Publications by authors named "Lawrence W Way"

34 Publications

The association between body mass index and severe biliary infections: a multivariate analysis.

Am J Surg 2012 Nov 11;204(5):574-9. Epub 2012 Aug 11.

Department of Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA.

Background: Obesity has been associated with worse infectious disease outcomes. It is a risk factor for cholesterol gallstones, but little is known about associations between body mass index (BMI) and biliary infections. We studied this using factors associated with biliary infections.

Methods: A total of 427 patients with gallstones were studied. Gallstones, bile, and blood (as applicable) were cultured. Illness severity was classified as follows: none (no infection or inflammation), systemic inflammatory response syndrome (fever, leukocytosis), severe (abscess, cholangitis, empyema), or multi-organ dysfunction syndrome (bacteremia, hypotension, organ failure). Associations between BMI and biliary bacteria, bacteremia, gallstone type, and illness severity were examined using bivariate and multivariate analysis.

Results: BMI inversely correlated with pigment stones, biliary bacteria, bacteremia, and increased illness severity on bivariate and multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: Obesity correlated with less severe biliary infections. BMI inversely correlated with pigment stones and biliary bacteria; multivariate analysis showed an independent correlation between lower BMI and illness severity. Most patients with severe biliary infections had a normal BMI, suggesting that obesity may be protective in biliary infections. This study examined the correlation between BMI and biliary infection severity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjsurg.2012.07.002DOI Listing
November 2012

Predictors of long-term outcome after laparoscopic esophagomyotomy and Dor fundoplication for achalasia.

Arch Surg 2011 Sep;146(9):1024-8

Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0790, USA.

Objective: To identify predictors of long-term outcome of laparoscopic Heller myotomy for achalasia, including predictors of heartburn and recurrent dysphagia, which occasionally develop postoperatively.

Design: Retrospective review using interviews of patients.

Setting: Academic university hospital.

Patients: One hundred sixty-five patients with achalasia who underwent a laparoscopic esophagomyotomy and Dor fundoplication.

Main Outcome Measures: Dysphagia and heartburn before and after the operation were assessed on a 4-point Likert scale, as were postoperative dilations, reoperations, and antacid use. Potential predictors were age, race, sex, body mass index, weight loss, duration of symptoms, manometry findings, esophageal diameter, previous treatment, and operative technique.

Results: Follow-up averaged 62 (range, 1-174) months. Dysphagia frequency was once a week or less in 128 patients (78%), several times per week in 25 (15%), and daily in 12 (7%). Satisfaction scores averaged 3.7 on a 4-point scale. Thirty patients (18%) required a postoperative dilation, and 6 (4%) underwent another operation. The only predictor of postoperative dysphagia was duration of symptoms longer than 10 years (odds ratio, 0.2; P = .03). Preoperative dilations predicted the need for postoperative dilations (odds ratio, 2.4; P = .03). Only 20 patients (12%) reported heartburn more than once weekly, although 75 (45%) reported taking antacids. No variable predicted postoperative heartburn or antacid use.

Conclusions: Long-term outcomes after laparoscopic esophagomyotomy were excellent across a wide spectrum of disease severity and presentations. Previous treatments, such as balloon dilation or botulinum toxin (Botox) injection, did not portend worse outcomes. When the myotomy was extended 2 cm onto the stomach and a Dor fundoplication was performed, severe heartburn was rare.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archsurg.2011.214DOI Listing
September 2011

Operative reports: form and function.

Arch Surg 2010 Sep;145(9):865-71

Department of Surgery, University of California-San Francisco, 4 Koret Way, San Francisco, CA 94143-0475, USA.

Hypothesis: Little is known about how closely operative reports reflect what was actually performed during an operation, nor has the construction of operative reports been adequately studied with the aims of clarifying the objectives of those reports and improving their efficacy. We hypothesized that if more attention is paid to the objectives of operative reports, their content will more predictably contain the most relevant information, which might channel thinking in beneficial directions during performance of the operation.

Design: Multivariate analysis of 250 laparoscopic cholecystectomy operative reports (125 uncomplicated and 125 with bile duct injury).

Setting: Academic research.

Participants: University (105 cases) and community (145 cases) hospitals.

Main Outcome Measures: Variations in content and design of operative reports. Cognitive task analysis of laparoscopic cholecystectomy was conducted, and a model operative report was generated and compared with the actual operative reports.

Results: Descriptions of key elements in adequate dissection of the Calot triangle were present in 24.8% and 0.0% of operative reports from uncomplicated and bile duct injury cases, respectively. Thorough dissection of the Calot triangle, identification of the cystic duct-infundibulum junction, and lateral retraction of the infundibulum correlated with uncomplicated cases, while irregular cues (eg, perceived anatomic or other deviations) correlated with bile duct injury cases.

Conclusions: Current practice generates operative reports that vary widely in content and too often omit important elements. This research suggests that the construction of operative reports should be constrained such that the reports routinely include the fundamental goals of the operation and what was performed to meet them. Cognitive task analysis is based on the ways the mind controls the performance of tasks; it is an excellent method for determining the extra content needed in operative reports. The resulting designs should also serve as mental guidelines to facilitate learning and to enhance the safety of the operation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archsurg.2010.157DOI Listing
September 2010

The efficacy of medical team training: improved team performance and decreased operating room delays: a detailed analysis of 4863 cases.

Ann Surg 2010 Sep;252(3):477-83; discussion 483-5

Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Objectives: Medical team training (MTT) has been touted as a way to improve teamwork and patient safety in the operating room (OR).

Methods: OR personal completed a 1-day intensive MTT training. A standardized briefing/debriefing/perioperative routine was developed, including documentation of OR miscues, delays, and a case score (1-5) assigned by the OR team. A multidisciplinary MTT committee reviewed and rectified any systems problems identified. Debriefing items were analyzed comparing baseline data with 12 and 24-month follow-up. A safety attitudes questionnaire was administered at baseline and 1 year.

Results: A total of 4863 MTT debriefings were analyzed. One year following MTT, case delays decreased (23% to 10%, P < 0.0001), mean case score increased (4.07-4.87, P < 0.0005), and both changes were sustained at 24 months. One-year and 24-month follow-up data demonstrated decreased frequency of preoperative delays (16%-7%, P = 0.004), hand-off issues (5.4%-0.3%, P < 0.0001), equipment issues/delays (24%-7%, P < 0.0001), cases with low (<3) case scores (23%-3%, P < 0.0005), and adherence to timing guidelines for prophylactic antibiotic administration improved (85%-97%, P < 0.0001). Surveys documented perception of improved teamwork and patient safety. A major systems issue regarding perioperative medication orders was identified and corrected.

Conclusions: MTT produced sustained improvement in OR team function, including decreased delays and improved case scores. When combined with a high-level debriefing/problem-solving process, MTT can be a foundation for improving OR performance. This is the largest case analysis of MTT and one of the few to document an impact of MTT on objective measures of operating room function and patient safety.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SLA.0b013e3181f1c091DOI Listing
September 2010

Excellent outcomes of laparoscopic esophagomyotomy for achalasia in patients older than 60 years of age.

