Venous thromboembolism (VTE) remains a devastating complication among trauma patients. However, conventional VTE prophylaxis is often contraindicated in major trauma patients due to concurrent injuries. This article discusses the use of retrievable inferior vena cava filters as a method for VTE prophylaxis in major trauma patients.
Vena cava filters; Venous thromboembolism; Pulmonary embolism
Minimally invasive hip and knee replacement surgery (MIS) continues to receive coverage in both the popular press and scientific literature. The cited benefits include a smaller scar, less soft tissue trauma, faster recovery, reduced hospital stay, decreased blood loss and reduced post-operative pain. These outcomes are highly desirable and consistent with the aims of fast track hip and knee pathways. This paper evaluates the literature and discusses whether performing MIS over conventional surgical techniques offers advantages in a fast track hip and knee pathway.
An English language literature search was performed using the MEDLINE® and PubMed databases. Case series, randomised controlled trials and systematic reviews were included in the review.
The reported improvements in recovery brought about by MIS must be considered multifactorial. In combination with improved clinical pathways, MIS can be associated with quicker recovery and shorter length of hospital stay.
There is insufficient evidence to indicate that surgical technique alone makes a significant difference to recovery or reduces soft tissue trauma. No consensus on whether to use MIS techniques in fast track hip and knee replacement pathways can therefore be drawn. This is especially important given that the complication rates of MIS in the low to medium volume surgeon appear unacceptably high compared with standard approaches. It is also too early to assess the long-term effects of MIS on implant survival.
Minimally invasive surgery; Arthroplasty; Enhanced recovery
Ultrasonography is used frequently to exclude significant pathology in young women presenting with nonspecific lower abdominal pain (NSLAP). This study examined parameters that predicted the likelihood of significant findings on ultrasonography. These results could be used to select patients for priority imaging or identify those who could be managed with no ultrasonography.
A total of 65 women with NSLAP were identified from 283 admissions. Group 1 (n=42) consisted of patients with normal imaging. Group 2 (n=23) included patients with ‘positive’ scans requiring treatment. White cell count (WCC), C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, platelet count, age, duration of pain and length of stay in hospital were compared between the groups.
The median WCC and CRP were greater in Group 2 than in Group 1: 15 x 109/l and 123mg/l versus 11 x 1071 and 72mg/l respectively (p=0.01 and p=0.05). CRP was a weak predictor of positive pathology on ultrasonography (area under curve [AUC]=0.66, p=0.027) and WCC was a strong predictor of abnormal pathology on ultrasonography (AUC=0.7, p=0.005). A WCC of >12.8 x 109/l was 65% sensitive and 71% specific in predicting subsequent pathology on ultrasonography. The median wait for ultrasonography was 24 hours (range: 1-96 hours).
This study failed to define any criteria that could select patients not requiring ultrasonography. Since ultrasonography is a relatively cheap and safe investigation, its continued use to screen women with NSLAP is justified. WCC should be used to prioritise imaging.
Ultrasonography; Pathology; Abdominal pain
After a cholecystectomy, the current and traditional practice is to send each resected gallbladder to the pathologist for analysis. Some reports have suggested the possibility of selecting only those gallbladders that need to be analysed. The purpose of this study was to show a simple method for selecting which gallbladders should be sent to the pathologist.
A prospective comparative study was carried out. Two ‘tests’ were performed in 150 patients to detect or rule out gallbladder cancer. The first test included the patient's variables and a macroscopic gallbladder analysis performed by the surgeon (MGAS). The second test was the analysis performed by the pathologist. The results were compared.
Of the 150 patients, 132 were women and 18 men; 130 were under 60 years old. One patient had inflammatory bowel disease, seven had changes on ultrasonography and in four cases intra-operative disturbances were observed. During the MGAS, disturbances were found in 30 patients. Eighty-one cases (54%) had at least one or more risk factors for gallbladder cancer.
In almost half of the gallbladders, it would be safe not to send the specimen to the pathology department, decreasing costs significantly.
Gallbladder; Adenocarcinoma; Cholecystectomy; Pathology; Diagnosis
Most gallbladder carcinoma cases are suspected pre-operatively or intra-operatively. In Malaysia histopathological examination of cholecystectomy specimens has become routine practice. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of routine histological examinations on cholecystectomy specimens from an Asian demographic, which may differ from a Caucasian demographic.
A retrospective study was performed of all histopathoiogy reports for choiecystectomies (Iaparoscopic and open) undertaken over a period of 12 years (1997-2008) in a single teaching hospital.
