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1.  Perioperative blood transfusion adversely affects prognosis after resection of lung cancer: a systematic review and a meta-analysis 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:34.
It is speculated that blood transfusion may induce adverse consequences after cancer surgery due to immunosuppression. This study was intended to assess the impact of perioperative blood transfusion on the prognosis of patients who underwent lung cancer resection.
Eligible studies were identified through a computerized literature search. The pooled relative risk ratio (RR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was calculated using Review Manager 5.1 Software.
Eighteen studies with a total of 5915 participants were included for this meta-analysis. Pooled analysis showed that perioperative blood transfusion was associated with worse overall survival (RR: 1.25, 95% CI: 1.13-1.38; P <0.001) and recurrence-free survival (RR: 1.42, 95% CI: 1.20-1.67; P <0.001) in patients with resected lung cancer.
Perioperative blood transfusion appears be associated with a worse prognosis in patients undergoing lung cancer resection. These data highlight the importance of minimizing blood transfusion during surgery.
PMCID: PMC4057617  PMID: 24884867
Lung cancer; Blood transfusion; Survival; Surgery; Meta-analysis
2.  Mesh Or Patch for Hernia on Epigastric and Umbilical Sites (MORPHEUS trial): study protocol for a multi-centre patient blinded randomized controlled trial 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:33.
Evidence is accumulating that, similar to other ventral hernias, umbilical and epigastric hernias must be mesh repaired. The difficulties involved in mesh placement and in mesh-related complications could be the reason many small abdominal hernias are still primary closed. In laparoscopic repair, a mesh is placed intraperitoneally, while the most common procedure is open surgery is pre-peritoneal mesh placement. A recently developed alternative method is the so-called patch repair, in this approach a mesh can be placed intraperitoneally through open surgery. In theory, such patches are particularly suitable for small hernias due to a reduction in the required dissection. This simple procedure is described in several studies. It is still unclear whether this new approach is associated with an equal risk of recurrence and complications compared with pre-peritoneal meshes. The material of the patch is in direct contact with intra-abdominal organs, it is unknown if this leads to more complications. On the other hand, the smaller dissection in the pre-peritoneal plane may lead to a reduction in wound complications.
346 patients suffering from an umbilical or epigastric hernia will be included in a multi-centre patient-blinded trial, comparing mesh repair with patch repair. Randomisation will take place for the two operation techniques. The two devices investigated are a flat pre-peritoneal mesh and a Proceed Ventral Patch®. Stratification will occur per centre. Post-operative evaluation will take place after 1, 3, 12 and 24 months. The number of complications requiring treatment is the primary endpoint. Secondary endpoints are Verbal Descriptor Scale (VDS) pain score and VDS cosmetic score, operation duration, recurrence and costs. An intention to treat analysis will be performed.
This trial is one of the first in its kind, to compare different mesh devices in a randomized controlled setting. The results will help to evaluate mesh repair for epigastric an umbilical hernia, and find a surgical method that minimizes the complication rate.
Trial registration
Netherlands Trail Registration (NTR) 2010 NTR2514 NL33995.060.10
PMCID: PMC4042133  PMID: 24884770
Umbilical; Epigastric; Hernia; Herniorraphy; Mesh repair; Proceed Ventral Patch; Complications; Pain; Recurrence; Costs
3.  Bipolar radiofrequency ablation is useful for treating atrial fibrillation combined with heart valve diseases 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:32.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common arrhymia, and it results in increased risk of thromboembolism and decreased cardiac function. In patients undergoing cardiac surgery, concomitant radiofrequency ablation to treat AF is effective in restoring sinus rhythm (SR). This study is an observational cohort study aimed to investigate the safety and efficacy of bipolar radiofrequency ablation (BRFA) for treating AF combined with heart valve diseases.
Clinical data were analyzed retrospectively from 324 cases of rheumatic heart disease combined with persistent AF patients who underwent valve replacement concomitant BRFA. The modified left atrial and the simplified right atrial ablation were used for AF treatments. Of the 324 patients, 248 patients underwent mitral valve replacement and 76 patients underwent double valve replacement. Meanwhile, 54 patients underwent concomitant thrombectomy and 97 underwent tricuspid valvuloplasty. And all of them received temporary pacemaker implantation. The 24 hours holter electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring and echocardiography was performed before the operation, on the first day after operation, on discharge day, and at 6 and 12 months after operation.
There were 299 patients with SR on the first day after operation (92.30%), 12 patients with junctional rhythm (3.70%), 11 patients with AF (3.39%), and 2 patients with atrial flutter (0.62%). The temporary pacemaker was used in 213 patients (65.74%) with heart rates less than 70 beat/minute in the ICU. Two patients died early and the mortality rate was 0.62%. Two patients had left ventricular rupture and the occurrence rate was 0.62%. They both recovered. There was no degree III atrioventricular blockage and no permanent pacemaker implantation. Overall survival rate was 99.38% (322 cases) with SR conversion rate of 89.13% (287 cases) at discharge. The SR conversion rate was 87.54% and 87.01% at 6 and 12 months after operation. Sinus bradycardia occurred in 3.42% of patients at 6 months after operation and in 3.03% of patients at 12 months after operation. Echocardiography showed that the left atrial diameter was significantly decreased, and ejection fraction and fractional shortening were significantly improved.
