• Management of the Acute Appendix Mass: A Survey of Surgical Practice

      Irfan, M; Hogan, AM; Gately, R; Lowery, AJ; Waldron, R; Khan, W; Barry, K (Irish Medical Journal (IMJ), 2012-10)
    • Management of the acute scrotum in a district general hospital: 10-year experience.

      Tajchner, Lukas; Larkin, John O; Bourke, Michael G; Waldron, Ronan; Barry, Kevin; Eustace, Paul W; Department of Surgery, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Republic of, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      The acutely painful scrotum is a common urologic emergency. The primary objective of management is to avoid testicular loss. This requires a high index of clinical suspicion and prompt surgical intervention. In our series conducted between January 1996 and December 2005, 119 patients (age range: 4-62 years) underwent emergency operative exploration for acute scrotal pain. The most common finding was torted cyst of Morgagni (63/119, 52.9%), followed by testicular torsion (41/119, 34.4%). The majority of testicular torsions occurred in the pubertal group (22/41, 53.6%). Only one patient in this group had an unsalvageable testis necessitating orchidectomy, a testicular loss rate in torsion of 2.4%. There were no postoperative wound infections or scrotal haematomas. Testicular salvage depends critically on early surgical intervention, so the delay incurred in diagnostic imaging may extend the period of ischaemia. Furthermore, all radiological investigations have a certain false-negative rate. We advocate immediate surgical exploration of the acute scrotum. We report a low orchidectomy rate (2.4%) in testicular torsion.
    • Measuring emergency department nurses' attitudes towards deliberate self-harm using the Self-Harm Antipathy Scale.

      Conlon, Mary; O'Tuathail, Claire; Mayo Mental Health Services, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      The emergency department is an important gateway for the treatment of self-harm patients. Nurses' attitudes towards patients who self-harm can be negative and often nurses experience frustration, helplessness, ambivalence and antipathy. Patients are often dissatisfied with the care provided, and meeting with positive or negative attitudes greatly influences whether they seek additional help. A quantitative design was utilised to measure emergency department nurses' attitudes towards deliberate self-harm. The 'Self-Harm Antipathy Scale', a validated questionnaire, was administered to a random sample of nurses in four emergency departments in the Republic of Ireland. A total of 87 questionnaires were returned (87% response rate). Results reveal that nurses show slightly negative antipathy overall, indicating positive attitudes towards self-harming patients. Attitudes were significantly different in accordance with a nurse's age. Education and social judgment also contribute to the way nurses view, interact and make moral decisions regarding self-harm patients. Evidence indicates there is need to improve the training, supervision and support of nurses caring for patients who self-harm, and that practical strategies should be implemented to manage the alienation process and inform practice.
    • Mesenteric venous thrombosis secondary to an unsuspected JAK2 V617F-positive myeloproliferative disorder.

      Department of Surgery, Mayo General Hospital, Mayo, Ireland,, mikebourkecork@yahoo.co.uk. (2012-01-31)
      BACKGROUND: Mesenteric venous thrombosis (MVT) is a rare but potentially fatal cause of mesenteric ischaemia. It presents insidiously and often diagnosis is made at emergency surgery. In half of the cases MVT develops without a causative factor, while in cases in which a pro-thrombotic state is found to exist MVT may be the first clinically detected consequence of that state. The myeloproliferative disorders (MPD) are known to contribute to the development of pro-thrombotic states. Recently, the JAK2 V617F mutation has been associated with the MPDs. CONCLUSION: We describe a case of MVT occurring secondary to an unsuspected MPD, in which the patient was subsequently found to carry this mutation. We highlight the necessity to screen for this mutation in cases of intra-abdominal thromboses so that appropriate systemic anticoagulation may be instituted, and the patient may be followed so as to detect the development of an overt MPD.
    • Modern management of pyogenic hepatic abscess: a case series and review of the literature.

