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December 2008 Briefing - Surgery

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

Decision Aid May Benefit Breast Cancer Patients

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- In breast cancer patients who are eligible for either mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery, the use of a decision aid before the surgical consultation may promote informed, values-based treatment choices, according to a report published online Dec. 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Managed Care Not Beneficial for Some Medicare Patients

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Among Medicare beneficiaries undergoing carotid endarterectomies, managed care plans do not have a positive impact on inappropriateness, referral patterns or outcomes, according to a report published in the November/December issue of the American Journal of Medical Quality.

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Longer Radiation Delay Improves Glioblastoma Survival

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Glioblastoma patients who wait four to six weeks after surgery before starting radiation treatment have better survival than patients who start sooner, according to a study published online Dec. 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Posterior Fusion Linked to Increased Complications

TUESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with diffuse cervical spondylosis, posterior fusion is associated with a significantly higher rate of complications and resource utilization than anterior fusion, according to a report published in the January issue of The Spine Journal.

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Anatomical Landmarks Found for Optic Nerve Surgery

TUESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Identification of anatomic landmarks surrounding the ophthalmic artery is an important basis for optic nerve localization and prevention of ophthalmic artery injury during transsphenoidal optic nerve decompression surgery, according to a report published in the November issue of the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery.

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Valve Prosthesis Mismatch Linked to Increased Mortality

TUESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Mismatches between valve prostheses and patients may lead to increased late overall mortality and cardiovascular mortality, according to research published in the Jan. 6 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Gastric Bypass Can Reverse Diabetes in Very Obese Teens

TUESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Roux-en-Y gastric bypass can improve insulin resistance, β-cell function and cardiovascular risk factors in extremely obese adolescents with type 2 diabetes mellitus, although the long-term efficacy is unknown, researchers report in the January issue of Pediatrics.

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Masseteric Muscle Hypertrophy Treated with Botulinum Toxin

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Botulinum toxin (BoNT) type A is a new, safe and effective non-invasive therapy for treatment of masseteric muscle hypertrophy to obtain lower facial contouring, according to research published in the November issue of the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery.

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Hospital Discharge Data Best Explains Reason for Caesarean

TUESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Information taken from birth certificates alone indicates that more than half of Caesarean deliveries are performed among women with no indicated risk, but when hospital discharge data is used in combination with birth certificates the number drops to low single digits, according to a report published in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease Carries Heavy Financial Burden

MONDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which affects roughly a million Americans, represents a costly burden both at the individual and national levels, according to research published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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Device More Effective Than Iliac Crest Bone Graft for Fusion

MONDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- A bone graft device that delivers a bone growth-promoting protein is safe and more effective than iliac crest bone graft (ICBG) in promoting spinal fusion in older adults, according to a report in the Dec. 15 issue of Spine.

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Odontoid Fractures Linked to Morbidity in Elderly

MONDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Regardless of whether they're treated surgically or non-surgically, type II odontoid fractures in the elderly are associated with considerable morbidity and mortality, according to research published in the December issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.

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Surgery Can Improve Lumbar Nerve Root Injuries

MONDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Techniques for repairing intradural nerve root injuries of the brachial plexus can be used on these injuries in the lumbar spine, according to a report in the December issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.

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Blunt Needles Do Not Reduce Glove Perforations

MONDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Using blunt needles to perform obstetrical laceration repair does not reduce the risk of glove perforations and makes the procedure more difficult, according to study findings published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Thromboembolic Prophylaxis Practices Vary by Surgeon

MONDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Spinal surgeons vary widely in their practices for thromboembolic prophylaxis after high-risk surgery and often base their decisions on personal experience over scientific evidence, according to the results of a study published in the Dec. 15 issue of Spine.

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Photodynamic Therapy Helps to Treat Chorioretinopathy

FRIDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Photodynamic therapy can resolve localized serous retinal detachment of the macula and lead to visual improvement in patients with chronic idiopathic central serous chorioretinopathy (ICSC), according to research published in the December issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Ultrasound Imaging Used to Guide Laser Fat Removal

FRIDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Ultrasound imaging may be applied to guide laser fat removal, according to the results of a study reported in the December issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Insurance Status Affects Surgery for Diverticulitis

TUESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Race and insurance status both affect the treatment of diverticulitis, but in different ways, according to study findings published in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Highly Qualified Students More Likely to Quit Medical Studies

TUESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Graduates with high academic qualifications, those who train in general surgery and who train in a five-year surgical specialty are more likely than other students to drop out of graduate medical education, according to a report published in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Medical Students Have Low Head and Neck Cancer Knowledge

TUESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Although medical students become more familiar with head and neck cancer as they progress through school, graduating students are still deficient in knowledge regarding head and neck cancer-specific risk factors, screening and examination guidelines and techniques, according to an article published in the December issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.

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Antigen Levels Can Help Assess Cancer Surgery Patients

TUESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- As early as six weeks after surgery, carcinoembryonic antigen levels can help determine whether or not a patient requires adjuvant chemotherapy, according to research published in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Program Improves Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis

THURSDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A risk assessment and prophylaxis regimens for venous thromboembolism (VTE) provided in patients' charts can improve appropriate prophylaxis for VTE, researchers report in the December issue of the Southern Medical Journal.

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Tranexamic Acid Reduces Blood Loss During Spinal Surgery

THURSDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Tranexamic acid is more effective than placebo in reducing blood loss and the need for transfusions during spinal surgery, and is also relatively inexpensive, researchers report in the Nov. 15 issue of Spine.

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Surgical Instrument Breakage Rare in Two-Year Review

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of orthopaedic instrument breakage over a two-year period in two hospitals was very low, and didn't pose a threat to patients, according to study results published in the December issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Increased Risk of Bleeding Linked to Dexamethasone

TUESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Dexamethasone decreases the risk of nausea and vomiting, but is associated with an increased risk of postoperative bleeding in children following tonsillectomy, according to research published in the Dec. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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New Transplant Criteria Benefits Liver Cancer Patients

MONDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with liver cancer who do not meet the current strict Milan criteria for a liver transplant can still benefit from a transplant if more precise criteria are used that take tumor size, number and microvascular invasion into account, according to an article published online Dec. 4 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Virus-Associated Kidney Transplant Failure Avoidable

THURSDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Graft failure can be reduced in kidney transplant patients who develop BK virus-associated nephropathy (BKVAN) -- a normally dormant virus in healthy individuals -- by withdrawing one immunosuppressive drug soon after diagnosis, researchers report in the November issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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