BRFA for treating AF in concomitant valve replacement is safe and with good efficacy.
PMCID: PMC4039985  PMID: 24884667
Radiofrequency ablation; Bipolar; Atrial fibrillation
4.  Effect of occipitocervical fusion with screw-rod system for upper cervical spine tumor 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:30.
Craniospinal junction tumors are rare but severe lesions. Surgical stabilization has been established to be an ideal treatment for upper cervical tumor pathology. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a screw-rod system for occipitocervical fusion.
A total of 24 cases with C1 and C2 cervical tumor underwent occipitocervical fusion with Vertex screw-rod internal fixation from January 2005 to December 2012. Preoperative X-ray and MRI examinations were performed on all patients before the operation, after the operation, and during last follow-up. The JOA score was used to assess neurological function pre and postoperatively.
All the patients were followed up for 6 to 42 months with an average of 24 months. The result of X-ray showed that bony fusion was successful in 18 patients at 3 months and 6 patients at 6 months of follow-ups. There was no deterioration of spinal cord injury. The JOA Scores of neurological function increased significantly.
The screw-rod system offers strong fixation and good fusion for occipitocervical fusion. It is an effective and reliable method for reconstruction of upper cervical spine tumor.
PMCID: PMC4032630  PMID: 24884456
Occipitocervical fusion; Upper cervical spine; Tumor; Reconstruction
5.  Long term follow up and retrospective study on 533 gastric cancer cases 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:29.
Gastric cancer (GC) is the third leading cause of cancer death in China and the outcome of GC patients is poor. The aim of the research is to study the prognostic factors of gastric cancer patients who had curative intent or palliative resection, completed clinical database and follow-up.
This retrospective study analyzed 533 GC patients from three tertiary referral teaching hospitals from January 2004 to December 2010 who had curative intent or palliative resection, complete clinical database and follow-up information. The GC-specific overall survival (OS) status was determined by the Kaplan-Meier method, and univariate analysis was conducted to identify possible factors for survival. Multivariate analysis using the Cox proportional hazard model and a forward regression procedure was conducted to define independent prognostic factors.
By the last follow-up, the median follow-up time of 533 GC patients was 38.6 mo (range 6.9-100.9 mo), and the median GC-specific OS was 25.3 mo (95% CI: 23.1-27.4 mo). The estimated 1-, 2-, 3- and 5-year GC-specific OS rates were 78.4%, 61.4%, 53.3% and 48.4%, respectively. Univariate analysis identified the following prognostic factors: hospital, age, gender, cancer site, surgery type, resection type, other organ resection, HIPEC, LN status, tumor invasion, distant metastases, TNM stage, postoperative SAE, systemic chemotherapy and IP chemotherapy. In multivariate analysis, seven factors were identified as independent prognostic factors for long term survival, including resection type, HIPEC, LN status, tumor invasion, distant metastases, postoperative SAE and systemic chemotherapy.
Resection type, HIPEC, postoperative SAE and systemic chemotherapy are four independent prognostic factors that could be intervened for GC patients for improving survival.
PMCID: PMC4037426  PMID: 24886548
Gastric cancer; GC-specific overall survival; Prognosis; Multivariate analysis; Clinical pathological factors
6.  Pain relief from combined wound and intraperitoneal local anesthesia for patients who undergo laparoscopic cholecystectomy 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:28.
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) has become the treatment of choice for gallbladder lesions, but it is not a pain-free procedure. This study explored the pain relief provided by combined wound and intraperitoneal local anesthetic use for patients who are undergoing LC.
Two-hundred and twenty consecutive patients undergoing LC were categorized into 1 of the following 4 groups: local wound anesthetic after LC either with an intraperitoneal local anesthetic (W + P) (group 1) or without an intraperitoneal local anesthetic (W + NP) (group 2), or no local wound anesthetic after LC either with intraperitoneal local anesthetic (NW + P) (group 3) or without an intraperitoneal local anesthetic (NW + NP) (group 4). A visual analog scale (VAS) was used to assess postoperative pain. The amount of analgesic used and the duration of hospital stay were also recorded.
The VAS was significantly lower immediately after LC for the W + P group than for the NW + NP group (5 vs. 6; p = 0.012). Patients in the W + P group received a lower total amount of meperidine during their hospital stay. They also had the shortest hospital stay after LC, compared to the patients in the other groups.
Combined wound and intraperitoneal local anesthetic use after LC significantly decreased the immediate postoperative pain and may explain the reduced use of meperidine and earlier discharge of patients so treated.
PMCID: PMC4026815  PMID: 24886449
7.  Totally implantable venous access devices: retrospective analysis of different insertion techniques and predictors of complications in 796 devices implanted in a single institution 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:27.
The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of totally implanted vascular devices (TIVAD) using different techniques of insertion.
We performed a retrospective study using a prospective collected database of 796 consecutive oncological patients in which TIVADs were inserted. We focused on early and late complications following different insertion techniques (surgical cutdown, blind and ultrasound guided percutaneous) according to different techniques.
