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Interview: Alternatives to face transplants in oral and maxillofacial surgery

July 4, 2016

Face transplants are probably one of the most spectacular surgical achievements of the millennium, but also one of the most debated. For what cases is such a difficult and potentially perilous operation necessary and reasonable? What other techniques are available to oral and maxillofacial surgeons for complex reconstructive surgery, and how can the surgical outcomes be improved through novel medical technologies? Surgical Tribune had the opportunity to discuss these topics with Prof. Gerd Gehrke, Vice President of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Mund-, Kiefer- und Gesichtschirurgie (DGMKG), the German society of oral and maxillofacial surgery.

New medical devices regulation: EU reaches deal

June 1, 2016

BRUSSELS, Belgium: The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have announced a breakthrough in negotiations concerning the overhaul of medical device legislation. After almost four years, the EU bodies have agreed on a new system of quality and safety regulations affecting all medical device manufacturers. The rules are expected to be adopted by early 2017.

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Planmeca ProModel technology part of first Nordic facial tissue transplant

April 14, 2016

HELSINKI, Finland: Finnish dental manufacturer Planmeca’s ProModel technology has supported the first facial tissue transplant procedure in the history of the Nordic countries. The service, which designs and creates patient-specific surgical guides and skull models from CBCT/CT images, helped surgeons to significantly reduce operating time for the demanding procedure, which was performed at Töölö Hospital in the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS).

Interview: “The process of 3-D printing has already entered into numerous disciplines”

April 12, 2016

Over the last several years, 3-D printing technology has fundamentally changed various areas of design and industry. Recently, it has also been applied in medicine, enabling completely new therapeutic approaches and individual treatment options. In order to evaluate the potential of medical 3-D printing and to discuss the current state of additive technologies in medicine, BiomaTiCS (Biomaterials, Tissues and Cells in Science), an interdisciplinary research group at the University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in Germany, is hosting the first International Conference on 3D Printing in Medicine. Surgical Tribune spoke to congress president Prof. Bilal Al-Nawas, assistant medical director of the clinic of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the centre, about the potential applications of the technology and the congress topics.

Study identifies long learning curve for oesophageal cancer surgeons

March 15, 2016

STOCKHOLM, Sweden: The long-term prognosis for patients undergoing oesophageal cancer surgery is related to the surgeon’s experience of the procedure, a Swedish study has found. In examining the proficiency-gain curve in relation to short- and long-term mortality rates, the researchers found that an average of 60 operations was needed to attain the competence for achieving optimal results.

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International congress discusses potential of 3-D printing in medicine

March 2, 2016

MAINZ, Germany: The importance of individualised treatment options is growing in various fields of medicine. In order to improve personalised medicine and its outcomes, researchers and physicians are increasingly using 3-D printing to develop new methods and devices. The first International Conference on 3D Printing in Medicine, to be held on 15 and 16 April in Mainz, will discuss the potential of the technology, as well as its latest developments in fields such as oral surgery and traumatology.

Researchers develop bioabsorbable optical fibres for deep-tissue healing

February 19, 2016

ST ANDREWS, UK: Light can be applied to a wound to stimulate healing through a process called photochemical tissue bonding. Based on this, researchers at the University of St Andrews in Scotland and Harvard Medical School in the US have now developed a new technique to deliver light deeper into human tissue than previously possible. The new method, involving bioabsorbable optical fibres, could promote faster healing of wounds—especially internal wounds after surgery—and help treat tumours more efficiently.

New discovery helps strengthen bonding of titanium implants to bone

February 12, 2016

BRISTOL, UK: Scientists at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol have discovered a new way to improve the bond between titanium implants and bone. They found that a bioactive lipid called lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) interacts with vitamin D to enhance bone-forming cell function. Based on this finding, the researchers have developed an LPA coating for titanium implants to help strengthen the bonding properties of implants to bone.

