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עמוד בית
Mon, 15.07.24

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May 2022
Yehuda Hershkovitz MD, Oded Zmora MD, Hilli Nativ MD, Itamar Ashkenazi MD, Jonathan Hammerschlag MD, and Igor Jeroukhimov MD

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a significant impact on healthcare systems worldwide. The fear of seeking medical attention to avoid the possibility of being infected may have altered the course of some diseases.

Objectives: To describe our experience with the management of patients with acute cholecystitis during the pandemic at our medical center.

Methods: We compared patients treated for acute cholecystitis between 1 March and 31 August 2020 (Group I) to patients admitted with the same diagnosis during the same months in 2019 (Group II). We evaluated demographics, presenting symptoms, laboratory and imaging findings at presentation, the disease's clinical course, management, and outcome.

Results: Group I consisted of 101 patients and group II included 94 patients. No differences were noted for age (66 years, IQR 48–78 vs. 66 years, IQR 47–76; P = 0.50) and sex (57.4% vs. 51.1% females; P = 0.39) between the two groups. The delay between symptom onset and hospital admission was longer for Group I patients (3 days, IQR 2–7 vs. 2 days, IQR 1–3; P = 0.002). Moderate to severe disease was more commonly encountered in Group I (59.4% vs. 37.2%, P = 0.003). Group I patients more often failed conservative management (36% vs. 6%, P = 0.001) and had a higher conversion rate to open surgery (15.4% vs. 0%, P = 0.025).

Conclusions: Patients presenting with acute cholecystitis during the COVID-19 pandemic more often presented late to the emergency department and more showed adverse outcomes

February 2022
Itay Zoarets MD, Yehonatan Nevo MD, Chaya Schwartz MD, Moti Cordoba BSc, Udi Shapira BSc, Motti Gutman MD FACS, and Oded Zmora MD FACS FASCRS

Background: Pilonidal sinus is a chronic, inflammatory condition. Controversy exists regarding the best surgical  management for pilonidal sinus, including the extent of excision and type of closure of the surgical wound.

Objectives: To assess the short- and long-term outcomes and success rate of the trephine procedure for the treatment of pilonidal sinus.

Method: A retrospective observational cohort study was conducted at a single center. Patients who underwent trephine procedure between 2011 and 2015 were included. Data collection included medical records review and a telephone interview to establish long-term follow-up.

Results: A total of 169 patients underwent the trephine technique for the repair of pilonidal sinus. Follow-up included 113 patients, median age 20 years. Initial postoperative period, 35.6% recalled no pain and 58.6% reported a mild to moderate pain. Postoperative complications included local infection (7.5%) and mild bleeding (15.1%). On early postoperative follow-up, 47.1% recalled no impairment in quality of life, and 25%, 21.2 %, and 6.7% had mild, moderate and sever disturbance respectively. The median time to return to work or school was 10 days. At a median follow-up of 29 months (IQR 19–40), recurrence rate was 45.1% (51/113), and 38 (33.9%) of the patients underwent another surgical procedure. Overweight, smoking, and family history were associated with higher recurrence rate.

Conclusion: The trephines technique has a significant long-term recurrence rate. Short-term advantages include low morbidity, enhanced recovery, and minimal to mild postoperative impairment to quality of life. The trephine procedure may be justified as a first treatment of pilonidal disease

May 2018
Yehuda Hershkovitz MD, Itamar Ashkenazi MD, Zahar Shapira MD, Oded Zmora MD and Igor Jeroukhimov MD

Background: Damage control laparotomy (DCL) is the widely accepted procedure of choice in management of severely injured trauma patient. It has been implemented in non-trauma-related surgical pathology in the last decade.

Objectives: To evaluate our experience with planned re-laparotomy (PRL) in non-trauma patients and compare it to other reports.

Methods: Charts of all patients admitted to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center who underwent PRL for non-trauma-related abdominal pathology during a 6 year period were reviewed. Data regarding demographics, vital signs, laboratory tests, indications for surgery, length of hospital stay, and mortality were obtained from medical charts. Indications for surgery, risk factors, and mortality were analyzed.

Results: The study was comprised of 181 patients. Primary abdominal sepsis (50), postoperative sepsis (49), mesenteric event (32), and intestinal obstruction (28) were the most common indications for PRL. Mortality rate was 48.6%. Factors correlating with increased mortality were advanced age, hypotension, hypothermia, metabolic acidosis, and renal failure. Bowel resection was performed on 122 patients (67%) and primary intestinal anastomosis constructed in 46.7%. Mortality rate was lower in patients who underwent PRL with primary anastomosis compared to patients with postponed bowel anastomosis (33.3% vs. 55.4%, P = 0.018).