Ultrasound guided technique was used in 646 cases, cephalic vein cutdown in 102 patients and percutaneous blind technique in 48 patients. The overall complication rate on insertion was 7.2% (57 of 796 cases). Early complications were less frequent using the ultrasound guided technique: arterial puncture (p = 0.009), technical failure (p = 0.009), access site change after first attempt (p = 0.002); pneumothorax occurred in 4 cases, all using the blind percutaneus technique. Late complications occurred in 49 cases (6.1%) which required TIVAD removal in 43 cases and included: sepsis (29 cases), thrombosis (3 cases), dislocation (7 cases), skin dehiscence (3 cases), and severe pain (1 case).
Ultrasound guided technique is the safest option for TIVAD insertion, with the lowest rates of immediate complications.
PMCID: PMC4024213  PMID: 24886342
Totally implantable venous access device; US guided; Chemotherapy
8.  Total parathyroidectomy with trace amounts of parathyroid tissue autotransplantation as the treatment of choice for secondary hyperparathyroidism: a single-center experience 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:26.
The aim of the study was to evaluate total parathyroidectomy with trace amounts of parathyroid tissue (30 mg) as a surgical option in secondary hyperparathyroidism (sHPT) treatment.
From January 2008 to March 2012, 47 patients underwent parathyroidectomy. Comparisons of demographic data, symptoms, and preoperative or postoperative biochemistry were made between total parathyroidectomy with trace amounts of parathyroid tissue autotransplantation group and total parathyroidectomy group.
Out of 47 cases, 45 had successful operation. 187 parathyroid glands identified at the initial operation were reported in 47 patients. 43 patients had been diagnosed with parathyroid hyperplasia, and 4 patients had a benign adenoma. After operation, pruritus, bone pain and muscle weakness disappeared, also serum PTH and serum phosphate were declined markedly as well. After discharge, two patients (in total parathyroidectomy group) were readmitted because of postoperative hypoparathyroidism. Graft-dependent recurrence was not observed in an average follow-up of 42 months.
Total parathyroidectomy with sternocleidomastoid muscle trace amounts of parathyroid tissue autotransplantation is considered to be a feasible, safe and effective surgical option for the patients with sHPT.
PMCID: PMC4021022  PMID: 24886230
Secondary hyperparathyroidism; Chronic renal failure; Total parathyroidectomy; Parathyroid hormone; Autotransplantation
9.  Abdominal wall reconstruction with components separation and mesh reinforcement in complex hernia repair 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:25.
Abdominal closure in the presence of enterocutaneous fistula, stoma or infection can be challenging. A single-surgeon’s experience of performing components separation abdominal reconstruction and reinforcement with mesh in the difficult abdomen is presented.
Medical records from patients undergoing components separation and reinforcement with hernia mesh at Royal Liverpool Hospital from 2009 to 2012 were reviewed. Patients were classified by the Ventral Hernia Working Group (VHWG) grading system. Co-morbidities, previous surgeries, specific type of reconstruction technique, discharge date, complications and hernia recurrence were recorded.
Twenty-three patients’ (15 males, 8 females) notes were reviewed. Median age was 57 years (range 20-76 years). Median follow-up at the time of review was 17 months (range 2-48 months). There were 13 grade III hernias and 10 grade IV hernias identified. Synthetic mesh was placed to reinforce the abdomen in 6 patients, cross-linked porcine dermis was used in 3, and a Biodesign® Hernia Graft was placed in 14. Complications included wound infection (13%), superficial wound dehiscence (22%), seroma formation (22%) and stoma complications (9%). To date, hernias have recurred in 3 patients (13%).
Components separation and reinforcement with biological mesh is a successful technique in the grade III and IV abdomen with acceptable rate of recurrence and complications.
PMCID: PMC4009060  PMID: 24886111
Hernia; Contamination; Infection; Components separation; Biologic graft; Mesh; Reinforcement
10.  An outcome prediction model for exsanguinating patients with blunt abdominal trauma after damage control laparotomy: a retrospective study 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:24.
We present a series of patients with blunt abdominal trauma who underwent damage control laparotomy (DCL) and introduce a nomogram that we created to predict survival among these patients.
This was a retrospective study. From January 2002 to June 2012, 91 patients underwent DCL for hemorrhagic shock. We excluded patients with the following characteristics: a penetrating abdominal injury, age younger than 18 or older than 65 years, a severe or life-threatening brain injury (Abbreviated Injury Scale [AIS] ≥ 4), emergency department (ED) arrival more than 6 hours after injury, pregnancy, end-stage renal disease, or cirrhosis. In addition, we excluded patients who underwent DCL after ICU admission or later in the course of hospitalization.
The overall mortality rate was 61.5%: 35 patients survived and 56 died. We identified independent survival predictors, which included a preoperative Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score < 8 and a base excess (BE) value < -13.9 mEq/L. We created a nomogram for outcome prediction that included four variables: preoperative GCS, initial BE, preoperative diastolic pressure, and preoperative cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation (CPCR).
