AASPA Newsline
Oct. 15, 2013

Study: 2 major breakthroughs in new surgeon rating
The study puts the imprimatur of science on something most of us logically assume: Patients of highly skilled surgeons fare better. This has long been self-evident in the medical community. As Danny O. Jacobs, M.D., MPH, points out in his commentary on the study, it’s been assumed since the origins of modern medicine that surgical ability and patient outcomes are linked: "Despite equal training and equivalent certification, there always appeared to be surgeons who were preferred consultants, who were recognized by their peers as being especially capable and whose patients more often seemed to do best."More

Surgeons report 2 new approaches to lessen postoperative pain
New combinations of postoperative pain treatment decreased both pain and the use of narcotic pain relievers according to two studies presented this week at the 2013 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons. One pain treatment utilized the simple but nonstandard application of ice packs after major abdominal operations in patients, and the other treatment was a prolonged drug delivery method using nanotechnology in animals. More

ICD-9 vs. ICD-10: What's the difference?
By Brooke Andrus
If you're a proponent of the old "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality, you might be a little reluctant to buy into all of this ICD-10 business. After all, you use ICD-9 now, and that seems to be working just fine. So why rock the boat? Well, there's another old saying that goes something like, "You don't know what you're missing until you reach out and touch it." In this case, those still clinging to ICD-9 are completely overlooking the benefits of the new code set — things like improved interoperability, data-sharing, outcomes, and ultimately improved healthcare.More

Robot surgery damaging patients rises with marketing
Robot operations haven’t been proven in randomized trials to offer significant health benefits compared to standard, less-invasive surgery and multiple studies show they can cost thousands of dollars more. U.S. hospitals used robot-assisted surgery in more than 350,000 operations last year, a 60 percent jump since 2010. Robotic surgery is used to perform hysterectomies... More

iPad app helps surgeons in the operating room, gives digital overlays of key blood vessels
MedCity News
As augmented reality technology improves, you're going to see it in use everywhere — including the operating room. German research institute Fraunhofer MEVIS has created an app that lets surgeons use the iPad as a...More

Surgeons develop app to practice surgery
BBC News
Trainee surgeons are using tablet computers as a way to practise surgery outside the operating theatre. The surgery app was designed by four surgeons in London and can be downloaded on a variety of devices. Dr Advait Gandhe, one of its developers said they wanted to take surgical education to "another level". The app has been downloaded worldwide more than 80,000 times in less than six months.More

Crucial role of orthopedic surgeons in diagnosing mTBI among trauma care patients
In the United States, approximately 1.4 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. Of those injuries, three out of four are minor TBI (mTBI)-a head injury that causes a temporary change in mental status including confusion, an altered level of consciousness, or perceptual or behavioral impairments. According to a literature review appearing in the October 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS), falls and motor vehicle accidents are responsible for most cases of mTBI and also are a common cause of bone and joint injuries. More

Video games help warm up surgeons before high-tech surgery
MedCity News
Surgeons at Florida Hospital Celebration Health have taken up playing video games. But it's not their new hobby -- it's a way to get them ready for surgery. Dr. James "Butch" Rosser, a general surgeon, conducted research concluding that a six-minute warm-up before scrubbing made his colleagues more efficient in the operating room.More

Doctors in Los Angeles successfully perform heart operation on fetus
Catholic Online
Without the surgery, the child would likely have be born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome or HLHS, a life-threatening condition, hospital officials said. The fetal heart was developing with one valve too narrow, known as severe aortic stenosis, meaning the amount of blood coming into the heart was being severely restricted, backing up in the left ventricle. Surgeons used a hair-fine wire, a miniature needle, a tiny balloon and a catheter they successfully carried out the operation on the unborn child's heart, which was about the size of a walnut. More

Surgical knife may sniff out cancer
When a surgeon is removing a tumor, it's often hard to tell where the patient's cancer ends and the normal tissue begins — which is important in ensuring that all of the cancer is removed. Now, an experimental surgical knife aims to detect cancerous tissue as it cuts. Developed by researchers at Imperial College London, the intelligent knife, or "iKnife," sniffs out cancer cells in the smoke given off by tissue during electrosurgery, which uses an electrical current to rapidly heat and cut through the tissue. Surgeons could use the iKnife to determine whether the cells are healthy or cancerous in a matter of seconds, its creators say. More

Surgeon advises preoperative topography for all patients undergoing cataract surgery
Corneal topography results were abnormal in 25 percent of patients with no prior history of corneal refractive surgery, according to a presenter. In a study of both eyes of 200 consecutive patients, William B. Trattler, M.D., and colleagues masked and evaluated preoperative topography results of patients scheduled for cataract surgery. All topography was done with the Magellan corneal topographer (Nidek) and all surgeries were performed by the same surgeon. More

Looking to share your expertise?

In an effort to enhance the overall content of American Association of Surgical Physician Assistants, we’d like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of AASPA, your knowledge of the industry lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we’re hoping you’ll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there’s no word or graphical limit and our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you’re interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.