The options to clear a recovered COVID-19 patient for surgery could be a symptom or test-based strategy. The studies recommend a hybrid strategy until more information is available. Surgical procedures should be delayed if possible for 4–6 weeks. The scientific data recommend against routine testing in this group as patients are likely not infectious any-more and risk of airway reactivity or ARDS will be reduced. Between 2 and 4 weeks after symptom onset, scientific data recommend a test-based strategy due to insufficient data that recovered COVID patients are completely uninfectious. Data from China suggest that patients with severe symptoms have higher viral burden and prolonged viral shedding. For surgery completion<2 weeks after COVID-19 symptoms or diagnosis, scientific data recommend no testing and operating under COVID isolation precautions in the operating room. Immunocompromised patients are likely to shed longer and may be at higher risk of other infectious or pulmonary complications. The scientific data suggest individualized case-based decisions by involved providers until more information is available.
A obstrução intestinal ocorre quando a propulsão do conteúdo entérico em direção ao ânus sofre interferência. Há vários critérios para classificá-la: quanto ao nível (delgado alto e baixo ou cólon), quanto ao grau (completa, incompleta – suboclusão ou “alça fechada”), quanto ao estado de circulação sangüínea (simples ou estrangulada), quanto ao tipo de evolução (aguda ou crônica) e quanto à natureza da obstrução (mecânica, vascular ou funcional). Ao que se a figura, em torno de 20% das cirurgias por quadros de abdome agudo são de pacientes com obstrução intestinal. Atualmente, as aderências pós-operatórias são a principal causa em todas os grupos etários. Hérnia inguinal estrangulada, outrora causa mais comum, figura em segundo lugar, seguida de neoplasia intestinal. Esses três agentes etiológicos respondem por mais de 80% de todas as obstruções.
Os sintomas cardinais são: dor, náuseas e vômitos, parada da eliminação de gases e fezes com distensão abdominal, sendo que esta manifestação ocorre mais tarde. A dor é tipicamente em cólica, de início brusco, em salva, ocorrendo a intervalos regulares, de localização epigástrica, periumbilical ou hipogástrica, dependendo do nível da obstrução. Se a dor se tornar contínua, localizada ou difusa nos intervalos entre as cólicas, é grande a suspeita de comprometimento vascular, ou seja, isquemia intestinal. Nas obstruções mecânicas altas os vômitos são freqüentes, surgem precocemente e são constituídos de material estagnado e de aspecto bilioso; nas obstruções de cólon as náuseas e vômitos podem inexistir. Na obstrução mecânica os sintomas de obstipação são tardios. A parada total da eliminação de gases e fezes é o apanágio da obstrução completa. Na suboclusão, o paciente pode continuar eliminando gases. A distensão abdominal pode surgir algumas horas depois de iniciados os sintomas, em função do nível de obstrução, sendo ausente ou discreta nas oclusões altas do intestino delgado, intensa e precoce nas baixas e mais tardias nas obstruções do cólon.
O exame físico nas primeiras 24 horas pode revelar pouquíssimos achados anormais, a não ser durante os períodos de cólica, os sinais vitais mantêm-se normais, e a desidratação e distensão ainda não são pronunciadas. Há defesa de parede durante a palpação, e a descoberta de massa ou área restrita de dor é sugestiva de estrangulamento. A ausculta é de grande valor, pois o abdome é silencioso, exceto nos ataques de cólica, nos quais os ruídos são altos, agudos e metálicos. Em torno do segundo ou terceiro dia a doença agrava-se visivelmente, quando a desidratação e a distensão estão acentuadas e os sinais vitais se alteram, apesar da obstrução simples só acarretar choque tardiamente.
Podem ser feitos exames complementares não só para o diagnóstico, como também para terapêutica. Exemplo disto é o tratamento do volvo de sigmóide com o auxílio da retossigmoidoscopia ou colonoscopia pela passagem, sob visão direta, de sonda além da zona de torção. A radiografia do abdome e a Tomografia Computadorizada é fundamental para confirmação diagnóstica, melhor compreensão dos dados clínicos e também pode ajudar a elucidar etiologias. Os exames laboratoriais, permitem avaliar o grau e tipo de desequilíbrio metabólico, o que será fundamental para a terapêutica, definindo se há ou não sofrimento vascular.
Os princípios da terapêutica são a reposição de líquidos e eletrólitos, a descompressão do intestino e a intervenção cirúrgica no momento adequado. Absolutamente todos os pacientes com obstrução intestinal COMPLETA, devem ser operados. Há 5 categorias de manobras cirúrgicas: extraluminares, enterotomia para retirada de corpos estranhos da luz, ressecção intestinal, operações de desvio de trânsito e operações de descompressão. Pelo fato de ser intervenção cirúrgica de urgência, as complicações pós-operatórias são mais freqüentes. As mais observadas são: infecção de parede, íleo prolongado, sepse, complicações pulmonares e infecção urinária.
#Bolsonaro #ObstruçãoIntestinal #Aderências
Once the decision for surgery has been made, an operative plan needs to be discussed and implemented. Should one initially start with laparoscopic surgery for the “bad gallbladder”? If a laparoscopic approach is taken, when should bail-out maneuvers be attempted? Is converting to open operation still the standard next step? A 2016 study published by Ashfaq and colleagues sheds some light on our first question. They studied 2212 patients who underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy, of which 351 were considered “difficult gallbladders.” A difficult gallbladder was considered one that was necrotic or gangrenous, involved Mirizzi syndrome, had extensive adhesions, was converted to open, lasted more than 120 minutes, had a prior tube cholecystostomy, or had known gallbladder perforation. Seventy of these 351 operations were converted to open. The indications for conversion included severe inflammation and adhesions around the gallbladder rendering dissection of triangle of Calot difficult (n 5 37 [11.1%]), altered anatomy (n 5 14 [4.2%]), and intraoperative bleeding that was difficult to control laparoscopically (n 5 6 [1.8%]). The remaining 13 patients (18.5%) included a combination of cholecystoenteric fistula, concern for malignancy, common bile duct exploration for stones, and inadvertent enterotomy requiring small bowel repair. Comparing the total laparoscopic cholecystectomy group and the conversion groups, operative time and length of hospital stay were significantly different; 147 +- 47 minutes versus 185 +- 71 minutes (P<.005) and 3+-2 days versus 5+-3 days (P 5 .011), respectively. There was no significant difference in postoperative hemorrhage, subhepatic collection, cystic duct leak, wound infection, reoperation, and 30-day mortality.2 From these findings, we can glean that most cholecystectomies should be started laparoscopically, because it is safe to do so. It is the authors’ practice to start laparoscopically in all cases.
Despite the best efforts of experienced surgeons, it is sometimes impossible to safely obtain the critical view of safety in a bad gallbladder with dense inflammation and even scarring in the hepatocystic triangle. Continued attempts to dissect in this hazardous region can lead to devastating injury, including transection of 1 or both hepatic ducts, the common bile duct, and/or a major vascular injury (usually the right hepatic artery). Therefore, it is imperative that any surgeon faced with a bad gallbladder have a toolkit of procedures to safely terminate the operation while obtaining maximum symptom and source control, rather than continue to plunge blindly into treacherous terrain. If the critical view of safety cannot be achieved owing to inflammation, and when further dissection in the hepatocystic triangle is dangerous, these authors default to laparoscopic subtotal cholecystectomy as our bail-out procedure of choice. The rationale for this approach is that it resolves symptoms by removing the majority of the gallbladder, leading to low (although not zero) rates of recurrent symptoms. It is safe, and can be easily completed laparoscopically, thus avoiding the longer hospital stay and morbidity of an open operation. There is now significant data supporting this approach. In a series of 168 patients (of whom 153 were laparoscopic) who underwent subtotal cholecystectomy for bad gallbladders, the mean operative time was 150 minutes (range, 70–315 minutes) and the average blood loss was 170 mL (range, 50–1500 mL). The median length of stay for these patients was 4 days (range, 1–68 days), and there were no common bile duct injuries.23 There were 12 postoperative collections (7.1%), 4 wound infections (2.4%), 1 bile leak (0.6%), and 7 retained stones (4.2%), but the 30-day mortality was similar to those who underwent a total laparoscopic cholecystectomy. A systematic review and meta-analysis by Elshaer and colleagues showed that subtotal cholecystectomy achieves comparable morbidity rates compared with total cholecystectomy. These data support the idea that we should move away from the idea that the only acceptable outcome for a cholecystectomy is the complete removal of a gallbladder, especially when it is not safe to do so. This shift toward subtotal cholecystectomy has been appropriately referred to as the safety first, total cholecystectomy second approach.
At a minimum, cessation of exogenous hormones is recommended, followed by serial imaging, as these lesions will shrink when the inciting hormone has been removed. In general, to obtain either CT or MRI every 6 months for the first 2 years and then once annually for lesions that we are following. Intervention is dictated by the risk of hemorrhage and malignant transformation, which is directly correlated to size. Hepatocellular carcinoma is seen in 5% of patients with lesions exceeding 8 cm. The rate of rupture is strongly associated with size > 5 cm.
Surgical resection is recommended for lesions ≥ 5 cm, those that are enlarging, those for which malignancy cannot be excluded, and those that are symptomatic. Additionally, adenomas in men, regardless of size, and especially those that are associated with anabolic steroid use, those with glycogen storage disease, and those that harbor ß-catenin mutations should also be given serious consideration for surgical extirpation.
Pregnant women with HA pose a management challenge. Since adenomas respond to hormones, they can increase in size with pregnancy and thus put the patient at risk for rupturing and bleeding. For women who would like to become pregnant, close monitoring without discouraging the patient’s wish is
recommended for lesions < 5 cm. However, for those patients with lesions > 5 cm or those who had complications from the adenomas from previous pregnancies, we recommend surgical resection prior to proceeding with the pregnancy. In situations where HA is discovered during pregnancy, we recommend close monitoring for lesions < 5 cm. However, for lesions > 5 cm, surgical resection should be considered during the second trimester but delayed in the third trimester since surgical intervention during this trimester is fraught with complications.
The gold standard for the surgical treatment of symptomatic cholelithiasis is conventional laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC). The “difficult gallbladder” is a scenario in which a cholecystectomy turns into an increased surgical risk compared with standard cholecystectomy. The procedure may be difficult due to processes that either obscure normal biliary anatomy (such as acute or chronic inflammation) or operative exposure (obesity or adhesions caused by prior upper abdominal surgery). So, when confronted with a difficult cholecystectomy, the surgeon has a must: to turn the operation into a safe cholecystectomy, which can mean conversion (to an open procedure), cholecystostomy, or partial/ subtotal cholecystectomy. The surgeon should understand that needs to rely on damage control, to prevent more serious complications if choosing to advance and progress to a complete cholecystectomy.
When to Predict a Difficult Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy
A difficult cholecystectomy may be predicted preoperatively based on patient characteristics and ultrasound and laboratory findings. This is probably a very important step in mitigating the high risk associated with a difficult procedure and may serve either to reschedule the procedure or design intraoperative strategies of management to guarantee a safe performance of the surgical procedure.
The following situations are associated with a higher chance of a difficult cholecystectomy:
• Acute cholecystitis (more than 5 days of onset)
• Previous cholecystitis episode
• Male sex
• Sclero-atrophic gallbladder
• Thick walls (>5 mm)
• Previous signs of canalicular dwelling (clinical and laboratory)
Through multivariate analysis, Bourgoin identified these elements of predictive help to identify difficult LC: male sex, previous cholecystitis attack, fibrinogen, neutrophil, and alkaline phosphatase levels. Another important point is the fact of conversion from a laparoscopic procedure to an open and traditional cholecystectomy, usually through a right subcostal incision. Conversion should not be considered as a personal failure, and the surgeon needs to understand the concept of “safety first,” considering that conversion is performed in order to complete the procedure without additional risks and preventing complications and not solving intraoperative complications. It is also useful to define a time threshold to aid in the decision to convert. It is not worth taking an hour and a half and still dissecting adhesions, preventing the correct visualization of the cystic pedicle. This time limit represents a method to prevent inefficiencies in the operating room (OR) schedule as well as additional expenditures.
A smart surgeon should rely to conversion in the following situations:
• Lack of progress in the procedure
• Unclear anatomy/any grade of uncertainty
• CVS not achieved
• Bleeding/vascular injury
• BD injury
• Lack of infrastructure, expertise, and support
The primary goal of a laparoscopic cholecystectomy in the treatment of symptomatic cholelithiasis is the safe remotion of the gallbladder and the absence of common bile duct injury. Some tips to take into account:
– Never perform a laparoscopic cholecystectomy without a skilled surgeon close by.
– Beware of the easy gallbladder.
– Slow down, take your time.
– Knowledge is power, conversión can be the salvation!
– Do not repair a bile duct injury (unless you have performed at least 25 hepaticojejunostomies).
– Do not ignore postoperative complaints (pain, jaundice, major abdominal discomfort, fever)
Other options when confronted with a difficult laparoscopic cholecystectomy are:
– A percutaneous cholecystostomy, if the risk was identified preoperatively or the patient is a poor surgical candidate;
– An intraoperative cholangiography, which may aid in identifying an injury to the bile duct and solve it, if you are an experienced surgeon;
– A subtotal or partial cholecystectomy;
– Ask for help;
– Conversion to an open procedure;
Donor Evaluation and Management
There are very few absolute contraindications for abdominal organ donation, which can be summarized in the short form CHUMP: (1) Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, (2) active HIV infection, (3) uncontrolled donor sepsis, (4) history of melanoma or other malignancy that poses a risk for transmission regardless of the apparent disease – free period, and (5) past history of non-curable malignancy (curable malignancy such as localized small kidney tumors, localized prostate cancer, localized colon malignancy >5 years previously may be considered after careful risk/benefit assessment). In addition to these general criteria, there are organ-specific criteria for guiding the acceptance of a liver for transplantation. A history of hepatitis or alcoholism is certainly a warning sign, but both livers from HBsAg-positive and/or HCV-positive donors are currently used worldwide, and suitability for transplant must be judged on a case-by-case basis. In general, in the case of a marginal liver donor, the intraoperative assessment by the donor surgeon, in addition to liver biopsy pathological evaluation, is the best single piece of information.
Technical Aspects of Liver Procurement
A midline laparotomy from the xyphoid to the pubis is performed and the round ligament divided. The intra-abdominal organs are explored to check for eventual malignancies, and the quality of the liver is assessed: in the absence of contraindications for a transplant, a sternotomy can be performed. Of note, in the presence of prior heart surgery, the complete warm dissection should be made prior to the sternotomy. It is also prudential to isolate and encircle the aorta prior to sternotomy in order to be ready to cannulate in the event of cardiac arrest/injury at thoracotomy. A blunt dissection behind the sternum just below the jugular notch should be performed until the fingertip can be placed retrosternal around the jugular notch. The sternotomy is then performed in a cranial to caudal direction with the sternum saw to avoid left innominate vein injury. The division of the left triangular ligament allows the mobilization of the left lateral segments of the liver and the exposure of the supraceliac aorta just below the diaphragm to be encircled. The division of the falciform ligament up to the suprahepatic inferior vena cava (IVC) provides more mobility of the liver, necessary when the IVC must be divided from a cardiac graft. Before starting the dissection of the hepatoduodenal ligament, the hepatogastric ligament must be inspected by dividing the lesser omentum. This ligament is usually very thin and transparent so that any replaced or accessory left hepatic artery should be easily visible. In addition, palpation of the ventral border of the foramen of Winslow makes it possible to identify a possible accessory or replaced right hepatic artery. Variations in the hepatic arterial supply can complicate the hilar dissection in up to one third of donors.
THE HILAR STRUCTURES
The hilar structures of the liver are then dissected free; the common bile duct (CBD) is dissected on the level of the edge of the second duodenal portion after opening of the peritoneum and visualization of the duct. In difficult cases, due to a high BMI, following the cystic duct out of the gall bladder can help to identify the CBD. The CBD should be encircled from the lateral border of the hepatoduodenal ligament in order to avoid injury of the portal vein. The CBD and the gallbladder are opened and flushed with normosaline solution. The origins of the gastroduodenal, gastric, and splenic arteries are then identified and encircled and, in the case of liver only procurement, will be taped just before cross-clamping in order to increase flushing through the hepatic artery to the liver.