DCL is a life-saving procedure performed in critical patients, and devastating clinical outcomes can be expected under such dire circumstances as blunt abdominal trauma with exsanguination. The nomogram presented here may provide ED physicians and trauma surgeons with a tool for early stratification and risk evaluation in critical, exsanguinating patients.
PMCID: PMC4009036  PMID: 24775970
Blunt abdominal trauma; Damage control laparotomy; Damage control surgery
11.  Infliximab’s influence on anastomotic strength and degree of inflammation in intestinal surgery in a rabbit model 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:23.
Infliximab, a TNF-α inhibitor, is a potent anti-inflammatory drug in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases. Recent studies have investigated the effect of infliximab treatment on postoperative complications such as anastomotic leakage, however, with conflicting results and conclusions. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether a single dose infliximab has an adverse effect on the anastomotic healing process, observed as reduced anastomotic breaking strength and histopathologically verified lower grade of inflammatory response, in the small intestine of a rabbit.
Thirty New Zealand rabbits (median weight 2.5 kg) were allocated to treatment with an intravenous bolus of either 10 mg/kg infliximab (n = 15) or placebo (n = 15). One week later all rabbits underwent two separate end-to-end anastomoses in the jejunum under general anesthesia. At postoperative day three, the anastomotic breaking strength was determined and histopathological changes were examined.
The mean value of anastomotic breaking strength in the placebo group was 1.89 ± 0.36 N and the corresponding value was 1.81 ± 0.33 N in the infliximab treated rabbits. There was no statistically significant difference between the groups (p = 0.51). The infliximab-treated rabbits had a significant lower degree of inflammatory infiltration response compared to the placebo group (p = 0.047).
Our conclusion, limited by the small sample sizes in both groups, is that a single dose of infliximab, given one week prior to surgery, does not have an impact on the anastomotic breaking strength on the third postoperative day in the small intestine of rabbits.
PMCID: PMC4017771  PMID: 24762063
Infliximab; Intestinal anastomosis; Rabbits; Tensile strength; Wound healing
12.  Pylorus preserving loop duodeno-enterostomy with sleeve gastrectomy - preliminary results 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:20.
Bariatric operations mostly combine a restrictive gastric component with a rerouting of the intestinal passage. The pylorus can thereby be alternatively preserved or excluded. With the aim of performing a “pylorus-preserving gastric bypass”, we present early results of a proximal postpyloric loop duodeno-jejunostomy associated with a sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) compared to results of a parallel, but distal LSG with a loop duodeno-ileostomy as a two-step procedure.
16 patients underwent either a two-step LSG with a distal loop duodeno-ileostomy (DIOS) as revisional bariatric surgery or a combined single step operation with a proximal duodeno-jejunostomy (DJOS). Total small intestinal length was determined to account for inter-individual differences.
Mean operative time for the second-step of the DIOS operation was 121 min and 147 min for the combined DJOS operation. The overall intestinal length was 750.8 cm (range 600-900 cm) with a bypassed limb length of 235.7 cm in DJOS patients. The mean length of the common channel in DIOS patients measured 245.6 cm. Overall excess weight loss (%EWL) of the two-step DIOS procedure came to 38.31% and 49.60%, DJOS patients experienced an %EWL of 19.75% and 46.53% at 1 and 6 months, resp. No complication related to the duodeno-enterostomy occurred.
Loop duodeno-enterosomies with sleeve gastrectomy can be safely performed and may open new alternatives in bariatric surgery with the possibility for inter-individual adaptation.
PMCID: PMC3994519  PMID: 24725654
13.  Bony destructive injuries of the calcaneus: long-term results of a minimally invasive procedure followed by early functional exercise: a retrospective study 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:19.
Bony destructive injury of the calcaneus (BDIC) represents one of the most severe comminuted fractures of the calcaneus in which soft tissue coverage remains intact. The features of this injury include a collapsed articular surface, significant widening, severe loss of height and an unrecognisable outline of the calcaneus. This study aims to present the long-term outcomes of BDIC treated in a minimally invasive fashion followed by supervised early exercise.
Twelve patients with unilateral BDICs were treated at our institution. The main surgical procedures included percutaneous traction and leverage reduction and internal compression fixation with anatomic plates and compression bolts. Early functional exercise was encouraged to mould the subtalar joint. The height, length and width of the calcaneus; Böhler’s and Gissane’s angles; reduction of the articular surfaces; and functional recovery of the affected feet were assessed.
The height, length and width of the calcaneus were substantially restored. The mean Böhler’s and Gissane’s angles of the affected calcaneus were 24.5 and 122.8 degrees, respectively. Five patients regained anatomical or nearly anatomical reduction of their posterior facets. Residual articular displacement of more than 3 mm was noted in three patients. Patients were followed for a mean of 93.9 months. The mean American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society score was 83.8. Nine patients showed excellent or good results. Radiographic evidence of post-traumatic subtalar arthritis was observed in four cases. However, no subtalar arthrodesis was required.
