Safer Surgery: Doppler Probe Expected to Improve Colon Resection Outcomes

John Monson, M.D.

John Monson, M.D.

URMC’s colorectal surgeons are using a new device that they anticipate will hasten recovery, shorten hospital stays, and reduce risk for complication in patients undergoing colon resections. The esophageal Doppler probe assists surgeons by slipping down the esophagus where it can carefully assess blood flow velocity in the aorta – an important metric for determining just how much fluid a patient needs to keep optimally perfused during the course of a procedure.

Stewart Lustik, M.D.

Stewart Lustik, M.D.

Monson said the device is commonplace in Europe, especially in the U.K., where studies have demonstrated its ability to whittle length of hospital stay from nine to seven days and reduce post-operative complication rates from 15 to 2 percent. In one cohort, patients monitored with the probe even were able to resume a more normal diet in half the time.

“It’s better medicine, and has the potential to improve patient outcomes,” said anesthesiologist Stewart Lustik, M.D., who directs Anesthesia Technical Services at URMC. “We’re really excited to manage intraoperative fluid administration and tissue perfusion without introducing the associated risks of invasive catheters.”

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