ANZ Journal of Surgery

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Wiley Online Library : ANZ Journal of Surgery
Updated: 11 hours 7 min ago

Intravenous lignocaine in colorectal surgery: a systematic review

July 5, 2017 - 20:20
Background

Colorectal surgery leads to morbidity during recovery including pain and fatigue. Intravenous (IV) lignocaine (IVL) has both analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects that may improve post-operative pain and recovery. The aim of this review is to compare the effectiveness of IVL to other perioperative analgesia regimens for reducing pain and opioid consumption following colorectal surgery.

Methods

Using the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement, a literature search was conducted to identify randomized clinical trials that compared IVL with IV placebo or epidural anaesthesia in open or laparoscopic colorectal surgery. The primary outcomes were opioid requirements and pain scores assessed by visual analogue score. Data were entered into pre-designed electronic spreadsheets.

Results

The literature search identified 2707 studies. A total of nine randomized clinical trials met the inclusion criteria. Five studies investigated IVL compared with IV placebo and four studies investigated IVL compared with epidural anaesthesia. Two out of the five studies comparing IVL and placebo showed statistically significant reductions in opioid consumption with IVL. There was a variable degree of improvement in pain scores when IVL was compared with epidural. Two studies showed a significant difference, with lower opioid consumption and pain scores in the epidural group. Laparoscopic and open procedures could not be compared between the IVL and placebo group.

Conclusion

IVL has shown limited benefit towards reducing early pain and morphine consumption when compared with placebo in colorectal surgery. However, IVL did not show any significant reduction in pain or opioid consumption when compared with epidural. Further research investigating IVL combined with intraperitoneal local anaesthetic is warranted.

Is cystic artery lymph node excision during laparoscopic cholecystectomy a marker of technique?

July 1, 2017 - 16:51
Background

In order to minimize bile duct injury, experts suggest that dissection during laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) should be performed lateral to the lymph node (LN). This study aims to determine whether the frequency of excision of the LN is related to patient factors, disease severity or surgical difficulty.

Methods

All LCs performed or supervised by one surgeon were identified from a prospective database. The presence of LN was retrospectively determined by reviewing the gallbladder histology report.

Results

The LN was identified in 10.4% of 1332 cholecystectomies. The American Society of Anesthesiologists class 3 was associated with a lower rate of LN excision compared with class 1 (odds ratio: 0.36; P = 0.049) as was the presence of a senior surgical trainee (odds ratio: 0.18; P < 0.001). Rate of LN excision was independent of patient demographic and clinical characteristics, including indication for cholecystectomy, conversion to open, gallbladder perforation, cholangiography, bile duct exploration and overall surgical difficulty.

Conclusions

The frequency with which the LN is excised during LC by the one surgeon is independent of the majority of clinical and surgical factors and may represent a surrogate marker of surgical technique. Whether this is related to the rate of bile duct injury remains to be determined.

Treatment of peritoneal carcinomatosis with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy in colorectal cancer

June 30, 2017 - 16:50

The peritoneum is the second most common site of metastasis after the liver and the only site of metastatic disease in approximately 25% of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). In the past, peritoneal carcinomatosis in CRC was thought to be equivalent to distant metastasis; however, the transcoelomic spread of malignant cells is an acknowledged alternative pathway. Metastasectomy with curative intent is well accepted in patients with liver metastasis in CRC despite the paucity of randomized trials. Therefore, there is rationale for local treatment with peritonectomy to eliminate macroscopic disease, followed by hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy to destroy any residual free tumour cells within the peritoneal cavity. The aim of this paper is to summarize the current evidence for cytoreduction and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy in the treatment of peritoneal carcinomatosis in CRC.

Management of pancreaticojejunal strictures after pancreaticoduodenectomy: clinical experience and review of literature

June 27, 2017 - 18:12
Background

Symptomatic pancreaticojejunal anastomotic stricture (PJS) is a rare complication following pancreaticoduodenectomy. The incidence, presentation and management of this condition are infrequently reported in the literature. Revision surgery is thought to be an effective treatment. Recent literature shows some success from endoscopic management.

Methods

The patients treated for symptomatic PJS from January 2005 to June 2014 were identified. Their clinical presentation and management was retrospectively reviewed. Patients were followed up in clinic or by telephonic interviews to assess their symptoms.

Results

Three patients (two females and one male) had symptomatic PJS out of 314 who underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy (0.9%). Main presentating symptom was intermittent abdominal pain. The diagnosis was confirmed by computed tomography scan and/or magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography. One patient underwent a failed endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography attempt to dilate the stricture. A redo-pancreaticojejunostomy was performed in all patients. At a mean follow-up of 8 months, two patients had complete resolution of symptoms and one patient had partial benefit. Five out of seven case series in literature support surgical management.

Conclusion

Symptomatic PJS can be successfully treated with redo-pancreaticojejunostomy, with good medium-term outcomes. Although endoscopic intervention has been described, review of the literature shows that success rates are low and the long-term results are unknown.

Coding in surgery: impact of a specialized coding proforma in hepato-pancreato-biliary surgery

June 23, 2017 - 19:15
Background

Coding inaccuracies in surgery misrepresent the productivity of hospitals and outcome data of surgeons. The aim of this study was to audit the extent of coding inaccuracies in hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB) surgery and assess the financial impact of introducing a coding proforma.

