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American College of Surgeons, Sept. 30 - Oct. 4, 2012

Last Updated: October 09, 2012.

The 98th Annual American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress

The annual meeting of the American College of Surgeons was held from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4 in Chicago and attracted approximately 14,000 participants from around the world, including surgeons, medical experts, allied health professionals, and administrators. The conference included hundreds of general and specialty sessions, post-graduate courses, scientific paper presentations, video-based education presentations, and posters focusing on the latest advances in surgical care. In addition, there were over 200 research-in-progress reports presented during surgical forum sessions.

In one study, Christopher J. Chow, M.D., of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues evaluated whether colon cancer patients located in rural areas had better outcomes than patients located in urban areas.

"We show that rural patients do worse than their urban counterparts across the four quality measures that we selected for colon cancer. Essentially the crux of the matter is that further research needs be done because our studies are exploratory in nature and not able to elucidate the mechanisms by which these results happen," Chow said. "Ultimately, what our work does is help highlight disparities in care based on location of residence- and hopefully pave the way for futures studies to both confirm and mitigate these disparities in care."

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In another study, Melanie S. Morris, M.D., of the University of Alabama in Birmingham, and colleagues evaluated nearly 60,000 surgical procedures performed at 112 Veterans Affairs hospitals. The investigators found that one-third of all postoperative complications and over one-half of all surgical site infections were diagnosed after hospital discharge.

"Reporting of postoperative complications is mandatory and hospitals and physicians are increasingly judged by these numbers. Many of these complications are used as quality measures. We must ensure that the data collection systems accurately capture both in-hospital and post-discharge complications," Morris said. "Now that the affordable care act is denying payments for some readmissions, we must understand, attempt to prevent, and improve management of postoperative complications to hopefully decrease some of the preventable readmissions."

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In an effort to determine whether there was a relationship between a history of having fallen in the six months prior to an operation and adverse postoperative outcomes, Thomas N. Robinson, M.D., of the University of Colorado in Denver, and colleagues evaluated patients aged 65 years and older who underwent either cardiac or colorectal operations. The investigators found that a history of having fallen was associated with the occurrence of one or more postoperative complications, a longer hospital stay, a higher rate of need for discharge to an institutional care facility such as a nursing home, and a higher 30-day readmission rate.

"Our study concluded that a history of having fallen is related to the occurrence of one or more postoperative complications. This relationship was independent of advancing age and was true for older adults undergoing both colorectal and cardiac operations," Robinson said. "The impact of this study is that asking a patient about their history of falls as a predictor of postoperative outcomes is a paradigm shift from traditional preoperative risk assessment strategy."

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ACS: Vaccinia Virus Studied for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- A novel oncolytic vaccinia virus (VACV), GLV-1h164, encoding a single-chain antibody against vascular endothelial growth factor, is active in a murine model of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Surgeons, held from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4 in Chicago.

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