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1.  Emergency treatment of complicated incisional hernias: a case study 
The emergency treatment of incisional hernias is infrequent but it can be complicated with strangulation or obstruction and in some cases the surgical approach may also include an intestinal resection with the possibility of peritoneal contamination. Our study aims at reporting our experience in the emergency treatment of complicated incisional hernias.
Since January 1999 till July 2008, 89 patients (55 males and 34 females) were treated for complicated incisional hernias in emergency. The patients were divided in two groups: Group I consisting of 33 patients that were treated with prosthesis apposition and Group II, consisting of 56 patients that were treated by performing a direct abdominal wall muscles suture.
All the patients underwent a 6-month follow up; we noticed 9 recurrences (9/56, 16%) in the patients treated with direct abdominal wall muscles suture and 1 recurrence (1/33, 3%) in the group of patients treated with the prosthesis apposition.
According to our experience, the emergency treatment of complicated incisional hernias through prosthesis apposition is always feasible and ensures less post-operative complications (16% vs 21,2%) and recurrences (3% vs 16%) compared to the patients treated with direct muscular suture.
PMCID: PMC2803163  PMID: 20017950
2.  Fibrin glue in the treatment of anal fistula: a systematic review 
New sphincter-saving approaches have been applied in the treatment of perianal fistula in order to avoid the risk of fecal incontinence. Among them, the fibrin glue technique is popular because of its simplicity and repeatability. The aim of this review is to compare the fibrin glue application to surgery alone, considering the healing and complication rates.
We performed a systematic review searching for published randomized and controlled clinical trials without any language restriction by using electronic databases. All these studies were assessed as to whether they compared conventional surgical treatment versus fibrin glue treatment in patients with anal fistulas, in order to establish both the efficacy and safety of each treatment. We used Review Manager 5 to conduct the review.
The healing rate is higher in those patients who underwent the conventional surgical treatment (P = 0,68), although the treatment with fibrin glue gives no evidence of anal incontinence (P = 0,08). Furthermore two subgroup analyses were performed: fibrin glue in combination with intra-adhesive antibiotics versus fibrin glue alone and anal fistula plug versus fibrin glue. In the first subgroup there were not differences in healing (P = 0,65). Whereas in the second subgroup analysis the healing rate is statistically significant for the patients who underwent the anal fistula plug treatment instead of the fibrin glue treatment (P = 0,02).
In literature there are only two randomized controlled trials comparing the conventional surgical management versus the fibrin glue treatment in patients with anal fistulas. Although from our statistical analysis we cannot find any statistically significant result, the healing rate remains higher in patients who underwent the conventional surgical treatment (P = 0,68), and the anal incontinence rate is very low in the fibrin glue treatment group (P = 0,08). Anyway the limited collected data do not support the use of fibrin glue. Moreover, in our subgroup analysis the use of fibrin glue in combination with intra-adhesive antibiotics does not improve the healing rate (P = 0.65), whereas the anal fistula plug treatment compared to the fibrin glue treatment shows good results (P = 0,02), although the poor number of patients treated does not lead to any statistically evident conclusion. This systematic review underlines the need of new RCTs upon this issue.
PMCID: PMC2784785  PMID: 19912660
3.  Virtual colonoscopy in stenosing colorectal cancer 
Between 5 and 10% of the patients undergoing a colonoscopy cannot have a complete procedure mainly due to stenosing neoplastic lesion of rectum or distal colon. Nevertheless the elective surgical treatment concerning the stenosis is to be performed after the pre-operative assessment of the colonic segments upstream the cancer.
The aim of this study is to illustrate our experience with the Computed Tomographic Colonography (CTC) for the pre-operative assessment of the entire colon in the patients with stenosing colorectal cancers.
From January 2005 till March 2009, we observed and treated surgically 43 patients with stenosing colorectal neoplastic lesions. All patients did not tolerate the pre-operative colonoscopy. For this reason they underwent a pre-operative CTC in order to have a complete assessment of the entire colon. All patients underwent a follow-up colonoscopy 3 months after the surgical treatment. The CTC results were compared with both macroscopic examination of the specimen and the follow-up coloscopy.
The pre-operative CTC showed four synchronous lesions in four patients (9.3% of the cases). The macroscopic examination of the specimen revealed three small sessile polyps (3 - 4 mm in diameter) missed in the pre-operative assessment near the stenosing colorectal cancer. The follow-up colonoscopy showed four additional sessile polyps with a diameter between 3 - 11 mm in three patients.
Our experience shows that CTC has a sensitivity of 83,7%.
In patients with stenosing colonic lesions, CTC allows to assess the entire colon pre-operatively avoiding the need of an intraoperative colonoscopy. More synchronous lesions are detected and treated at the time of the elective surgery for the stenosing cancer avoiding further surgery later on.
PMCID: PMC2777911  PMID: 19900286
4.  Antibiotic prophylaxis in thyroid surgery: a preliminary multicentric italian experience 
Post-operatory wound infections are a very uncommon finding after thyroidectomy. For these reasons international guidelines do not routinely recommend systemic antibiotic prophylaxis.
The benefits of this antibiotic prophylaxis is not supported by clinical evidence in the literature. We have conducted a multicentric randomized double-blind trial on 500 patients who had undergone thyroidectomy for goitre or thyroid carcinoma. The 500 patients enrolled in the study (mean age 47 years) were randomized in two subgroups of 250 patients. 250 patients were treated with standard antibiotic prophylaxis with sulbactam/ampicillin 1 fl (3 gr.) 30 min before surgery. No antibiotic prophylaxis was instituted in the remainder 250 patients. Our RCT showed that prophylactic antibiotic treatment is not beneficial in patients younger than eighty years old, with no concomitant metabolic, infective and hematologic disease, with no cardiac valvulopathies, not under steroidal or immunosuppressive treatment, and not severely obese. Our study should be regarded only as a preliminary RCT, and should be followed by a study in which a larger number of patients should be enrolled so that statistically significant data can be obtained.
PMCID: PMC2731779  PMID: 19656389

Results 1-4 (4)