Surg Endosc 2010 Oct 2;24(10):2562-6. Epub 2010 Apr 2.

Department of Surgery, University of California San Francisco, 521 Parnassus Avenue, Room C-347, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.

Background: The effectiveness of an esophagomyotomy for dysphagia in elderly patients with achalasia has been questioned. This study was designed to provide an answer.

Methods: A total of 162 consecutive patients with achalasia who had a laparoscopic myotomy and Dor fundoplication and who were available for follow-up interview were divided by age: < 60 years (range, 14-59; 118 patients), and ≥ 60 years (range, 60-93; 44 patients). Primary outcome measures were severity of dysphagia, regurgitation, heartburn, and chest pain before and after the operation as assessed on a four-point Likert scale, and the need for postoperative dilatation or revisional surgery.

Results: Follow-up averaged 64 months. Older patients had less dysphagia (mean score 3.6 vs. 3.9; P < 0.01) and less chest pain (1.0 vs. 1.8; P < 0.01). Regurgitation (3.0 vs. 3.2; P = not significant (NS)) and heartburn (1.6 vs. 2.0, P = NS) were similar. Older patients were no different in degree of esophageal dilation, manometric findings, number of previous pneumatic dilatations, or previous botulinum toxin therapy. None of the older patients had previously had an esophagomyotomy, whereas 14% of younger patients had (P < 0.01). After laparoscopic myotomy, older patients had better relief of dysphagia (mean score 1.0 vs 1.6; P < 0.01), less heartburn (0.8 vs. 1.1; P = 0.03), and less chest pain (0.2 vs. 0.8, P < 0.01). Complication rates were similar. Older patients did not require more postoperative dilatations (22 patients vs. 10 patients; P = 0.7) or revisional surgery for recurrent or persistent symptoms (3 vs. 1 patients; P = 0.6). Satisfaction scores did not differ, and more than 90% of patients in both groups said in retrospect they would have undergone the procedure if they had known beforehand how it would turn out.

Conclusions: This retrospective review with long follow-up supports laparoscopic esophagomyotomy as first-line therapy in older patients with achalasia. They appeared to benefit even more than younger patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00464-010-1003-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2945469PMC
October 2010

Laparoscopic bile duct injuries: timing of surgical repair does not influence success rate. A multivariate analysis of factors influencing surgical outcomes.

HPB (Oxford) 2009 Sep;11(6):516-22

Department of Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Background: Many factors contribute to the success of biliary reconstructions following laparoscopic bile duct injury. We previously reported that control of intra-abdominal infection, complete preoperative cholangiography, surgical technique and surgical experience affected the results. There is no consensus, however, on whether the timing of the operation is important.

Methods: We examined factors influencing the success of the first repair of 307 major bile duct injuries following laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Factors were assessed for cases initially repaired either by the primary surgeon or a biliary specialist. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to determine the significance of comparisons.

Results: A total of 137 injuries were initially repaired by a biliary surgeon and 163 injuries were initially repaired by the primary surgeon; seven were managed non-surgically. Repairs by primary surgeons were performed earlier than those by biliary surgeons (11 vs. 59 days; P < 0.0001). Bivariate analysis of the entire cohort suggested that later repairs might have been more successful than earlier ones (17 vs. 50 days; P = 0.003). Multivariate analysis, however, showed that the timing of the repair was unimportant (P = 0.572). Instead, success correlated with: eradication of intra-abdominal infection (P = 0.0001); complete preoperative cholangiography (P = 0.002); use of correct surgical technique (P = 0.0001), and repair by a biliary surgeon (P = 0.0001). Separate multivariate analyses of outcomes for primary and biliary surgeons revealed that timing was unrelated to success in either case.

Conclusions: The success of biliary reconstruction for iatrogenic bile duct injuries depended on complete eradication of abdominal infection, complete cholangiography, use of correct surgical technique, and repair by an experienced biliary surgeon. If these objectives were achieved, the repair could be performed at any point with the expectation of an excellent outcome. We see no reason to delay the repair for some arbitrary period.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1477-2574.2009.00096.xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2756640PMC
September 2009

Has recognition of the relationship between mortality rates and hospital volume for major cancer surgery in California made a difference?: A follow-up analysis of another decade.

Ann Surg 2009 Sep;250(3):472-83

Departments of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Background: Previous reports showed that in California during the early 1990s, operative mortality rates for esophageal, pancreatic, and hepatic cancers were inversely related to hospital volume. It is unknown whether this information has affected referral patterns or operative mortality rates.

Objectives: Data were analyzed for the 10 years that followed the period covered in the initial studies to determine if: (a) the operative mortality rates had decreased; and (b) a greater proportion of patients with esophageal, pancreatic, and hepatic cancers were treated at high-volume centers.

Methods: Hospital discharge data were obtained for 8901 patients who had resections for cancer of the esophagus, 2404 patients; pancreas, 5294 patients; and liver, 1203 patients in California between 1995 and 2004. Logistic regression models were used to calculate adjusted mortality rates at high- and low-volume centers by year. The data were compared with the published results for California during the years 1990-1994.

Results: Operative mortality rates decreased for esophageal, pancreatic, and hepatic resections during the more recent 10 years. Concomitantly, the proportion of patients treated at high-volume centers increased, as did the number of high-volume centers. There was a substantial increase in the proportion of esophagectomies performed in high-volume hospitals, while the overall number of esophagectomies dropped by 22%. For the other 2 operations, total volume and the volume in high-volume hospitals increased greatly, and the volume in low-volume hospitals was about the same during the 3 periods. The mortality rates decreased at all levels of the volume range. Finally, the performance from one period to the next in individual hospitals was mostly similar, but an occasional outlier was also noted.

Conclusions: More resections for esophageal, pancreatic, and hepatic cancer were performed at high volume centers, but mortality rates decreased for all hospital categories. The data suggest that modern hospitals act as complex adaptive systems, whose outputs are determined from the interactions between internal agents and are resistant to analysis by isolating and studying the individual contributions. It is tempting to attribute the desirable changes in these data (eg, more operations being done in high volume centers and better mortality rates at all levels) as consequences of pressures over the past few decades on hospitals to assume greater responsibility for their quality of care and to become more integrated internally.Thus, many factors appear to influence the volume-outcome relationships, and the identity and individual contributions of these influences may be immune to reductionist analysis. There is substantial evidence that high volume should be part of high quality for these complex operations. Nevertheless, measuring outcomes directly, rather than concentrating on their correlates, may be a more reliable index of hospital performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SLA.0b013e3181b47c79DOI Listing
September 2009

Neuroendocrine tumors of the ampulla of Vater: biological behavior and surgical management.

Arch Surg 2009 Jun;144(6):527-31

Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, 4 Koret Way, LR-101, Box 0475, San Francisco, CA 94143-0475, USA.

Objectives: To describe the biological behavior and surgical management of ampullary neuroendocrine tumors in 7 patients.

Design: Case series and literature review.

Setting: University hospital.

Patients: Seven patients with ampullary neuroendocrine tumors.

Main Outcome Measures: Clinical presentation, pathologic findings, and survival.