Conclusions: PRL in abdominal emergencies carries a high mortality rate. Primary anastomosis may be considered in non-trauma-related PRL.

March 2018
Avinoam Nevler MD, Yaniv Berger MD, Avital Rabinovitz MD, Oded Zmora MD, Moshe Shabtai MD, Danny Rosin MD and Mordechai Gutman MD FACS

Background: Acute appendicitis (AA) is one of the most common indications for emergency abdominal surgery.

Objective: To assess the diagnostic and prognostic value of serum bilirubin and liver enzyme levels in the management of acute appendicitis.

Methods: Consecutive emergency department patients referred for a surgical consult for suspected AA were prospectively enrolled in the study. Data regarding demographic, clinical and laboratory results were recorded. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was performed for all evaluated parameters. Clinical and laboratory markers were evaluated for diagnostic accuracy and correlation to the clinical severity, histology reports, and length of hospital stay.

Results: The study was comprised of 100 consecutive patients. ROC curve analysis revealed white blood cell count, absolute neutrophils count (ANC), C-reactive protein, total-bilirubin and direct-bilirubin levels as significant factors for diagnosis of AA. The combination of serum bilirubin levels, alanine transaminase levels, and ANC yielded the highest area under the curve (0.898, 95% confidence interval 0.835–0.962, P<0.001) with a diagnostic accuracy of 86%. In addition, total and direct bilirubin levels significantly correlated with the severity of appendicitis as described in the operative and pathology reports (P < 0.01). Total and direct bilirubin also significantly correlated with the length of hospital stay (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Serum bilirubin levels, alone or combined with other markers, may be considered as a clinical marker for AA correlating with disease existence, severity, and length of hospital stay. These findings support the routine use of serum bilirubin levels in the workup of patients with suspected AA.

April 2017
Avinoam Nevler MD, Gil Har-Zahav MD, Avigdor Abraham MD, Ginette Schiby MD, Oded Zmora MD, Moshe Shabtai MD, Mordechai Gutman MD and Danny Rosin MD

Background: Diagnosis of abdominal lymphadenopathy is challenging when not accompanied by peripheral lymphadenopathy. Computed tomography-guided core-needle biopsy has largely replaced open procedures in recent years, but this approach is limited by access to the anatomic region and the amount of tissue acquired.

Objective: To demonstrate the feasibility of the laparoscopic approach in obtaining abdominal lymph node biopsies and to evaluate the diagnostic adequacy of the technique.

Methods: We reviewed the data of patients who underwent laparoscopic lymph node biopsy between 2014 and 2014 in our department. Demographics, intra-operative parameters and postoperative course were examined, as were histological reports. Postoperative complications were categorized according to the Clavien-Dindo(CD) classification.

Results: Between 2004 and 2014, 57 laparoscopic biopsies were performed for intra-abdominal lymphadenopathy. One case was a repeated attempt due to limited histologic material. The mean age was 49.5 ± 19.6 years. There were two conversions to open laparotomy, one due to small bowel injury and the other due to a sizable mass. Overall, 56 cases had full clinical data: 48 cases (85.7%) had CD=0, six (10.7%) had CD=1, one postoperative severe complication (CD=3) and one mortality (CD=5), which was related to preexisting hepatic insufficiency. Mean hospital stay was 1.6 days. Overall, adequate tissue samples were acquired in 96.7% and only 3 of these cases resulted in inconclusive diagnoses.

Conclusions: Laparoscopic lymph node biopsy is a viable alternative to the currently available methods of tissue retrieval. It provides an access for nodes which are inaccessible percutaneously, and may allow a superior diagnostic yield.

March 2011
March 2007
M. Khaikin, Y. Chowers and O. Zmora
Perianal Crohn's disease refers to the involvement of the anal region in this chronic inflammatory bowel disease. It most commonly presents with the formation of perianal abscesses and fistulas, although other forms of presentations such as fissures and skin tags may also be present. Perianal activity often parallels abdominal disease activity, but may occasionally be the primary site of active disease, and significantly compromises the quality of life in affected patients. The primary treatment of patients with perianal Crohn's disease combines medical and surgical management with the aim of improving quality of life and alleviating suffering. A multidisciplinary approach involving the patient, surgeon, gastroenterologist, radiologist, pathologist, nutritionist, and other specialists makes the successful treatment of PCD[1] possible. This paper reviews the management of patients with perianal Crohn's disease, focusing on contemporary medical and surgical treatments such as infliximab, endorectal advancement flap, instillation of fibrin glue, and the potential use of extracellular matrix plugs






[1] PCD = perianal Crohn's disease


October 2004
M.R. Pfeffer, Y. Kundel, M. Zehavi, R. Catane, M. Koller, O. Zmora, R. Elkayam and Z. Symon

Background: Preoperative radiotherapy is standard treatment for rectal cancer and is often combined with 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy. UFT, a new oral 5FU[1] derivative, given daily during a course of radiotherapy mimics the effect of continuous-infusion 5FU.

Objectives: To determine the maximum tolerated dose of oral UFT and leucovorin with preoperative pelvic irradiation for rectal cancer, and assess tumor response.

Methods: In this phase 1 trial, 16 patients aged 42–79 years with tumors within 12 cm of the anal verge received radiotherapy, 45 Gy over 5 weeks, an escalating dose of oral UFT, and a fixed dose of 30 mg/day leucovorin. UFT and leucovorin were given for 28 consecutive days concomitant with the first 4 weeks of radiotherapy. Surgery was scheduled for 4–6 weeks after completion of radiotherapy. The surgical procedure was determined by the surgeon at the time of surgery.

Results: No grade III toxicity was seen at 200 mg/m2/day UFT. Of eight patients who received 240 mg/m2/day UFT, one developed grade IV diarrhea; of four patients who received 270 mg/m2/day UFT, one was hospitalized with grade IV diarrhea and leukopenic fever and died during hospitalization. Of the 15 evaluable patients, 9 had pathologic tumor down-staging including 4 patients with complete response. Only one patient required a colostomy.
Conclusions: The MTD[2] of UFT together with leucovorin and preoperative radiotherapy for rectal cancer is 240 mg/m2. The major toxicity was diarrhea. Down-staging was noted in 60% of patients, allowing sphincter-preserving surgery even in patients with low tumors.







[1] 5FU = 5-fluorouracil

[2] MTD = maximum tolerated dose


May 2003
M. Ben Haim, S.T. Zwas, Y. Munz, D. Rosin, E.L. Shabtai, J. Kuriansky, D. Olchovsky, O. Zmora, A. Scarlat, A. Ayalon and M. Shabtai

Background: Primary hyperparathyroidism in elderly patients is usually associated with additional co-morbidity that increases operative risk, and thus many geriatric patients are denied the benefit of surgery for a single parathyroid adenoma.

Objectives:  To evaluate the safety and efficacy of accurate single photon emission computed tomography sestamibi scintigraphy, enabling precise localization of a single adenoma, in the geriatric population

Methods: Twenty-two patients aged 70 years and over with biochemically proven PHPT[1] and with a single parathyroid adenoma identified by localization studies (sestamibi SPECT[2] scan and ultrasonography) underwent 23 operations over 29 months (out of a total of 140 patients operated upon during the same period). Immediate preoperative sestamibi scintigraphy and marking of focal adenoma uptake followed by intraoperative hand-held gamma probe were used for the removal of the parathyroid adenoma by unilateral minimal access surgery. Associated major co-morbid conditions and pre- and postoperative calcium, phosphorus and parathormone levels were recorded. Indications for surgery were listed and operative and postoperative complications were noted. The patients were followed for a mean period of 17.7 months using the same parameters.

Results: The 22 patients with PHPT had a mean age of 76.3 ± 5.9 years (range 70–88 years)  and a female to male ratio of 13:9. Associated co-morbidity included ischemic heart disease (n=15), hypertension (n=22), non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (n=9), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (n=3), and previous neck surgery (n=3). Mean preoperative serum calcium, phosphorous and PTH[3] were 11.7 ± 1.3 mg/dl, 2.5 ± 0.5 mg/dl and 160.9 ± 75.4 pg/ml respectively. In 20 of the 22 patients, surgery was successful in curing PHPT (91%). One patient had persistent hypercalcemia due to a missed adenoma, and repeat operation (by focused minimal access surgery) was successfully performed 2 weeks later. There were no complications and no morbidity postoperatively. Mean postoperative serum calcium, phosphorous and PTH were 9.6 ± 1.2 mg/dl, 3.0 ± 0.5 mg/dl and 35.2 ± 24 pg/ml respectively. In all patients, serum calcium levels remained normal (9.7 ± 1.3 mg/ml) after long-term follow-up (mean 17.7 ± 9.6 months).

Conclusions: Minimally invasive, radio-guided focused parathyroidectomy for a single adenoma is a safe and effective method to cure hyperparathyroidism in the elderly. Success of surgery is directly related to the surgeon's experience and to the precise localization marking provided by sestamibi scintigraphic SPECT localization and concurrent sonographic findings.






[1] PHPT = primary hyperparathyroidism

[2] SPECT = single photon emission computed tomography

[3] PTH = parathormone


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