A total of 1,375 gallbladder specimens were sent for histopathological analysis, with 7 (0.5%) being reported as malignant while only three (0.2%) were found to contain primary gallbladder carcinoma. Other premalignant findings included two specimens with dyspiastic changes of the mucosa and one tubuioviiious adenoma with a dyspiastic epithelium. From the ten malignant and premalignant specimens, seven were diagnosed pre-operatively, two were suspected intra-operatively and one was diagnosed with dyspiastic changes on the histopathoiogy report post-operatively.
This study supports earlier research carried out in the UK and the demographic difference does not affect the impact of the histology examination on cholecystectomy specimens in diagnosing this disease. A selective policy is recommended in Malaysia.
Cholecystectomy; Histopathological; Gallbladder carcinoma
Nicorandil is a commonly prescribed antianginal medication that has been found to be associated with painful anal ulceration. The incidence of this complication is unknown. We have used the best data available to us to make an estimate of this figure in a health district with a remarkably stable population of approximately 200,000 people.
Using an electronic search of all letters generated from colorectal and gastroenterology clinics as well as endoscopy reports from January 2004 to November 2010, patients with anal ulceration who were taking nicorandil were identified. Other causes of ulceration were excluded by biopsy in the majority of cases. The central hospital and community pharmacy database was interrogated to estimate the number of patients who were prescribed nicorandil over a six-year period (2004-2010).
A total of 30 patients (24 men, 6 women) with a median age of 79.5 years were identified who fulfilled the criteria of: taking nicorandil; having no other identified cause for anal ulceration; and achieving eventual healing after withdrawal of nicorandil. In the six-year period an estimated mean of 1,379 patients were prescribed nicorandil each year. The mean annual incidence of anal ulcers among nicorandil users is therefore calculated to be in the region of 0.37%.
Anal ulceration appears to occur in approximately four in every thousand patients prescribed nicorandil each year. Prescribing physicians should explain the risk of this unpleasant complication to their patients.
Nicorandil; Adverse effects; Anal ulcer; Incidence; Epidemiology
This study aimed to gain insight into current preferences for type of surgical approach and patient positioning in abdominoperineal excision of the rectum (APER), to identify whether these factors affect self-reported oncological outcomes and complication rates, and to assess the opinions of members of the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland (ACPGBI) with regards to the benefit of a national training programme for APER surgery.
Members of the ACPGBI were surveyed using a questionnaire designed to examine surgeon/departmental demographics, type of APER practised, audit of results and complications, opinions regarding extralevator APER (ELAPER) and opinions regarding the potential benefit of a national training programme.
According to the survey, 62% of surgeons perform perineal dissection in the supine position and 57% perform a standard APER technique. Surgeons who only practise colorectal surgery (p=0.002) and surgeons performing prone dissection (/xO.0001) are more likely to perform ELAPER. Three-quarters (76%) audit their results for perineal wound complication rates. Over 80% audit their oncological outcomes. The vast majority (94.6%) of those who perform ELAPER believe there is a benefit to this method while 59.6% of those who do not perform ELAPER still believe there is a benefit to ELAPER. Only 50% feel that there should be a national training programme.
There is a distinct discordance with regards to the APER technique. Among UK colorectal surgeons, although a significant proportion favours ELAPER, there remains a larger proportion still performing standard APER techniques.
Colon cancer; Colorectal surgery; Clinical audit; Survey
Recent data have shown higher rates of graft related complication or reintervention in patients undergoing endovascular aneurysm repair compared with open aneurysm surgery (OAS). However, there are fewer data available regarding procedure related reinterventions following OAS. The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence of procedure related complications and reintervention following elective open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair.
This was a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data from the dedicated Portsmouth POSSUM database. Data from 361 patients (median age: 72 years, 91.4% male) who underwent elective OAS between 1993 and 2004 were analysed. The incidences of early and late complications and subsequent reintervention were investigated.
The median follow-up duration was 10 years 4 months (range: 5 years - 16 years 4 months). There were 52 reinterventions in the follow-up period. Of these, 34.6% were for incisional hernias or small bowel obstruction with the majority of the remaining laparotomies performed for bleeding or distal ischaemic complications. Almost two-thirds (63.5%) of reinterventions occurred in the first 30 days. There were 30 emergency readmissions to the acute surgical wards that did not require reintervention.
OAS carries a significant reintervention rate. In this study, 54% of reinterventions were directly related to laparotomy.