Results: The patients presented with jaundice (3 patients), anemia (1 patient), gastric outlet obstruction (1 patient), or incidental discovery (2 patients). No patients had neurofibromatosis. Preoperative biopsy was diagnostic in 5 of 6 patients. All of the tumors expressed chromogranin and synaptophysin. Even when the tumor expressed gastrin, vasoactive intestinal peptide, or somatostatin, no patient had a hypersecretion syndrome. Five patients were treated by pancreaticoduodenectomy, 4 for low-grade neuroendocrine tumors and 1 for high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma. The lesions measured 1.0 to 3.5 cm in diameter. Computed tomographic scans failed to detect nodal metastases that were present in 4 patients. One patient with a high-grade malignant neoplasm died after 15 months. The rest were disease-free after 19 to 48 months. Two patients had transduodenal local resections, one for a 1.1-cm paraganglioma (disease-free, 11 years) and the other for a 0.6-cm carcinoid tumor (disease-free, 7 months).

Conclusions: This is one of the largest series of neuroendocrine tumors of the ampulla. Preoperative biopsy was accurate, but computed tomographic scans were insensitive in detecting nodal metastases. Unlike duodenal carcinoid tumors, hypersecretion syndromes were absent and small tumor size did not preclude locoregional metastases. Tumor grade predicted survival. We recommend pancreaticoduodenectomy for this disease, with local resection reserved for mobile, superficial lesions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archsurg.2009.80DOI Listing
June 2009

Evaluation of the biliary intestinal limb of a Roux-en-Y choledochojejunostomy using computed tomographic cholangiography.

J Comput Assist Tomogr 2008 Nov-Dec;32(6):886-9

Department of Radiology, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0628, USA.

Computed tomographic (CT) findings involving the biliary intestinal limb of a Roux-en-Y choledochojejunostomy may be ambiguous because oral agents frequently do not reflux into that limb. We describe 2 cases where antegrade biliary intestinal limb opacification by intravenous CT cholangiography in the left lateral decubitus position obviated the need for biopsy of an apparent enlarging mass in the biliary intestinal limb. We conclude that CT cholangiography may help clarify the status of a Roux-en-Y choledochojejunostomy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/RCT.0b013e318159f159DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2743967PMC
March 2009

Tumors of the ampulla of vater: histopathologic classification and predictors of survival.

J Am Coll Surg 2008 Aug 5;207(2):210-8. Epub 2008 May 5.

Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0475, USA.

Background: The histology and clinical behavior of ampullary tumors vary substantially. We speculated that this might reflect the presence of two kinds of ampullary adenocarcinoma: pancreaticobiliary and intestinal.

Study Design: We analyzed patient demographics, presentation, survival (mean followup 44 months), and tumor histology for 157 consecutive ampullary tumors resected from 1989 to 2006. Histologic features were reviewed by a pathologist blinded to clinical outcomes. Survival was compared using Kaplan-Meier/Cox proportional hazards analysis.

Results: There were 33 benign (32 adenomas and 1 paraganglioma) and 124 malignant (118 adenocarcinomas and 6 neuroendocrine) tumors. One hundred fifteen (73%) patients underwent a Whipple procedure, 32 (20%) a local resection, and 10 (7%) a palliative operation. For adenocarcinomas, survival in univariate models was affected by jaundice, histologic grade, lymphovascular, or perineural invasion, T stage, nodal metastasis, and pancreaticobiliary subtype (p < 0.05). Size of tumor did not predict survival, nor did cribriform/papillary features, dirty necrosis, apical mucin, or nuclear atypia. In multivariate models, lymphovascular invasion, perineural invasion, stage, and pancreaticobiliary subtype predicted survival (p < 0.05). Patients with pancreaticobiliary ampullary adenocarcinomas presented with jaundice more often than those with the intestinal kind (p = 0.01) and had worse survival.

Conclusions: In addition to other factors, tumor type (intestinal versus pancreaticobiliary) had a major effect on survival in patients with ampullary adenocarcinoma. The current concept of ampullary adenocarcinoma as a unique entity, distinct from duodenal and pancreatic adenocarcinoma, might be wrong. Intestinal ampullary adenocarcinomas behaved like their duodenal counterparts, but pancreaticobiliary ones were more aggressive and behaved like pancreatic adenocarcinomas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2008.01.028DOI Listing
August 2008

Elderly patients have more severe biliary infections: influence of complement-killing and induction of TNFalpha production.

Surgery 2008 Jan 3;143(1):103-12. Epub 2007 Dec 3.

Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA.

Background: Biliary bacteria are more common in elderly patients and cause more serious illnesses. The reasons for this are unclear. We noted previously that bacterial serum-sensitivity and induction of TNFalpha production in sera (iTNFsera) were associated with severe biliary infections. We examined the influence of age and these factors on illness severity.

Methods: Three-hundred and forty patients were studied. Gallstones and bile were cultured. Illness was staged as none (no clinical infection or inflammation), SIRS (fever, leukocytosis), severe (cholangitis, abscess, empyema), or MODS (bacteremia, hypotension, organ dysfunction/failure). Bacterial serum-sensitivity and TNFalpha induction were measured. Younger (< 70 years) and elderly (> or = 70 years) patients were compared.

Results: Biliary bacteria were more common in elderly (64% vs 41%, P < .0001). Among patients with biliary bacteria, the elderly had more serious illnesses: none: 44% younger, 19% elderly; SIRS: 16% younger, 22% elderly; severe: 22% younger, 21% elderly; MODS 18% younger, 38% elderly (P = .003). Bacteria from elderly patients induced more TNFalpha (580 vs 310 pg/ml, P = .023). In both groups, serum-sensitive bacteria caused infectious manifestations and induced abundant TNFalpha; however, serum-resistant bacteria from elderly usually (69%) caused infectious manifestations and abundant TNFalpha, while serum-resistant bacteria from younger patients rarely (8%) caused infectious manifestations and minimal TNFalpha. Elderly patients with high iTNFsera bacteria had more severe illnesses.

Conclusions: Biliary bacteria were more common in elderly patients and produced more serious illnesses. Many younger patients with biliary bacteria displayed no infectious manifestations. Elderly patients harbored more virulent bacteria, and had a heightened response to high iTNFsera bacteria, as well as bacteria largely tolerated by younger patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.surg.2007.06.035DOI Listing
January 2008

Laparoscopic enucleation of insulinomas.

Arch Surg 2007 Dec;142(12):1202-4; discussion 1205

Surgical Service, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 4150 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA.

Hypothesis: Laparoscopic enucleation of insulinomas is safe and effective and is associated with a short hospital stay.

Design: Case series identified through retrospective review of medical records.

Setting: University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, a tertiary care referral hospital.

Patients: Nine patients with insulinomas that were thought to be suitable for laparoscopic enucleation.

Intervention: Laparoscopic enucleation of solitary insulinomas of the pancreas.

Main Outcome Measures: Successful enucleation, conversion to open operation, postoperative complications, and duration of hospitalization.

