Recent Submissions

  • Comparison between intra-articular injections of corticosteroids, hyaluronic acid, PRP and placebo for thumb base osteoarthritis: A frequentist network meta-analysis

    Thakker, Arjura; Sharma, Sanjeev Chand; Dias, Joseph (2023-10-11)
    Background and aims: Current evidence for the use of intra-articular injections for thumb base osteoarthritis (TBOA) is equivocal. This study aims to investigate the efficacy of intra-articular corticosteroids, hyaluronic acid and platelet-rich plasma. Methods: A Frequentist network meta-analysis was conducted comparing outcomes at short (≤3 months) and medium-term (>3-12 months) time points. Results: Data from 7 RCTs and 1 non-RCT (446 patients) were collected, consisting of corticosteroids (n = 7), hyaluronic acid (n = 7), platelet-rich plasma (n = 2) and placebo (n = 2). At the short-term time point, no intra-articular injection demonstrated superiority over placebo at reducing pain. At the medium-term time point, superiority of platelet-rich plasma at reducing pain over placebo and corticosteroids was seen following sensitivity analysis (RCTs only) (SMD -1.48 95 % CI -2.71; -0.25). No injection proved superior at improving function at short or medium-term time points. Conclusions: Overall, despite the promising result for platelet-rich plasma, the evidence quality was limited to two studies only justifying the need for further and larger methodologically robust trials investigating corticosteroids, hyaluronic acid and platelet-rich plasma vs each other and placebo.
  • Improvements in networking processes for hip or knee revision arthroplasty: a silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic

    Chatterji, Urjit; Puttock, Darren; Kheiran, Amin; Brown, Andrew (13/09/2023)
    Background: Improvements in outcomes following hip and knee revision arthroplasties have been demonstrated following the introduction of specialised orthopaedic services in the form of 'hub and spoke' networking models. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, these networks have undergone some inevitable adaptations. We investigated the impact of recent adaptations on the performance of our regional revision arthroplasty network. Methods: A retrospective review of all referrals that were discussed at our regional revision arthroplasty meeting, over 2 separate phases, was undertaken. Phase 1 included data between March 2018 and April 2019, representing an interval prior to COVID-19 pandemic. Phase-2 included data between September 2020 and March 2021 (during COVID-19 pandemic). Data were collected from East Midland South Orthopaedic Network (EMSSON) database and included data relating to indication and time to revision surgery, surgeon's proposal plan, network proposal plan, and executed definitive plan. We compared and analysed network performance between 2 phases. Results: In phase 1, 99 cases were discussed in EMSSON meetings, equating to 35.7% of the region's revision arthroplasty volume, according to the National Joint Registry (NJR) records. Plan alterations were recommended in 48/99 cases (48.5%), of which 41/48 (85.4%) were adhered to. Phase 2 included 98 discussed cases, equating to 81.6% of the region's revision arthroplasty volume. Plan alterations were recommended in 20/98 cases (20.4%), all of which were adhered to (100%). Adherence to recommended adaptations showed significant improvement (p < 0.03). Conclusions: Based upon our observations, a greater volume and proportion of revision arthroplasty cases are now being discussed. Adherence to MDT recommendations has significantly improved following the described adaptations. The number of recommended adaptations to management plans have decreased, indicating an educational value of the network.Overall, these findings demonstrate a trend towards NHS England's target of 100% of revision arthroplasty cases undergoing MDT discussion.
  • ChatGPT in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

    Sharma, Sanjeev Chand (2023-08-02)
    Background Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer (ChatGPT) is a versatile large language model-based generative artificial intelligence. It is proficient in a variety of tasks from drafting emails to coding to composing music to passing medical licensing exams. While the potential role of ChatGPT in plastic surgery is promising, evidence-based research is needed to guide its implementation in practice. Methods This review aims to summarize the literature surrounding ChatGPT's use in plastic surgery. Results A literature search revealed several applications for ChatGPT in the field of plastic surgery, including the ability to create academic literature and to aid the production of research. However, the ethical implications of using such chatbots in scientific writing requires careful consideration. ChatGPT can also generate high-quality patient discharge summaries and operation notes within seconds, freeing up busy junior doctors to complete other tasks. However, currently clinical information must still be manually inputted, and clinicians must consider data privacy implications. Its use in aiding patient communication and education and training is also widely documented in the literature. However, questions have been raised over the accuracy of answers generated given that current versions of ChatGPT cannot access the most up-to-date sources. Conclusions While one must be aware of its shortcomings, ChatGPT is a useful tool for plastic surgeons to improve productivity for a range of tasks from manuscript preparation to healthcare communication generation to drafting teaching sessions to studying and learning. As access improves and technology becomes more refined, surely more uses for ChatGPT in plastic surgery will become apparent.
  • NICE 2022 guidelines on the management of melanoma: Update and implications