VASCULAR CANULATION / SOLUTION PRESERVATION
The aorta can be isolated by two approaches. One approach requires mobilization of the right colon on top of Gerota’s fascia and should be extended into a Kocher maneuver to uncover both the inferior vena cava and the abdominal aorta; the other approach is performed by opening the root of the mesentery from the Treitz fascia, along the margin of the duodenum until visualization of the right iliac vessels and ureter is achieved. The inferior mesenteric artery can be tied and divided, and the abdominal aorta, just 2–3 cm above the bifurcation, isolated and encircled. The lumbar arteries could be either tied or clipped and then cut in order to provide mobility of the aorta and facilitate the cannulation. Two umbilical tapes are placed around the dissected segment of the aorta and secured by clamps and will be used to secure aortic cannulae to the vessel. The inferior mesenteric vein (IMV) is most commonly used for access into the portal system by ligating the distal part of it but leaving it uncut to retract the vein with a mosquito clamp. Another tie is then placed around the cranial portion of the vein, using it for occlusion of the vein by retracting it while a partial incision of the vein is performed. The portal cannula can be inserted into the IMV while the tension of the occluding tie is decreased before tying it around the vein and inserted cannula. At this point, 30,000-IU heparin should be given to prevent the blood from clotting after the cross-clamping. Once these preliminary procedures have been completed, the aortic cannulae (20-F armed cannulae) can be inserted into the distal abdominal aorta and secured with the umbilical tapes.
The subdiaphragmatic aorta is now clamped (cross-clamp), and cold preservation solution is then rapidly infused through the aortic and portal cannulae; the liver flow is decompressed by dividing the inferior vena cava in the chest. The abdomen is filled with water and ice. The choice of solution for infusion and its amount varies from center to center. The quality of the flush can be assessed by evaluating the outflow of the supradiaphragmatic IVC which should become more transparent with time as the blood in the abdominal organs is replaced by the preservation solution. After the flush is completed, some of the ice is removed from the abdomen to allow the cold dissection of the structures. The gastroduodenal, gastric, and splenic arteries can now be divided. Just below the gastroduodenal artery, the portal vein can be found and can be followed back, if pancreas procurement is not performed, by dividing the head of the pancreas. The cannulae in the IMV can now be removed, the splenic vein ligated and divided, and the venous cannulae replaced in the superior mesenteric vein once it is divided from its distal branches. The superior mesenteric artery (SMA) can now be found in the retro-pancreatic laminae and should be ligated, secured to a clamp and divided in order to find the aortic plane by following back the SMA. This dissection must be made on the left side of the SMA in order to avoid damage to a possible replaced or accessory right hepatic artery. The renal arteries are usually just below the SMA. They should be visualized before the suprarenal aorta is divided. This section must be made in 45°, first looking for ostia of accessory renal arteries before performing complete separation of the aorta. By following back the splenic and gastric arteries, the celiac trunk can be visualized. The aorta must now be divided just below the diaphragm, obtaining a patch containing the celiac trunk and the origin of the mesenteric artery. At this time point, a finger is placed in the supradiaphragmatic IVC helping to identify it while the diaphragm is cut. A portion of the diaphragm should be kept with the liver to ensure that this gross and fast dissection does not damage the organ. The diaphragm is cut to the right, and the incision is then continued between the right kidney and the liver, usually dividing the adrenal gland which is a good sign that none of the adjacent organs are damaged. The location for division of the infrahepatic IVC depends on the renal veins. These are identified on both sides, and the IVC can be safely divided on the virtual line about 1 cm above the renal veins. The only structures now holding the liver in the abdomen are the diaphragmatic pillars. By keeping the liver to the right thoracic cavity and holding the aortic patch, the resected IVC, and the portal vein with its cannulae, the liver removal can be completed by cutting the diaphragmatic muscles. The liver is freed and taken out of the abdomen. A further perfusion with cool preservation solution should be performed on the back table before packing the liver in the transportation box usually with 1 l of preservation solution. The liver can now be packed in the transportation box.
The liver is the biggest intestinal organ and plays a central role in the homeostasis of different physiological systems including nutrition and drug metabolism, the synthesis of plasma proteins and haemostatic factors, as well as the elimination of different endogenous and exogenous substances. Although the liver contributes with only 3% to total body weight, given its major role in homeostasis and high energy consumption, it receives 25% of total cardiac output (CO). Two vessels contribute to the perfusion of the liver. The majority (70%) of the hepatic perfusion is provided by the portal vein, which contributes 50% of the organ’s oxygen demand. The other 50% is provided by the hepatic artery, which makes up around 30% of total liver perfusion. Hepatic arterial blood flow is mainly dependent on the organ’s metabolic demands and controlled via autoregulatory mechanisms, whereas blood supply through the portal vein depends on the perfusion throughout the whole gastrointestinal tract and the spleen. This unique, dual perfusion system provides constant perfusion rates and oxygen supply, which is crucial for adequate liver function. These high oxygen demands are reflected in a hepatic vein saturation of almost 30%.
The liver is also unique in its ability of regeneration, which allows the performance of major surgery including, amongst others, extended resections of liver tumours, living donations and so on. Many patients have normal liver function parameters when they present for liver surgery, especially when the reason for resection is metastasis or a benign liver tumour. The most common causes of liver resections are the hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and the cholangiocellular carcinoma (CCC). Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) often develops in patients with underlying liver cirrhosis; many of these patients show signs of chronic liver dysfunction (CLD).
As explained previously, the liver plays a central role in a great deal of physiological systems. Therefore, in case of chronic liver dysfunction (CLD) or liver failure, several effects on other organ systems have to be expected. Consequently liver resections and bile duct surgery as having a high risk for perioperative cardiac events, with an estimated 30-day cardiac event rate (cardiac death and myocardial infarction) of more than 5%. Patients undergoing liver surgery pose a significant challenge to treating physicians in the perioperative period. Due to the improvement of surgical techniques, the “liver patient” is becoming more and more complex, confronting surgeons, anaesthetists and intensive care personnel with difficult intra- and postoperative courses, and considerable multiorgan disorders. The cornerstones of an optimal management are careful selection of the patients, appropriate monitoring and protection of the liver and other vital organs.
Attributes of a Good Surgeon
Realising the benefits that good leadership and teamwork can deliver requires commitment from all those involved in patient care. From the surgeon’s viewpoint there are numerous desirable attributes which are developed through medical school education, foundation training, core training and into professional practice. These are outlined below:
1. Clinical Care
An obvious consideration of what makes a “good surgeon” is the care provided to patients throughout the patient journey. This includes technical ability in the operating theatre and non-technical skills.
2. Maintenance and Improvement
Remaining up-to-date with innovations in surgical practice and patient are is an important attribute of a good surgeon. In doing so, one is able to inform patients and explain the reasons for and against procedures, allowing them to make an informed decision. Willingness to learn from others and improve from others by reviewing personal practice forms part of Continuing Professional Development; this is a requirement in a portfolio to meet revalidation and recertification criteria.
3. Teaching, Training and Supervision
Educating others forms part of professional development and surgeons frequently oversee projects for medical students or trainees. This requires knowledge of the objectives of the tasks undertaken, knowledge of what technical and non-technical skills should be improved and knowledge of how to encourage the development of these skills. The mentormentee relationship should work both ways, such that the mentee is able to approach their supervisor for assistance and is accepting of any constructive criticism delivered.
4. Relationships with Patients
Relationships with patients are fundamentally based on trust; the patient trusts that the surgeon will do all in their power to help them and their surgical journey. Obtaining informed consent prior to clinical care is based on trust and allows patient autonomy to be upheld. Developing relationships with patients begins from the first consultation and is continued after the day of an operation being undertaken. Acknowledging the needs of the individual and employing effective communication helps in developing an open relationship. In this way patients disclose their medical history and admit underlying fears, allowing better patient care to be delivered.
5. Relationships with Colleagues
Partnership with all members of the multidisciplinary clinical team, management, technicians and support staff fosters healthy working relationships. Consequently, patient care is enhanced through communication, enhanced productivity and an improved team dynamic. Understanding how a colleague works and taking action to facilitate a positive working environment is beneficial to all. Emotional intelligence forms an important component of working relationships, through the ability “to understand and recognize emotional states and to use that understanding to manage one’s self and other individuals or teams”.
Maintenance of good personal health and knowing when you must stop working is important in the protection of patient safety. The relevant senior staff must be informed of communicable disease or blood-borne disease transmission. In addition, being vigilant of the health of colleagues forms part of protecting patient safety, for example, failure to report suspicion that the consultant consistently operates after several glasses of wine or that the CT2 has been seen smoking drugs can facilitate the propagation of errors in the workplace. Finally, surgeons are renowned for working at all hours, however acknowledgement that we all need rest is crucial in good patient care.
SURGERY, A NOBLE PROFESSION
Surgery is, indeed, one of the noblest of professions. Here is how Dictionary defines the word noble: 1) possessing outstanding qualities such as eminence, dignity; 2) having power of transmitting by inheritance; 3) indicating superiority or commanding excellence of mind, character, or high ideals or morals. These three attributes befit the profession of surgery. Over centuries, the surgical profession has set the standards of ethical and humane practice. Surgeons have made magnificent contributions in education, clinical care, and science. Their landmark accomplishments in surgical science and innovations in operative technique have revolutionized surgical care, saved countless lives, and significantly improved longevity and the quality of human life. Generations of surgeons have developed their craft and passed it on to succeeding generations, as they have to me and to each one of you, to take into the future.
Beyond its scientific and technical contributions, surgery is uniquely fulfilling as a profession. It has disciplined itself over the centuries and dedicated its practice to the best welfare of all human beings. In return, it has been accorded the respect of society, of other professions, and of policy makers. Its conservative stance has served it well and has been the reason for its constancy and consistency. At the beginning of the 21st century, however, profound changes are taking place at all levels and at a dizzying pace, providing both challenges and opportunities to the surgical profession. These changes are occurring on a global level, on the national level, in science and technology, in healthcare, and in surgical education and practice.
To retain its leadership position in innovation and its attractiveness as a career choice for students, surgery must evolve with the times. It is my belief that surgery needs to introduce changes to create new priorities in clinical practice, education, and research; to increase the morale and prestige of surgeons; and to preserve general surgery as a profession. I am reminded of a Chinese aphorism that says, “You cannot prevent the birds of unhappiness from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building a nest in your hair.”
ADVANCES IN SCIENCE
The coalescence of major advances in science and technology made the end of the 20th century unique in human history. Notable among the achievements are the development of microchips and miniaturization, which fueled the explosion in information technology. The structure of the human genome is nearly completely elucidated, ushering in the genomic era in which genetic information will be used to predict, on an individual basis, susceptibility to disease and responsiveness to drug therapy. The field of nanotechnology allows scientists to work at a resolution of less than one nanometer, the size of the atom. By comparison, the DNA molecule is 2.5 nanometers.
In the last 50 years, biomedical research became increasingly reductionist, turning physiologists and anatomists into molecular biologists. As a result, two basic science fields—integrative physiology and gross anatomy—now have a lower standing in medical education and surgical science than they once did. Surgery and surgical departments can and possibly should claim these fields, but the window of opportunity is narrow. Research is now moving back from discipline-based reductionist science to multidisciplinary science of complexity, in which biomedical scientists work side by side with engineers, mathematicians, and bioinformatists. The ability of high-speed computers to quickly process tens of millions of pieces of data now allows for data-driven rather than hypothesis-based research. This collaboration among different disciplines has already been successful.
TRANSFORMATION OF HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
During the past 75 years, we have seen the entire healthcare system undergo a profound transformation. In the 1930s and for a considerable period thereafter, medical practice was fee-for-service, the doctor–patient relationship was strong, and the physician perceived himself or herself as being responsible nearly exclusively to his or her individual patients. The texture of medical practice started to change when the federal government became involved in the provision of healthcare in 1965. The committee on “Crossing the Quality Chasm” identified six key attributes of the 21st-century healthcare system. It must be:
- Safe, avoiding injuries to patients;
- Effective, providing services based on scientific knowledge;
- Patient-oriented, respectful of and responsive to individual patients’ needs, values, and preferences;
- Timely, reducing waits, eliminating harmful delays for both care receiver and caregiver;
- Efficient, avoiding wasted equipment, supplies, ideas, and energy;
- Equitable, providing equal care across genders, ethnicities, geographic locations, and socioeconomic strata;
No one knows at present what this 21st-century healthcare system will look like. While care in the old system was reactive, in the new system it will be proactive. The “find it, fix it” approach of the old system will be replaced by a “predict it, prevent it, and if you cannot prevent it, fix it” approach. Sporadic intervention, provided only when patients present with illness, will give way to a system in which physicians and other healthcare providers plan 1-, 5-, and 10-year care programs for each patient. Care will be more interactive, with patients taking a more important role in their own care. The technology-oriented system will become a system that provides graded intervention. Delivery systems will not be fractionated but integrated. Even more importantly, care will not be based simply on experience and clinical impression but on evidence of proven outcome measures. If the old system was cost-insensitive, the new system will be cost-sensitive.
There are many reasons for the declining interest in general surgery, some of which parallel reasons for the drop in medical school applicants in general. One problem specific to surgery is that medical students are given less and less exposure to surgery, due to the shortening of required surgical rotations. Most important, however, is their perception that the life of the surgical resident is stressful, the work hours too long, and the time for personal and family needs inadequate. The workload of the surgical resident over the years has increased significantly both in amount and intensity, without concomitant increase in the number of residents and at a time when hospitals have significantly reduced the support personnel on the surgical ward and in the operating rooms. Students graduating with debts close to $100,000 simply find the years of training in surgery too long, followed by uncertain practice income after graduation.
From several recent studies, lifestyle is the critical and most pressing issue in surgical residency. Some studies have also shown that the best students tend to select specialties that provide controllable lifestyles, such as radiology, dermatology, and ophthalmology. We have a problem not only in the declining number of students applying for surgical training but also in the declining quality of those who do apply. In a preliminary survey of 153 responding general surgery programs, we found that attrition (i.e., categorical residents leaving the training programs) occurred at a rate of 13% to 19% in the last 5 years. In 2001, 46% of those leaving general surgery training programs cited lifestyle as the major reason.
Unless these trends are reversed, general surgery as a specialty is threatened, and a future shortage of general surgeons is inevitable. I know that the Council of the American Surgical Association is most concerned about the crisis in general surgery. We must do a better job of communicating to students and residents that the practice of surgery is as rewarding as ever and full of opportunities in this new era. Innovations in minimal access and computer-assisted surgery and simulation technology provide exciting new possibilities in surgical training. We must also look very carefully at the demands of surgical residency and improve the life of residents without compromising their surgical experience. Unless we deal with work hours and quality of life issues, we are likely to see continuing decline in the interest of medical students in surgical training.
In conclusion, the noble profession of surgery must rise to meet numerous challenges as the world in which it operates continues to undergo profound change. These challenges represent opportunities for the profession to develop an international perspective and a global outreach and to address the growing needs of an aging population undergoing major demographic and workforce shifts. The leadership of American surgery has a unique role to play in the formulation of a new healthcare system for the 21st century. This task will require commitment to quality of care and patient safety, and it will depend on harnessing the trust and support of the American public. Advances in science and technology—particularly in minimal access surgery, robotics, and simulation technology—provide unprecedented opportunity for surgeons to continue to make landmark contributions that will improve surgical care and the human condition. I believe it is also crucially important that we train surgeon-scientists who will keep surgery at the cutting edge in the genomic and bioinformatics era. Ours is a noble profession imbued with eminence, dignity, high ideals, and ethical values. It has a rich and proud heritage… and I quote, “The highest intellects, like the tops of mountains, are the first to catch and reflect the dawn.”
Source: Lecture from Haile T. Debas, MD (UCSF School of Medicine, San Francisco, California) Presented at the 122nd Annual Meeting of the American Surgical Association, April 25, 2002, The Homestead, Hot Springs, Virginia.
The gallbladder lies at the equator between the right and left hemiliver, an imaginary line known as Cantlie’s line or the Rex-Cantlie line coursing between segments 4b and 5, through the bed of the gallbladder towards the vena cava posteriorly. The gallbladder is mostly peritonealized, except for its posterior surface which lies on the cystic plate, a fibrous area on the underside of the liver.
