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Mental practice improves surgery outcomes
Medscape (free login required)
Surgeons performing advanced laparoscopic surgery can improve their skills by mentally practicing procedures, according to a study presented here at the American College of Surgeons 2014 Clinical Congress. "Mental practice improved the technical performance of surgical trainees in advanced laparoscopic surgery," said presenter Marisa Louridas, MSc, a surgery researcher at the University of Toronto. Previous research has demonstrated that mental practice — the cognitive rehearsal of a task — can enhance performance in sports and music.
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A balloon for obesity: An option between medication and surgery?
Medical Xpress
For many struggling with obesity, taking one of the newly approved prescription medications for weight loss (marketed as Qsymia, Belviq and Contrave) feels like climbing a mountain with a walking cane — it's a little help, but not enough. And bariatric surgery — a permanent replumbing of the intestinal tract that is expensive and carries the risks of major surgery — feels like a bit too much help. Could a water balloon be the solution?
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Surgery by non-surgeons: An impending future
The Huffington Post
Training surgical technicians could be an answer to the problem of surgeon shortages throughout Africa if it is well-implemented and has the support of relevant stakeholders. Academic medicine has clung to the traditional hierarchical system of certifying surgeons only after many years of expensive training, but medical schools could actually lead the way to new models.
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Mental practice improves surgery outcomes
Medscape (free login required)
Surgeons performing advanced laparoscopic surgery can improve their skills by mentally practicing procedures, according to a study presented here at the American College of Surgeons 2014 Clinical Congress.

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Child's appendix more likely to rupture in regions short of surgeons
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
Children and teens with poor access to general surgeons are at increased risk of suffering a ruptured appendix, and the risk is particularly high among young children, a new study finds.

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The link between weight loss surgery and headaches
TIME
Weight loss surgery may be a risk factor for a specific kind of headache, according to a new study published in the journal Neurology. Researchers looked at 338 patients with a history of spontaneous intracranial hypotension and found that 11 of those patients had undergone a form of bariatric surgery.

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Effective treatment for phantom limb pain continues to be elusive
News-Medical
Army doctors in the First World War were helpless to stop soldiers who lost limbs from suffering in pain, according to researchers. A century on, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have made the loss of limbs common among military casualties once again, but while prosthetic technology has improved dramatically, there is still a shortage of effective treatments for pain caused by damaged nerves.
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New tool gives surgeons realistic risk assessments for laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy patients
Healthcare Professionals Network
Physicians treating individuals affected by obesity who are contemplating laparascopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) have a new risk assessment tool available. The user-friendly online risk calculator uses a robust statistical model and can offer an accurate preoperative risk assessment, based on updated outcome data. The LSG risk calculator uses a composite primary endpoint that factors in 14 serious adverse events, as well as 30-day mortality. Earlier models, Aminian noted, were limited by drawing on old data, reflecting a higher complication rate than currently exists for bariatric procedures.
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Surgeons debate use of robot or laparoscopy for bariatric surgery
General Surgery News
Bariatric surgery via a robotic approach may require more time and be more expensive up front than laparoscopy, but recent data are pointing to advantages of the former, particularly Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), the most common weight loss surgery in the United States and regarded as the gold standard in this type of surgery. Investigators in one study compared 389 laparoscopic RYGB cases with 388 robotic RYGB cases over a 10-year period.
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New guidelines for multimodality treatment of esophageal cancer
EndoNurse
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) has released new clinical practice guidelines for treating cancer of the esophagus and gastroesophageal junction. The guidelines, published in the November 2014 issue of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, include nine evidence-based recommendations that address issues related to multimodality care, including neoadjuvant therapy. The goal of neoadjuvant therapy is to reduce the extent of cancer before an operation to maximize the chance of obtaining a cure.
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Thoracoscopic surgery technique for pneumonectomy shown to be safe
Medical Xpress
In the largest series of its kind to date, researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) have shown that performing thoracoscopic pneumonectomy, removal of the entire lung through a minimally invasive endoscopic approach, at a high-volume center appears to be safe and may provide pain and survival advantages in the long term. "During the past 20 years, portions of the lungs have been removed for lung cancer through lobectomies, and that has been shown to be better done through small incisions or through thoracoscopic lobectomy compared with standard, open lobectomy," says Todd Demmy, M.D., FACS, Clinical Chair of the Department of Thoracic Surgery and Professor of Oncology at RPCI.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    To quarantine or not? A question of trust (By Joan Spitrey)
Child's appendix more likely to rupture in regions short of surgeons (HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report)
Regenerative cells: Hope for people disabled by spinal cord injury (By Dorothy L. Tengler)
Surgeon type doesn't affect spinal surgery complications (HealthDay News via Healthcare Professionals Network)
Surgeons fine-tune imaging techniques to enhance visualization of breast tumors, persistent wounds (News-Medical)

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