New Procedure Extends Coverage in Patients With Non-Valvular Afib

doctors performing procedureAs part of its continuing mission to innovate safer, more effective treatments, the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service at Brigham and Women’s Hospital has introduced a new version of a minimally invasive procedure for people with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (Afib). The procedure, which currently uses the WATCHMAN™ FLX device, extends the option of left atrial appendage (LAA) closure to patients who may not have qualified for it before.

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Addressing Questions Related to Brain Health and Health Care Disparities After Hemorrhagic Stroke

brain scan

A team that includes investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston University School of Medicine is one of three multidisciplinary groups that recently received funding from the Henrietta B. and Frederick H. Bugher Foundation to develop breakthroughs related to hemorrhagic stroke. The over $11 million gift, which the American Heart Association is overseeing, aims to improve prevention, treatment and health outcomes for patients with intracerebral hemorrhage.

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Building Bridges Between Clinicians and Biomedical Engineers to Improve Clinical Care in Africa

illustration of globe and stethoscope

Many countries in Africa are facing a severe shortage of clinicians in many specialties, including neurosurgery. Although efforts are underway to train more young clinicians and expand access to neurosurgical care across the continent, another gap must also be addressed: the lack of collaboration between neurosurgeons and technical experts.

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Innovating Lung Transplant Protocols During the COVID-19 Surge

illustration of lung interiorHospitals across the country pushed the pause button on elective surgeries and non-emergency procedures during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, patients requiring lifesaving organ transplants couldn’t wait. To meet these patients’ urgent needs, the transplant team at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Lung Center sprang into action, quickly creating new protocols to help the sickest of the sick.

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Trial Evaluates Novel Blood Test for Immediate Ovarian Cancer Risk

young woman getting blood drawn

Investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have a clinical trial underway to evaluate the utility and efficacy of a novel blood test that screens women for ovarian cancer risk. Led by Kevin Elias, MD, of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the trial aims to enroll 500 women who are estimated to be at increased risk of developing the disease due to a family history of cancer or a known mutation in BRCA1, BRCA2 or another gene linked to ovarian cancer.

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Could a Drop of Blood Hold the Clues to Preventing Aortic Dissection?

Provider drawing blood from patientResearchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital are investigating genetic drivers of vascular disease to help prevent aortic dissection and aneurysm in patients with a familial risk. Using a simple blood draw, they are testing patients for genetic abnormalities that can cause the often-deadly condition.

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Study Finds Mechanical Problems of the Knee More Often Linked to Cartilage Damage Rather Than Meniscal Pathology

Women holding knee in pain

Mechanical problems with the knee, which patients may describe as locking, grinding or clicking, have traditionally been associated with meniscal tears. But a new study from investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital has found that these symptoms are more often driven by cartilage damage rather than meniscal pathology.

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Are Telemedicine Visits Alone Adequate for Surgical Planning in Spine Patients?

Man doing virtual doctor's visit

In the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, most health care providers quickly pivoted to telemedicine. Although elective surgeries were put on hold in the beginning of the pandemic, these surgeries eventually resumed. Continuing to move procedures forward was particularly important for the care of patients requiring orthopaedic surgeries, including spine surgery.

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Does Total Knee Replacement Offer a Good Value for Patients With Advanced Knee Osteoarthritis and Extreme Obesity?

Overweight man hiking

Total knee replacement (TKR) for the treatment of advanced knee osteoarthritis is an efficacious and cost-effective treatment, even for people with extreme obesity (defined as having a body mass index, or BMI, of 40 or higher). This finding from experts at Brigham and Women’s Hospital was published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Double Discrimination: A Call to End Pay and Gender Disparities in Gynecologic Surgery

doctor ready for surgery

The disparity in pay between gynecologic surgery and other surgical specialties has been well-established. In a recent commentary, faculty from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Northwestern University describe the history of this issue and other influences that drive what they call “double discrimination” — lower pay in an area of surgery that has the largest proportion of female surgeons and one that serves primarily female patients.

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