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Human Tissue a Valuable Asset to Spinal Surgery Training

Hands-on learning has always been advantageous for medical personnel. Without it, the extent of familiarity and preparedness for surgical performance is not what it could be. Though advances in technology and protocols have been perceived as advantageous and indeed may be in some ways, clinical experience has confirmed that no simulation compares to the human cadaver when it comes to authenticity.

Because the field of medicine is in a continual state of growth, there is value in the development of new training methods for students as well as physicians seeking to advance their education. The use of human cadavers has become a debatable topic in recent years, with some arguing that virtual reality provides as much value to the surgeon in training. Research disagrees.

In a joint study, researchers from the Royal College of Surgeons in the UK and the University of Michigan observed the differences between electronic instruction and cadaver training using human models. At the conclusion of their study, researchers concluded that cadavers offer a more realistic model for the identification and understanding of anatomical structures. Of course they did, they were literal models with real tissue not simulated in form.

Spinal surgeries are some of the most complex and intricate to be performed, and many such surgical procedures are performed on an annual basis. It makes sense, then, that those tasked with the performance of surgeries such as cervical laminoplasty or lumbar laminectomy do what is necessary to be as highly qualified as possible.

Research studies involving medical students and surgeons involved in cadaver training have confirmed that the use of cadaver tissue increases competency and confidence in the operating room. Cadavers offer surgeons the opportunity to observe normal tissue as well as diseased tissue […]

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    Study Suggests the Value of Cadaver Labs in Orthopedic Training

Study Suggests the Value of Cadaver Labs in Orthopedic Training

Surgical simulation is a vital aspect of training residents in various specialties, including orthopedic surgery. This training provides exposure to surgical techniques, to the direct feedback of senior colleagues and peers. While simulation is valuable, the classic approach to surgical education is superseded by innovation in training modalities such as cadaver labs. According to research, the cadaver lab is a more objective tool than simulation, virtual reality, and animal models, and is attributed to the progression of surgical competency in orthopedic residents.

It is believed that sessions in a cadaver lab provide valuable surgical training that is only outdone by live surgery. Two procedures commonly performed in the cadaver lab include arthroscopy and arthroplasty, both of which require in-depth anatomical awareness not only of the structures of the knee joint but also of how they are manipulated during physical movement. Researchers have concluded that there is no way to accurately reproduce the complex aspects of joint replacements outside of the cadaver lab. Virtual reality simulation is included in this theory. But what about clinical practice?

In one recent study, researchers observed basic information regarding the use of cadaver laboratory practice in orthopedic surgery education. Researchers wanted to measure the value of cadaver training in the areas of implementation and trainee-interest. To do so, a survey was given to all orthopedic residents of the cadaver lab at the Italian Society of the Knee, Arthroscopy, Sports Traumatology, Cartilage and Orthopaedic Technology. Feedback was requested from just over 100 students who attended between 2013-2016.

According to data collected, 38 of 102 students returned their survey to researchers after the completion of their cadaver training. Of those 38 responses, 18 trainees focused their cadaver training on lower limb surgeries, and 20 […]

Simulation is No Match for Hands-On Cadaver Training

Several aspects of medicine have been improved with the advent of innovative new technologies and systems. One such advancement has been the use of virtual reality software and apps in the area of medial education. Because we have seen an increase in the sophistication and use of these apps, some say that virtual reality will at some point make hands-on bioskills training obsolete. Here, we discuss the value, as well as the limitations, of virtual reality in medical training.
Virtual Reality as a Reliable Instructor
The use of digital technologies is nothing new. Medical classrooms have incorporated a range of programs, including advanced medical imaging, 3D printing, multimedia, and even games, to disperse information to students and engage various abilities through interactive and effective methods. Virtual reality falls into the same category as these technologies; it is simply the latest and greatest to be developed, albeit one that has extensive capabilities in and outside of the classroom.

Some of the recent uses of virtual reality, thanks to the collaboration between universities and developers like Microsoft, have been the simulation of medical exams and VR apps that teach anatomy.
Several Tools Beat One Tool
Medicine is a practice of precision. We cannot rely on a singular modality or technology to teach us what we need to know. To do so could open the door for a decline in the level of patient care we provide. To maximize our potential as medical examiners, surgeons, and general physicians, our reliance should be on multiple educational tools, including cadaver training.