BDICs can be treated effectively with percutaneous reduction and internal compression fixation followed by early active exercise. This protocol resulted in satisfactory radiological and functional outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4021046  PMID: 24725606
Calcaneal fracture; Bony destructive injury; Internal compression fixation; Percutaneous leverage; Early exercise
14.  Use of human fibrin glue (Tisseel) versus staples for mesh fixation in laparoscopic transabdominal preperitoneal hernioplasty (TISTA): a randomized controlled trial (NCT01641718) 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:18.
Inguinal hernia repair is one of the most common surgical procedures worldwide. This procedure is increasingly performed with endoscopic techniques (laparoscopy). Many surgeons prefer to cover the hernia gap with a mesh to prevent recurrence. The mesh must be fixed tightly, but without tension. During laparoscopic surgery, the mesh is generally fixed with staples or tissue glue. However, staples often cause pain at the staple sites, and they can cause scarring of the abdominal wall, which can lead to chronic pain. We designed a trial that aims to determine whether mesh fixation with glue might cause less postoperative pain than fixation with staples during a transabdominal preperitoneal patch plastic repair.
The TISTA trial is a prospective, randomized, controlled, single-center trial with a two-by-two parallel design. All patients and outcome-assessors will be blinded to treatment allocations. For eligibility, patients must be male, ≥18 years old, and scheduled for laparoscopic repair of a primary inguinal hernia. One group comprises patients with a unilateral inguinal hernia that will be randomized to receive mesh fixation with either tissue glue or staples. The second group comprises patients with bilateral inguinal hernias. They will be randomized to receive mesh fixation with tissue glue either on the right or the left side and with staples on the other side. The primary endpoint will be pain under physical stress, measured at 24 h after surgery. Pain will be rated by the patient based on a numeric rating scale from 0 to 10, where 10 equals the worst pain imaginable. A total of 82 patients will be recruited (58 patients with unilateral inguinal hernias and 24 patients with bilateral hernias). This number is estimated to provide 90% power for detecting a pain reduction of one point on a numeric rating scale, with a standard deviation of one.
Patients with bilateral hernias will receive two meshes, one fixed with glue, and the other fixed with staples. This design will eliminate the inter-individual bias inherent in comparing pain measurements between two groups of patients.
Trial registration NCT01641718
PMCID: PMC3994239  PMID: 24690207
Hernia repair; Fibrin glue; Staples; Mesh; Laparoscopy; Postoperative pain
15.  Longitudinal plication - a surgical strategy for complete rectal prolapse management 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:17.
Rectal prolapse is a known problem since antiquity and the cause is not fully understood. Despite the presence of more than 100 lines of treatment, none of them is ideal.
Between the years of (2005–2011), thirty patients with full-thickness rectal prolapse were operated upon. Age ranged between (2–65 years) with a mean of 21.5 year. Male to female ratio was (2:1). Each prolapsed rectum was repaired with longitudinal plication (LP) at two or three points accordingly using braded polyglycolic acid – absorbable 1.0 suture material. Plications started by inserting a stitch at the most proximal part of the prolapse, followed by successive similar transverse stiches continuing in a spiral fashion till the mucocutaneous junction. We used three LP in adults and two in children. All of the patients where operated upon as a day-case procedure and discharged 6 hours after the operation.
In this series of patients, twenty-nine of them had complete recovery from the prolapse. Only one patient had recurrence 2 years after the operation, and the same procedure was applied successfully with uneventful post-operative period. Although twenty-three patients had fecal Incontinence, twenty-one of them regained continence after operation.
This method is an easy perineal procedure, with fewer complications. It can be performed for all age groups, in an ordinary surgical unit, by an expert anorectal surgeon. We found that our procedure is simple, safe and less invasive.
PMCID: PMC3994363  PMID: 24655367
Fecal incontinence; Procidentia; Circumferential protrusion; Rectal wall; Anal sphincter complex
16.  The evaluation of a rectal cancer decision aid and the factors influencing its implementation in clinical practice 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:16.
Colorectal cancer is common in North America. Two surgical options exist for rectal cancer patients: low anterior resection with re-establishment of bowel continuity, and abdominoperineal resection with a permanent stoma. A rectal cancer decision aid was developed using the International Patient Decision Aid Standards to facilitate patients being more actively involved in making this decision with the surgeon. The overall aim of this study is to evaluate this decision aid and explore barriers and facilitators to implementing in clinical practice.
First, a pre- and post- study will be guided by the Ottawa Decision Support Framework. Eligible patients from a colorectal cancer center include: 1) adult patients diagnosed with rectal cancer, 2) tumour at a maximum of 10 cm from anal verge, and 3) surgeon screened candidates eligible to consider both low anterior resection and abdominoperineal resection. Patients will be given a paper-version and online link to the decision aid to review at home. Using validated tools, the primary outcomes will be decisional conflict and knowledge of surgical options. Secondary outcomes will be patient’s preference, values associated with options, readiness for decision-making, acceptability of the decision aid, and feasibility of its implementation in clinical practice. Proposed analysis includes paired t-test, Wilcoxon, and descriptive statistics.
