Aug 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.
Aug 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.
Jul 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.
Jul 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.
Jun 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.
Apr 23, 2013 — Hysterectomy are among the most common surgical procedures for women. With the advent of surgical robots, more doctors and women are opting for that approach. Does a robot, which costs more, make it better?
Feb 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.
Feb 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.
Feb 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.