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U.S. SURGICAL BELIEVES NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE ON LAPAROSCOPIC SURGERY MISLEADING

U.S. SURGICAL BELIEVES NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE ON LAPAROSCOPIC SURGERY
 MISLEADING
 NORWALK, Conn., June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Leon C. Hirsch, chairman, United States Surgical Corporation (NYSE: USS), today reported that "a Sunday New York Times article on injuries from laparoscopic surgery presents an unbalanced and misleading overview of this very important new surgical breakthrough."
 Hirsch's statement continued as follows:
 The Times claims there were problems reported in 192 surgical procedures representing 2 percent of all laparoscopic operations performed in New York State since August 1990. The Times statistics are based on the assumption that there were only 9,600 laparoscopic gallbladder operations done in New York State during the past 21 months. A far more realistic statistic would be three to four times that number of operations, which translates into a complication rate of considerably less than 1 percent, or similar or below that of traditional gallbladder surgery.
 In one of the first reviews of the literature (The Lancet, Vol. 338: September 1991), Holohan concluded that "laparoscopic cholecystectomy can be accomplished with a risk/benefit ratio similar or superior to that of the open procedure." Holohan examined 11 studies involving 3,225 laparoscopic cholecystectomy patients and found 115 complications (3.6 percent) and two deaths (0.06 percent).
 In contrast, in reviewing 94,056 open cholecystectomy cases from 1986, Holohan found an overall adverse event rate of 22.4 percent -- more than six times the rate of complications he found in the laparoscopic procedures -- and an in-hospital mortality rate of 1.95 percent.
 The New York Times failed to report that there have been hundreds of thousands of successful laparoscopic gallbladder procedures performed nationally, not tens of thousands. Operations from which the patients went home the next day instead of five days later and back to work within a week instead of five or six weeks...and with significantly reduced pain. The Times actually does support the success rate of laparoscopically performed gallbladder removal when they state, "An overwhelming majority of patients are believed to go through laparoscopy without complications."
 Experts agree that as surgeons get more experience, complication rates drop rapidly; this is already occurring. Whenever a surgeon learns a new complex surgical technique, training on live anesthetized animals is essential for patient safety.
 All USSC-sponsored training programs include lectures, simulated training on artificial organs, followed by extensive live animal training, taught by leading laparoscopic experts. The company emphasizes that this laboratory training should be followed by surgical proctorships, operating under the guidance of experts.
 Laparoscopy is a new surgical technique that provides extraordinary patient benefits, including reduced hospital stay, significantly reduced post-operative pain and recovery time. It is the surgery of the future. In the hands of a properly trained surgeon, it is safe and, for many surgeons, is becoming the procedure of choice for gallbladder removal, hysterectomy, appendectomy, hernia repair and in some cases, bowel and chest procedures.
 /end of Hirsch's statement/
 United States Surgical Corporation is the world's largest manufacturer and marketer of surgical staplers and the leader in the growing field of minimally invasive surgery.
 -0- 06/15/92
 CONTACT: Marianne Scipione of U.S. Surgical, 203-845-1404
 (USS) CO: UNITED STATES SURGICAL CORPORATION IN: HEA ST: CT -- NY023 -- X445 06/15/92
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 15, 1992
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