Vascular diseases; Aortic aneurysm, abdominal; Vascular surgical procedures; Endovascular procedures
Investigation of the anterior midiine neck lump has been debated over the years with little agreement on best practice. Thyrogiossai duct cysts (TDCs) are the most common aetiology. A TDC may contain ectopic thyroid tissue, which may affect the decision to excise.
A computerised survey was sent to a representative sample of UK-based ENT surgeons to determine current practice in investigation of presumed TDCs and the incidence of ectopic thyroid tissue.
Overall, 95% of those surveyed use ultrasonography, with 32% also arranging thyroid function tests. Fifteen per cent had encountered absent normal thyroid tissue in the presence of a midiine neck swelling. In 64% of cases this represented the only functioning thyroid tissue. Thyroid function tests were normal in all but two cases.
The results show a significant change in practice over the last decade. All surgeons would arrange some form of investigation of a presumed TDC, with the vast majority using ultrasonography. Radioisotope scanning should only be used if the ultrasonography or thyroid function tests are abnormal. The incidence of ectopic thyroid tissue in this survey was higher than previously calculated, with a 0.17% prevalence of midiine neck lumps representing the only functioning thyroid tissue.
Thyroglossal; Cyst; Neck; Investigation; Registry
The otorhinoiaryngoiogy department at Northwick Park Hospital uses the Tristei wipes system for cleaning nasendoscopes in the outpatient clinics. This system uses chlorine dioxide as its only disinfectant. The manufacturer claims the system provides safe sterilisation of nasendoscopes. However, there appear to be no reports in the literature to date that evaluate the efficacy of this system in a clinical setting. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ‘in use’ efficacy of Tristei wipes in decontaminating nasendoscopes and to identify any significant contamination between cleaning and usage.
A total of 31 cleaning episodes were performed. Each cleaning episode included two swabs after cleaning the scopes, one from the tip and the other from the handle. Another two swabs from the same areas were also taken before application to the patient. The microbiology unit evaluated all swabs for bacterial, fungal and mycobacterial growth.
Overall, 123 swabs from 31 cleaning episodes were tested. None of the swabs taken from the tips (n=31) or handles (n=31) after cleaning with Tristei wipes developed any organism growth. Furthermore, none of the swabs taken from the tip of the scopes before using on patients (n=31) developed any growth. Of the 31 swabs taken from the handle before use, 3 developed significant staphylococcal growth.
In our study, the ‘in use’ efficacy of Tristei wipes in cleaning the scopes of bacteria, fungi and mycobacteria was 100%. Attention to hand hygiene and the use of gloves should be considered when handling the cleaned scopes to minimise the risk of contamination between cleaning and application to patients.
Nasendoscope; Decontamination; Tristel wipes system
Semiconstrained total elbow replacement is now a well recognised and reliable surgical option for advanced elbow disease, mainly rheumatoid arthritis.
We report a retrospective analysis of 31 primary total elbow replacements in 28 patients with a mean follow-up duration of 55 months. The mean age of the patients was 65 years. The indications included 27 cases of rheumatoid arthritis, 3 fractures and 1 case of osteoarthritis. Twenty-one elbows in nineteen patients were assessed using the Mayo elbow performance score (MEPS) in a special follow-up clinic. In the other nine patients (ten elbows), the assessment was carried out with case notes and x-rays.
The mean pre-operative MEPS in the 21 elbows recalled was 40. This improved to 89 post-operatively (range: 55-100). Sixteen of the twenty-one elbows were considered excellent, two good, two fair and one poor. The range of movement was recorded in eight of the other ten elbows and the mean was 98°. At the last follow-up visit, x-rays were normal in 23 elbows although the ulnar component was loose in 3, the humeral component loose in 2. There were also two cases of nonunion of the medial epicondyle and one patient had mild heterotopic ossification. Complications included one infection, which needed irrigation and debridement with a satisfactory final result, and two cases of ulnar nerve palsy/neurapraxia. Two elbows were considered failures due to severe pain caused by prosthetic loosening. These were referred for revision surgery.
Excellent pain relief and good function can be achieved in the medium and long term with the Coonrad-Morrey semiconstrained total elbow replacement prosthesis in patients with severe destructive elbow arthropathy.
Elbow; Arthroplasty; Coonrad-Morrey; Loosening
This paper describes, for the first time, the outcomes of patients undergoing total hip replacement for acute fractured neck of femur (#NOF) as recorded by the National Joint Registry of England and Wales (NJR).
