Alexander S Farivar

Swedish Medical Center Seattle, Seattle, Washington, United States

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Publications (81)293.85 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer/American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society classification of pulmonary adenocarcinomas identifies indolent lesions associated with low recurrence, superior survival, and the potential for sublobar resection. The distinction, however, is determined on the pathologic evaluation, limiting preoperative surgical planning. We sought to determine whether preoperative computed tomography (CT) characteristics could guide decisions about the extent of the pulmonary resection. We reviewed the preoperative CT scans for 136 patients identified to have adenocarcinomas with lepidic features on the final pathologic evaluation. The solid component on CT was substituted for the invasive component, and patients were radiologically classified as adenocarcinoma in situ, 3 cm or less with no solid component; minimally invasive adenocarcinoma, 3 cm or less with a solid component of 5 mm or less; or invasive adenocarcinoma, exceeding 3 cm or solid component exceeding 5 mm, or both. Analysis of variance, t test, χ(2) test, and Kaplan-Meier methods were used for analysis. The radiologic classification identified 35 adenocarcinomas in situ (26%) and 12 minimally invasive (9%) and 89 invasive adenocarcinoma (65%) lesions. At a 32-month median follow-up, patient outcomes associated with the radiologic classification were similar to the pathologic-based classification: the radiologic classification identified 14 of 16 patients with recurrent disease and all 6 who died of lung cancer. In addition, patients with radiologic adenocarcinoma in situ and minimally invasive adenocarcinoma who underwent sublobar resections had no recurrence and 100% disease-free and overall survival at 5 years. The radiologic classification of patients with lepidic adenocarcinomas is associated with similar oncologic and survival outcomes compared with the pathologic classification and may guide decision making in the approach to surgical resection. Copyright © 2015 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    The Annals of thoracic surgery 07/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2015.04.030 · 3.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rationale Tunneled pleural catheters have been established to be safe and effective in the management of recurrent symptomatic pleural effusions. Obstruction of the tunneled pleural catheter is rare; however, when obstructed the catheter fails to achieve its primary goal of symptom palliation. The management of pleural catheter obstruction has not been studied. Objectives We thus aim to determine if the use of intracatheter fibrinolytic therapy is safe and effective in restoring catheter function. Methods One-hundred and seventy-two patients with tunneled pleural catheters placed from 2009-2014 were reviewed to identify patients who received fibrinolysis for catheter obstruction, defined by a sudden reduction to less than 10mls in pleural fluid drainage with fluid visualized in the thorax on ultrasound/radiography. The technique involved intracatheter instillation of 2-5mg of alteplase and allowed to remain in the catheter for 60-120 minutes, following which drainage was performed. Measurements and Main Results Obstruction occurred in 37 pleural catheters at a median of 2 months from insertion. One-hundred percent (37/37) of obstructed catheters resumed drainage following fibrinolytic instillation, from a median of 4mls pre- to 300mls post-fibrinolysis, p<0.001. Twenty-four (65%) were performed in an outpatient setting, and no complications were encountered during or following fibrinolytic therapy. There were 18 episodes of reobstruction, all of which were successfully treated with intracatheter fibrinolytic therapy without complication. Conclusions Fibrinolytic instillation through a tunneled pleural catheter is safe and effective in restoring function of an obstructed catheter, as evidenced by the lack of complications and success in achieving catheter patency. The procedure can also be performed safely in an outpatient setting. Patients who experience catheter obstruction may be prone to reobstruction; however, fibrinolysis was safe and effective in re-establishing patency of the reobstructed catheter.
    Annals of the American Thoracic Society 07/2015; 146(4_MeetingAbstracts). DOI:10.1513/AnnalsATS.201503-182OC
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    ABSTRACT: A novel antireflux procedure combining laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication and Hill repair components was tested in 50 patients with paraesophageal hernia (PEH) and/or Barrett's esophagus (BE) because these two groups have been found to have a high rate of recurrence with conventional repairs. Patients with symptomatic PEH and/or non-dysplastic BE underwent repair. Quality of life (QOL) metrics, manometry, EGD, and pH testing were administered pre- and postoperatively. Fifty patients underwent repair. There was no mortality and four major complications. At 13-month follow-up, there was one (2 %) clinical recurrence, and two (4 %) asymptomatic fundus herniations. Mean DeMeester scores improved from 57.2 to 7.7 (p < 0.0001). Control of preoperative symptoms was achieved in 90 % with 6 % resumption of antisecretory medication. All QOL metrics improved significantly. The hybrid Nissen-Hill repair for patients with PEH and BE appears safe and clinically effective at short-term follow-up. It is hoped that the combined structural components may reduce the rate of recurrence compared to existing repairs.