Second, a survey will be conducted to identify the barriers and facilitators of using the decision aid in clinical practice. Eligible participants include Canadian surgeons working with rectal cancer patients. Surgeons will be given a pre-notification, questionnaire, and three reminders. The survey package will include the patient decision aid and a facilitators and barriers survey previously validated among physicians and nurses. Principal component analysis will be performed to determine common themes, and logistic regression will be used to identify variables associated with the intention to use the decision aid.
This study will evaluate the impact of the rectal cancer decision aid on patients and help with planning strategies to overcome barriers and facilitate implementation of the decision aid in routine clinical practice. To our knowledge this is the first study designed to evaluate a decision aid in the field of colorectal surgery.
PMCID: PMC3998110  PMID: 24655353
Rectal cancer; Surgery; Patient centered care; Decision aid; Shared decision making
17.  Outcomes and cost analysis of laparoscopic versus open appendectomy for treatment of acute appendicitis: 4-years experience in a district hospital 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:14.
Laparoscopic appendectomy is not yet unanimously considered the “gold standard” in the treatment of acute appendicitis because of its higher operative time, intra-abdominal abscess risk, and costs compared to open appendectomy. This study aimed to compare outcomes and cost of laparoscopic and open appendectomy in a district hospital.
A retrospective analysis of 230 patients who underwent appendectomy at the Division of General Surgery of the Civil Hospital of Ragusa, Italy, from May 2008 to May 2012 was performed. The variables analyzed included patients data (age, gender, previous abdominal surgery, preoperative WBC count, duration of symptoms, ASA risk score), rate of uncomplicated or complicated appendicitis, operative time, postoperative complications, length of hospital stay, and total costs. The patients were divided in two groups according to the surgical approach and compared for each variable. The results were analyzed using the t Student test for quantitative variables, and the Chi-square test with Yates correction and Fisher exact test for categorical.
Laparoscopic appendectomy was performed in 139 patients, open appendectomy in 91. Two cases (1.4%) were converted to open procedure and included in the laparoscopic group data. Patient data and rate of complicated appendicitis were similar in the two study groups. There was no statistical difference (p = 0.476) in the mean operative time between the laparoscopic (52.2 min; range, 20–155) and open appendectomy (49.3 min; range, 20–110) groups. The overall incidence of minor and major complications was significantly lower (p = 0.006) after laparoscopic appendectomy (2.9%, 4 cases) than after open appendectomy (13.2%, 12 cases); rate of intra-abdominal abscess were similar. The length of hospital stay was significantly shorter (p = 0.001) in laparoscopic group (2.75 days; range, 1–8) than in open group (3.87 days; range, 1–19). The mean total cost was 2282 Euro in laparoscopic group and 2337 Euro in open group, with a no significant difference of 55 Euro (p = 0.812).
Laparoscopic appendectomy is associated with fewer complications, shorter hospital stay, and similar operative time, intra-abdominal abscess rate, and total costs, compared with open appendectomy. Therefore, laparoscopic appendectomy can be recommended as preferred approach in acute appendicitis.
PMCID: PMC3984427  PMID: 24646120
Laparoscopic appendectomy; Open appendectomy; Costs; Complications; Intra-abdominal abscess; Operative time; Length of hospital stay
18.  Novel application of simultaneous multi-image display during complex robotic abdominal procedures 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:13.
The surgical robot offers the potential to integrate multiple views into the surgical console screen, and for the assistant’s monitors to provide real-time views of both fields of operation. This function has the potential to increase patient safety and surgical efficiency during an operation. Herein, we present a novel application of the multi-image display system for simultaneous visualization of endoscopic views during various complex robotic gastrointestinal operations.
All operations were performed using the da Vinci Surgical System (Intuitive Surgical, Sunnyvale, CA, USA) with the assistance of Tilepro, multi-input display software, during employment of the intraoperative scopes. Three robotic operations, left hepatectomy with intraoperative common bile duct exploration, low anterior resection, and radical distal subtotal gastrectomy with intracorporeal gastrojejunostomy, were performed by three different surgeons at a tertiary academic medical center.
The three complex robotic abdominal operations were successfully completed without difficulty or intraoperative complications. The use of the Tilepro to simultaneously visualize the images from the colonoscope, gastroscope, and choledochoscope made it possible to perform additional intraoperative endoscopic procedures without extra monitors or interference with the operations.
We present a novel use of the multi-input display program on the da Vinci Surgical System to facilitate the performance of intraoperative endoscopies during complex robotic operations. Our study offers another potentially beneficial application of the robotic surgery platform toward integration and simplification of combining additional procedures with complex minimally invasive operations.
PMCID: PMC4008309  PMID: 24628761
Multi-image display; Intraoperative endoscopy; Robotic surgery; Minimally invasive surgery
19.  Follicular nodules (Thy3) of the thyroid: is total thyroidectomy the best option? 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:12.
Identification of the best management strategy for nodules with Thy3 cytology presents particular problems for clinicians. This study investigates the ability of clinical, cytological and sonographic data to predict malignancy in indeterminate nodules with the scope of determining the need for total thyroidectomy in these patients.
The study population consisted of 249 cases presenting indeterminate nodules (Thy3): 198 females (79.5%) and 51 males (20.5%) with a mean age of 52.43 ± 13.68 years. All patients underwent total thyroidectomy.
