Notable News from the Department of Surgery

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Notable News from the Department of SurgeryMay 26, 2016

Emory Endosurgery Fellow Takes MIS Training to Surgeons in Haiti

During his first Emory Medishare surgical trip to Haiti, Benjamin Martin, MD, then an Emory general surgery resident, began formulating a new project. On a break between cases, he had been talking to several of the Haitian physicians that staffed L'Hôpital Sainte-Thérèse de Hinche, the hospital in Haiti's Central Plateau that Medishare's teams had been visiting every summer since 2008 to offer free surgical care. The doctors queried him about minimally invasive surgery, and he was impressed by their curiosity and desire for delivering new technology to their patients.
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Commission on Cancer Accredits Emory Integrated Cancer Network
The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer has granted full accreditation to the Integrated Network Cancer Program at Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital, and Emory Johns Creek Hospital. Toncred Styblo, MD (pictured above), chair of the Winship and Emory Healthcare Integrated Cancer Network, says "this accreditation recognizes our commitment as a network to provide patient-centered cancer treatment and standardized quality cancer care across Winship and Emory Healthcare."
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Emory Endosurgery Fellowship Reaccredited
The Emory Endosurgery Unit for Minimally Invasive Surgery was founded in 1992 as one of the first programs of its type in the country. Staffed by faculty surgeons of the Emory Division of General and GI Surgery, the unit quickly initiated one of the nation's first laparoscopic fellowships. Since that period, numerous types of minimally invasive surgery have become generally accepted and sometimes preferable surgical options, and there are now more than 100 such fellowships in the country. The fact that Emory's program remains one of the top in the U.S. was reaffirmed by its recent three-year reaccreditation by the Fellowship Council with no citations.
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Emory First in Georgia to Offer Less Invasive TCAR Procedure for Carotid Stenosis

Vascular surgeons of the Emory Department of Surgery are the first in Georgia, and among the first in the United States, to offer transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR) to treat carotid stenosis (the buildup of plaque inside the carotid arteries that can lead to a potentially disabling stroke). TCAR is a less invasive alternative to carotid endarterectomy (CEA), the open procedure that has been most commonly used to treat severe carotid stenosis. Any attempted repair of the carotid artery can itself cause a stroke, and while CEA is effective in preventing stroke during and after the procedure, it has associated risks that TCAR was designed to help lessen.
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Rachel Patzer Research Update: RaDIANT Study Expansion & Video Outreach
At any given moment, Rachel Patzer, PhD, director of the Emory Transplant Health Services and Outcomes Research Program, has various funded studies in play concerned with inequities in solid organ transplantation. One of these, the RaDIANT (Reducing Disparities in Access to Kidney Transplantation) Community Study, received an additional $2.6 million over five years from the National Institutes of Minority Health and Health Disparities. The renewal will expand the grant's Georgia boundaries to include South Carolina and North Carolina. RaDIANT is a regionally-coordinated intervention to reduce racial disparities in access to kidney transplantation in the Southeastern U.S., and was inspired by research Dr. Patzer's group published in the August 2015 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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Michael Halkos Receives Funding as AATS Graham Surgical Investigator to Evaluate HCR
The Graham Foundation of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery has designated Michael Halkos, MD, to receive its Intuitive Surgical Investigator Award for 2016-2017. The award will fund Dr. Halkos' prospective observational study comparing hybrid coronary revascularization (HCR) with coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) in patients with multivessel coronary artery diseases. "HCR is being used more often across the country for what is perceived as lower in-hospital morbidity and mortality, very good patency rates, higher patient satisfaction, and other reasons, but in fact, there has been no randomized controlled trial to date to demonstrate whether HCR indeed achieves these results over time," he says.
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One-Year Results of Emory-Led TAVR Study Confirm Efficacy

Vinod Thourani, MD (pictured, right), professor of surgery, chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Emory University Hospital Midtown, and co-director of the Emory Structural Heart and Valve Center with Emory cardiologist Vasilis Babaliaros, MD (pictured, left), announced the one year-results of the PARTNER II, SAPIEN 3 clinical trial at the American College of Cardiology's 65th Annual Scientific Session in Chicago. "This study shows the lowest mortality rate ever of any transcatheter valve platform after one year, which is very exciting for the management of aortic stenosis," says Dr. Thourani.
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Robert Guyton Honored with Distinguished Service Award
The American College of Cardiology (ACC) has recognized Robert Guyton, MD, for his outstanding contributions to the field of cardiovascular medicine with its 2016 Distinguished Service Award. The award is granted to a physician, scientist, or layperson who, by individual effort, has made profound contributions to medicine and/or the delivery of health care. Recipients are nominated by their peers and then selected by the ACC. Dr. Guyton was recognized for these achievements, along with all 2016 ACC award winners, at the Convocation Ceremony during the ACC's 65th Annual Scientific Session in Chicago.
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Shipra Arya Receives Leadership Training Grant
Shipra Arya, MD, has received a series of grants designed to prime young investigators for accomplished research careers. In 2014, a Surgical Outcomes Club Research Fellowship supported her outcomes study of vascular surgical interventions in the elderly and the use of administrative databases as a research tool. The AHA's NCRP Winter 2015 Mentored Clinical and Population Research Award funded her development of risk prediction models for peripheral arterial disease. And now, her outcomes and quality research will be assisted by a 2016 Women's Leadership Training Grant from the Society for Vascular Surgery.
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Database Linkage Finds Greater Survival Rates After Lung Cancer Surgery for Older Adults

In a study published by The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, lung cancer operations data from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) General Thoracic Surgery Database (GTSD) was linked with data for patients 65 years of age or older from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The resulting data merge revealed that these patients are living longer after lung cancer surgery. "With elderly people representing an increasing proportion of patients diagnosed with lung cancer, this improved survival is especially significant," says study leader Felix Fernandez, MD.
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SOM Class of 2016 Votes Barbara Pettitt Best Clerkship Director
Barbara Pettitt, MD, has received two Best Clerkship Director Awards since taking over the M3 surgical clerkship in 2002, the M4 program in 2004, and becoming Emory Surgery's director of medical student education in 2006. Throughout her tenure, the clerkship has also received consistently high rankings from medical students on the Association of American Medical Colleges Graduation Questionnaire. Her role in expanding the clerkship has included introducing simulation scenarios, spearheading the development of teaching sites on Blackboard, and developing surgery applicant prep programs and advanced vascular access labs.
Congratulations to the Winners of the 15th Annual WCW Symposium
The 2016 Annual William C. Wood Research Symposium showcased the basic and clinical science research of the Emory Department of Surgery's students, postdocs, residents, and fellows. Of the 53 abstracts that were originally submitted, five basic science and five clinical science abstracts were selected for oral presentations, and eight basic science and eight clinical science abstracts were selected for poster presentations. Faculty judges determined the most outstanding presentations in all four categories.
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New Faculty: Marty Sellers, MD, MPH
Dr. Sellers join us as an assistant professor of surgery of the Division of General and GI Surgery. He has served on the faculty of the University of Alabama, where he received NIH-funding to study skin cancer in renal transplant recipients, and was a faculty member of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was surgical director of renal transplantation at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. From 2007-2015, he directed the hepatobiliary service at Piedmont Hospital. He is president of the Georgia Liver Coalition, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of hepatocellular carcinoma that he co-founded in 2013.
Dr. Seller's Faculty Profile
John Lyons Presents at Postdoctoral Fellow Research Symposium
John Lyons, MD, a general surgery resident currently on research sabbatical in the lab of sepsis and shock investigator Craig Coopersmith, MD, was one of only two MDs chosen to present at the 9th Annual Emory Postdoctoral Fellow Research Symposium on May 19. His abstract "RIP3 mediates inflammation and mortality in Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia" described the role the signaling molecule RIP3 plays in intensifying the particularly complex and often life-threatening form of hospital-acquired pneumonia that is particularly deadly in patients who are immunocompromised.

June Emory Surgical Grand Rounds Schedule


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