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1.  Massive surgical emphysema following transanal endoscopic microsurgery 
We describe an impressive and rare case of surgical emphysema after minimally invasive rectal surgery. This case reports on a patient who developed massive retroperitoneal, intraperitoneal and subcutaneous emphysema directly following a transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM) procedure for a rectal intramucosal carcinoma. Free intra-abdominal air after gastro-intestinal surgery can be a sign of a bowel perforation or anastomotic leakage. This is a serious complication often requiring immediate surgery. In our patient an abdominal computed tomography-scan with rectal contrast showed no signs of a rectal perforation. Therefore this emphysema was caused by the insufflation of CO2 gas in the rectum during the TEM-procedure. Conservative treatment resulted in an uneventful recovery. With the increasing usage of TEM for rectal lesions we expect this complication to occur more often. After ruling out a full thickness rectal wall perforation in patients with surgical emphysema following TEM, conservative treatment is the treatment of choice.
PMCID: PMC4143972  PMID: 25161765
Transanal endoscopic microsurgery; Microsurgery; Gastrointestinal endoscopy; Colorectal neoplasms; Retropneumoperitoneum; Intraperitoneal emphysema; Subcutaneous emphysema
2.  Peritoneal carcinomatosis of colorectal origin: Incidence, prognosis and treatment options 
Peritoneal carcinomatosis (PC) is one manifestation of metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC). Tumor growth on intestinal surfaces and associated fluid accumulation eventually result in bowel obstruction and incapacitating levels of ascites, which profoundly affect the quality of life for affected patients. PC appears resistant to traditional 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy, and surgery was formerly reserved for palliative purposes only. In the absence of effective treatment, the historical prognosis for these patients was extremely poor, with an invariably fatal outcome. These poor outcomes likely explain why PC secondary to CRC has received little attention from oncologic researchers. Thus, data are lacking regarding incidence, clinical disease course, and accurate treatment evaluation for patients with PC. Recently, population-based studies have revealed that PC occurs relatively frequently among patients with CRC. Risk factors for developing PC have been identified: right-sided tumor, advanced T-stage, advanced N-stage, poor differentiation grade, and younger age at diagnosis. During the past decade, both chemotherapeutical and surgical treatments have achieved promising results in these patients. A chance for long-term survival or even cure may now be offered to selected patients by combining radical surgical resection with intraperitoneal instillation of heated chemotherapy. This combined procedure has become known as hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy. This editorial outlines recent advancements in the medical and surgical treatment of PC and reviews the most recent information on incidence and prognosis of this disease. Given recent progress, treatment should now be considered in every patient presenting with PC.
PMCID: PMC3482634  PMID: 23112540
Colorectal cancer; Peritoneal carcinomatosis; Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy; Chemotherapy; Prognosis
3.  Mesh Or Patch for Hernia on Epigastric and Umbilical Sites (MORPHEUS trial): study protocol for a multi-centre patient blinded randomized controlled trial 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:33.
Evidence is accumulating that, similar to other ventral hernias, umbilical and epigastric hernias must be mesh repaired. The difficulties involved in mesh placement and in mesh-related complications could be the reason many small abdominal hernias are still primary closed. In laparoscopic repair, a mesh is placed intraperitoneally, while the most common procedure is open surgery is pre-peritoneal mesh placement. A recently developed alternative method is the so-called patch repair, in this approach a mesh can be placed intraperitoneally through open surgery. In theory, such patches are particularly suitable for small hernias due to a reduction in the required dissection. This simple procedure is described in several studies. It is still unclear whether this new approach is associated with an equal risk of recurrence and complications compared with pre-peritoneal meshes. The material of the patch is in direct contact with intra-abdominal organs, it is unknown if this leads to more complications. On the other hand, the smaller dissection in the pre-peritoneal plane may lead to a reduction in wound complications.
346 patients suffering from an umbilical or epigastric hernia will be included in a multi-centre patient-blinded trial, comparing mesh repair with patch repair. Randomisation will take place for the two operation techniques. The two devices investigated are a flat pre-peritoneal mesh and a Proceed Ventral Patch®. Stratification will occur per centre. Post-operative evaluation will take place after 1, 3, 12 and 24 months. The number of complications requiring treatment is the primary endpoint. Secondary endpoints are Verbal Descriptor Scale (VDS) pain score and VDS cosmetic score, operation duration, recurrence and costs. An intention to treat analysis will be performed.
This trial is one of the first in its kind, to compare different mesh devices in a randomized controlled setting. The results will help to evaluate mesh repair for epigastric an umbilical hernia, and find a surgical method that minimizes the complication rate.
Trial registration
Netherlands Trail Registration (NTR) 2010 NTR2514 NL33995.060.10
PMCID: PMC4042133  PMID: 24884770
Umbilical; Epigastric; Hernia; Herniorraphy; Mesh repair; Proceed Ventral Patch; Complications; Pain; Recurrence; Costs
4.  Altered Cortical Responsiveness to Pain Stimuli after High Frequency Electrical Stimulation of the Skin in Patients with Persistent Pain after Inguinal Hernia Repair 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82701.
High Frequency electrical Stimulation (HFS) of the skin induces enhanced brain responsiveness expressed as enhanced Event-Related Potential (ERP) N1 amplitude to stimuli applied to the surrounding unconditioned skin in healthy volunteers. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether this enhanced ERP N1 amplitude could be a potential marker for altered cortical sensory processing in patients with persistent pain after surgery.
Materials and Methods
Nineteen male patients; 9 with and 10 without persistent pain after inguinal hernia repair received HFS. Before, directly after and thirty minutes after HFS evoked potentials and the subjective pain intensity were measured in response to electric pain stimuli applied to the surrounding unconditioned skin.
The results show that, thirty minutes after HFS, the ERP N1 amplitude observed at the conditioned arm was statistically significantly larger than the amplitude at the control arm across all patients. No statistically significant differences were observed regarding ERP N1 amplitude between patients with and without persistent pain. However, thirty minutes after HFS we did observe statistically significant differences of P2 amplitude at the conditioned arm between the two groups. The P2 amplitude decreased in comparison to baseline in the group of patients with pain.
The ERP N1 effect, induced after HFS, was not different between patients with vs. without persistent pain. The decreasing P2 amplitude was not observed in the patients without pain and also not in the previous healthy volunteer study and thus might be a marker for altered cortical sensory processing in patients with persistent pain after surgery.
PMCID: PMC3871559  PMID: 24376568
5.  Cytoreduction and HIPEC in The Netherlands: Nationwide Long-term Outcome Following the Dutch Protocol 
Annals of Surgical Oncology  2013;20(13):4224-4230.
This nationwide study evaluated results of cytoreductive surgery (CRS) combined with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) for peritoneal metastasis of colorectal origin in the Netherlands following a national protocol.
In a multi-institutional study prospective databases of patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis (PC) from colorectal cancer and pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) treated according to the Dutch HIPEC protocol, a uniform approach for the CRS and HIPEC treatment, were reviewed. Primary end point was overall survival and secondary end points were surgical outcome and progression-free survival.
Nine-hundred sixty patients were included; 660 patients (69 %) were affected by PC of colorectal carcinoma and the remaining suffered from PMP (31 %). In 767 procedures (80 %), macroscopic complete cytoreduction was achieved. Three-hundred and thirty one patients had grade III–V complications (34 %). Thirty-two patients died perioperatively (3 %). Median length of hospital stay was 16 days (range 0–166 days). Median follow-up period was 41 months (95 % confidence interval (CI), 36–46 months). Median progression-free survival was 15 months (95 % CI 13–17 months) for CRC patients and 53 months (95 % CI 40–66 months) for PMP patients. Overall median survival was 33 (95 % CI 28–38 months) months for CRC patients and 130 months (95 % CI 98–162 months) for PMP patients. Three- and five-year survival rates were 46 and 31 % respectively in case of CRC patients and 77 and 65 % respectively in case of PMP patients.
The results underline the safety and efficacy of cytoreduction and HIPEC for PC from CRC and PMP. It is assumed the uniform Dutch HIPEC protocol was beneficial.
PMCID: PMC3827901  PMID: 23897008
6.  The ladies trial: laparoscopic peritoneal lavage or resection for purulent peritonitisA and Hartmann's procedure or resection with primary anastomosis for purulent or faecal peritonitisB in perforated diverticulitis (NTR2037) 
BMC Surgery  2010;10:29.
Recently, excellent results are reported on laparoscopic lavage in patients with purulent perforated diverticulitis as an alternative for sigmoidectomy and ostomy.
The objective of this study is to determine whether LaparOscopic LAvage and drainage is a safe and effective treatment for patients with purulent peritonitis (LOLA-arm) and to determine the optimal resectional strategy in patients with a purulent or faecal peritonitis (DIVA-arm: perforated DIVerticulitis: sigmoidresection with or without Anastomosis).
In this multicentre randomised trial all patients with perforated diverticulitis are included. Upon laparoscopy, patients with purulent peritonitis are treated with laparoscopic lavage and drainage, Hartmann's procedure or sigmoidectomy with primary anastomosis in a ratio of 2:1:1 (LOLA-arm). Patients with faecal peritonitis will be randomised 1:1 between Hartmann's procedure and resection with primary anastomosis (DIVA-arm). The primary combined endpoint of the LOLA-arm is major morbidity and mortality. A sample size of 132:66:66 patients will be able to detect a difference in the primary endpoint from 25% in resectional groups compared to 10% in the laparoscopic lavage group (two sided alpha = 5%, power = 90%). Endpoint of the DIVA-arm is stoma free survival one year after initial surgery. In this arm 212 patients are needed to significantly demonstrate a difference of 30% (log rank test two sided alpha = 5% and power = 90%) in favour of the patients with resection with primary anastomosis. Secondary endpoints for both arms are the number of days alive and outside the hospital, health related quality of life, health care utilisation and associated costs.
The Ladies trial is a nationwide multicentre randomised trial on perforated diverticulitis that will provide evidence on the merits of laparoscopic lavage and drainage for purulent generalised peritonitis and on the optimal resectional strategy for both purulent and faecal generalised peritonitis.
Trial registration
Nederlands Trial Register NTR2037
PMCID: PMC2974662  PMID: 20955571

Results 1-6 (6)