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1.  Quality of life before surgical ICU admission 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:23.
Examining the quality of life (QOL) of patients before ICU admission will allow outcome variables to be compared and analyzed in relation to it. The objective of this study was to analyze QOL of patients before admission to a surgical ICU and to study its relationship to outcome and to the baseline characteristics of the patients.
All adult patients consecutively admitted to the surgical ICU between November 2004 and April 2005, who underwent non-cardiac surgery, were enrolled in this observational and prospective study. The following patient characteristics were recorded: age, gender, body mass index, ASA physical status, type and magnitude of surgical procedure, length of stay (LOS), in ICU and in hospital, mortality, Simplified Acute Physiology Score II (SAPS), history of co-morbidities and quality of life survey score (QOLSS). The relationships between QOLSS and ICU variables and outcome were evaluated. The relationship between the total QOLSS and each variable or outcome was assessed by multiple linear regression.
One hundred eighty seven patients completed the study. The preadmission QOLSS of the patients studied was 4.43 ± 4.90; 28% of patients had a normal quality of life (0 points), 38% had between 1 and 5 points (considered mild deterioration), 21% had between 6 and 10 points (moderate deterioration), 10% had between 11 and 15 points (considered major deterioration) and 3% had more than 15 points (severe limitation of quality of life). A worse preadmission QOLSS was associated with higher SAPS II scores, with older patients (age> 65 years) and with ASA physical status (ASA III/IV). Total QOLSS was significantly worse in elderly patients and in patients with co-morbidities and in patients more severely ill at ICU admission. Patients who died in the ICU and in hospital had worse QOLSS scores compared to those who survived. However, no statistical differences in QOLSS were found in relation to longer ICU stays (ICU LOS).
Preadmission QOL correlates with age and severity of illness. Patients with co-morbidities and those who died during ICU or hospital stay had worse QOLSS scores.
PMCID: PMC2194661  PMID: 17997828
2.  Investigating the effect of intra-operative infiltration with local anaesthesia on the development of chronic postoperative pain after inguinal hernia repair. A randomized placebo controlled triple blinded and group sequential study design [NCT00484731] 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:22.
Inguinal hernia repair is one of the most frequently performed procedures in Switzerland (15'000/year). The most common complication postoperatively is development of chronic pain in up to 30% of all patients irrespective of the operative technique.
264 patients scheduled for an inguinal hernia repair using one of three procedures (Lichtenstein, Barwell and TEP = total extraperitoneal hernioplasty) are being randomly allocated intra-operatively into two groups. Group I patients receive a local injection of 20 ml Carbostesin® 0.25% at the end of the operation according to a standardised procedure. Group II patients get a 20 ml placebo (0.9% Saline) injection. We use pre-filled identically looking syringes for blinded injection, i.e. the patient, the surgeon and the examinator who performs the postoperative clinical follow-ups remain unaware of group allocation. The primary outcome of the study is the occurrence of developing chronic pain (defined as persistent pain at 3 months FU) measured by VAS and Pain Matcher® device (Cefar Medical AB, Lund, Sweden).
The study started on July 2006. In addition to a sample size re-evaluation three interim analyses are planned after 120, 180 and 240 patients had finished their 3-months follow-up to allow for early study termination.
Using a group sequential study design the minimum number of patients are enrolled to reach a valid conclusion before the end of the study.
To limit subjectivity, both a VAS and the Pain Matcher® device are used for the evaluation of pain. This allows us also to compare these two methods and further assess the use of Pain Matcher® in clinical routine.
The occurrence of chronic pain after inguinal hernia repair has been in focus of several clinical studies but the reduction of it has been rarely investigated. We hope to significantly reduce the occurrence of this complication with our investigated intervention.
Trial Registration
Our trial has been registered at The trial registration number is: [NCT00484731].
PMCID: PMC2198905  PMID: 17986324
3.  How we do it: a method of neck dissection for histopathological analysis 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:21.
Dissection of the lymphatic structures in the neck is an integral part of the management of many head and neck cancers.
We describe a technique of surgical dissection, preparing the tissue for more precise histological analysis while also reducing operative time and complexity.
When dissected, each level is excised between lymph nodes groups and put into a separate pot of formalin taking care to avoid rupture of any obvious pathological nodes.
This makes for a simpler dissection as the surgeon progresses, as a larger more cumbersome specimen is avoided and manipulation of involved nodes is actually reduced with a reduced risk of tumour spillage.
