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John Muir Health Offers Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery February 26, 2010
As part of John Muir Health's Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery program, a minimally invasive thymectomy - removal of the thymus gland - was successfully performed recently at the John Muir Medical Center - Concord Campus. This procedure, designed to minimize trauma to patients, uses the latest generation da Vinci® Si Surgical System to help surgeons see vital anatomical structures more clearly and to perform a more precise operation. "The less invasive nature of the procedure offers.....continue reading
CyberKnife hope for cancer sufferers February 22, 2010
PATIENTS suffering from hard-to-treat cancers have been given new hope as Mount Vernon becomes the first NHS hospital to receive a CyberKnife.
The highly-specialised machine, which is worth £2.7million and has been funded entirely by anonymous benefactors, uses radiation to treat tumours without invasive surgery.
It is due to arrive at the hospital in Rickmansworth Road, Northwood, this autumn and will benefit cancer sufferers from across the borough, as well Harrow, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and beyond.
The CyberKnife, which at first glance resembles a robot used in a television car advert, works by delivering multiple beams of high-dose radiation to tumours with knife-like precision, reducing damage to healthy areas of the body.
Few are aware that tumours are not static and can actually move around the affected organ, for example a lung, as the patient breathes.
Traditionally, this involves the use of stabilising frames and uncomfortable breath-holding techniques to immobilise the tumour during radiation treatment.
One of just three in the UK, with two in private Harley Street clinics, the CyberKnife is revolutionary in the way it uses a robotic arm to pinpoint the movements of cancers and non-cancerous lesions – making the whole radiotherapy experience much easier and more comfortable for patients, with treatment usually completed between one and five days.
The CyberKnife will be housed in Mount Vernon's newly opened cancer centre, in a specially-built bunker lined with radiation-shielding material....Continue reading
Nicholson Center adding medical simulation in new $35M center February 19, 2010
The Nicholson Center, now housed in the 112-bed Florida Hospital Celebration Health, will relocate and add medical simulation to its roster once the new facility is built next to the hospital.
This will mean up to 75 new permanent jobs, as many as 350 temporary construction jobs and a boost to Central Florida’s economy.
Florida’s $4.5 billion simulation industry employs 58,000 people, and Orlando is a leader in modeling and simulation technology, said Thomas Baptiste, executive director of the Orlando-based National Center for Simulation. It’s a desirable industry because it’s clean and typically creates high-wage jobs. For more information Click here
Fast-Track Approval Process for Devices Under Scrutiny February 19, 2010
GAITHERSBURG, Md. -- The FDA is seeking feedback on whether its controversial fast-track process for approving lower-risk medical devices should be updated with stricter standards for device makers.
The agency held a public meeting on Thursday to discuss revisions to the 510(k) clearance, used to speed to market devices that are similar to already-approved ones. The 510(k) process doesn't require clinical trials to support safety and efficacy.
The process has been the subject of scrutiny following several high-profile malfunctions of devices -- including a number of cardiac devices and leads -- that were given the fast-track okay by the FDA.
Lawmakers have also questioned whether the process, created in 1976, needs to be re-examined.
Sen. Charles Grassley sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg on Wednesday asking for a status update on revisions to the 510(k) program, citing a case involving the Myxo ETlogix Annuloplasty Ring, a cardiac device that doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago were implanting in patients without proper FDA clearance.
To earn premarket notification 510(k) clearance, device manufacturers must show the FDA that their product is "substantially equivalent" to a product already on the market and that it has the same intended use and the same technological characteristics. If a product is substantially equivalent but uses a different technology (such as a catheter that has a laser), the company must submit data to show the modified product is safe and effective.
