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Robotic mesh explantation (RoME): a novel approach for patients with chronic pain following hernia repair

Mandujano, Cosman Camilo; Tchokouani, Loic; Lima, Diego L; Malcher, Flavio; Jacob, Brian
BACKGROUND:Post-herniorrhaphy pain is common with an estimated 8-10% incidence of mesh-related complications, requiring mesh explantation in up to 6% of cases, most commonly after inguinal hernia repairs. Reoperation for mesh explantation poses a surgical challenge due to adhesions, scarring and mesh incorporation to the surrounding tissues. Robotic technology provides a versatile platform for enhanced exposure to tackle these complex cases. We aim to share our experience with a novel robotic approach to address these complex cases. METHODS:A descriptive, retrospective analysis of patients undergoing a robotic mesh explantation (RoME) for mesh-related chronic pain, or recurrent ventral hernia by two surgeons between the period of March 2016 and January of 2020. The patients were evaluated for resolution of mesh related abdominal pain as well as early post-operative complications. RoME was performed with concomitant hernia repair in cases of recurrences. RESULTS:Twenty-nine patients underwent a robotic mesh explantation (RoME) for mesh-related chronic pain, or recurrent ventral hernia between March 2016 and January of 2020. Nineteen patients (65.5%) had a prior inguinal hernia repair and 10 patients (34.5%) had a prior ventral hernia repair. Indications for mesh removal included chronic pain with or without hernia recurrence. Seventeen patients (58.6%) reported improvement or resolution of pain postoperatively (63% with a prior inguinal hernia repair and 50% of patients with a prior ventral hernia repair). Five patients (17.2%) required mesh reinforcement after explantation. Nineteen patients (65.5%) underwent mesh explantation with primary fascial closure or no mesh reinforcement. The mean follow-up was 36.4 days. The most common postoperative complication was seroma formation (6.8%), with one reported recurrence (3.4%). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Robotic mesh explantation in challenging cases due to the effect of chronic scarring, adhesions and mesh incorporation to the surrounding tissues is safe and provides an advantageous platform for concomitant hernia repair in these complex cases.
PMID: 34724577
ISSN: 1432-2218
CID: 5037862

Social media as a tool for surgical education: a qualitative systematic review

Lima, Diego L; Viscarret, Valentina; Velasco, Juan; Lima, Raquel Nogueira C L; Malcher, Flavio
BACKGROUND:Social media use has exploded, attaining a significant influence within medicine. Previous studies have denoted the use of social media in various surgical specialties as a means to exchange professional ideas and improve the conference experience and at the same time, some have assessed its feasibility as a method of education. This systematic review aims to characterize the use of social media as a tool for general surgery education. METHODS:A systematic review of several databases from each database inception was conducted following the PRISMA guidelines. The JBI's critical appraisal tools were used to assess quality of the studies. RESULTS:A total of 861 articles were identified of which 222 were duplicates removed. The titles and abstracts from the remaining 639 abstracts were screened and 589 were excluded. The remaining 51 full articles were analyzed for eligibility, of which 24 met inclusion criteria and were included in the systematic review. These studies covered the general surgery specialty, of which 11 (n = 46%) focused on the laparoscopic surgical approach, 1 (n = 4%) on robotic-assisted surgical procedures, 1 (n = 4%) on both surgical approaches previously mentioned and 11 (n = 46%) on the general surgery specialty regardless of the surgical approach or technique. CONCLUSIONS:Advantages that SM offers should be considered, and content creators and institutions should help collectively to make sure that the content being published is evidence and guideline-based so its use it is taken to the maximum benefit.
PMID: 35230534
ISSN: 1432-2218
CID: 5174312

Can a Fully Articulating Electromechanical Laparoscopic Needle Driver Compare with a Robotic Platform in Transabdominal Preperitoneal Inguinal Hernia Repair?

Lima, Diego Laurentino; Pereira, Xavier; Malcher, Flavio
PMID: 35447037
ISSN: 1557-9034
CID: 5218502

Robotic abdominal wall repair: adoption and early outcomes in a large academic medical center

