Incorporation of Anterior Lumbosacral Spine Exposure into a General Surgical Practice
Many spine surgeons enlist the aid of an “access surgeon” to provide anterior exposure of the lumbosacral spine. We proposed that a single, community hospital general surgery practice can successfully develop an anterior spine exposure program with acceptable clinical outcomes. One hundred and forty-three consecutive anterior exposures were performed between 2008 and 2014. Morbidity and 30-day mortality were recorded. The effects of American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Status classification (ASA class) and number of levels exposed on length of stay (LOS) and estimated blood loss (EBL) was reported. The growth of the program during this period was also evaluated. During the six-year period, there were nine (6.3%) major complications and 17 (11.9%) minor complications with no 30-day mortality. The mean LOS was similar for one-level and two-level exposures (3.8 days). Mean LOS was higher in ASA III patients (4.4 days) than ASA I (2.9 days) or ASA II (3.2 days). Mean EBL for one-level exposures (336.3 mL) was not significantly different than EBL for two-level exposures (425.9 mL). EBLs in ASA class III patients were greater than in class I and class II patients. The program began in July of 2008 with a single spine surgeon and one operation that year. A high of 54 procedures, with seven different spine surgeons, was recorded in 2013. A single, community hospital general surgery practice can successfully develop an anterior approach to spine exposure program with acceptable clinical outcomes and with sustained growth of the program.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Dekalb Surgical Associates, Decatur, Georgia, USA
Publication date: December 1, 2017
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