The proportion if its circumference varies, from a pedicled gallbladder with little to no contact with the cystic plate to a mostly intrahepatic gallbladder surrounded by liver parenchyma. The gallbladder carries no muscularis mucosa, no submucosa, and a discontinuous muscularis and only carries a serosa on the visceral peritonealized surface. These anatomical specificities facilitate the direct invasion of gallbladder cancer into the liver. This is why the surgical treatment of gallbladder cancer mandates a radical cholecystectomy, which includes resection of a wedge of segments 4b and 5, when the T stage is higher or equal to T1b. From the body of the gallbladder, a conical infundibulum becomes a cystic duct that extends as the lower edge of the hepatocystic triangle towards the porta hepatis and joins with the common hepatic duct (CHD) to form the CBD. As in the rest of the biliary system, variation is the rule when it comes to the cystic duct confluence with the CHD. It can variably run parallel to it for a distance prior to inserting or spiral behind it and insert on its medial aspect. It can variably insert into the RHD or the RPD, the latter in 4% of livers and particularly when the RPD inserts into the CHD (i.e., below the left-right ductal confluence). This configuration is notorious for exposing the RPD to a risk of injury at the time of cholecystectomy. Rare variations of gallbladder anatomy, including gallbladder duplication and gallbladder agenesis, are also described but are rare. The CBD courses anterolaterally within the hepatoduodenal ligament, usually to the right of the hepatic artery and anterolaterally to the portal vein. However, hepatic arterial anatomy can vary, and when an accessory or replaced hepatic artery is present arising from the superior mesenteric artery, the accessory or replaced vessel courses lateral to the CBD. In its conventional configuration, the right hepatic artery crosses posteriorly to the RHD as it heads towards the right liver, but 25% of the time it crosses anteriorly. These anatomical variants are all relevant to developing a sound surgical strategy to treat hilar CCA. Of note, while left hepatic artery anatomy can also be quite variable, rarely does it affect surgical decision-making in CCA to the same degree as right hepatic artery anatomy.
Distally, the CBD enters the head of the pancreas, joining the pancreatic duct to form the hepatopancreatic ampulla. Just distal to this is the sphincter of Oddi, which controls emptying of ampullary contents into the second portion of the duodenum. When the junction of the CBD and the pancreatic duct occurs before the sphincter complex, reflux of pancreatic enzymes into the biliary tree can lead to chronic inflammatory changes and anatomical distortion resulting in choledochal cysts, known risk factors for the development of CCA. Unlike the rest of the liver parenchyma, which receives dual supply from the arterial and portal venous circulation, the biliary tree is exclusively alimented by the arterial system. The LHD and RHD are alimented respectively by the left hepatic artery and right hepatic artery, which can frequently display replaced, accessory, and aberrant origins – the left artery arising conventionally from the hepatic artery proper but alternatively from the left gastric artery and the right hepatic artery arising from the hepatic artery proper but also variably from the superior mesenteric artery. In hilar CCA, variable combinations of hepatic arterial anatomy and tumor location can either favor resectability or make a tumor unresectable.
Within the hilum of the liver, a plexus of arteries connects the right and left hepatic arteries. Termed the “hilar epicholedochal plexus,” this vascular network provides collateral circulation that can maintain arterial supply to one side of the liver if the ipsilateral vessel is damaged. The preservation of arterial blood supply to the liver remnant is crucial, particularly when creating an enterobiliary anastomosis. Its absence leads to ischemic cholangiopathy and liver abscesses that can be difficult to treat. The CBD receives arterial supply inferiorly from paired arterioles arising from the gastroduodenal artery and the posterior superior pancreaticoduodenal artery, the most important and constant arterial supply to the distal CBD. Proximally the CBD is alimented by paired arterioles of the right hepatic artery. These vessels, known as the marginal arteries, run in parallel to the CBD, laterally and medially to it. Denuding the CBD of this arterial supply risks stricture formation after choledochoenteric anastomosis.
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References : https://bit.ly/3fOmcv2
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) carries one of the poorest overall prognosis of all human malignancies. The 5-year survival in patients with PDAC, for all stages, remains as low as 6–7%. The low survival rate is attributed to several factors, of which the two most important are aggressive tumor biology and late stage at which most patients are diagnosed. Only 10–20% of patients are eligible for resection at presentation, 30–40% are unresectable/locally advanced, and 50–60% are metastatic. Pancreatic cancer without distant metastasis can be divided into three categories: resectable, borderline resectable, and locally advanced. In absence of metastatic disease, the most important factor for improving survival and possibly offer cure is to achieve a margin-negative resection. Even after potential curative resection, most patients develop recurrences eventually, and 5-year survival of completely resected patients is only up to 25%. The aggressive tumor biology and its inherent resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy contributes to early recurrence and metastasis.
Pancreatic cancer surgery has evolved over the past few decades and remains the cornerstone of treatment of resectable and borderline resectable tumors. Advances in modern imaging give precise information on disease extension and vascular involvement that aids in surgical planning in order to achieve a margin-negative resection.
Surgical techniques for pancreatic cancer include pancreaticoduodenectomy, distal pancreatectomy with splenectomy, and total pancreatectomy. Standard lymphadenectomy for pancreatoduodenectomy should include removal of lymph node stations 5, 6, 8a, 12b1, 12b2, 12c, 13a, 13b, 14a, 14b, 17a, and 17b. Involvement of superior mesenteric vein (SMV)/portal vein(PV) was previously considered as a contraindication for resection. However, curative resection along with SMV/PV with vascular reconstruction has now become a standard practice in specialized high-volume centers. To improve margin-negative resections, specially in borderline resectable tumors with proximity to vascular structures, SMA first approach was proposed as a new modification of standard pancreatico-duodenectomy. In a systematic review, SMA first approach was shown to be associated with better perioperative outcomes, such as blood loss, transfusion requirements, pancreatic fistula, delayed gastric emptying, and reduced local and metastatic recurrence rates. In case of arterial involvement, there is no good evidence at present to justify arterial resections for right-sided pancreatic tumors. However, the modified Appleby procedure, which includes en bloc removal of celiac axis with or without arterial reconstruction, when used in appropriately selected patients, offers margin negative resection with survival benefit for locally advanced pancreatic body and tail tumors and should be performed in high-volume centers. Most evidence does not support advantage of more extended resections such as removal of the para-aortic lymph nodes and nerve plexus and multivisceral resections routinely. Such extended resections are associated with compromised quality of life because of associated higher perioperative morbidity and intractable diarrhea. However, in highly selected patients, with preserved performance status and stable or nonprogressive disease on neoadjuvant treatment, such extended resections can provide survival advantage over palliative treatments. Radical surgery in the presence of oligometastatic disease has also been reported to prolong survival in highly selected patients.
The surgical domain can be seen as more complex and high risk in its delivery of care than other non-interventional specialities. It is therefore not surprising that in the majority of studies of adverse events in healthcare, at least 50% occurred within the surgical domain and the majority of these in the operating theatre. Furthermore, at least half of these adverse events were also deemed preventable. Just as the multiple studies in the developed world have similar figures for adverse events in hospitalised patients across all specialities, there appears to be a similar rate of harm in surgery. A review of 14 studies, incorporating more than 16000 surgical patients, quoted an adverse event occurring in 14.4% of surgical patients. This was not simply minor harm; a full 3.6% of these adverse events were fatal, 10% severe and 34% moderately harmful. Gawande, a surgeon from Boston, made one of the first attempts to clarify the source of these adverse events.
This paper pioneered the concept that the majority of these adverse events were not due to lack of technical expertise or surgical skill on the part of the surgeon, finding instead that ‘systems factors’ were the main contributing factor in 86% of adverse events. The most common system factors quoted were related to the people involved and how they were functioning in their environment. Communication breakdown was a factor in 43% of incidents, individual cognitive factors (such as decision-making) were cited in 86%, with excessive workload, fatigue and the design or ergonomics of the environment also contributing.
These findings were confirmed in the systematic review of surgical adverse events, where it was found that errors in what were described as ‘nonoperative management’ were implicated in 8.32% of the study population versus only 2.5% contributed to by technical surgical error. In accordance with other high-risk industries, such as commercial aviation, the majority of these adverse events are therefore not caused by failures of technical skill on the part of the individual surgeon, but rather lie within the wider healthcare team, environment and system. Lapses and errors in communication, teamworking, leadership, situational awareness or decision-making all feature highly in post-hoc analysis of surgical adverse events. This knowledge of error causation has been prominent and acknowledged in most other high-risk industries for many years, but it is only recently that healthcare has appreciated this.
Benign liver tumours are common and are frequently found coincidentally. Most benign liver lesions are asymptomatic, although larger lesions can cause non-specific complaints such as vague abdominal pain. Although rare, some of the benign lesions, e.g. large hepatic adenomas, can cause complications such as rupture or bleeding. Asymptomatic lesions are often managed conservatively by observation. Surgical resection can be performed for symptomatic lesions or when there is a risk of malignant transformation. The type of resection is variable, from small, simple, peripheral resections or enucleations, to large resections or even liver transplantation for severe polycystic liver disease.
Hepatocellular adenomas (HCA) are rare benign hepatic neoplasms in otherwise normal livers with a prevalence of around 0.04% on abdominal imaging. HCAs are predominantly found in women of child-bearing age (2nd to 4th decade) with a history of oral contraceptive use; they occur less frequently in men. The association between oral contraceptive usage and HCA is strong and the risk for a HCA increases if an oral contraceptive with high hormonal potency is used, and if it is used for over 20 months. Long-term users of oral contraceptives have an estimated annual incidence of HCA of 3–4 per 100000. More recently, an increase in incidence in men has been reported, probably related to the increase in obesity, which is reported as another risk factor for developing HCA. In addition, anabolic steroid usage by body builders and metabolic disorders such as diabetes mellitus or glycogen storage disease type I are associated with HCAs. HCAs in men are generally smaller but have a higher risk of developing into a malignancy. In the majority of patients, only one HCA is found, but in a minority of patients more than 10 lesions have been described (also referred to as liver adenomatosis).
Small HCAs are often asymptomatic and found on abdominal imaging being undertaken for other purposes, during abdominal surgery or at autopsy. Some patients present with abdominal discomfort, fullness or (right upper quadrant) pain due to an abdominal mass. It is not uncommon that the initial symptoms of a HCA are acute onset of abdominal pain and hypovolaemic shock due to intraperitoneal rupture. In a series of patients who underwent resection, bleeding was reported in up to 25%. The risk of rupture is related to the size of the adenoma. Exophytic lesions (protruding from the liver) have a higher chance of bleeding compared to intrahepatic or subcapsular lesions (67% vs 11% and 19%, respectively, P<0.001). Lesions in segments II and III are also at higher risk of bleeding compared to lesions in the right liver (35% vs 19%, P = 0.049).
There is no guideline for the treatment of HCAs, although there are general agreements. In men, all lesions should be considered for surgical resection independent of size, given the high risk of malignant transformation, while taking into account comorbidity and location of the lesion. Resection should also be considered in patients with HCAs due to a metabolic disorder. In women, lesions <5 cm can be observed with sequential imaging after cessation of oral contraceptive treatment. In larger tumours, treatment strategies vary. Some clinicians have proposed non-surgical management if hormone therapy is stopped and patients are followed up with serial radiological examinations. The time period of waiting is still under debate, however recent studies indicate that a waiting period of longer than 6 months could be justified.
More recently, the subtypes of the Bordeaux classification of HCA have been studied related to their risk of complications. Some groups report that percutaneous core needle biopsy is of limited value because the therapeutic strategy is based primarily on patient sex and tumour size. Others report a different therapeutic approach based on subtype. Thomeer et al. concluded that there was no evidence to support the use of subtype classification in the stratification and management of individual patients related to risk of bleeding. Size still remains the most important feature to predict those at risk of bleeding during follow-up. However, malignant transformation does seem to be related to differences in subtypes. β-catenin-mutated HCAs trigger a potent mitogenic signalling pathway that is prominent in HCC. Cases of inflammatory HCAs can also show activation of the β-catenin pathway with a risk of developing malignancy. Therefore, β-catenin-mutated and inflammatory HCAs are prone to malignant degeneration, and particularly if >5cm. In these circumstances, invasive treatment should be considered.
Since the initial descriptions of orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) in the 1960s, both the number of patients receiving transplants and the indications for the procedure have increased significantly. OLT represents the only treatment modality for many patients with a diverse spectrum of disease, with the predominant common factor end-stage liver failure. Advances in perioperative care of the donor and recipient, organ preservation methods, and surgical techniques have resulted in a 5 year overall survival of 78% for all recipients (Kim et al, 2015).
The first published description of human liver transplantation was by Starzl and colleagues in 1963 at the University of Colorado. In this seminal paper, the dismal outcomes of three OLT recipients were described, including one intraoperative death from uncorrectable coagulopathy and two survivors of 7 and 22 days. In addition to the pioneering conceptual framework and implementation of LT, the advanced techniques included grafts from non–heart-beating donors, venovenous bypass in the recipients, choledochocholedochostomy, and coagulation monitoring by using thromboelastography (TEG). Many of these concepts remain or have reentered the realm of LT more than 40 years after their initial description. Based largely on the initial body of work by Starzl and colleagues, this section describes the surgical procedures commonly used worlwide.
The typical deceased donor has had a catastrophic head injury or an intracerebral bleed, with brain death but without multisystem organ failure. Electrolyte imbalance and hepatic steatosis in the donor are predictors of graft nonfunction. A “donor risk index” has been derived to assess the likelihood of good graft function. Key adverse factors include older donor age (especially >60 years of age), use of a split or partial graft, and a non–heart-beating donor, from which the organs are harvested after the donor’s cardiac output ceases, in contrast to the more typical deceased donation in which the organs are harvested prior to cardiovascular collapse. Use of non–heart-beating donors is associated with reduced rates of long-term graft survival and increased risk of biliary complications, which correlate with the duration of “warm ischemia” after cardiovascular collapse and before retrieval of the organ. With the critical shortage of deceased organ donors, expansion of the donor pool has included acceptance of donors 70 years of age and older for selected recipients. Prior to hepatectomy, the harvesting team makes a visual and, if necessary, histologic assessment of the donor organ. Particular attention is paid to anatomic variants in the hepatic artery that may complicate the graft arterial anastomosis in the recipient. Once donor circulation is interrupted, the organ is rapidly infused with a cold preservation solution (e.g., University of Wisconsin, histidine-tryptophan-ketoglutarate, or Institut Georges Lopez solution). Donor iliac arteries and veins are also retrieved in case vascular grafting is required. After its arrival at the recipient institution, further vascular dissection, with arterial reconstruction if necessary, is performed before implantation.
Major challenges remain in LT, including the shortage of donor organs, threat of recurrent disease, and morbidity associated with lifelong therapeutic immunosuppression. Nevertheless, the availability of LT has transformed the lives of patients with advancing liver disease and their health care providers from an ultimately futile effort to manage the complications of cirrhosis into a life-prolonging and life-enhancing intervention.
The AGA recently published a Clinical Practice Update reviewing the best available evidence on pancreatic necrosis, regardless of cause. The update provides 15 best practice advice points that include the need for multidisciplinary care coordination and referral to a tertiary-care center as appropriate. The update describes supportive care, avoidance of prophylactic antibiotics, and optimization of nutrition. In addition, there is an included algorithm for the management of pancreatic necrosis requiring debridement. Debridement within the early acute phase of pancreatitis (within the first 2–4 weeks) should be avoided if possible secondary to increased morbidity and mortality. Intervention in the late phase (> 2–4 weeks) is indicated for patients with infected necrosis or persistent organ dysfunction and failure to thrive. Multiple approaches are available for the management of infected necrosis, including but not limited to percutaneous, endoscopic, or laparoscopic transgastric, or open debridement. In addition, a combination approach using percutaneous drainage followed by videoscopic retroperitoneal debridement or step-up approach can also be used. Since the publication of a multicenter RCT (PANTER) in 2010, the step-up approach for necrotizing pancreatitis has been increasingly used.
The step-up approach or video-assisted retroperitoneal debridement (VARD) is a minimally invasive technique that begins with percutaneous drain placement for necrotizing pancreatitis followed by a minimally invasive retroperitoneal necrosectomy. Patients who underwent the step-up approach versus open necrosectomy had less multiple-organ failure, incisional hernias, and newonset diabetes, but no difference in mortality. The 2020 AGA Clinical Practice Update on the management of pancreatic necrosis suggests that best practice is that ‘‘minimally invasive operative approaches to the debridement of acute necrotizing pancreatitis are preferred to open surgical necrosectomy when possible, given lower morbidity’’. However, the update also notes that open necrosectomy still has a role in the modern management of acute necrotizing pancreatitis, particularly for cases whereby less invasive techniques are not feasible.