Results: Seven of 9 patients had curative laparoscopic enucleations of insulinomas. In the 2 other patients, the laparoscopic approach was converted to an open operation to perform a distal pancreatectomy. All patients were cured. Computed tomography (CT) localized the tumor in 5 of 9 patients; laparoscopic enucleation was successful in all 5. Endoscopic ultrasonography correctly identified the lesions in 2 of 3 patients with nondiagnostic CT scans. Both lesions were successfully enucleated laparoscopically. Postoperative pancreatic fistulas occurred in 7 of 9 patients, but they caused little morbidity. No patient required another operation. Five of 7 patients treated laparoscopically were discharged to home on the first postoperative day.

Conclusions: Laparoscopic enucleation was safe and effective. If the lesion was seen on CT, it could be removed laparoscopically. Endoscopic ultrasonography was useful for identifying lesions in patients whose CT scans were nondiagnostic. Pancreatic fistulas were common, but they resolved spontaneously and produced little morbidity. Laparoscopic enucleation resulted in a short hospitalization and rapid recovery for most patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archsurg.142.12.1202DOI Listing
December 2007

Characterization of cystic pancreatic masses: relative accuracy of CT and MRI.

AJR Am J Roentgenol 2007 Sep;189(3):648-56

Department of Surgery, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Objective: The objective of our study was to determine the role and relative accuracy of CT and MRI in the characterization of cystic pancreatic masses.

Materials And Methods: We retrospectively identified 58 patients with histopathologically proven cystic pancreatic masses at our institution who underwent preoperative CT (n = 40), MRI (n = 6), or both (n = 12). Two radiologists independently recorded their leading diagnoses with levels of diagnostic certainty (0-100%), their estimates of overall likelihood of malignancy (0-100%), and the morphologic characteristics of the tumors. Data were analyzed to determine relative accuracy in the diagnosis of malignancy, relationship between diagnostic certainty and accuracy, and frequency of malignancy in unilocular thin-walled cysts smaller than 4 cm.

Results: Twenty-one (36%) of 58 masses were malignant. CT and MRI were equally accurate in establishing the diagnosis of malignancy (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [A(z)] = 0.91 and 0.85 for reviewers 1 and 2 at MRI vs 0.82 and 0.76 at CT, respectively; p > 0.05). The leading diagnosis given by reviewers 1 and 2 was correct in 46% (32/70) and 43% (30/70) of the studies, respectively. When reviewer diagnostic certainty was 90% or more, the corresponding values were not significantly (p > 0.05) improved at 55% (12/22) and 48% (10/21), respectively. Two (15%) of 13 unilocular thin-walled cysts smaller than 4 cm were frankly malignant.

Conclusion: CT and MRI are reasonably and similarly accurate in the characterization of cystic pancreatic masses as benign or malignant; limitations include a substantial rate of misdiagnosis even when reviewer certainty is high and a moderate frequency of malignancy in small morphologically benign-appearing cysts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2214/AJR.07.2365DOI Listing
September 2007

The outcome of laparoscopic Heller myotomy for achalasia is not influenced by the degree of esophageal dilatation.

J Gastrointest Surg 2008 Jan 21;12(1):159-65. Epub 2007 Aug 21.

Department of Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0790, USA.

In the past, a Heller myotomy was considered to be ineffective in patients with achalasia and a markedly dilated or sigmoid-shaped esophagus. Esophagectomy was the standard treatment. The aims of this study were (a) to evaluate the results of laparoscopic Heller myotomy and Dor fundoplication in patients with achalasia and various degrees of esophageal dilatation; and (b) to assess the role of endoscopic dilatation in patients with postoperative dysphagia. One hundred and thirteen patients with esophageal achalasia were separated into four groups based on the maximal diameter of the esophageal lumen and the shape of the esophagus: group A, diameter<4.0 cm, 46 patients; group B, esophageal diameter 4.0-6.0 cm, 32 patients; group C, diameter>6.0 cm and straight axis, 23 patients; and group D, diameter>6.0 cm and sigmoid-shaped esophagus, 12 patients. All had a laparoscopic Heller myotomy and Dor fundoplication. The median length of follow-up was 45 months (range 7 months to 12.5 years). The postoperative recovery was similar among the four groups. Twenty-three patients (20%) had postoperative dilatations for dysphagia, and five patients (4%) required a second myotomy. Excellent or good results were obtained in 89% of group A and 91% of groups B, C, and D. None required an esophagectomy to maintain clinically adequate swallowing. These data show that (a) a laparoscopic Heller myotomy relieved dysphagia in most patients with achalasia, even when the esophagus was dilated; (b) about 20% of patients required additional treatment; (c) in the end, swallowing was good in 90%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11605-007-0275-zDOI Listing
January 2008

Bacteria entombed in the center of cholesterol gallstones induce fewer infectious manifestations than bacteria in the matrix of pigment stones.

J Gastrointest Surg 2007 Oct;11(10):1298-308

Department of Surgery, University of California San Francisco, 4150 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA.

Purpose: The clinical significance of bacteria in the pigment centers of cholesterol stones is unknown. We compared the infectious manifestations and characteristics of bacteria from pigment stones and predominantly cholesterol stones.

Methods: Three hundred forty patients were studied. Bile was cultured. Gallstones were cultured and examined with scanning electron microscopy. Level of bacterial immunoglobulin G (bile, serum), complement killing, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha production were determined.

Results: Twenty-three percent of cholesterol stones and 68% of pigment stones contained bacteria (P < 0.0001). Stone culture correlated with scanning electron microscopy results. Pigment stone bacteria were more often present in bile and blood. Cholesterol stone bacteria caused more severe infections (19%) than sterile stones (0%), but less than pigment stone bacteria (57%) (P < 0.0001). Serum and bile from patients with cholesterol stone bacteria had less bacterial-specific immunoglobulin G. Cholesterol stone bacteria produced more slime. Pigment stone bacteria were more often killed by a patient's serum. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha production of the groups was similar.

Conclusions: Bacteria are readily cultured from cholesterol stones with pigment centers, allowing for analysis of their virulence factors. Bacteria sequestered in cholesterol stones cause infectious manifestations, but less than bacteria in pigment stones. Possibly because of their isolation, cholesterol stone bacteria were less often present in bile and blood, induced less immunoglobulin G, were less often killed by a patient's serum, and demonstrated fewer infectious manifestations than pigment stone bacteria. This is the first study to analyze the clinical relevance of bacteria within cholesterol gallstones.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11605-007-0173-4DOI Listing
October 2007

Gallstones containing bacteria are biofilms: bacterial slime production and ability to form pigment solids determines infection severity and bacteremia.

J Gastrointest Surg 2007 Aug;11(8):977-83; discussion 983-4

Department of Surgery (112), University of California San Francisco, 4150 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA.

Objective: Gallstone bacteria provide a reservoir for biliary infections. Slime production facilitates adherence, whereas beta-glucuronidase and phospholipase generate colonization surface. These factors facilitate gallstone formation, but their influence on infection severity is unknown.

Methods: Two hundred ninety-two patients were studied. Gallstones, bile, and blood (as applicable) were cultured. Bacteria were tested for beta-glucuronidase/phospholipase production and quantitative slime production. Infection severity was correlated with bacterial factors.