We feel that our technique provides several advantages for the histopathologist as well as the surgeon. As the dissection of the specimen into the relevant levels has already been performed, time is saved in orientating and then dissecting the specimen. Accuracy of dissection is also improved and each piece of tissue is a more manageable size for processing and analysis.
This technique may also have several surgical advantages when compared with the commonly practiced techniques e.g. with reducing in-vivo specimen manipulation, hence reducing the risk of inadvertent injury to important structures and tumour spillage.
PMCID: PMC2174433  PMID: 17973994
4.  Sphincter saving anorectoplasty (SSARP) for the reconstruction of Anorectal malformations 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:20.
This report describes a new technique of sphincter saving anorectoplasty (SSARP) for the repair of anorectal malformations (ARM).
Twenty six males with high ARM were treated with SSARP. Preoperative localization of the center of the muscle complex is facilitated using real time sonography and computed tomography. A soft guide wire is inserted under image control which serves as the route for final pull through of bowel. The operative technique consists of a subcoccygeal approach to dissect the blind rectal pouch. The separation of the rectum from the fistulous communication followed by pull through of the bowel is performed through the same incision. The skin or the levators in the midline posteriorly are not divided. Postoperative anorectal function as assessed by clinical Wingspread scoring was judged as excellent, good, fair and poor. Older patients were examined for sensations of touch, pain, heat and cold in the circumanal skin and the perineum. Electromyography (EMG) was done to assess preoperative and postoperative integrity of external anal sphincter (EAS).
The patients were separated in 2 groups. The first group, Group I (n = 10), were newborns in whom SSARP was performed as a primary procedure. The second group, Group II (n = 16), were children who underwent an initial colostomy followed by delayed SSARP. There were no operative complications. The follow up ranged from 4 months to 18 months. Group I patients have symmetric anal contraction to stimulation and strong squeeze on digital rectal examination with an average number of bowel movements per day was 3–5. In group II the rate of excellent and good scores was 81% (13/16). All patients have an appropriate size anus and regular bowel actions. There has been no rectal prolapse, or anal stricture. EAS activity and perineal proprioception were preserved postoperatively. Follow up computed tomogram showed central placement the pull through bowel in between the muscle complex.
The technique of SSARP allows safe and anatomical reconstruction in a significant proportion of patients with ARM's without the need to divide the levator plate and muscle complex. It preserves all the components contributing to superior faecal continence, and avoids the potential complications associated with the open posterior sagittal approach.
PMCID: PMC2093923  PMID: 17892560
5.  The role of surgical audit in improving patient management; nasal haemorrhage: an audit study 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:19.
Nasal bleeding remains one of the most common Head & Neck Surgical (Ear Nose and Throat [ENT]/Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery [OMFS]) emergencies resulting in hospital admission. In the majority of cases, no other intervention is required other than nasal packing, and it was felt many cases could ideally be managed at home, without further medical interference. A limited but national telephone survey of accident and emergency departments revealed that early discharge practice was identified in some rural areas and urban departments (where adverse socio-demographic factors resulted in poor patient compliance to admission or follow up), with little adverse patient sequelae. A simple nasal packing protocol was also identified.
The aim of this audit was to determine if routine nasal haemorrhage (epistaxis) can be managed at home with simple nasal packing; a retrospective and prospective audit.
Ethical committee approval was obtained. Similar practice was identified in other UK accident and emergency centres. Literature was reviewed and best practice identified. Regional consultation and feedback with regard to prospective changes and local applicability of areas of improved practice mutually agreed upon with involved providers of care.
Retrospective: The Epistaxis admissions for the previous four years during the same seven months (September to March).
Prospective: 60consecutive patients referred with a diagnosis of Nasal bleeding over a seven month time course (September to March). All patients were over 16, not pregnant and gave fully informed counselled consent.
New Guidelines for the management of nosebleeds, nasal packing protocols (with Netcel®) and discharge policy were developed at the Hospital. Training of accident and emergency and emergency ENT staff was provided together with access to adequate examination and treatment resources. Detailed patient information leaflets were piloted and developed for use.
Previously all patients requiring nasal packing were admitted. The type of nasal packing included Gauge impregnated Bismuth Iodoform Paraffin Paste, Nasal Tampon, and Vaseline gauge. Over the previous four year period (September to March) a mean of 28 patients were admitted per month, with a mean duration of in patient stay of 2.67 days.