Minimally Invasive Versus Open Techniques
Despite advances in laparoscopic and robotic approaches, the vast majority of distal pancreatectomies continue to be performed via an open approach. Recent retrospective data have demonstrated that minimally invasive distal pancreatectomy is associated with decreased blood loss and shorter hospital stays than open pancreatectomy. A large recent study utilizing the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database suggested, first, that the minimally invasive approach is becoming more widely utilized, increasing from 2.4 to 7.3 % over a study period from 1998 to 2009. Second, that study reported that the minimally invasive approach was associated with decreased length of stay as well as decreased incidence of infectious complications, bleeding complications, and blood transfusions. This population-based study echoes conclusions drawn by a large multi-institutional study performed several years previously. Drawing on a combined patient sample of 667 patients, with 24 % initially attempted laparoscopically, the authors were able to demonstrate lower overall complication rate, decreased blood loss, and shorter hospital stays among patients undergoing laparoscopic approach via a multivariate analysis.
Notably, there was no significant difference in the pancreatic leak rate between the open and laparoscopic approaches, although there was a nonsignificant trend favoring the laparoscopic approach. More recently, the robotic approach has generated significant interest as a technique for performing distal pancreatectomy. Retrospective analysis has suggested that the robotic approach is well suited for pancreatectomy. Fistula rates, however, remain a concern. A retrospective review of patients undergoing robotic pancreatic operations included 83 patients who underwent distal pancreatectomy. About 27 % were identified as having a ISPGF type A pancreatic leak; 12 and 4.8 % were identified as having a grade B or C leak, respectively.
Identifying Risk Factors
For pancreaticoduodenectomy (PTD) , a fistula risk score has been recently developed that has been shown to be highly predictive of POPF. This score assigns points based on gland texture, gland pathology, duct diameter, and intraoperative blood loss. In general, high blood loss, soft gland texture, and smaller duct diameter confer increased risk of POPF, whereas pancreatic adenocarcinoma and pancreatitis as the indication for PTD confer protection for the development of pancreatic fistula versus other diagnoses. Also of note, higher fistula risk scores correlated with greater incidence of clinically relevant (ISGPF grade B or C) fistula. The adaptation of this risk score to patients undergoing distal pancreatectomy is yet to be validated; however, at least one published study indicates that this scoring system may have limitations in the setting of distal pancreatectomy. In that study, risk factors for pancreatic fistula after stapled gland transection in patients undergoing distal pancreatectomy were examined, and in a multivariate analysis, only the presence of diabetes and the use of a 4.1-mm staple cartridge were associated with increased risk of pancreatic fistula formation.
Cholangiocarcinoma is an uncommon cancer that occurs within the intrahepatic and extrahepatic portions of the bile duct system. In North America, the incidence of extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma is 0.5–2 per 100,000 and 0.95 per 100,000 for intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. Up to 50% of patients will be lymph node (LN) positive at presentation, 5% are multifocal tumors, and 10–20% will have peritoneal involvement at presentation. Risk factors for cholangiocarcinoma are primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) with a lifetime risk 10–40%, parasitic infection, previous sphincteroplasty, congenital anomalies of the biliary tree (choledochal cyst, Caroli’s disease, anomalous pancreaticobiliary duct junction), and chronic biliary inflammatory disease (hepatitis B/C, liver cirrhosis, recurrent pyogenic cholangitis). The most common presentation is painless jaundice and weight loss in the setting of extrahepatic duct involvement. In Western countries, 80% are extrahepatic (20% distal and 60% hilar) and 20% are intrahepatic.
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• Ca 19–9 can be elevated in up to 85% of patients with cholangiocarcinoma, but is not specific; elevation can also occur in the setting of obstructive jaundice without malignancy. If it remains elevated after biliary decompression, it could indicate the presence of malignancy. Elevated pre- and postoperative Ca 19–9 predict poor survival.
• For perihilar tumors, decisions regarding which side of the liver to resect depend on right- or left-sided dominance, volume of future liver remnant, and the extent of vascular and ductal involvement.
• Some centers report that 30–50% of tumors will be deemed unresectable at the time of surgery, despite accurate preoperative imaging.
• Quality Indicators: Pathologic Analysis—R0 margin, regional lymphadenectomy includes three or more LN.
Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma: Surgical resection is the only potential cure with removal of involved liver segments. There is emerging evidence that recommends a routine hilar LN and dissection for its prognostic value, M1 disease includes involvement of celiac,periaortic or caval LN.
Distal bile duct (below the cystic duct): Surgical resection is the only potential cure. Pancreaticoduodenectomy including en bloc resection of extrahepatic bile duct and gallbladder. Regional nodes include: Hilar (CBD, common hepatic, portal, cystic), Posterior and anterior pancreaticoduodenal Nodes along SMV, Nodes along right and lateral wall of SMA.
Hilar (above the cystic duct): En bloc resection of extrahepatic bile duct and gallbladder, including right and left hepatectomy, or extended right/left hepatectomy, Caudate lobe should be removed. Regional nodes include: Hilar (CBD, hepatic,portal, cystic), Pericholedochal nodes in hepatoduodenal ligament.
Hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae
“É este o lugar onde a morte se alegra de socorrer a vida”
Égide do respeito ao Cadáver no estudo da Anatomia Humana*.
A utilização do cadáver representa uma tríplice lição educativa:
- Instrutiva/Informativa: como meio de conhecimento da organização do corpo humano, procedendo ao estudo no vivo;
- Normativa/Disciplinadora: através do seu caráter metodológico e de precisão técnica da linguagem;
- Estético/Moral: pela natureza do material de estudo, o cadáver, e pelo método primeiro de aprendizado, a dissecção, que é experiência e trabalho repousante na contemplação da beleza e harmonia de construção do organismo humano.
Contudo e essencialmente, porém, lição de ética e de humildade, porque:
- Não é o cadáver, doado ou indigente, fato isolado da comunidade, mas seu reflexo, dela provindo. O cadáver que é o meio de aprendizado para adequada assistência do vivo, assim portanto tão importante para a sociedade como o é o paciente;
- Esses corpos sem vida são vivificados de forma reiteradas pelo calor da juventude estudiosa através do sentimento de gratidão; O cadáver, antes de tudo “um irmão em Humanidade, se entrega despojadamente ao conhecimento que proporciona aos futuros profissionais, de maneira anônima oriunda do jogo do acaso da vida;
- O cadáver anônimo ao receber este título – cadáver desconhecido – e assim ultrapassar o limite estreito de um nome e, despersonalizado, distribui elementos para o bem coletivo, sem ter conhecimento quer antes, durante ou depois de sua imolação, do seu destino a um tempo sublime e sagrado;
- O Cadáver desconhecido tudo oferece ao conhecimento sem nada haver recebido daquele que o estuda, que dá sem saber que dá e por isso, sem conhecer recompensa da gratidão e sem sentimento do valor da sua dádiva generosa, na mais nobre expressão de poderosa caridade universal;
- O cadáver que dissecado, desmembrado, simboliza outra forma de crucificação para o bem comum e marca o sentido profundamente humano da Medicina;
Portanto o nosso material de estudo transcende pois ao simples valor de meio e objeto de aprendizado; e nos fala em linguagem universal que nos educa na humildade da limitação humana. Eis porque na austeridade do ambiente do Laboratório de Anatomia a atitude física, mental e verbal do aluno deve ser de sobriedade, respeito, meditação e elevada compostura, manuseando as peças anatômicas com o mais profundo sentimento de respeito e carinho.
Nulla Medicina Sine Anatomia
“Ao curvar-te sobre o cadáver desconhecido…
lembra-te que este corpo nasceu do amor de duas almas; cresceu embalado pela fé e esperança daquela que em seu seio o agasalhou, sorriu e fitou os mesmos sonhos das crianças e dos jovens; por certo amou, foi amado e também acalentou um amanhã feliz. Seu nome só Deus o sabe e agora nesta fria lousa, o destino inexorável deu-lhe o poder e a grandeza de servir a humanidade numa última missão, ENSINAR.
Ó irmão ignoto que tivestes a morada do espirito, o seu corpo, perturbado em seu repouso imutável por nossas mãos ávidas de saber, apresentamos a ti o nosso respeito permanente e infindo AGRADECIMENTO.”
*Adaptação do texto original “Aula Inaugural”
Professor Renato Locchi (1896-1978) / Emérito de Anatomia Humana da Escola Paulista de Medicina.
Atualmente, o conhecimento da anatomia se junta a um universo de outros conhecimentos que, não menos importantes, vão se somando e contribuindo de forma muito rápida para o desenvolvimento científico, para a melhoria da qualidade de vida e para a maior longevidade do ser humano. A anatomia e a medicina são ciências distintas, porém não há como separar a história de ambas. Estão ligadas intimamente e por muito tempo sendo que, na antiguidade, foram tratadas como uma só história. Ana, em partes; tome, cortar. O termo anatomia, de origem grega, significa “cortar em partes”. Antigamente referia-se ao ato de explorar as estruturas do corpo humano por uso de instrumentos cortantes como anatomizar, hoje substituído pela palavra dissecar. E foi a dissecção de cadáveres humanos que serviu como método de estudo para o entendimento da estrutura e função do corpo humano durante vários séculos. Devido ao incessante trabalho de centenas de anatomistas dedicados ao aprendizado e evolução do conhecimento acerca do corpo humano, e suas de funções, é que hoje nós, estudantes, podemos aprender e familiarizar com os termos anatômicos utilizados para designar cada estrutura dessa engenhosa “máquina” que é o ser humano. Grande parte dos termos que compõe a linguagem anatômica é de procedência grega ou latina. Latim era a língua do império romano, época em que o interesse nas descrições científicas foi cultivado. No passado, a anatomia humana era acadêmica, ciência puramente descritiva, interessada principalmente em identificar e dar nomes às estruturas do corpo. Embora a dissecção e descrição formem a base da anatomia, a importância desta, hoje, está em sua abordagem funcional e nas aplicações clínicas, de forma a entender o desempenho físico e a saúde do corpo.
As oportunidades de aprendizado nos são oferecidas a cada momento, o tempo todo. Aprendemos toda vez que nos damos ao trabalho de pensar sobre o que determinado momento nos trouxe, o que nos ensinou que ainda não sabíamos, o que nos mostrou a respeito dos outros e de nós mesmos, e que antes ignorávamos. E esse processo é tão longo quanto a vida.
O caminho mais curto e certo para a estagnação é perder a disposição de aprender, seja pela arrogância de achar que já sabe tudo, seja pela enganosa convicção de que é cedo demais para adquirir tal conhecimento. A acomodação é outra inimiga do aprendizado, pois paralisa o segundo requisito necessário para que ele ocorra: o esforço. É preciso esforçar-se para manter a mente aberta ao novo, para não se deixar limitar pelos preconceitos e opiniões preconcebidas. E também é preciso esforço para ampliar as oportunidades de aprendizado, reservando tempo para as leituras, para as conversas e atividades instrutivas, para se atualizar e aprofundar seu conhecimento.
Não refiro apenas ao conhecimento necessário à sua profissão, mas a todos os aspectos de sua vida, por exemplo, conhecer mais a fundo sua família – acreditar que já sabemos tudo sobre nossos familiares é um erro fatal em qualquer tipo de relacionamento. Outro equívoco é negligenciar o autoconhecimento: uma série de frustrações, angústias e motivações. Conhecê-las também é um aprendizado constante, talvez o mais árduo de todos.
“Todas me pareceram tão cheias de si”, contou Sócrates, “tão seguras de suas verdades e certezas que, se sou de fato mais sábio do que elas, é pela simples razão de que sei de que não sei aquilo que elas acham que sabem”. Como nos sugere o filósofo com toda a sua perspicácia e sabedoria, a admissão de que ainda temos muito a aprender é o primeiro passo para transformarmos nossa vida em um constante aprendizado. A consciência desse fato enriquece nossas vidas, ampara nossas escolhas e direciona nossas ações. A importância de aprender sempre é tamanha que Stephen R. Covey, autor do best-seller Os 7 Hábitos das Pessoas Altamente Eficazes e 8° Hábito, a coloca entre as quatro necessidades básicas do ser humano – as demais serão afetadas.
O aprendizado, porém, está presente em todas: aprendemos a viver, a amar, a deixar um legado e, até mesmo, aprendemos a aprender.
COMPARATIVE STUDY BETWEEN THE SLEEVE GASTRECTOMY AND GASTRIC PLICATION IN OBESE RATS
INTRODUCTION: Obesity results from a prolonged imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure. Studies with experimental models of bariatric surgery provided a fundamental contribution to the understanding of morphological and functional changes in obesity and after bariatric surgery. The restrictive bariatric surgery techniques currently used are gastric banding, sleeve gastrectomy and the gastric plication. The latter is considered an experimental technique and has therefore not yet enough studies that shed light on the postoperative rates of weight loss, surgical complications, resolution of comorbidities and the mechanisms responsible for weight loss. The aim of this study was to conduct a comparative study in rats with cafeteria diet-induced, between gastric plication and sleeve gastrectomy in variation late postoperative in body weight ,plasma biochemistry and gross and microscopic alterations gastric effects obesity.
MATERIAL AND METHOD: 28 male Wistar rats were randomized into three groups after induction period of obesity by cafeteria diet and underwent sleeve gastrectomy (GV group), gastric plication (GP group) and sham operation (control group). The animals were assessed daily postoperatively and the variables were recorded: (initial seven days, 14 and 21 days) body weight and presence of complications until day 21 postoperatively, when they were euthanized and evaluated: biochemistry (glucose, insulin, HDL, total cholesterol, triglycerides, AST, ALT and serum ghrelin), degree of intra-abdominal adhesions, resistance testing will air insufflation in the stomach and microscopic evaluation of the gastric mucosa.
RESULTS: In relation to body weight variation of animals GV group (initial weight: 318 ± 7.89 g / Final weight: 213 ± 9.03g) was significantly decreased (p<0.05) at 21 post-surgery day compared to the GP group (initial weight: 314.11 ± 20.79 g / final weight: 239.16 ± 14.71 g) and control (initial weight: 315.16±17.54g / final weight: 317.91±16.06 g). The animals in the GV group had a significant decrease (p<0.001) in blood glucose, insulin, transaminases, serum HDL and ghrelin compared to animals in GP and control. Was also significantly lower the burst pressure of the stomach in the GV group, the insufflation test the atmospheric air in relation to the GP and control groups. The GP and GV groups showed even different histological grade of inflammation
(subacute inflammation) and control group (chronic inflammation).
CONCLUSIONS: The sleeve gastrectomy is more effective than gastric plication weight loss, metabolic control and reduction of serum ghrelin in obesity rats, and presents the same rates of postoperative complications (adhesions, deaths and grade inflammation).
KEYWORDS: 1. Obesity; 2. Bariatric Surgery; 3.Wistar rats.
Tradicionalmente, a marca de um grande cirurgião está relacionada à habilidade técnica, conhecimento e perspicácia diagnóstica, enquanto pouco foco é dado a outras habilidades de Liderança. Hoje, as habilidades não técnicas, como habilidades de comunicação e liderança, acabam se traduzindo em maior segurança do paciente, experiência e resultados. O dia em que o cirurgião inicia seu primeiro trabalho o define como um líder, e isso é particularmente verdadeiro para o cirurgião do Aparelho Digestivo, pois é imediatamente considerado um especialista. Os cirurgiões são líderes preparados para aproveitar as muitas oportunidades de desempenho que as posições acadêmicas fornecem para executar seus interesses fora do atendimento tradicional ao paciente. Algumas pessoas nascem com habilidades de liderança e outras as desenvolvem com o tempo. É claro que esse processo deve começar cedo e que os estudantes de medicina e residentes devem estar preparados para papéis de liderança conforme RODRIGO VIANA explica neste vídeo para ajudar no desenvolvimento das habilidades críticas e não clínicas relacionadas à liderança de uma equipe e ao ensino. Para alguns, os papéis principais podem mudar ou desviar a carreira do atendimento ao paciente. Para outros, um equilíbrio entre as carreiras clínicas e administrativas pode ser cumprido em um papel definido. Independentemente disso, estabelecer metas e trabalhar para alcançá-las dentro da construção de uma equipe é a marca de todos os líderes de sucesso.
