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Using rapid prototyping technology in complicated surgeries
Medical Xpress
At Auburn University, the latest in printing technology is literally going to the dogs, cats and other animals. Auburn's College of Veterinary Medicine is among the first veterinary programs in the United States to use three-dimensional printing and models in advance of complicated surgeries. A 3-D printer builds up objects layer by layer, using various methods to deposit and harden the 'ink' where it is needed. Many materials, including plastic, metal and ceramic can now be printed based on instructions from computer-assisted design programs.
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Why HealthCare.gov should have been a mobile app
By Alex Bratton
Of all the problems with the HealthCare.gov site, perhaps the most baffling is why it was created as a website in the first place. The main target of the HealthCare.gov website is young, healthy millennials, those aged 18-29 years old. Since millennials don't run up big healthcare bills, their monthly premiums will subsidize the insurance benefits of nearly 4.3 million older and less healthy Americans. The problem with HealthCare.gov is that these millennials don't get their information the same way as older generations.
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Weight-loss surgery gaining popularity
U-T San Diego
Weight-loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery or gastric banding, is aimed at helping people with extreme obesity lose weight by significantly reducing the size of the stomach and rerouting part of the digestive tract. Given the rates of obesity in this country, that’s not surprising, experts say. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than one-third of United States adults are considered obese, and about 16 percent of children and adolescents are also considered obese.
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Simulators like a 3-D video game for surgeons
The StarTribune
Simulators aren’t just for pilots anymore. In complex cases ranging from enlarged prostates to brain tumors, physicians at the University of Minnesota are using virtual-reality simulators more and more to perfect their surgical techniques. And, in what may be the most significant change in surgical training since the early 1900s, they are working with local medical device companies to develop new generations of software to train the next generation of medical students.
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Pharmaceutical industry exerts influence on statin guidelines
By Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
On Nov. 12, the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association came out with their 2013 guidelines for who should be on statin therapy to lower their bad cholesterol levels. When I saw them, I was surprised by the recommendations of widespread expansion of statin use. The new guidelines recommended what amounts to one-third of American adults being placed on cholesterol-lowering statins.

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New robotic technology removes diseased gallbladders through belly button
Lodi News
Then one day last summer on his way to the bank, he said he experienced the same pain along with sweating so profusely his shirt was sticking to his skin. The 61-year-old thought he was has having a heart attack. He turned the car around and went home, and his wife took him to the Lodi Memorial Hospital emergency room.

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2 were arrested with surgically altering fingerprints of illegal immigrants
Patch.com
A Dominican doctor and his assistant were arrested this past weekend in Peabody on federal charges of conspiring to surgically alter the identities of deported illegal immigrants via their fingerprints. The arrests stemmed from an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations office in Boston.

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Study: Lower-price hospitals trigger price reductions at other hospitals
Becker's Hospital Review
When patients were steered to hospitals that had lower prices for hip and knee replacements, other hospitals in the market reduced their prices for these procedures as well, according to a study from the Center for Studying Health System Change. In 2011, the California Public Employees Retirement System and Anthem Blue Cross adopted reference pricing to guide enrollees to California providers that hit below a certain threshold for routine hip and knee replacements.
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New findings for patients who undergo face transplants
CNN
Researchers found that blood vessels reorganize themselves in face transplant recipients. They presented their findings at the Radiological Society of North America annual meeting Wednesday. "The way that the blood vessels interact among the three patients was very similar, and so we actually have expected findings after face transplantation that have never been known before because the surgery is brand new," said study co-author Dr. Frank J. Rybicki of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston in an interview with RSNA.
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Low rate of bleeding with factor IX fusion protein
Medpage Today
Patients with severe hemophilia B had a low incidence of bleeding when treated in different therapeutic settings with long-acting recombinant factor IX fusion protein, investigators in a multicenter trial reported. Median annualized bleeding rates ranged from 1.4 to 17.7 for patients who received long-acting recombinant factor IX fusion protein for prophylaxis, treatment, or in the perioperative setting. Regardless of treatment indication, 90 percent of bleeding episodes resolved after a single injection.
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Intuitive robots may stall in surgery, company warns
Bloomberg
Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG), the maker of a $1.5 million robot surgery system, told doctors that friction in the arms of some devices may cause the units to stall, the second warning issued about the company’s products in a month. The company sent an “urgent medical device recall” Nov. 11 alerting customers of the issue, which affects 1,386 of the systems worldwide, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a Dec. 3 notice on its website. The stalling may result in a sudden “catch-up” if the surgeon pushes through the resistance, the agency said.
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Clock is ticking: New acetaminophen combo limitations coming soon
By Jason Poquette
Beginning in January, manufacturers of combination prescription products containing acetaminophen are expected to limit their APAP content to no more than 325 mg per dose. The significance of this is that many narcotic combination products currently being dispensed will soon no longer be compliant with these guidelines. The most significant impact for this group would be the changes related to hydrocodone/acetaminophen combination products, many of which still contain 500 mg of APAP or more.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Google Glass enables surgeons to consult remotely (InformationWeek)
No surgery for acute appendicitis? (Modern Medicine)
Lasers deemed highly effective treatment for excessive scars (Science Codex)
Researchers discover promising new approach for colorectal cancer treatment (News-Medical)
Esophageal cancer surgery — 'poor outcomes' with certain symptoms (Medical News Today)

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