In the prospective audit the total number of admissions was significantly reduced, by over 70%, (χ2 = 25.05, df = 6, P < 0.0001), despite no significant change in the number of monthly epistaxis referrals (χ2 = 4.99, df = 6, P < 0.0001). There was also a significant increase in the mean age of admitted patients with epistaxis (χ2 = 22.71, df = 5, P < 0.0001), the admitted patients had a mean length of stay of 2.53 days. This policy results is an estimated saved 201.39 bed days per annum resulting in an estimated annual speciality saving of over £50,000, allowing resource re-allocation to other areas of need. Furthermore, bed usage could be optimised for other emergency or elective work.
Exclusion criteria have now been expanded to exclude traumatic nasal haemorrhage. New adjunctive therapies now include direct endoscopic bipolar diathermy of bleeding points, and the judicious use of topical pro-coagulant agents applied via the nasal tampon. Expansion of the audit protocols for use in general practice.
This original audit informed clinical practice and had potential benefits for patients, clinicians, and provision of service. Systematic replication of this project, possibly on a regional and general practice basis, could result in further financial savings, which would allow development of improved patient services and delivery of care.
PMCID: PMC2034528  PMID: 17854499
6.  Cavo-portal transposition in rat: a new simple model 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:18.
Liver transplantation in presence of diffuse portal vein thrombosis is possible by using caval blood as portal inflow, through cavo-portal transposition. However, clinical results are heterogeneous and experimental studies are needed, but similar hemodynamic conditions are difficult to obtain, especially in small animals. Herein we describe a new simple model of cavo-portal transposition in rat.
Spontaneous porto-systemic shunts are induced by subcutaneous transposition of the spleen. The presence of porto-caval shunts through the spleen permits the interruption of the main portal vein without splanchnic hemodynamic consequences. Cavo-portal transposition is achieved by anastomosing the inferior vena cava and the main portal vein after division of the pancreatic-duodenal vein.
Selective angiography revealed total splanchnic blood diversion to the systemic venous circulation through the neoformed collaterals; macroscopical examination showed the absence of any signs of acute portal hypertension with normal liver and gut appearance.
This model of cavoportal transposition is simple, effective and it simulates the clinical hemodynamic condition since the porto-systemic shunts induced by splenic subcutaneous transposition correspond to the physiological inframesocolic collaterals during chronic portal thrombosis in man.
PMCID: PMC1988786  PMID: 17705819
7.  The value of routine histopathological examination of appendicectomy specimens 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:17.
Appendicectomy specimens removed from patients with suspected acute appendicitis often appear macroscopically normal but histopathological analysis of these cases may reveal a more sinister underlying pathology. We evaluated histopathological reports of 1225 appendicectomy specimens at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) over the past three years.
Histopathology reports for all appendices analysed at the NNUH between March 2003 and March 2006 were reviewed by examination of the case notes. The analysis focussed on the confirmation of acute appendicitis, incidental unexpected incidental findings other than inflammation, whether these abnormalities were suspected on gross examination at the time of surgery, and the effect on patient management and prognosis.
The histopathology reports disclosed a variety of abnormal incidental lesions. Of the 1225 specimens, 46 (3.75%) revealed abnormal diagnoses other than inflammatory changes. Twenty-four (1.96%) of these were clinically significant and affected further patient management. Only two of these (0.16%) were suspected on macroscopic examination intra-operatively.
Twenty-four of the 1225 specimens (1.96%) had an impact on patient management or outcome and were not suspected on macroscopic examination at the time of surgery. These would have been missed had the specimens not been examined microscopically. The intra-operative diagnosis of the surgeon is therefore unreliable in detecting abnormalities of the appendix. This study supports the sending of all appendicectomy specimens for routine histopathological examination.
PMCID: PMC1976308  PMID: 17692116
8.  The Sigma-trial protocol: a prospective double-blind multi-centre comparison of laparoscopic versus open elective sigmoid resection in patients with symptomatic diverticulitis 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:16.
Diverticulosis is a common disease in the western society with an incidence of 33–66%. 10–25% of these patients will develop diverticulitis. In order to prevent a high-risk acute operation it is advised to perform elective sigmoid resection after two episodes of diverticulitis in the elderly patient or after one episode in the younger (< 50 years) patient. Open sigmoid resection is still the gold standard, but laparoscopic colon resections seem to have certain advantages over open procedures. On the other hand, a double blind investigation has never been performed. The Sigma-trial is designed to evaluate the presumed advantages of laparoscopic over open sigmoid resections in patients with symptomatic diverticulitis.
Indication for elective resection is one episode of diverticulitis in patients < 50 years and two episodes in patient > 50 years or in case of progressive abdominal complaints due to strictures caused by a previous episode of diverticulits. The diagnosis is confirmed by CT-scan, barium enema and/or coloscopy.