The most common presenting sign for patients with malignancy of the periampullary region is obstructive jaundice. While a significant proportion of these patients will be asymptomatic, the deleterious systemic consequences of uncontrolled hyperbilirubinemia may still occur. Furthermore, symptoms such as pruritus can be debilitating and have a significant impact on the quality of life. Thus, some have advocated preoperative drainage of the biliary system in patients with resectable periampullary malignancies, given widespread availability of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and its perceived safety profile. On the other hand, the purported benefits of routine preoperative drainage in this patient population (namely, resolution of symptoms in symptomatic patients while awaiting surgery, restoration of the enterohepatic cycle, and a potential decrease in postoperative morbidity) have proven to be largely theoretical, and now there are high-quality phase III data that demonstrate the deleterious effects of routine stenting. A seminal study originating from the Netherlands in 2010 evaluated this issue in the only modern randomized controlled trial to date evaluating preoperative endoscopic biliary decompression for these patients. In their multicenter study, they randomized 202 patients with newly diagnosed pancreatic head cancer and bilirubin levels between 2.3 and 14.6 mg/dL to preoperative biliary drainage for 4–6 weeks vs. immediate surgery which was to be performed within a week of enrollment. The primary endpoint was the development of serious complications within 120 days after randomization. Serious complications were defined as complications related to the drainage procedure or the surgical intervention that required additional medical, endoscopic, or surgical management, and that resulted in prolongation of the hospital stay, readmission to the hospital, or death. The reported overall rate of serious complications in this study favored the immediate surgery group (39 vs. 74%; RR 0.54–95% [CI], 0.41–0.71; P < 0.001), complications related to surgery were equivalent (37 vs. 47%; P = 0.14), and there was no difference in mortality rates or length of hospital stay. The observed drainage-related complications included a 15% rate of stent occlusion, 30% need for exchange, and 26% incidence of cholangitis.
“Based on these results, the authors concluded that the morbidity associated with the drainage procedure itself had an additive effect on the postoperative morbidity of patients undergoing pancreatic head resection for cancer and recommended against its routine use in this population.“
A Cochrane systematic review of all available randomized studies (including the abovementioned study by van der Gaag et al.) evaluating preoperative biliary drainage was published in 2012. In this study, Fang et al. assessed the impact of this intervention on survival, serious morbidity (defined as Clavien-Dindo grade 3 or 4), and quality of life. Furthermore, they sought to assess differences in total length of hospital stay and cost. They identified six randomized trials of which four used percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage and the remaining two used endoscopic sphincterotomy and stenting. The pooled analysis of 520 patients (of which 51% underwent preoperative biliary drainage) showed no difference in mortality, but importantly, it showed a significantly higher incidence of serious morbidity in the preoperative drainage group with a rate ratio (RaR) of 1.66 (95% CI 1.28–2.16;P = 0.002). There was no difference in length of hospital stay and not enough data reported for analysis of cost or quality of life.
“Based on the available level 1 data, the authors concluded that there was no evidence to support or refute routine preoperative biliary drainage in patients with obstructive jaundice.“
However, this review also underscored the fact that preoperative biliary drainage may be associated with an increased rate of adverse events and thus questioned the safety of this practice. This Cochrane review included old studies that evaluated patients undergoing percutaneous drainage, a technique used less frequently today for periampullary malignancies. Furthermore, several of these trials included patients with hilar and other types of biliary obstruction. However, the concept of preoperative decompression, as well as its purported benefits and observed results, may be reasonably extrapolated to patients with periampullary lesions.
Liver cancer is the sixth most common cancer and, in 2018, was the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. The rates of incidence and mortality are approximately 2 to 3 times higher for men than for women. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary liver cancer and accounts for 75% to 85% of diagnoses, followed by intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (10%–15%), and other rare liver histologies. The improvement and safety of surgical techniques for liver resection and transplant, and advancements in ablation, transarterial chemoembolization (TACE), and systemic therapies have expanded the treatment options for patients with HCC. Liver transplant is the ideal treatment option for patients with HCC and poorly compensated liver disease because it removes both HCC and damaged liver and reduces the risk for early recurrence. However, shortages in donor liver and long waiting times to transplant are significant barriers to this treatment approach. As such, liver resection remains an effective treatment option for patients with HCC. The use of a multidisciplinary approach and the knowledge of each therapeutic option is critical in the management of patients with HCC.
Minimal future liver remnant requirements
Liver resection remains the treatment of choice for HCC. Two major preoperative considerations for HCC resection are the patient’s liver function and the predicted future liver remnant (FLR). The intrinsic liver function of patients with HCC is often impaired because this patient population generally has chronic liver disease, including viral hepatitis, alcoholic hepatitis, and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. As such, studies report that more FLR is needed for patients undergoing resection for HCC than for patients undergoing resection of secondary liver cancer (ie, metastatic disease). The minimal requirement of FLR/standardized liver volume (standardized liver volume 5 x 794 1 1267.28 x body surface area) is 30% in patients with hepatic injury and fibrosis and 40% in patients with cirrhosis, whereas it is 20% to 25% for patients with normal liver.
Anatomic resection versus nonanatomic resection
Anatomic resection of Couinaud segment for small HCC was reported in 1981 by Makuuchi and colleagues. HCC frequently invades to the intrahepatic vascular structures and spreads through the portal vein. As such, the complete removal of tumor-bearing portal territory was reported to be theoretically superior to nonanatomic resection. The technique proposed by Makuuchi and colleagues is detailed as follows: (1) under the guidance of intraoperative ultrasonography, the portal vein of interest is identified and punctured using a 22-gauge needle; (2) blue dye is injected into the portal vein; (3) the territory of the dyed surface is marked using electrocautery; and (4) liver resection is performed using ultrasonography guidance and intersegmental hepatic veins are exposed. This technique was recently refined using fluorescence imaging. By using transportal injection or systemic intravenous injection of indocyanine green, the portal vein territory was more clearly visualized on the liver surface compared with the traditional method. Many retrospective studies reported that anatomic resection was associated with better survival and lower recurrence than nonanatomic resection. In contrast, other studies showed that survival did not differ significantly between patients undergoing anatomic resection and those undergoing nonanatomic resection. Therefore, this clinical question remains unanswered and needs to be further elucidated.
Laparoscopic liver resection
Laparoscopic liver resection (LLR) has been increasingly used worldwide. In their systemic review, Nguyen and colleagues reported on the safety of LLR with low rates of morbidity and mortality for both major and minor resections, as well as appropriate oncologic results compared with open liver resection (OLR). These results are most likely caused by patient selection and the advantages of the laparoscopic approach, including a magnified view and the hemostatic effect caused by pneumoperitoneum. Three retrospective studies including more than 200 patients showed that the 5-year overall survival (OS) was not significantly different between patients undergoing LLR for HCC and those undergoing OLR for HCC. However, no randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing long-term outcomes in patients undergoing LLR versus OLR for HCC have been reported. For patients with colorectal liver metastases, a recent RCT (Oslo-CoMet study) showed that median OS in patients undergoing LLR was similar to those undergoing OLR: 80 months versus 81 months.
Liver Resection Versus Ablation
It remains unclear whether liver resection or ablation is the most effective treatment of small HCC lesions. To answer this clinical question, 5 RCTs have been reported. Two of these studies showed that liver resection was associated with better survival than radiofrequency ablation and 3 showed that survival did not differ significantly between patients undergoing resection and those undergoing ablation. The shortcomings of these RCTs include insufficient patient follow-up; unclear treatment allocation; and different inclusion criteria, including tumor number, tumor diameter, and Child-Pugh grade. Nonetheless, for patients with small HCCs (ie,<3 cm), the current evidence shows that both resection and ablation can be recommended.
Liver Resection Versus Transarterial Chemoembolization
There has been 1 RCT comparing the outcomes of patients undergoing resection for HCC with those undergoing TACE. For patients outside of Milan criteria, resection was associated with better survival than TACE. The authors found 8 cohort studies comparing outcomes after resection with TACE using the propensity score adjustment. Although the studies had different inclusion criteria, the data show that resection is associated with better survival than TACE in selected patients who have multiple HCCs.
Liver Resection Versus Liver Transplant
Liver transplant is an established treatment option for patients who have early-stage HCC and poorly compensated cirrhosis and/or portal hypertension. However, the preferred treatment of patients who have early-stage HCC and wellcompensated cirrhosis is not established. Several retrospective studies have evaluated outcomes after liver resection for HCC in this setting, comparing them with those of transplant. However, most are limited by small sample sizes and low statistical power. No prospective studies have been performed on this topic given the inability to randomize patients to liver resection versus transplant. The authors found 2 studies including more than 200 patients. They both suggest that transplant is associated with better survival than liver resection in patients within Milan criteria and Child-Pugh A or B. Nonetheless, it should be noted that graft availability and waiting times for transplant differ between countries, which greatly influences the selection of liver resection versus transplant for patients with early-stage HCC.
The current evidence suggests that, for patients with small HCC lesions (<3 cm), OS is likely to be similar for patients undergoing liver resection versus ablation. For selected patients with multiple HCCs, liver resection may be associated with better OS than TACE. For the past 10 years, sorafenib has been the only effective medical therapy available for unresectable HCC. Recently, several promising new therapies, including multikinase inhibitors and immunotherapies, have been reported. Perioperative use of these new therapies may further improve outcomes in patients undergoing liver resection for HCC and potentially change the current treatment guidelines.
Com imensa satisfação é realizada a 3ª Edição da JORNADA MARANHENSE DE CIRURGIA DIGESTIVA, com abordagem de temas inovadores sobre a cirurgia digestiva, os avanços na medicina em relação a essa especialidade e procedimentos de mínima invasibilidade a fim de atualização e aprendizado da comunidade médica maranhense. Para isso, contamos com grandes nomes da área de Cirurgia do Aparelho Digestivo da região meio-norte brasileiro que trouxeram para a Jornada palestras enriquecedoras e discussões de casos.
“The concept of the critical view was described in 1992 but the term CVS was introduced in 1995 in an analytical review of the emerging problem of biliary injury in laparoscopic cholecystectomy. CVS was conceived not as a way to do laparoscopic cholecystectomy but as a way to avoid biliary injury. To achieve this, what was needed was a secure method of identifying the two tubular structures that are divided in a cholecystectomy, i.e., the cystic duct and the cystic artery. CVS is an adoption of a technique of secure identification in open cholecystectomy in which both cystic structures are putatively identified after which the gallbladder is taken off the cystic plate so that it is hanging free and just attached by the two cystic structures. In laparoscopic surgery complete separation of the body of the gallbladder from the cystic plate makes clipping of the cystic structures difficult so for laparoscopy the requirement was that only the lower part of the gallbladder (about one-third) had to be separated from the cystic plate. The other two requirements are that the hepatocystic triangle is cleared of fat and fibrous tissue and that there are two and only two structures attached to the gallbladder and the latter requirements were the same as in the open technique. Not until all three elements of CVS are attained may the cystic structures be clipped and divided. Intraoperatively CVS should be confirmed in a “time-out” in which the 3 elements of CVS are demonstrated. Note again that CVS is not a method of dissection but a method of target identification akin to concepts used in safe hunting procedures. Several years after the CVS was introduced there did not seem to be a lessening of biliary injuries.
Operative notes of biliary injuries were collected and studied in an attempt to determine if CVS was failing to prevent injury. We found that the method of target identification that was failing was not CVS but the infundibular technique in which the cystic duct is identified by exposing the funnel shape where the infundibulum of the gallbladder joins the cystic duct. This seemed to occur most frequently under conditions of severe acute or chronic inflammation. Inflammatory fusion and contraction may cause juxtaposition or adherence of the common hepatic duct to the side of the gallbladder. When the infundibular technique of identification is used under these conditions a compelling visual deception that the common bile duct is the cystic duct may occur. CVS is much less susceptible to this deception because more exposure is needed to achieve CVS, and either the CVS is attained, by which time the anatomic situation is clarified, or operative conditions prevent attainment of CVS and one of several important “bail-out” strategies is used thus avoiding bile duct injury.
CVS must be considered as part of an overall schema of a culture of safety in cholecystectomy. When CVS cannot be attained there are several bailout strategies such a cholecystostomy or in the case of very severe inflammation discontinuation of the procedure and referral to a tertiary center for care. The most satisfactory bailout procedure is subtotal cholecystectomy of which there are two kinds. Subtotal fenestrating cholecystectomy removes the free wall of the gallbladder and ablates the mucosa but does not close the gallbladder remnant. Subtotal reconstituting cholecystectomy closes the gallbladder making a new smaller gallbladder. Such a gallbladder remnant is undesirable since it may become the site of new gallstone formation and recurrent symptoms . Both types may be done laparoscopically.”
Strasberg SM, Hertl M, Soper NJ. An analysis of the problem of biliary injury during laparoscopic cholecystectomy. J Am Coll Surg 1995;180:101-25.
First described by Pablo Mirizzi in 1948 as “functional hepatic syndrome”, Mirizzi’s syndrome was initially thought to be the result of a “physiologic sphincter” of the hepatic duct. It is now understood to be a result of mechanical obstruction of the common hepatic duct secondary to an impacted stone in the gallbladder neck, Hartmann’s pouch, or the cystic duct. The syndrome is very uncommon in Western populations with a reported prevalence of 0.05%-5.7% in large modern series of patients undergoing biliary surgery. With chronic stone impaction, inflammation and recurrent cholangitis can develop with subsequent erosion into the common bile duct (CBD) and resultant biliobiliary fistula between the gallbladder and CBD.
The syndrome encompasses a spectrum of disease. Broadly speaking, Mirizzi’s syndrome can be grouped into two major categories: (1) external compression of the CBD without a fistula (Type 1), and (2) erosion into the CBD causing a cholecystobiliary fistula (Type II-IV). Csendes classification is currently being used to reflect the above classification. Retrospective studies have identified an association between Mirizzi’s syndrome and gallbladder cancer, with an incidence as high as 28%, relative to an incidence of 1-2% in patients with uncomplicated gallstone disease. As with other malignant processes of the biliary tract, biliary stasis and chronic inflammation have been suggested to play a role. In general, it is difficult to distinguish benign Mirizzi’s syndrome from a neoplastic process preoperatively, although older patient age, significantly elevated Ca 19-9, and imaging features suggestive of invasion into the liver or a mass filling the gallbladder should raise suspicion for malignancy.
The most common presenting symptoms are right upper quadrant pain, jaundice, nausea/vomiting, and fever. This spectrum of findings overlaps with several other pathologic processes of the hepatobiliary tract, making preoperative diagnosis difficult. Additionally, the clinical picture may be complicated by the concurrent presence of acute cholecystitis, pancreatitis, or even gallstone ileus. Mirizzi’s syndrome should be suspected in any patient presenting with right upper quadrant pain and abnormal liver enzymes (particularly elevated bilirubin and alkaline phosphatase) or imaging suggestive of an impacted stone. Three findings on imaging together suggest a diagnosis of Mirizzi’s: 1) dilation of the biliary system above the level of the gallbladder neck, 2) the presence of a stone impacted in the gallbladder neck, and 3) an abrupt change to a normal width of the common duct below the level of the stone. Such findings should prompt further imaging to better define the biliary tree, either indirectly though magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP), or directly through endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) or percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC). No imaging modality is entirely sensitive for Mirizzi’s syndrome and the key is to maintain a high index of suspicion.
Management of Mirizzi’s syndrome depends on the degree of fistula. In Type I disease, laparoscopic cholecystectomy is usually achievable, either total (classic) or subtotal, depending on the specific intraoperative findings. If the view of safety can be attained with the critical structures isolated, a classic cholecystectomy may be performed. If the view of safety cannot be achieved due to inflammation or adhesions, the gallbladder is taken down retrograde and opened near the cystic duct orifice. All stones are removed, including any impacted stones, and the cystic duct orifice is examined for the presence of bile to determine whether it is patent. If the cystic duct is patent, it should be ligated (if possible), or the remnant gallbladder should be sutured closed over it (choledochoplasty). An external closed suction drain may be left in the gallbladder fossa and removed the following day if drainage is non-bilious. More commonly, the cystic duct is obliterated, and a subtotal cholecystectomy with removal of all stones is sufficient.
Management of Mirizzi’s syndrome in the presence of a biliobiliary fistula is more complex. If the fistula involves <1/3 of the CBD circumference (Type II), options include primary repair using absorbable suture, closure over a T-tube, or choledochoplasty using the remnant gallbladder. The last approach is preferable to maintain the diameter of the CBD and minimize the risk of subsequent stricture but requires that sufficient gallbladder remnant be available to allow closure. In the presence of a more extensive fistula (Type III or IV), bilioenteric anastomosis is usually the best option.