    Ramachandran, Sanjeev; Begaj, Ardit; Morgan, Bruno; Faust, Guy; Patel, Nakul; Jayarajan, Rajshree (2023-07-20)
    Aims: In July 2022, NICE updated the guidelines on the management of melanoma by lowering the number of follow-up appointments and sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) but increasing the number of scans. This study aims to evaluate the implications of executing the new guidelines in terms of cost-effectiveness and personnel. Methods: All patients newly diagnosed with melanoma in 2019 at a regional skin cancer specialist center were reviewed. Data were analyzed for their journey on an idealized pathway modeled over a 5-year follow-up period when adhering to both the previous and new guidelines. Differences in the management of melanoma were elucidated by comparing these changes. The cost was quantified on a perpatient basis and the financial implication on each department was considered. Results: One hundred and ten patients were diagnosed with melanoma in 2019, stages I-III. The changes ease the burden on plastic surgery and dermatology; however, increased pressure is faced by radiologists and histopathologists. An overall cost benefit of £141.85 perpatient was calculated, resulting in a decrease of 1.22 hospital visits on average and an increase in the time spent there (19.55 min). The additional expenses of implementing the new guidelines due to the added BRAF tests, CT, and ultrasound scans are outweighed by savings from the reduction in follow-up appointments and SLNB. Conclusion: The focus has shifted to less invasive procedures for lower melanoma stages and fewer follow-up appointments, at the expense of more genetic testing and imaging. This paper serves as a useful baseline for other centers to plan their service provision and resource allocation to adhere to the updated guidelines.
  • Aesthetic surgery practice resumption in the United Kingdom during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Patel, Nakul; Mair, Manish (2021-10-11)
    Background: The global COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted all aspects of healthcare, including the delivery of elective aesthetic surgery practice. A national, prospective data collection was carried out of the first aesthetic plastic surgery procedures performed during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom. Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore the challenges aesthetic practice is facing and to identify if any problems or complications arose from carrying out aesthetic procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Over a 6-week period from June 15 to August 2, 2020, data were collected by means of a proforma for aesthetic plastic surgery cases. All patients had outcomes recorded for an audit period of 14 days postsurgery. Results: The results demonstrated that none of the 371 patients audited who underwent aesthetic surgical procedures developed any symptoms of COVID-19-related illness and none required treatment for any subsequent respiratory illness. Conclusions: No COVID-19-related cases or complications were found in a cohort of patients who underwent elective aesthetic procedures under strict screening and infection control protocols in the early resumption of elective service.
  • Meta-analysis of the normal diffusion tensor imaging values of the median nerve and how they change in carpal tunnel syndrome

    Raheman, Firas; Rassam, Joseph (2021-10-22)
    Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) leads to distortion of axonal architecture, demyelination and fibrosis within the median nerve. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) characterises tissue microstructure and generates reproducible proxy measures of nerve 'health' which are sensitive to myelination, axon diameter, fiber density and organisation. This meta-analysis summarises the normal DTI values of the median nerve, and how they change in CTS. This systematic review included studies reporting DTI of the median nerve at the level of the wrist in adults. The primary outcome was to determine the normal fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) of the median nerve. Secondarily, we show how the FA and MD differ between asymptomatic adults and patients with CTS, and how these differences are independent of the acquisition methods. We included 32 studies of 2643 wrists, belonging to 1575 asymptomatic adults and 1068 patients with CTS. The normal FA was 0.58 (95% CI 0.56, 0.59) and the normal MD was 1.138 × 10-3 mm2/s (95% CI 1.101, 1.174). Patients with CTS had a significantly lower FA than controls (mean difference 0.12 [95% CI 0.09, 0.16]). Similarly, the median nerve of patients with CTS had a significantly higher mean diffusivity (mean difference 0.16 × 10-3 mm2/s [95% CI 0.05, 0.27]). The differences were independent of experimental factors. We provide summary estimates of the normal FA and MD of the median nerve in asymptomatic adults. Furthermore, we show that diffusion throughout the length of the median nerve becomes more isotropic in patients with CTS.
  • A novel use for the biodegradable temporizing matrix

    Frost, Stephen; Deodhar, Avinash; Offer, Graham (2022-05-26)
    Biodegradable Temporising Matrix (BTM), a skin substitute, has been recently developed as a novel adjunct to the plastic surgeon's reconstructive repertoire. Its use has been described in literature in a variety of settings and complex wounds, including those that previously would have been described as "non-graftable", with favourable outcomes. We present the case of a patient with a wound to the right foot and ankle following extravasation injury. Following surgical debridement, this injury was managed with BTM, which allowed granulation and production of a "neo-dermis". A split-thickness skin graft was subsequently applied. The characteristics of the BTM allowed the resulting skin graft and scar to be pliable, avoiding tendon tethering and joint contracture. To the authors' knowledge, this skin substitute has not been reported in a wound of this aetiology before. It is our hope that this report will provide evidence to colleagues that this is a valuable adjunct that may be used in complex wounds. Level of evidence: Level V, therapeutic study. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s00238-022-01964-z.
  • Patient perspectives on nipple-areola complex micropigmentation during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Frost, Stephen; Pilley, Matthew; Porter, C; Agarwal, Reena (2022-06-23)
    Background: Micropigmentation is a well-recognised option for nipple-areola complex reconstruction, as part of the breast reconstruction pathway for patients following mastectomy. As a part of delayed breast reconstruction, this treatment was put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic. Aims: To assess the views of patients regarding micropigmentation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and whether their attitudes to seeking out this part of the reconstructive journey had been altered. Methods: A questionnaire undertaken with 53 patients between August & September 2020 attending the Micropigmentation clinic. Findings: 81.1% of patients reported COVID-19 had not impacted their decision, with a similar proportion happy to proceed with the treatment at the time of questioning. Conclusions: The results highlight the importance of nipple-areola complex to our patients' reconstructive journey.
  • Unilateral breast reconstruction using double transverse upper gracilis (TUG) flaps

    Patel, Nakul (2021-11-13)
    Introduction: When the deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap is unavailable, autologous reconstruction of a moderate-to-large breast presents a surgical challenge. We retrospectively review our experience of unilateral breast reconstruction using double transverse upper gracilis (TUG) flaps and highlight specific technical considerations. Methods: Thirty-four patients underwent double TUG flaps for unilateral breast reconstruction between 2012 and 2020. The average patient age was 50 years and the average body mass index (BMI) was 23.1 kg/m2. In all cases, the indication for surgery was breast cancer: 31 patients had immediate reconstruction, 11 had simultaneous axillary surgery and eight had primary contralateral symmetrising surgery. Results: Of the 68 TUG flaps, 67 (98.5%) were successful. The mean operative time was 5 h 50 min (195-460 min) and the mean combined flap weight was 551 g (279-916 g). Eight patients returned to the operating theatre in the early post-operative period and five patients underwent secondary lipofilling to address contour deformities. Most commonly (n = 22), the flaps were oriented horizontally/obliquely, with one flap anastomosed medially to the internal mammary axis and the other anastomosed lateral to the subscapular system. The internal mammary artery perforators and serratus anterior artery provided the best vessel calibre match with the TUG vessels. Conclusions: Double TUG reconstruction is a safe and reliable option for unilateral breast reconstruction and is an important option when the DIEP flap is unavailable.
  • The use of cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) in radiocarpal fractures: a diagnostic test accuracy meta-analysis

    Fitzpatrick, Emma; Sharma, Vivek; Rojoa, Djamila; Raheman, Firas; Singh, Harvinder (2021-09-20)
    Objective: Occult radiocarpal fractures often present a diagnostic challenge to the emergency department. Accurate diagnosis of these injuries is crucial as a missed fracture can lead to significant morbidity. Cone-beam CT (CBCT) scan is a novel imaging modality, with minimal radiation exposure and comparatively fast acquisition time. Our aim was to evaluate its use in the diagnosis of cortical fractures in the upper limb extremity. Materials and methods: We conducted a systematic review of literature and included all studies that evaluated the use of CBCT in the diagnosis of radiocarpal fractures. We used a mixed-effects logistic regression bivariate model to estimate the summary sensitivity and specificity and constructed hierarchical summary receiver operative characteristic curves (HSROC). Results: We identified 5 studies, with 439 patients, and observed CBCT to be 87.7% (95% CI 77.6-93.6) sensitive and 99.2% (95% CI 92.6-99.9) specific for scaphoid fractures. For carpal fractures, CBCT was observed to have a pooled sensitivity and specificity of 90.6% (95% CI 72.7-97.2) and 100% (95% CI 99-100) respectively. For distal radius fractures, CBCT sensitivity was 90% (95% CI 67-98) and specificity was 100% (95% CI 10-100). The overall inter-rater agreement effect was shown to be 0.89 (95% CI 0.82-0.96), which is deemed to be almost perfect. Conclusion: CBCT is an accurate diagnostic tool for occult radiocarpal cortical fractures, which could replace or supplement radiographs. We believe CBCT has a promising role in the acute radiocarpal fracture diagnostic algorithm in both emergency and trauma departments.