UPMC Physician Resources

UPMC Vascular Surgeon Elected to lead Regional Quality Group

Donald Baril, MD, chief of vascular surgery at UPMC Mercy, has been named the medical director of the Vascular Quality Initiative’s (VQI) Great Lakes Vascular Study Group.

The VQI is overseen by the Society for Vascular Surgeons Patient Safety Organization which provides oversight of data sharing arrangements, quality measures, and distribution of information to participating providers and functions as a collective of regional quality groups gathering and evaluating data in an effort to improve the quality, safety and effectiveness of patient care.

The Great Lakes Vascular Study Group covers western Pennsylvania and parts of eastern Ohio.

Nasolacrimal duct obstruction a common condition in children

The November News You Can Use column in Ocular Surgery News featured Ellen Mitchell, MD. Dr. Mitchell discussed nasolacrimal duct obstruction and various treatment methods. The full article is available on Ocular Surgery News.

1. What symptoms can a patient present with that may indicate a diagnosis of NLDO? 

2.What does the conservative method of treating NLDO include?

3. What are the advantages of waiting for probing and irrigation?

4.What are the available treatment options if symptoms recur ?

Questions or comments can be directed to Dr. Mitchell at EyeCenter@upmc.edu.

Right-ventricular Dysfunction and Prognosis in Patients with Low-flow, Low-gradient Severe Aortic Stenosis

João Cavalcante, MD, presented “Right-ventricular dysfunction and prognosis in patients with low-flow, low-gradient severe aortic stenosis,” at the European Society of Cardiology 2014 Meeting in Barcelona, Spain. He discussed how assessment of aortic stenosis (AS) severity is critical for treatment decisions but challenging in patients with severe AS and low gradients. The research further examines the importance of the interplay between the two ventricles in patients with aortic stenosis and heart failure.

Read the full abstract here (page 250).

Hear more about this work from Dr. Cavalcante:

American Academy of Ophthalmology 2014

The American Academy of Ophthalmology 2014 Annual Meeting will be taking place later this month in Chicago. A number of UPMC Eye Center physicians will be participating in this year’s conference.

Joel S. Schuman, MD, FACS, chair, UPMC Eye Center, is presenting the courses, OCT: Interpretation & Clinical Applications and Evidence-Based Guidelines in the Management of Glaucoma.

Deepinder Dhaliwal, MD, is presenting during the symposium Update 2014: Infectious Keratitis and The Great Debate: Cornea.

Ken Nischal, MD, is scheduled to present the courses Pediatric Corneal Disorders: A Comprehensive Overview and Nightmares in Pediatric Cataract Surgery.

Thomas Friberg, MD, is scheduled to participate in Academy Cafe – Retina.

For questions about the above presentations, please email EyeCenter@upmc.edu

Chemotherapy and SABR May Be Promising Treatment for Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed at a late stage with locally advanced disease making surgery to remove the tumor difficult. A recent study at UPMC CancerCenter, partner with University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, evaluated patients treated with a combination of chemotherapy and stereotactic ablative radiation (SABR). With a total of 34 patients in the trial, 31 patients completed chemotherapy. Of those 31 patients, 12 went on to have surgery to remove the tumor. After the surgery, 90 percent of the patients had no local disease.

These findings were recently presented at the 56th Annual American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) meeting. Watch Kimmen Quan, MD,  radiation oncologist at UPMC, discuss this study.

UPCI Physician-Researchers Find Targeted Radiation, Drug Therapy Combo Less Toxic for Treatment of Recurrent Head, Neck Cancers

Physician-researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI)/ UPMC CancerCenter  report that patients with a recurrence of head and neck cancer who have previously been given radiation can be treated more quickly, safely, and with less side effects with high doses of Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) in combination with the drug cetuximab. Between July 2007 and March 2013, doctors treated 48 patients with the combination therapy. All of the patients were able to complete the treatments, which were administered in a span of about two weeks compared to traditional therapies which can take up to nine weeks. Severe toxicity was reported at 12 percent using the combination therapy, compared to upwards of 85 percent using conventional therapies. The results of this study were presented at the 2014 American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) annual meeting in San Francisco.  Watch John Vargo, MD, a radiation oncology resident at UPCI/ UPMC CancerCenter and one of the lead authors, discuss this study.

Pulmonary Grand Rounds: HIV-related Lung Diease

At a recent Pulmonary Grand Rounds, Matthew Gingo, MD, discussed the complexities of HIV-related lung disease.

In this video, Dr. Gingo recaps his presentation and highlights:

  • Important clinical features of HIV pulmonary disease
  • Guidelines for clinicians when monitoring these patients
  •  Recent advances in HIV therapy.

For more details on Dr. Gingo’s Grand rounds, you can access a PDF of his full PowerPoint presentation here.

Pulmonary Grand Rounds: Pulmonary Complications of Sickle Cell Disease

Enrico Novelli, MD, presented at a recent Pulmonary Grand Rounds on pulmonary complications of sickle cell disease.

In this video, he recaps his presentation and highlights:

  • Diagnosis and management techniques of acute chest syndrome
  •  Screening patients with sickle cell for pulmonary hypertension
  • The importance of thromboembolic complications

For more information about this presentation, you can access a PDF of Dr. Novelli’s full PowerPoint presentation here.

Various Factors Need to be Considered When Evaluating a Tearing Patient

In the September News You Can Use column in Ocular Surgery News, Jenny Yu, MD, discusses the three causes of tearing and treatment options for each. The full article is available here

1. What are the considerations when evaluating a tearing patient?

2. What procedures are available for removing any obstructions of the drainage system?

3. What role do eyelids play in the drainage of tears and what can be done to correct the positioning?

4. How can ophthalmologists treat patients with no clear anatomical obstruction/or mal-positioned eyelid?

Questions or comments can be directed to Dr. Yu at EyeCenter@upmc.edu.

Twelfth Annual Pittsburgh Vascular Symposium

Current Vascular Therapies: What Has Changed and What is Still the Gold Standard
Oct. 10 – 11, 2014
Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown, Pittsburgh, PA

The Twelfth Annual Pittsburgh Vascular Symposium will feature discussion and evaluation of the current and future standards in the treatment and care of cardiac and vascular patients, including endovascular and open therapies as well as medical management.This two-day conference will also include presentations and open panels, focus on new developments in technology and surgical techniques, and highlight controversies and accepted practices in the field.

This course is sponsored and organized by the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, Division of Vascular Surgery and offers CME credit for physicians and other professionals.

Hear more from course director Rabih Chaer, MD.


For more information or to register for the event, call Mark Byrne at 412-802-3034, or visit the Vascular Symposium website.

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