ANZ Journal of Surgery

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Post-operative outcomes in older patients: a single-centre observational study

March 7, 2018 - 10:05
Background

Improved life-expectancies have seen increased rates of older patients undergoing surgery worldwide. These patients are at increased risk of post-operative complications. Australian evidence is limited regarding the association between age and post-operative outcomes, especially rapid response calls (RRCs) as indicators of adverse outcomes. The aim was to compare the post-operative outcomes of older patients (≥80 years) to younger patients. Specifically, 30-day in-hospital mortality; unplanned intensive care unit (ICU) admission; and RRC activation within 72 h post-operatively.

Methods

Single-centre retrospective observational study conducted over 12 months in a metropolitan Australian hospital. All adult patients (≥16 years) undergoing surgical procedures were included, excluding cardiac and obstetric/gynaecological surgeries. Patient co-morbidities were quantified using Charlson co-morbidity index (CCI) and American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status classification.

Results

Seven thousand four hundred and seventy-nine patients met inclusion criteria, 14.5% (n = 1086) aged ≥80 years. Most procedures (65%) were elective; and general surgical procedures were most common (24.2%). Compared to younger patients, older patients had significantly higher 30-day mortality (2.3% versus 0.2%; P < 0.001), increased post-operative RRC rates (7.3% versus 1.2%; P < 0.001), and unplanned ICU admissions (3.2% versus 1.6%; P < 0.001). Increasing age was associated with increased risk of post-operative RRC, unplanned ICU admission, and in-hospital mortality (all P < 0.01), with associations remaining significant after controlling for surgery type and CCI.

Conclusion

Older patients are at increased risk of adverse post-operative outcomes, including post-operative RRC, unplanned ICU admission, and mortality, especially if they underwent emergency procedures. This has implications for preoperative risk stratification and post-operative management. Incidence of post-operative RRCs may be an important indicator of post-operative care.

Prevention of peritoneal recurrence in high-risk colorectal cancer and evidence of T4 status as a potential risk factor

March 7, 2018 - 10:05

Peritoneal metastasis (PM) following primary resection of colorectal cancer is common. The combined use of cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy has significantly improved the survival outcome of patients with colorectal PM (CRPM). Diagnosing and treating early PM is essential as its extent is correlated with poorer outcomes. There are two novel therapies – second-look surgery and synchronous hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy – that are proposed to prophylactically treat or intervene early in the disease process to reduce the incidence and adverse outcomes associated with PM. These strategies are limited to patients at high risk of developing CRPM, including those that had synchronous PM or ovarian metastases resected at primary tumour removal, or a perforated primary tumour. The data on advanced primary tumour (T4) as a prognostic factor for PM after primary resection suggest that T4a tumours are prognostically worse than T4b. This literature review outlines the evidence, feasibility and safety regarding the pre-emptive treatments, as well as the relevance of T4a tumours as a risk factor for metachronous CRPM.

Gastrografin may reduce time to oral diet in prolonged post-operative ileus: a pooled analysis of two randomized trials

March 7, 2018 - 10:05
Background

Gastrografin has been suggested as a rescue therapy for prolonged post-operative ileus (PPOI) but trial data has been inconclusive. This study aimed to determine the benefit of gastrografin use in patients with PPOI by pooling the results of two recent randomized controlled trials assessing the efficacy of gastrografin compared to placebo given at time of PPOI diagnosis.

Methods

Anonymized, individual patient data from patients undergoing elective bowel resection for any indication were included, stoma closure was excluded. The primary outcome was duration of PPOI. Secondary outcomes were time to tolerate oral diet, passage of flatus/stool, requirement and duration of nasogastric tube, length of post-operative stay and rate of post-operative complications.

Results

Individual patient data were pooled for analysis (53 gastrografin, 55 placebo). Gastrografin trended towards a reduction in PPOI duration compared to placebo, respectively, median 96 h (interquartile range, IQR, 78 h) versus median 120 h (IQR, 84 h), however, this result was non-significant (P = 0.11). In addition, no significant difference was detected between the two groups for time to passage of flatus/stool (P = 0.36) and overall length of stay (P = 0.35). Gastrografin conferred a significantly faster time to tolerate an oral diet compared to placebo (median 84 h versus median 107 h, P = 0.04). There was no difference in post-operative complications between the two interventions (P > 0.05).

Conclusion

Gastrografin did not significantly reduce PPOI duration or length of stay after abdominal surgery, but did reduce time to tolerate a solid diet. Further studies are required to clarify the role of gastrografin in PPOI.

Outcomes of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy in Crohn's disease patients: an initial Australian experience

March 5, 2018 - 10:55
Background

Crohn's disease (CD) in association with obesity is becoming an increasing issue in Australia and worldwide. This report looks at outcomes for patients with CD undergoing laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy.

Methods

This is a retrospective analysis of our database of patients undergoing laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy from 2007 to 2016. Patients with concurrent CD were included.

Results

Eight patients with CD underwent laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy with a mean preoperative body mass index of 43.8. There were no identified intraoperative or post-operative complications. The mean excess weight loss was 55.7% and 56.5% at 6 months and 1 year, respectively.

Conclusion

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy can be achieved in CD patients. No complications and effective weight loss was observed in the eight reported patients.

Corrigendum

March 5, 2018 - 10:55

Accuracy of digital radiography: regional scaling factors for trauma

March 2, 2018 - 13:15
Background

Surgical planning in trauma is essential for optimal patient care and best patient outcomes. Digital radiography has improved the availability, convenience and access to radiographs worldwide as used in every trauma centre in Australia. One shortcoming, however, is the variability in magnification error associated with different anatomic regions. Accurate assessment of radiographs is paramount to proper surgical planning.

Methods

A retrospective review of 513 post-operative trauma radiographs of implants at a single centre, collected from January 2015 to August 2016, was measured by the four individual investigators. A comparison of the digital calliper reading with the known implant size, taken from operation reports and company implant data, was conducted. Magnification scales were created for different anatomic regions: femur, tibia, humerus, elbow, wrist and hand, foot and ankle.

Results

Precise regional scaling factors increase accuracy of digital radiography. Average magnification for hand, wrist, ankle and forearm is 5% (1–16%). Average magnification for foot, knee, tibia and elbow is 8% (3–11%). Humerus magnification is 10.3% (3–17%) and shoulder and femur approximately 15% (12–18%). Inter-rater Pearson's R reliability testing is 0.985–0.995 and intra-observer reliability is 0.998.

Discussion

Applying regional scaling factors improves accuracy of digital imaging, therefore improving clinical decision-making regarding fractures, distance from bony landmarks, component sizing and reduction assessment. Femoral and tibial fracture measurements with appropriate scaling factors allow the accurate estimation of nail diameter required for fixation and screw diameter for fragment fixation.

Corrigendum

March 1, 2018 - 11:44