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1/11. Use of postoperative chest x-ray after elective adult tracheotomy.

    Surgeons have been creating tracheotomies since at least 124 AD, when first reported by Asclepiades (Price HC, Postma DS. Ear nose Throat J 1983;62:44-59). Intraoperative and postoperative complications specifically associated with this procedure have been well established. The incidence of pneumothorax ranges from 0% to 17%, depending on the age group studied. To evaluate this complication, it is generally accepted that a postoperative chest film should routinely be obtained after a tracheotomy in adult patients. In adult nonemergent tracheotomies, the routine use of a postoperative chest film has a low yield for detecting a pneumothorax in patients without clinical findings of pneumothorax. To evaluate the use of postoperative chest x-ray in adult tracheotomy patients, a retrospective review of tracheotomies performed at the boston Medical Center from January 1994 to June 1996 was undertaken. Data examined consisted of age, sex, surgical indication, urgency, operating service, intraoperative and postoperative complications, difficulty of procedure, anesthetic technique, findings on postoperative chest film, signs and symptoms of pneumothorax, and specific treatment of pneumothorax if present. In total, 250 patients were identified. The main indication for tracheostomy in this study was ventilator dependence, accounting for 77% of the procedures. A complication rate of 11.6% was encountered, with no deaths. postoperative hemorrhage was the most common complication (3.6%). pneumothorax was documented by chest x-ray in 3 (1.2%) patients, 1 of whom had bilateral pneumothoraces. The most common symptom of a pneumothorax was tachycardia, with 8.8% of the patients exhibiting at least 1 episode. Of the 3 cases of pneumothorax in this study, only 1 was clinically relevant and required treatment. Furthermore, the clinical signs and symptoms in this patient clearly supported the diagnosis of pneumothorax before a postoperative chest film was obtained. Thus postoperative chest radiographs did not change the treatment or outcome of any of the patients undergoing a tracheotomy. This suggests that postoperative chest x-ray after adult tracheotomy is not required in routine cases. Chest radiographs should be obtained after emergent procedures, after difficult procedures, or in patients exhibiting signs or symptoms of pneumothorax.
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2/11. Benign symptomatic thymic tumors.

    Benign tumors of the thymic gland are relatively rare. Although most of these lesions are asymptomatic in nature, they may result in respiratory distress. This report describes 2 cases of benign thymic tumors presenting with respiratory symptoms that resolved after operative excision.
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3/11. Postoperative pulmonary complications.

    patients undergoing elective surgery first need to be screened for operative risks by reviewing factors that relate to the patient and factors that relate to the procedure they are undergoing. The identification of high-risk patients undergoing high-risk procedures may be aided by reviewing the following factors: the presence of symptomatic lung disease, smoking, obesity, abnormal blood gas values, spirometry, and presence of sleep apnea. The more risk factors a patient has, the more likely the patient will develop postoperative complications. Further risk stratification may be accomplished by means of exercise testing, either through formal cardiopulmonary exercise testing or through symptom-limited stair climbing. When high-risk patients are identified, preoperative therapy aimed at reducing overall postoperative morbidity and mortality may help decrease the risk to a minimum.
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ranking = 0.5
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4/11. Predicted survival in peptic ulcer patients based on computer analysis of preoperative variables.

    A prospective study designed to emphasize and quantitate the operative risk of patients preparing to undergo surgery for the treatment of complicated peptic ulcer disease is presented. Data were gathered from 347 consecutive patients operated on with benign gastric and/or duodenal ulcers in a veterans Hospital over an 8-year period. Resident surgeons performed all operations and for the most part decided on the operative procedure used, with advice from attending faculty. Preoperative factors influencing the operative mortality in 34 patients were compared with those in surviving patients and subjected to a multivariant discriminant function analysis by computer. Ten variables were identified as being significantly different (P less than 0.05-P less than 0.01) between the survivor and non-survivor groups. Using the discriminant weights of these variables, a computer program was written to calculate the 30-day operative mortality of any preoperative patient based on this past experience. The accuracy of the program is excellent in good risk patients; i.e., a predicted greater than 90% chance of survival was correct 98.9% of the time with 3 deaths in 279 patients. patients at the low end of the scale (less than 10%) were predicted with 85% accuracy. In the last 8 months, 29 patients have undergone surgery after prospective computer assessment of their operativ risk. All have survived with a predicted chance of greater than 50%. Four patients died with survival chances predicted at 4, 2, 1, and 1%. The computer may be used as an educational vehicle for sharpening our preoperative assessment of a patient with ulcer disease, particularly regarding operative risk.
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5/11. Upper airway oedema following autologous blood transfusion from a wound drainage system.

    We report a case of a 70-yr-old white woman who underwent a revision of a total hip arthroplasty under general anaesthesia. The intraoperative course was stable without any complications and the estimated blood loss was 2500 ml. The patient received an autologous transfusion of blood from a wound drainage system in the recovery room. The transfusion was followed immediately by marked respiratory distress and upper airway oedema. She required emergency tracheal intubation and mechanical pulmonary ventilation. A coagulopathy also developed which was treated and resolved within 12 hr of the capillary leak phenomenon. The trachea was extubated on the first postoperative day and she had an uneventful course until discharge from the hospital two days later. We discuss the possible, aetiology of such a reaction to autologous blood including complement and platelet activation. It is suggested that reinfusion of nonwashed shed blood from a wound drainage system may present a hazard even though the fluid was autologous in origin.
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ranking = 0.125
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6/11. The hazards of hypercaloric nutritional support in respiratory disease.

    This case illustrates the dangers of hypercaloric feeding in a patient with limited respiratory reserve, in this instance secondary to heart-lung transplantation. The patient's postoperative course was complicated by repeated bouts of infection and/or rejection that resulted in intubation and ventilatory support. The excessive caloric and protein load given to the patient resulted in increased CO2 generation with subsequent inability to wean the patient off the ventilator. Recognition of the problem and appropriate decreases in substrate intake permitted extubation.
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ranking = 0.0625
keywords = operative
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7/11. Angioplastic repair of a ruptured pulmonary artery aneurysm.

    A 28-year-old woman had a ruptured solitary pulmonary arterial aneurysm which was successfully treated by pericardial patch graft. The etiology of the aneurysm could not be determined although the patient had had several episodes of blunt chest trauma in the past. Unusual aspects of this case include: location of the aneurysm in the intermediate portion of the left pulmonary artery within the major intralobar fissure, intrapleural rupture, preoperative diagnosis by pulmonary angiography, and an incidentally discovered histopathological abnormality of the aneurysm itself for which no satisfactory explanation has been found.
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ranking = 0.0625
keywords = operative
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8/11. Wound amylase levels as an early indicator of orocutaneous fistulae.

    The formation of an orocutaneous fistula following ablative head and neck surgery is a common complication. Early fistula detection could permit prompt management, hopefully preventing further wound breakdowns. Amylase is quantitatively the most prominent enzyme in saliva. This study prospectively evaluated whether the amylase content of wound drainage could predict the formation of an orocutaneous fistula earlier than clinically evident. patients undergoing procedures that required postoperative wound drainage represented the study population. Baseline serum and salivary amylase determinations were obtained. The drainage was assayed for amylase content twice daily. Wound amylase values were then correlated with the patient's clinical course. Results showed wound amylase had a downward trend in uncomplicated postoperative courses. An upward trend of wound amylase was correlated with early fistulization. No pattern was identified in patients with delayed fistulae.
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ranking = 0.125
keywords = operative
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9/11. Bronchoscopic diagnosis and treatment of bronchial stump suture granulomas.

    Eight patients in whom new respiratory symptoms developed following pulmonary resection have been evaluated. The bronchial stumps in all of these patients had been closed with Tevdec suture material. The total number of pulmonary resections using Tevdec suture from January, 1971, to January, 1980, was 180, yielding an incidence of the complication of 4.4%. No patient had empyema or bronchopleural fistula. Symptoms included nonproductive cough (eight patients), hemoptysis (five patients), wheezing (two patients), and coughing up suture material (two patients). The underlying disease necessitating pulmonary resection was carcinoma in five patients, carcinoid adenoma in one patient, tuberculosis in one patient, and bronchiectasis in one patient. The median time interval between resection and development of respiratory symptoms was 18 months, with a range of 8 to 57 months. The chest roentgenograms showed no change from earlier postoperative films. bronchoscopy under general anesthesia was performed in all eight patients. granulation tissue around loosened Tevdec sutures was present in all patients so examined. No residual tumor or specific infection was identified. Immediate and sustained relief of symptoms was obtained in seven of eight patients by removal of the loosened sutures. One patient has had recurrence of minor hemoptysis 18 months following suture removal but has refused further endoscopy. stainless steel staples have been used for bronchial stump closure in over 100 pulmonary resections since 1977 and no such complications have been seen.
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ranking = 0.0625
keywords = operative
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10/11. Chest x-rays before ophthalmic surgery.

    We retrospectively reviewed clinical records and preoperative chest x-ray films of 636 patients who had been admitted for ophthalmic surgery in 1990 and 1991. In our hospital, a preoperative chest roentgenogram routinely was examined for each patient. A total of 228 patients (35.8%) had an abnormal preoperative result. These abnormalities were more frequent in patients older than 40 years of age than in younger patients. pulmonary fibrosis and calcification were the most common abnormal findings. Also, we noted that 202 patients (31.8%) had a chronic, previously known, or suspected, finding, and 26 patients (4.1%) had a new or unsuspected finding. The surgery was postponed or canceled in five patients (0.8%) because of the abnormal x-ray results.
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ranking = 0.1875
keywords = operative
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