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Study suggests surgeons do get better with experience
The more procedures surgeons have performed, the better their patients’ outcomes, at least until the doctors hit a learning plateau, according to a new analysis of data on more than one million surgeries. The flattening out of the learning curve happens at different points — ranging from 25 to 750 procedures — for different types of surgery, the authors found. “For the past two decades or so, many researchers have acknowledged that a surgeon’s experience is related to his or her performance,” said coauthor Barnabas J. Gilbert of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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2015 AASPA CME Meeting & Surgical Update
We hope you will join us Oct. 1 – 4, 2015 at the Hilton Suites Chicago/Magnificent Mile, Chicago, Illinois, for our 15th Annual AASPA CME Meeting.

Join fellow surgical PAs, PA educators, PA students, pre-PA students and surgical industry leaders at the 15th Annual Surgical CME, preceding the Annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons!

This exciting, hands-on surgical meeting will be held at the fabulous Hilton Suites Chicago in the heart of incredible Chicago.

If you are looking for a qualified surgical PA, this is the ideal venue to fill that position. For industry exhibitors looking for "high touch face time" with surgical PAs, this is the ideal meeting for you!

Register now for the 2015 FCCS — Fundamental Critical Care Support
Management principles for the first 24 hours of critical care. Two-day course — 16 hours of CME and Certificate of Completion and card.
    Course Purpose
  • To better prepare the nonintensivist for the first 24 hours of management of the critically ill patient until transfer or appropriate critical care consultation can be arranged.
  • To assist the nonintensivist in dealing with sudden deterioration of the critically ill patient.
  • To prepare house staff for ICU coverage.
  • To prepare critical care practitioners to deal with acute deterioration in the critically ill patient.
Course will be held before the 15th Annual AASPA CME Meeting at the Hilton Suites Chicago/Magnificent Mile.

Register today!


How stone-age blades are still cutting it in modern surgery
Ever had a headache so big, you felt like drilling a hole in your head to let the pain out? In Neolithic times trepanation — or drilling a hole into the skull — was thought to be a cure for everything from epilepsy to migraines. It could even have been a form of emergency surgery for battle wounds.
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Data is no less secure even as HIPAA enforcement is here
By Lindy Benton
The headlines are endless and ever-growing: Healthcare data is at risk. Exposure is happening because a scourge of people worldwide is illegally trying to benefit from the information; because of improper protection of sensitive information; or because of some other sort of breach. However, despite continued efforts to address security loopholes across the sector, simply "taking action" to mitigate damage is not an effective strategy, and it won't work long term.
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Study supports use of laparoscopic surgery for rectal cancer
HealthDay News
Patients with localized rectal cancer may achieve similar survival rates by having minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, instead of more invasive open surgery, a European study finds. According to the American Cancer Society, close to 40,000 new cases of rectal cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States.
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3-D fluoroscopy image-guided pedicle screw placement can improve accuracy
Although the learning curve for intraoperative 3-D fluoroscopy-navigated pedicle screw placement is high, the approach can help improve accuracy and reduce patients’ and surgeons’ exposure to radiation once the curve is overcome, according to findings from a recently published study. The prospective study included a 145 patients undergoing dorsal navigated instrumentation for placement of 928 pedicle screws (PS) between January 2011 and June 2012.
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FDA clears iPad app for hip replacement planning
HealthData Management
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved an iPad app designed to help orthopedic surgeons conduct pre-operative planning of total hip replacement surgery. Developed by Voyant Health Ltd., TraumaCad Mobile allows surgeons to securely import medical images — directly from hospital imaging systems or from secured cloud storage — so they can use these digital images to perform measurements, fix prostheses, simulate osteotomies, and visualize fracture reductions.
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Are human head transplants coming soon?
It sounds like the plot for a science fiction movie. Someone has a horrific accident and winds up in the hospital, brain dead and on life support. Doctors approach the family about organ donation, but instead of saving as many as eight lives, the family is asked to donate the whole body to save just one individual. Perhaps a quadriplegic with a mind that outmatches their malfunctioning body.
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The choice between heart bypass surgery and angioplasty
U.S. News & World Report
Within eight months, Marjorie McLaren, 62, of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, underwent two cardiac catheterizations. Last May, she had emergency angioplasty at a local hospital. Then, in January, she had an elective blockage-clearing procedure at a large medical center – leaving her with a total of four arterial stents and several decisions along the way.
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Surgeon, CT discord sways ovarian cancer outcome
MedPage Today
Disagreement between a surgeon's intraoperative assessment and postoperative CT findings had a significantly negative impact on advanced ovarian cancer progression, a review of 1,091 cases showed. In 627 cases, surgeons concluded that less than 1 cm of tumor mass remained after debulking (optimal results). CT imaging after surgery showed that the remaining tumor mass exceeded 1 cm in 251 of the cases.
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Disconnect between bariatric surgery practice, training
Though a large portion of surgical practice is dedicated to bariatric surgery, an article published in JAMA Surgery claimed training for the technique and subsequent patient care has not followed suit. Assessing the Faculty Practice Solution Center (FPSC) database — a tool comprised of the revenue data of 90,000 physicians working at 95 U.S. institutions — researchers from the University of California, Davis (UCD), and Mercy San Juan Medical Center determined the annual mean procedure frequency per surgeon (PFS) for every year from from 2006 to 2011.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Tech vs. technique — What wins the battle when it comes to surgeries? (The Science Times)
Google and Johnson & Johnson team up to build robot surgeons (NBC News)
2 surgical methods safe, effective for healing distal femur fractures (News-Medical)
Penn surgeons develop new tools to identify joint replacement patients at risk for serious complications (News-Medical)
Higher volume of scoliosis surgeries linked to reduced reoperation rates (Medical Xpress)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Jessica Taylor, Senior Medical Editor, 469.420.2661   
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