Carotid-cavernous fistula as a mimicker of myasthenia gravis
BACKGROUND:A carotid-cavernous fistula (CCF) is an abnormal communication between the carotid arterial system and the cavernous sinus. Common symptoms of CCFs include proptosis and ophthalmoplegia, but fluctuating diplopia and presence of ptosis are not typical. CASE DESCRIPTION/METHODS:We present an unusual case of CCF with fluctuating binocular diplopia and ptosis, mimicking myasthenia gravis. Electrodiagnostic testing, which included repetitive nerve stimulation and single-fiber electromyography, was normal. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and orbits was initially normal, but later magnetic resonance angiography revealed enlargement of the left superior ophthalmic vein along with a left CCF. Patient underwent a successful left cavernous sinus embolization. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Fluctuating ophthalmic symptoms are a typical presentation of myasthenia gravis; however, there may be an association of these symptoms with a CCF. Repetitive nerve stimulation and single-fiber electromyography played a key role in diagnosis of this case, as the normal result led to further investigations revealing a CCF.
An analysis of the impact of previous laparoscopic hysterectomy experience on the learning curve for robotic hysterectomy
To analyze and compare the safety and perioperative outcomes of newly trained robotic surgeons with previous laparoscopic hysterectomy experience (TLH Exp) and those without previous laparoscopic hysterectomy experience (Non-TLH Exp). The purpose is to determine the effect of previous advanced laparoscopic skills on the performance in robotic assisted laparoscopic surgery. We will also compare the perioperative outcomes between the total laparoscopic hysterectomies (TLH), and robotic assisted laparoscopic hysterectomies (RALH) of a single experienced (TLH Exp) robotic surgeon. The purpose is to determine benefits and/or risks, if any, of one approach over the other in the hands of an experienced laparoscopic surgeon. Prospective data were collected on the first consecutive series of RALH performed by (TLH Exp) and (Non-TLH Exp) surgeons, with perioperative outcomes and morbidity being evaluated. In addition, retrsopective data were collected on a consecutive series of patients in a TLH group and compared with the outcomes in the robotic group for benign hysterectomies by the same surgeon. The parameters that were analyzed for associations with these two groups were estimated blood loss (EBL), Hb drop, length of hospital stay (LOS), procedure time, pain medication use, and complications. The (TLH Exp) group had 64 patients, and the (Non-TLH Exp) group had 72 patients. When comparing patients in the (TLH Exp) group with patients in (Non-TLH Exp) group, the mean age was 44 and 45 (P = 0.8), mean BMI was 27.7 and 29.5 kg/m(2) (P = 0.2), mean procedure time was 121 and 174 min (P < 0.05), mean console time was 70 and 119 min (P < 0.05), mean EBL was 64 and 84 ml (P = 0.3), with a Hb drop 1.7 and 1.33 (P = 0.2), uterine weight was 192 and 205 gms (P = 0.7), and length of stay was 1.07 and 1.33 days (P = 0.2), respectively. The (TLH Exp) surgeons had a lower OR, procedure and console time, but a higher hemoglobin drop, with no difference in EBL. There were no operative deaths, or conversions in either group. Morbidity occurred in two patients (3 %) in each group, with no statistically significant difference between the groups. In the (TLH Exp) group it included a blood transfusion and a readmission for a postoperative ileus. In the (Non-TLH Exp), the complications included a blood transfusion and a return to the OR for a vaginal cuff dehiscence. When comparing a single (TLH Exp) surgeon's own TLH versus RALH, there were 64 RALH and 49 TLH cases. There was a statistically significant difference in the mean procedure time 121.1 versus 88.8 min (P < 0.05), mean Hb drop 1.7 versus 2.3 (P < 0.05), and mean EBL 64.2 versus 158 ml (P < 0.05), respectively. The RALH group had a longer procedure time, but lower Hb drop, and less estimated blood loss. There were no operative deaths, or conversions in either group. Morbidity occurred in 2 patients in the robotic group, and included one blood transfusion, and one postoperative ileus. There were no complications noted in the laparoscopic hysterectomy group. Previous advanced laparoscopic skills appear to only significantly impact the length of the procedure, but not other variables. Robotic surgery may level the playing field between the basic and advanced laparoscopic surgeon for robotic assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy. In comparing the outcomes of RALH versus TLH by a single surgeon, the robotic assistance appeared to lengthen the procedure time, but reduce the amount of blood loss. Robotic surgery may offer a benefit of reduced blood loss at the expense of longer operating time. Similar studies including different surgeons are needed to validate these points, and thereby determine the risk-benefit balance between the two approaches for benign simple hysterectomies.