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Afrassiab Guity and Paul H. Young

✓ Watertight closure of the dura following transsphenoidal operations for pituitary adenoma or hypophysectomy and following transclival operations for paraclival tumors has been technically very difficult. This is true both immediately after the initial approach and later for the treatment of delayed cerebrospinal fluid leakage. An innovative practical technique and special suture-tying instruments and needle designed by the principal author for this purpose have greatly facilitated this procedure. This technique has been applied to both direct dural closure and dural patching with watertight dural closure. The technique is also widely applicable for closing (or suturing) the dura following any procedure through a small opening, such as the dural tears occasionally encountered during lumbar or cervical discectomy, or tacking the tentorium during a craniotomy. The technique and suture-tying instruments are described in detail.

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Afrassiab Guity, Paul H. Young and Kenneth R. Smith Jr.

✓ An atraumatic technique for exposing the posterior wall during an end-to-side anastomosis is described.

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Young H. Kim, Philip L. Gildenberg and Paul M. Duchesneau

✓ A case is reported in which a congenital arteriovenous fistula of the left vertebral artery closed spontaneously 4 years after becoming symptomatic. The course was followed and confirmed by retrograde left brachial angiography.

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José Piquer, Mubashir Mahmood Qureshi, Paul H. Young and Robert J. Dempsey

OBJECT

A shortage of neurosurgeons and a lack of knowledge of neuroendoscopic management of hydrocephalus limits modern care in sub-Saharan Africa. Hence, a mobile teaching project for endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) procedures and a subsequent program to develop neurosurgery as a permanent specialty in Kenya and Zanzibar were created and sponsored by the Neurosurgery Education and Development (NED) Foundation and the Foundation for International Education in Neurological Surgery. The objective of this work was to evaluate the results of surgical training and medical care in both projects from 2006 to 2013.

METHODS

Two portable neuroendoscopy systems were purchased and a total of 38 ETV workshops were organized in 21 hospitals in 7 different countries. Additionally, 49 medical expeditions were dispatched to the Coast General Hospital in Mombasa, Kenya, and to the Mnazi Moja Hospital in Zanzibar.

RESULTS

From the first project, a total of 376 infants with hydrocephalus received surgery. Six-month follow-up was achieved in 22%. In those who received follow-up, ETV efficacy was 51%. The best success rates were achieved with patients 1 year of age or older with aqueductal stenosis (73%). The main causes of hydrocephalus were infection (56%) and spina bifida (23%). The mobile education program interacted with 72 local surgeons and 122 nurses who were trained in ETV procedures. The second project involved 49 volunteer neurosurgeons who performed a total of 360 nonhydrocephalus neurosurgical operations since 2009. Furthermore, an agreement with the local government was signed to create the Mnazi Mmoja NED Institute in Zanzibar.

CONCLUSIONS

Mobile endoscopic treatment of hydrocephalus in East Africa results in reasonable success rates and has also led to major developments in medicine, particularly in the development of neurosurgery specialty care sites.

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Andreas Leidinger, Pablo Extremera, Eliana E. Kim, Mahmood M. Qureshi, Paul H. Young and José Piquer

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to describe the experience of a volunteering neurosurgeon during an 18-week stay at the Neurosurgery Education and Development (NED) Institute and to report the general situation regarding the development of neurosurgery in Zanzibar, identifying the challenges and opportunities and explaining the NED Foundation’s model for safe practice and sustainability.

METHODS

The NED Foundation deployed the volunteer neurosurgeon coordinator (NC) for an 18-week stay at the NED Institute at the Mnazi Mmoja Hospital, Stonetown, Zanzibar. The main roles of the NC were as follows: management of patients, reinforcement of weekly academic activities, coordination of international surgical camps, and identification of opportunities for improvement. The improvement opportunities were categorized as clinical, administrative, and sociocultural and were based on observations made by the NC as well as on interviews with local doctors, administrators, and government officials.

RESULTS

During the 18-week period, the NC visited 460 patients and performed 85 surgical procedures. Four surgical camps were coordinated on-site. Academic activities were conducted weekly. The most significant challenges encountered were an intense workload, deficient infrastructure, lack of self-confidence among local physicians, deficiencies in technical support and repairs of broken equipment, and lack of guidelines. Through a series of interviews, the sociocultural factors influencing the NED Foundation’s intervention were determined. Factors identified for success were the activity of neurosurgical societies in East Africa; structured pan-African neurosurgical training; the support of the Foundation for International Education in Neurological Surgery (FIENS) and the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA); motivated personnel; and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar’s willingness to collaborate with the NED Foundation.

CONCLUSIONS

International collaboration programs should balance local challenges and opportunities in order to effectively promote the development of neurosurgery in East Africa. Support and endorsement should be sought to harness shared resources and experience. Determining the caregiving and educational objectives within the logistic, administrative, social, and cultural framework of the target hospital is paramount to success.

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Byron Young, Edward H. Oldfield, William R. Markesbery, Dennis Haack, Phillip A. Tibbs, Paul McCombs, Hong W. Chin, Yosh Maruyama and William F. Meacham

✓ The results of a second operation for tumor removal in 24 adult patients with supratentorial glioblastoma multiforme or anaplastic astrocytoma were analyzed. The median survival time after reoperation was 14 weeks. Five of the 24 patients lived 6 months or longer after reoperation. Only three of these patients maintained a Karnofsky rating (KR) of at least 60 for 6 months or longer after reoperation.

Preoperative neurological status (KR) is the most significant determinant of survival after reoperation (p = 0.02). When the KR is at least 60, median survival after reoperation is 22 weeks. When the KR prior to reoperation is less than 60, median survival is 9 weeks. Only one of 13 patients with a KR of less than 60 prior to reoperation survived longer than 6 months after the second operation. The interval between first and second operation is significantly related to survival (p = 0.03), but when adjustment is made for the KR the interoperative interval is no longer significantly related to survival after the second operation (p = 0.39). Age, sex, and location of tumor were not significantly related to duration of survival.

This study suggests that reoperation is most likely to produce the best result when the KR is at least 60 and the interval between operations is longer than 6 months. Using these criteria, one-third of the patients could be expected to survive with a KR of at least 60 for 6 months. The study indicates that reoperation should not be carried out when the KR is less than 60.