      Heneghan, Helen M; Healy, Nuala A; Martin, Sean T; Ryan, Ronan S; Nolan, Niamh; Traynor, Oscar; Waldron, Ronan; Department of Surgery, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Mayo, Ireland., helenheneghan@hotmail.com. (2012-01-31)
      BACKGROUND: Pyogenic hepatic abscesses are relatively rare, though untreated are uniformly fatal. A recent paradigm shift in the management of liver abscesses, facilitated by advances in diagnostic and interventional radiology, has decreased mortality rates. The aim of this study was to review our experience in managing pyogenic liver abscess, review the literature in this field, and propose guidelines to aid in the current management of this complex disease. METHODS: Demographic and clinical details of all patients admitted to a single institution with liver abscess over a 5 year period were reviewed. Clinical presentation, aetiology, diagnostic work-up, treatment, morbidity and mortality data were collated. RESULTS: Over a 5 year period 11 patients presented to a single institution with pyogenic hepatic abscess (55% males, mean age 60.3 years). Common clinical features at presentation were non-specific constitutional symptoms and signs. Aetiology was predominantly gallstones (45%) or diverticular disease (27%). In addition to empiric antimicrobial therapy, all patients underwent radiologically guided percutaneous drainage of the liver abscess at diagnosis and only 2 patients required surgical intervention, including one 16-year old female who underwent hemi-hepatectomy for a complex and rare Actinomycotic abscess. There were no mortalities after minimum follow-up of one year. CONCLUSIONS: Pyogenic liver abscesses are uncommon, and mortality has decreased over the last two decades. Antimicrobial therapy and radiological intervention form the mainstay of modern treatment. Surgical intervention should be considered for patients with large, complex, septated or multiple abscesses, underlying disease or in whom percutaneous drainage has failed.
    • Mortality in perforated duodenal ulcer depends upon pre-operative risk: a retrospective 10-year study.

      Larkin, J O; Bourke, M G; Muhammed, A; Waldron, R; Barry, K; Eustace, P W; Department of Surgery, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co., Mayo, Ireland., larkin.dundalk@gmail.com (2012-01-31)
      INTRODUCTION: Most patients presenting with acutely perforated duodenal ulcer undergo operation, but conservative treatment may be indicated when an ulcer has spontaneously sealed with minimal/localised peritoneal irritation or when the patient's premorbid performance status is poor. We retrospectively reviewed our experience with operative and conservative management of perforated duodenal ulcers over a 10-year period and analysed outcome according to American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score. METHODS: The records of all patients presenting with perforated duodenal ulcer to the Department of Surgery, Mayo General Hospital, between January 1998 and December 2007 were reviewed. Age, gender, co-morbidity, ASA-score, clinical presentation, mode of management, operative procedures, morbidity and mortality were considered. RESULTS: Of 76 patients included, 48 (44 operative, 4 conservative) were ASA I-III, with no mortality irrespective of treatment. Amongst 28 patients with ASA-score IV/V, mortality was 54.5% (6/11) following operative management and 52.9% (9/17) with conservative management. CONCLUSION: In patients with a perforated duodenal ulcer and ASA-score I-III, postoperative outcome is uniformly favourable. We recommend these patients have repair with peritoneal lavage performed, routinely followed postoperatively by empirical triple therapy. Given that mortality is equivalent between ASA IV/V patients whether managed operatively or conservatively, we suggest that both management options are equally justifiable.
    • The non specialist paediatric training registrar in the healthcare system

      O’Neill, MB; A Kumar, A (Irish Medical Journal (IMJ), 2012-07)
    • Operative surgical yield from general surgical outpatient clinics; Time to change the way we practice?

      Irfan, M; McGovern, M; Robertson, I; Waldron, R; Khan, I; Khan, W; Barry, K (Irish Medical Journal (IMJ), 2013-07)
      The aim of this study was to compare the number of patients attending surgical outpatient clinics in a general hospital to the number of resulting elective procedures scheduled in a single year. Patients initially assessed at private consulting rooms are not included in this study. The number of surgical outpatient appointments issued in 2011 totalled 6503 with non-attendances running at 1489(22.9%).The number of elective surgical theatre cases performed in 2011(i.e. the surgical yield from that period) came to 1078 with an additional 1470 patients referred for endoscopy and 475 patients referred for minor operations. Operative surgical yield from the currently structured outpatient clinic model is low, with the number of theatre cases coming to only 16.58% of the original number of outpatient appointments issued. Recommendations for the improvement of outpatient services are made. These findings are relevant in the context of streamlining access to surgical services.
    • Opportunity Costs in Paediatric Training: The Specialist Registrars Experience.

