A Look at the American College of Surgeons’ Advocacy Efforts

merican College of Surgeons
Dr. Rajiv Datta has spent more than 15 years, including nine years as chairman of the Department of Surgery, at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Valley Stream, New York. When he is not managing the hospital’s surgical activities, Dr. Rajiv Datta interacts with professional organizations such as the American College of Surgeons (ACS).

The ACS serves its membership in a number of ways, including through widespread advocacy efforts at both the state and federal levels. The organization only engages in initiatives that directly benefit practicing surgeons and enhance the patient experience. ACS advocacy activities are primarily handled by the Division of Advocacy and Health Policy, located in Washington, DC, and through direct communications with relevant government offices. Certain advocacy efforts are overarching and essentially unending, such as the surgical society’s interest in American health care reform.

Other campaigns such as global codes and data collection advocacy are more focused. The ACS recently came out in support of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) decision to require more information regarding postoperative visits during periods of global surgical service. CMS has already put this new measure into effect in nine states. To learn more about complying with the policy, or other areas of ACS advocacy, please visit www.facs.org.

Routine Test Show Thyroid Nodules-Now What?

Throid Nodules

Majority of the thyroid nodules are picked up incidentally on testing being performed for some other reason. Lets start by discussing- what is a thyroid nodule? These are solid or liquids (called cystic) or mixed (solid and liquid) growths in the thyroid gland. These are very common, up to 30% of the population. Thyroid cancer also starts as nodules, however thyroid cancer is uncommon. So based on statistics, majority of the thyroid nodules found in routine testing are not cancers. Most of the thyroid nodules have no symptoms. Once we find thyroid nodules, these do need to be followed up by thyroid specialists.

Thyroid Nodules

Thyroid nodules are diagnosed with an increasing frequency. Anytime there is a diagnostic test performed, such MRI of cervical spine, CT scan of neck or chest, carotid Doppler, etc., incidental thyroid nodules are reported. The incidence of finding a thyroid nodule can be up to 30% in general population. The next step is evaluation by a head and neck surgeon with investigations which include ultrasound of the thyroid and thyroid function test. Depending on the size, character of the nodule and risk factors, ultrasound guided biopsy is done for cytology evaluation. Thankfully majority of the thyroid nodules are benign and require no treatment.