Results: Bacteria were present in 43% of cases, 13% with bacteremia. Severe infections correlated directly with beta-glucuronidase/phospholipase (55% with vs 13% without, P < 0.0001), but inversely with slime production (55 vs 8%, slime <75 or >75, P = 0.008). Low slime production and beta-glucuronidase/phospholipase production were additive: Severe infections were present in 76% with both, but 10% with either or none (P < 0.0001). beta-Glucuronidase/phospholipase production facilitated bactibilia (86% with vs 62% without, P = 0.03). Slime production was 19 (+/-8) vs 50 (+/-10) for bacteria that did or did not cause bacteremia (P = 0.004). No bacteria with slime >75 demonstrated bacteremia.

Conclusions: Bacteria-laden gallstones are biofilms whose characteristics influence illness severity. Factors creating colonization surface (beta-glucuronidase/phospholipase) facilitated bacteremia and severe infections; but abundant slime production, while facilitating colonization, inhibited detachment and cholangiovenous reflux. This shows how properties of the gallstone biofilm determine the severity of the associated illness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11605-007-0168-1DOI Listing
August 2007

Biliary bacterial factors determine the path of gallstone formation.

Am J Surg 2006 Nov;192(5):598-603

Department of Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA.

Background: Bacteria cause pigment gallstones and can act as a nidus for cholesterol gallstone formation. Bacterial factors that facilitate gallstone formation include beta-glucuronidase (bG), phospholipase (PhL), and slime. The current study sought to determine whether bacterial factors influence the path of gallstone formation.

Methods: A total of 382 gallstones were cultured and/or examined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Bacteria were tested for bG and slime production. Gallstone composition was determined using infrared spectrography. Ca-palmitate presence documented bacterial PhL production. Groups were identified based upon bacterial factors present: slime and bGPhL (slime/bGPhL), bGPhL only, and slime only. Influence of bacterial stone-forming factors on gallstone composition and morphology was analyzed.

Results: Bacteria were present in 75% of pigment, 76% of mixed, and 20% of cholesterol stones. Gallstones with bGPhL producing bacteria contained more pigment (71% vs. 26%, P < .0001). The slime/bGPhL group was associated (79%) with pigment stones, bGPhL was associated (56%) with mixed stones, while slime (or none) only was associated (67%) with cholesterol stones (P < .031, all comparisons).

Conclusions: Bacterial properties determined the path of gallstone formation. Bacteria that produced all stone-forming factors promoted pigment stone formation, while those that produced only bGPhL promoted mixed stone formation. Bacteria that only produced slime lacked the ability to generate pigment solids, and consequently were more common in the centers of cholesterol stones. This shows how bacterial characteristics may govern the process of gallstone formation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjsurg.2006.08.001DOI Listing
November 2006

Bipolar pulse coagulation for resection of the cirrhotic liver.

J Surg Res 2006 Dec 19;136(2):182-6. Epub 2006 Oct 19.

Department of Surgery, University of California San Francisco, VA Medical Center, San Francisco, California 94121, USA.

Background: The major technical challenge of liver surgery is controlling bleeding during transection of the parenchyma. The Gyrus hand piece (GHP) is a bipolar diathermy pulsation instrument that is similar in design to a large hemostat (Péan) clamp that divides tissue while the clamp remains closed.

Materials And Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the peri-operative data from 10 patients with early cirrhosis (stage 1-4) who underwent liver resection for hepatocellular cancer between February 2004 and July 2005. Five consecutive patients who underwent resection using the GHP were compared to five other patients who underwent resection using the traditional "crush clamp technique" (CCT). Six patients underwent minor hepatectomy (<3 segments) and four underwent major hepatectomy (>3 segments).

Results: When the GHP was used, the mean Pringle time was 13 +/- 5 min, mean blood loss was 520 mL +/- 118, and mean operative time was 252 +/- 15 min. When the CCT was used, the average Pringle time was 13 +/- 3 min, mean blood loss was 630 +/- 67 mL, and mean operative time was 312 +/- 29 min. There were 2 major complications in the GHP group and 3 in the CCT group. Major complications included transient hepatic failure (i.e., ascites/encephalopathy) and biloma formation.

Conclusions: One patient from each group suffered a minor wound complication. The average hospital stay was 8 days (range, 6-9) for the GHP group, and 8 days (range, 7-10) for CCT group. The operative mortality rate was 0%. Our preliminary results demonstrate that GHP provides an excellent and safe alternative to CCT for dividing the liver parenchyma in cirrhotic patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2006.05.012DOI Listing
December 2006

Laparoscopic fundoplication in elderly patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Arch Surg 2006 Mar;141(3):289-92; discussion 292

Department of Surgery and Anesthesia, University of California, San Francisco, USA.

Hypothesis: It is unclear if age should be considered a factor in the choice of treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and if fundoplication in elderly patients is as safe and effective as it is in younger patients. We hypothesized that the outcome of laparoscopic antireflux operations in patients younger than 65 years is similar to that of patients 65 years and older.

Design: Retrospective review of findings from a prospectively acquired database.

Setting: University-based tertiary care center.

Patients: Three hundred four consecutive patients underwent laparoscopic fundoplication for GERD. Two hundred forty-one patients were younger than 65 years (group A; median age, 46 years), and 63 patients were 65 years or older (group B; median age, 69 years).

Main Outcome Measures: Presence, duration, and severity of GERD symptoms; presence of a hiatal hernia or esophageal stricture; duration of operation; incidence of complications; and length of hospital stay.

Results: Elderly patients more often had regurgitation and respiratory symptoms in addition to heartburn. Hiatal hernias were more common among elderly patients (77% vs 51%). The duration of the operation was similar for the 2 groups. The incidence of intraoperative and postoperative complications was low and similar in the 2 groups. The median hospital stay was 24 hours for each group. Heartburn resolved in approximately 90% of patients in each group.

Conclusions: Elderly patients more often had hiatal hernias and respiratory symptoms. Laparoscopic antireflux surgery was as safe in elderly patients as it was in younger patients, and clinical outcomes were as good.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archsurg.141.3.289DOI Listing
March 2006

Local resection of ampullary tumors.

J Gastrointest Surg 2005 Dec;9(9):1300-6

Department of Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco VA Medical Center, California 94121-0112, USA.

