 1,000 screens, although the rate was 6.3 per 1,000 screens in current smokers and 4.9 per 1,000 screens in former smokers who had smoked in the past 15 years.

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New Risk Factor for Atherosclerosis Identified

TUESDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Endothelial lipase (EL), a molecule previously associated with atherosclerosis in mice, may also be a risk factor for atherosclerosis in humans, according to a study published online Dec. 19 in the open access Public Library of Science Medicine.

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Hospital 'Handoffs' Common Source of Medical Errors

TUESDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Poor communication during hospital "handoffs," when patient care transitions from one physician or team of physicians to the next, may be responsible for many of the estimated 44,000 to 98,000 deaths that occur each year in U.S. hospitals due to medical errors, according to a study published in the December issue of Academic Medicine.

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Yoga Reduces Symptoms of Chronic Low Back Pain

TUESDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Yoga appears to be more effective than traditional exercise at reducing chronic lower back pain, according to a study published in the Dec. 20 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Carbon Monoxide Relieves Chronic Colitis in Mice

TUESDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Inhaled carbon monoxide (CO) relieves symptoms of chronic colitis in mice, which may explain why cigarette smoking protects against ulcerative colitis in humans, according to a study published online Dec. 19 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

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Bariatric Surgeries Jump 450% in U.S. in Five Years

MONDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A 450% increase in bariatric surgeries in the United States between 1998 and 2002 could be tied to the growth of laparoscopic bariatric surgery, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Short-Term Complications Common with Breast Implants

MONDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have breast implants after mastectomy often develop short-term complications requiring surgery, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Drugs Can Match Surgery for Acid Reflux Disease

MONDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Medication, including proton pump inhibitors, can work as well as surgery to manage gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), according to a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

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Cartilage Loss Highly Variable Among Arthroplasty Patients

THURSDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Loss of cartilage varies widely among patients with advanced osteoarthritis prior to knee arthroplasty, and a loss of cartilage at the tibia, not the femur, is associated with alignment, according to a study published in the January issue of the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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Reimbursement Affects Cataract Surgery Rates, Costs

TUESDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with fee-for-service, contact capitation reimbursement is associated with significant decreases in cataract extraction rates and costs, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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U.S. Hospitals Lag in Adopting Safety Recommendations

TUESDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Despite some improvements in hospital patient safety systems, many hospitals have made slow progress in adopting 1998 recommendations from the Institute of Medicine National Roundtable on Health Care Quality or from subsequent reports, according to a study published in the Dec. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Parkinson Patients Benefit from Retinal Cell Implant

TUESDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Implanting human retinal pigment epithelial cells in the brain appears to improve motor symptoms in patients with Parkinson disease, according to the results of a pilot study published in the December issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Cochlear Implants at Early Age Help Link Sight, Sound Stimuli

MONDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Children who receive cochlear implants at an early age are more likely to acquire the ability to perceive speech by linking visual information from lip movements with auditory stimuli, according to a report published Dec. 5 online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Demographics, Lifestyle May Affect Prostate Cancer Test

MONDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Age, race, weight change, energy intake and the use of calcium supplements are all associated with significant differences in the rate of change in prostate specific antigen (PSA) over time, or PSA velocity, and may bias the clinical interpretation of this prostate cancer test, according to a study in the Jan. 15 issue of Cancer.

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High Dairy Intake Associated With Prostate Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A high intake of dairy products and calcium is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer, according to a report in the Dec. 7 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Obesity Increases Risk of Pregnancy Complications

THURSDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Obese women have up to a fivefold higher risk of maternal complications, including hypertension and wound infection, compared with normal-weight women, according to a study published in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Plasma Exchange Role Uncertain in Multiple Myeloma

THURSDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Numerous plasma exchanges do not substantially change the outcome for patients with acute renal failure at the onset of multiple myeloma, according to a study published in the Dec. 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Paneth Cell Deficiencies Found in Crohn's Disease of Ileum

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Reduced expression of Paneth cell (PC) alpha-defensins, such as HD5 and HD6, may compromise mucosal host defenses and cause Crohn's disease of the ileum, according to a study published online Dec. 5 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Hearing Problems Associated with Otitis Media Surgery

TUESDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Tympanic membrane pathologic abnormalities and elevated hearing thresholds are more common in children who receive ventilation tube (VT) treatment for otitis media than in children who receive medical treatment, according to research published in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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FDA Approves First Human Recombinant Hyaluronidase

TUESDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first recombinant version of human hyaluronidase, Hylenex, for use as an adjuvant to increase the absorption and dispersion of other injected drugs.

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West Nile Virus Screening Test Gains FDA Approval

MONDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it has approved the first West Nile virus (WNV) blood test. The Procleix WNV Assay, which was developed by Gen-Probe Inc. and is marketed by Chiron Corp., will be used to test donated blood, organs, cells and tissue for the virus. There have been 30 cases so far of WNV infection via blood transfusion, including nine cases that were fatal.

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FDA Issues Warning on Radiodiagnostic Agent

MONDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that a radiodiagnostic agent, NeutroSpec (Technetium [99m Tc] fanolesomab), has been linked to two deaths due to cardiopulmonary failure and other cases of life-threatening cardiopulmonary events.

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First Partial Face Transplant Performed in France

FRIDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- A 38-year-old French woman who received the world's first partial face allotransplantation will require long-term immunosuppression, rehabilitation and psychological support, according to the two French hospitals involved.

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Sharp Drop in Emergency Bypass After Angioplasty

FRIDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The number of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) patients requiring emergency coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) dropped sharply from 1979 to 2003, but the mortality rate for emergency CABG has remained high and constant during that period, according to a study published in the Dec. 6 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Car Crashes Nearly 400 Times More Deadly Than Terrorism

FRIDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The annual death rate from car crashes is nearly 400 times greater than the death rate from international terrorism, according to a study published in the December issue of Injury Prevention.

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Cochlear Implants Improve Auditory Nerve Connections

THURSDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Cochlear implants in deaf cats promote the redevelopment of critical auditory nerve synapses and may shed light on how these prosthetic devices work, according to a report in the Dec. 2 issue of Science.

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