Surgery Archive


What complications can occur after prostate cancer surgery?

Minimally invasive surgery to remove the prostate gland is generally very well tolerated, but there can be complications, as in the case of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin earlier this year. A Harvard-affiliated urologist answers questions about the possibility of such complications.

What is dropless cataract surgery?

Dropless cataract surgery is a new innovation. It enables eye surgeons to administer a medication into a patient's eye during surgery that eliminates the need to use expensive, inconvenient eye drops for several weeks after surgery.

Ovary removal before menopause may pose health risks

A 2023 study suggests that women who have both ovaries removed before menopause face higher odds of several health conditions, including arthritis, sleep apnea, and bone fractures.

Fixing a faulty aortic valve

A nonsurgical approach for replacing a damaged aortic valve, known as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), has become very popular in recent years. But it may not make sense for people in their 60s, who are likely to need a second valve replacement later in life. The valves used in TAVR only last about 10 years, on average. In addition, diagnosing and treating coronary artery disease may be more challenging in people who've had TAVR. Also, the surgery to replace a failed TAVR valve is more complicated than regular valve replacement surgery. So people who are likely to need least one traditional valve surgery are better off having the surgery in their 60s rather than in their 70s. A TAVR can be done the second time around.

Lynch syndrome: Reclaiming power

Lynch syndrome is an inherited condition that predisposes people to colorectal, uterine, ovarian, and other forms of cancer. Genetic testing can pinpoint Lynch syndrome, and genetic counseling is also recommended. People with Lynch syndrome need frequent cancer screenings and should watch for symptoms. Women with Lynch syndrome are also advised to undergo risk-reducing surgery that removes the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus between ages 35 and 40, unless a woman is planning another pregnancy.

Cannabis use disorder may raise surgical risks

A 2023 study suggests that regular cannabis users have higher risks before, during, and after surgery, including the risk of heart attack, stroke, acute kidney injury, breathing difficulties, and blood clots.

Insider tips for a smooth recovery from cataract surgery

Early planning can help people recover well from cataract surgery. That planning can include reviewing post-procedure instructions in advance; investigating whether a simplified eye drops regimen is available and will be covered by insurance; learning the right way to use eye drops, and teaching a loved one to help with their application if necessary; and preparing to take a break from certain physical activities, such as bending over, lifting objects that are 10 pounds or heavier, cleaning, vacuuming, or doing laundry.

FDA approves new surgical treatment for enlarged prostates

A transurethral resection of the prostate is considered the gold-standard treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia. But newer, less invasive procedures offer faster recovery times and fewer risks of complications. Earlier this year another new procedure won the FDA's approval.

7 organs or glands you may do just fine without

Removing tonsils in childhood was once routine care for healthy children, but is no longer recommended. Why are some organs and glands — appendix, tonsils, adenoids and more — considered expendable and why do we have them if they're not needed?

Time for a new knee? Ask these questions first

It's important to ask many questions before getting a knee replacement. Suggestions include asking about a surgeon's background, the type of prosthetic that will be used, the surgical approach the doctor will take, how to prepare physically before surgery, how to prepare one's home for recovery, how long the hospital stay will last, how much pain the knee replacement will cause, what rehabilitation after surgery will entail, how long recovery will last, how long it will be until one can resume activity, and how long the new knee will last.

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