It is required that the participating surgeons have performed at least 15 laparoscopic and open sigmoid resections. Open resection is performed by median laparotomy, laparoscopic resection is approached by 4 or 5 cannula. Sigmoid and colon which contain serosal changes or induration are removed and a tension free anastomosis is created. After completion of either surgical procedure an opaque dressing will be used, covering from 10 cm above the umbilicus to the pubic bone. Surgery details will be kept separate from the patient's notes.
Primary endpoints are the postoperative morbidity and mortality. We divided morbidity in minor (e.g. wound infection), major (e.g. anastomotic leakage) and late (e.g. incisional hernias) complications, data will be collected during hospital stay and after six weeks and six months postoperative. Secondary endpoints are the operative and the postoperative recovery data. Operative data include duration of the operation, blood loss and conversion to laparotomy. Post operative recovery consists of return to normal diet, pain, analgesics, general health (SF-36 questionnaire) and duration of hospital stay.
The Sigma-trial is a prospective, multi-center, double-blind, randomized study to define the role of laparoscopic sigmoid resection in patients with symptomatic diverticulitis.
PMCID: PMC1955435  PMID: 17683563
9.  The efficacy of intraoperative methylene blue enemas to assess the integrity of a colonic anastomosis 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:15.
Intraoperative testing of colonic anastomoses is routine in assuring anastamotic integrity. We sought to determine the efficacy of the methylene blue enema (MBE) as an intraoperative test for anastomotic leaks.
This study is a retrospective review of consecutive colonic operations performed from January 2001 to December 2004 in a community hospital setting by a general surgical group that uses the MBE exclusively. All operations featuring a colonic anastomosis and an intraoperative MBE were studied (n = 229). Intraoperative MBE via a rectal tube was used as the diagnostic test. Intraoperative leak (IOL) rate and clinically significant postoperative leak (POL) rate were the outcome measures.
The IOL rate was 4.5% for proximal anastomoses, 8% for distal anastomoses, and 7% of total anastomoses. The POL rate was 3% of anastomosis. There were no other testing methods employed. There were no POLs in cases where an IOL led to concomitant intraoperative repair. POL rate for proximal anastomosis was 0.8% and for distal 3%, for stapled 1% and hand sewn 5%.
MBE IOL rate is comparable to published IOL rates for other methods of intraoperative testing. The MBE can be applied to proximal and distal anastomosis. Patients who were found to have an IOL, and underwent immediate repair, did not develop a clinical POL.
PMCID: PMC1950862  PMID: 17683526
10.  The influence of blood on the efficacy of intraperitoneally applied phospholipids for prevention of adhesions 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:14.
The formation of adhesions following abdominal surgery is a well known problem. In previous studies we demonstrated the efficacy and safety of intraperitoneally applied phospholipids in order to prevent adhesion formation. This study evaluates the influence of blood on the efficacy of intraperitoneally applied phospholipids for prevention of adhesions.
In 40 Chinchilla rabbits adhesions were induced by median laparotomy, standardized abrasion of the visceral and parietal peritoneum in defined areas of the ventral abdominal wall and the caecum. The animals were randomly divided into four groups. They received either phospholipids 3.0% or normal saline (NaCl 0,9%) (5 ml/kg body weight). In 50% of the rabbits we simulated intraperitoneal bleeding by administration of blood (1,5 ml/kg body weight). The other half served as control group. Ten days following the operation the animals were sacrificed and adhesion formation was assessed by computer aided planimetry and histopathologic examination.
The median adhesion surface area in the NaCl-group (n = 9) amounted to 68,72 mm2, in the NaCl+Blood-group (n = 10) 147,68 mm2. In the Phospholipid (PhL)-group (n = 9) the median adhesion surface area measured 9,35 mm2, in the PhL+Blood-group (n = 9) 11,95 mm2. The phospholipid groups had a significantly smaller adhesion surface area (p < 0.05).
Again these results confirm the efficacy of phospholipids in the prevention of adhesions in comparison to NaCl (p = 0,04). We also demonstrated the adhesion preventing effect of phospholipids in the presence of intraperitoneal blood.
PMCID: PMC1945018  PMID: 17651501
11.  The use of a silicone-coated acrylic vaginal stent in McIndoe vaginoplasty and review of the literature concerning silicone-based vaginal stents: a case report 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:13.
Mc Indoe vaginoplasty is one of the mostly performed surgical interventions in Mullerian agenesis.
