ANZ Journal of Surgery

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Syndicate content
Wiley Online Library : ANZ Journal of Surgery
Updated: 14 hours 12 min ago

Issue information - JEB

September 6, 2017 - 10:07

Issue information - TOC

September 6, 2017 - 10:07

Rare finding of a giant ischioanal lipoma

September 5, 2017 - 11:07

Transperineal rectocele repair: a systematic review

September 5, 2017 - 11:06
Background

Transperineal rectocele repairs, either as isolated fascial repair or in combination with mesh augmentation, are hypothesized to reduce the risk of complications compared with alternative techniques.

Aim

The aim of this study was to ascertain long-term success and complication rates following transperineal rectocele repairs.

Method

A literature search of PubMed and Embase was performed using the terms ‘transperineal rectocele’, ‘rectocele’, ‘transperineal’ and ‘repair’. Prospective studies, case series and retrospective case note analyses from 1 January 1994 to 1 December 2016 were included. Those that detailed outcomes of the transperineal approach or compared it to transanal/transvaginal approaches were included. The main outcome measures were reported complications and functional outcome scores.

Results

A total of 14 studies were included. Of 566 patients, 333 (58.8%) underwent a transperineal rectocele repair and 220 (41.2%) a transanal repair. Complications were identified in 27 (12.3%) of the 220 transanal repairs and in 41 (12.3%) of the 333 transperineal repairs. A significant complication following transperineal repair was noted in eight studies. There are not enough data to make a reliable comparison between mesh and non-mesh transperineal repairs or to compare biological and synthetic mesh use.

Limitations

Outcome reporting differed between studies, precluding a full meta-analysis.

Conclusion

Transperineal rectocele repair offers an effective method of symptom improvement and appears to have a similar complication rate as transanal rectocele repair. Concomitant use of synthetic and biological mesh augmentation is becoming more common; however, high-quality comparative data are lacking, so a direct comparison between surgical approaches is not yet possible.

Resection accuracy of patient-specific cutting guides in total knee replacement

August 30, 2017 - 13:40
Background

Patient-specific guides (PSGs) have been thoroughly investigated with regards to reconstitution of mechanical alignment in total knee arthroplasty (TKA). The ability to replicate the preoperative surgical plan is essential for optimal outcomes but intraoperative measurements to confirm accurate progression through the operation are limited. This leads to our clinical question: can PSGs replicate the planned bone resection depth during TKA?

Methods

This is a prospective case series of 118 patients who underwent TKA using magnetic resonance imaging-based patient-specific cutting guides. Intraoperative bone resection thickness was measured and compared with the preoperative planned bone resections as a primary outcome. Secondary outcomes included the need for additional bone resections, the number of cases for which the PSG technique was abandoned, final component sizes and mechanical alignment.

Results

PSGs could not accurately recreate preoperative plan. PSGs resulted in over-resection in all bone cuts compared with the preoperative surgical resection plan. Secondary osteotomies were required in 37% of patients. PSGs had to be abandoned in 10.5% of cases, mostly due to suboptimal fit of the femoral block. The tibial component size was altered more frequently than the femoral.

Conclusion

Intraoperatively, PSGs could not accurately recreate the preoperative plan. PSGs are marketed as user-friendly tools to simplify TKA but our research demonstrates the need for surgeons to monitor surgical progression and compensate for errors occurring during the use of PSGs.

Risk factors for multidrug-resistant Gram-negative infection in burn patients

August 30, 2017 - 13:40
Background

Infection with multidrug-resistant (MDR) Gram-negative organisms leads to poorer outcomes in the critically ill burn patient. The aim of this study was to identify the risk factors for MDR Gram-negative pathogen infection in critically ill burn patients admitted to a major tertiary referral intensive care unit (ICU) in Australia.

Methods

A retrospective case–control study of all adult burn patients admitted over a 7-year period was conducted. Twenty-one cases that cultured an MDR Gram-negative organism were matched with 21 controls of similar age, gender, burn size and ICU stay. Multivariable conditional logistic regression was used to individually assess risk factors after adjusting for Acute Burn Severity Index. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) were reported. P-values < 0.25 were considered as potentially important risk factors.

Results

Factors increasing the risk of MDR Gram-negative infection included superficial partial thickness burn size (OR: 1.08; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01–1.16; P-value: 0.034), prior meropenem exposure (OR: 10.39; 95% CI: 0.96–112.00; P-value: 0.054), Gram-negative colonization on admission (OR: 9.23; 95% CI: 0.65–130.15; P-value: 0.10) and escharotomy (OR: 2.66; 95% CI: 0.52–13.65; P-value: 0.24). For cases, mean age was 41 (SD: 13) years, mean total body surface area burned was 47% (SD: 18) and mean days in ICU until MDR specimen collection was 17 (SD: 10) days.

Conclusion

Prior meropenem exposure, Gram-negative colonization on admission, escharotomy and superficial partial thickness burn size may be potentially important factors for increasing the risk of MDR Gram-negative infection in the critically ill burn patient.

