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1.  Assessment of a course of realistic surgical training during medical education as a tool for pre-residential surgical training 
BMC Medical Education  2016;16:45.
Background
In recent years the focus on practical skills in the German curriculum of medical school has increased greatly. In this study we evaluate the value of a practical surgery course for medical students as a tool for surgical education, as a way of enhancing interest in surgical fields, and as a method of influencing medical students to subsequently choose a surgical career.
Methods
The “Feel like a surgeon”-course is an optional practical surgery course in which topographical anatomy and realistic surgical training using fresh human cadavers are combined for medical students of the RWTH Aachen University. Between 2010 and 2015 every student completed a survey before starting and after completing our course, and in 2015 a follow-up was performed. Using a standardized questionnaire, course quality, learning success and impact on post-instructional career and choice of profession was evaluated.
Results
In total, 82 students attended our course between 2010 and 2015 and took part in the evaluation. Evaluation of the course was positive overall, with an average grade of 1.4° ± °0.50. Significant improvement of basic, as well as more complex surgical skills and theoretical knowledge was noted. Furthermore, self-confidence for patient related assignments improved as well. In the follow-up evaluation, a high level of recommendation for surgical residents was seen, as was a high influence of the course on our students’ career choice, although no significant change in career plans before and after taking the course was noted.
Conclusions
Our results indicate that a practical surgical course can be a valuable tool to prepare students for a surgical residency and to improve their practical skills generally.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12909-016-0568-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12909-016-0568-6
PMCID: PMC4739082  PMID: 26842357
Medical education; Teaching; Academic acquisition; Manual skills; Practical education; Surgical education
2.  Fulminant Epstein-Barr virus - infectious mononucleosis in an adult with liver failure, splenic rupture, and spontaneous esophageal bleeding with ensuing esophageal necrosis: a case report 
Introduction
Infectious mononucleosis is a clinical syndrome most commonly associated with primary Epstein-Barr virus infection. The majority of patients with infectious mononucleosis recovers without apparent sequelae. However, infectious mononucleosis may be associated with several acute complications. In this report we present a rare case of esophageal rupture that has never been described in the literature before.
Case presentation
We present the case of an 18-year-old Caucasian man affected by severe infectious mononucleosis complicated by fulminant hepatic failure, splenic rupture and esophageal necrosis.
Conclusions
Although primary Epstein-Barr virus infection is rarely fatal, fulminant infection may occur - in this case leading to hepatic failure, splenic rupture and esophageal necrosis, subsequently making several surgical interventions necessary. We show here that infectious mononucleosis is not only a strictly medical condition, but can also lead to severe surgical complications.
doi:10.1186/1752-1947-8-35
PMCID: PMC3927871  PMID: 24499457
Infectious mononucleosis; Epstein-Barr virus; Esophageal necrosis; Hepatic failure
3.  Intrathoracic versus Cervical Anastomosis after Resection of Esophageal Cancer: A matched pair analysis of 72 patients in a single center study 
Background
The aim of this study was to analyze the early postoperative outcome of esophageal cancer treated by subtotal esophageal resection, gastric interposition and either intrathoracic or cervical anastomosis in a single center study.
Methods
72 patients who received either a cervical or intrathoracic anastomosis after esophageal resection for esophageal cancer were matched by age and tumor stage. Collected data from these patients were analyzed retrospectively regarding morbidity and mortality rates.
Results
Anastomotic leakage rate was significantly lower in the intrathoracic anastomosis group than in the cervical anastomosis group (4 of 36 patients (11%) vs. 11 of 36 patients (31%); p = 0.040). The hospital stay was significantly shorter in the intrathoracic anastomosis group compared to the cervical anastomosis group (14 (range 10–110) vs. 26 days (range 12 – 105); p = 0.012). Wound infection and temporary paresis of the recurrent laryngeal nerve occurred significantly more often in the cervical anastomosis group compared to the intrathoracic anastomosis group (28% vs. 0%; p = 0.002 and 11% vs. 0%; p = 0.046). The overall In-hospital mortality rate was 6% (4 of 72 patients) without any differences between the study groups.
Conclusions
The present data support the assumption that the transthoracic approach with an intrathoracic anastomosis compared to a cervical esophagogastrostomy is the safer and more beneficial procedure in patients with carcinoma of the lower and middle third of the esophagus due to a significant reduction of anastomotic leakage, wound infection, paresis of the recurrent laryngeal nerve and shorter hospital stay.
doi:10.1186/1477-7819-10-159
PMCID: PMC3489570  PMID: 22866813
Esophageal cancer; Esophageal resection; Cervical anastomosis; Intrathoracic anastomosis; Transthoracic; Transhiatal
4.  Gentamicin supplemented polyvinylidenfluoride mesh materials enhance tissue integration due to a transcriptionally reduced MMP-2 protein expression 
BMC Surgery  2012;12:1.