Case presentations
We present our experience on the use of a new designed vaginal stent that was coated with silicone in two mullerian agenesis cases who had Mc Indoe vaginoplasty. Both full thickness and splitt thickness skin graft were used with the stent. No graft loss or hyperthrophic scarring which may be seen at the apex of neovagina after Mc Indoe vaginoplasty was observed during the follow-up period and adequate neovaginal depth were obtained in both of the patients.
We think that the incorporation of silicone to a vaginal stent for postoperative wound care improves skin graft take and decreases a possible constriction band formation in neovagina.
PMCID: PMC1947946  PMID: 17623058
12.  Colonic stenting as bridge to surgery versus emergency surgery for management of acute left-sided malignant colonic obstruction: a multicenter randomized trial (Stent-in 2 study) 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:12.
Acute left-sided colonic obstruction is most often caused by malignancy and the surgical treatment is associated with a high mortality and morbidity rate. Moreover, these operated patients end up with a temporary or permanent stoma. Initial insertion of an enteral stent to decompress the obstructed colon, allowing for surgery to be performed electively, is gaining popularity. In uncontrolled studies stent placement before elective surgery has been suggested to decrease mortality, morbidity and number of colostomies. However stent perforation can lead to peritoneal tumor spill, changing a potentially curable disease in an incurable one. Therefore it is of paramount importance to compare the outcomes of colonic stenting followed by elective surgery with emergency surgery for the management of acute left-sided malignant colonic obstruction in a randomized multicenter fashion.
Patients with acute left-sided malignant colonic obstruction eligible for this study will be randomized to either emergency surgery (current standard treatment) or colonic stenting as bridge to elective surgery. Outcome measurements are effectiveness and costs of both strategies. Effectiveness will be evaluated in terms of quality of life, morbidity and mortality. Quality of life will be measured with standardized questionnaires (EORTC QLQ-C30, EORTC QLQ-CR38, EQ-5D and EQ-VAS). Morbidity is defined as every event leading to hospital admission or prolonging hospital stay. Mortality will be analyzed as total mortality as well as procedure-related mortality. The total costs of treatment will be evaluated by counting volumes and calculating unit prices. Including 120 patients on a 1:1 basis will have 80% power to detect an effect size of 0.5 on the EORTC QLQ-C30 global health scale, using a two group t-test with a 0.05 two-sided significance level. Differences in quality of life and morbidity will be analyzed using mixed-models repeated measures analysis of variance. Mortality will be compared using Kaplan-Meier curves and log-rank statistics.
The Stent-in 2 study is a randomized controlled multicenter trial that will provide evidence whether or not colonic stenting as bridge to surgery is to be performed in patients with acute left-sided colonic obstruction.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN46462267.
PMCID: PMC1925059  PMID: 17608947
13.  Epiploic appendagitis – clinical characteristics of an uncommon surgical diagnosis 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:11.
Epiploic appendagitis (EA) is a rare cause of focal abdominal pain in otherwise healthy patients with mild or absent secondary signs of abdominal pathology. It can mimick diverticulitis or appendicitis on clinical exam. The diagnosis of EA is very infrequent, due in part to low or absent awareness among general surgeons. The objective of this work was to review the authors' experience and describe the clinical presentation of EA.
All patients diagnosed with EA between January 2004 and December 2006 at an urban surgical emergency room were retrospectively reviewed by two authors in order to share the authors' experience with this rare diagnosis. The operations were performed by two surgeons. Pathological examinations of specimens were performed by a single pathologist. A review of clinical presentation is additionally undertaken.
Ten patients (3 females and 7 males, average age: 44.6 years, range: 27–76 years) were diagnosed with symptomatic EA. Abdominal pain was the leading symptom, the pain being localized in the left (8 patients, 80 %) and right (2 patients, 20%) lower quadrant. All patients were afebrile, and with the exception of one patient, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea were not present. CRP was slightly increased (mean: 1.2 mg/DL) in three patients (33%). Computed tomography findings specific for EA were present in five patients. Treatment was laparoscopic excision (n = 8), excision via conventional laparotomy (n = 1) and conservative therapy (n = 1).
In patients with localized, sharp, acute abdominal pain not associated with other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, fever or atypical laboratory values, the diagnosis of EA should be considered. Although infrequent up to date, with the increase of primary abdominal CT scans and ultrasound EA may well be diagnosed more frequently in the future.
PMCID: PMC1925058  PMID: 17603914
14.  Hepatobiliary and pancreatic tuberculosis: A two decade experience 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:10.