The global obesity epidemic has dramatically increased the prevalence of NAFLD and made it the leading cause of chronic liver disease in Western nations. NAFLD is considered the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome and shares a strong association with type 2 diabetes mellitus, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and cardiovascular disease. Although cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in patients with NAFLD, the subset of patients who meet histopathologic criteria for NASH are those at greatest risk of liver-related morbidity and mortality. Ludwig and colleagues coined the term NASH in 1980 to describe a cohort of middle-aged patients with elevated serum liver enzyme levels who had evidence of alcohol-associated hepatitis on biopsy specimens in the absence of alcohol consumption. Subsequent study led to the proposed “2-hit” hypothesis in which a sequential progression from isolated fatty liver (IFL) to NASH involved the initial “hit” of hepatic steatosis followed by a second “hit” of oxidative stress resulting in liver injury. It was subsequently recognized that patients who have steatohepatitis on a liver biopsy specimen are at greatest risk for progression to cirrhosis compared with those who have IFL. Correspondingly, our understanding of the pathogenesis of NAFLD has evolved from the 2-hit hypothesis. NASH is expected to become the most common cause of cirrhosis and the leading indication for LT in the USA in the 2020s. As a major public health concern, an understanding of its epidemiology and pathogenesis is paramount to facilitate our ability to effectively diagnose and treat patients with NAFLD and NASH.
NAFLD is an increasingly frequent cause of cirrhosis and HCC. In fact, a report published in 2018 listed NAFLD as the second leading non-neoplastic indication for LT in adults in the USA, following alcohol-associated liver disease. Obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m2) and type 2 diabetes mellitus are commonly encountered in patients with NAFLD; these 2 diseases have been recognized as risk factors for HCC, irrespective of the presence or etiology of cirrhosis. Although BMI is not necessarily a reliable indicator of adiposity in patients with end-stage liver disease, particularly in those with fluid retention and ascites, it is commonly used by many LT centers during the patient selection process. Morbid obesity (BMI ≥40 kg/m2 without significant obesity-related comorbidities or BMI ≥35 kg/m2 associated with obesity-related comorbidities) is commonly regarded as a relative contraindication to LT; however, data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network demonstrate that 16.5% and 5% of patients who underwent LT in 2016 had a BMI greater than or equal to 35 kg/m2 and greater than or equal to 40 kg/m2, respectively.
NAFLD and Liver Transplantation
Analysis of data from the UNOS registry has suggested that the risk of primary graft nonfunction is increased and short- and long-term survival is poorer in morbidly obese liver transplant recipients with various causes of end-stage liver disease. However, when analyzed as an entire cohort and not stratified by BMI, patients with NAFLD have patient and graft survival rates that are comparable to those for other indications for LT. Many of the key precipitants of NAFLD (obesity, hyperlipidemia, and insulin resistance) are exacerbated by immunosuppression. Recurrence of NAFLD after LT causes graft injury, although graft loss does not typically occur. De novo NAFLD after LT has also been described. In the absence of specific therapy for NAFLD, therapeutic efforts after LT should center on weight control, optimal diabetic management, and use of a lipid-lowering agent, if indicated. Intensive noninvasive weight loss interventions pre-LT appear to be successful (reduction of BMI to <35 kg/m2) in a large proportion of patients (84%) enrolled in carefully monitored multidisciplinary protocols; however, 60% of patients regained weight to a BMI ≥35 kg/m2 post-LT. Although bariatric surgery is feasible in selected patients with NAFLD, this intervention is typically reserved for patients with early stages of liver disease and, as is the case for many other abdominal surgical procedures, is contraindicated in those with decompensated cirrhosis because of high morbidity and mortality. A strategy of combining LT with sleeve gastrectomy during the same operation has only been evaluated in small prospective series. The mean surgical time was not significantly different between LT and combined LT/sleeve gastrectomy, and the mean BMI reduction with the combined surgical approach was 20 kg/m2. Metabolic complications, such as post-transplant diabetes mellitus, as well as steatosis of the graft noted by US were significantly less frequent in patients undergoing LT/sleeve gastrectomy compared with patients who lost weight noninvasively pre-LT. The safety and efficacy of this combined surgical approach and other combinations of less invasive weight loss interventions, such as endoscopic techniques, pre-LT must be confirmed by large prospective studies before they can be recommended. Bariatric interventions are still an option post-LT; however, the procedure should be performed by an experienced surgeon, and the role of less invasive endoscopic techniques postLT is still under investigation.
Sleeve Gastrectomy vs NAFLD
Bariatric surgery leads to substantial weight loss that results in improved metabolic parameters and hepatic histology in patients with NAFLD, according to numerous large retrospective and prospective cohort studies. In one study of 109 patients with NASH who underwent follow-up liver biopsy one year after bariatric surgery, 85% of patients had resolution of NASH, and 33% had improvement in fibrosis. Initial concerns that fibrosis would worsen with rapid weight loss were unfounded, as demonstrated in a meta-analysis in which fibrosis improved by 11.9% from baseline after bariatric surgery. Although bariatric surgery is not recommended as a treatment for NASH, the abundant positive data in its favor suggest that surgical weight loss is a viable option for patients with comorbid conditions that would warrant the surgery for other reasons. Patients with NASH cirrhosis are at potentially higher risk for surgical complications, although some centers have demonstrated encouraging results with sleeve gastrectomy in patients with Child-Pugh class A cirrhosis.
If OR etiquette represents a code of conduct—respect, communication, shared mental model, and teamwork—then manners represent the behaviors that embody this code of behavior. These seem like simple rules that should have been learned at an early age, but a few pointers will go a long way toward integrating junior residents and students into the OR team.
1. Be polite.
2. Be respectful.
3. Be humble.
4. Learn everyone’s name.
5. Offer help without being asked.
6. Ask for help when needed.
7. Thank your colleagues.
8. Keep the patient at the center of all you do.
Rude, disruptive, or disrespectful behavior is not tolerated. Do not yell or make sarcastic comments. Do not make jokes with sexual or racial themes. Do not gossip or denigrate others. Many surgeons enjoy listening to music in the operating room, but in choosing a playlist, be aware that some music may have offensive lyrics that should not be played in the workplace. It is most polite to ask before playing music and to check in with music preferences, as not everyone in the OR may appreciate loud death metal. Music should be turned off during critical times such as the initial time-out. Surgeons use social media like many others, but the OR is not the place to check Facebook or Instagram. When posting to social media, be professional—anything posted to the Internet can be screen captured and spread, no matter what privacy settings you may have turned on. A recent study of publicly accessible Facebook posts showed 14.1% of surgery residents had posted potentially unprofessional content, and 12.2% had clearly unprofessional content, with violations of patient privacy being one of the most common problems, along with description of binge drinking and racially or sexually offensive material. Specific to the OR, be aware that social media postings with potentially identified patient information are absolutely forbidden. This does not need to include a name of a patient to be identifiable information—a few details of a particularly unique case and a timestamped posting can be enough to cause trouble.
Feedback has gained an increasingly important role in surgical education. Feedback may be summative and/or formative. Summative feedback is often given at discrete time points such as the end of a rotation and is a culmination of observations of performance. Formative feedback involves an ongoing assessment of skills or knowledge and may be given throughout an education experience. There is an often misunderstood distinction between teaching and feedback. As an example, teaching is when the attending surgeon corrects the resident’s needle angle during a bowel anastomosis. Feedback is when the attending surgeon and resident meet after the case and discuss performance—either technical or nontechnical. For example, a feedback session might discuss room setup, efficiency, technical maneuvers, and communication. Giving and receiving feedback are distinct skills that require both parties to be attentive and open. To facilitate this process, several methods have been described that turn feedback into an active process for both parties. Ideally, the mentor and the trainee have a briefing prior to the case in order to set learning objectives and then formally debrief after the case to discuss how well the learning objectives were met as well as ways to improve this in the future. In the press of clinical concerns and the drive toward efficiency, the debrief session is often skipped or missed. It is incumbent on the learner, therefore, to specifically seek out and ask the attending surgeon for feedback and if necessary to schedule formal meeting times. It is also important for feedback to flow both ways, and the attending surgeon should ask for feedback from the residents as well. A good methodology for providing feedback is to ask an open-ended question such as “How did you think that operation went?” Which can be followed with “What went well?” and “What could have gone better?” This allows the person providing feedback with a baseline to start from and allow for self-reflection on the part of the learner. This can be followed with specific feedback about one to two actionable items, preferably relating back to the goals stated during the initial briefing.
Although the OR may seem like a highly regimented environment, each member of the surgical team will serve as both a “leader” and a “follower” at different points during the operation. This includes everyone from the most senior attending surgeon to the most junior medical student. Within the OR, the surgical attending has ultimate responsibility for the patient. However, surgical residents will often act as leaders to junior residents and medical students. In the setting of “progressive autonomy” for surgical trainees, the attending surgeon may also formally or informally cede control of the case to the resident or fellow and may take a follower role him or herself. In fact, more often than not, the surgical attending will assist a senior resident through a case, rather than perform the operation with the resident’s assistance. In the OR, the team leader is responsible for setting the tone. It is up to the leader to make sure that all team members have a shared understanding of how the day will proceed as well as any potential problems that may arise. In many cases, the surgical attending does not arrive to the OR until the patient has arrived, been intubated, and prepped and draped. In this case, it is up to the senior-most resident to lead the team. A resident who arrives early, completes the surgical timeout in a thorough but efficient manner, and moves the room forward is much more effective than one who arrives late or is not familiar with the patient or the case. While an extensive discussion of successful leadership traits is outside of the realm of this chapter, in general a good leader is one who outlines a clear vision of the work that needs to be accomplished while also empowering those around them to take ownership over their individual work. While leadership is a commonly discussed topic, what is less commonly discussed is the importance of “followership.” While there are several different descriptions of the various types of “followers” on any given team, many focus on a spectrum from passive to active and from dependent, uncritical thinking to independent, critical thinking. Compared to the field of leadership, the study of followership is relatively new, but it is generally agreed that effective followers are those who are paying attention to what is going on around them, taking an active interest in the process, and questioning or challenging leadership or the status quo when necessary. This last point is especially critical. In the OR, being a good follower is a crucial component to maintaining patient safety as it is incumbent upon the followers (including residents, medical students, nursing staff, and all other participants) to speak up if they notice that something is going wrong or that the environment has become unsafe. Especially for more junior members of the team, it can be intimidating to alert the attending that he or she may be making a mistake or misjudging the situation. However, it is important to remember that such actions, when carried out with tact and respect, are in the best interest of the patient and may actually prevent serious harm from occurring.
One of the most important determinants of a successful operation is ongoing effective communication between all members of the surgical team. The goal is for each member of the team to have a common understanding about the patient, the proposed operation, and the expected flow of the case—the “shared mental model.” One of the most common communication tools used in this setting is the surgical pause or “time-out.” While many institutions use a time-out, many of these are unstructured and therefore miss an opportunity to ingrain a culture of communication. In order to combat this, we strongly recommend using a structured and formalized checklist as part of the surgical pause. The prototype for this type of structured process is the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist. The Surgical Safety Checklist, introduced in 2008, is a 19-point checklist to be used at 3 time points—immediately when the patient enters the operating room (prior to induction of anesthesia), just before the skin incision and just before the patient leaves the operating room. The checklist was tested in eight cities throughout the world to test its impact on patient morbidity and mortality. In a before-after study design, the investigators found that implementation of the checklist was associated with a significant reduction in mortality rate (1.5% vs. 0.8%, p < 0.01) and inpatient complications (11.0% vs. 7.0%, p < 0.01). While the checklist has largely been heralded as a success, some critics have asserted that it is not the checklist itself that reduces complications but rather the fact that the checklist provides an opportunity for the team to come together and discuss critical elements that are not to be missed. It is our opinion that it does not matter how the checklist works, only that it does.
Several additional studies have shown other benefits to introduction of a formalized checklist, including reduced mortality, morbidity, and hospital length of stay as demonstrated in a recent randomized controlled study that showed reduction in complications from 19.9% to 11.5% with introduction of the checklist. Despite this, some other studies of surgical checklists have shown no improvement in outcomes. This seems to be due to implementation issues, with wide variations in implementation between institutions and even between different specialties within an institution, with suboptimal implementation being common. Institutions who adopt a checklist in name only, but whose team members ignore or minimize the process, are unlikely to reap the benefits. On the other hand, institutions that develop a strong culture of safety with robust and mandatory implementation will see better results. This speaks to the importance of the etiquette of the OR—the code of conduct that regulates our actions. In order to derive the most benefit from the surgical safety checklist, all team members must be present and actively engaged in the process. Music should be turned off, side conversations stopped, and all attention should be focused on the checklist items and how they relate to the patient. Typically it is the role of the surgical attending, fellow, or resident to lead the checklist. As the designated leader, it is important to review and discuss each individual item on the checklist. This includes ensuring that every team member has introduced themselves and making it clear that all individuals in the OR are empowered to speak up if they become aware of a potentially unsafe situation. The checklist can be modified by individual hospitals or services to include relevant items specific to their patient population. For example, if a specific surgical team has additional items that must not be forgotten (e.g., processes regarding cardiopulmonary bypass in cardiac surgery), this can be included. Many checklists also include a debriefing section for use at the end of the case including items such as specimen processing, communication with the patient’s family, and who will accompany the patient to the postanesthesia or intensive care unit.
“Analysis of medical errors has shown that more than two-thirds involve issues of team communication, and these are contributed to by issues of institutional and team culture. These errors can include missed communication, inaccurate communication, or inability or unwillingness of team members to speak up—all of which can be related to the culture of a team or institution and which are dramatically affected based on the tone and climate set by surgeon leaders, both in and out of the operating room. Every team and institution have a “safety culture”—the attitudes, behaviors, and expectations that affect patient outcomes for good or for ill. There is increasing evidence that this safety culture directly affects both morbidity and mortality. For example, in a study of 31 hospitals in South Carolina, institutional safety culture was directly related to patient death. For every 1-point change (on a 7-point scale) in the hospital-level scores for respect, clinical leadership, and assertiveness, 30-day mortality after surgery decreased from 29% to 14%. In another example, measures of safety culture across 22 hospitals in Michigan directly predicted patient outcomes after bariatric surgery. In that study, when nurses rated coordination of OR teams as acceptable, rather than excellent, serious complications were 22% more likely.
The Operating Room Team
The act of surgery is inherently team-based. Each operation requires the surgeon to work closely and effectively with their assistants, anesthesia providers, nursing staff, surgical technologists, and ancillary staff members to make the OR function. Team members frequently move in and out of the OR, with change of shift or for breaks, and additional team members may be required for specialty or emergency care. The key is to remember that the patient is at the center of the team, thus the phrase “patient-centered care.” Always keep in mind that patient safety and well-being are at the heart of all our efforts. It is especially important that all members of the team have a “shared mental model”—a common understanding of the issues, both medical and logistical, which might affect the course of an operation. This allows for improved efficiency, better situational awareness, and better ability to recognize and respond to issues. Here we describe the individuals commonly encountered in the operating room.
Every surgical team will consist of an attending surgeon, usually accompanied by one or more assistants. In the learning environment, it is important for the surgeons to discuss roles and responsibilities as well as educational goals for the case, which may vary depending on the level of training and experience of the team members. An important concept in surgical education is “progressive autonomy,” in which learners are allowed to take on more and more responsibility in an operation based on their level of competency. A preoperative discussion between the surgeon and the resident is critical to clear understanding of which parts of the operation the learner can be expected to perform and when the attending might need to take control of the case. It is the responsibility of every member of the surgeon’s team to review the patient’s case in detail to understand their past medical and surgical history, their current disease and how it has been managed to date, relevant medications, and review of all diagnostic studies to anticipate difficulties that may be encountered during the operation. Secondarily, it is incumbent on each member to discuss the case with other members of the team to ensure that all individuals have a shared mental model of the operative plan, the postoperative plan, and any anticipated difficulties. During the operation, the patient is the focus of the team. Each individual is expected to do their part to advance the operation while helping other team members to do the same. Following the operation, it is important to discuss postoperative care such as pain management, dietary restrictions, venous thromboembolism prophylaxis, and the need for new or existing prescription medications.
