Essential Articles for Surgical Residents (2022-2023)

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We are excited to share a new section titled “Essential Articles for Surgical Residents.”

Keeping up with surgical literature in residency can be challenging. This list was created to serve as an easily accessible, up-to-date, and evidence-based resource for residents.

The content has been curated by faculty from each department and is intended to supplement the standard educational curriculum of each rotation with current and relevant literature.

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The STITCH trial: a summary

One discussion this week mentioned the STITCH trial.

Reference: Deerenberg EB, et al. Small bites versus large bites for closure of abdominal midline incisions (STITCH): a double-blind, multicentre, randomised control trial. Lancet. 2015 Sep 26;386(10000):1254-1260. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60459-7.

Summary: Incisional hernia is a frequent complication of abdominal operations with an incidence of 10–23%, which can increase to 38% in specific risk groups. It is associated with pain and discomfort, resulting in a decreased quality of life. Incarceration and strangulation of abdominal contents can take place, for which emergency surgery is indicated, with associated morbidity and mortality. The authors (2015) estimate about 348,000 operations for incisional hernia are done every year in the US with $3.2 billion in annual associated costs.

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Mesh sutured repairs of the abdominal wall

“All high-tension internal surgical closures require that the ultimate tensile strength (UTS) of the repair remains greater than the forces applied. Otherwise, changes at the suture/tissue interface (STI) will lead to acute or chronic suture pull-through and surgical failure. For the abdominal wall, prophylactic flat meshes have been shown to improve outcomes of laparotomy closures and hernia repairs. Unfortunately, flat planar meshes have their own drawbacks, including increased time for placement, increased foreign material, increased tissue dissection, pain, infection, and cost.”

“One hundred and seven patients underwent a mesh sutured abdominal wall closure. Seventy-six patients had preoperative hernias, and the mean hernia width by CT scan for those with scans was 9.1 cm. Forty-nine surgical fields were clean-contaminated, contaminated, or dirty. Five patients had infections within the first 30 days. Only one knot was removed as an office procedure. Mean follow-up at 234 days revealed 4 recurrent hernias.”

Lanier, S. T., et al (2016). Mesh Sutured Repairs of Abdominal Wall Defects. Plastic and reconstructive surgery. Global open, 4(9), e1060. Free Full Text

Evaluation of the utility of placing an intra-abdominal drain in laparoscopic appendectomy for complicated acute appendicitis.

“Complicated appendicitis (CA) may be a risk factor for postoperative intra-abdominal
abscess formation (IAA). In addition, several publications have shown an increased risk of postoperative collection after laparoscopic appendectomy. Most surgeons prefer to place a drain to collect contaminated abdominal fluid to prevent consequent abscess formation. We aimed to evaluate the utility of placing an intra-abdominal drain in laparoscopic appendectomy for complicated acute appendicitis.”

“This study concludes the use of intra-abdominal drain in laparoscopic appendectomy for complicated acute appendicitis does not prevent postoperative complications and may even lengthen hospital stay. Larger and prospective studies are needed to achieve more definitive conclusions.”

Schlottmann F, et al Could an abdominal drainage be avoided in complicated acute appendicitis? Lessons learned after 1300 laparoscopic appendectomies. Int J Surg. 2016 Dec;36(Pt A):40-43 Free Full Text

Mesh placement in ventral hernia repair

Abdominal wall reconstruction is a relevant and important topic not only in plastic and reconstructive surgery, but in the practice of general surgeons. The ideal anatomic location for mesh placement during the repair of ventral hernias has been debated; however, the most common anatomic locations include onlay, inlay, sublay-retromuscular, sublaypreperitoneal, and sublay-intraperitoneal techniques (Alimi)

(Alimi)
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Intraoperative cholangiography during laparoscopiccholecystectomy:

“Based on the study results, the 2016 WSES risk classes for choledocholithiasis could be an effective approach for predicting the risk of choledocholithiasis. Considering its advantages for detecting CBD stones and biliary injuries, the routine use of IOC is still suggested.” (Lai)

(Lai)
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Incidence of problematic common bile duct calculi in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

“Choledocholithiasis occurs in 3.4% of patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy but more than one third of these pass the calculi spontaneously within 6 weeks of operation and may be spared endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography.” (Collins)

(Collins)
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Guideline on the role of endoscopy in the evaluation and management of choledocholithiasis

“The aim of this document is to provide evidence-based recommendations for the endoscopic evaluation and treatment of choledocholithiasis based on rigorous review and synthesis of the contemporary literature, using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) framework. The GRADE framework is a system for rating the quality of evidence and strength of recommendations that is comprehensive and transparent and has been recently adopted by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE). This document addresses the following 4 clinical questions:”


1. “What is the diagnostic utility of EUS versus MRCP to confirm choledocholithiasis in patients at intermediate risk of choledocholithiasis?
2. In patients with gallstone pancreatitis, what is the role of early ERCP?
3. In patients with large choledocholithiasis, is endoscopic papillary dilation after sphincterotomy favored over sphincterotomy alone?
4. What is the role of ERCP-guided intraductal therapy (EHL and laser lithotripsy) in patients with large and difficult choledocholithiasis?”

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