      O’Neill, MB; Nabialek, T; Kandamany, N (Irish Medical Journal, 2017-08)
      In the training process, there is a tension between the work life and home life of trainees. This study explored both the personal impact and the opportunity costs of training from the Specialist Paediatric Registrar (SPR) perspective. The survey explored 1) career progression2) perceived functional effectiveness at work 3) psychological impact of hospital based training and 4) the personal and social cost of training. Fifty-three (71%) SPRs responded of whom 47 (89%)were married or in long term relationships. Seventy-five percent of trainees had a definite career plan with 86% intending to undertake fellowship training. Seventy percent believed they were efficient time managers but 53% had difficulty in making time for academic pursuits and fifty percent experienced negative feelings, which lingered after work and interfered with their relationships at home. Seventy-four percent stated training was undertaken at significant personal cost with only 21% achieving a very satisfactory work/life balance. To address these difficulties trainee wellbeing should be addressed at the Basic Specialist Training (BST) level and the career path clearly explained outlining the challenges that are likely to be encountered.
    • Paediatric surgery - A general hospital experience

      Fahy, E; Ahmed, K; Lowery, AJ; Khan, W; Waldron, R; Barry, K (Irish Medical Journal, 2012-12)
    • Parental Decisions regarding pre-hospital therapy and costing of the Emergency Department Visit

      McGovern, M; Kernan, R; O’Neill, M B (Irish Medical Journal, 2017-02)
      Paediatric patients represent a large percentage of Emergency Department (ED) visits and there is often a perception that the acuity of these presentations is low. The decision-making process that results in parents attending the ED is poorly understood. We designed a cross-sectional cohort study to explore the reasons for attendance, the treatment initiated at home and to assess parental perception of the economic cost of attendance. Data was collected on 200 patients using a survey administered to parents in ED with a follow-up phone call 4-6 weeks later. Our results suggest that attendances are often prompted by parental anxiety rather than clinical deterioration and that prior ED usage is common among those presenting for assessment. Many parents had attempted community therapy with 128/200 patients (64%) having been referred by a healthcare professional and medical therapy at home having been employed by 114/200 (57%) parents before attendance. Parental knowledge of the safety of over-the-counter medications was variable the economic cost of an ED visit was poorly understood by participants. The results of our study suggest that parental desire for control over worrisome symptoms drives much of their management strategy prior to hospital attendance. Strategies in the ED may need to focus more on managing parental expectations than on managing the illness itself and management strategies employed should focus not only on medical therapy of the child’s illness but on educating and empowering the parent.
    • Patient satisfaction and acceptability: a journey through an ambulatory gynaecology clinic in the West of Ireland

      Uzochukwu, I; Burke, C; Ni Bhuinneain, M (Irish Medical Journal, 2016-06)
      Ambulatory Gynaecology allows a “see-and-treat” approach to managing gynaecological conditions, providing a more streamlined, integrated care pathway than the traditional gynaecology clinic and inpatient care model. This study was designed to assess patient satisfaction and acceptability of Ambulatory Gynaecology services in Mayo University Hospital, Castlebar, Ireland. It also provided for feedback from patients as to how the service might be improved. Eighty questionnaires were appropriately completed. Outcomes revealed positive responses in 84% with respect to their experience before attending the clinic, 93% relating to the Ambulatory Gynaecology clinic environment, 96% for communication within the service, 91% for their experience during the procedure and 88% for aftercare information. This study concludes that an ambulatory approach to managing a range of gynaecology referrals is a highly acceptable approach in an Irish gynaecological population. Valuable feedback was gained from the study, which will allow us to further enhance the service for our patients.
    • Perioperative modifications of respiratory function.

      Duggan, Michelle; Kavanagh, Brian P; Department of Anesthesia, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Ireland., Michelle.Duggan@hse.ie (2012-01-31)
      Postoperative pulmonary complications contribute considerably to morbidity and mortality, especially after major thoracic or abdominal surgery. Clinically relevant pulmonary complications include the exacerbation of underlying chronic lung disease, bronchospasm, atelectasis, pneumonia and respiratory failure with prolonged mechanical ventilation. Risk factors for postoperative pulmonary complications include patient-related risk factors (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), tobacco smoking and increasing age) as well as procedure-related risk factors (e.g., site of surgery, duration of surgery and general vs. regional anaesthesia). Careful history taking and a thorough physical examination may be the most sensitive ways to identify at-risk patients. Pulmonary function tests are not suitable as a general screen to assess risk of postoperative pulmonary complications. Strategies to reduce the risk of postoperative pulmonary complications include smoking cessation, inspiratory muscle training, optimising nutritional status and intra-operative strategies. Postoperative care should include lung expansion manoeuvres and adequate pain control.
    • Recurrent adult jejuno-jejunal intussusception due to inflammatory fibroid polyp – Vanek’s tumour: a case report

