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1.  Historical and Current Trends in Colon Trauma 
The authors discuss the evolution of the evaluation and management of colonic trauma, as well as the debate regarding primary repair versus fecal diversion. Their evidence-based review covers diagnosis, management, surgical approaches, and perioperative care of patients with colon-related trauma. The management of traumatic colon injuries has evolved significantly over the past 50 years; here the authors describe a practical approach to the treatment and management of traumatic injuries to the colon based on the most current research. However, management of traumatic colon injuries remains a challenge and continues to be associated with significant morbidity. Familiarity with the different methods to the approach and management of colonic injuries will allow surgeons to minimize unnecessary complications and mortality.
PMCID: PMC3577616  PMID: 24294119
colon trauma; colon injury; damage control laparotomy; perioperative colon trauma care
2.  An NSQIP evaluation of practice patterns and outcomes following surgery for anorectal abscess and fistula in patients with and without Crohn’s disease 
Gastroenterology Report  2013;1(1):58-63.
Background: Patients with Crohn’s disease (CD) are believed to have more aggressive anorectal abscess and fistula disease. We assessed the types of procedures performed and perioperative complications associated with the surgical management of anorectal abscess and fistula disease in patients with and without CD.
Methods: The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database (ACS-NSQIP, 2005-2010) was used to calculate 30-day outcomes using regression modeling, accounting for demographics, comorbidities and surgical procedures. ICD-9 codes for anorectal abscess or fistula were used for initial selection. Patients were then stratified, based on the presence or absence of underlying CD. Local procedures included incision and drainage of abscesses, fistulotomy and seton placement. Cutaneous fistulas were considered simple, while all others were classified as complex (-vaginal, -urethral and -vesical).
Results: A total of 7,218 patients (mean age 45 years; 64% male) met inclusion criteria, with underlying CD in 345 (4.8%). CD patients were more likely to have a seton placed (9.9 vs 8.2%, P < 0.001) and be on steroids (15.4 vs 4.3%, P < 0.001). Thirty-seven percent of CD patients underwent local procedures, while 46% had a proctectomy and 8% underwent diversion. Fistulotomy was more common in those without underlying CD (16 vs 11%, P < 0.001). The overall complication rate after local treatment was 4.9%, with no difference between patients with and without CD (7.7 vs 4.9%, P = 0.144). This was not affected by fistula type—simple (7.9 vs 3.9%, P = 0.194) vs complex (33 vs 7.1%, P = 0.21)—or when stratified by wound (3.8 vs 2.4%; P = 0.26) or systemic complications (3.8 vs 2.5%; P = 0.53). Yet, complications following emergency procedures were higher in patients with CD (21.4 vs 5.9%, P = 0.047). Factors significantly associated with increased complications were Crohn’s disease (OR = 8.2), lack of functional independence (OR = 2.0), pre-operative weight loss (OR = 2.6) and pre-operative acute renal failure (OR = 5.6). Steroids were also associated with a 1.7-fold increase in complications, independent from CD.
Conclusions: While most patients with anorectal abscess/fistula are treated with local procedures, proctectomy and diversion use is fairly common in those with underlying CD. Although complication rates following elective local procedures for anorectal abscess/fistula are similar in patients with and without CD, they are higher in patients on steroids and in CD patients undergoing emergent procedures.
PMCID: PMC3941441  PMID: 24759668
National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP); Crohn’s disease; anorectal diseases; anorectal abscess; fistula-in-ano
3.  Rectovaginal Fistulas: Current Surgical Management 
Rectovaginal fistulas represent an often devastating condition in patients and a challenge for surgeons. Successful management of this condition must take into account a variety of variables including the etiology, size, and location of the fistula. Etiologies include obstetrical trauma, inflammatory bowel disease, malignant processes, and complications of radiation therapy and surgery. Repair options include local repairs, tissue transfer techniques, and abdominal operations.
PMCID: PMC2780174  PMID: 20011383
Fistula; rectovaginal; obstetrical trauma; mucosal advancement flap
4.  Improved access and visibility during stapling of the ultra-low rectum: a comparative human cadaver study between two curved staplers 
The purpose of this study was to compare in human cadavers the applicability of a commonly used stapling device, the CONTOUR® curved cutter (CC) (Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Cincinnati, OH) to a newly released, curved stapler, the Endo GIA™ Radial Reload with Tri-Staple™ Technology (RR) (Covidien, New Haven, CT)
Four experienced surgeons performed deep pelvic dissection with total mesorectal excision (TME) of the rectum in twelve randomized male cadavers. Both stapling devices were applied to the ultra-low rectum in coronal and sagittal configurations. Extensive measurements were recorded of anatomic landmarks for each cadaver pelvis along with various aspects of access, visibility, and ease of placement for each device.