Pereira, Xavier; Lima, Diego L; Friedmann, Patricia; Romero-Velez, Gustavo; Mandujano, Cosman C; Ramos-Santillan, Vicente; Garcia-Cabrera, Ana; Malcher, Flavio
Robotic-assisted abdominal wall repair (RAWR) has seen an exponential adoption over the last 5 years. Skepticism surrounding the safety, efficacy, and cost continues to limit a more widespread adoption of the platform. We describe our initial experience of 312 patients undergoing RAWR at a large academic center. A retrospective review of all patients undergoing any RAWR from July 1, 2016 to March 18, 2020 was completed. Patient specific, operation specific, and 30-day outcomes specific data were collected. Univariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression were used to assess factors associated with 30-day complications. There was a steady adoption of RAWR over the study period. A total of 312 patient were included, 138 (44%) were abdominal wall repairs and 174 (56%) were inguinal repairs. The mean age of the cohort was 54.2 years (SD 16), 69% were males, and the mean BMI was 29 kg/m2 (SD 4.8). There were two reported intraoperative events and nine operative conversions. 60 patients had at least one complication at 30-days. These include: 52 seromas, 4 hematomas, 2 surgical-site infections, 1 deep venous thrombus, and 1 recurrence at 30-days. BMI, type of hernia, and sex were not associated with complications at 30-days. The use of absorbable mesh, longer hospital stay, operative conversion, previous repair, and expert hernia surgeon were significant predictors of 30-day complications. Age, operative conversion, and previous repair were the only predictors of 30-day complications on multivariate regression. Our initial experience of 312 patients demonstrates the adoption and comparable short-term outcomes for a wide variety of robotic-assisted hernia repairs.
PMID: 34018122
ISSN: 1863-2491
CID: 4996002

Risk Factors for Surgical Site Infection in the Undeserved Population After Ventral Hernia Repair: A 3936 Patient Single-Center Study Using National Surgical Quality Improvement Project

Romero-Velez, Gustavo; Lima, Diego L; Pereira, Xavier; Farber, Benjamin A; Friedmann, Patricia; Malcher, Flavio; Sreeramoju, Prashanth
PMID: 35319294
ISSN: 1557-9034
CID: 5206682

Is Minimally Invasive Repair the New Gold Standard for Primary Unilateral Inguinal Hernias? Results of an International Survey of Surgeons

Lima, Raquel Nogueira C L; Lima, Diego Laurentino; Romero-Velez, Gustavo; Pereira, Xavier; Shaear, Mohammad; Bianchi, Juliana M; Claus, Christiano; Dos Santos, Dalmir Cavalcanti; Malcher, Flavio
PMID: 33685253
ISSN: 1557-9034
CID: 4995972

The Influence of an Online Platform (Hernia U) in Surgical Education and Patient Management

Lima, Diego Laurentino; Lima, Raquel Nogueira Cordeiro Laurentino; Dong, Caroline T; Morales-Conde, Salvador; Parra Davila, Eduardo; Dos Santos, Dalmir Cavalcanti; Malcher, Flavio
Introduction/UNASSIGNED:Hernia U was created with the objective to expand the educational landscape of abdominal wall surgery. It is an online platform where surgeons can register with no cost and subscribe for different courses. The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of the platform on patient management and surgical education. Methods/UNASSIGNED:and Fisher's exact test were performed to analyze relationships between variables as appropriate. Results/UNASSIGNED:Nine hundred three participants responded to the questionnaire. Seven hundred fifty-two (83.3%) were men; 248 (27.4%) participants were older than 50 years old; 240 (26.6%) were between 41 and 50 years old. Two hundred seventy-four (30.4%) participants had been in practice for more than 20 years, 242 (26.8%) between 11 and 20 years, and 161(17.8%) between 5 and 10 years. When analyzing the impact of time spent on the platform, spending over an hour per week was significantly associated with self-reported change in practice patterns compared to spending less than an hour per week (p < 0.0003). More experienced surgeons (10 or more years of practice) were less likely to change their practice patterns when compared to less experienced surgeons. Conclusion/UNASSIGNED:Hernia U has allowed surgeons to change their daily practice and to boost their education. Surgeons spending more than one hour weekly in the platform are more likely to adopt changes.
PMID: 35281709
ISSN: 1938-3797
CID: 5183712

Exploring the Challenges for International Medical Graduates Pursuing Minimally Invasive Surgery Training in the United States and Canada: A Cross-Sectional Analysis

Romero-Velez, Gustavo; Rodriguez-Quintero, Jorge Humberto; Moran-Atkin, Erin; Lima, Diego L; Malcher, Flavio; Camacho, Diego R
Background/UNASSIGNED:International Medical Graduates (IMGs) are an important component of the US healthcare workforce. Prior studies have investigated bias against IMGs during the general surgery residency application in the United States. Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is a growing field; The MIS fellowship match was established in 2004 and is a competitive process with a match rate of 47%. Opportunities for applicants who are non-US citizens are limited by a series of factors that are not related to their professional qualifications. Objectives/UNASSIGNED:The aim of the study was to explore the challenges faced by IMG in the MIS fellowship match. Methods/UNASSIGNED:This is a cross-sectional study analyzing the minimally invasive surgery application requirements of all the programs listed in the Fellowship Council. Individual program requirements were collected into a database and a descriptive analysis was performed comparing programs who accept IMGs versus those that do not. Further statistical analysis was performed to explore those differences and associated factors. Results/UNASSIGNED:There were 148 MIS fellowship programs and 187 positions offered during the 2021 match year in the US. Ninety-seven programs (65.5%) were found to accept graduates of foreign medical schools if they were US-citizens, whereas only 49 programs (33.1%) were found to accept IMG and sponsor a visa for their training. University affiliated programs (88.9% vs 75.0%, p = 0.04), programs with a general surgery residency (94.4% vs 75.0%, p = 0.003), and older programs (63.0% vs 45.5%, p = 0.04) were more likely to accept IMGs requiring visa sponsorship. Conclusions/UNASSIGNED:There is a significant bias against IMGs in the MIS fellowship match, with a reduced number of positions available based on factors not related to their professional performance or qualifications. Well established programs, university, and residency affiliated programs are more likely to consider these physicians for training.
PMID: 35444402
ISSN: 1938-3797
CID: 5216892