Malignancy was diagnosed in 87/249 patients (34.9%); thyroiditis co-existed in 119/249 cases (47.79%) and was associated with cancer in 40 cases (40/87; 45.98%). Of the sonographic characteristics, only echogenicity and the presence of irregular margins were identified as being statistically significant predictors of malignancy. 52/162 benign lesions (32.1%) and 54/87 malignant were hypoechoic (62.07%); irregular margins were present in 13/162 benign lesions (8.02%), and in 60/87 malignant lesions (68.97%). None of the clinical or cytological features, on the other hand, including age, gender, nodule size, the presence of microcalcifications or type 3 vascularization, were significantly associated with malignancy.
The rate of malignancy in cytologically indeterminate lesions was high in the present study sample compared to other reported rates, and in a significant number of cases Hashimoto’s thyroiditis was also detected. Thus, considering the fact that clinical and cytological features were found to be inaccurate predictors of malignancy, it is our opinion that surgery should always be recommended. Moreover, total thyroidectomy is advisable, being the most suitable procedure in cases of multiple lesions, hyperplastic nodular goiter, or thyroiditis; the high incidence of malignancy and the unreliability of intraoperative frozen section examination also support this preference for total over hemi-thyroidectomy.
PMCID: PMC3946766  PMID: 24597765
Follicular neoplasm; Thyroid cancer; Thyroid; Fine needle aspiration; Cytology
20.  Intraoperative use of enriched collagen and elastin matrices with freshly isolated adipose-derived stem/stromal cells: a potential clinical approach for soft tissue reconstruction 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:10.
Adipose tissue contains a large number of multipotent cells, which are essential for stem cell-based therapies. The combination of this therapy with suitable commercial clinically used matrices, such as collagen and elastin matrices (i.e. dermal matrices), is a promising approach for soft tissue reconstruction. We previously demonstrated that the liposuction method affects the adherence behaviour of freshly isolated adipose-derived stem/stromal cells (ASCs) on collagen and elastin matrices. However, it remains unclear whether freshly isolated and uncultured ASCs could be directly transferred to matrices during a single transplantation operation without additional cell culture steps.
After each fat harvesting procedure, ASCs were isolated and directly seeded onto collagen and elastin matrices. Different time intervals (i.e. 1, 3 and 24 h) were investigated to determine the time interval needed for cellular attachment to the collagen and elastin matrices. Resazurin-based vitality assays were performed after seeding the cells onto the collagen and elastin matrices. In addition, the adhesion and migration of ASCs on the collagen and elastin matrices were visualised using histology and two-photon microscopy.
A time-dependent increase in the number of viable ASCs attached to the collagen and elastin matrices was observed. This finding was supported by mitochondrial activity and histology results. Importantly, the ASCs attached and adhered to the collagen and elastin matrices after only 1 h of ex vivo enrichment. This finding was also supported by two-photon microscopy, which revealed the presence and attachment of viable cells on the upper layer of the construct.
Freshly isolated uncultured ASCs can be safely seeded onto collagen and elastin matrices for ex vivo cellular enrichment of these constructs after liposuction. Although we observed a significant number of seeded cells on the matrices after a 3-h enrichment time, we also observed an adequate number of isolated cells after a 1-h enrichment time. However, this approach must be optimised for clinical use. Thus, in vivo studies and clinical trials are needed to investigate the feasibility of this approach.
PMCID: PMC3936703  PMID: 24555437
Adipose tissue-derived stem/stromal cells; Stromal vascular fraction; Liposuction; Fat grafting; Biomaterials; Collagen-based scaffolds; Regeneration and tissue engineering
21.  Lynch Syndrome from a surgeon perspective: retrospective study of clinical impact of mismatch repair protein expression analysis in colorectal cancer patients less than 50 years old 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:9.
In clinical practice, unexpected diagnosis of colorectal cancer in young patients requires prompt surgery, thus genetic testing for Lynch Syndrome is frequently missed, and clinical management may result incorrect.
Patients younger than 50 years old undergoing colorectal resection for cancer in the period 1994-2007 were identified (Group A, 49 cases), and compared to a group of randomly selected patients more than 50 (Group B, 85 cases). In 31 group A patients, immunohistochemical expression analysis of MLH1, MSH2 and MSH6 was performed; personal and familial history of patients with defective MMR proteins expression was further investigated, searching for synchronous and metachronous tumors in probands and their families.
Fifty-one percent of patients did not express one or more MMR proteins (MMR-) and should be considered Lynch Syndrome carriers (16 patients, group A1); while only 31.2% of them were positive for Amsterdam criteria, 50% had almost another tumor, 37.5% had another colorectal tumor and 68% had relatives with colorectal tumor. This group of patients, compared with A2 group (< 50 years old, MMR+) and B group, showed typical characteristics of HNPCC, such as proximal location, mucinous histotype, poor differentiation, high stage and shorter survival.
The present study confirms that preoperative knowledge of MMR proteins expression in colorectal cancer patients would allow correct staging, more extended colonic resection, specific follow-up and familial screening.
