Kella surgical care
Over the years, I've had nurses and patients complement me on my attitude and demeanor on the surgical floors. Of course, I've had some complaints and advice given as well. I just read an article going over habits of physicians that resonate with patients. Some I already do, others are new and worth trying out.

Patients appreciate the white coat, despite the rise in blood pressure that comes with the anxiety it also provokes. Sitting down during rounds, which seems inefficient to a surgeon, actually increases the perception that surgeons are listening by over 50%. In addition, it doesn't add extra time and may rest our aging knees!

Having the nursing staff accompany the surgeon during rounds improves patient care and allows the staff to relay concerns and reduce follow-up calls. Keeping the family in the room during rounds achieves a similar effect.

All in all, most of this is common sense, but it doesn't hurt to review and try out new things to improve patient outcome.

Open Source Robotics with the Raven

I love the term open source; most think of Linux, MySQL, php or other computer science related ideas. Raven is actually an open source platform for software programming a robotic system developed by the University of Washington and UC Santa Cruz.
What does this mean? Well, one example would be doing surgery on a beating heart, but the instruments and camera would move in concert with the heart beat, making the surgeon less distracted during surgery. Maybe it would also bring more innovation to surgery, taking it out of the monopoly situation we are in right now.

Genetic Link for Prostate Cancer

A homeobox transcription gene in endoplasmic reticulum
With all the controversy regarding prostate cancer screening and the use of PSA, it is good news to hear that research published earlier this year is giving us something similar to BRAC in breast cancer.

Men were 5 times more likely to develop early prostate cancer if they had mutation in the HOXB13 gene. About 3% of men who had early prostate cancer also had the mutation. While this number sounds low, I think it is an important marker, which could help identify patients who should be subject to screening.

In addition, it would be interesting to see if there is anything that could be done to the mutation as a sort of preventive therapy.
In San Antonio, we have seen a definite increase in interest in predictive tests for prostate cancer. A genetic test would be great to help identify patients who would be candidates for treatment with a robotic radical prostatectomy.

Prostate Cancer Survivors Respond to PSA Screening Controversy | The List | a blog

Kirby EagleNation Goman Outwardly super-healthy 51 y.o. has PSA of 20.6. Turns out to be Stage 3, with seminal vesicle involvement and extra-prostatic extensions. Thank God for my surgeon, Naveen Kella of Urology San Antonio. Everyday is a gift.

Thanks for the mention, Mr Goman. I'm going to check out the Blue Cure.

Unleash the Robot Dogs of War

The intuitive robot is a bit smoother, but this is impressive and a bit intimidating if you are on the wrong side of AlphaDog...

Stanford researchers build transparent, super-stretchy skin-like sensor


This kind of skin could be placed on robots-- Imagine placing this on a robotic instrument with a way to pass on the force sensation to the human controlling the motion. Or perhaps creating a emergency stop when parts of the robotic instrument start running into resistance... This technology was created not only at my alma mater, but also by my old chemE department!