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Sensing Savvy

The Magic of the Left Internal Mammary Artery

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Jan 16, 2017 6:30:00 AM

The Left Internal Mammary Artery (LIMA), also known as the Left Internal Thoracic Artery (LITA), has been the gold standard conduit of choice for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) for several decades.

More than 30 years ago, Boylan et al published a study in the Journal of Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery in which the long-term results of 200 patients who underwent CABG, 100 of whom received a LIMA — left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) bypass graft and the second 100 who received a saphenous vein (SVG) to LAD bypass graft, were analyzed.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic, CABG Surgery, cardiothoracic surgery

Which Surgical Risk Score is Best?

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Jan 11, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Doctors from Inova Heart & Vascular Institute, Falls Church, Virginia, recently published their findings after comparing the precision of three risk scores used to measure the quality of cardiac surgical care. They compared the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) surgical risk score, primarily used in the United States, with the European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation (EuroSCORE II, EuroSCORE I).
The original EuroSCORE I was developed between 1995 and 1999 from data of 19,000 cardiac surgery patients, most of whom had undergone coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery. About a third underwent valve surgery. The EuroScore I was updated in 2012 to be more user-friendly and applicable to a greater number of procedures.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic, CABG Surgery, cardiothoracic surgery

Cardiothoracic Surgeons Love Their Jobs: Here’s What They Had to Say

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Dec 12, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Think back to an unforgettable experience in your life. Maybe it was that time you ate one of the most delicious dinners you’ve ever had. Maybe it was a concert where the arena was full of energy and excitement. Maybe it was simply a perfect cup of coffee from your favorite coffee shop that brightened your day.

What made that experience so special? Whether it was the chef who prepared your meal, the band members who put on a show or the barista who made your drink, every one of these people loved their jobs — and it showed.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic

How Surgeon Specialization Impacts Patient Outcomes

Posted by Roger DeLong, CP, PE, MBA on Sep 19, 2016 7:00:00 AM

The phrase “practice makes perfect” has never been more true than in surgery. Research shows that better outcomes are associated with an increased procedure volume. While practicing and completing procedures can affect patient outcomes, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has found that specializing in a specific procedure may be just as important as the number of times you perform it.

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Topics: Clinical Trends, Cardiothoracic

Technology Trends Impacting Cardiothoracic Surgery You Need to Know

Posted by Anna Mueller, MS on Aug 15, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Cardiothoracic surgery, Twitter chats and website design may not seem like the perfect combination, but when it comes to accessing the latest journal articles, connecting with patients and expanding your practice, they can be invaluable.

At the 2016 STS Annual Meeting, a panel of cardiothoracic experts shared how these and other internet technology trends are impacting cardiothoracic surgery.

Here are three technology trends impacting cardiothoracic surgery you need to know:

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Topics: Cardiothoracic, CABG Surgery

How Working Locum Tenens can Reduce Surgeon Burnout

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Aug 10, 2016 6:30:00 AM

You struggle to get yourself to the hospital for your shift. You’re not as engaged with patients and your peers as you once were. You might even find yourself dealing with feelings of anxiety and depression. You’re likely suffering from burnout, and like over half of your colleagues, you’re not alone.

Over 50 percent of surgeons report feelings of burnout. Researchers also found that rates of burnout among surgeons increased between 2013 and 2016, with female surgeons experiencing burnout more often than their male colleagues.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic

How to Increase Efficiency in the Operating Room

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Jul 18, 2016 7:00:00 AM

One of the costliest areas in a hospital is the operating room. Despite its high costs, the OR is also one of the top revenue generators, bringing in between $15 - $20 per minute, and that’s just for a basic surgical procedure.

But as budgets become tighter and patients and insurance companies seek a greater value for their money, hospitals are examining ways to increase efficiency in the operating room. Imagine the money and time wasted each time a case is delayed by a search for a piece of missing equipment.

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Topics: Hospital Administration, Cardiothoracic, CABG Surgery

The Evolving Role of the Cardiac Perfusionist: 3 Trends to Watch

Posted by Roger DeLong, CP, PE, MBA on Jun 8, 2016 6:30:00 AM

As a perfusionist, you love what you do—you’re making a positive impact on people’s lives. For this very clinical profession that has been consigned to the OR, you might be surprised to learn that technology advancements and changes in procedures are allowing perfusionists to leave the OR and make their way to patients’ bedsides.

To get more insight into what’s on the horizon for cardiac perfusion, we spoke to an expert. Here are a few of the trends to watch if you’re a cardiac perfusionist.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic

Surgeons Measure Blood Flow in Newborns with Cardiac Abnormalities

Posted by Roger DeLong, CP, PE, MBA on May 20, 2016 7:00:00 AM

The surgical challenges to correct the cardiac abnormalities in children born with only a single ventricle are enormous and fraught with pitfalls.

Although overall outcomes of the three-staged surgical repair of patients with a functional single ventricle have improved, a high mortality rate still persists after stage I repair, mainly due to “in- parallel” circulation. Stage II repair involves creation of a bidirectional cavopulmonary shunt or BCPS to create an “in- series” circulation to correct this problem.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic

Flow Measurements Help Predict Outcomes of Kids’ Pulmonary Artery Banding

Posted by Roger DeLong, CP, PE, MBA on May 16, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Pulmonary artery banding (PAB) has been the standard treatment for patients with high pulmonary blood flow who are awaiting subsequent surgery. The band is designed to provide adequate systemic flow to the body by restricting pulmonary flow. This allows the patient to grow and therefore become a better candidate for follow-up surgery.

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Topics: Cardiothoracic

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