Surgery

News and updates about surgery, health and medicine.

That Surgery Might Cost You A Lot Less In Another Town

Apr 27, 2016

Need knee replacement surgery? It may be worthwhile to head for Tucson.

That's because the average price for a knee replacement in the Arizona city is $21,976, about $38,000 less than it would in Sacramento, Calif. That's according to a report issued Wednesday by the Health Care Cost Institute.

The Room at Massachusetts General Hospital where first operation with ether was performed.
Boston Public Library

Across the country teaching hospitals fill a dual mandate, to serve patients and train new doctors. When a patient goes under the knife most assume their surgeon - and not just a trainee - is there in the room with them. Yet in at least one teaching hospital surgeons perform complex overlapping procedures, without the patient's consent, or knowledge, leaving portions of the procedure to a resident.

He thought it was pneumonia. Michael Trost, 52 and seemingly healthy, just wasn’t feeling right. During a chance break at work as a wood finisher, Trost’s wife brought him to an emergency room near where they live at the edge of the Poconos in Dingmans Ferry, Pa.

“They’ll give me a chest x-ray and antibiotics and I’ll be on my way,” Trost thought.

In order to improve the quality of health care and reduce its costs, researchers need to know what works and what doesn't. One powerful way to do that is through a system of "registries," in which doctors and hospitals compile and share their results. But even in this era of big data, remarkably few medical registries exist.

Nick Dawson/Flickr

 

Waking up during a surgery would be a nightmare, yet that's a regular problem for patients in low-income countries. Sketchy power grids mean the lights often go out, and with them, the anesthesia machine. In other cases, there are too few oxygen tanks for a surgery, so it's canceled.

High-Quality Hospitals Deliver Lowest-Cost Care For Congenital Heart Surgery Patients

Nov 21, 2014

U.S. children’s hospitals delivering the highest-quality care for children undergoing heart surgery, also appear to provide care most efficiently at a low cost, according to research led by the University of Michigan and presented Tuesday at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Chicago.

Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defects, and each year more than 30,000 congenital heart operations are performed across U.S. children’s hospitals. Congenital heart defects are also one of the most expensive pediatric conditions to treat.

When choosing a cancer surgeon, patients are more likely to prefer surgeons with specialized training and lots of experience far more than those who practice in a convenient location or were recommended by a friend, according to results of a new survey reported in the November issue of the Annals of Surgical Oncology.

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A new study may encourage surgeons to ask patients about their quality of life before operating. Dr. Juliane Bingener of the Mayo Clinic explains. 

While Ebola stokes public anxiety, more than 1 in 6 hospitals — including some top medical centers — are having trouble stamping out less exotic but sometimes deadly infections, federal records show.

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