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Wisconsin State Journal health reporter David Wahlberg recently wrote about Dr. Margaret “Gretchen” Schwarze’s research into the conversations patients and surgeons have before high-risk surgery in his blog, “Health Sense.”

Dr. Schwarze’s research uncovered that surgeons typically do not initiate detailed discussions with their patients about post-operative life support when examining the risks of “big surgery” events like brain and liver tumor removal, esophagus removal, cardiac surgery and abdominal aortic aneurysm repair. Instead, surgeons and patients experience a communicative disconnect about post-operative patient care, as Dr. Schwarze explains in a press release about her study from the UW School of Medicine and Public Health: “Although surgeons may believe they’ve had these conversations based on their assertion that the impending ‘big surgery’ carries substantial risk, including death, there was no explicit discussion about how serious complications would be treated or whether patients would be willing to pursue additional aggressive interventions beyond the operating room.”

You can find links to to several articles on this topic under the “Recent Publications” section at Dr. Schwarze’s web profile. Copyright © 2017 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System