Methods

Coding of patients who underwent elective HPB surgery over a 3-month period was audited. Codes were based on International Classification of Diseases 10 and Office of Population and Census Surveys-4 codes. A coding proforma was introduced and assessed. New human resource group codes were re-assigned and new tariffs calculated. A cost analysis was also performed.

Results

Prior to the introduction of the coding proforma, 42.0% of patients had the incorrect diagnosis and 48.5% had missing co-morbidities. In addition, 14.5% of primary procedures were incorrect and 37.6% had additional procedures that were not coded for at all. Following the introduction of the coding proforma, there was a 27.5% improvement in the accuracy of primary diagnosis (P < 0.001) and 21% improvement in co-morbidities (P = 0.002). There was a 7.2% improvement in the accuracy of coding primary procedures (P = not significant) and a 21% improvement in the accuracy of coding of additional procedures (P < 0.001). Financial loss as a result of coding inaccuracy over our 3-month study period was £56 073 with an estimated annual loss of £228 292.

Conclusion

Coding in HPB surgery is prone to coding inaccuracies due to the complex nature of HPB surgery and the patient case-mix. A specialized coding proforma completed ‘in theatre’ significantly improves the accuracy of coding and prevents loss of income.

Is it right to ignore learning-curve patients? Laparoscopic colorectal trials

June 23, 2017 - 02:10
Background

Increasingly complex, technically demanding surgical procedures utilizing emerging technologies have developed over recent decades and are recognized as having long ‘learning curves’. This raises significant new issues. Ethically and scientifically, the outcome of a patient in the learning curve is as important as the outcome of a patient outside the learning curve. The aim of this study is to highlight just one aspect of our approach to learning-curve patients that should change.

Methods

The protocols of multicentre, prospective, randomized trials of patients undergoing either traditional open or laparoscopic surgery for colorectal cancer were reviewed. The number of patients excluded from the published trial results because they were in surgeons’ learning curves was calculated. The seven editorials accompanying these publications were also examined for any mention of these patients.

Results

The eight studies identified had similar designs. All patients in the surgeons’ laparoscopic learning curves, which were often several years long, were excluded from the actual trials. The total number of patients included in the trial publications was 5680. The number of patients excluded because they were in the surgeons’ laparoscopic learning curves was >10 605. In none of the studies or accompanying editorials is there any mention of the total number of patients in the surgeons’ learning curves, these patients’ outcomes or how inclusion of their outcomes might have affected the overall results.

Conclusion

Learning curves are inescapable in modern medicine. Our recognition of patients in these curves should evolve, with more data about them included in trial publications.

Enhanced recovery programme following laparoscopic colorectal resection for elderly patients

June 23, 2017 - 02:10
Background

The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility and safety of an enhanced recovery programme (ERP) in patients aged ≥75 years who undergo laparoscopic surgery for colorectal cancer.

Methods

Patients were divided into two groups according to perioperative management: the ERP group (Group A, n = 94) and the conventional perioperative care group (Group B, n = 157). The postoperative outcomes were compared between two groups.

Results

There were no differences in terms of age, gender, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, operative time or blood loss between two groups. Postoperative return of gastrointestinal function was significantly faster in Group A compared to Group B, including time to first flatus (2 versus 3 days, P < 0.001), first stool (3 versus 4 days, P = 0.001) and oral intake (1 versus 4 days, P < 0.001). Group A was associated with lower overall postoperative complication rate (26.6% versus 44.6%, P = 0.004) and general complication rate (14.9% versus 31.2%, P = 0.004). The median postoperative hospital stay was 6 days in Group A and 8 days in Group B (P < 0.001), respectively.

Conclusions

ERP following laparoscopic colorectal resection for elderly patients is associated with faster postoperative recovery, shorter postoperative hospital stay and fewer complications compared with conventional perioperative care.

Systematic differences between ultrasound and pathological evaluation of thyroid nodules: a method comparison study

June 13, 2017 - 15:30
Background

The size of thyroid nodules as measured by ultrasound (ultrasound size, USS) is routinely used in clinical decision-making. Reports of discrepancy between USS and pathological size (PS) evaluation have not analysed their systematic differences. The objective of this study was to uncover the lack of agreement (bias) between USS and PS measurements.

Methods

A retrospective study was performed on 121 patients who had a total or hemi-thyroidectomy for a solitary nodule. Ordinary least product regression was used to detect and distinguish constant and proportional bias in unidimensional size measurements between USS and PS evaluation. Three-dimensional volume measurements were compared in a subgroup of 31 patients. Pre-specified acceptable limits of interchange were defined as 20% difference.

Results

Ordinary least product regression demonstrated no constant or proportional bias between the two methods; regression equation: USS = (0.863) + (1.040) × PS. When nodules were grouped by size, discrepancies between the two methods were observed in nodules <10 mm (P = 0.004). However, potential overtreatment of patients with USS >10 mm but PS <10 mm only accounted for 4.1% of total patients. Subgroup analysis of volume measurements showed no bias between USS and PS evaluation.

Conclusions

USS and PS measurements were interchangeable, as there was no evidence of constant or proportional bias between the two measurements. However, USS may misclassify the size for smaller nodules and potentially lead to unnecessary workup and treatment. Discrepancy in size measurements between USS and PS should be taken into account in clinical practice, particularly in smaller nodules.