Mental training in surgical education: a systematic review

August 29, 2017 - 20:05
Background

Pressures on surgical education from restricted working hours and increasing scrutiny of outcomes have been compounded by the development of highly technical surgical procedures requiring additional specialist training. Mental training (MT), the act of performing motor tasks in the ‘mind's eye’, offers the potential for training outside the operating room. However, the technique is yet to be formally incorporated in surgical curricula. This study aims to review the available literature to determine the role of MT in surgical education.

Methods

EMBASE and Medline databases were searched. The primary outcome measure was surgical proficiency following training. Secondary analyses examined training duration, forms of MT and trainees level of experience. Study quality was assessed using Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials scores or Quality Assessment Tool for Before-After (Pre-Post) Studies with No Control Group.

Results

Fourteen trials with 618 participants met the inclusion criteria, of which 11 were randomized and three longitudinal. Ten studies found MT to be beneficial. Mental rehearsal was the most commonly used form of training. No significant correlation was found between the length of MT and outcomes. MT benefitted expert surgeons more than medical students or novice surgeons.

Conclusion

The majority studies demonstrate MT to be beneficial in surgical education especially amongst more experienced surgeons within a well-structured MT programme. However, overall studies were low quality, lacked sufficient methodology and suffered from small sample sizes. For these reasons, further research is required to determine optimal role of MT as a supplementary educational tool within the surgical curriculum.

Left renal vein ligation for large splenorenal shunt during liver transplantation

August 29, 2017 - 20:05

Adequate hepatopetal portal vein blood flow is obligatory to ensure proper liver function after liver transplantation. Large collateral veins as shunts impair portal vein flow and even cause hepatofugal blood flow and portal steal syndrome. In particular, splenorenal shunts in liver transplant recipients can lead to allograft dysfunction and possible allograft loss or hepatic encephalopathy. Restoration of portal flow through left renal vein ligation (LRVL) is a treatment option, which is much easier compared to splenectomy, renoportal anastomosis and shunt closure, but bears the risk of moderate and temporary impairment of renal function. In addition, a patent portal vein is mandatory for LRVL. However, although LRVL has been reported to be an effective, safe and easy method to control portacaval shunts and increase hepatopetal flow in some studies, indications and safety are still not clear. In this review, we summarize existing studies on LRVL during liver transplantation.

The Perth Emergency Laparotomy Audit

August 24, 2017 - 13:11
Background

Emergency laparotomies (ELs) are associated with high mortality and substantial outcome variation. There is no prospective Australian data on ELs. The aim of this study was to audit outcome after ELs in Western Australia.

Methods

A 12-week prospective audit was completed in 10 hospitals. Data collected included patient demographics, the clinical pathway, preoperative risk assessment and outcomes including 30-day mortality and length of stay.

Results

Data were recorded for 198 (76.2%) of 260 patients. The 30-day mortality was 6.5% (17/260) in participating hospitals, and 5.4% (19 of 354) across Western Australia. There was minimal variation between the three tertiary hospitals undertaking 220 of 354 (62.1%) ELs. The median and mean post-operative lengths of stay, excluding patients who died, were 8 and 10 days, respectively. In the 48 patients with a prospectively documented risk of ≥10%, both a consultant surgeon and anaesthetist were present for 68.8%, 62.8% were admitted to critical care and 45.8% commenced surgery within 2 h. The mortality in those retrospectively (62; 31%) and prospectively risk-assessed was 9.5% and 5.2%, respectively.

Conclusion

This prospective EL audit demonstrated low 30-day mortality with little inter-hospital variation. Individual hospitals have scope to improve their standards of care. The importance of prospective risk assessment is clear.

National surgical mortality audit may be associated with reduced mortality after emergency admission

August 21, 2017 - 10:10
Background

The Western Australian Audit of Surgical Mortality was established in 2002. A 10-year analysis suggested it was the primary driver in the subsequent fall in surgeon-related mortality. Between 2004 and 2010 the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons established mortality audits in other states. The aim of this study was to examine national data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) to determine if a similar fall in mortality was observed across Australia.

Method

The AIHW collects procedure and outcome data for all surgical admissions. AIHW data from 2005/2006 to 2012/2013 was used to assess changes in surgical mortality.

Results

Over the 8 years surgical admissions increased by 23%, while mortality fell by 18% and the mortality per admission fell by 33% (P < 0.0001). A similar decrease was seen in all regions. The mortality reduction was overwhelmingly observed in elderly patients admitted as an emergency.

Conclusion

The commencement of this nation-wide mortality audit was associated with a sharp decline in perioperative mortality. In the absence of any influences from other changes in clinical governance or new quality programmes it is probable it had a causal effect. The reduced mortality was most evident in high-risk patients. This study adds to the evidence that national audits are associated with improved outcomes.