Isolated hepatobiliary or pancreatic tuberculosis (TB) is rare and preoperative diagnosis is difficult. We reviewed our experience over a period two decades with this rare site of abdominal tuberculosis.
The records of 18 patients with proven histological diagnosis of hepatobiliary and pancreatic tuberculosis were reviewed retrospectively. The demographic features, sign and symptoms, imaging, cytology/histopathology, procedures performed, outcome and follow up data were obtained from the departmental records. The diagnosis of tuberculosis was based on granuloma with caseation necrosis on histopathology or presence of acid fast bacilli.
Of 18 patients (11 men), 11 had hepatobiliary TB while 7 had pancreatic TB. Two-thirds of the patients were < 40 years (mean: 42 yrs; range 19–70 yrs). The duration of the symptoms varied between 2 weeks to 104 weeks (mean: 20 weeks). The most common symptom was pain in the abdomen (n = 13), followed by jaundice (n = 10), fever, anorexia and weight loss (n = 9). Five patients (28%) had associated extra-abdominal TB which helped in preoperative diagnosis in 3 patients. Imaging demonstrated extrahepatic bile duct obstruction in the patients with jaundice and in addition picked up liver, gallbladder and pancreatic masses with or without lymphadenopathy (peripancreatic/periportal). Preoperative diagnosis was made in 4 patients and the other 14 were diagnosed after surgery. Two patients developed significant postoperative complications (pancreaticojejunostomy leak [1] intraabdominal abscess [1]) and 3 developed ATT induced hepatotoxicity. No patient died. The median follow up period was 12 months (9 – 96 months).
Tuberculosis should be considered as a differential diagnosis, particularly in young patients, with atypical signs and symptoms coming from areas where tuberculosis is endemic and preoperative tissue and/or cytological diagnosis should be attempted before labeling them as hepatobiliary and pancreatic malignancy.
PMCID: PMC1925057  PMID: 17588265
15.  Aneurysm of antecubital vein: an unusual complication of peripheral intravenous cannulation 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:9.
Intravenous cannulation is a very common procedure. Venous aneurysm secondary to peripheral intravenous cannulation is extremely rare. Moreover, venous aneurysm can mimic other conditions and may confuse the issue.
Case presentation
We describe a case of a 45-year-old woman who was referred with the diagnosis of varicose vein of right arm. A history of intravenous cannulation at the same site was noted that raised suspicion. The swelling was compressible and turned out to be a venous aneurysm. The lesion was completely excised. Postoperative recovery was uneventful. Histology findings were in conformity with the preoperative diagnosis.
Caution should be exercised in diagnosing varicose vein at a site that bears a history of intravenous cannulation. The case also raises an important issue regarding consent. Should patients undergoing peripheral intravenous cannulation be warned of this rare complication?
PMCID: PMC1906743  PMID: 17570851
16.  Three-port versus four-port laparoscopic cholecystectomy in acute and chronic cholecystitis 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:8.
Several modifications have been introduced to laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC). The three-port technique has been practiced on a limited scale. Our aim was to compare the three-port and four-port LC in acute (AC) and chronic cholecystitis (CC).
The medical records of 495 patients who underwent LC between September 1999 and September 2003 were reviewed. Variables such as complications, operating time, conversion to open procedure, hospital stay, and analgesia requirements were compared.
Two hundred and eighty-three patients underwent three-port LC and 212 patients underwent four-port LC. In total, 163 (32.9%) patients were diagnosed with AC and 332 (67.1%) with CC by histology. There was no statistical difference between the three and four-port groups in terms of complications, conversion to open procedure (p = 0.6), and operating time (p = 0.4). Patients who underwent three-port LC required less opiate analgesia (pethidine) than those who underwent four-port LC (p = 0.0001). The hospital stay was found to be related to the amount of opiates consumed (p = 0.0001) and was significantly shorter in the three-port LC group (p = 0.005).
Three-port LC is a safe procedure for AC and CC in expert hands. The procedure offers considerable advantages over the traditional four-port technique in the reduction of analgesia requirements and length of hospital stay.
PMCID: PMC1919351  PMID: 17567913
17.  Porto-systemic shunt using adrenal vein as a conduit; an alternative procedure for spleno – renal shunt 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:7.
Currently, portal hypertension is still big problem for the patients with serious liver diseases. Variceal bleeding is one of the most important complications of portal hypertension. In case of failure of endoscopic and combined medical treatments, surgical decompressive shunts are required. We emphasized an alternative splenorenal shunt procedure using adrenal vein as a conduit.