SubCutaneous OnLay endoscopic Approach (SCOLA) mesh repair for small midline ventral hernias with diastasis recti: An initial US experience

Dong, Caroline T; Sreeramoju, Prashanth; Pechman, David M; Weithorn, David; Camacho, Diego; Malcher, Flavio
BACKGROUND:Patients presenting for evaluation of umbilical and epigastric hernias are often found to have diastasis recti (DR). As isolated hernia repair in these patients may be associated with higher rates of recurrence, prior international publications have described a prefascial mesh repair in combination with anterior plication of DR. We present our initial United States (US) experience with a SubCutaneous OnLay endoscopic Approach (SCOLA) to address these concurrent pathologies in a single hybrid procedure. METHODS:Between July 2018 and December 2019, a prospective cohort of 16 patients underwent the SCOLA procedure. Subcutaneous dissection was carried out from the suprapubic region superiorly to the xiphoid process and laterally to the linea semilunaris. Hernia contents were reduced and defects were incorporated into anterior DR plication, which was performed with running barbed suture. Onlay mesh was placed to cover the entire dissected space, and subcutaneous drains were placed. Three separate attendings performed cases with one supervising attending for standard technique. RESULTS:. The mean hernia defect size was 1.9 (0.7) cm. Mean operative time was 146 (46.3) minutes; two (15%) cases were performed robotically. The mean follow-up time was approximately two months (63 days). Three (18.8%) patients developed seroma, one (6.3%) patient developed an infected seroma, and two (12.5%) patients developed hernia recurrence. CONCLUSIONS:SCOLA technique is shown to be a safe and effective approach for patients presenting with small midline ventral hernias and concomitant DR. Our preliminary US data demonstrates higher rates of post-operative complication in patients with higher BMI, which suggests that patient selection and pre-operative counseling is essential to achieve better technical outcomes in our patient population.
PMID: 33206243
ISSN: 1432-2218
CID: 4995912

Endoscopic onlay repair for ventral hernia and rectus abdominis diastasis repair: Why so many different names for the same procedure? A qualitative systematic review

Malcher, Flavio; Lima, Diego Laurentino; Lima, Raquel Nogueira C L; Cavazzola, Leandro Totti; Claus, Christiano; Dong, Caroline T; Sreeramoju, Prashanth
BACKGROUND:A subcutaneous endoscopic onlay repair for ventral hernia with an anterior plication of diastasis recti (DR) has been published under different names in different countries. The aim of this systematic review is to assess the safety and feasibility of different named techniques with the same surgical concept. METHODS:The PRISMA guidelines were followed during all stages of this systematic review. The MINORS score system was used to perform qualitative assessment of all studies included in this review. Recommendations were then summarized for the following pre-defined key items: protocol, research question, search strategy, study eligibility, data extraction, study designs, risk of bias, publication bias, heterogeneity, and statistical analysis. RESULTS:The systematic literature search found 2548 articles, 317 of which were duplicates and excluded from analysis. The titles and abstracts from the remaining 2231 articles were assessed. After careful evaluation, 2125 articles were determined to be unrelated to our study and subsequently excluded. The full text of the remaining 106 articles was thoroughly assessed. Case reports, editorials, letters to the editor, and general reviews were then excluded. A total of 13 articles were ultimately included for this review, describing a similar subcutaneous endoscopic approach for repair of concomitant ventral hernias and rectus diastasis defined under nine different named techniques on 716 patients. The number of patients in those studies varied from 10 to 201. The mean operative time varied from 68.5 to 195 min. The most common complication was seroma, followed by pain requiring intervention, hematoma, and surgical site infection. CONCLUSIONS:There are a few technique variations described in different studies, but with no significant differences in outcomes. We, therefore, propose to unify these procedures under one term, ENDoscopic Onlay Repair (ENDOR). This technique has shown to be effective and safe, with seroma being the most common complication.
PMID: 34031740
ISSN: 1432-2218
CID: 4996012