      Joyce, Kenneth M; Waters, Peadar S; Waldron, Ronan M; Khan, Iqbal; Orosz, Zolt S; Németh, Tamas; Barry, Kevin (2014-06-27)
      Abstract Background Adult intussusception is a rare but challenging condition. Preoperative diagnosis is frequently missed or delayed because of nonspecific or sub-acute symptoms. Case presentation We present the case of a sixty-two year old gentleman who initially presented with pseudo-obstruction. Computerised tomography displayed a jejuno-jejunal intussusception, which was treated by primary laparoscopic reduction. The patient re-presented with acute small bowel obstruction two weeks later. He underwent a laparotomy showing recurrent intussusception and required a small bowel resection with primary anastomosis. Histological examination of the specimen revealed that the intussusception lead point was due to an inflammatory fibroid polyp (Vanek’s tumour) causing double invagination. Conclusions Adult intussusception presents with a variety of acute, intermittent, and chronic symptoms, thus making its preoperative diagnosis difficult. Although computed tomography is useful in confirming an anatomical abnormality, final diagnosis requires histopathological analysis. Vanek’s tumours arising within the small bowel rarely present with obstruction or intussusception. The optimal surgical management of adult small bowel intussusception varies between reduction and resection. Reduction can be attempted in small bowel intussusceptions provided that the segment involved is viable and malignancy is not suspected. Virtual Slides The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/7292185123639943
    • Recurrent sigmoid volvulus - early resection may obviate later emergency surgery and reduce morbidity and mortality.

      Larkin, J O; Thekiso, T B; Waldron, R; Barry, K; Eustace, P W; Department of Surgery, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Ireland., larkin.dundalk@gmail.com (2012-01-31)
      INTRODUCTION: Acute sigmoid volvulus is a well recognised cause of acute large bowel obstruction. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We reviewed our unit's experience with non-operative and operative management of this condition. A total of 27 patients were treated for acute sigmoid volvulus between 1996 and 2006. In total, there were 62 separate hospital admissions. RESULTS: Eleven patients were managed with colonoscopic decompression alone. The overall mortality rate for non-operative management was 36.4% (4 of 11 patients). Fifteen patients had operative management (five semi-elective following decompression, 10 emergency). There was no mortality in the semi-elective cohort and one in the emergency surgery group. The overall mortality for surgery was 6% (1 of 15). Five of the seven patients managed with colonoscopic decompression alone who survived were subsequently re-admitted with sigmoid volvulus (a 71.4% recurrence rate). The six deaths in our overall series each occurred in patients with established gangrene of the bowel. With early surgical intervention before the onset of gangrene, however, good outcomes may be achieved, even in patients apparently unsuitable for elective surgery. Eight of the 15 operatively managed patients were considered to be ASA (American Society of Anesthesiologists) grade 4. There was no postoperative mortality in this group. CONCLUSIONS: Given the high rate of recurrence of sigmoid volvulus after initial successful non-operative management and the attendant risks of mortality from gangrenous bowel developing with a subsequent volvulus, it is our contention that all patients should be considered for definitive surgery after initial colonoscopic decompression, irrespective of the ASA score.
    • Screening for developmental dysplasia of the hip: current practices in Ireland.

      O'Grady, M J; Mujtaba, G; Hanaghan, J; Gallagher, D; Department of Paediatrics, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co, Mayo, Republic, of Ireland. michael_ogrady2001@hotmail.com (2012-01-31)
      OBJECTIVE: To ascertain the current approach to screen for developmental dysplasia of the hip in the Republic of Ireland. METHODS: Two-pronged prospective and retrospective study. (1) Postal questionnaire to consultant paediatricians responsible for the routine neonatal care of infants in the Irish Republic in June 2006. (2) Retrospective database review to identify infants undergoing radiological follow-up and their outcome. RESULTS: All maternity units surveyed responded. Most units (84%) were dependent on radiographs at 4-6 months for imaging hips, only two units primarily used ultrasound (10.5%). We estimate that neonatal hip examination is performed by an experienced examiner in less than 30% of routine newborn examinations. On retrospective analysis, 94% of radiographs performed were normal. CONCLUSIONS: The most effective interventions, selective ultrasound and examination by an experienced clinician are not widely practiced. There is a need for the development of national guidelines based on available resources.
    • Scrotal metastases from colorectal carcinoma: a case report.

      McWeeney, Doireann M; Martin, Sean T; Ryan, Ronan S; Tobbia, Iqdam N; Donnellan, Paul P; Barry, Kevin M; Department of Surgery, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co, Mayo, Ireland., doireannmcweeney@gmail.com. (2012-01-31)
      ABSTRACT: A 72-year-old man presented with a two month history of rectal bleeding. Colonoscopy demonstrated synchronous lesions at 3 cm and 40 cm with histological analysis confirming synchronous adenocarcinomata. He developed bilobar hepatic metastases while undergoing neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy. Treatment was complicated by Fournier's gangrene of the right hemiscrotum which required surgical debridement. Eight months later he re-presented with an ulcerating lesion on the right hemiscrotum. An en-bloc resection of the ulcerating scrotal lesion and underlying testis was performed. Immunohistological analysis revealed metastatic adenocarcinoma of large bowel origin. Colorectal metastasis to the urogenital tract is rare and here we report a case of rectal carcinoma metastasizing to scrotal skin.
    • Seatbelt injury causing small bowel devascularisation: case series and review of the literature.

      O'Dowd, Vincent; Kiernan, Christine; Lowery, Aoife; Khan, Waqar; Barry, Kevin; Department of Surgery, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Mayo, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      The use of seatbelts has increased significantly in the last twenty years, leading to a decrease in mortality from road traffic accidents (RTA). However, this increase in seatbelt use has also led to a change in the spectrum of injuries from RTA; abdominal injuries, particularly intestinal injuries have dramatically increased with the routine use of seatbelts. Such intestinal injuries frequently result from improper placement of the "lap belt". We present 3 cases in which passengers wearing a seatbelt sustained significant devascularisation injuries to the small bowel requiring emergency surgical intervention. A high index of suspicion is crucial in such cases to prevent delays in diagnosis that can lead to severe complications and adverse outcomes. It is evident that while advocating seatbelt use, the importance of education in correct seatbelt placement should also be a focus of public health strategies to reduce RTA morbidity and mortality.
    • Squamous cell carcinoma of the anal canal.

      Martin, F T; Kavanagh, D; Waldron, R; Department of Colorectal Surgery, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co. Mayo,, Ireland. fiachra1978@yahoo.com (2012-01-31)
      Squamous cell carcinoma ofthe anal canal represents 1.5% of all malignancies affectingthe gastrointestinal tract. Over the past 20 years dramatic changes have been seen in both the epidemiological distribution of the disease and in the therapeutic modalities utilised to manage it. CLINICAL MANAGEMENT: Historically abdominoperineal resection had been the treatment of choice with local resection reserved for early stage disease. Work by Nigro et al. has revolutionised how we currently manage carcinoma of the anal canal, demonstrating combined modality chemoradiotherapy as an appropriate alternative to surgical resection with the benefit of preserving sphincter function. Surgery is then reserved for recurrent disease with salvage abdominoperineal resection. This article reviews current literature and highlights the changing therapeutic modalities with selected clinical cases
    • Staff attitudes to an ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve block room for orthopaedic patients

      Moore, DM; Duggan, M (Irish Medical Journal, 2014-09)
      Ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve blocks have well recognised benefits in orthopaedic patients. Some hospitals, to maximise these benefits, establish dedicated â block roomsâ to deliver this service. Orthopaedic surgery makes up a large proportion of our hospitals work load, and many of these patients would benefit from ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve blocks. We analysed the attitudes of key staff in our hospital towards the establishment of a block room. Sixty questionnaires were distributed and 47 (78%) were completed. Orthopaedic surgeons (n=6) were concerned ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve blocks would delay theatre lists (83%), and cause patients pain (67%) and increased anxiety (67%). Anaesthetists (n=10) and Nurses (n=30) were concerned there was insufficient experience in their departments to deliver this service (80% and 77%, respectively). However, 91% of all staff believed funding should be available for a block room. Our survey has identified areas of concern, and deficiencies that we must address before proceeding with the development of such a service.