What cadavers bring to the table is the ability to observe the unique aspects of every human body. The anatomical variations are unique even between twins. To recreate these numerous variations from one person […]

Surgical Techniques: We’ve Come a Long Way

Patients facing the prospect of surgery are usually more than a little stressed. The medical team is also not impervious to the effects of surgery. On our end, stress stems from the need for meticulous performance at every turn. We are well aware that, regardless of the reason for surgery, there are certain risks. It is the desire to mitigate these risks that lead surgeons and surgical staff to obtain training in innovative techniques. How impressive is it that we have several options available these days?
We Want to Take a Walk
The original surgical techniques that were developed involved what we now call open surgery. Doctors used to have to open the body just to be able to observe internal structures, let alone repair or remove them as needed. Open surgeries still exist today and may have a valuable place in medicine for some time to come. However, more healthcare professionals are coming to realize the implications of this surgical technique, including longer recover times for patients and suboptimal outcomes regarding scarring and discomfort. Finally, we cannot overlook the level of risk that is involved in opening any part of the body more than necessary.

A more modern and sophisticated surgical technique to be adopted is referred to as minimally invasive. Minimally invasive surgeries may be laparoscopic or endoscopic. These techniques naturally have fewer complication risks due to the smaller incisions. This also leads to smaller or barely perceptible scars and significantly reduces patients’ recovery time. Minimally invasive surgeries increase efficiency in patient care and lower costs because many of these procedures are now performed in outpatient facilities or even office settings using only local anesthesia.

The most recent advances in surgery follow the minimally-invasive route but facilitate […]

It’s That Time of Year, So Let’s Talk Resolutions

In the medical profession, a lot of time may be spent encouraging patients toward their health and wellness goals. At no time does this tendency occur more than during a transition from one year to the next. Every year, we get sucked into the age-old trend of setting New Year’s Resolutions. And every year, at some point, more than 90% of us get tripped up. Research suggests that only an elite 8% of us resolution makers achieve our intention.

Here, we want to list a few ways that you can reach success with your goals for 2018.

Get specific. Don’t just say “I’m going to get in better shape,” outline what that entails. Are you going to lose that last 10 pounds? Is there a clothing size you’re going to fit into? What about your professional goals? Do you want to increase the number of patients you see each month? By how much?
Get out your measuring stick. What isn’t measured won’t be changed – at least not by much. For us to achieve success, we must create a feedback loop. This can serve to motivate us and give us a point of reference when we need to adjust our efforts.
Practice patience. Goal-setting is a practice in patience because we seldom progress in clear linear fashion. For change to last, it will take time. Initial success doesn’t mean long-term success, and initial roadblocks don’t mean failure is certain. Stay with your goals and continue measuring and adjusting as needed.
Put it on the calendar. Finding time to do anything new can be an enormous challenge. It’s so easy to say we just “can’t find the time.” The truth is, success comes from making the […]

Trends in Bariatric Surgery Affect the Need for Training

Bariatric surgeries for weight management have become increasingly popular in recent years. The available procedures have provided invaluable assistance to men and women who have spent years yo-yoing between a healthy weight and dangerous obesity. The trend for many years was to undergo gastric bypass to realign the digestive tract. More recently, statistics indicate that a higher number of patients are leaning toward the laparoscopic procedure, sleeve gastrectomy, to essentially downside their stomach.

Weight loss surgery is typically considered only when other strategies have failed to help an individual manage her weight for long periods of time. Diet, exercise, and medications continue to be a front-line defense against obesity. However, patients who are at risk for serious health consequences due to excess weight may be prime candidates for bariatric surgery.  The question is, which one, and whom should perform the procedure.
Choices in Weight Loss Surgery
Most physicians agree that patient outcomes are best improved through personal care. No single procedure is right for every person. Instead, care should be based on particulars such as medical history, current health status, and patient preferences. This is where the upward trend in laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy may have originated.

Some of the reasons that patients cite for their interest in this weight-loss surgery is its shorter duration. Most sleeve gastrectomy surgeries are completed within about an hour. Gastric bypass takes twice as long. Naturally, a shorter procedure is less psychologically stressful and is also less taxing on the body, making it advantageous for the patient.

Bariatric surgeons report that sleeve gastrectomy seems to achieve excellent results in patients who have less than 100 pounds to lose. Older patients, as well as those with chronic health conditions such as heart disease, also may […]

The Important Role of Cadavers in Bioskills Training

Most physicians are aware of the necessity for post-graduate training. Not only do the governing bodies that renew licensure require a certain number of hours of training each year, but patients also deserve to receive the highest standard of care from physicians who are performing cosmetic and medical procedures. This is where focused bio skills training comes in. The physician who is well-trained – beyond medical school – is the physician who is more likely to enjoy a thriving practice. Even more than that, advance training also carries with it the benefit of pride in practice.

Med Ed Labs has been successfully facilitating surgical and medical training courses across the country for years. Our expertise in the planning and implementation of such programs makes the entire training process for physicians and staff more pleasant and efficient. Cadavers are an integral aspect of many of our bio skills courses. Here’s why . . .