    Surgical Endoscopy 06/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00464-015-4238-2 · 3.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The management of potentially resectable stage III non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) is controversial. Options include induction chemotherapy or induction chemoradiation followed by resection, or chemoradiation without surgery. No trial has compared the outcomes of induction chemoradiation using different radiation doses. We reviewed our experience involving patients with clinical stage III disease treated with trimodality therapy involving two radiation strategies to determine the response rates, operative results, recurrence patterns, and long-term survival. A retrospective review was made of consecutive stage III NSCLC patients treated from 2004 to 2011. Fifty-two patients with clinical stage IIIa NSCLC were treated with trimodality therapy. Eighteen patients were treated to doses of 60 Gy or higher, and 34 to lower doses (45, 50, or 54 Gy). There were significantly more postoperative complications in the higher radiation group (p < 0.001). Pathologic complete response (50% versus 15%, p = 0.016) and mediastinal nodal clearance (75% versus 42%, p = 0.254) rates were also higher in the high-dose group. That did not, however, translate into better disease-free and overall survival rates. Importantly, long-term noncancer mortality was significantly higher after higher dose preoperative radiation therapy. In this series of patients with clinical stage IIIa NSCLC treated with trimodality therapy, a higher dose of preoperative radiation therapy resulted in better response rates but that did not translate to better cancer-specific survival. Of significance, we observed a notably higher delayed noncancer mortality in the high-dose group. Copyright © 2015 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    The Annals of thoracic surgery 06/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2015.03.075 · 3.65 Impact Factor
  • Andreas M. Schneider · Brian E. Louie · Ralph W. Aye · Alexander S. Farivar
    Gastroenterology 04/2015; 148(4):S-1140. DOI:10.1016/S0016-5085(15)33886-5 · 13.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) ± endoscopic resection (EMR) is an established treatment strategy for neoplastic Barrett's and intramucosal cancer. Most patients are managed with proton pump inhibitors. The incidence of recurrent Barrett's metaplasia, dysplasia, or cancer after complete eradication is up to 43 % using this strategy. We hypothesize the addition of fundoplication should result in a lower recurrence rates after complete eradication. Multi-institutional retrospective review of patients undergoing endotherapy followed by Nissen fundoplication RESULTS: A total of 49 patients underwent RFA ± EMR followed by Nissen fundoplication. Complete remission of intestinal metaplasia (CR-IM) was achieved in 26 (53 %) patients, complete remission of dysplasia (CR-D) in 16 (33 %) patients, and 7 (14 %) had persistent neoplastic Barrett's. After fundoplication, 18/26 (70 %) remained in CR-IM. An additional 10/16 CR-D achieved CR-IM and 4/7 with persistent dysplasia achieved CR-IM. One patient progressed to LGD while no patient developed HGD or cancer. Endoscopic therapy for Barrett's dysplasia and/or intramucosal cancer followed by fundoplication results in similar durability of CR-IM to patients being managed with PPIs alone after endoscopic therapy. However, fundoplication may be superior in preventing further progression of disease and the development of cancer. Fundoplication is an important strategy to achieve and maintain CR-IM, and facilitate eradication of persistent dysplasia.
    Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery 03/2015; 146(5). DOI:10.1007/s11605-015-2783-6 · 2.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES Lepidic growth pattern lung adenocarcinoma commonly presents as a dominant lesion (DL) with associated pulmonary nodules either in the ipsilateral or contralateral lung fields, posing a challenge in clinical decision-making. These tumours may be clinically upstaged compared with those who present with solitary lesions and, as a result, may be offered different therapies. The purpose of this study is to compare recurrence rates, the development of new lesions and survival in patients with adenocarcinoma with a lepidic component presenting with a DL with or without additional nodules.
    Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery 11/2014; 20(2). DOI:10.1093/icvts/ivu366 · 1.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Axial shortening of the esophagus is caused by repetitive esophageal injury from gastroesophageal reflux disease resulting in esophagitis, submucosal fibrosis, and esophageal dysmotility. A short esophagus (<2 cm of intraabdominal length after type II mediastinal dissection) is encountered in 20% to 63% of patients undergoing paraesophageal hernia repair. An esophageal lengthening procedure can be a useful adjunct to fundoplication to reduce the 50% recurrence rate reported at 5 years. We describe a simplified Collis gastroplasty technique that negates the need for wedge fundectomy, potentially saving operating room time and cost, while hypothetically reducing morbidity. Copyright © 2014 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    The Annals of Thoracic Surgery 11/2014; 98(5):1860-2. DOI:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2014.04.131 · 3.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the presence of esophageal pathology, there is risk of worse outcomes after laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) and sleeve gastrectomy (SG). This study reviewed how an esophageal workup affected a bariatric operative plan in patients with concurrent esophageal pathology. We retrospectively reviewed patients planning bariatric surgery referred with significant reflux, dysphagia, and hiatal hernia (>3 cm) to determine how and why a thorough esophageal workup changed a bariatric operative plan. We identified 79 patients for analysis from 2009 to 2013. In 10/41 patients (24.3 %) planning LAGB and 5/9 patients planning SG (55.5 %), a Roux was preferred because of severe symptoms of reflux and aspiration, dysphagia, manometric abnormalities (aperistaltic or hypoperistaltic esophagus with low mean wave amplitudes), large hiatal hernia (>5 cm), and/or presence of Barrett's esophagus. Patients without these characteristics had a decreased risk of foregut symptoms after surgery. We recommend a thorough esophageal workup in bariatric patients with known preoperative esophageal pathology. The operative plan might need to be changed to a Roux to prevent adverse outcomes including dysphagia, severe reflux, or suboptimal weight loss. An esophageal workup may improve surgical decision making and improve patient outcomes.
    Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery 09/2014; 19(1). DOI:10.1007/s11605-014-2626-x · 2.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background In 2012 the United States Food and Drug Administration approved implantation of a magnetic sphincter to augment the native reflux barrier based on single-series data. We sought to compare our initial experience with magnetic sphincter augmentation (MSA) with laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication (LNF). Methods A retrospective case-control study was performed of consecutive patients undergoing either procedure who had chronic gastrointestinal esophageal disease (GERD) and a hiatal hernia of less than 3 cm. Results Sixty-six patients underwent operations (34 MSA and 32 LNF). The groups were similar in reflux characteristics and hernia size. Operative time was longer for LNF (118 vs 73 min) and resulted in 1 return to the operating room and 1 readmission. Preoperative symptoms were abolished in both groups. At 6 months or longer postoperatively, scores on the Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Health Related Quality of Life scale improved from 20.6 to 5.0 for MSA vs 22.8 to 5.1 for LNF. Postoperative DeMeester scores (14.2 vs 5.1, p = 0.0001) and the percentage of time pH was less than 4 (4.6 vs 1.1; p = 0.0001) were normalized in both groups but statistically different. MSA resulted in improved gassy and bloated feelings (1.32 vs 2.36; p = 0.59) and enabled belching in 67% compared with none of the LNFs. Conclusions MSA results in similar objective control of GERD, symptom resolution, and improved quality of life compared with LNF. MSA seems to restore a more physiologic sphincter that allows physiologic reflux, facilitates belching, and creates less bloating and flatulence. This device has the potential to allow individualized treatment of patients with GERD and increase the surgical treatment of GERD.
    The Annals of Thoracic Surgery 08/2014; 98(2). DOI:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2014.04.074 · 3.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During hiatal hernia repair there are two vectors of tension: axial and radial. An optimal repair minimizes the tension along these vectors. Radial tension is not easily recognized. There are no simple maneuvers like measuring length that facilitate assessment of radial tension. The aims of this project were to: (1) establish a simple intraoperative method to evaluate baseline tension of the diaphragmatic hiatal muscle closure; and, (2) assess if tension is reduced by relaxing maneuvers and if so, to what degree.
