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How the government shutdown affects healthcare
By Pamela Lewis Dolan
The Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, is at the center of the budget debate that has resulted in a government shutdown. But one of the ironies of the situation is that the program will remain funded. It even reached a major milestone — the launch of the insurance exchanges — on Oct. 1, the same day other areas of government were forced to place employees on furlough. The ACA, as well as Medicare and Medicaid, are not affected by the shutdown. But other areas of healthcare, particularly those in the public health arena, don’t fall under the same exceptions and were forced into limbo.
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US companies consider 'medical tourism' a healthcare option
ABC News
More Americans are having surgeries overseas. Joy Guin and Gary Harwell are among a growing wave of Americans frustrated by the rising costs of the U.S. healthcare system and heading abroad for medical procedures. Nearly one million Americans go overseas for procedures every year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is even a Medical Tourism Association — its core mission of providing transparent education and awareness about top-of-the-line procedures and treatments at affordable prices.
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Web-based training modules make surgical-equipment training accessible
Medical Xpress
While training to become a surgeon, a physician acquires many skills. Nevertheless, when it comes to the procedures involved in learning to handle equipment in laparoscopic surgery (keyhole surgery in the abdominal cavity), there is room for imvrovement. This is the conclusion drawn by physician and researcher Diederick van Hove...

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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...

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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.

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Next generation sequencing test improves detection of thyroid cancer, reduces unnecessary surgeries
Medical Xpress
A new test for genetic markers that can identify which lumps in the thyroid gland are cancerous and which are harmless — potentially preventing unneeded operations — will make its debut Oct. 1 for patients seeking care at the UPMC/UPCI Multidisciplinary Thyroid Center. Growth of a small mass or nodule of the thyroid gland, which is located in the "Adam's apple" area of the neck, is very common, particularly with aging, said Yuri Nikiforov, M.D., Ph.D.
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With breast cancer, 'less is more' for lymph node removal
Medical News Today
Scientists say that removing fewer lymph nodes in surgery for breast cancer patients causes less harm and often demonstrates equally good results. Researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center conducted a review of the risks and benefits of sentinel lymph node biopsy, compared with complete axillary lymph node dissection from 17 previous studies published in JAMA.
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Size matters in lung transplants — and bigger is better
By Joy Burgess
Previously, lung transplant experts have worked hard to match donor lung size close to the lung size of the transplant recipient. Physicians pursued size-matching due to the concern that lungs that were too large or too small could lead to potential problems, such as poor lung function, after transplantation. However, new transplant research is shattering that theory. New studies from Johns Hopkins Medicine and the University of Iowa show that choosing bigger lungs for patients is associated with better survival rates after transplantation.
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Laser-aided cataract surgery may cause anterior capsule tear
Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery (FLACS) may cause postage-stamp perforations and additional aberrant pulses, leading to an increased rate of anterior capsule tears, according to a prospective, multicenter, comparative cohort case series published online Sept. 30 in Ophthalmology. "Capsular complications after [FLACS] were increased in an early study, which is thought to be the result of the initial learning curve," write Robin G. Abell, MBBS.
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Surgeons get a 'flight simulator' for brain surgery
Fast Company
Surgeons at one of New York's largest hospitals will begin prepping for brain surgery with a computer simulation that bills itself as a "flight simulator" for difficult clinical procedures. Surgical Theater is an Israeli-American company whose main product is a computerized surgery rehearsal system which transforms patients' MRI and CT scans into fully immersive simulations; the surgeons then use scalpel-like controllers to rehearse brain surgery.
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Complications from laser lipo when not performed by plastic surgeons
Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
Laser liposuction is powerful and requires training to avoid burning of the skin and extensive scarring. The problem is that most doctors using laser lipo are typically the least trained in liposuction techniques because they aren’t plastic surgeons. Often times, the doctors who are doing laser lipo in their office — away from the oversight of health regulations found in hospitals, surgery centers or other accredited operating rooms — are not trained in cosmetic plastic surgery.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Broken bones could be mended with robot-assisted surgery (Health Canal)
Preoperative blood typing may not be needed for some pediatric surgeries (RedOrbit)
Anesthesiologists sometimes fall short of team needs (Anesthesiology News)
New eyelid surgery: Instead of stitches, why not glue your way to more open eyes? (Medical Daily)
FDA approval expands access to artificial heart valve for inoperable patients (U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

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