In the NJR we identified 1,302 of 157,232 Hospital Episode Statistics linked patients who had been recorded as having a total hip replacement for acute #NOF between April 2003 and November 2008.
The revision rate at five years for fully uncemented components was 4.1% (95% confidence interval [Cl]: 2.2-7.3%), for hybrid it was 2.2% (95% Cl: 0.9%-5.3%) and for fully cemented components 0.9% (95% Cl: 0.4-2.0%). Five-year revision rates were increased for those whose operations were performed via a posterior versus a lateral approach. The Kaplan-Meier estimate of 30-day mortality was 1.4% (95% Cl: 1.0-2.4%), which is over double the 30-day mortality rate for total hip replacement identified by the Office for National Statistics. The mean length of stay was also increased for those undergoing total hip replacements for #NOF compared with non-emergency indications.
Our data suggest that total hip replacements for acute #NOF give comparable results with total hip replacements for other indications.
Hip; Fracture; Total hip replacement; Arthroplasty; Registry
Early post-operative x-rays are often taken in total knee replacements (TKRs). Patient mobilisation may be delayed until these x-rays are obtained and this may prolong discharge. The aim of this study was to assess the value of such early x-rays and whether they influenced the early post-operative management of these patients.
A total of 624 consecutive TKRs performed at the Blackpool Victoria Hospital over a 34-month period were evaluated. Plain anteroposterior and lateral x-rays were examined.
Two patients were found to have significant abnormalities: an undisplaced peri prosthetic tibial fracture and a partial inferior pole patellar avulsion. Neither of these required further treatment or influenced mobility. No other complications were noted that changed routine post-operative management.
These results question the need for immediate x-rays in primary TKRs.
Total knee arthroplasty; Radiography; Post-operative
A significant proportion of all red cell transfusions are given to patients undergoing elective orthopaedic surgery. Concern over transfusion safety and cost, coupled with evidence showing that restrictive transfusion policies benefit patients, prompted us to audit our blood prescribing practice at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in order to assess the appropriateness of every transfusion episode following elective primary total hip replacement.
All patients undergoing a primary total hip replacement in our department over a six-month period were included in the study. Data were collected retrospectively using case note examination and transfusion service data. Standards were dictated by the British Orthopaedic Association guidelines on blood conservation in elective orthopaedic surgery.
Twenty-seven per cent of patients (39/143) were transfused. Forty-six per cent of these (18/39) were transfused inappropriately and twenty-three per cent (9/39) appropriately. Thirteen per cent (5/39) had a valid indication for transfusion but were over-transfused and in eighteen per cent (7/39) the quality of documentation did not allow an assessment to be made. Fifty-two per cent of patients who had surgical drains (29/56) were transfused. Reaudit following staff education and amendments to the local transfusion policy did not demonstrate a reduction in transfusion rates.
This audit showed that significant potential exists for reducing transfusion rates based on optimising prescribing practice alone. It also demonstrated that changing local practice based on audit data can be challenging.
Arthroplasty; Hip; Anaemia; Blood transfusion
Although its incidence is increasing, penile cancer remains a rare disease in the UK. In view of this low volume, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence recommended that treatment is centralised in a limited number of centres arranged as supraregionai networks. The aim of this centralisation is to allow the best standardised treatment for the primary tumours and nodal disease, thereby avoiding under or overtreatment. In this paper we review the formation and functioning of our network in the East Midlands.
Data were collected up to August 2010 from our prospective penile network database since its inception in 2005. These data were analysed to see our workload, patterns of referral and surgeries performed over this time period.
The structure and function of the East Midlands network are described. There has been an increase in the number of cases discussed since its formation. There has also been a trend towards more conservative surgery, both of the primary tumour and of nodal management. Between September 2009 and August 2010, 16 glansectomies were performed versus 5 total and 9 partial penectomies. The same period saw 18 dynamic sentinel lymph node biopsies against 7 bilateral and 3 unilateral superficial groin dissections. There was a very high patient satisfaction rate, with patients feeling they had good support and information.
On reviewing the literature it can be clearly seen that supraregionai networks have led to a decrease in overtreatment and better recognition of the need to manage lymph node status optimally. Our network has demonstrated the trend toward conservative surgery and sentinel node biopsy. The formation of supraregionai networks with a multidisciplinary approach will facilitate high volume centres that will offer optimal surgical therapy and also allow recruitment into studies and new chemotherapeutic regimens. It will also allow better data collection to aid clinical studies that hopefully will also demonstrate better outcomes.
Penile cancer; Multidisciplinary team; Sentinel node biopsy