    Surgical Endoscopy 07/2014; 29(4). DOI:10.1007/s00464-014-3744-y · 3.31 Impact Factor
  • Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery 06/2014; 18(suppl 1):S8-S8. DOI:10.1093/icvts/ivu167.29 · 1.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Adenocarcinomas, commonly present as a dominant lesion (DL) with additional nodules in the ipsilateral or contralateral lung. We sought to determine the fate and management of the secondary nodules and to assess the risk of these nodules using the Lung CT Screening Reporting and Data System (Lung-RADS) criteria and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Guidelines to determine if surveillance is an appropriate strategy. We retrospectively evaluated patients with lepidic growth pattern adenocarcinoma and secondary nodules from 2000 to 2013. Risk assessment of the additional lesions was completed with a simplified model of Lung-RADS and NCCN-Guidelines. Eighty-seven patients underwent resection of 87 DLs (Group 1) concurrently with 60 additional pulmonary nodules (Group 2), while 157 non-DLs were radiologically surveyed over a median follow-up time of 3.2 years (Group 3). Malignancy was found in 29/60 (48%) nodules in Group 2. Whereas, only 9/157 (6%) of the lesions in Group 3 enlarged, 4 of which (2.5% of total) were found to be malignant, and then treated, while the remaining nodules continued surveillance. After applying the Lung-RADS and NCCN simplified models, nodules in Group 2 were at higher risk for lung cancer than those in Group 3. In patients with lepidic growth pattern adenocarcinoma associated with multiple secondary nodules, surveillance of the remaining nodules, after resection of the DL, is a reasonable strategy since these nodules exhibited a slow rate of growth and minimal malignancy. In contrast, nodules resected from the ipsilateral lung at the time of the DL, harbor malignancy in 48%. Risk assessment models may provide a useful and standardized tool for clinical assessment of pulmonary nodules.
    Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery 06/2014; 1(suppl 1):52. DOI:10.3389/fsurg.2014.00052 · 1.11 Impact Factor
  • Gastrointestinal Endoscopy 05/2014; 79(5):AB228. DOI:10.1016/j.gie.2014.05.097 · 4.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A regional quality improvement effort does not exist for thoracic surgery in the United States. To initiate the development of one, we sought to describe temporal trends and hospital-level variability in associated outcomes and costs of pulmonary resection in Washington (WA) State. A cohort study (2000-2011) was conducted of operated-on lung cancer patients. The WA State discharge database was used to describe outcomes and costs for operations performed at all nonfederal hospitals within the state. Over 12 years, 8,457 lung cancer patients underwent pulmonary resection across 49 hospitals. Inpatient deaths decreased over time (adjusted p-trend = 0.023) but prolonged length of stay did not (adjusted p-trend = 0.880). Inflation-adjusted hospital costs increased over time (adjusted p-trend < 0.001). Among 24 hospitals performing at least 1 resection per year, 5 hospitals were statistical outliers in rates of death (4 lower and 1 higher than the state average), and 13 were outliers with respect to prolonged length of stay (7 higher and 6 lower than the state average) and costs (5 higher and 8 lower than the state average). When evaluated for rates of death and costs, there were hospitals with fewer deaths/lower costs, fewer deaths/higher costs, more deaths/lower costs, and more deaths/higher costs. Variability in outcomes and costs over time and across hospitals suggest opportunities to improve the quality and value of thoracic surgery in WA State. Examples from cardiac surgery suggest that a regional quality improvement collaborative is an effective way to meaningfully and rapidly act upon these opportunities.
    The Annals of thoracic surgery 04/2014; 98(1). DOI:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2014.03.014 · 3.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pathologic nodal upstaging can be considered a surrogate for completeness of nodal evaluation and quality of surgery. We sought to determine the rate of nodal upstaging and disease-free and overall survival with a robotic approach in clinical stage I NSCLC. We retrospectively reviewed patients with clinical stage I NSCLC after robotic lobectomy or segmentectomy at three centers from 2009 to 2012. Data were collected primarily based on Society of Thoracic Surgeons database elements. Robotic anatomic lung resection was performed in 302 patients. The majority were right sided (192; 63.6%) and of the upper lobe (192; 63.6%). Most were clinical stage IA (237; 78.5%). Pathologic nodal upstaging occurred in 33 patients (10.9% [pN1 20, 6.6%; pN2 13, 4.3%]). Hilar (pN1) upstaging occurred in 3.5%, 8.6%, and 10.8%, respectively, for cT1a, cT1b, and cT2a tumors. Comparatively, historic hilar upstage rates of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) versus thoracotomy for cT1a, cT1b, and cT2a were 5.2%, 7.1%, and 5.7%, versus 7.4%, 8.8%, and 11.5%, respectively. Median follow-up was 12.3 months (range, 0 to 49). Forty patients (13.2%) had disease recurrence (local 11, 3.6%; regional 7, 2.3%; distant 22, 7.3%). The 2-year overall survival was 87.6%, and the disease-free survival was 70.2%. The rate of nodal upstaging for robotic resection appears to be superior to VATS and similar to thoracotomy data when analyzed by clinical T stage. Both disease-free and overall survival were comparable to recent VATS and thoracotomy data. A larger series of matched open, VATS and robotic approaches is necessary.