PMCID: PMC3996083  PMID: 24533633
22.  Changes in obesity-related diseases and biochemical variables after laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy: a two-year follow-up study 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:8.
To evaluate changes in obesity-related diseases and micronutrients after laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG).
We started the procedure in May 2007, and by December 2011, 117 patients could be evaluated for a two year follow-up. Comparisons of preoperative status with 12 and 24 months postoperative status were made for body mass index (BMI), obesity-related diseases and micronutrients.
Major complications included bleeding requiring transfusion at 5.1%, leak at 1.7% and abscess without a visible leak at 0.9%. Mean BMI was reduced from 46.6 (standard deviation (SD) 6.0) kg/m2 to 30.6 (SD 5.6) kg/m2 at two years, and resolution occurred for 80.7% of patients with type 2 diabetes, 63.9% with hypertension, 75.8% with hyperlipidemia, 93.0% with sleep apnea, 31.4% with musculoskeletal pain, 85.4% with snoring and 73.3% with urinary incontinence. Amenorrhea resolved in all premenopausal females. The proportion of patients with symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux disease increased from 12.8% to 27.4%. The prevalence of patients with low ferritin-levels increased, while 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) deficiency decreased postoperatively.
LSG is an effective procedure for morbid obesity and obesity-related diseases, but the technique should be further explored particularly to avoid gastroesophageal reflux.
PMCID: PMC3923733  PMID: 24517247
Sleeve gastrectomy; Obesity; Comorbidities; Complications
23.  Effect on the tensile strength of human acellular dermis (Epiflex®) of in-vitro incubation simulating an open abdomen setting 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:7.
The use of human acellular dermis (hAD) to close open abdomen in the treatment process of severe peritonitis might be an alternative to standard care. This paper describes an investigation of the effects of fluids simulating an open abdomen environment on the biomechanical properties of Epiflex® a cell-free human dermis transplant.
hAD was incubated in Ringers solution, blood, urine, upper gastrointestinal (upper GI) secretion and a peritonitis-like bacterial solution in-vitro for 3 weeks. At day 0, 7, 14 and 21 breaking strength was measured, tensile strength was calculated and standard fluorescence microscopy was performed.
hAD incubated in all five of the five fluids showed a decrease in mean breaking strength at day 21 when compared to day 0. However, upper GI secretion was the only incubation fluid that significantly reduced the mechanical strength of Epiflex after 21days of incubation when compared to incubation in Ringer’s solution.
hAD may be a suitable material for closure of the open abdomen in the absence of upper GI leakage and pancreatic fistulae.
PMCID: PMC3916513  PMID: 24468201
Acellular dermis; Open abdomen; Breaking strength; Biologicals
24.  Impact of neoadjuvant chemotherapy with PELF-protocoll versus surgery alone in the treatment of advanced gastric carcinoma 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:5.
In a retrospective study we analyzed the impact of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (CTx) with the PELF - protocol (Cisplatin, Epirubicin, Leukovorin, 5-Fluoruracil) on mortality, recurrence and prognosis of patients with advanced gastric carcinoma, UICC stages Ib-III.
64 patients were included. 26 patients received neoadjuvant CTx followed by surgical resection, 38 received surgical resection only. Tumor staging was performed by endoscopy, endosonography, computed tomography and laparoscopy. Patients staged Ib – III received two cycles of CTx according to the PELF-protocol. Adjuvant chemotherapy was not performed at all.
Complete (CR) or partial response (PR) was seen in 20 patients (77%), 19% showing CR and 58% PR. No benefit was observed in 6 patients (23%). Two of these 6 patients displayed tumor progression during CTx. Major toxicity was defined as grade 3 to 4 neutropenia or gastrointestinal side effects. One patient died under CTx because of neutropenia and was excluded from the overall patient collective. The curative resection rate was 77% after CTx and 74% after surgery only. The perioperative morbidity rate after CTx was 39% versus 66% after resection only. Recurrence rate after CTx was 38% and 61% after surgery alone; we detected an effective reduction of locoregional recurrence (12% vs. 26%). The overall survival was 38% after CTx and 42% after resection only. The 5-year survival rates were 45% in responders, 20% in non - responders and 42% in only resected patients. A subgroup analysis indicates that responders with stage III tumors may benefit with respect to their 5-year survival in comparable patients without neoadjuvant CTx. As to be expected, non-responders with stage III tumors did not benefit with respect to their survival. The 5-year-survival was approximated using a Kaplan-Meier curve and compared using a log-rank test.
In patients with advanced gastric carcinoma, neoadjuvant CTx with the PELF- protocol significantly reduces the recurrence rate, especially locoregionally, compared to surgery alone. In our study, there was no overall survival benefit after a 5-year follow-up period. Alone a subgroup of patients with stage III tumors appear to benefit significantly in the long term from neoadjuvant CTx.
PMCID: PMC3909936  PMID: 24461063
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy; PELF; Advanced gastric cancer
25.  BMC Surgery reviewer acknowledgement 2013 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:2.
Contributing reviewers
The editors of BMC Surgery would like to thank all our reviewers who have contributed their time to the journal in Volume 13 (2013).
PMCID: PMC3893518

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