Background
A beneficial effect of gentamicin supplemented mesh material on tissue integration is known. To further elucidate the interaction of collagen and MMP-2 in chronic foreign body reaction and to determine the significance of the MMP-2-specific regulatory element (RE-1) that is known to mediate 80% of the MMP-2 promoter activity, the spatial and temporal transcriptional regulation of the MMP-2 gene was analyzed at the cellular level.
Methods
A PVDF mesh material was surface modified by plasma-induced graft polymerization of acrylic acid (PVDF+PAAc). Three different gentamicin concentrations were bound to the provided active sites of the grafted mesh surfaces (2, 5 and 8 μg/mg). 75 male transgenic MMP-2/LacZ mice harbouring the LacZ reporter gene under control of MMP-2 regulatory sequence -1241/+423, excluding the RE-1 were randomized to five groups. Bilateral of the abdominal midline one of the five different meshes was implanted subcutaneously in each animal. MMP-2 gene transcription (anti-ß-galactosidase staining) and MMP-2 protein expression (anti-MMP-2 staining) were analyzed semiquantitatively by immunohistochemistry 7, 21 and 90 days after mesh implantation. The collagen type I/III ratio was analyzed by cross polarization microscopy to determine the quality of mesh integration.
Results
The perifilamentary ß-galactosidase expression as well as the collagen type I/III ratio increased up to the 90th day for all mesh modifications, whereas no significant changes could be observed for MMP-2 protein expression between days 21 and 90. Both the 5 and 8 μg/mg gentamicin group showed significantly reduced levels of ß-galactosidase expression and MMP-2 positive stained cells when compared to the PVDF group on day 7, 21 and 90 respectively (5 μg/mg: p < 0.05 each; 8 μg/mg: p < 0.05 each). Though the type I/III collagen ratio increased over time for all mesh modifications significant differences to the PVDF mesh were only detected for the 8 μg/mg group at all 3 time points (p < 0.05 each).
Conclusions
Our current data indicate that lack of RE-1 is correlated with increased mesh induced MMP-2-gene expression for coated as well as for non-coated mesh materials. Gentamicin coating reduced MMP-2 transcription and protein expression. For the 8 μg/mg group this effect is associated with an increased type I/III collagen ratio. These findings suggest that gentamicin is beneficial for tissue integration after mesh implantation, which possibly is mediated via RE-1.
doi:10.1186/1471-2482-12-1
PMCID: PMC3296653  PMID: 22244356
mesh; gentamicin; PVDF; matrix metalloproteinase 2; wound healing
5.  Severe gastric variceal haemorrhage due to splenic artery thrombosis and consecutive arterial bypass 
BMC Surgery  2011;11:14.
Background
Upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage is mainly caused by ulcers. Gastric varicosis due to portal hypertension can also be held responsible for upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Portal hypertension causes the development of a collateral circulation from the portal to the caval venous system resulting in development of oesophageal and gastric fundus varices. Those may also be held responsible for upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage.
Case presentation
In this study, we describe the case of a 69-year-old male with recurrent severe upper gastrointestinal bleeding caused by arterial submucosal collaterals due to idiopathic splenic artery thrombosis. The diagnosis was secured using endoscopic duplex ultrasound and angiography. The patient was successfully treated with a laparoscopic splenectomy and complete dissection of the short gastric arteries, resulting in the collapse of the submucosal arteries in the gastric wall. Follow-up gastroscopy was performed on the 12th postoperative week and showed no signs of bleeding and a significant reduction in the arterial blood flow within the gastric wall. Subsequent follow-up after 6 months also showed no further gastrointestinal bleeding as well as subjective good quality of life for the patient.
Conclusion
Submucosal arterial collaterals must be excluded by endosonography via endoscopy in case of recurrent upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Laparoscopic splenectomy provides adequate treatment in preventing any recurrent bleeding, if gastric arterial collaterals are caused by splenic artery thrombosis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2482-11-14
PMCID: PMC3142481  PMID: 21711534
Splenic artery thrombosis; upper gastrointestinal bleeding; laparoscopy; splenectomy; duplex ultra sound

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