The FDA has approved more than 120,000 products through the process, ranging from simple devices such as condoms, to complex machines such as a robotic surgery system. The agency receives between 3,000 and 4,000 510(k) submissions annually, compared with just 30 to 50 applications for premarket approval, which is generally for life-saving devices and requires clinical trial data....continue reading
Robotic Surgery Expert Dr. David Samadi, MD Discusses New York Times Article on the Dangers of Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer Treatment NEW YORK, NY 02/17/10
In a recent New York Times article, it was reported that radiation therapy, to treat various forms of cancer, including prostate cancer, is on the rise, and so are the risks. Flaws in software or programming coupled with insufficient safety procedures and training are resulting in devastating, and sometimes, fatal mistakes. Unfortunately, many patients are often unaware of these hazardous risks, according to the Times analysis.
Robotic prostatectomy expert, Dr. David Samadi, Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, has long believed that technology can only do so much. "We need a better system of checks and balances, and certainly more training and experience when it comes to radiation treatments," said Samadi.
da Vinci Robot Hoopla Reaches Pages of NYT February 16, 2010
In last week's Sunday New York Times, the newspaper profiled the controversy surrounding the adoption of robotic surgery technology in America's hospitals.
The industry's only real robotic surgical system, the da Vinci from Intuitive Surgical, managed to create the buzz necessary to have patients and clinicians egg each other on to buy and use the system as if it were a miracle tool.
Even the President decided to literally take a look into the device (see image). In reality, the benefits and disadvantages of robotic surgery are not yet clear, while the costs between the equipment and longer surgical time are exuberant. Still, people seem to believe in wonders of new technologies and demand the da Vinci....A snippet from NYT
Dr. Vipul Patel, left, outside the operating room as he directed robot arms performing prostate cancer surgery, right.
Dr. Vipul Patel has done more than 3,500 robot-assisted prostate surgeries.
Results Unproven, Robotic Surgery Wins Converts February 14, 2010
At age 42, Dr. Jeffrey A. Cadeddu felt like a dinosaur in urologic surgery. He was trained to take out cancerous prostates the traditional laparoscopic way: making small incisions in the abdomen and inserting tools with his own hands to slice out the organ.
But now, patient after patient was walking away. They did not want that kind of surgery. They wanted surgery by a robot, controlled by a physician not necessarily even in the operating room, face buried in a console, working the robot’s arms with remote controls.
“Patients interview you,” said Dr. Cadeddu, a urologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. “They say: ‘Do you use the robot? O.K., well, thank you.’ ” And they leave.
On one level, robot-assisted surgery makes sense. A robot’s slender arms can reach places human hands cannot, and robot-assisted surgery is spreading to other areas of medicine.
But robot-assisted prostate surgery costs more — about $1,500 to $2,000 more per patient. And it is not clear whether its outcomes are better, worse or the same.
Former President Bill Clinton pictured leaving Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center early today
Bill Clinton leaves hospital after being rushed in for emergency heart surgery February 12, 2010
Bill Clinton has left the New York hospital where he was rushed last night for surgery after suffering chest pains.
The fast food-loving ex-President was said to be in 'good spirits' after an emergency operation to clear a blocked coronary artery by implanting two surgical stents.
His wife, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, rushed from snowbound Washington to be at her 63-year-old husband's bedside at the Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. Their daughter Chelsea was also at her father's bedside.
The former President had been taken to the hospital after feeling 'discomfort', an aide said, adding: 'He knew that something was wrong. He didn't feel right. He didn't collapse, but he knew he should head to see his cardiologist right away.'
Cardiologist Allan Schwartz said the operation lasted an hour, with Mr Clinton able to get up and walk around two hours afterwards. He can return to work on Monday.
During an angioplasty, the name of the procedure that was carried out yesterday, the patient usually remains awake but sedated.
The operation was carried out by Craig Smith, MD, FACS, the heart surgeon who performed a 2004 heart bypass on Mr Clinton, during which it was found that four major blood vessels that supply oxygen to the heart were blocked, some by as much as 90 per cent.
It is understood that one of the bypass grafts from the 2004 operation had become obstructed, making it necessary for two stents to clear the artery. For complete article Click here
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