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Brain network signatures could help predict response to general anaesthesia

January 18, 2016

CAMBRIDGE, UK: The complex communication pattern between different areas of an individual’s brain while he or she is awake could help doctors better track and even predict a person’s response to general anaesthesia, British researchers have found. These new insights into the human brain could thus help identify more exactly the amount of anaesthetic necessary during surgery.

BONESUPPORT presents pilot study on novel bone graft substitute

January 8, 2016

LUND, Sweden: CERAMENT|BONE VOID FILLER, a novel synthetic bone graft substitute developed by Swedish manufacturer BONESUPPORT, has proven effective in the management of benign bone tumours in a prospective pilot study. The study showed that the synthetic bone substitute facilitates complete bone remodelling and therefore prevents both infections and fractures in the long term.

Oesophageal cancer: Weekday of surgery affects survival prognosis

December 2, 2015

STOCKHOLM, Sweden: Oesophageal cancer is one of the deadliest cancers worldwide, ranking sixth in mortality among all cancers. A study from Karolinska Institutet has now found a surprising link that may be decisive for long-term survival rates in patients suffering from the disease: the weekday they undergo surgery.

Study confirms listening to music during surgery reduces pain and anxiety

September 1, 2015

LONDON, UK: Scientists have proved that listening to music before, during and after surgery significantly reduces patients’ postoperative pain, anxiety and need for postoperative pain relief medication—according to the most comprehensive review of available evidence so far. The systematic review involved nearly 7,000 patients and confirmed for the first time the link between music in the operating theatre and postoperative recovery.

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Research uses virtual reality technology to train dental surgeons

August 12, 2015

HUDDERSFIELD, UK: A University of Huddersfield researcher is harnessing the latest virtual reality technology to help oral and maxillofacial surgical trainees practise complex dental surgeries. His project aims to provide accurate 3-D visualisations of human anatomy and surgical procedures using Oculus Rift, a virtual reality head-mounted display.

Man loses memory after root canal surgery

July 15, 2015

LEICESTER, UK: In March 2005, a 38-year-old British soldier stationed in Germany lost his ability to form new memories after undergoing a regular root canal treatment. To this day, he is unable to remember anything for longer than 90 minutes, although his brain is completely intact and he suffered no trauma that could have caused the amnesia, according to his doctors.

New breath test diagnoses oesophageal and gastric cancer

July 1, 2015

LONDON, UK: An international team of researchers has developed a breath test that could help doctors diagnose the early signs of oesophageal and gastric cancer in minutes. The test has produced encouraging results in a clinical study and will now be tested in a larger trial involving three hospitals in London. According to the scientists, economic modelling showed that the new method could save the National Health Service (NHS) £145 million (approx. €205 million) a year, as it is cheaper, faster and easier to perform than other methods.

Heart surgery: Self-defence mechanism decreases risk of kidney failure

June 24, 2015

MÜNSTER, Germany: Acute kidney failure is one of the most frequent complications of heart surgeries. Very often, the patient’s blood needs to be cleansed by dialysis and in the worst case kidney failure is fatal. An international team of scientists has now applied a means to significantly lower the likelihood of complications by warning the kidneys in advance.

CRT: Women with heart failure are undertreated

June 9, 2015

MAASTRICHT, Netherlands: Women with heart failure benefit more from cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT) devices than men, but are less likely to have one prescribed to them. This is the result of a study conducted by Maastricht University researcher Robbert Zusterzeel, as part of his PhD dissertation. Based on his findings, Zusterzeel is advocating the development of gender-specific clinical guidelines for this treatment to increase women’s eligibility.

Brainlab wins prestigious Red Dot Award in Product Design

May 26, 2015

MUNICH, Germany: Brainlab, a global leader in medical technology, has received the coveted Red Dot Award in Product Design 2015 for Kick Navigation and Kick EM Navigation. Designed for surgeons to shift easily between applications and move swiftly between departments, Kick was selected for its streamlined design and manoeuvrability, which enhance the system’s ease of use.

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