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Published On: Fri, Jul 31st, 2015

Surgical Procedures Continue to Advance

Every year medical research becomes more advanced. Innovators develop new treatments for all different types of illnesses and injuries. In addition, researchers are always coming up with better ways to perform surgical operations.

While nobody likes the idea of being cut open, doctors are now able to use procedures that cut down on invasiveness, and help shorten recovery times. Surgery can be the only solution to save a life in many situations, and doctors are improving procedures in skull and brain surgery and pancreatic surgery. Doctors are hopeful that these procedures will improve medical practices, and lead to more improvement as they continue to learn and study.

Skull/Brain Surgery

One area where big strides are being made is in skull and brain surgeries. Being the most delicate part of the body, these procedures are arguably one of the most life endangering. Medical Director, Dr. Hryar Shahinian is leading the way in procedures that are safer for the patient and require less downtime after surgery.

The more traditional surgery for a skull or brain, a craniotomy, requires making a long incision in the back of the head, sawing off the top portion of the skull, and trying to correct whatever the problem is. This requires a lot of trauma to the skull, and involves the heavy blood loss. In addition, this procedure has a grueling recovery period.

Dr. Hrayr Shahinian uses procedures that take the best interest of the patient in mind. By using micro-instruments and high definition video equipment, skull and brain surgeries can be done with high success, much smaller incisions, and less down time. By using fiber-optic technology, a panoramic view of the brain can be seen on a monitor, allowing the surgeon to access the problem areas quickly, and swiftly. This technology is allowing for less blood loss during surgery, higher success rates, and less recovery time after.

Surgical instruments Image/defenseimagery.mil.

Surgical instruments
Image/defenseimagery.mil.

Pancreatic Surgery

Another area where advancements are being made in surgical procedures is in the treatment of pancreatic cancer and other illnesses. Pancreatic cancer is thought to be the most deadly form of cancer, as usually at the time of diagnosis the cancer has already spread to other areas of the body.

Pancreatic surgery has always been associated with a high mortality rate, however in recent years procedures are being perfect to reflect that just 2% of those that undergo pancreatic surgery die from it. For tumors found in the head and neck region, doctors use the “whipple” procedure. This involves the removal of the head of the pancreas, most of the duodenum (a part of the small intestine), a portion of the bile duct, the gallbladder, and the affected lymph nodes. This is a longer surgery at 6 hours, and the downtime is usually a couple of weeks.

There are also minimally invasive options to treating some forms of pancreatic cancer. Depending on the size and location of the tumor, surgeons may be able to operate laparoscopically. Using small incision, and telescope guided instruments surgeons can remove tumors more quickly, while reducing blood loss and risk of infection.

Another groundbreaking procedure is the Distal Pancreatectomy. This procedure involves the removal of the tail of the pancreas and leaves the head of the organ intact. This surgery takes less time and has a shorter recovery time than a surgery that removes the head of the pancreas.

Finally, when tumors are present throughout the pancreas and the surrounding lymph nodes, a total pancreatectomy is done to save the patient. This is done by removing the entire pancreas and the spleen, gallbladder, common bile duct, and portions of the small intestine and stomach. This procedure is the last resort for cases that are really severe. The removal of these organs means that patients cannot create enzymes for digestion or produce insulin to control blood-glucose levels. As a result, patients must take supplements for the rest of their lives.

Skull/Brain, and pancreatic surgeries are just two of the areas where doctors and researchers are making major strides in the field of medicine. Many new surgeries and procedures are being perfected everyday with the purpose of saving more lives from cancer and other diseases. Through increased research and study, doctors are hoping to develop minimally invasive procedures for all illnesses that require surgery. With groundbreaking new technology that allows the doctor a high definition vision of what is going on inside, they may be moving ever closer to that reality.

 

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About the Author

- Adam Lee is a financial writer who has insightful knowledge in dealing with different financial issues. He tries to help people to get out of difficult financial situations by contributing financial write ups to websites and blogs such as Moneyforlunch.com and Moneynewsnow.com

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