In the second half of the 20th century, a group of surgeons advanced the work of early pioneers in cardiothoracic surgery who had first introduced surgical procedures to relieve heart disease. Two of these men were from institutions in America’s heartland: Dr. John Kirklin worked at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, while at nearby University of Minnesota in Minneapolis; and Dr. Clarence Walton “Walt” Lillehei pioneered open heart surgery.
Perhaps no one person embodies the advancements in the surgical treatment of cardiovascular diseases during the 20th century more than Dr. Michael Ellis DeBakey. As a world-renowned scientist, innovator, medical educator, administrator, author, medical statesman and humanitarian, his name has become synonymous with firsts in surgery, biomedical innovations and the establishment of several educational and medical institutions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.