Scrub Nurse and Circulator
Working closely with every surgical team is the surgical technologist or scrub nurse, often referred to as the “scrub.” This individual will have various levels of training depending on their background—he or she may be a certified surgical technician or a nurse with extra training. The scrub is an integral part of the team as they are responsible for ensuring that all necessary equipment is open or readily available prior to the case starting, anticipating the needs of the surgeon to maximize efficiency, and troubleshooting when there are equipment problems or failures. Depending on the scope of practice as defined by state law and regulations, the scrub may or may not be authorized to assist with limited surgical tasks. It is the responsibility of the surgeon (or surgical resident in their place) to meet with the scrub ahead of time, confirm that all necessary equipment is available, and confirm this during the surgical pause or “time-out.” Doing so will foster a collegial environment while also helping the case run more smoothly. The circulator is typically a nurse by training who is responsible for maintaining the flow of the OR, while the surgeons are sterilely gowned and gloved. It is important (especially for new residents) to introduce yourself to the circulator to open the flow of communication for the day and to give them a baseline understanding of your skill level so that they can assist you as necessary. For example, the circulator may pay extra close attention to the medical student as they don their sterile gown and glove to ensure that they do not break the sterile field. Throughout the case, the circulator works to maintain the flow of the OR. As such, the circulator is not always available to assist in tasks not related to the direct care of the patient.
The Anesthesia Team
Without the anesthesia team, the surgeon cannot operate. The anesthesia team consists of either an attending anesthesiologist who is present for the duration of the case or an anesthesia resident or certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) who is supervised by an attending anesthesiologist who may be overseeing several operations at once. In some states, depending on state law, a CRNA can also practice independently. The anesthesia provider is often helped by an anesthesia technician, much like the surgeon is helped by a surgical technician. The anesthesia team is responsible for providing pain control and sedation, managing the airway, medical and fluid management throughout the case, and monitoring the patient for any physiologic derangements that may or may not be related to the operation at hand. They should meet the patient ahead of time to evaluate for any risk factors such as underlying cardiovascular or pulmonary disease. Communication with the anesthesia team is critical for maintaining the safety and well-being of the patient. One of the most important tools to promote this communication is the surgical pause or “time-out”. Throughout the case, the surgical team must also alert the anesthesia team if they anticipate significant hemodynamic changes for the patient. This can range from events as common as insufflation of pneumoperitoneum during a laparoscopic operation to more uncommon events such as unexpected, significant hemorrhage. Conversely, it is imperative that the anesthesia team communicates with the surgeon about any significant changes in hemodynamic status or about other issues that may impact patient care. Finally, it is important to debrief with anesthesia at the end of the case, to ensure that all members of the team have the same situational awareness and understanding of the patient’s intraoperative course and postoperative plan. This includes issues such as fluid and electrolyte management, expected or potential postoperative issues, and a plan for pain management.
“NON-TECHNICAL SKILLS FOR SURGEONS (NOTTS) was developed by a team in Scotland at the University of Aberdeen and funded by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and NHS Education for Scotland; lead investigator Steven Yule, PhD, was a part of this team and now brings his experience and expertise to the United States with the Non-Technical Skills Lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. NOTSS was developed from the bottom up with a panel of subject matter experts (consultant/attending surgeons/psychologists) in place of adapting an existing framework employed by other industries. The aim of the NOTSS project was to develop and test an educational system for assessment and training based on observable behavioral skills in the intraoperative phase of surgery (Yule et al. Surg Clin N Am 2012;92:37-50).
THE NOTSS SYSTEM
was written in surgical language for trained surgeons to observe, rate, and provide feedback on non-technical skills in a structured manner (Yule et al. Surg Clin N Am 2012;92:37-50). The NOTSS taxonomy is broken down into four distinct categories of non-technical skill: Situation Awareness, Decision Making, Communication and Teamwork, and Leadership (Yule et al. World J Surg 2008;32:548-556), each with associated elements. Good and poor behaviors were carefully written for each element. The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh also provide resources for training non-technical skills. Click Here!“
|Fundamentals of Acceptable|
Behavior in the Operating Room
“As much as the culture and practice of surgery have changed and evolved over the last several hundred years, it remains true that the operating room (OR) can be an intimating place for medical students or junior residents. In the past, surgeons have often had the reputation of being arrogant or demeaning, with frequent stories akin to hazing of junior residents in the OR, or of impulsive, disruptive behavior aimed at team members such as nursing staff, anesthesia team, and support personnel. In fact, this type of “old-school” behavior is no longer acceptable, for many reasons. The OR is a special place, but it is still in the end a workplace, and workplace norms of mutual respect and polite behavior must apply. In the modern era, it is clear that surgeons must work in a respectful and collaborative fashion with all members of the patient care team. It is incumbent on the surgeon to create an atmosphere of mutual respect, trust, and communication. This is often called “OR etiquette,” as etiquette is defined as a code of conduct among a group or professionals that should dictate how we act and work with others. This is related to but distinct from manners—which are behaviors (good or bad) that reflect our attitude toward others. Etiquette, therefore, creates the structure within which manners exist.”
This e-book was designed to assist in learning related to experimental surgical technique, during the training of health professionals. Concisely and objectively, it presents the basic principles for professional practice in surgery and in basic techniques of the most relevant surgical procedures. It is directed to the training of general practitioners, through the technical base, illustrated in procedures described step by step, with reference to the routines of the discipline of Surgical Technique, at the Federal University of Maranhão. It is not a work aimed at surgical clinic nor does it presuppose a descriptive detail that definitively supplies the necessary information for the execution of procedures in patients. This book is specially dedicated to undergraduate students, to serve as a guide during the Experimental Surgical Technique. It was designed and structured in order to facilitate theoretical study and encourage practical learning. Assisting your training, we seek professionals better prepared for health care.
Laparoscopic hepatic resection is an emerging option in the field of hepatic surgery. With almost 3000 laparoscopic hepatic resections reported in the literature for benign and malignant tumors, with a combined mortality of 0.3% and morbidity of 10.5%, there will be an increasing demand for minimally invasive liver surgery. Multiple series have been published on laparoscopic liver resections; however, no randomized controlled trial has been reported that compares laparoscopic with open liver resection. Large series, meta-analyses, and reviews have thus far attested to the feasibility and safety of minimally invasive hepatic surgery for benign and malignant lesions.
The conversion rate from a laparoscopic approach to an open procedure was 4.1%. The most common type of laparoscopic liver resection performed is a wedge resection or segmentectomy (45%), followed by left lateral sectionectomy (20%). Major anatomic hepatectomies are still less frequently performed: right hepatectomy (9%) and left hepatectomy (7%). Cumulative morbidity and mortality was 10.5% and 0.3%.
BENEFITS OF LAPAROSCOPIC APPROACH
More importantly, almost all the studies comparing laparoscopic with open liver resection consistently showed a significant earlier discharge to home after laparoscopic liver resection. Lengths of stay were variable based on the country of origin of the studies but were consistently shorter for laparoscopic liver resection. Three studies published in the United States presented a length of stay of 1.9 to 4.0 days after laparoscopic liver resection. Studies from Europe showed an average length of stay of 3.5 to 10 days whereas those from Asia reported an average of length of stay of 4 to 20 days after laparoscopic liver resection.
Vanounou and colleagues used deviation-based cost modeling to compare the costs of laparoscopic with open left lateral sectionectomy at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. They compared 29 laparoscopic with 40 open cases and showed that patients who underwent the laparoscopic approach faired more favorably with a shorter length of stay (3 vs 5 days, P<.0001), significantly less postoperative morbidity (P 5 .001), and a weighted-average median cost savings of $1527 to $2939 per patient compared with patients who underwent open left lateral sectionectomy.
Initial concerns about the adequacy of surgical margins and possible tumor seeding prevented the widespread adoption of laparoscopic resection approaches for liver cancers. In comparison studies, there were no differences in margin-free resections between laparoscopic and open liver resection. In addition, no incidence of port-site recurrence or tumor seeding has been reported. With more than 3000 cases of minimally invasive hepatic resection reported in the literature (and no documentation of any significant port-site or peritoneal seeding), the authors conclude that this concern should not prevent surgeons from accepting a laparoscopic approach.
There were no significant differences in overall survival in the 13 studies that compared laparoscopic liver resection with open liver resection for cancer. For example, Cai and colleagues showed that the 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates after laparoscopic resection of HCC were 95.4%, 67.5%, and 56.2% versus 100%, 73.8%, and 53.8% for open resection. For resection of colorectal cancer liver metastasis, Ito and colleagues showed a 3-year survival of 72% after laparoscopic liver resection and 56% after open liver resection whereas Castaing and colleagues51 showed a 5-year survival of 64% after laparoscopic liver resection versus 56% after open liver resection.
Compared with open liver resections, laparoscopic liver resections are associated with less blood loss, less pain medication requirement, and shorter length of hospital stay. A randomized controlled clinical trial is the best method to compare laparoscopic with open liver resection; however, such a trial may be difficult to conduct because patients are unlikely to subject themselves to an open procedure when a minimally invasive approach has been shown feasible and safe in experienced hands. In addition, many patients would have to be accrued to detect a difference in complications that occur infrequently. Short of a large randomized clinical trial, meta-analysis and matched comparisons provide the next best option to compare laparoscopic with open liver resection. For laparoscopic resection of HCC or colorectal cancer metastases, there has been no difference in 5-year overall survival compared with open hepatic resection. In addition, from a financial standpoint, the minimally invasive approach to liver resection may be associated with higher operating room costs; however, the total hospital costs were offset or improved due to the associated shorter length of hospital stay with the minimally invasive approach.
Evaluation of a patient referring GERD after sleeve gastrectomy should start with a detailed history and physical examination; the presence or absence of GERD-related symptoms should be thoroughly documented as well as any prior treatments or therapy used to treat it. Obtaining preoperative and operative records is of paramount importance particularly in those patients who had their index procedure performed elsewhere. Any endoscopic findings and prior imaging available are important to determine what the best course of action would be. If the patient had preoperative and postoperative imaging such as UGI, it is useful to compare those with a recent study to look for anatomical problems that may have been not addressed at the time of the index operation or developed over time. After this information is obtained, we can classify the GERD after sleeve as:
1. De novo GERD
2. Preexisting GERD without improvement
3. Preexisting GERD with worsening/complication
Regardless of how we classify the GERD, an initial evaluation with imaging
studies such as UGI and EGD is recommended. Comparison with any prior films if available is of significant value. Based on the UGI, we can determine if the shape of the sleeve falls into one of the following categories: tubular, dilated bottom, dilated upper, or dumbbell-shaped sleeve; we will also be able to evaluate esophageal peristalsis in real time and if there is associated hiatal hernias. We believe UGI under fluoroscopy provides important physiologic and anatomic information that can help guide our management approach, and therefore we offer it to all patients. We follow the radiologic evaluation with endoscopy, and during endoscopy, we look for objective signs of reflux such as esophagitis, presence of bile in the stomach or esophagus, as well as missed or recurrent hiatal hernias. In patients with evidence of esophagitis or metaplasia, multiple biopsies are taken. During the endoscopy, subtle findings that suggest a kink or a stricture may be present. In the absence of objective signs of gastroesophageal reflux disease on both endoscopy and upper GI series, we pursue physiologic testing followed by highresolution manometry and pH monitoring. In those patients where clear reflux esophagitis is seen, this additional testing may not be necessary or may be performed in selected cases depending on what the surgical or endoscopic therapy would be.
While it is true that most sleeve-related GERD will be effectively treated with a conversion to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, not every patient with GERD after reflux will require a bypass or would agree to have one. First key step in addressing the patient is to evaluate whether the patient was selected appropriately to have a sleeve and second is to determine the exact sleeve anatomy; are there anatomical factors that will make it more likely for this patient to experience reflux; is there dilated fundus? Is there a kink or stricture in the sleeve or is it an anatomically appropriate operation? We should pay important attention to the weight loss the patient has experienced with the sleeve. Patients who do not have adequate weight loss and have GERD symptoms should not undergo other therapies and should probably undergo a bypass; however it is our unpublished experience that patients with the association of poor weight loss after sleeve and difficult to treat GERD will correct their GERD after conversion, but their weight loss results are still marginal even with a well-constructed bypass.
“At the University of Chicago, members of the Department of Surgery decided to investigate this issue more precisely. As stay-at-home restrictions in some states are easing, and as non-emergency medical care is being reconsidered, how does one possibly triage the thousands upon thousands of patients whose surgeries were postponed? Instead of the term “elective,” the University of Chicago’s Department of Surgery chose the phrase “Medically-Necessary, Time Sensitive” (MeNTS). This concept can be utilized to better assess the acuity and safety when determining which patients can get to the operating room in as high benefit/low risk manner as possible. And unlike in any recent time in history, risks to healthcare staff as well as risks to the patient from healthcare staff, are now thrown into the equation. The work was published in the April issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
On March 17, 2020, the American College of Surgeons recommended that all “elective” surgeries be canceled indefinitely. These guidelines were published, stating that only patients with “high acuity” surgical issues, which would include aggressive cancers and severely symptomatic disease, should proceed. Based on the Elective Surgery Acuity Scale (ESAS), most hospitals were strongly encouraged to cancel any surgery that was not high acuity, including slow-growing cancers, orthopedic and spine surgeries, airway surgeries, and any other surgeries for non-cancerous tumors. Heart surgeries for stable cardiac issues were also put on hold. Patients and surgeons waited. Some patients did, indeed undergo non-Covid-19-related surgeries. But most did not. Redeployment is gradually turning to re-entry.
The re-entry process for non-urgent (yet necessary) surgeries is a complicated one. Decisions and timing, based on a given hospital’s number and severity of Covid-19 patients, combined with a given city or state’s current and projected number of Covid-19 cases, how sick those patients will be, and whether or not a second surge may come, involves a fair amount of guesswork. As we have all seen, data manipulation has become a daily sparring match in many arenas. The authors of the study created an objective surgical risk scoring system, in order to help hospitals across this country, as well as others across the world, better identify appropriate timing regarding which surgeries can go ahead sooner rather than later, and why. They factored several variables into their equation, to account for the multiple potential barriers to care, including health and safety of hospital personnel. They created scoring systems based on three factors: Procedure, Disease and Patient Issues.
The authors of the study created an objective surgical risk scoring system, in order to help hospitals across this country, as well as others across the world, better identify appropriate timing regarding which surgeries can go ahead sooner rather than later, and why. They factored several variables into their equation, to account for the multiple potential barriers to care, including health and safety of hospital personnel. Each patient would receive an overall conglomerate score, based on all of these factors, with the lower risks giving them more favorable scores to proceed with surgery soon, and the higher risks giving patients a higher score, or higher risk regarding proceeding with surgery, meaning it may be safest, for now, to wait.
Dr. Jeffrey Matthews, senior author of the paper, and Department Chair at the University of Chicago, stated that this model is reproducible across hospital systems, in urban, rural, and academic settings. And in the event of potential unpredictable surges of Covid-19 cases, the scoring system “helps prioritize cases not only from the procedure/disease standpoint but also from the pandemic standpoint with respect to available hospital resources such as PPE, blood, ICU beds, and [regular hospital] beds.”
The scoring system is extremely new, and the coming weeks will reveal how patients, surgeons and hospitals are faring as patients without life-and-death emergencies and/or Covid-19 complications gradually begin filling the operating rooms and hospital beds. In addition, and perhaps just as important, the study authors note that creating systems whereby healthcare resources, safety, and impact on outcomes need to be considered more carefully for each patient intervention, the larger impact of each intervention on public health will be better understood: not only for today’s pandemic, but also in future, as yet unknown, global events.”
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The current world Covid-19 pandemic has been the most discussed topic in the media and scientific journals. Fear, uncertainty, and lack of knowledge about the disease may be the significant factors that justify such reality. It has been known that the disease presents with a rapidly spreading, it is significantly more severe among the elderly, and it has a substantial global socioeconomic impact. Besides the challenges associated with the unknown, there are other factors, such as the deluge of information. In this regard, the high number of scientific publications, encompassing in vitro, case studies, observational and randomized clinical studies, and even systematic reviews add up to the uncertainty. Such a situation is even worse when considering that most healthcare professionals lack adequate knowledge to critically appraise the scientific method, something that has been previously addressed by some authors. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that expert societies supported by data provided by the World Health Organization and the National Health Department take the lead in spreading trustworthy and reliable information.
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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emerged in Wuhan City and rapidly spread throughout China and around the world since December 2019. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic on 11 March 2020. Patients with metabolic disorders like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity may face a greater risk of infection of COVID-19 and it can also greatly affect the development and prognosis of pneumonia.