There is no consensus on the appropriateness of local resection for ampullary tumors, because malignant recurrence of what were thought to be benign tumors has been reported. This study examined the role of local resection in the management of ampullary tumors. Thirty patients (mean age 66 years) had transduodenal local resections performed at UCSF-Moffitt Hospital or the San Francisco VA Medical Center (February, 1992 to March, 2004). Mean follow-up time was 5.8 years. Preoperative biopsies (obtained in all patients) showed 18 adenomas, four adenomas with dysplasia, five adenomas with atypia, one adenoma with dysplasia and focal adenocarcinoma, and two tumors seen on endoscopy, whose biopsies showed only duodenal mucosa. In comparison with the final pathology findings, the results of frozen section examinations for malignancy in 20 patients, during the operation, were false-negative in three cases. The final pathologic diagnosis was 23 villous adenomas, six adenocarcinomas, and one paraganglioma. On preoperative biopsies, all patients who had high-grade dysplasia and one of five patients with atypia turned out to have invasive adenocarcinoma when the entire specimen was examined postoperatively. Two (33%) adenocarcinomas recurred at a mean of 4 years; both had negative margins at the initial resection. Among the 23 adenomas, three (13%) recurred (all as adenomas) at a mean of 3.2 years; in only one of these cases was the margin positive at the time of resection. Tumor size did not influence recurrence rate. Ampullary tumors with high-grade dysplasia on preoperative biopsy should be treated by pancreaticoduodenectomy because they usually harbor malignancy. Recurrence is too common and unpredictable after local resection of malignant lesions for this to be considered an acceptable alternative to pancreaticoduodenectomy. Ampullary adenomas can be resected locally with good results, but the recurrence rate was 13%, so endoscopic surveillance is indicated postoperatively. Frozen sections were obtained during the operation, but they were less reliable than expected. No adenomas recurred as carcinomas, suggesting that local resection is appropriate for these tumors in the absence of dysplasia or atypia on preoperative biopsies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gassur.2005.08.031DOI Listing
December 2005

Cause and treatment of epiphrenic diverticula.

Am J Surg 2005 Dec;190(6):891-4

Department of Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Background: Epiphrenic diverticula of the esophagus are often associated with a concomitant esophageal motor disorder, which is thought to be the cause of the diverticulum and some of the patient's symptoms. At one time diverticula were best removed via a left thoracotomy, but now the operation can be performed laparoscopically in most cases. We hypothesized that: (1) a motor disorder is the underlying cause of the diverticulum; and (2) optimal treatment consists of laparoscopic resection of the diverticulum, a Heller myotomy, and Dor fundoplication.

Methods: We performed a retrospective review of a prospectively collected database from a university hospital tertiary care center. Between June 1994 and December 2002, we evaluated 21 patients with epiphrenic diverticula. An associated motility disorder of the esophagus was found in 81% of patients (achalasia, 9%; diffuse esophageal spasm, 24%; nonspecific esophageal motility disorder, 24%; nutcracker esophagus, 24%). Seven (33%) of these patients, all with esophageal dysmotility, were referred for treatment. The laparoscopic operation entailed resection of the diverticulum (using an endoscopic stapler), a Heller myotomy, and a Dor fundoplication.

Results: All operations were completed laparoscopically. The postoperative course of 6 patients was uneventful and they left the hospital after 72 +/- 21 hours. In 1 patient an acute paraesophageal hernia developed, which was repaired on the second postoperative day. Late follow-up (median 57 months) showed that all 7 patients were asymptomatic.

Conclusions: These data support the conclusions that: (1) a primary esophageal motility disorder is the underlying cause of most epiphrenic diverticula; and (2) laparoscopic treatment is successful and should be the method of choice. The diverticular neck can be exposed satisfactorily from the abdomen; a stapler inserted from this angle is better orientated to transect the neck than one inserted through a thoracoscopic approach. Furthermore, the myotomy and fundoplication are much more easily performed from the abdomen than from alternative approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjsurg.2005.08.016DOI Listing
December 2005

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: how often is it really idiopathic?

J Gastrointest Surg 2005 Nov;9(8):1053-6; discussion 1056-8

Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143-0790, USA.

The cause of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is unknown. The pathology suggests that IPF results from serial lung injury. It has been suggested that gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may relate to the cause or the progression of the disease. The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of GERD, the clinical presentation of GERD, and the manometric and reflux profiles in patients with end-stage IPF. Between July 2003 and October 2004, 18 patients with IPF on the lung transplant waiting list were referred for evaluation to the Swallowing Center of the University of California San Francisco. On the basis of the results of the pH monitoring test (5 and 20 cm above the lower esophageal sphincter), the patients were divided into two groups: group A, 12 patients (66%), GERD+; group B, 6 patients (34%), GERD-. The incidence of heartburn and regurgitation was similar between GERD+ and GERD- patients; reflux was clinically silent in one third of GERD+ patients. Reflux was associated with a hypotensive lower esophageal sphincter and abnormal esophageal peristalsis, and it was present in the upright and supine position. The reflux often extended into the proximal esophagus. These results show the following: (1) Two thirds of patients with IPF had GERD; (2) symptoms could not distinguish between those with and without GERD; (3) reflux occurred in the presence of a hypotensive lower esophageal sphincter and abnormal esophageal peristalsis; and (4) reflux occurred in the upright and supine positions, and often extended into the proximal esophagus. We conclude that patients with IPF should be screened for GERD, and if GERD is present, a fundoplication should be performed before or shortly after lung transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gassur.2005.06.027DOI Listing
November 2005

Spectrum of gallstone disease in the veterans population.

Am J Surg 2005 Nov;190(5):746-51

Department of Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Background: Elderly male patients are thought to have a higher incidence of biliary infections. This demographic is common among veterans, so we analyzed the spectrum of gallstone disease in a large veteran population.

Methods: A total of 285 patients with gallstone disease were studied. There were 27 women and 258 men, with an average age of 62 years. Gallstones, bile, and blood (as indicated) were cultured. Illness severity was staged as none (no clinical infection), moderate (fever, leukocytosis), or severe (cholangitis, bacteremia, abscess, hypotension, organ failure). Gallstones were grouped by appearance. Three bacterial groups were defined: EK (Escherichia coli or Klebsiella species), N (Enterococcus), or Oth (all other species).

Results: Biliary bacteria were present in 145 (51%) patients. Bacterial presence by patient age was 33% for those less than 50 years, 48% for those 50 to 70 years, and 65% for those more than 70 years (P <.02 vs. others). Bacterial presence by stone type was as follows: cholesterol, 11%; mixed, 51%; pigment, 71% (P <.01 vs. others). Illness severity by stone type was as follows for cholesterol: none, 73%; moderate, 27%; severe, 0%; for mixed: none, 62%; moderate, 25%; severe, 13%; for pigment: none, 41%; moderate, 17%; severe, 41% (P <.0001 vs. others). Illness severity by bacterial group was as follows for sterile: none, 77%; moderate, 23%; severe, 0%; for the Oth group: none, 57%; moderate, 22%; severe, 20%; for the N group: none, 32%; moderate, 16%; severe, 52%; for the EK group: none, 18%; moderate, 22%; severe, 60% (P <.0001 vs. sterile/Oth, P = .126 vs. N).

Conclusions: Bacterial biliary tree colonization is prevalent in the veterans' population, it increases with age, and is more common with pigment stones. But not all bacterial species cause infectious manifestations. Patients with E coli and/or Klebsiella species commonly showed infectious manifestations, patients with Enterococcus were in an intermediate range, and those with other species had few infectious manifestations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjsurg.2005.07.014DOI Listing
November 2005

Spectrum of esophageal motility disorders: implications for diagnosis and treatment.

Arch Surg 2005 May;140(5):442-8; discussion 448-9

Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0788, USA.

Background: The named primary esophageal motility disorders (PEMDs) are achalasia, diffuse esophageal spasm (DES), nutcracker esophagus (NE), and hypertensive lower esophageal sphincter (HTN-LES). Although the diagnosis and treatment of achalasia are well defined, such is not the case with the other disorders.