The RR reached significantly lower into the pelvis in both the coronal and sagittal positions compared to the CC. The median distance from the pelvic floor was 1.0 cm compared to 2.0 cm in the coronal position, and 1.0 cm versus 3.3 cm placed sagitally, p < 0.0001. Surgeons gave a higher visibility rating with less visual impediment in the sagittal plane using the RR Stapler. Impediment of visibility occurred in only 10% (5/48) of RR applications in the coronal position, compared to a rate of 48% (23/48) using the CC, p = 0.0002.
The RR device performed significantly better when compared to the CC stapler in regards to placing the stapler further into the deep pelvis and closer to the pelvic floor, while causing less obstructing of visualization.
PMCID: PMC3539907  PMID: 23148602
5.  Stapler access and visibility in the deep pelvis: A comparative human cadaver study between a computerized right angle linear cutter versus a curved cutting stapler 
Distal rectal stapling is often challenging because of limited space and visibility. We compared two stapling devices in the distal rectum in a cadaver study: the iDrive™ right angle linear cutter (RALC) (Covidien, New Haven, CT) and the CONTOUR® curved cutter (CC) (Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Cincinnati, OH).
Twelve male cadavers underwent pelvic dissection by 4 surgeons. After rectal mobilization as in a total mesorectal excision, the staplers were applied to the rectum as deep as possible in both the coronal and sagittal positions. The distance from the pelvic floor was measured for each application. A questionnaire rated the visibility and access of the stapling devices. Measurements were taken between pelvic landmarks to see what anatomic factors hinder the placement of a distal rectal stapler.
The median (range) distance of the stapler from the pelvic floor in the coronal position for the RALC was 1.0 cm (0-4.0) vs. 2.0 cm (0-5.0) for the CC, p = 0.003. In the sagittal position, the median distance was 1.6 cm (0-3.5) for the RALC and 3.3 cm (0-5.0) for the CC, p < 0.0001. The RALC scored better than the CC in respect to: 1. interference by the symphysis pubis, 2. number of stapler readjustments, 3. ease of placement in the pelvis, 4. impediment of visibility, 5. ability to hold and retain tissue, 6. visibility rating, and 7. access in the pelvis. A shorter distance between the tip of the coccyx and the pubic symphysis correlated with a longer distance of the stapler from the pelvic floor (p = 0.002).
The RALC is superior to the CC in terms of access, visibility, and ease of placement in the deep pelvis. This could provide important clinical benefit to both patient and surgeon during difficult rectal surgery.
PMCID: PMC3189175  PMID: 21871120
6.  Clinical Significance of Telomerase Activity in Peritoneal Disseminated Cells: Gastrointestinal Cancers 
Molecular Medicine  2008;14(1-2):45-54.
Early detection and accurate staging of gastrointestinal (GI) cancers are difficult. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether telomerase activity (TA) in exfoliated/disseminated epithelial cells could be used as a reliable marker for GI cancers. TA was evaluated with the real-time RTQ-TRAP in immunomagnetically sorted peritoneal epithelial cells from 60 patients undergoing surgical treatment. Thirty-two patients were clinically diagnosed with a variety of GI cancers: 1 had premalignant disease, 2 had history of GI cancers, and 25 patients were clinically negative for cancer. Here we report that all types and all cases of gastrointestinal cancers were telomerase positive, thereby demonstrating 100% sensitivity for cancer. Eighteen of 25 nonmalignant cases had undetectable levels of TA, 2 had low, and 5 of 25 expressed high TA levels. Because normal epithelial cells usually have low TA and a lesser tendency to exfoliate compared with cancer cells, it is of great importance to have close follow-up for these patients to exclude possible malignant disease. We conclude that RTQ-TRAP assessment of TA in immunomagnetically sorted peritoneal epithelial cells has 100% sensitivity and 100% negative predictive value for GI cancers, and therefore, can be considered as a valuable tool and useful addition to current standard diagnostic methods. Clinical significance of unusually high telomerase activity in some clinically negative for cancer cases requires further study.
PMCID: PMC2047629  PMID: 17973027

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