“A higher cumulative MeNTS score, which can range from 21 to 105, is associated with poorer perioperative patient outcome, increased risk of COVID-19 transmission to the health care team, and/or increased hospital resource utilization. Given the need to maintain OR capacity for trauma, emergency, and highly urgent cases, an upper threshold MeNTS score can be designated by surgical and perioperative leadership based on the immediately anticipated conditions and resources at each institution.”
All elective surgical and endoscopic cases for metabolic and bariatric surgery should be postponed during the pandemic. This minimises risks to both patient and healthcare team, as well as reducing the utilisation of unnecessary resources, such as beds, ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE). In addition, postponing these services will minimise potential exposure of the COVID-19 virus to unsuspecting healthcare providers and patients. As the long-term effects or complications of COVID-19 are still unknown, metabolic and bariatric surgeries for patients who were diagnosed and recovered from COVID-19 should be evaluated by a multidisciplinary team. Diet and lifestyle modifications should be advised before surgical treatment.
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Many oncological patients with upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract tumours, apart from other symptoms, are malnourished or cachectic at the time of presentation. In these patients feeding plays a crucial role, including as part of palliative treatment. Many studies have proved the benefits of enteral feeding over parenteral if feasible. Depending on the tumour’s location and clinical stage there are several options of enteral feeding aids available. Since the introduction of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) and its relatively easy application in most patients, older techniques such as open gastrostomy or jejunostomy have rather few indications.
The majority of non-PEG techniques are used in patients with upper digestive tract, head and neck tumours or trauma that renders the PEG technique unfeasible or unsafe for the patient. In these patients, especially with advanced disease requiring neoadjuvant chemotherapy or palliative treatment, open gastrostomy and jejunostomy were the only options of enteral access. Since the first report of laparoscopic jejunostomy by O’Regan et al. in 1990 there have been several publications presenting techniques and outcomes of laparoscopic feeding jejunostomy. Laparoscopic jejunostomy can accompany staging or diagnostic laparoscopy for upper GI malignancy when the disease appears advanced, hence avoiding additional anaesthesia and an operation in the near future.
In this video the author describe the technique of laparoscopic feeding jejunostomy applied during the staging laparoscopy in patient with advanced upper gastrointestinal tract cancer with co-morbid cachexy, requiring enteral feeding and neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
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Basicamente, existem quatro situações que indicam a realização de traqueostomia: prevenção de lesões laringotraqueais pela intubação translaríngea prolongada; desobstrução da via aérea superior, em casos de tumores, corpo estranho ou infecção; acesso à via aérea inferior para aspiração e remoção de secreções; e aquisição de via aérea estável em paciente que necessita de suporte ventilatório prolongado.
A substituição do tubo endotraqueal pela cânula de traqueostomia ainda acrescenta benefícios, proporcionando conforto e segurança do paciente. Algumas sociedades americanas sugerem que a traqueostomia deva ser sempre considerada para pacientes que necessitarão de ventilação mecânica prolongada, ou seja, por mais de 14 dias.
Muitas vezes, a decisão de se realizar uma traqueostomia é tomada pelo julgamento clínico de médicos, principalmente aqueles que trabalham em unidades de terapia intensiva. Isso envolve a análise de múltiplos fatores, tais como as características de cada paciente, o motivo pelo qual ocorreu a intubação, doenças associadas, resposta ao trata-mento e prognóstico individualizado. Embora haja uma tendência de indicação de traqueostomia precoce em pacientes neurocríticos e com trauma grave.
- Diminuição do trabalho respiratório
- Melhora da aspiração das vias aéreas
- Permitir a fonação
- Permitir a alimentação por via oral
- Menor necessidade de sedação
- Redução do risco de pneumonia associada à ventilação
- Diminuição do tempo de ventilação mecânica
- Diminuição do tempo de internação em unidades de terapia
- Redução da mortalidade
Pyogenic liver abscess (PLA), a suppurating infection of the hepatic parenchyma, remains a mortality associated condition and nowadays develops as a complication of biliary tract diseases for about 40% of cases. Recently, the etiologies of PLA have shifted from intra-abdominal infections such as acute appendicitis and trauma to pathologic conditions of the biliary tract; however, up to 60% of patients with PLA have no clear risk factors and these cases are called cryptogenic.
The incidence of PLA varies from 8 to 22 patients per 1,000,000 people belonging to a geographical area with substantially higher rates having been reported in Taiwan. Early diagnosis and treatment is a crucial step in the management of these patients, since the presentation may be subtle and not specific (abdominal pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting), so currently constitutes a challenge for physicians: a high index of suspicion is the cornerstone of prevention for misdiagnosis and improvement of prognosis.
In recent decades, combined antibiotic therapy and percutaneous drainage have become the first-line treatment in most cases and has greatly improved patients’ prognosis: the mortality rate has dropped from 70% to 5%. In terms of causative pathogens, bacteria most frequently associated with PLA are Escherichia coli, Enterobacteriaceae, anaerobes, and other members of the gastrointestinal flora. Over the past 2 decades Klebsiella pneumoniae has been emerging as the predominant pathogen responsible for 50% to 90% of PLA in the Asian population and it has been reported with increasing frequency in South Africa, Europe, and the United States.
Because such experiences have not yet been reported in Maranhão, we reviewed the cases of PLA seen at our institution and the present study is a retrospective analysis of demographic characteristics, etiological factors, presentation patterns, microbiological etiology, and the treatment of PLA cases which were presented in an Brazilian hospital over a 25-year-period.
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Os conceitos fundamentais da Anatomia Topográfica Humana através do estudo das regiões anatômicas com maior relevância Médico-Cirúrgica. Agora com amplo material multimídia disponibilizado através de acesso on-line dentro do livro e com isso creditamos que este trabalho será útil como mais uma ferramenta didática na preparação profissional dos estudantes de Medicina.
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The first postoperative fast-track protocols, also called “enhanced recovery after surgery” (ERAS), were instituted by colorectal surgeons almost three decades ago in order to modulate surgical stress and hasten recovery. Since then, the implementation of enhanced recovery programs has had an exponential expansion across most surgical specialties, including gynecology, urology, breast, vascular, and orthopedic surgery.
“Enhanced recovery after liver surgery” (ERLS) was first introduced in 2008 and has incrementally gained acceptance as being an integral part of perioperative care for hepatectomy patients. Several outcome metrics have shown to be improved with the adoption of a multimodal evidencebased strategy in liver surgery, many of which are also shared by other surgical specialties practicing in an enhanced recovery framework.
Improved clinical outcomes such as length of stay, morbidity rates, and hospital costs tend to support implementation of fast-track programs in general, but other metrics specific to liver surgery and to patients with colorectal liver metastases (CLM) further endorse this strategy when managing CLM. The implementation of an ERLS program represents a collaborative approach in which the different team players, including anesthesia, surgery, nutrition, pharmacy, nursing, and most importantly the patient and his/her family, engage actively in the perioperative pathway, in an evidence-based, patient-centered approach. The development of such programs also requires dedicated continuing education for the team members, flexibility in terms of perioperative management and decisionmaking by the health-care providers, support from the hospital administration, and systematic quality control measures to ensure implementation and accurate reporting. This review study the different core elements of ERLS and discuss different outcomes associated with this system-based approach, with an emphasis on oncological patients.
Interference with oncological treatment plans can negatively affect patients’ longterm outcomes but can also be detrimental to quality of life and overall functional status. Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) attempt to capture the patients’ perspective for a given intervention or treatment strategy, which are particularly important in oncological patients. Day et al. reported that the implementation of ERLS was beneficial for patients in terms of functional recovery, and although no significant differences were detected in terms of symptom burden, the impact of ERLS was shown to accelerate functional recovery by returning to baseline interference earlier. This positive effect from ERLS seems more pronounced in patients undergoing open hepatectomy over those already benefiting from minimally invasive surgery.
Over 50% to 60% of patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer will develop hepatic metastases during their lifetime. Resection for hepatic metastases has been a routine part of treatment for colorectal cancer since the publication of a large single-center experience demonstrating its safety and efficacy.
Predictors of poor outcome in that study included node-positive primary, disease-free interval <12 months, more than one tumor, tumor size >5 cm, and carcinoembryonic antigen level >200 ng/mL.
Traditional teaching suggested that hepatic resection for metastatic colorectal cancer to the liver, if technically feasible,should be performed only for fewer than four metastases. However, later studies challenged this paradigm. In a series of 235 patients who underwent hepatic resection for metastatic colorectal cancer, the 10-year survival rate of patients with four or more nodules was 29%, nearly comparable to the 32% survival rate of patients with only a solitary tumor metastasis.
In the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center series of 98 patients with four or more colorectal hepatic metastases who underwent resection between 1998 and 2002, the 5-year actuarial survival was 33%. Furthermore, improved chemotherapeutic regimens and surgical techniques have produced aggressive strategies for the management of this disease.
Many groups now consider volume of future liver remnant and the health of the background liver, and not actual tumor number, as the primary determinants in selection for an operative approach. Hence, resectability is no longer defined by what is actually removed, but indications for hepatic resection now center on what will remain after resection.
Use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy, portal vein embolization, twostage hepatectomy, simultaneous ablation, and resection of extrahepatic tumor in select patients have increased the number of patients eligible for a surgical approach.
Good surgery for gastric cancer can be summarized in the mnemonic “OPERATIONS”: Oncologic Principles, Good Exposure, Understanding Anatomy, Comprehensive Total Approach, Meticulous Lymph Node Dissection, and Patients’ Safety. Surgery is as much an art as a technique, and the surgeon’s philosophy is an important component of practice. The surgeon should see the surgery, first and foremost, as for the patient’s benefit and have the same concern and regard for the patient as for a family member. The patient with gastric cancer has only one chance to be cured by surgery. Often this requires innovation and the adaptation of new technology by the surgeon. However, innovations must always honor accepted oncologic principles and practices a nd be based on sound scientific rationale.
There are fundamental differences between surgery performed in patients with cancer and in patients with other benign conditions. Protocols based on oncological principles must be followed throughout surgical procedures on cancer patients to prevent contamination with, or dissemination of, the cancer cells. The fundamental goal of cancer surgery is complete surgical resection of tumor, en bloc lymph node dissection, and careful hemostasis. If this goal is not achieved, cancer cells can be disseminated through broken lymphatics and vessels. The extent of gastric resection should be decided upon based on the location of tumor in the stomach and the safety resection margin so that microscopic tumors are not left in remaining stomach. The “no-touch” technique should be used during the entire procedure. The no-touch technique entails wrapping the primary tumor. This is especially important in cases of serosa-positive gastric cancer, in which it is of utmost importance to prevent iatrogenic peritoneal seeding through the surgeon’s hands. Unnecessary manipulation and dissection should be avoided as mitogenic factors for wound healing could be produced in response to the surgery; these could stimulate the proliferation of undetected micrometastatic tumors that remained after surgery.
The absence of oxygen and nutrients during ischaemia affects all tissues with aerobic metabolism. Ischaemia of these tissues creates a condition which upon the restoration of circulation results in further inflammation and oxidative damage (reperfusion injury). Restoration of blood flow to an ischaemic organ is essential to prevent irreversible tissue injury, however reperfusion of the organ or tissues may result in a local and systemic inflammatory response augmenting tissue injury in excess of that produced by ischaemia alone. This process of organ damage with ischaemia being exacerbated by reperfusion is called ischaemia-reperfusion (IR). Regardless of the disease process, severity of IR injury depends on the length of ischaemic time as well as size and pre-ischaemic condition of the affected tissue. The liver is the largest solid organ in the body, hence liver IR injury can have profound local and systemic consequences, particularly in those with pre-existing liver disease. Liver IR injury is common following liver surgery and transplantation and remains the main cause of morbidity and mortality.
The liver has a dual blood supply from the hepatic artery (20%) and the portal vein (80%). A temporary reduction in blood supply to the liver causes IR injury. This can be due to a systemic reduction or local cessation and restoration of blood flow. Liver resections are performed for primary or secondary tumours of the liver and carry a substantial risk of bleeding especially in patients with chronic liver disease. Significant blood loss is associated with increased transfusion requirements, tumour recurrence, complications and increased morbidity and mortality. Several methods of hepatic vascular control have been described in order to minimise blood loss during elective liver resection. The simplest and most common method is inflow occlusion by applying a tape or vascular clamp across the hepatoduodenal ligament (Pringle Manoeuvre). This occludes both the arterial and portal vein inflow to the liver and leads to a period of warm ischaemia (37 °C) to the liver parenchyma resulting in ‘warm’ IR injury when the temporary inflow occlusion is relieved. In major liver surgery, extensive mobilisation of the liver itself without inflow occlusion results in a significant reduction in hepatic oxygenation.
3. PATOPHYSIOLOGY and RISK FACTORS
A complex cellular and molecular network of hepatocytes, Kupffer cells, liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSEC), leukocytes and cytokines play a role in the pathogenesis of IR injury. In general, both warm and cold ischaemia share similar mechanisms of injury. Hepatocyte injury is a predominant feature of warm ischaemia, whilst endothelial cells are more susceptible to cold ischaemic injury. There are currently no proven treatments for liver IR injury. Understanding this complex network is essential in developing therapeutic strategies in prevention and treatment of IR injury. Identifying risk factors for IR injury are extremely important in patient selection for liver surgery and transplantation. The main factors are the donor or patient age, the duration of organ ischaemia, presence or absence of liver steatosis and in transplantation whether the donor organ has been retrieved from a brain dead or cardiac death donor.
4. PREVENTION and TREATMENT
There is currently no accepted treatment for liver IR injury. Several pharmacological agents and surgical techniques have been beneficial in reducing markers of hepatocyte injury in experimental liver IR, however, they are yet to show clinical benefit in human trials. The following is an outline of current and future strategies which may be effective in reducing the detrimental effects of liver IR injury in liver surgery and transplantation.
4.1 SURGICAL STRATEGIES
Inflow occlusion or portal triad clamping (PTC) can be continuous or intermittent; alternating between short periods of inflow occlusion and reperfusion. Intermittent clamping (IC) increases parenchymal tolerance to ischaemia. Hence, prolonged continuous inflow occlusion rather than short intermittent periods results in greater degree of post-operative liver dysfunction. IC permits longer total ischaemia times for more complex resections. Alternating between 15 min of inflow occlusion and 5 min reperfusion cycles can be performed safely for up to 120 min total ischaemia time. There is a potential risk of increased blood loss during the periods of no inflow occlusion. However, these intervals provide an opportunity for the surgeon to check for haemostasis and control small bleeding areas from the cut surface of the liver. The optimal IC cycle times are not clear, although intermittent cycles of up to 30 min inflow occlusion have also been reported with no increase in morbidity, blood loss or liver dysfunction compared to 15 min cycles. IC is particularly beneficial in reducing post-operative liver dysfunction in patients with liver cirrhosis or steatosis.
In liver surgery, IPC ( Ischaemic Preconditioning) involves a short period of ischaemia (10 min) and reperfusion (10 min) intraoperatively by portal triad clamping prior to parenchymal transection during which a longer continuous inflow occlusion is applied to minimise blood loss. It allows continuous ischaemia times of up to 40 min without significant liver dysfunction. However, the protective effect of IPC decreases with increasing age above 60 years old and compared to IC it is less effective in steatotic livers. Moreover, IPC may impair liver regeneration capacity and may not be tolerated by the small remnant liver in those with more complex and extensive liver resections increasing the risk of post-operative hepatic insufficiency.
In order to avoid direct ischaemic insult to the liver by inflow occlusion, remote ischaemic preconditioning (RIPC) has been used. RIPC involves preconditioning a remote organ prior to ischaemia of the target organ. It has been shown to be reduce warm IR injury to the liver in experimental studies. A recent pilot randomised trial of RIPC in patients undergoing major liver resection for colorectal liver metastasis used a tourniquet applied to the right thigh with 10 min cycles of inflation-deflation to induce IR injury to the leg for 60 min. This was performed after general anaesthesia prior to skin incision. A reduction in post-operative transaminases and improved liver function was shown without the use of liver inflow occlusion. These results are promising but require validation in a larger trial addressing clinical outcomes.
5. FUTURE PERSPECTIVES
Hepatic IR injury remains the main cause of morbidity and mortality in liver surgery and transplantation. Despite over two decades of research in this area, therapeutic options to treat or prevent liver IR are limited. This is primarily due to the difficulties in translation of promising agents into human clinical studies. Recent advances in our understanding of the immunological responses and endothelial dysfunction in the pathogenesis of liver IR injury may pave the way for the development of new and more effective and targeted pharmacological agents.