Case presentation
A 26-year-old male suffered from recurrent variceal bleeding was considered for surgical therapy. Although we planned to perform a distal splenorenal shunt procedure, it was observed to be difficult. Therefore left adrenal vein was used as a conduit between left renal vein and splenic vein after splenic artery was ligated. He did well and was discharged from the hospital on the postoperative day 6. In the follow up period for nine months, endoscopic and ultrasonographic examinations were normal.
We concluded that, in case of failure to perform distal splenorenal shunt due to technical problems, alternative porto-systemic shunt procedure using the adrenal vein as a vascular conduit can be safely employed.
PMCID: PMC1905910  PMID: 17555599
18.  Mirizzi syndrome type IV associated with cholecystocolic fistula: a very rare condition- report of a case 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:6.
Mirizzi syndrome is a rare complication of prolonged cholelithiasis with presence of large, impacted gallstone into the Hartman's pouch, causing chronic extrinsic compression of common bile duct (CBD). Fistula formation between the CBD and the gallbladder may represent an outcome of that condition. According to Mirizzi's classification and Csendes's subclassification, Mirizzi syndrome type IV represents the most uncommon type (4%).
Spontaneous biliary-enteric fistulas have also been rarely reported (1.2–5%) in a large series of cholecystectomies. Cholecystocolic fistula is the most infrequent biliary enteric fistula, causing significant morbidity and representing a diagnostic challenge.
Case presentation
We describe a very rare, to our knowledge, combination of Mirizzi syndrome type IV and cholecystocolic fistula. A 52 year old male, presented to our clinic complaining of episodic diarrhea (monthly episodes lasting 16 days), high temperature (38°C–39°C), right upper quadrant pain without jaundice. The definitive diagnosis was made intraoperatively. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) demonstrated the presence of Mirizzi syndrome with cholecystocolic fistula formation. The patient was operated upon, and cholecystectomy, cholecystocolic fistula excision and Roux-en-Y biliary-enteric anastomosis were undertaken with excellent post-operative course.
Appropriate biliary tree imaging with ERCP and MRI/MRCP is essential for the diagnosis of Mirizzi syndrome and its complications. Cholecystectomy, fistula excision and biliary-enteric anastomosis with Roux-en-Y loop appears to be the most appropriate surgical intervention in order to avoid damage to Calot's triangle anatomic elements. Particularly in our case, ERCP was a valuable diagnostic tool that Mirizzi syndrome type IV and cholecystocolic fistula.
PMCID: PMC1892769  PMID: 17531103
19.  Preoperative mechanical preparation of the colon: the patient's experience 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:5.
Preoperative mechanical bowel preparation can be questioned as standard procedure in colon surgery, based on the result from several randomised trials.
As part of a large multicenter trial, 105 patients planned for elective colon surgery for cancer, adenoma, or diverticulitis in three hospitals were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding perceived health including experience with bowel preparation. There were 39 questions, each having 3 – 10 answer alternatives, dealing with food intake, pain, discomfort, nausea/vomiting, gas distension, anxiety, tiredness, need of assistance with bowel preparation, and willingness to undergo the procedure again if necessary.
60 patients received mechanical bowel preparation (MBP) and 45 patients did not (No-MBP). In the MBP group 52% needed assistance with bowel preparation and 30% would consider undergoing the same preoperative procedure again. In the No-MBP group 65 % of the patients were positive to no bowel preparation. There was no significant difference between the two groups with respect to postoperative pain and nausea. On Day 4 (but not on Days 1 and 7 postoperatively) patients in the No-MBP group perceived more discomfort than patients in the MBP group, p = 0.02. Time to intake of fluid and solid food did not differ between the two groups. Bowel emptying occurred significantly earlier in the No-MBP group than in the MBP group, p = 0.03.
Mechanical bowel preparation is distressing for the patient and associated with a prolonged time to first bowel emptying.
PMCID: PMC1884131  PMID: 17480223
20.  Peroneal artery pseudoaneurysm – a case report and literature review 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:4.
Aneurysms of the peroneal artery are infrequent and consist mainly of pseudoaneurysms.
Case presentation
This report describes an unusual case of peroneal pseudoaneurysm developing after thromoboembolectomy with a Fogarty catheter. It was managed successfully using an endovascular technique consisting of selective catheterization and coil embolization. The coils were placed in the peroneal artery, both proximal and distal to the pseudoaneurysm.
Endovascular technique can be successfully used to treat pseudoaneurysms in difficult settings.