Ilizarov technique and limited surgical methods for correction of post-traumatic talipes equinovarus in children

August 17, 2017 - 10:06
Background

The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of using Ilizarov invasive distraction technique combined with limited surgical operations in the treatment of post-traumatic talipes equinovarus in children.

Methods

Eighteen cases of post-traumatic deformed feet in 15 patients who received the treatment of Ilizarov frame application, limited soft-tissue release or osteotomy were selected in this study. After removal of the frame, an ankle–foot orthosis was used continuously for another 6–12 months. Pre- and post-operatively, the International Clubfoot Study Group (ICFSG) score was employed to evaluate the gait and range of motion of the ankle joint. Radiographical assessment was also conducted.

Results

Patients were followed up for 22 (17–32) months. Ilizarov frame was applied for a mean duration of 5.5 (4–9) months. When it was removed, the gait was improved significantly in all the patients. The correction time was 6–8 weeks for patients who underwent soft-tissue release and 8–12 weeks for those with bone osteotomy. At the last follow-up assessment, the differences between pre- and post-operative plantar-flexion angle, dorsiflexion, motion of ankle joint and talocalcaneal angle were significant (all P < 0.05). The observed complications included wire-hole infection in one foot, toe contracture in one, residual deformity in three, recurrence of deformity in two and spastic ischaemia in one foot.

Conclusion

Our findings suggest that Ilizarov technique combined with limited surgical operation can be considered as an efficient and successful method for correction of post-traumatic talipes equinovarus in children.

Who, where, what and where to now? A snapshot of publishing patterns in Australian orthopaedic surgery

August 15, 2017 - 16:11
Background

Development of core research competency is a principle of orthopaedic surgical training in Australia. This paper aims to provide an objective snapshot of publications by Australian orthopaedic trainees and surgeons, to contribute to the discussion on how to identify and build on research capability in the Australian Orthopaedic Association (AOA).

Methods

By analysing journals with a journal impact factor >1 from 2009 to 2015, data were gathered to explore scientific journal publications by Australian orthopaedic surgeons and trainees in relation to who are the authors, what they are reporting and where they are publishing.

Results

One thousand five hundred and thirty-nine articles were identified with 134 orthopaedic trainees and 519 surgeons as authors. The publication rate for both trainees and surgeons was just over two in five. The majority of studies were of level three or four evidence (Oxford's Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine guidelines). Only 5% of trainee papers were published without surgeons’ co-authorship. Eighty-six percent of papers published by surgeons did not involve a trainee. The rates of trainees publishing with other trainees were low.

Conclusion

Only 5% of trainee papers were published without surgeons' co-authorship, highlighting the importance of surgeon mentorship in developing trainee research capability. The 86% of papers published by surgeons without trainee co-authorship raises the question of missed mentoring opportunities. Low rates of trainee co-authorship highlight potential for trainees to work together to support each other's research efforts. There is scope for more studies involving higher levels of evidence. This paper raises discussion points and areas for further exploration in relation to AOA trainee research capability.

Pancreatico-jejunostomy decreases post-operative pancreatic fistula incidence and severity after central pancreatectomy

August 15, 2017 - 16:10
Backgrounds

Central pancreatectomy (CP) is an alternative to pancreaticoduodenectomy and distal pancreatectomy in benign tumours of pancreatic isthmus management. It is known for a high post-operative pancreatic fistula (POPF) rate. The purpose of this study was to compare POPF incidence between pancreatico-jejunostomy (PJ) and pancreatico-gastrostomy (PG).

Methods

Fifty-eight patients (mean age 53.9 ± 1.9 years) who underwent a CP in four French University Hospitals from 1988 to 2011 were analysed. The distal pancreatic remnant was either anastomosed to the stomach (44.8%, n = 25) or to a Roux-en-Y jejunal loop (55.2%, n = 35) with routine external drainage allowing a systematic search for POPF. POPF severity was classified according to the International Study Group on Pancreatic Fistula (ISGPF) and Clavien-Dindo classifications.

Results

The groups were similar on sex ratio, mean age, ASA score, pancreas texture, operative time and operative blood loss. Mean follow-up was 36.2 ± 3.9 months. POPF were significantly more frequent after PG (76.9 versus 37.5%, P = 0.003). PG was associated with significantly higher grade of POPF both when graded with ISGPF classification (P = 0.012) and Clavien-Dindo classification (P = 0.044). There was no significant difference in post-operative bleeding (0.918) and delayed gastric emptying (0.877) between the two groups. Hospital length of stay was increased after PG (23.6 ± 3.5 days versus 16.5 ± 1.9 days, P = 0.071). There was no significant difference in incidence of long-term exocrine (3.8 versus 19.2%, P = 0.134) and endocrine (7.7 versus 9.4%, P = 0.575) pancreatic insufficiencies.

Conclusion

PG was associated with a significantly higher POPF incidence and severity in CP. We recommend performing PJ especially in older patients to improve CP outcomes.