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1.  Prosthetic metal implants and airport metal detectors 
Metal detectors have been present in airports and points of departure for some time. With the introduction of heightened security measures in response to fears of an increased threat of terrorism, they may become more prevalent in other public locations. The aim of this study was to ascertain which prosthetic devices activated metal detector devices used for security purposes.
A range of prosthetic devices used commonly in orthopaedic and plastic surgery procedures were passed through an arch metal detector at Birmingham Airport in the UK. Additionally, each item was passed under a wand detector. Items tested included expandable breast prostheses, plates used in wrist and hand surgery, screws, K-wires, Autosuture™ ligation clips and staples.
No prostheses were detected by the arch detector. The expandable implants and wrist plates were the only devices detected by passing the wand directly over them. No device was detected by the wand when it was under cover of the axillary soft tissue. Screws, K-wires, Autosuture™ clips and staples were not detected under any of the study conditions.
Although unlikely to trigger a detector, it is possible that an expandable breast prosthesis or larger plate may do so. It is therefore best to warn patients of this so they can anticipate detection and further examination.
PMCID: PMC4165247  PMID: 23827294
Hand implants; Breast implants; Metal detector; Detection
2.  Entonox® inhalation to reduce pain in common diagnostic and therapeutic outpatient urological procedures: a review of the evidence 
Entonox® (50% nitrous oxide and 50% oxygen; BOC Healthcare, Manchester, UK) is an analgesic and anxiolytic agent that is used to successfully reduce pain and anxiety during dental, paediatric and emergency department procedures. In this article we review the application and efficacy of Entonox® in painful local anaesthesia urological procedures by performing a systematic review of the literature.
A MEDLINE® search was performed using the terms ‘nitrous oxide’, ‘Entonox’, ‘prostate biopsy’, ‘flexible cystoscopy’ and ‘extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy’. English language publications of randomised studies were identified and reviewed.
The search yielded five randomised studies that investigated the clinical efficacy of Entonox® as an analgesic for day case urological procedures. Three randomised controlled trials (RCTs) investigated Entonox® in transrectal ultrasonography guided prostate biopsy. All three reported significant reductions in pain score in the Entonox® versus control groups. One RCT reported significant reduction in pain during male flexible cystoscopy in the Entonox® group compared with the control group. One RCT, which examined the use of Entonox® during extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, found its use significantly decreased the pain score compared with the control group and this was comparable to intravenous pethidine.
Evidence from varied adult and paediatric procedures has shown Entonox® to be an effective, safe and patient acceptable form of analgesia. All published studies of its use in urological day case procedures have found it to significantly reduce procedural pain. There is huge potential to use this cheap, safe, effective analgesic in our current practice.
PMCID: PMC3954179  PMID: 22524905
Urology; Analgesia; Pain
3.  How safe is diathermy in patients with cochlear implants? 
Cochlear implants are surgically inserted electrical devices that enable severely or profoundly deaf individuals to interpret sounds from their environment and communicate more effectively. As a result of their electrical nature, they are susceptible to electromagnetic interference and can be damaged by excessive electrical energy. Surgical diathermy is one source of such potentially damaging energy. The British Cochlear Implant Group guidelines advise that monopolar diathermy should not be used in the head and neck region in patients with cochlear implants and that bipolar diathermy should not be used within 2cm of the implant (
A questionnaire was provided to 36 surgeons working in different specialties in the head and neck region, inquiring as to their knowledge of the safety considerations when using diathermy in cochlear implant patients. Thirty-five surgeons provided responses.
Overall, 77% of the respondents were unaware of the existence of published guidelines. Even when given an option to seek advice, 11% erroneously felt it was safe to use monopolar diathermy above the clavicles with a cochlear implant in situ and 49% felt that there was no restriction on the use of bipolar diathermy.
There is a significant deficit in the knowledge of safe operating practice in the rapidly expanding population of patients with cochlear implants which threatens patient safety. Through this publication we aim to increase awareness of these guidelines among members of the surgical community and this paper is intended to act as a point of reference to link through to the published safety guidelines.
PMCID: PMC3954286  PMID: 23131230
Cochlear implants; Electrocoagulation; Electrosurgery; Equipment failure
4.  ‘An interventional urology list’ – a novel concept for UK urological services 
Almost all patients in the UK with obstructed and/or infected kidneys are referred to interventional radiology for percutaneous nephrostomy and/or placement of an anterograde JJ stent. Although this ‘tradition’ is going strong in the UK, urologists throughout the world have evolved their practice to encompass such interventional procedures in their remit. We have set up a local anaesthetic list ‘interventional urology list’ in our ESWL suite. We present our 4-year experience and discuss the benefits that this interventional list brings to our patients, our trainees, our interventional radiology colleagues and to the hospital trust.
From May 2005 to May 2009, we have been running this list, twice-weekly, performing procedures such as nephrostomies, anterograde stents, nephrostograms and stent exchanges all under local anaesthetic.
A total of 580 procedures have been carried out on this list over this period. Our success rate for nephrostomy insertion is 96% with three failures, as a result of patient discomfort. No major complications and three minor complications were reported. We had four failed anterograde stenting procedures (out of 80). All other procedures including nephrostograms, stent exchanges/removals/insertions, as well as renal cyst aspiration and sclerotisation were successfully carried out.
Our results of percutaneous nephrostomy and antegrade stenting are favourable when compared with published data on nephrostomies. This novel set up has resulted in several improvements to the service we offer patients and also provided significant improvement in training for our residents. We encourage other departments to try and develop this type of ‘interventional urology list’.
PMCID: PMC3293267  PMID: 20977835
Interventional list; Urology; Percutaneous nephrostomy
5.  Reservations 
PMCID: PMC2749430  PMID: 19416596
6.  Spontaneously arising superficial temporal artery aneurysms: a report of two cases and review of the literature. 
The majority of superficial temporal artery (STA) aneurysms are due to trauma and are, in reality, false aneurysms. However, true STA aneurysms are extremely rare. Here, we present two cases of spontaneous superficial temporal artery aneurysms arising without any previous history of trauma.
PMCID: PMC1964271  PMID: 16749964
7.  Formalin dab for haemorrhagic radiation proctitis. 
BACKGROUND: Haemorrhagic radiation proctitis frequently presents as a problem in management. We analysed the technique of formalin dab in its management. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty patients presenting with haemorrhagic radiation proctitis and treated with formalin dab were prospectively analysed. RESULTS: Twelve patients ceased to bleed following one session of formnalin dab. Six patients needed more than one session to effect haemostasis. Two of three patients with torrential bleeding failed to respond to formalin dab and required surgical excision of the rectum. CONCLUSION: Formalin dab is a simple, effective and safe treatment modality in the management of chronic haemorrhagic radiation proctitis, and hence should be considered as the initial treatment modality for such a condition.
PMCID: PMC2504229  PMID: 12215030

Results 1-8 (8)