PMCID: PMC1851946  PMID: 17394650
21.  Preoperative biliary drainage for periampullary tumors causing obstructive jaundice; DRainage vs. (direct) OPeration (DROP-trial) 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:3.
Surgery in patients with obstructive jaundice caused by a periampullary (pancreas, papilla, distal bile duct) tumor is associated with a higher risk of postoperative complications than in non-jaundiced patients. Preoperative biliary drainage was introduced in an attempt to improve the general condition and thus reduce postoperative morbidity and mortality. Early studies showed a reduction in morbidity. However, more recently the focus has shifted towards the negative effects of drainage, such as an increase of infectious complications. Whether biliary drainage should always be performed in jaundiced patients remains controversial. The randomized controlled multicenter DROP-trial (DRainage vs. Operation) was conceived to compare the outcome of a 'preoperative biliary drainage strategy' (standard strategy) with that of an 'early-surgery' strategy, with respect to the incidence of severe complications (primary-outcome measure), hospital stay, number of invasive diagnostic tests, costs, and quality of life.
Patients with obstructive jaundice due to a periampullary tumor, eligible for exploration after staging with CT scan, and scheduled to undergo a "curative" resection, will be randomized to either "early surgical treatment" (within one week) or "preoperative biliary drainage" (for 4 weeks) and subsequent surgical treatment (standard treatment). Primary outcome measure is the percentage of severe complications up to 90 days after surgery. The sample size calculation is based on the equivalence design for the primary outcome measure. If equivalence is found, the comparison of the secondary outcomes will be essential in selecting the preferred strategy. Based on a 40% complication rate for early surgical treatment and 48% for preoperative drainage, equivalence is taken to be demonstrated if the percentage of severe complications with early surgical treatment is not more than 10% higher compared to standard treatment: preoperative biliary drainage. Accounting for a 10% dropout, 105 patients are needed in each arm resulting in a study population of 210 (alpha = 0.95, beta = 0.8).
The DROP-trial is a randomized controlled multicenter trial that will provide evidence whether or not preoperative biliary drainage is to be performed in patients with obstructive jaundice due to a periampullary tumor.
PMCID: PMC1828149  PMID: 17352805
22.  The size criteria in minimally invasive video-assisted thyroidectomy 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:2.
Thyroid size is a very important criteria of MIVAT exclusion because the working space provided by the technique is limited.
The aim of this work has been to verify the suitability of MIVAT and its applicability in clinical practice, not only in patients with a thyroid volume up to 25 ml but also in patients with a thyroid volume included from 25 to 50 ml.
From January 2003 to February 2006, 33 patients have been selected for MIVAT. A completely gasless procedure was carried out through a central 20 to 35 mm skin incision performed "high" between the cricoid and jugular notch.
The patients were separated in 2 groups. The first group (less than 25 ml) included 23 patients, the second group (from 25 to 50 ml) included 10 patients. The skin incision performed was from 20 to 25 mm (mean 23.61 mm ± 1.83) long in the first group and from 25 to 35 mm (mean 27.8 mm ± 2.20) long in the second one; this difference is significant (t test p < 0.001).
Our study suggest that the MIVAT using for thyroids bigger than 25 ml and up to 50 ml in volume is feasible and safe. This way allows more patients, excluded before, to take the advantages of minimally invasive approach.
PMCID: PMC1796854  PMID: 17254332
23.  Anterior anal sphincter repair can be of long term benefit: a 12-year case cohort from a single surgeon 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:1.
Early surgical results of anterior sphincter repair for faecal incontinence can be good, but in the longer term are often disappointing. This study aimed to determine the short and long term outcomes from anterior sphincter repair and identify factors predictive of long term success.
Patients who underwent anterior sphincter repair between 1989 and 2001 in one institution were identified. Postal questionnaires were sent to patients, which included validated scoring systems for symptom severity and quality of life assessments for faecal incontinence. Patient demographics and risk factors were recorded as were the results of anorectal physiology studies and endoanal ultrasound.
Eighty-five patients underwent repair by one consultant. The length of follow up ranged from 1 to 12 years. Most patients (96%) had early symptom improvement postoperatively. Of the 47 patients assessed long term (≥ 5 years), 28 (60%) maintained this success. Significant improvements in quality of life were observed (P < 0.001). Neither patient, surgical nor anorectal physiology study parameters were predictive of outcome.
There were no predictive factors of outcome success and no changes in anal manometry identified, however anterior sphincter repair remains worthwhile. Changes in compliance of the anorectum may be responsible for symptom improvement.
PMCID: PMC1779765  PMID: 17217528

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