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Single chip device creates real-time 3-D heart images
Parent Herald
A new single-chip, catheter-based device capable of creating real-time 3-D images of the inner heart, coronary arteries and peripheral blood vessels could potentially help surgeons perform heart surgery and clear patients' clogged arteries without major surgery. The device uses ultrasound transducers with processing electronics on a single 1.4-millimeter silicon chip. On-chip processing of signals can transmit a plethora of data using just 13 tiny cables, in turn letting it easily travel through blood vessels.
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Close to 90 percent of plastic surgeons worry about how Obamacare will affect the specialty
PR Web
More than 88 percent of aesthetic doctors are concerned about how the Affordable Care Act will affect the practice of plastic surgery, and up to one-third may retire early as a result of these changes, according to a new online poll conducted by Plastic Surgery Practice. Most respondents were worried that reimbursement rates would be reduced so dramatically that they would have trouble paying their own bills as a result. There was also concern that there would be an influx of nonqualified practitioners providing aesthetic procedures at cut rates to increase their revenue stream, which could compromise patient safety.
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Medical identity theft a growing concern
By Pamela Lewis Dolan
For the first time since The Identity Theft Resource Center started tracking data breaches in 2005, healthcare has topped the list of industries responsible for the largest percentage of data breaches. Of the 614 breaches the ITRC tracked across all sectors and industries last year, healthcare accounted for 43.6 percent. This was the first time in eight years it overtook the business sector, which accounted for 33.9 percent of last year's breaches. The increase in reported healthcare breaches can be partially attributed to the HITECH Act.
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Study: More breast cancer patients choosing reconstructive surgery
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
More breast cancer patients are choosing reconstructive breast surgery, although where women live might influence whether they opt for it, new research shows. "These data suggest that while a hearteningly increasing proportion of women are receiving breast reconstruction, it's not uniformly the case all across the country," said study author Dr. Reshma Jagsi, associate chairwoman of the department of radiation oncology at the University of Michigan.
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Surgeons recover baby's skull with the help of 3-D
When Gabriel was born in August, his father, Manuel Dela Cruz, said everything seemed fine with his new son. It wasn’t until a week after his birth that Gabriel’s parents thought their son’s forehead looked abnormal. “We noticed something was wrong with him,” Dela Cruz, told Worried for their son’s health, the new parents took Gabriel to a pediatrician, who diagnosed the newborn with unilateral coronal synostosis – also known as anterior plagiocephaly.
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Researchers pinpoint brain region essential for social memory
Science Codex
Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have determined that a small region of the hippocampus known as CA2 is essential for social memory, the ability of an animal to recognize another of the same species. A better grasp of the function of CA2 could prove useful in understanding and treating disorders characterized by altered social behaviors, such as autism, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. The findings, made in mice, were published today in the online edition of Nature.

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Preceptis aims to move expensive ear-tube operations on kids out of the operating room
Preceptis Medical is a small company that has big designs to clip the costs and boost the safety for the 1.3 million young children who undergo ear-tube surgeries each year. “This is a simple story,” said Preceptis CEO Steve Anderson. “We’ve come up with an effective tool that allows us to do the procedure under conscious sedation, avoiding the expense of the operating room, and avoiding the risk to young children of general anesthesia.’’

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New weight-loss surgery may not ease chronic heartburn
HealthDay News
Obese people who are considering weight-loss surgery should choose their procedure carefully if they hope to be free of chronic heartburn, a new study suggests. The study of nearly 39,000 patients found that while traditional gastric bypass procedures reduced heartburn and acid reflux symptoms in most sufferers, a newer procedure was largely unhelpful for those who already had gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.

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Surgeons find risk factors responsible for neurological deficits after interbody fusion
Researchers identified a number of risk factors that raised the risk of postoperative neurological deficit in patients who underwent lateral lumbar interbody fusion with a retroperitoneal transpsoas approach, according to a recent study. “The level of fusion, multilevel lateral lumbar interbody fusion, female gender, as well as the use of bone morphogenetic protein-2 [BMP-2] were associated with a higher risk of developing a postoperative neurological deficit and pain,” Dr. Alexander Aichmair said.
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Surgeons can up outcomes for work-related lumbar surgery
HealthDay News via MPR
In patients with chronic disabling occupational lumbar disorder (CDOLD) and workers' compensation claims, lumbar fusion outcomes can be improved if opioid dependence and excessive length of disability after surgery are controlled through care, according to a study published in the Feb. 1 issue of The Spine Journal. Tom G. Mayer, M.D., from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues prospectively compared socioeconomic and patient-reported outcomes in 564 patients with CDOLD and workers' compensation claims who underwent lumbar fusion or nonfusion lumbar spine surgery.
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Mature, functioning liver cells made from skin cells
Medical News Today
There have been several reports in recent years of scientists reprogramming skin cells so they transform into cells that are similar to cells from other organs, such as the heart, the pancreas and even brain cells. However, these have fallen short of producing mature, fully functioning versions of organ cells - essential if they are to be of any use in life-saving regenerative medicine.
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Solo practices still lagging in EHR adoption
By Pamela Lewis Dolan
The meaningful use incentive program has spurred a lot of growth in health IT use. But a digital divide still exists between solo practices and their larger counterparts, and between independent practices and those that belong to an integrated health delivery system. Between 2009 and 2012, the rate of electronic health record use among primary care physicians increased from 46 percent to 69 percent, according to a report by The Commonwealth Fund, published in the February issue of the Health Services Research journal. But, the report found, practice size was a major determinant of health IT adoption.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Surgeons now use minimally invasive robotic surgical system for Whipple procedure (News-Medical)
Researchers identify complication rates for arthroscopic knee surgery (Healio)
Are advanced imaging technologies worth the risks? (By Denise A. Valenti)
High-tech glasses help surgeons see cancer cells (Medical News Today)
New eye layer has possible link to glaucoma (Health Canal)

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