Cadaver studies take us away from the reliance on animals for medical investigation. Study on the human form may be perceived as more ethical. That argument aside, it is the human form on which physicians work, so familiarity with the nuances of that form is necessary. Cadaver studies allow for the best possible research on organs, bones, and muscles in the way they will be during that crucial operation.
Cadavers also facilitate the optimal, real-life performance of techniques using innovative operating room devices, such as cath lab instruments, c-arms, and more.
Research on cadavers significantly reduces the need for guess-work. Computer simulation and animal testing do not come close to the accuracy of cadaver tissue and structure when assessing the value of new modalities or surgical interventions.
Surgical effectiveness and precision obtained […]

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    Using Dermal Fillers: It’s Not a Once-and-Done Achievement

Using Dermal Fillers: It’s Not a Once-and-Done Achievement

The use of dermal fillers and other injectable products can set your practice up for additional, ongoing income. To fulfill the entirety of your responsibility to your patients, it is necessary to perfect the techniques you use for various products. Because each filler product carries unique properties, there are small nuances that can significantly impact the outcome. Therefore, injectable training is something that, at this time, should not end. Here, we discuss a few of the tips experts offer for mastering technique.
The Road to Mastery
The path to perfecting injection techniques begins with a few basic steps for all providers. A reputable training course should offer demonstration and hands-on practice. Beyond training, injectors are encouraged to continually focus on:

Relevant anatomy, not only of the face but also of other common injectable areas.
Study and review of danger zones, as well as remedies for unexpected side effects.
Use of reversible fillers only during the initial learning phase.
Use of injectables in patients whom can be monitored closely for several days after treatment. Friends, family, and office staff are ideal patients for new injectors who need to observe the effects of products, side effects, and recovery.
Easier treatment areas, such as nasolabial folds, are an excellent place to start. Move on gradually to more difficult treatment areas such as tear trough.
Take before and after pictures of as many patients as possible. This facilitates learning the nuances of different techniques and products.

Moving Beyond the Basics
For an injector to garner the praise of patients, it is necessary to fully master techniques, and this can take less time when you know what is needed. One of the primary areas of learning recommended by experts is the subtleties of […]

Interesting New Info on Breast Implants

The longer the medical profession performs a particular procedure or type of treatment, the more we learn about it. In this case, we are interested in new details about breast implants that were reported at presented at EHRA EUROPACE — CARDIOSTIM 2017. Specifically, a study performed by cardiologists at Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco suggests that breast implants could impede the accuracy of echocardiography.

Echocardiography is a diagnostic test that measures electrical activity in the heart. It is an important test for emergency room cases, and within cardiology practices, so the recognition of limitations imposed by breast implants is vital to patient care. Researchers in the Monaco study sought to determine the degree of impact implants may have on ECG testing because ultrasound waves in this test cannot penetrate through implant structures.

A total of 48 women were involved in the study; 28 of them had breast implants at the time of the study, and 20 did not.  Health examination before study participation confirmed the absence of structural heart disease in all women. The electrophysiologists who read ECG recordings on all women were not informed of the presence of breast implants, nor other patient data, including the presence of structural heart disease, sex, and age.

Study results included:

In the control group without implants, only one ECG was interpreted as abnormal, and only by one of the two electrophysiologists. That translated to 5% of the entire group.
In the breast implant group, abnormalities were noted by one electrophysiologist in 38% of ECGs. The other reported abnormalities in 57% of readings.

These findings led researchers to conclude that abnormalities in electrocardiography are more likely to be noted in women with breast implants.

The specific abnormalities that were found are also […]

A Health Reminder We Could All Use

If you’re scientific at all, you probably know that the light that the average person routinely observes is not white on its own. White light is formed when the complete collection of hues – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet – join together. These colors meet on the retina, where clear vision should then occur. We bring up the topic of light, specifically, the wavelengths of light, not to titillate your trivia knowledge, but because we have become far too accustomed to artificial lighting, and this could be damaging to all of us.

Where there is light, there is energy. But not all light emits the same measure of energy. Red light, or yellow light, due to perceived brightness, may seem more energetically charged and thus more taxing on the eyes. Not so. If you are familiar with blue light and its wavelengths, you may recognize this cool hue as some of the most energetic. As the range of high-energy output, blue light presents very real hazards; and yet, it is blue light that has gradually taken over as an energy-efficient choice.

Most of our exposure to blue light will be when we are outdoors under the UV rays of the sun. However, when we are outdoors during the day, most of us protect our eyes behind tinted lenses. Furthermore, research has demonstrated that the blue light in sunshine is actually beneficial. The wavelengths of blue in sunlight are necessary to support the circadian rhythm we should all listen to. Naturally, blue light wakes up the brain and helps us stay alert. And there is where the downfall happens.
We’ve Gone Against the Grain
Historically, humans have gone with the grain of nature. As we have […]