Hypothesis: (1) Symptoms do not reliably distinguish PEMDs from gastroesophageal reflux disease; (2) esophageal function tests are essential to this distinction and to identifying the type of PEMD; (3) minimally invasive surgery is effective for each condition; and (4) the laparoscopic approach is better than the thoracoscopic approach.

Design: University hospital tertiary care center.

Setting: Retrospective review of a prospectively collected database.

Patients And Methods: A diagnosis of PEMD was established in 397 patients by esophagogram, endoscopy, manometry, and pH monitoring. There were 305 patients (77%) with achalasia, 49 patients (12%) with DES, 41 patients (10%) with NE, and 2 patients (1%) with HTN-LES. Two hundred eight patients (52%) underwent a myotomy by either a thoracoscopic or a laparoscopic approach.

Results: Ninety-nine patients (25%) had a diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease at the time of referral and had been treated with acid-suppressing medications. In achalasia and DES, a thoracoscopic or laparoscopic myotomy relieved dysphagia and chest pain in more than 80% of the patients. In contrast, in NE the results were less predictable, and the operation most often failed to relieve symptoms.

Conclusions: These results show that (1) symptoms were unreliable in distinguishing gastroesophageal reflux disease from PEMDs; (2) esophageal function tests were essential to diagnose PEMD and to define its type; (3) the laparoscopic approach was better than the thoracoscopic approach; (4) a laparoscopic Heller myotomy is the treatment of choice for achalasia, DES, and HTN-LES; and (5) a predictably good treatment for NE is still elusive, and the results of surgery were disappointing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archsurg.140.5.442DOI Listing
May 2005

Congenital choledochal cysts in adults.

Arch Surg 2004 Aug;139(8):855-60; discussion 860-2

Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0470, USA.

Hypothesis: Excision of the extrahepatic portion of congenital choledochal cysts (CCs) avoids the risk of cancer. The standard classification scheme is out of date.

Design: Retrospective case series and literature review.

Setting: Tertiary care university hospital.

Patients: Thirty-eight adult patients diagnosed as having CC from 1990 to 2004.

Main Outcome Measures: Clinical and radiographic imaging findings, operative treatment, pathologic features, and clinical outcome.

Results: Thirty-nine adult patients were treated for CCs (mean [SD] age at diagnosis, 31 [17] years, and mean [SD] age at surgery 37 [14] years). The primary report was abdominal pain (36 of 39 patients). Eight patients had cholangitis, 5 had jaundice, and 6 had pancreatitis. Radiographic imaging studies and operative findings showed that the abnormality predominantly involved the extrahepatic bile duct in 30 patients, the intrahepatic and extrahepatic bile ducts in 7 patients; and 2 were diverticula attached to the common bile duct. Surgical treatment in 29 (90%) of 31 patients with benign cysts (regardless of intrahepatic changes) consisted of resection of the enlarged extrahepatic bile duct and gallbladder and Roux-en-Y hepaticojejunostomy. Eight patients (21%) were initially seen with associated cancer (cholangiocarcinoma of the extrahepatic duct in 6; gallbladder cancer in 2). Seven of 8 patients had a prior diagnosis of CC but had undergone a drainage operation (3 patients), expectant treatment (3 patients), or incomplete excision (1patient). In none of the patients with cancer was surgery not curative. Nine patients had previously undergone a cystoduodenostomy and/or cystojejunostomy as children. Four of them had cancer on presentation as adults. There were no postoperative deaths. Cancer subsequently developed in no patient whose benign extrahepatic cyst was excised, regardless of the extent of enlargement of the intrahepatic bile duct.

Conclusions: Congenital CCs consist principally of congenital dilation of the extrahepatic bile duct with a variable amount of intrahepatic involvement. We believe that the standard classification scheme is confusing, unsupported by evidence, misleading, and serves no purpose. The distinction between type I and type IV CCs has to be arbitrary, for the intrahepatic ducts were never completely normal. Although Caroli disease may resemble CCs morphologically, with respect to cause and clinical course, the 2 are unrelated. The other rare anomalies (gallbladderlike diverticula; choledochocele) are also unrelated to CC. Therefore, the term "congential choledochal cyst" should be exclusively reserved for congenital dilation of the extrahepatic and intrahepatic bile ducts apart from Caroli disease, and the other conditions should be referred to by their names, for example, choledochocele, and should no longer be thought of as subtypes of CC. Our data demonstrate once again a persistent tendency to recommend expectant treatment in patients without symptoms and the extreme risk of nonexcisional treatment. The entire extrahepatic biliary tree should be removed when CC is diagnosed whether or not symptoms are present. The outcome of that approach was excellent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archsurg.139.8.855DOI Listing
August 2004

Right hepatic artery injury associated with laparoscopic bile duct injury: incidence, mechanism, and consequences.

J Gastrointest Surg 2004 Jul-Aug;8(5):523-30; discussion 530-1

Department of Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94121, USA.

Because most bile duct injuries involve the common hepatic duct, the right hepatic artery, which is nearby, can also be injured. Reports on the frequency and significance of right hepatic artery injury (RHAI) associated with bile duct injury are sparse but suggest that RHAI increases mortality and decreases the success of the biliary repair. We studied the incidence, mechanism, and consequences of RHAI accompanying major bile duct injury. A total of 261 laparoscopic bile duct injuries were analyzed. Distribution was as follows: class I, 6%; class II, 22%; class III, 61%; and class IV, 11%. RHAI was present in 84 cases (32%): class I, 6%; class II, 17%; class III, 35% (P < 0.04 vs. class I/II); and class IV, 64% (P < 0.007 vs. class I/II/III). RHAI was more commonly associated with abscess, bleeding, hemobilia, right hepatic lobe ischemia, and subsequent hepatectomy (54% with RHAI vs. 11% without RHAI; P < 0.0001). RHAI had no influence on the success of the bile duct injury repair or on the mortality rate. Complications occurred more often with RHAI among cases repaired by the primary surgeon (41% RHAI vs. 2% no RHAI; P < 0.0001) but not among repairs by a biliary surgeon (3% RHAI vs. 2% no RHAI, P=NS; P < 0.0001 primary vs. biliary surgeon). RHAI increased morbidity, and occurred more often with class III and IV injuries reflecting the mechanisms of these injuries. RHAI did not increase the mortality rate or alter the success of biliary repair. Among biliary injuries repaired by the primary surgeon, RHAI was associated with a higher incidence of postoperative abscess, bleeding, hemobilia, hepatic ischemia, and the need for hepatic resection. A similar increase in the complication rate was not seen in patients treated by a biliary specialist.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gassur.2004.02.010DOI Listing
January 2005

Total fundoplication is superior to partial fundoplication even when esophageal peristalsis is weak.

J Am Coll Surg 2004 Jun;198(6):863-9; discussion 869-70

Department of Surgery and Swallowing Center, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0788, USA.

Background: About a decade ago, partial (240 degrees) fundoplication became popular for treating gastroesophageal reflux disease in cases where the patient's primary esophageal peristalsis was weak. A total (360 degrees) fundoplication was reserved for patients with normal peristalsis (tailored approach). The theory was that partial fundoplication was an adequate antireflux measure, and by posing less resistance for the weak esophageal peristalsis to overcome, it would give rise to less dysphagia. Short-term results seemed to confirm these ideas.

Study Design: This study reports the longterm followup of patients in whom a tailored approach (type of wrap chosen to match esophageal peristalsis) was used, and the results of a nonselective approach, using a total fundoplication regardless of the amplitude of esophageal peristalsis. We analyzed clinical and laboratory findings in 357 patients who had an operation for gastroesophageal reflux disease between October 1992 and November 2002. Group 1 was composed of 235 patients in whom a tailored approach was used between October 1992 and December 1999 (141 patients, partial fundoplication and 94 patients, total fundoplication). Group 2 contained 122 patients in whom a nonselective approach was used (total fundoplication regardless of quality of peristalsis).

Results: In group 1, heartburn from reflux (ie, pH monitoring test was abnormal) recurred in 19% of patients after partial fundoplication and in 4% after total fundoplication. In group 2, heartburn recurred in 4% of patients after total fundoplication. The incidence of postoperative dysphagia was similar in the two groups.

Conclusions: These data show that laparoscopic partial fundoplication was less effective than total fundoplication in curing gastroesophageal reflux disease, and compared with a partial (240 degrees) fundoplication, a total (360 degrees) fundoplication was not followed by more dysphagia, even when esophageal peristalsis was weak.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2004.01.029DOI Listing
June 2004

Pancreatic resection in the elderly.

J Am Coll Surg 2004 May;198(5):697-706

Department of Surgery, University of California-San Francisco, 533 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94143-0790, USA.

Background: Elderly patients undergoing pancreatic resection present unique challenges in postoperative care. Although mortality rates among elderly patients after pancreatectomy at high-volume centers is known to be low, the anticipated decline in functional status and nutritional parameters has received little attention. Functional decline is an unrecognized but critically important consequence of pancreatic resection in older patients.

Study Design: This study is a retrospective review, validation cohort, of older and younger patients undergoing major pancreatic resection. The setting is the state of California (database of all hospitals in the state) and The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF; a tertiary care referral center). The study population is a consecutive sample of older (greater than or equal to 75 years) and younger (16 to 74 years) patients from California (January 1990 to December 1996; n = 3,113) and UCSF (January 1993 to November 2000; n = 218), who underwent radical pancreaticoduodenectomy, distal pancreatectomy, or total pancreatectomy for neoplasia. The main outcomes measures were length of stay, complications, mortality, discharge disposition, supplemental nutrition requirement, and readmissions.

Results: Elderly patients had higher mortality rates than the young statewide (10% versus 7%, p = 0.006). Although the 3% mortality at UCSF was the same for both groups, older patients were more often admitted to the ICU (47% versus 20%, p = 0.003), treated for major cardiac events (13% versus 0.5%, p < 0.001), discharged with enteral tube feedings (48% versus 16%, p < 0.001), or malnourished on readmission (17% versus 2%, p < 0.005). Older patients were more frequently discharged to skilled nursing facilities (17% versus 1% at UCSF; 24% versus 7% in California; p < 0.001, both groups).

Conclusions: Older patients are more likely than younger patients to require an ICU stay, suffer a cardiac complication, and experience compromised nutritional and functional status after major pancreatic resection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2003.12.023DOI Listing
May 2004

Achalasia and chest pain: effect of laparoscopic Heller myotomy.

J Gastrointest Surg 2003 Jul-Aug;7(5):595-8

Department of Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143-0788, USA.

Some patients with achalasia complain of chest pain in addition to dysphagia and regurgitation. Chest pain is said to be most common in young patients who have been symptomatic for a short time, and who often have vigorous achalasia (distal esophageal amplitude >/=37 mm Hg). Although pneumatic dilatation is reported to improve chest pain in 20% of patients, the effect of laparoscopic Heller myotomy on chest pain is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the following in achalasia: (1) the prevalence of chest pain; (2) the clinical and manometric profiles of patients with chest pain; and (3) the effect of laparoscopic Heller myotomy. Between 1990 and 2001, a total of 211 patients with achalasia were studied (upper gastrointestinal series, esophagoduodenoscopy, and manometry). A total of 117 patients (55%) had chest pain in addition to dysphagia and regurgitation; 63 (54%) of these 117 patients underwent laparoscopic Heller myotomy and Dor fundoplication. Median follow up was 24 months. Age (49+/-16 years vs. 51+/-14 years [mean+/-SD]), duration of symptoms (71+/-91 months vs. 67+/-92 months [mean+/-SD]), and presence of vigorous achalasia (50% vs. 47%) were similar in those with and without chest pain. Ten (16%) of the 63 patients with chest pain who underwent Heller myotomy had vigorous achalasia. Postoperatively chest pain resolved in 84% and improved in 11% of patients. There was no difference in clinical outcome between patients with and without vigorous achalasia. These data demonstrate the following: (1) chest pain was present in 55% of patients with esophageal achalasia; (2) chest pain was not related to age, duration of symptoms, or manometric findings; and (3) laparoscopic Heller myotomy improved chest pain in 95% of patients, regardless of the manometric findings. Thus laparoscopic Heller myotomy was highly effective in treating achalasia with chest pain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s1091-255x(03)00073-8DOI Listing
November 2003

Impact of minimally invasive surgery on the treatment of esophageal achalasia: a decade of change.

J Am Coll Surg 2003 May;196(5):698-703; discussion 703-5

Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.

Background: Twenty years ago an average of 1.5 Heller myotomies were performed per year in our hospital, mostly for patients whose dysphagia did not improve following balloon dilatation or whose esophagus had been perforated during a balloon dilatation. Ten years ago we started using minimally invasive surgery to treat this disease.

Study Design: This study measures the impact of minimally invasive surgery with regard to the following: the number of patients referred for treatment; the number of patients who came to surgery without previous treatment; and the results of surgical treatment. Between 1991 and 2001, 149 patients had minimally invasive surgery for achalasia: 25 patients (17%) had thoracoscopic Heller myotomy and 124 (84%) had laparoscopic Heller myotomy and Dor fundoplication. Of the 149 patients, 79 patients (53%) had previous treatment (56 patients [71%], balloon dilatation; 7 patients [9%], botulinum toxin injection; 16 patients [20%], both) and 70 patients (43%) had none of these treatments. Mean postoperative followup was 59 +/- 36 months. Patients were divided into two groups: group A, operated on between 1991 and 1995; and group B, operated on between 1996 and 2001.

Results: In the past decade, the number of patients referred for surgery has increased substantially--group A, 48; group B, 101; an increasing proportion of patients were referred for surgery without previous treatment--group A, 38%; group B, 51%; and the outcomes of the operation progressively improved--group A, 87%; group B, 95%.

Conclusions: These data show that the high success rate of laparoscopic Heller myotomy for achalasia has brought a shift in practice; surgery has become the preferred treatment of most gastroenterologists and other referring physicians. This has followed documentation that laparoscopic treatment outperforms balloon dilatation and botulinum toxin injection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1072-7515(02)01837-9DOI Listing
May 2003
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