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Importance - Low health literacy is known to adversely affect health outcomes in patients with chronic medical conditions. To our knowledge, the association of health literacy with postoperative outcomes has not been studied in-depth in a surgical patient population.
Objective - To evaluate the association of health literacy with postoperative outcomes in patients undergoing major abdominal surgery.
Design, Setting, and Participants - From November 2010 to December 2013, 1239 patients who were undergoing elective gastric, colorectal, hepatic, and pancreatic resections for both benign and malignant disease at a single academic institution were retrospectively reviewed. Patient demographics, education, insurance status, procedure type, American Society of Anesthesiologists status, Charlson comorbidity index, and postoperative outcomes, including length of stay, emergency department visits, and hospital readmissions, were reviewed from electronic medical records. Health literacy levels were assessed using the Brief Health Literacy Screen, a validated tool that was administered by nursing staff members on hospital admission. Multivariate analysis was used to determine the association of health literacy levels on postoperative outcomes, controlling for patient demographics and clinical characteristics.
Main Outcomes and Measures - The association of health literacy with postoperative 30-day emergency department visits, 90-day hospital readmissions, and index hospitalization length of stay.
Results - Of the 1239 patients who participated in this study, 624 (50.4%) were women, 1083 (87.4%) where white, 96 (7.7%) were black, and 60 (4.8%) were of other race/ethnicity. The mean (SD) Brief Health Literacy Screen score was 12.9 (SD, 2.75; range, 3-15) and the median educational attainment was 13.0 years. Patients with lower health literacy levels had a longer length of stay in unadjusted (95% CI, 0.95-0.99; P = .004) and adjusted (95% CI, 0.03-0.26; P = .02) analyses. However, lower health literacy was not significantly associated with increased rates of 30-day emergency department visits or 90-day hospital readmissions.
Conclusions and Relevance - Lower health literacy levels are independently associated with longer index hospitalization lengths of stay for patients who are undergoing major abdominal surgery. The role of health literacy needs to be further evaluated within surgical practices to improve health care outcomes and use.
Bariatric surgery, specifically Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) and vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG), are the most effective and durable treatments for morbid obesity and potentially a viable treatment for type 2 diabetes (T2D). The resolution rate of T2D following these procedures is between 40 and 80% and far surpasses that achieved by medical management alone. The molecular basis for this improvement is not entirely understood, but has been attributed in part to the altered enterohepatic circulation of bile acids. In this review we highlight how bile acids potentially contribute to improved lipid and glucose homeostasis, insulin sensitivity and energy expenditure after these procedures. The impact of altered bile acid levels in enterohepatic circulation is also associated with changes in gut microflora, which may further contribute to some of these beneficial effects. We highlight the beneficial effects of experimental surgical procedures in rodents that alter bile secretory flow without gastric restriction or altering nutrient flow. This information suggests a role for bile acids beyond dietary fat emulsification in altering whole body glucose and lipid metabolism strongly, and also suggests emerging roles for the activation of the bile acid receptors farnesoid x receptor (FXR) and G-protein coupled bile acid receptor (TGR5) in these improvements. The limitations of rodent studies and the current state of our understanding is reviewed and the potential effects of bile acids mediating the short- and long-term metabolic improvements after bariatric surgery is critically examined.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for Gastric Cancer provide evidence- and consensus-based recommendations for a multidisciplinary approach for the management of patients with gastric cancer. For patients with resectable locoregional cancer, the guidelines recommend gastrectomy with a D1+ or a modified D2 lymph node dissection (performed by experienced surgeons in high-volume centers). Postoperative chemoradiation is the preferred option after complete gastric resection for patients with T3-T4 tumors and node-positive T1-T2 tumors. Postoperative chemotherapy is included as an option after a modified D2 lymph node dissection for this group of patients. Trastuzumab with chemotherapy is recommended as first-line therapy for patients with HER2-positive advanced or metastatic cancer, confirmed by immunohistochemistry and, if needed, by fluorescence in situ hybridization for IHC 2+.
Metabolic bone disease is often silent, often undiagnosed, and occurs frequently in patients with chronic gastrointestinal illnesses. Potentially modifiable risk factors, such as malnutrition, malabsorption, prolonged use of glucocorticoids, and a sedentary lifestyle, can lead to low bone mass, an increased rate of bone loss, and debilitating bone disease. This article explores common gastrointestinal illnesses that place patients at risk for developing metabolic bone disease. Concepts are presented to assist the practitioner in identifying patients at risk; clinical evaluation and diagnostic test selection are discussed, and therapeutic options for the prevention and treatment of metabolic bone disease in gastrointestinal illness are presented.