August 27, 2013 There's no evidence of benefit for many of the procedures surgeons subject patients to. A few hospitals are getting rid of time-honored practices, like fasting before an operation, because studies have found that patients come out stronger and happier without them. But traditions are hard to change.
August 22, 2013 Doctors often tell patients to stop smoking before surgery, but precious few help out with that. A hospital in Canada found that just offering a few simple kinds of help was enough to get more people to quit before going under the knife.
July 26, 2013 Doping in sports is back in the news. And once again we are reminded that our attitudes on the topic are complicated and not entirely transparent even to ourselves. Commentator Alva Noë wonders where we draw the line when it comes to altering our physical and chemical selves.
July 15, 2013 The anterior approach for total hip replacement involves going in through the front of the hip, rather than the back. Proponents say it speeds up recovery time. But recovery time has improved a lot with the traditional techniques, too, and there's not yet enough evidence to say this is better.
June 26, 2013 There have been nagging questions about whether nitrous oxide during surgery raises the risk of heart attacks and other problems. Now, there's some reassurance, though no definitive answer, from a study that looked at the widely used anesthetic.
May 16, 2013 Robot-assisted surgeries have changed the medical landscape for patients with certain diagnoses, including some types of cancer. Commentator Barbara J. King looks forward to meeting her robot surgeon next week and getting the job done.
February 28, 2013 Want to be a better surgeon? Get your game face on. A study finds that surgical residents who played video games for an hour a day performed better at simulated keyhole surgeries than colleagues who refrained.
February 26, 2013 Conventional wisdom holds that summertime — when medical students graduate and become first-time doctors — is the most dangerous time to check into a hospital. But a recent study of surgeries at 1,700 hospitals suggests the fear of newbie docs is overblown.
February 11, 2013 When researchers asked hospitals how much a total hip replacement would cost a 62-year-old woman paying cash, a surprising number couldn't or wouldn't say. Health care could learn something from the car industry about working with consumers, critics say.
January 14, 2013 Figuring out when an athlete with damaged knee ligaments can get back in action is an inexact art at best. Doctors have various ways to mend a busted knee, but the results, like car mileage, can vary.
December 10, 2012 Stroke is usually a problem that comes with age, but a surprising number of children have strokes, too. Many kids have conditions that put them at higher risk. But surgeons have developed a technique that cuts the risk in some of these kids by giving part of the brain a new blood supply.
November 20, 2012 More than 40 percent of surgical complications occur after patients are at home. The solution for the problem isn't keeping patients in the hospital longer, researchers say. Better instructions to patients and improved monitoring could help.
October 7, 2012 Spinal Elements, a small and growing company, had long made plates, screws and other technology used in spinal surgeries. But its new Hero Allograft was the first product it ever made from the tissue — in this case the bones — of a donated human cadaver.
September 26, 2012 There are a lot more older people with worn-out knees, and the rate at which those people get knees replaced has gone way up in the last 20 years, too.