As part of a special issue on surgical innovations in the British Journal of Surgery, a new review highlights the many advances that have been made in the use of optical imaging to guide cancer surgeries. For example, fluorescence imaging can provide surgeons with reliable and real-time feedback to better identify surgical targets and tumor margins. Also, early clinical data indicate that cancer detection and patient survival can be improved by use of fluorescently labeled tumor-targeting contrast agents. It is anticipated that the next 5 years will deliver many clinical studies in the field of image-guided surgery in various cancer types.
Another paper in the issue highlights how innovation in income-poor countries has provided cost-effective and efficient solutions to various health needs--for example, mosquito nets have been used as mesh to repair hernias and tasks among health workforce teams have been redistributed to address shortages in skilled clinicians. The review notes that high-income countries can learn from such innovative strategies.
Other research included in the issue focuses on a new resorbable scaffold that looks promising for treating tracheal problems due to congenital tracheal defects or prolonged intubation in premature infants.
"The world needs innovators to challenge existing thoughts and BJS is more than happy to provide a forum for them to share their ideas with the surgical community," said co-Chief Editor, Jonothan Earnshaw. "The studies in this special issue offer exciting opportunities that could help improve the health and well-being of individuals around the world."