Barnes-Jewish Hospital | Washington University Physicians

BEDSIDE

breakthroughs in patient care.

ROBOTIC SURGERY BENEFITS LIVING KIDNEY DONORS AND RECIPIENTS

BY PAM MCGRATH
IMAGE COURTESY OF BARNES-JEWISH HOSPITAL

When used to perform living-donor nephrectomy—the removal of a kidney from a living donor for transplantation into a recipient—a robotic surgery system offers a number of benefits. For example, the donor’s stay in the hospital may be shortened and recovery may happen more quickly.

Robotics Nephrectomy
THE USE OF ROBOTICS OFFERS ADDITIONAL PRECISION IN LIVING KIDNEY-DONOR AND KIDNEY TRANSPLANTATION SURGERIES.

Though many such donation surgeries already are being done using a minimally invasive procedure that offers living donors similar benefits, the robotic procedure allows for additional improvements.

Use of a robotic system for nephrectomy isn’t new. “Robotic nephrectomy has already been proven highly effective in both partial and radical, or complete, removal of kidneys due to cancer,” says Adeel Khan, MD, MPH, transplant surgeon at the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center. “The robotic system offers a three-dimensional view of the surgical field that is magnified up to 15 times greater than the human eye. And the system’s instruments, which are under the surgeon’s command, offer the precision needed to remove a tumor while preserving healthy parts of the kidney.”

This precision is what makes robotic surgery an excellent option for some living kidney donors and for transplant recipients. Jason Wellen, MD, MBA, Washington University transplant surgeon at the Transplant Center, explains why that’s true.

READ MORE

PENCIL BEAM PROTON THERAPY DELIVERS PRECISION

PENCIL BEAM PROTON THERAPY DELIVERS PRECISION

BY JEN MILLER

While radiation is a key part of therapy for 70% of people treated for cancer, its side effects can be significant. That doesn’t mean radiation shouldn’t be used; it is an effective treatment. But making radiation more targeted can mitigate side effects. That’s where pencil beam proton therapy comes in.


Read More
AORTIC STENOSIS: TREATMENT UPDATE

AORTIC STENOSIS: TREATMENT UPDATE

color: #666; border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-width: 1px">BY PAM MCGRATH

In the past two decades or so, minimally invasive surgery has become widely used for many operations: gallbladder removal, appendix removal and hernia repair, just to name a few. The benefits of several small incisions versus a large, single one are well documented: reduced pain, faster recovery, fewer complications. Some heart surgeries, too, have gone the way of minimally invasive surgery, making standard open-heart surgery one option among several instead of the only option available.

Read More
LIFE-CHANGING TREATMENT FOR CYSTIC FIBROSIS

LIFE-CHANGING TREATMENT FOR CYSTIC FIBROSIS

BY CAROLINE ARBANAS

A triple-drug cocktail, called Trikafta, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in late 2019 and is the first therapy shown to dramatically improve lung function in most people with cystic fibrosis, a condition that often can be fatal.

Read More
ROBOTICS IMPROVES MINIMALLY INVASIVE SPINE SURGERY

ROBOTICS IMPROVES MINIMALLY INVASIVE SPINE SURGERY

BY PAM MCGRATH

In the recent past, people needing spine surgery underwent traditional open procedures, meaning neurosurgeons or orthopedic surgeons made a five-to-six-inch-long incision in the back that allowed access to the relevant area. Although this method allowed the surgeon to easily view the spine, it also involved retracting muscle and surrounding soft tissue. The invasive nature of such procedures meant patients often remained in the hospital for a week after surgery, and total recovery sometimes took months.

Read More
NEW TREATMENT FOR BRAIN ANEURYSM

NEW TREATMENT FOR BRAIN ANEURYSM

BY HOLLY EDMISTON

An aneurysm is an enlargement of arteries caused by a weakening of the artery wall. It can be especially dangerous if located in the brain, where a rupture can cause bleeding that is neurologically devastating. To date, standard treatment for a brain aneurysm includes, among other strategies, medication to control blood pressure, as well as various surgical interventions that essentially seal off the aneurysm as a way to help prevent rupture.

Read More
CARDIOLOGY REPORT: LITTLE DEVICE, BIG IMPACT

CARDIOLOGY REPORT: LITTLE DEVICE, BIG IMPACT

BY KRISTIN BAIRD RATTINI

Severe heart failure affects more than 2 million people in the United States, making even simple tasks—climbing stairs, taking a walk—extremely difficult. Medications can help ease symptoms but they don’t alter the course of this fatal disease.