    The Annals of thoracic surgery 04/2014; 97(6). DOI:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2014.01.064 · 3.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The use of robotic lung surgery has increased dramatically despite being a new, costly technology with undefined benefits over standard of care. There is a paucity of published comparative articles justifying its use or cost. Furthermore, outcomes regarding robotic lung resection are either from single institutions with in-house historical comparisons or based on limited numbers. We compared consecutive robotic anatomic lung resections performed at two institutions with matched data from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) National Database for all open and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) resections. We sought to define any benefits to a robotic approach versus national outcomes after thoracotomy and VATS. Data from all consecutive robotic anatomic lung resections were collected from two institutions (n = 181) from January 2010 until January 2012 and matched against the same variables for anatomic resections via thoracotomy (n = 5913) and VATS (n = 4612) from the STS National Database. Patients with clinical N2, N3, and M1 disease were excluded. There was a significant decrease in 30-day mortality and postoperative blood transfusion after robotic lung resection relative to VATS and thoracotomy. The patients stayed in the hospital 2 days less after robotic surgery than VATS and 4 days less than after thoracotomy. Robotic surgery led to fewer air leaks, intraoperative blood transfusions, need for perioperative bronchoscopy or reintubation, pneumonias, and atrial arrhythmias compared with thoracotomy. This is the first comparative analysis using national STS data. It suggests potential benefits of robotic surgery relative to VATS and thoracotomy, particularly in reducing length of stay, 30-day mortality, and postoperative blood transfusion.
    Innovations Technology and Techniques in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery 02/2014; 9(1). DOI:10.1097/IMI.0000000000000043
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    ABSTRACT: Knowledge about the cost of open, video-assisted thoracoscopic (VATS), or robotic lung resection and drivers of cost is crucial as the cost of care comes under scrutiny. This study aims to define the cost of anatomic lung resection and evaluate potential cost-saving measures. A retrospective review of patients who had anatomic resection for early stage lung cancer, carcinoid, or metastatic foci between 2008 and 2012 was performed. Direct hospital cost data were collected from 10 categories. Capital depreciation was separated for the robotic and VATS cases. Key costs were varied in a sensitivity analysis. In all, 184 consecutive patients were included: 69 open, 57 robotic, and 58 VATS. Comorbidities and complication rates were similar. Operative time was statistically different among the three modalities, but length of stay was not. There was no statistically significant difference in overall cost between VATS and open cases (Δ = $1,207) or open and robotic cases (Δ = $1,975). Robotic cases cost $3,182 more than VATS (p < 0.001) owing to the cost of robotic-specific supplies and depreciation. The main opportunities to reduce cost in open cases were the intensive care unit, respiratory therapy, and laboratories. Lowering operating time and supply costs were targets for VATS and robotic cases. VATS is the least expensive surgical approach. Robotic cases must be shorter in operative time or reduce supply costs, or both, to be competitive. Lessening operating time, eradicating unnecessary laboratory work, and minimizing intensive care unit stays will help decrease direct hospital costs.
    The Annals of thoracic surgery 01/2014; 97(3). DOI:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2013.11.021 · 3.65 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

740 Citations
293.85 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2010–2014
    • Swedish Medical Center Seattle
      Seattle, Washington, United States
  • 2003–2010
    • University of Washington Seattle
      • Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery
      Seattle, Washington, United States
    • VU University Amsterdam
      • Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology
      Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands
  • 2004
    • University of Cambridge
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom