American Academy Of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS)

Business is booming for most cosmetic surgeons right now, and all procedures appear to be benefiting. As a California doctor explained, “Overall, business is up 13% across the board. There was a good economy last year, and a good economy floats all boats.” However, a Tennessee doctor said their volume is down year-over-year “because of nervousness over the stock market. Politicians are being ridiculous, so patients are reluctant to pay for elective procedures.”

Bulletin: Implications Of The FDA Warning About Mortality With Abiomed's Impella

The FDA issued a safety alert letter to healthcare providers, warning them that the interim results of a postmarketing study of Abiomed’s Impella RP, a temporary, percutaneously-placed right ventricular assist device, showed an increased rate of mortality. Here we look at what that means for use of the device.

Inflammatory Skin Disease Summit (ISDS): Atopic Dermatitis

Early data on three topical agents to treat mild-to-moderate eczema (atopic dermatitis) were presented at the meeting, each with a different method of action. It’s too early to compare them, but any agent that works would be appealing to patients.

Bulletin: American Society Of Hematology (ASH) – Preview

In a web briefing for reporters in advance of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting in San Diego CA December 1-4, 2018, ASH officials highlighted three themes this year – sickle cell disease, CAR T therapies, and big trials with big results – as well as the late-breaking studies they predicted would be most important – and practice-changing. The big focus this year is chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Bulletin: Ash Guidelines for VTE

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) has issued new guidelines for venous thromboembolism (VTE). Nearly a million Americans each year develop a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE). The guideline include nearly 150 recommendations. This report summarizes what ASH considers some of the key points from the guidelines.

American College Of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)

Novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are increasingly being prescribed, but until a few months ago there wasn’t a specific reversal agent for Factor Xa inhibitors. ACEP was a good opportunity to gauge the enthusiasm for – and uptake of – Portola Pharmaceuticals’ Andexxa. Emergency department physicians said they would like to have Andexxa in their pharmacy, but they are concerned about the cost. On average, doctors predicted they would use Andexxa 2-3 times a month – if it were available. Two new technologies were getting attention at ACEP: Butterfly Network’s iPhone-connected ultrasound, and Genetesis’ CardioFlux, a non-invasive magnetic imaging device to evaluate coronary stenosis in the ED.

Plastic Surgery The Meeting

There wasn’t a lot of late-breaking news at the annual meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, but it was a good opportunity to get a snapshot of developments in breast implants as well as adoption of a therapy for hyperhidrosis, Sientra’s miraDry. Plastic surgeons said their breast implant volume over the last year has been flat to slightly up, and that trend is expected to continue over the next year. Johnson & Johnson/Mentor and Allergan remain the dominant implant providers, but Sientra is gradually regaining market share, and Ideal Implant is starting to get some attention. There is increasing concern about the safety of textured implants, which may make it difficult for Establishment Labs’ Motiva to get traction in the U.S.

North American Spine Society (NASS)

Robotics is catching on in spine, but slowly. Medtronic hopes to give that a push with the purchase of Mazor Robotics and some aggressive marketing. Stryker, Zimmer Biomet, and Johnson & Johnson also all have spine robots in development. Surface materials was a hot topic at NASS, and many companies offer a 3D-printed porous titanium implant, but there may be important differences. This was highlighted with reports of troublesome breakage with Stryker’s devices. Expandable cages are catching on but not taking over.


Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) was a common topic at CHEST, but the focus was on emphasizing the importance of diagnosis, treatment – and keeping patients on treatment – not new drugs in the pipeline. Bronchoscopy was also getting a lot of attention at the meeting, and, with diagnostic yields not much improved over the last 30 years, there was interest in new technologies, from navigation to robotics.

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