Read More
COLLABORATION HELPS DIAGNOSE BRAIN CONDITION

COLLABORATION HELPS DIAGNOSE BRAIN CONDITION

BY ANDREA MONGLER

Difficulty walking. Memory problems. Urinary incontinence. Alone or in combination, these symptoms can indicate a variety of diseases and conditions. That’s why making a definitive diagnosis for a collection of symptoms such as these isn’t always easy.

Read More
SOLVING MEDICAL MYSTERIES

SOLVING MEDICAL MYSTERIES

BY PAM MCGRATH

Despite today’s advanced state of medical diagnosis and treatment, there are people with challenging medical mysteries who, even after referrals to multiple specialists and seemingly endless testing, have no answers for the cause of their sometimes-debilitating symptoms.

Read More
STROKE CARE: EXPANDING THE WINDOW FOR TREATMENT

STROKE CARE: EXPANDING THE WINDOW FOR TREATMENT

BY ANDREA MONGLER

For people who experience a stroke, receiving timely medical care can be the difference between recovery and disability. This is especially true for those who experience the most severe type of ischemic stroke, which happens when a blood clot blocks a major artery in the brain.

Read More
ONCOLOGY + CARDIOLOGY = NEW SUBSPECIALTY

ONCOLOGY + CARDIOLOGY = NEW SUBSPECIALTY

BY CONNIE MITCHELL

As cancer care evolves and new treatments help more people survive and thrive after a cancer diagnosis, a related medical subspecialty is evolving alongside. Called cardio-oncology, this relatively new field of medicine specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac problems caused by common cancer drugs.

Read More
ADVANCES IN CARE FOR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

ADVANCES IN CARE FOR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

BY ANDREA MONGLER

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) has released a new practice guideline intended to help clinicians make decisions about disease-modifying therapies for people with multiple sclerosis, or MS.

The new guideline updates a previous set of treatment recommendations released by the AAN in 2002. Since that time, many new medications have been approved for MS, and accumulating evidence has pointed to the benefits of beginning treatment as soon after diagnosis as possible.

Read More
REVAMPING POSTPARTUM CARE

REVAMPING POSTPARTUM CARE

BY ANNE MAKEEVER, WITH ROBERTA CODEMO

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has proposed a redesigned guideline for postpartum care to help reduce the rising incidence of mortality in women during the first three months after childbirth. More than one-half of pregnancy-related deaths occur during this time.

Read More
NEW ALGORITHM HELPS PREDICT STROKE RECOVERY

NEW ALGORITHM HELPS PREDICT STROKE RECOVERY

BY TAMARA BHANDARI

A new test for people who have difficulty moving their arms and hands after a stroke can help identify those likely to recover well and those who probably will not. This information helps doctors, nurses and therapists tailor recovery care to achieve the best possible outcome for patients.

Read More
FETAL SURGERY: THE NEW NORMAL

FETAL SURGERY: THE NEW NORMAL

ANDREA MONGLERL

It’s 1981, and a woman, seven months pregnant with twins, knows that one of her unborn babies will probably die. He has a blocked urinary tract, a life-threatening condition.

But he doesn’t die. Instead, something unprecedented happens. A doctor in San Francisco opens the woman’s abdomen and performs the first successful fetal surgery. The baby is born, leads a normal childhood and grows up.

Read More
TREATING PAIN IN THE E.D.

TREATING PAIN IN THE E.D.

BY CONNIE MITCHELL

Pain is a constant in most any hospital emergency department, or e.d., and its treatment and management is a continual challenge. Health care teams working in these high-pressure environments see a high volume of patients with everything from life-threatening trauma to relatively minor health care needs. And they are on the front line of pain control for tens of thousands of people each year. Our nation’s concern about opioid use and the related search for non-addictive pain interventions is one force behind a new program at barnes-jewish hospital: P.T. (Physical Therapy) in the E.D.

Read More
TCAR AND STROKE RISK

TCAR AND STROKE RISK

BY ANDREA MONGLER

For patients with carotid artery disease, the risk of stroke is a serious threat. Until recently, those who needed surgery to reduce that risk had two options: an open procedure called Carotid Endarterectomy or minimally invasive Transfemoral Carotid Angioplasty and Stenting (CAS) through an incision in the groin. Neither is ideal.

Endarterectomy can lead to a painful recovery and temporary swallowing problems. And people who undergo transfemoral CAS have a higher risk of suffering a stroke during the procedure than those who have endarterectomy.

Read More

What is Trending: